Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 03/04/05-83

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/

First Session

TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2005

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Educ.: Tuition Fees - Reduce, Mr. W. Estabrooks 7221
Com. Serv.: Family Violence - End, Hon. C. Clarke 7222
TPW - Grand River East: Road - Upgrade, Mr. Michel Samson 7222
Environ. & Lbr. - Mt. Uniacke: Biomedical Waste Treatment Facility -
Oppose, Mr. J. MacDonell 7222
Educ.: Tuition Fees - Reduce, Ms. D. Whalen 7223
Educ.: Tuition Fees - Reduce, Mr. G. Steele 7223
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Pugwash: Roads - Improve, Mr. K. Deveaux 7223
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Anl. Rept., Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission, Hon. P. Christie 7223
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3811, MacKinnon, Bruce: World Press Cartoon Comp. -
Nomination, The Premier 7224
Vote - Affirmative 7224
Res. 3812, White, Valerie - Gerontology Award, Hon. A. MacIsaac 7224
Vote - Affirmative 7225
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 198, Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission Act, Hon. P. Christie 7225
No. 199, Consumer Protection Act, Mr. K. Deveaux 7225
No. 200, Municipal Government Act, Mr. L. Glavine 7226
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3813, Health - Funding: Lib. Proposal - Withdrawal Urge,
Mr. D. Dexter 7226
Res. 3814, Prem. - Debt Increase: Promise - Broken,
Mr. Michel Samson 7227
Res. 3815, Layton, Robert: Great Village & Dist. FD -
Service (60 Yrs.), Mr. W. Langille 7227
Vote - Affirmative 7228
Res. 3816, Elizabeth Fry Soc.: Rebels With a Cause - Congrats.,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 7228
Vote - Affirmative 7229
Res. 3817, Murphy, Jerry - Shining Star Award, Mr. J. MacDonell 7229
Vote - Affirmative 7230
Res. 3818, Fin. - Strait Reg. Sch. Bd.: Budget Opinions - Support,
Mr. R. Chisholm 7230
Vote - Affirmative 7231
Res. 3819, TCH: ALC Strategy - Support, Mr. S. McNeil 7231
Res. 3820, J.L. Ilsley: Studio Theatre - Congrats., Ms. M. Raymond 7231
Vote - Affirmative 7232
Res. 3821, MacPherson, Larry & Barb: Birches At Ben Eoin Inn -
Opening, Mr. R. MacKinnon 7232
Vote - Affirmative 7233
Res. 3822, Agric. & Fish.: Contraband Lobster - Buyers Crackdown,
Mr. H. Theriault 7233
Vote - Affirmative 7234
Res. 3823, RCL - Somme Br. 31: Contributions - Applaud, Ms. M. More 7234
Vote - Affirmative 7234
Res. 3824, MacLean, Doris: Death of - Tribute, Mr. B. Taylor 7235
Vote - Affirmative 7235
Res. 3825, Agric. & Fish. - Seal/Groundfish: Imbalance - Solve,
Mr. H. Theriault 7235
Res. 3826, Sir John A. Macdonald HS - Football Team:
Parents' Comm. - Thank, Mr. W. Estabrooks 7236
Vote - Affirmative 7237
Res. 3827, Argyle Mun. Acadian School - English Spelling Bee:
Participants - Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont 7237
Vote - Affirmative 7237
Res. 3828, Social Workers, N.S. Assoc.: VLT Stance - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Graham 7238
Vote - Affirmative 7238
Res. 3829, Sawchuck, Matthew: Learning Capabilities - Applaud,
Hon. C. Clarke 7238
Vote - Affirmative 7239
Res. 3830, RCL Calais Branch 162: Call to Remembrance Comp. -
Hosting, Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 7239
Vote - Affirmative 7240
Res. 3831, Mulgrave Rd. Theatre: Efforts - Congrats., Mr. D. Graham 7240
Vote - Affirmative 7240
Res. 3832, EMO: Bridgewater/Lun. Dist. Co-Ordinators - Congrats.,
Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson 7241
Vote - Affirmative 7242
Res. 3833, Sydney Steel Plant - Workers: Wartime Effort -
Acknowledge, Mr. G. Gosse 7242
Vote - Affirmative 7242
Res. 3834, TPW - Hwy. No. 213: Traffic Signal Proponents - Thank,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 7243
Vote - Affirmative 7243
Res. 3835, St. Andrew Jr. Sch. (Gr. 5) - Mayerthorpe: Sympathy -
Commend, Hon. A. MacIsaac 7243
Vote - Affirmative 7244
Res. 3836, Jennifer Keeping Ctr.: Opening - Acknowledge,
Mr. G. Gosse 7244
Vote - Affirmative 7245
Res. 3837, Dean, Cecil: WWII Service - Applaud, Mr. D. Dexter 7245
Vote - Affirmative 7246
Res. 3838, Corkum-Greek, Susan - SSTA Award, Hon. M. Baker 7246
Vote - Affirmative 7246
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 840, Prem. - Gas Prices: Regulation - Time Frame, Mr. D. Dexter 7247
No. 841, Health - Care Costs: Reduction - Lack Explain,
Mr. Michel Samson 7248
No. 842, Ins.: Cap - Repeal, Mr. D. Dexter 7250
No. 843, Health - Care: Plan - Efficacy, Mr. Michel Samson 7251
No. 844, Environ. & Lbr.: Infirmary Demolition - Contaminated Soil,
Ms. J. Massey 7253
No. 845, TCH - AGNS: Underfunding - Explain,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 7254
No. 846, Educ. - Hogg Report: Recommendations -
Sch. Bd. Funding Increases, Ms. D. Whalen 7255
No. 847, Agric. & Fish. - Crab Fishermen (N.S.): Protection - Plans,
Mr. C. Parker 7256
No. 848, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel.: Heatherdale Mem. Gardens -
Landscaping, Mr. C. Parker 7257
No. 849, Com. Serv.: Portable Daycare Spaces - Increases,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 7259
No. 850, Environ. & Lbr. - Lake Micmac Silt Runoff: Dev. Proj. - Halt,
Ms. J. Massey 7260
No. 851, Fin. - Northwest Arm: Bridge - Plans, Mr. D. Graham 7261
No. 852, Com. Serv.: Disabled Nova Scotians - Funding, Mr. J. Pye 7262
No. 853, Health - Nursing Strategy: Experienced Nurses - Omission,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 7263
No. 854, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel.: Williams Point (Antigonish) -
Dev. Concerns, Ms. J. Massey 7265
No. 855, Immigration - Prov. Nominee Prog.: Dept. - Responsibility,
Ms. D. Whalen 7266
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. Gerald Sampson 7268
Mr. F. Corbett 7271
Mr. R. MacKinnon 7275
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 2:26 P.M. 7278
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:00 P.M. 7279
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Nat. Res.: Gov't. (N.S.) - Promote/Protect:
Mr. L. Glavine 7279
Hon. R. Hurlburt 7281
Mr. M. Parent 7283
Mr. J. MacDonell 7284
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 6:30 P.M. 7286
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:57 P.M. 7286
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 177, Financial Measures (2005) Act 7286
Mr. Gerald Sampson 7287
Ms. J. Massey 7296
Adjourned debate 7301
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., May 11th at 2:00 p.m. 7302
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 3839, N. Shore Bus. Women in Action: Commitment -
Recognize, Mr. W. Langille 7303
Res. 3840, MacNeil, Elsie - Birthday (80th), Mr. W. Estabrooks 7303
Res. 3841, Wetmore, Alan - Sir John A. Macdonald Flames:
Head Coach - Selection, Mr. W. Estabrooks 7304
Res. 3842, Harrison, George & Florence - Anniv. (50th),
Mr. W. Estabrooks 7304
Res. 3843, Avery, Ashley - Int'l. Children's Games/Cultural Fest.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 7305
Res. 3844, Estabrooks, Kevin - Baseball N.S. Coach of the Yr.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 7305
Res. 3845, Yaschuk, Tara: Power Outages - Activism,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 7306
Res. 3846, TPW - Prospect Bay Rd.: Paving - Prioritize,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 7306
Res. 3847, TPW - Terence Bay Rd. (Lr. Prospect): Paving -
Prioritize, Mr. W. Estabrooks 7307
Res. 3848, Demone, Avery: Atom B Shoot-out - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7307
Res. 3849, Hebbville Acad.: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -
Production, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7308
Res. 3850, Hachey, Matthew: Science Fair - Participation,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7308
Res. 3851, Cusack Fam. - Activity: Efforts - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7309
Res. 3852, Bridgewater Sm. World Learning Ctr.: Children/Staff -
Recognize, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7309
Res. 3853, Health - Nurses: Health Care Delivery - Thank,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7310
Res. 3854, Hebbville Acad. Beginner Concert Band -
Music Fest. Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7310
Res. 3855, Marlin, Melanie - Music Fest. Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7311
Res. 3856, Thomas, Bronwen - Music Fest. Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7311
Res. 3857, Cunningham, Kelly - Music Fest. Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7312
Res. 3858, Whynot, Laura - Music Fest. Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7312
Res. 3859, Baker, Mitch - Music Fest. Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7313
Res. 3860, Pitman, Jennifer - Music Fest. Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7313
Res. 3861, Jamieson, Meghan - Music Fest. Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7314
Res. 3862, Taylor, Justin - Music Fest. Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7314
Res. 3863, Killam, Tyler/Pineo, Rachael/Adams, Meghan/
Brenton, Douglas - Music Fest. Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7315
Res. 3864, Fraser, Samantha/Sarty, Anna/Jordan, Rebecca/Ferrier, Alexis -
Music Fest. Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7315
Res. 3865, Bridgewater Elem. Sch.: Handchime Choir -
Music Fest. Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7316
Res. 3866, Bridgewater Elem. Sch. Choir - Music Fest. Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7316
Res. 3867, Energy - LED Traffic Signals: Mun. Conversion - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 7317
Res. 3868, Belanger, Roger - Chezzetcook Inlet: Photography - Thank,
Mr. W. Dooks 7317
Res. 3869, St. Peter's Lions Club: Richmond Villa Activity Dept. -
Donation, Mr. Michel Samson 7318
Res. 3870, St. Peter's Lions Club: Dr. Kingston Mem. Clinic - Donation,
Mr. Michel Samson 7318
Res. 3871, St. Peter's Lions Club: Early Childhood Educ. Ctr. - Donation,
Mr. Michel Samson 7319
Res. 3872, St. Peter's Lions Club: Area Orgs. - Congrats.,
Mr. Michel Samson 7319
Res. 3873, École Beau-Port - JARIS Banner, Mr. Michel Samson 7319
Res. 3874, École Beau-Port - JARIS Banner, Mr. Michel Samson 7320
Res. 3875, St. Peter's Lions Club: Chapel Island Vol. FD - Donation,
Mr. Michel Samson 7320
Res. 3876, St. Peter's Lions Club: MacAskill Yacht Club - Donation,
Mr. Michel Samson 7321
Res. 3877, St. Peter's Lions Club: L'Ardoise Vol. FD - Donation,
Mr. Michel Samson 7321
Res. 3878, St. Peter's Lions Club: St. Peter's Vol. FD - Donation,
Mr. Michel Samson 7322
Res. 3879, St. Peter's Lions Club: St. Peter's Air Cadets - Donation,
Mr. Michel Samson 7322
Res. 3880, Parrsboro Spook-a-Rama: Co-Ordinators - Congrats.,
The Speaker 7323

[Page 7221]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2005

Fifty-ninth General Assembly

First Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. James DeWolfe, Ms. Joan Massey, Mr. Daniel Graham

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 Kings West:

Therefore be it resolved that this government actively promote and protect our natural resources in Nova Scotia.

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

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition of 120 Nova Scotians who are concerned about tuition fees in this province. The Nova Scotians who have signed have asked this government to address this issue and reduce tuition fees. I have affixed my signature to this petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

7221

[Page 7222]

The honourable Minister of Energy.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to present a petition associated with Family Violence Prevention Week. This petition is signed by 6,148 Cape Bretoners and it was signed as a personal commitment to working towards ending family violence. I have been very pleased to affix my signature to this petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition. The operative clause reads:

"We the residencs (sic) of Grand River East, Richmond County, Cape Breton, are tired of driving on a sub standard road. Improper drainage, i.e. lack of proper ditching, and no gravel leads to dangerous driving conditions with pot holes and excessive water after a rain.

We, the undersigned, request that the Department of Transportation upgrade this road with proper ditching and gravel, from Norman Barthalomew's to Mary MacKay's, approximately three kilometres."

This is signed by 41 of the local residents and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled. (Interruption) A very specific petition.

The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the residents of the Mount Uniacke area. The operative clause is:

"Help stop biomedical waste treatment facility from coming to our Mount Uniacke Business Park."

Mr. Speaker, the petition has 1,065 names and I have added my signature in support.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

[Page 7223]

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition signed by 60 Nova Scotians concerned about the high and ever-increasing cost of post-secondary tuition. I have affixed my signature thereto. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Merci, M. le Président. J'ai une pétition que je veux soumettre avec les signatures de 64 étudiants et étudiantes qui veulent avoir une réduction des droits de scolarités dans la Nouvelle-Écosse.

Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to introduce a petition from 64 students seeking a reduction in tuition fees. I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the residents of the Pugwash area, demanding Pugwash Junction Area Highway improvements. There are 173 signatures, and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the 2004 Annual Report of the Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

[Page 7224]

RESOLUTION NO. 3811

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

Whereas they say laughter is the best medicine and, if so, Bruce MacKinnon has got the right prescription; and

Whereas having been the centre of attention on his drafting table once or twice, I am pleased to be in the company of Presidents and many other notable individuals, including Leaders of the local Oppositions; and

Whereas Mr. MacKinnon, whose very entertaining editorial cartoons are featured daily in the ChronicleHerald, has now gained international attention by becoming a finalist in one of three categories for the World Press Cartoon Competition to be awarded on May 21st;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate editorial cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon on this honour, and wish him the best in the hopes that he adds yet another award to his already impressive list.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 3812

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

Whereas Valerie White, Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Senior Citizens Secretariat, received the 2005 Award of Recognition from the Gerontology Association of Nova Scotia; and

[Page 7225]

Whereas she was presented with this award on April 29th, at the Gerontology Association of Nova Scotia's Annual General Meeting and Educational Conference; and

Whereas she received the award for her 25 years of exceptional professional and personal service to enhancing the lives of Nova Scotian seniors and their families;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Valerie White for her dedication and significant contributions to the lives of Nova Scotian seniors.

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 Finance.

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, would you permit me, before I introduce the bill, to do an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER: Yes.

MR. CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, in your gallery today, we have, from the Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission, Tom Cochrane, Chairman of the Board; Steve Snider, CEO, President and General Manager; and Cheryl Bidgood, Records and Communications. I would ask them to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 198 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission. (Hon. Peter Christie)

Bill No. 199 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 92 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Consumer Protection Act. (Mr. Kevin Deveaux)

[Page 7226]

Bill No. 200 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998. The Municipal Government Act. (Mr. Leo Glavine)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3813

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

Whereas the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia has demanded that the provincial Health budget be cut by at least $115 million, leaving a net increase of less than $60 million; and

Whereas the Canada Health Transfer to Nova Scotia will increase by $94 million this year; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Liberals are therefore demanding that new federal health care funds, which were supposed to be used to reduce health care wait times, be spent on other departments instead;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the Liberals to withdraw their proposal to divert federal health care money into other areas and join those in this House who seek a properly funded and fully accountable effort to reduce wait times and improve the state of people's health.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader in the House of the Liberal Party.

[Page 7227]

RESOLUTION NO. 3814

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: It's good to see the NDP are still focused.

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

Whereas the Premier told Nova Scotians in 2000 that "We have to stop piling up debt before it's too late. Otherwise we're going to end up financially . . . and morally bankrupt"; and

Whereas the Premier also told Nova Scotians, "We are going to balance the budget in three years, and begin reducing the debt and capturing those lost dollars in interest for Nova Scotians"; and

Whereas despite the Premier's word, his promise has been broken and today we are adding $2.5 million in interest payments that could result in the hiring, for example, of eight anesthesiologists at the QE II Health Sciences Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Legislature recognize the Premier has broken a fundamental promise to Nova Scotians that the debt would stop growing and that this failure is costing Nova Scotians $2.5 million a day, $17.5 million a week and $900 million a year.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

[12:15 p.m.]

The honourable member for Colchester North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3815

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

[Page 7228]

Whereas The Great Village and District Fire Department has a hero in their midst, celebrating Robert Layton for 60 years of active service; and

Whereas Robert Layton has been a member since 1944, he remembers the days when there were no fire trucks and emergency calls were answered with an old portable pump that two men carried to the scene; and

Whereas Robert Layton remains active with the fire department, attending regular training sessions and still answers the call of duty;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Robert Layton for 60 years of dedicated service to The Great Village and District Fire Department, and thank him for his bravery and commitment to his community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 3816

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

Whereas the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia provides support and advocacy services to help women avoid contact with the criminal justice system and assists women to reintegrate into the community after time in prison; and

Whereas on Thursday evening, May 12th, the Elizabeth Fry Society will hold their 7th annual Rebels With a Cause gala, which both raises much-needed funds for the society and honours women in the community who have worked on behalf of women in need; and

[Page 7229]

Whereas this year the Rebels With a Cause being honoured are Ann Copeland, lawyer and social advocate; Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard, Director of the Dalhousie School of Social Work; Heather McNeill, lawyer and social justice advocate; Bishop Sue Moxley, social justice advocate; and Katherine Reed, social justice advocate;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Elizabeth Fry Society and this year's five Rebels With a Cause, for their tireless effort and advocacy on behalf of women in this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3817

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

Whereas music lightens the heart and brightens the day; and

Whereas bluegrass music captures the essence of good country living; and

Whereas on May 27, 2005, on Volunteer Awards Night, Mr. Jerry Murphy will be recognized by the Municipality of East Hants with the Shining Star Award for his extensive volunteer efforts in bringing bluegrass music to Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Jerry Murphy on being chosen to receive the Shining Star Award at the East Hants Volunteer Awards Night and thank him for all the good times he has helped to make possible.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 7230]

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 Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 3818

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

Whereas unlike our Liberal counterparts, rewriting the budget certainly isn't on the minds of the Strait Regional School Board; and

Whereas Strait Regional School Board Chairman George Kehoe says the overall implications of the provincial budget are very positive and this will be an exciting year in the Strait Region; and

Whereas contrary to Liberal Leader Francis MacKenzie's opinion, this budget is welcome news to most and is being seen as an opportunity to provide more programming and better services to students and teachers across the province, rather than increasing wait times and putting even more pressure on our health care system and even more potholes on our roads;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House support the opinions of the Strait Regional School Board and wish them an exciting and successful year that will be provided to them through increased funding from this year's provincial budget.

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 7231]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 3819

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

Whereas in 1996, the Regional Director of the Canadian Coast Guard announced at a public meeting attended by tourism operators and provincial government representatives that lighthouses were soon to become redundant as navigational aids; and

Whereas in 1999, the Atlantic Lighthouse Council was formed as a partnership of tourism operators and relevant provincial and federal departments to develop a sustainable strategy to preserve lighthouses through a lighthouse trust; and

Whereas in 2003, the Atlantic Lighthouse Council proposed implementation of the said strategy which was supported by both the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia and the South Shore Lighthouse Route Tourism Association;

Therefore be it resolved that the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage support the ALC strategy, recognizing the importance of lighthouses to the economy and well-being of all Nova Scotians, and its efforts to implement the strategy in partnership with DFO and, the Coast Guard.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

RESOLUTION NO. 3820

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

[Page 7232]

Whereas since its founding in 1970, J.L. Ilsley High School has acquired a reputation for excellence in the arts; and

Whereas the students of J.L. Ilsley annually put on an art show, musical show, and send many students a year to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and to Dalhousie to study music; and

Whereas the staff and students of J.L. Ilsley have now taken mops and buckets, hammer and nails, and large quantities of black paint and are in the process of converting the old maintenance shed into a studio theatre for school and community use;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Teri Quinlan and the students and staff of J.L. Ilsley on their venture to open a studio theatre and hope all break a leg as the new theatre opens.

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. 3821

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

Whereas tourism is one of the cornerstones of Nova Scotia's economy, creating nearly $1 billion in activity province-wide each year; and

Whereas in September 2004, owners/operators Larry and Barb MacPherson opened The Birches At Ben Eoin Inn located next to Ski Ben Eoin in Cape Breton; and

Whereas The Birches At Ben Eoin is a 12-room, four and a half star inn, with a restaurant having a 50-person seating capacity and is a year-round operation;

[Page 7233]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Larry and Barb MacPherson on the opening of The Birches At Ben Eoin Inn and for expressing their vote of confidence in Cape Breton's economy.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 3822

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

Whereas the lobster fishery in South West and West Nova, which is Area 34 which includes the Bay of Fundy, will close in a few weeks' time; and

Whereas the end of the legal fishing season invariably signals the start of organized poaching of lobsters on a grand scale; and

Whereas the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans will do all it can to prevent poaching at sea and the landing of illegally caught lobsters;

Therefore be it resolved that the provincial Department of Agriculture and Fisheries do its part and crack down on the buyers of contraband lobsters as its mandate permits.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 7234]

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. 3823

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 Royal Canadian Legion Somme Branch 31 opened in Dartmouth in 1927 and currently has a thriving membership of 736; and

Whereas Somme Branch provides many services to veterans and the community, including assistance to veterans in need, hospital visits, bursaries for youth, youth dart competitions, community fundraising and sponsorship of the magnificent Sea Cadet Unit at 12 Wing Shearwater, and the Preston Army Cadet Corps; and

Whereas Somme Branch operates a military museum in a neighbouring heritage building in downtown Dartmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Royal Canadian Legion Somme Branch 31 of Dartmouth during this Year of the Veteran and thank its president, George DeGrace, and all the executive and members, for their services both to veterans and to the community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

[Page 7235]

RESOLUTION NO. 3824

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

Whereas a true Nova Scotia hockey ambassador passed away Saturday at the age of 84; and

Whereas Doris MacLean was involved in the game for more than 50 years and as late as this season was selling 50-50 tickets at the Junior A games of the Halifax Wolverines; and

Whereas Doris never let rain, sleet, snow or ice keep her from attending a hockey game, whether she was playing or whether it was one of her seven sons or two daughters taking the ice;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this House of Assembly extend their condolences to the MacLean family on Doris' passing while recognizing the sentiments of her daughter, Janet, who described her mother in three words, "She was hockey."

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 3825

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

Whereas 400,000 grey seals have grown from a population of 10,000 because of climate change and fewer natural predators to keep their number where they have been for generations; and

[Page 7236]

Whereas those 800-pound animals are eating a minimum of 20 pounds of groundfish per day, which equals over 2.2 billion pounds per year off the coast of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas if those fish were caught by the fishermen of Nova Scotia, they would be worth $1 billion at dockside, giving this province much-needed funding;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries work with the fishermen to find a solution to this imbalance in our coastal waters.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 3826

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

Whereas Sir John A. Macdonald High School will field a football team in the Nova Scotia High School Football League this fall; and

Whereas this effort has been conducted by a group of volunteer parents led by Janice Naugler, Joe Lauder and Keith Skiffington; and

Whereas students, staff and the community look forward to a football program at Sir John A. Macdonald;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly recognize and thank the parents' committee on its leadership in establishing a football team at Sir John A. Macdonald High School.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 7237]

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 Agriculture and Fisheries.

RESOLUTION NO. 3827

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 on April 25th, an English spelling bee was held for Grade 6 students from the Acadian elementary schools in the Municipality of Argyle; and

Whereas 21 students from École Belleville, École Wedgeport and École Pubnico-Ouest participated in the event; and

Whereas Donovan d'Eon of École Pubnico-Ouest and Melanie Surette of École Wedgeport tied for first place, while Alicia Muise of École Belleville was awarded third place;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Donovan d'Eon, Melanie Surette and Alicia Muise for their success in the competition and thank teacher Holly d'Eon for organizing the event.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

[Page 7238]

RESOLUTION NO. 3828

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

Whereas many individuals and organizations have spoken out against the dangers of the VLTs in our province; and

Whereas the latest group to stand up against these highly addictive machines is the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers; and

Whereas every person and organization in Nova Scotia is entitled to their opinion and to speak it freely;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers on taking a stand and vocalizing their opinion on VLTs.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Energy.

RESOLUTION NO. 3829

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

Whereas North Sydney's Matthew Sawchuck is going on a high-profile U.S. talk show and considering Matthew is only five years old, this is quite an accomplishment; and

Whereas Matthew Sawchuck is like few other five-year-olds, as he could count to three when he was only nine months old and was reading at the age of two and is now prepared to discuss advanced human anatomy on national television; and

[Page 7239]

Whereas Matthew, despite being only Primary age, is already taking Grade 3 math and Grade 5 science;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud five-year-old Matthew for his dynamic learning capabilities and wish him well in his one-on-one interview with talk show host Ellen Degeneres.

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.

[12:30 p.m.]

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 3830

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 2005 is the Year of the Veteran and Legions throughout our province will participate in events celebrating our veterans; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Calais Branch 162 in Lower Sackville will host many events throughout this year in recognition of the sacrifices made by our veterans; and

Whereas Calais Branch 162 is the proud host of this year's provincial finals for the Call to Remembrance competition, a competition which demonstrates the Legion's commitment to keeping the memories and sacrifices of our veterans alive by showcasing the knowledge of our rich military past by all students who participated;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Royal Canadian Legion Calais Branch 162 in Lower Sackville for hosting this year's provincial Call to Remembrance competition finals and thank all the students who took part in this event showing their knowledge of our rich military past in this the Year of the Veteran.

[Page 7240]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 3831

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

Whereas the Mulgrave Road Theatre group has been entertaining Nova Scotians since 1977; and

Whereas each year many talented actors and stage crews work tirelessly to bring inspiring scripts to life; and

Whereas this year's production of Spin is a thought-provoking and balanced portrayal of gaming in our province;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the members of the Mulgrave Road Theatre on their efforts and wish them every success the theatre can bring.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 7241]

The honourable Minister of Health Promotion on an introduction.

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to bring to the attention of members, in the east gallery, a gentleman who is a councillor in Halifax, but I share the same home community with him in Mabou. That's the reason I'm doing the announcement. Mr. Reg Rankin is councillor today, earlier today we were in Peggys Cove attending an announcement of investment money there with respect to interpretive planning, visitor information and parking lots, et cetera. I wanted to recognize Mr. Rankin as a member of my home community in Mabou and a councillor here. Welcome, Mr. Rankin. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome Councillor Rankin here today and hope he enjoys the proceedings.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 3832

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

Whereas being prepared for emergency events is crucial for the health and safety of communities; and

Whereas Emergency Measures Organizations provide excellent service to communities by developing plans to cope with emergency situations; and

Whereas the joint Emergency Measures Organizations of the Town of Bridgewater and the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg scored in the excellent range for the second year in a row;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate the Town of Bridgewater, the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, EMO coordinators Brian Kaizer and Larry Feener, and all the volunteers for their commitment to the development of an excellent EMO plan.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 7242]

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. 3823

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

Whereas the Brick Shed, part of a large building that at one time housed a plate mill built to help meet the demand for plate steel in the First World War, will be the final building at Sydney Steel to be demolished; and

Whereas the war effort took all of the steel any Canadian plants could make, with 50 per cent of the steel produced in Canada being forged at Sydney Steel and at the Sydney Mines steel plant; and

Whereas the United Shipyards in Quebec constructed 350 of the 7,500-ton coal-fired merchant ships using steel from Sydney Steel; the Pictou Shipyards built about 150 smaller cargo ships with Sydney steel;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislative Assembly acknowledge the men and women who toiled at the steel plant, their efforts contributing greatly to the wartime effort.

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.

[Page 7243]

RESOLUTION NO. 3834

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

Whereas activists in the St. Margaret's Village community continue to press the Department of Transportation and Public Works officials for the need for traffic signals opposite the Tantallon schools in Upper Tantallon; and

Whereas this busy intersection on Highway No. 213 is dangerous; and

Whereas parents, teachers, and area residents have supported the initiative under the direction of parents Carol Duplisea and Carrie Ramsay;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature recognize and thank Carrie Ramsay and Carol Duplisea for their efforts to secure traffic signals at this busy intersection of Highway No. 213.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 3835

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

Whereas Mrs. Lauren Murphy's Grade 5 class at St. Andrew Junior School were deeply saddened by the tragedy in Mayerthorpe, Alberta, and the students wanted to express their concern to students their own age in Mayerthorpe; and

[Page 7244]

Whereas these students sent a package to Grade 5 students at Elmer Elson Elementary in Mayerthorpe containing letters written by each student, Nova Scotia pins, a Nova Scotia flag, a class picture, school pens and a prayer book; and

Whereas the students of Mayerthorpe were moved by this expression that they responded to Mrs. Murphy's class with an Alberta flag, a class picture and a touching poem that the class wrote on the tragedy;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend Mrs. Murphy's Grade 5 class for their expression of sympathy to the Grade 5 class in Mayerthorpe during their time of crisis.

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. 3836

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

Whereas on Monday, May 9, 2005, at Cape Breton University, the Jennifer Keeping Accessibility Centre was officially opened; and

Whereas this centre, dedicated to Jennifer Keeping who was blind at birth and passed away in 2000, one year after her Bachelor of Arts degree, will assist those with physical and mental disabilities; and

Whereas Jennifer's drive and determination to complete her university education, despite her handicap, were instrumental in this centre being named after her;

[Page 7245]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislative Assembly acknowledge the opening of the Jennifer Keeping Centre at Cape Breton University to provide students with the technologies and support needed to be successful in their programs.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 3837

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

Whereas 87-year-old Royal Canadian Navy veteran Cecil Dean of Brooklyn, Queens County, served aboard the HMCS Outremont as a telegrapher during World War II; and

Whereas Able Seaman Cecil Dean and his comrades made treacherous crossings patrolling the ocean in a convoy of ships along the southern coast of Norway and England to deliver fuel and other supplies to the Russian allies; and

Whereas Cecil Dean was presented with a medal on Sunday, May 1, 2005, at special services in Halifax honouring the 60th Anniversary of World War II and has gallantly made his way back to Marsank, Russia, to pay tribute to fallen comrades;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House extend tribute to veteran Cecil Dean, and applaud the tremendous dedication and bravery he demonstrated during the invasion of Europe and throughout World War II.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 7246]

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. 3838

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 South Shore Tourism Association recently held its annual banquet at White Point Beach Resort; and

Whereas each year the South Shore Tourism Association recognizes individuals with outstanding contributions to tourism by awarding the Lighthouse Route Award; and

Whereas this year Susan Corkum-Greek of the Lunenburg Board of Trade has been chosen as the recipient of the Lighthouse Route Award for Lunenburg County in recognition of her commitment to the promotion of tourism in the area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Susan Corkum-Greek on being awarded the South Shore Tourism Association Lighthouse Route Award for Lunenburg County.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition on an introduction.

[Page 7247]

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, in the west gallery today we are joined by Gloria Chapman and Venessa Cavicchi. They are here to watch the proceedings of the House

and have some special interest with respect to Question Period. I would ask the members of the House to extend a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We certainly welcome our guests in the gallery today.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT MY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 12:40 p.m. and end at 1:40 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM. - GAS PRICES: REGULATION - TIME FRAME

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, consumers across the province are struggling with elevated gas prices. They feel they have little control over this commodity and they know that this government has so far abdicated its responsibility to exert some control on their behalf. The situation of independent retailers in the province is worsening day by day. I'll table a list of 24 retail stations that have gone out of business recently, the vast majority of them within the past three months. These situations stretch from Cape Breton to Pictou, from the Annapolis Valley to Amherst, to Halifax. In most cases, they are local, family-owned retail gas stations that have been fixtures in the communities they have operated in for many years.

My question, through you to the Premier is, when will the Premier finally take some action to regulate gasoline prices in Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I refer that to the minister who tabled the Petroleum Products Pricing Act.

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, we have a bill that's before the House, Bill No. 79, that is currently in committee. If the Opposition Parties would support that piece of legislation we would be able to provide Nova Scotians with the kind of protection they need, including retailers.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that the piece of legislation is worse than nothing, it's a deception. These are not the only stations, the ones that I have just tabled, that are facing closure because of the government's failure to act. The Retail Gasoline Dealers Association says there are 466 retail stations in the province today, less than half the total that existed 10 years ago, and by the end of this year as many as 100 more, or 20 per cent of that

[Page 7248]

total, are facing closure if the government does not act to regulate gasoline prices. We have communicated directly to the government what concrete proposals we have for regulating gas prices. The public will no longer accept excuses and shifting of responsibility. My question is, when can Nova Scotians expect to see your government establish a system of gasoline price regulation in Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what the question of the Leader of the Opposition brings to mind is, how many stations closed since they refused to allow the bill to come out of the Law Amendments Committee last Spring? We have tabled a bill that allows us to address some of those issues - stations have closed because that Party did not support the government's bill.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, we have made our commitments in writing to the government for gasoline regulation in this province. There has been a select committee and the Premier knows that what he's saying is to try to deflect the issue. The truth is this government has no objective way to monitor how many retail gas stations are in operation in Nova Scotia. They have a system of licence renewal that operates on a yearly basis, meaning that their figures could be 18 months out of date before they even know that the gas stations have closed. There's a potential ripple effect, as I'm sure all members of the House are aware, in trucking and in tourism as a result of the these continued closures. My question for the Premier is, when will you admit that your failure to act to regulate gasoline prices has far-reaching economic and social impacts in Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we don't necessarily have to have an expensive survey. As members of the government, as all members on this side of the House observe, as we drive around the province we see the pumps being taken out and we know that we are unable to do anything until our bill is passed, so we are asking the member who brought forward the question, and the caucus he represents, to support the government legislation.

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

HEALTH - CARE COSTS: REDUCTION - LACK EXPLAIN

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, back in 1999, this Premier, as Leader of the Third Party, voted against a budget that would see a $600 million infusion of cash to the health system. In 2000, Finance Minister Neil LeBlanc warned, "The fact of the matter is, unless we begin to rein in the spiralling cost of health care, it won't be long before we have no money left for anything else: schools, roads, or assistance to families in need." In 2002, Finance Minister Neil LeBlanc told this Legislature, "Fully 44 per cent of government's program spending now goes to meet the health care needs of Nova Scotians. And because health care costs are growing at a faster rate than our economy, there is less new money to respond to the growing demands we see in virtually every other area of government." So my

[Page 7249]

question to the Premier is, why has the Premier and his government completely failed to rein in the costs of health care?

[12:45 p.m.]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians have good memories. They remember very clearly that despite a commitment back in 1999 of the then government, to increase health care spending, they had no plan to balance the budget. They had no plan to address the debt of the province. It was a fiscally irresponsible plan designed for one reason and one reason only, the re-election of that government.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians have a good memory, and they remember in 1999, you said you would fix health care, you said you would not go to debt, you said you would not mortgage the future of your grandchildren and sir, you've broken all three of those promises. Health care has grown by over a billion dollars, with no end in sight, and history will remember that you're the Premier who made health care unsustainable in this province. Nova Scotians were told there was a plan to control health care; health care needed better management, not more money. My question to the Premier today is, how much more money do Nova Scotian taxpayers have to spend before this Premier admits that his plan to fix health care has failed?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the one thing that this government hasn't done that the previous government had done, they were prepared to borrow off book to pay for health care. We are borrowing on book, we are providing a debt-management plan and we are doing it all within a balanced budget, something that that government failed to do.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Yes, Mr. Premier, you are borrowing. You've been borrowing from the day you took office and apparently you want to keep borrowing for at least two more years to come. Another promise broken that the debt would not grow, you would not mortgage the future of your grandchildren and you would fix health care. The Premier has admitted today that health care costs are out of control and will consume the entire budget by 2025. How much more evidence does this Premier need before he tells Nova Scotians that his plan for health care has failed and it's time that we, as a province, try to find real solutions to the cost of health care?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it's my understanding that the House Leader represents a Party that plans to reduce health-care funding. I think they owe an explanation to what aspect of health-care funding are they not going to finance? Are we not going to have a low-income plan for diabetics? Are we not going to have a program for autistic young people? Are we not going to build the new beds in the Kentville area to look at overcrowding? Are we not going to do the improvements to the emergency department at the Queen Elizabeth II, to shorten the line-ups waiting for emergency care? If they plan to cut that money out of health care, they are obliged to tell us where they're going to take it from?

[Page 7250]

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

INS.: CAP - REPEAL

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, Vanessa Cavicchi is a 19-year-old university student. Last July she was hit by another vehicle. During the accident, her knee was smashed into the dash of that vehicle. Now Vanessa had had trouble with her knee in the past, but the car accident made it worse, and the specialist says that Vanessa may eventually need knee replacement surgery because of the accident. Since the accident, she has undergone reconstructive surgery, and she goes to physiotherapy every second day. She missed four months of work, yet her insurance company is refusing to compensate her and they are pressuring her into settling for $1,500. As I mentioned, Vanessa is in the gallery today. My question for the Premier is this, how many more stories like this one are you going to have to hear before you repeal the unjust and unfair cap?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I refer that to the minister responsible.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I'm not aware of that particular case, but I can advise the honourable Leader of the Opposition that if this young lady has a problem with the response from her insurance company, she should contact the Superintendent of Insurance. I would point out, also, that the cap on minor injury claims is not a cap from the point of view of stopping people from pursuing the matter through the courts.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the minister is wrong, and this shows his misunderstanding of the issue; in fact that's exactly what it does do, it prevents people from access to the courts. That's the whole point of the cap.

Vanessa is putting herself through university. She's majoring in history and she wants to be a junior high teacher. Before the accident, Vanessa worked as a waitress, and she relies on her student loan and her job to cover her tuition, living expenses and books. Now she's worried that she won't have enough money to return to school in the Fall.

My question to the Premier is, do you understand that this is what your limit on victims' rights looks like, and how much longer are you going to stand by and allow this unjust cap to operate in this fashion?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I refer that to the minister responsible.

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, the majority of provinces in Canada have a cap of one kind or another. I would suggest to the honourable Leader of the Opposition that if he could relay to that young lady that she should contact the Superintendent of Insurance if she feels that she's being unjustly treated by the insurance company, that matter will be taken under consideration and advisement.

[Page 7251]

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, this is not the job of the Superintendent of Insurance. That's not the function of their office, but the minister doesn't understand that. The limit this government placed on pain and suffering awards is not fair, and it's not right. While insurance companies make billions of dollars, the cap is being used to deny people like Vanessa very basic fairness.

My question to the Premier is this, how much money do insurance companies have to make before you're going to stand up for drivers and for victims of car accidents? When?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I refer that to the minister responsible.

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member opposite says that I do not understand. Well, I do understand. We have a system in place that is working, and it's been working to the satisfaction of all Nova Scotians. If there are problems within the system, I would suggest that it be referred to the Superintendent of Insurance.

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

HEALTH - CARE: PLAN - EFFICACY

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, on June 25, 2001, the Premier told Steve Murphy of ATV News, in speaking about health care: Forty-one per cent of program spending - now are you to suggest that we can solve a fiscal problem that is so large as the one we have in Nova Scotia without applying some measure of responsibility to how we run the health care system that spends 41 per cent of the money that we provide for programs?

Mr. Speaker, with today's budget, it has now become 47 per cent of all program spending. This Premier has admitted that health care is out of control. When someone suggests that we need to find a solution, he says there are going to be cuts and he wants to know where the cuts are. Is this Premier admitting that he has failed in his plan to fix health care for all Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, one of the accomplishments of this government is that we have adequately financed health care with a balanced budget, something the previous government could not achieve.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, in 1999, the Premier had all the answers - trust me, I'll fix health care. It doesn't need more money, it needs better management. He says he's properly funded other programs. Well, he went on to ask: Are we to say to Education, for example, we're not going to touch Health. They can have unlimited increases every year, but we're going to cut back on the Education budget year after year to allow us extra money to spend on health.

[Page 7252]

Mr. Premier, you have done exactly what you said you would not do. You have continued to spend in health with no end in sight, which has abandoned education, which has abandoned roads, which has abandoned the priorities of Nova Scotians, while you've increased the debt every single day you've been here. Nova Scotians are looking for a solution so that our health care system can remain affordable. I ask the Premier, are you prepared today to admit that your plan to fix health care has failed and we need a solution today to keep health care affordable for all Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we had in 1999 a significant challenge in providing good health care for Nova Scotians. We didn't have a proper treatment for osteoporosis, a condition that affects well over half of women in this province over 50 years of age. We had inadequate access to sophisticated diagnostic testing, like MRIs and CT scanning, for example. We've had issues with human resources because the previous government had chosen to pay nurses not to practice nursing in Nova Scotia, but we have overcome those issues. (Interruptions)

We now are, thanks to our nursing program, again attracting nurses to Nova Scotia. We have the highest exposure to a primary care physician in the entire country, Mr. Speaker. We are addressing the CT issue and have done so effectively. We have now, from the worst program in Canada in 1999 for the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, we have among the best, if not the best program in Canada. We have made good progress.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, in 1999 the Premier said I will fix health care, he never told us he would have to put an extra $1 billion in it, I will not grow the debt, I will not mortgage the future of my children. This Premier has admitted daily that health care spending is out of control. His own figures tell us that by 2025 the health care budget will consume the entire budget of the Province of Nova Scotia. He now flirts with the idea of private health clinics, saying that it would be irresponsible not to look at it because we are in a crisis.

My question to the Premier is, you have not been able to keep your commitments to Nova Scotians of fixing health care or stopping the debt from growing. So I ask the Premier, today, will you finally admit that your plan has failed and that we need to work together as Nova Scotians to find a real solution to our health care crisis?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, one of the limitations of Question Period is that the answers have to be as short as the questions and it's very difficult to extol all the successes of this government in the confines of an answer in Question Period. What I can say to the member opposite is we came to office indicating that we would fix health care and I indicated in a previous question some of the initiatives that we have undertaken to fix health care. We also said we would fix the finances of the province, that we would balance the budget in 2002, and that was a challenge because the previous government was still running up deficits of over $0.5 billion a year. It was a tough time from 1999 to 2002, but we did it.

[Page 7253]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

ENVIRON. & LBR.: INFIRMARY DEMOLITION -

CONTAMINATED SOIL

MS. JOAN MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, in September 2004 Jacques Whitford did an assessment of the proposed demolition of the former Halifax Infirmary. My office received a copy of that assessment through a freedom of information request. The Jacques Whitford assessment confirmed the presence of asbestos, PCBs, lead and mercury on this site. There are also several areas of PAH and hydrocarbon impacted soil. As of September, Transportation and Public Works had planned on leaving some of this material on-site, but according to the Jacques Whitford assessment, they wanted to know what the Department of Environment and Labour thought about their plan.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the Minister of Environment and Labour is, are there still plans to leave contaminated soil on this site?

HON. KERRY MORASH: My understanding, Mr. Speaker, is that there is no intention of leaving any contamination on that site.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, according to the 2004 assessment there are plans to leave metal impacted soil on the site. There are also plans to leave the PAH and hydrocarbon impacted areas behind. Jacques Whitford noted that hydrocarbons could contaminate some of the debris left on the site. To try to prevent this, there had been plans to install a complicated system of pumps, we don't know if that is still the plan. So my question to the minister is, will you publicly release any information indicating how dangerous these materials are, particularly to the contaminated areas on site, and how are you going to handle them?

[1:00 p.m.]

MR. MORASH: Mr. Speaker, I guess that was then and this is now, and we certainly are looking at cleaning up the site to an acceptable level from everyone's point of view, and we will also make information available to the member opposite so that she can take a look at it.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, this Infirmary demolition is taking place in the middle of a residential area and I don't think any of us knows enough about how this site and the dangerous materials left behind are going to be handled. Past mistakes in handling such situations have taught us that the more information we have, the better off we are. My question to the minister is, will you provide to this House and nearby residents, a detailed plan that addresses the concerns raised in this report discussed today?

[Page 7254]

MR. MORASH: Mr. Speaker, I'll pass that along to the minister who seems to be, or is responsible for the demolition that's taken place.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, in response to the question from the honourable member, the demolition is being proceeded with as rapidly as possible but however, we're doing it in such a fashion that we will accommodate the reservations that are being raised by the studies that were carried out, I think by Jacques Whitford, if I remember correctly. There will be no deviation from that particular plan.

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

TCH - AGNS: UNDERFUNDING - EXPLAIN

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid) Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is the province's largest art gallery and the only one mandated by legislation. Since its creation, the AGNS has made great strides in acquiring Nova Scotian and Canadian art, bringing world-class exhibits to Halifax and educating generations of our young citizens about visual arts. I ask the minister, why has his government chosen to put the future of the museum in jeopardy by year after year of underfunding?

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, indeed the gallery is very important to the arts community here in Halifax and across the province, and that's why we actually increased the budget this year.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid) Mr. Speaker, I'll table an article in which Jeffrey Spalding, the gallery's director, says this is a make or break year. The gallery must more than double admissions revenue and heavily increase its fundraising, or it will face major cuts. One wonders how the gallery will find an additional $200,000 in admissions alone. I ask the minister, Halifax is gaining a reputation as a fine centre for the arts and culture, why isn't his department doing more to stimulate this part of our economy?

MR. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, and indeed we are, and we're working very closely with the Art Gallery within our cultural division. We'll continue to work with them and that is why we're seeing such success as we are at the Art Gallery now, and the many visitors who are coming and I encourage all visitors to continue visiting the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia was called upon to open a satellite gallery in Yarmouth. A great idea, but there should have been the adequate resources put in place to achieve this goal. So my final question to the minister is, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has put out a warning sign, it's in trouble, when will this minister listen and act before it's too late?

[Page 7255]

MR. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that we're working very closely. In fact, about a month ago I met with the chairman and the incoming chairman with respect to the gallery; it was a very good meeting. I commend them for doing such an excellent job and in bringing so many people to the Art Gallery. I can also tell you that we're looking very much forward to the continuation of the work being done in Yarmouth and my colleague for Yarmouth continues to speak very strongly on behalf of that particular presence.

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

EDUC. - HOGG REPORT: RECOMMENDATIONS -

SCH. BD. FUNDING INCREASES

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. The educational report which was commissioned by the government known as the Hogg Report was presented to the Department of Education in March. The Hogg Report recommended increases in funding for five of the school boards in this province. My question to the minister is, when will these school boards be receiving 100 per cent of the recommended increases from that report?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, this gives me an opportunity, just before I answer the honourable member's question. The honourable member for Richmond was up and talking about cuts to the Education budget, and I'd like him to just stand up and tell the House where there has been a cut in an Education budget since we've been in government. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Is that your answer?

MR. MUIR: No, no.

MR. SPEAKER: Then hurry up.

MR. MUIR: I was waiting for the opportunity.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable minister on the answer, or I'm going to go back to the questioner.

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, we received that report. What we chose to do was, because there were some areas where we received some feedback that not everybody agreed with everything that was in that report - the report is in the position of having been received but not accepted. Mr. Hogg and senior staff in the department were going out and meeting with the individual school boards to resolve any differences between what Mr. Hogg wrote and what the school board perceived to be the actual situation.

[Page 7256]

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, the school boards have expected more money from this Hogg Report, they expected it this year. The expectation and the promise of the government was that the report would be acted on. We are now nearly two months after the report was released, and it's time for implementation. My question for the Minister of Education is, why is the department cherry-picking recommendations from the Hogg Report?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the department isn't cherry-picking recommendations. As the honourable member knows, I answered in estimates yesterday in response to the member for Richmond, about the government's position on saying that no board was going to receive less money because of anything that would be accepted in the Hogg Report. Similarly, in looking at what Mr. Hogg wrote about the report was not fully accepted, it was the general consensus that some boards probably need a little bit more money, and there was money flowed, including to the board that the honourable member for Clayton Park represents.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, there was extensive consultation for the Hogg Report, and all the school boards were anxiously waiting for the results, because the pressures are tremendous in certain school boards. Now the province, after waiting for years for some direction to address the unique needs of each region, have still gotten no action. My question is, when can parents and school board officials expect to see the full implementation of the Hogg Report?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, there will be full implementation of a new funding formula that is transparent and open, whether or not we're consistent with the entire recommendations that Mr. Hogg presented remains to be seen. The decision will be made after appropriate consultation.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

AGRIC. & FISH. - CRAB FISHERMEN (N.S.):

PROTECTION - PLANS

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. We've all heard about what's happening in the Newfoundland and Labrador crab fishery. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador introduced a system of production quotas in their crab industry. What it does, in essence, is it guarantees processors access to a fixed supply of product and establishes a uniform price for crab. This has resulted in fishermen losing any right to negotiate price. The result is that crab fishermen have protested, they've blocked harbours, they've taken their catches to plants here in Nova Scotia in protest. My question to the minister is, what is your plan to protect crab fishermen in Nova Scotia?

[Page 7257]

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is really putting this in to save jobs in rural communities, and to try to have production quotas for the plants in those small communities that have been really struggling over the last bit. It is our intention in this province to let the open market reign.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, in a media report today, Gord MacDonald, the Area 23 Snow Crab Fishermen Association President, says that local fishermen fear that Nova Scotia may follow Newfoundland's lead. It is all about eliminating competition and taking away the fishermen's right to negotiate. My question, through you, to the minister is, how does your department view what is happening in Newfoundland, and do you plan to follow suit with what that province is doing?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, in my first answer I sort of said it, but I'll say it again, we feel that the free market should reign. I think that everybody should have the chance to sell where they want to sell and get the best price, which of course protects our fishermen and protects Nova Scotians' price on crab.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, more and more fishermen in Nova Scotia have seen the industry become more centralized with the power and the benefit being removed from their hands and from their communities. Fishermen want strong fisheries, they want strong communities, they want the right to negotiate price and, most of all, they want a government that is on their side. So if changes are to be made to any fishery here in Nova Scotia, does this minister intend to include our fishermen at the table where the decisions will be made?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite really knows, without fishermen we have no fishery, so of course they will be at the table when we would discuss anything about the fishery. So I want to thank the member for his question and take it all in stride and hope that our fishery is protected. I wish luck to Newfoundland and Labrador, but it's not going to happen here.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL.: HEATHERDALE MEM. GARDENS - LANDSCAPING

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, my question this time is through you to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Over a year ago I raised in this House the issue of Heatherdale Memorial Gardens in Pictou County, and Pictonians and other plotholders are still concerned about the lack of progress there toward the sale. My office has received several calls about Heatherdale, particularly over the deteriorating maintenance of the landscaped grounds. While basic grass cutting is occurring, the grounds have seen better days. People are disappointed, they are discouraged when they go to visit there, and just

[Page 7258]

yesterday there was a story in the New Glasgow Evening News about lack of respect for a veteran's grave and this, as you know, is the Year of the Veteran. There is no marker and there is very poor maintenance, and I want to table that story if I could.

My question to the minister, can the minister tell us if there are any plans for better landscaping maintenance at Heatherdale Memorial Gardens?

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. We continue to look for a long-term, permanent solution to Heatherdale Memorial Gardens, but in the meantime our department and the Province of Nova Scotia believe it is our obligation to ensure that that cemetery operates in a prudent and responsible way and we will continue to do that.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, not only are plotholders concerned about maintenance, but now we understand that there is a shortage of funds for perpetual care and for the opening and closing of graves. People have pre-purchased these plots in good faith, expecting the service would be there when they need it and, really, forever. So Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations is overseeing everything there at Heatherdale Memorial Gardens, and I would like to ask the minister, is there a funding shortfall for perpetual care at Heatherdale Memorial Gardens and, if so, what is the minister prepared to do about it?

MR. BARNET: As I have said in the past, Mr. Speaker, in this House and outside of this House, the Province of Nova Scotia is committed to ensuring that those individuals who purchased services will receive those services and that we will work with that in mind.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, this is not just happening in Pictou County, it's happening in a number of cemeteries around the province, at Forest Haven in Cape Breton, and it is really causing a lot of undue stress in our community. People want better maintenance, they want the truth about the financial situation, and they would like to see a new owner take over as soon as possible.

So my question is, Mr. Speaker, what is this minister doing to help find a new owner and when can we expect to see some results?

MR. BARNET: Mr. Speaker, we have worked very diligently, our staff have been very diligent in trying to secure a new owner for these two facilities. I am pleased to inform the House that we have a new owner for the facility in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. We continue to work toward finding an owner for this particular facility and, in the meantime, all Nova Scotians who have purchased services at that particular site, the services will be provided by the Province of Nova Scotia.

[Page 7259]

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

COM. SERV.: PORTABLE DAYCARE SPACES - INCREASES

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Community Services. According to Community Services staff, since January of this year, 102 names have been added to the wait list for portable daycare spaces in the central region alone. This brings the total of the number of people waiting for portable daycare spaces in this region to 223. Given the windfall of money this minister has received for early childhood development, courtesy of the federal government, could the minister please tell the 223 families when they can expect an announcement on additional portable daycare spaces?

[1:15 p.m.]

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for bringing up this topic. As the member would be aware, we are hopeful we are going to be able to conclude a bilateral agreement with the federal government to further enhance child care services for the families and children of Nova Scotians.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the 2005-06 Business Plan for the Department of Community Services states that the department is awaiting final confirmation for funding as a result of the 2005 Early Childhood Development Agreement. Here's a news flash for the minister, there's no requirement that daycare spaces in this province have to be funded solely by federal dollars. People are waiting while this minister does nothing in this regard. My question to the minister is, why does this minister continue to disappoint the 223 families in the central region with his lack of action when it comes to portable daycare spaces?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I want to point out that the Province of Nova Scotia was in there supporting child care long before the federal government decided to get in this, but we welcome their presence there. They are providing resources to the provinces and territories and have indicated they want to provide a great many more resources. If we are able to reach a bilateral agreement with them and the budget passes in Ottawa, or the successor government honours the bilateral agreement, there will be a very significant increase in the resources available for families and children in Nova Scotia.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the budget in Ottawa should have nothing to do with this minister's ability to provide services for people in Nova Scotia who need them. You know, he can ramble all he wants or use all kinds of weasel words around this subject, the bottom line is this minister is doing absolutely nothing when it comes to provision of daycare services in this province. Families are wondering when the 223 people are going to be looked after here. My question to the minister is, when is this Minister of Community Services going to stop being a Tory and announce new portable daycare services for people who genuinely need the service in this province?

[Page 7260]

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for his question because it highlights one of the differences in 1999 between the Progressive Conservative Government and the former Liberal Government. It was this government that introduced portable spaces to Nova Scotia. Your government, honourable member, was against portable spaces at that time. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

ENVIRON. & LBR. - LAKE MICMAC SILT RUNOFF:

DEV. PROJ. - HALT

MS. JOAN MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, residents in my community are concerned about the silt runoff in Lake Micmac. Yesterday my office was told that the problem is likely linked to the clearing work done by North American Properties when combined with heavy rain. I'm told the Department of Environment and Labour is investigating the situation. The problem here is that the runoff has happened on more than one occasion and no one seems to be able to identify exactly what has caused it. My question to the Minister of Environment and Labour is, will you stop this project until you confirm what has caused it and how you can stop it?

HON. KERRY MORASH: Mr. Speaker, we certainly had inspectors who have gone out to the site and worked with the developer. They have implemented some measures which they believe will prevent this from occurring in the future.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, for months local residents and I have called for an environmental assessment before the Highway No. 118 interchange and related development goes ahead. We knew that if development was not done right, it would cause a lot of damage and the minister refused to do an environmental assessment. Now we're starting to see that some of the damage that residents feared has already occurred. Parts of the lake are now red with silt. My question to the Minister of Environment and Labour is, what more is it going to take for you to recognize the need for an environmental assessment here?

MR. MORASH: Mr. Speaker, we have taken some water samples and they are currently away being tested to determine what the content is that is forming the problem. Those results will be made available to the members of this House when they are completed. In the interim we are working at some additional erosion control measures to ensure that we protect the lake.

MS. MASSEY: Lake Micmac is a treasure in my community, it's a place that provides recreation and beauty. A number of migratory fish rely on that lake, including bass, Gaspereau, salmon and American eel, this lake deserves protection. My question to the minister is, will you commit today to helping the Highway No. 118 interchange and the related development until an environmental assessment is done?

[Page 7261]

MR. MORASH: I certainly will commit to protecting the lake. We are doing additional investigations and inspections out there. There have been extremely high runoffs of water over the past few days which are exceptional for this time of the year. They have posed some problems for us but we will ensure that we have erosion control in place to protect that lake.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

FIN. - NORTHWEST ARM: BRIDGE - PLANS

MR. DANIEL GRAHAM: Mr. Speaker, earlier today the Minister of Finance tabled Bill No. 198, an Act Respecting the Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission. The commission presently is limited in its mandate to the construction maintenance and operation of bridges across the Halifax Harbour. I note with some interest in the new legislation that has been tabled before the House today it says, "With the approval of the Governor in Council, the Commission may construct, maintain and operate a transportation project across Halifax Harbour and the North West Arm, or either of them." My question for the minister is, are you aware of any plans by the Bridge Commission to build a bridge across the Northwest Arm?

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: It is not permissible, I presume, to debate the bill right now.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. It's not, but that question was not related specifically to the bill.

MR. CHRISTIE: Are there any plans for the Northwest Arm? What the honourable member mentioned is what's been in the Act since 1952. There is absolutely no change.

MR. GRAHAM: The current mandate for the commission involves maintaining, constructing bridges across the Halifax Harbour. My question for the minister is whether or not he is aware of any plans by the Bridge Commission or whether or not the province is part of a plan that would involve the building of a bridge or a ferry system across the Northwest Arm?

MR. CHRISTIE: I have not been in any discussion on building any bridge across the Northwest Arm. I have heard reports in the paper that HRM has been considering sending ferries to different places and one of the places they have been talking about was somewhere in the Northwest Arm. I have not been involved in that discussion, it's plans that HRM are doing through their planning strategy and their traffic study. The honourable member is eligible and able to get those as well as anybody, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 7262]

MR. GRAHAM: Mr. Speaker, last month the residents of Halifax expressed their great concerns about the construction of an enormous wharf across the Northwest Arm at the bottom of Oakland Road, known as the Oakland Road Project. I want the minister to confirm that if any proposal is made for a bridge or a ferry system across the Northwest Arm, that the minister will do everything in his power to ensure that a comprehensive public study is done before anything like that comes forward.

MR. CHRISTIE: The bill that came to this House is to enable the Bridge Commission to carry on its work of maintaining the bridges across the harbour safely and efficiently. It also indicates that they are able to use and expand some of the MacPass technology. The Bridge Commission is not talking, nor does it have any plans to talk, about any new structures. I don't know if HRM is planning to do that, I don't know of all the discussions HRM has, I don't know what that wharf is for, that the honourable member is speaking about, but it does not have to do with the Bridge Commission.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

COM. SERV.: DISABLED NOVA SCOTIANS - FUNDING

MR. JERRY PYE: For far too long, people with disabilities in this province have faced trying to get employment. This government has put more hurdles than help in the path of those persons with disabilities. The lack of self-managed attendant care services, technical aids, transportation and accessible housing are just some of the areas where this government has not offered meaningful help to the disabled community. My question to the Minister of Community Services is, why does his government continue to inadequately fund programs for disabled Nova Scotians?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, that is an important topic that the member brings up and there are quite a number of initiatives that we have undertaken and indeed are implementing further with this budget. But just to pick on one of them which received a very positive response is, I now have a pilot project with the Abilities Foundation for a wheelchair recycling program for young people up to the age of 18. It was very well received by the Abilities Foundation. They are partnering with the IWK and other non-profit organizations and I think that it is going to work out very well for young Nova Scotians.

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, it's ironic that the minister didn't mention that there was a total of $153,000 in rural transportation for disabled people in the entire province. There have been approximately four new disabled units in this entire province for persons with disabilities. Those are the kinds of things that this minister refuses to inform the House about. People with disabilities who must rely on income assistance, live in a world of constant setbacks and punitive measures. There are few programs to support them in efforts to gain independence and find employment. If they do work, necessary supports are quickly cut off such as Pharmacare and home care. My question to the Minister of Community Services is, when is

[Page 7263]

his government going to invest in continuing support for disabled Nova Scotians so that they can live with dignity and independence?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for allowing me to continue to point out some of the positive initiatives that have been undertaken by this government to help people with disabilities. The member made reference to alternate transportation services which are spread across rural Nova Scotia and really that is not my department, but I am very proud that my colleague, the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, made this a priority in his budget, to increase the per capita funding for those wonderful organizations from $1.41 per capita, to $1.60 per capita. I hope the member continues to ask questions so that we can give other positive examples of this government caring for people with disabilities.

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to remind the government that that $1.61 per capita, was there before his government came into office. As a matter of fact, it was reduced by his government. So I want that minister to know that he is just meeting what happened some six years ago.

Mr. Speaker, disabled persons who are forced to live on income assistance are penalized if they have a savings account, or if they get married, or if they even find part-time work. There is an overall lack of programming and material supports to give people with disabilities the help they need to enter the workforce. My question to the minister is, why would his department rather see people with disabilities trapped in a cycle of dependence, than put programs in place to help them secure meaningful employment?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I guess that the honourable member and I will have to disagree on the premise of his question because in actual fact, this government has done a tremendous amount to try to empower people with disabilities. We will continue to do that. Actually just one example, under the Affordable Housing Program, that member in the estimates last year was asking us to please be sure there was a greater emphasis on accessibility for any new projects. I'm pleased to say that we've listened to that member, we listened to Nova Scotians and that is, in fact, one of the criteria that we're using in evaluating new affordable housing projects and we're implementing that measure.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

HEALTH - NURSING STRATEGY:

EXPERIENCED NURSES - OMISSION

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Health is probably aware, this is National Nursing Week. Since 1999, the number of RNs over the age of 40 registered to practise in this province has increased by 10 per cent. According to the

[Page 7264]

College of Registered Nurses, as of two years ago 6,500 registered nurses licensed to practise in Nova Scotia were now over the age of 40.

[1:30 p.m.]

So my question to the minister is, given that the minister would have been aware of this changing demographic, could he please explain why there is not one component of the nursing strategy that deals with supporting our more experienced nurses in the workplace?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for raising that very important question and certainly that is one of the areas where the resources of the Department of Health would like to be utilized with respect to assisting that important part. Not just to assist them in that age category, but to further use their resources and their experience to be able to assist the younger nurses as they develop and come into the system. The honourable member puts his finger on a very important part of what is needed as we move forward with respect to the nursing strategy in this province.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union has been urging the government to ensure that our more experienced senior nurses don't leave the profession early and what they need to know is that younger nurses are going to enter the workplace and, more importantly, that they're going to stay in the workplace. They need to know that equipment is going to be available as well to eliminate the risk of injury.

So my question for the minister is, could he please outline what specific plans he's going to implement to address the needs of our more experienced senior nurses in order to minimize burnout?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the honourable member that that is a very important part of our discussions within the Department of Health as well as with the representatives of the nurses in this province. It's a very integral part of the strategy that we need in order to move forward in terms of our workforce in health care.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, another area that the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union is concerned with is safety in the workplace and that's why they are supporting our legislation on the mandatory use of safety needles in the workplace. So my final question for the minister is, given that safety needles are a prime example of spending smarter in order to save dollars, when can we expect to see changes that would ensure that nurses will be protected from sustaining a needle stick injury in their workplace?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member knows that that is a very important part of research that is currently taking place both within the Department of Health and in conjunction with the Occupational Health and Safety branch of Environment and Labour. I've indicated to the honourable member on previous occasions that when that

[Page 7265]

research is completed, and it will be completed in the reasonably near future, we will be sharing that information and it will guide us with respect to decisions we take in regard to needle stick and other protective measures.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL.:

WILLIAMS POINT (ANTIGONISH) - DEV. CONCERNS

MS. JOAN MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, residents from Williams Point in Antigonish are concerned about the impact that development on a nearby flood plain is going to have on their homes and any new development in the area. Those concerns have been raised with the local council and in this House, yet little has been done. Just last week the developer was bringing in more fill. On April 29th the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations said that he would review the situation. So my question to the minister is, have you started the review and what have you determined?

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I would say to the member opposite that as a result of the question here in the House and questions from other members and the public, we have offered the municipality to cost share on flood-risk mapping and sent them a letter just recently to that extent.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, as we know, some of the homes in this community have already flooded and the residents are worried about the local road. Residents have asked the Minister of Environment and Labour to intervene to ensure a proper study is done, but to date that minister has refused. In the meantime the project appears to be going ahead. My question to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations is, when will you report back to the residents of Williams Point on your review?

MR. BARNET: Again, as I indicated, Mr. Speaker, in my first answer, we have offered the municipality to cost share flood-risk mapping. We are awaiting their response. When they respond, if they respond positively, after the report is produced by the consultant, we would be more than happy to share it with the residents and the member opposite.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to hear that somebody has perked their ears up and is trying to do something. The point of the matter is that it may be too little too late because, as the local residents in this area know, flooding has occurred there regularly, every year, and they have over 70 testimonials stating as much. What we need here is an independent study and an independent mapping of that area. I'm not sure if that's what you're saying you're going to be doing. My question for the Minister of Environment and Labour is, how much longer are you going to sit on the sidelines on this very important issue?

[Page 7266]

HON. KERRY MORASH: Mr. Speaker, I'll defer that question to the minister responsible.

MR. BARNET: Mr. Speaker, this really is a municipal matter, however, because we are concerned about the matter, because people brought this to our attention, we had indicated to residents, to members of the Legislature and to the council that we would be more than happy to cost share any flood-risk mapping study of that area. It would be done by an independent consultant, and that evidence, that support and that study would be available to all who are interested in seeing it.

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

IMMIGRATION - PROV. NOMINEE PROG.:

DEPT. - RESPONSIBILITY

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Immigration. The newly-created Office of Immigration is necessary here in Nova Scotia, but I question what work they will be administering on behalf of the government. Currently, under the Office of Economic Development, there exists the Provincial Nominee Program. Does the Minister of Immigration plan to have the new Office of Immigration take over this program?

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, yes, we have.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, it's no secret that many areas of Nova Scotia are lacking in specialists and skilled workers because, among other reasons, our death rate exceeds our birth rate, and many of our young people feel they have to move away in order to excel. My first supplementary, through you to the Minister of Immigration, is, does your office plan to utilize programs such as the Foreign International Credential Service to recruit more specialists in the medical field in our province?

MR. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member, I can assure the member that we're working very closely with the Department of Health on this particular issue. We're also working with the Medical Society of Nova Scotia. I believe that there will be some good news in the next number of months with respect to this very issue for all Nova Scotians.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, as recently as last week, a physician recruitment process through the accreditation process came to an end with permission not granted to a physician to practise in the Strait region. The process of accreditation, although intensive, is said to be far too long, taking months to verify, and leaving potential specialists, doctors and professionals in the lurch, not to mention leaving communities and the recruitment committees out on a limb. My final supplementary for the Minister of Immigration is, what does your

[Page 7267]

office plan to do to ensure this accreditation process is thorough yet meets the needs of communities with time-sensitive issues?

MR. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for bringing this issue to the House, because it is a very important issue. Representing a rural part of Nova Scotia, which deals with these challenges in our hospitals on a daily basis, I can assure the member that, again, there's much discussion happening. We're moving forward in a direction which I believe will be beneficial to the medical community, to immigrants who are coming here who want to practise in our province, and I can assure the member she'll be quite pleased with the plan which is coming forward in due course.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect. You have about 15 seconds.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: I say to that minister opposite, the statues are still there. You haven't moved them yet, what's the holdup? (Interruptions)

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

The honourable Minister of Health on an introduction.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of members of the House to the east gallery to Janet Hazelton, who is the President of the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union, and is here to observe the proceedings this afternoon. Please give a warm welcome to her. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We certainly welcome our special guest to the gallery today.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes, on a point of order?

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: No, speaking going into Supply.

MR. SPEAKER: No, not yet. Order, please.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

[Page 7268]

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

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

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, what I would like (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Normally when it comes to estimates, it's whoever catches the Speaker's eye first, there's no normal rotation.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, if I remember correctly, the last time both of us stood, you recognized the other Party.

I'd like to begin my remarks by prefacing the fact of the balanced budget, that if the $830 million does not come forward from the offshore royalties this government will have to borrow $1.2 billion. Also, I would like to remind Nova Scotians that the $3.1 billion deficit in the road capital construction is going to grow to $4.4 billion by the year 2011. Those are two examples of the balanced budget, the approach that has been given by the province to the voters and residents of the province.

I understand the government has to make choices, but the choices that were made - this budget has been called an education budget, and there's very little in there for education. Our students are in tenth place in Canada, and at the end of the budget they are still in tenth place - so much for an education budget, so much for balance.

What I'm going to highlight is basically mismanagement and underachievement. Never mind what you have, it's how you use it. At this time I'd like to make reference to the honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage introducing a resolution the other day talking about Ski Cape Smokey, one of the best community ski hills anywhere in Canada, named by Ski Canada Magazine. One of his "whereases" says that Ski Canada Magazine describes it as "having the most vertical drop in the province, and a breathtaking view of the ocean - the best of any ski hill in Canada."

I refer to that simply because this honourable minister who touts that ski hill was the minister who refused funding for the outdoor rink. The local residents there created an outdoor rink the size of an official ice rink. The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles went down

[Page 7269]

and practised on that rink, and if it weren't for the municipality of Victoria County coming forward with $29,000 then that will not have gone forward.

I'll now refer to some of the items in the Cape Breton Post recently, as of Thursday, May 5th, that stated that offshore technologies conference in Houston were told that improved regulatory processes will streamline the exploration of natural gas and oil off Nova Scotia. One of the higher authorities from EnCana stated that it was too hard to do business in Nova Scotia, they were forced to do too many minute testings which costs a lot of time and a lot of money. The $55 million in penalties that were paid by these oil companies show to me that they have absolutely no intention of returning. Yet the department is going to hire four more people on - I don't know what they're going to do, probably four more patronage jobs. Those companies that were here are gone.

[1:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to get into some specifics. You heard it mentioned here today in Question Period about the cost of fuel, about the rural gas stations closing. Well I'd like to give you some rather shocking statistics, Mr. Speaker. My best friend and good buddy to anyone and everyone that he can help, Robert MacLellan, down in Bay St. Lawrence. Robert MacLellan is a fisherman and of course given the rules and regulations of fishing and the costs that they incur with that, what is happening now, because of the lack of a decision by this balanced government and the balanced budget, they are paying $1.18 per litre for diesel fuel down in Bay St. Lawrence. Now that's from the Co-Op Fisheries pumps down there.

I fuelled up at Danny Ehler's Service Station on the way coming up in Whycocomagh. He informed me that his diesel in Whycocomagh is 95 cents per litre and that was tremendously high for there. He said his trucking friends that visit him on a continual basis when they're down here, tell him that they fuel up in Ontario for 75 cents per litre. So 75 cents per litre for diesel in Ontario, 95 cents in Whycocomagh and $1.18 down in Bay St. Lawrence. Danny also informed me of the fact that he had closed his service station about a week ago and because of the 11 employees that he has, they convinced him to open it back up again and keep it open until at least after school closes. Danny said what he invested in 1980 was $300,000 and here, this year, his investment has grown to $1.3 million.

Mr. Speaker, I refer again to the Department of Transportation and Public Works and I'd like to mention specifically a gentleman that's called me several times, Mr. Burt MacDonald, from Scotch Lake, down in the riding of Victoria-The Lakes. Burt has informed me, along with other residents, about the MacDonald Road in Scotch Lake, a dirt road that's in reasonably good shape, bed wise and structure wise, but it's subject to tremendous amounts of potholes. They were promised in the 1960s that that road would be on a priority list or informed that it was. In 1980, they were informed absolutely that that road is on the priority list. They found out recently, that now, because of the new classifications, it is a K Class road, that it is the full responsibility of the province and it will not be paved. I've given

[Page 7270]

that to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works yesterday and he has promised to get back to me with a proper answer about whether it could or cannot or when they can expect some paving. Burt MacDonald is very disappointed and it's a long time to wait. Like he said, he grew up on a dirt road and he is now hoping that, long before he passes away, the road will be paved.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to bring your attention to the cost of volunteers, not the cost but the savings volunteers bring to the province. In my riding alone, the expanded riding of Victoria-the Lakes, I have 14 fire departments, 14 volunteer fire departments, who, the firefighters there, and I say firefighters because several of those departments now employ female fire persons to fight the fires, qualified personnel. I respect and commend the ladies who have joined the fire departments to do that Mr. Speaker. I don't think anyone, at any given time, has ever taken the time to list down just exactly in the person hours, put a minimum wage on it for a person hour, which is a very low value when it comes to fighting fires and just see exactly what the cost would be to the province if the province had to fund all those fire departments, just the 14 in Victoria-The Lakes alone.

Mr. Speaker, I'll touch on another department in the assessment portion of it. I've had first-hand knowledge, when I was with the council and warden of Victoria County, with the Wreck Cove power generating station. I have referred to that as a state-of-the-art facility, almost a Star Wars' facility, simply because you drive up to this large blue door in the side of a mountain. When you enter there, you drive down 2,000 feet to the level of where all the equipment is stored. Water is brought in through a series of dams, ponds and tunnels from as far as 32 miles away from Cheticamp Lake. The water is coming from Cheticamp Lake and it will pick up water from North River, Indian Brook, and any little tributaries around there.

Mr. Speaker, it then falls down through a tunnel, hits the turbine and generates the power, and then it flows out into the ocean. Something that was built in the 1970s at $170 million plus, when it was built, is now assessed at the minimal amount of $640,000. I'm sure anybody here who could afford a $640,000 mortgage would rush out and buy the Wreck Cove power generating station if that were for sale. It's run by microwave switches. There's only one shift of workers there per day, one eight-hour shift. The rest of the time, when the demand comes on the line, they flip the micro switch in Halifax and the plant will start up and generate the power. When the demand dies down, they flick a switch and shut it back down again.

Mr. Speaker, that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, yet it continues to be allowed to be under assessed; therefore, the Victoria Municipal Council is being underfunded in the assessed value. I equated that one time when I created a tour of the province with the people who were down there at the UNSM conference. It was held down in Ingonish, and I see they're going down to Baddeck. I had the honourable Finance Minister accompany me at that time, along with Mayor John Morgan from CBRM, and I stressed at that time that if

[Page 7271]

Wreck Cove is under-assessed, it should follow through that maybe Point Aconi and Lingan generating stations would also be under-assessed; therefore, the lack of funds.

Mr. Speaker, I go back to the Department of Transportation and Public Works and just focus on a very irritating point that has been ongoing now for almost two years, that's the jake brakes, or engine brakes as they're properly called. I must mention the name of Ambrose Lewis. Mr. Lewis is on the corner of the Frenchvale Road and Beechmont Road. Trucks come down the Beechmont Road from several gravel pits and turn right onto the short portion. It's only 0.7 kilometres from the Beechmont Road down to Highway 125 and yet the cracking of jake brakes, the noise all hours of the morning, afternoon, and all through the night. When there is work being done on the highways, they're hauling gravel Saturdays and Sundays, there's no end to it and the residents are sick and tired of it.

I've gone to the Department of Transportation and Public Works three times, for special meetings on that. I have even gone so far as to tender or submit, or give, whatever terminology you want to use, pictures that were taken of signs saying no engine brakes for the next two kilometres, no engine brakes in this area, that were taken from the sides of the road in British Columbia. Here we have a rule that says unless 50 kilometres is the speed limit, you cannot put the signs up, but it's a 0.7 kilometre section. It would do a tremendous amount I think, public opinion-wise, for this province to lower the speed limit in that area to 70 kilometres because it's not even a full kilometre to reach Highway 125, and resolve this very aggravating situation.

Mr. Speaker, when you mention people's names, when you talk about local situations, it's very aggravating and very heartbreaking to see a couple that travelled Highway No. 223, just this past week, as I mentioned earlier, and it took the bottom oil pan off the car.

I look at the budget, the balanced budget, and 640 more people are going to be added to the payroll this year. Mr. Speaker, I don't know if that's patronage jobs or what it is, or is it just 640 more who are going to get bonuses? Balance the budget, yes, but if you have to borrow to balance, I don't run my finances that way, most people don't, and if you have to borrow money to balance your budget, then, in all honesty, where is the balance? I believe my time has basically come to an end, and I want to thank the honourable Speaker for allowing me to express my views.

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, it's better late than never. I want to talk about an issue that is extremely important in my community and some of the other adjacent communities, and that is the street-level access of the prescription painkiller OxyContin. This is a very serious problem, it's a problem that I have to say, due to various levels of buy-in from the district health authority, from the policing agencies and the Department of Health, that we have had a decrease of the street-level use of that drug.

[Page 7272]

Mr. Speaker, what we have to be aware of is the problem of the addiction with that drug. We can build a fence, if you will, around the idea of prescriptions and, in street parlance, who the writers are, and the writers are referred to by street-level drug sellers as doctors who are easily accessible and will write these prescriptions. Now before I go too far down the road about the problem with street-level use of these narcotics, I think a little history is important to impart to the House about OxyContin. It was never ever intended as a pain relief medication. Indeed, anybody in this Chamber who is a doctor will realize that it is a palliative care drug, that it's a drug for those who are being helped on in their last moments. It was never meant as a drug to relieve pain, such as a chronic pain illness, but that is what it ended up being used as.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the world supplier of OxyContin is a company called Purdue Pharma. Now, Purdue Pharma, as drug companies go, is a fairly small player, but it's huge in this drug. It is the sole manufacturer of this drug. Indeed, one has to think about its role in perpetuating the problem with street-level use of OxyContin. What they did was go to doctors, once they found out how this was being used, the easiest and probably most interesting thing they could have done was take that off the street. But, no, do you know what they did, Mr. Speaker? They saw this need and would go around to various doctors and give them a cd player with music on it from the swing period, and what it would do, it would give clearly the doctor the idea that, this is a great drug. My back was sore three months ago, I've started OxyContin and it's fine, I can touch my toes again, I can jump, jive and wail, as they say, but that was wrong. That was so wrong because of the addictive qualities. Now, as this drug became more and more prevalent in the southern United States, in the Appalachian area, again, as a mock to say in this House, an area of an economy that we both can attest to. It was an area where coal was king and the mining receded and there's much poverty and there's much searching for a new economy. Cape Breton, Springhill Appalachian, is what I'm talking about.

[2:00 p.m.]

What they were finding with young people there very early on is they found a way to mainline this drug, and what they did, these are kids in high school, they would take the drug, put it in their mouth, wet it a bit, to take the protective coating off it. They would then lay it on a spoon, add some water, heat it, and then the drug would dissipate from its solid form to a completely liquid form, would draw the drug from the spoon, inject it and bam, you have an instant high.

Mr. Speaker, there were other drugs through the process that were palliative drugs that were getting shifted into mainstream, and these were responsible pharmaceutical companies, I would say. Here I would go as far as to say that Purdue Pharma were not responsible. What these companies would do is that they would compose a molecular structure on this pill, if you broke it down by heat, getting rid of the coating, if you will, it would render the drug useless as an intravenous drug. Yet, Purdue Pharma stood its ground

[Page 7273]

and decided not to do this, and then like a tide that pill ventured from the Appalachians to the southern sections of New England, to the northern sections of New England, then over our borders.

Now, Mr. Speaker, we have seen in and around my community in the area that CBRM police have patrolled, at least 25 to 30 deaths of young people, that are directly related to the use of OxyContin. We've heard members in the Liberal Party talking about, and rightfully so, the dangers of VLTs and what they do to life. Well, you know we have sustainable facts about the use of OxyContin. OxyContin, in the wrong hands, has killed primarily 25 of our very young citizens, 25 young people who were in the prime of life who got caught in that downward cycle of drug addiction, we have to do something. Now when it became of almost epidemic proportions in CBRM, as I said earlier, that there was leadership shown by such people as Dr. Tom Crawford in Glace Bay, and Edgar MacLeod, the Police Chief at CBRM and the DHA got involved and the Department of Health got involved. But the missing piece from the Department of Health is a workable, feasible, prescription monitoring system that we need today. If we're talking about items that are in our communities that are addictive and that are hurting families, well, there can be no greater priority than a prescription monitoring system that will get this dastardly drug off the streets.

Mr. Speaker, it's not just this drug, it's other opiates that people are using. As I had mentioned earlier, we can do the monitoring, and we have great responses from the doctors in the community on this item, but don't forget, once this addiction is established, there's clearly an underground market that will take effect. So what we need is to confine this awful addiction to the ones that we have now, and treat them properly.

There's been many discussions about does Methadone, for instance, work? Well, Mr. Speaker, my idea about methadone is we need it, we need it now. We need it in clinics that are monitored and that it's a go forward. I'm not sure how our methadone clinics work, but I want to tell you what I've heard about some of them makes me skeptical. I realize in areas like Appalachia, when they decided that they would put in methadone clinics, what you would have to do is get tested before you got your methadone and get tested after so you were never, ever, allowed to fudge the numbers. So if you went in and, in your pretest, if you had opiates in your system, you would not get your methadone that day.

Mr. Speaker, stories coming back to me are saying that type of testing is not being done in the province, and we need that type of testing. We do not need people who are double-addicted, what we need is a system that will allow these people to progress and be part of our economic future. What we need are people who will help their communities grow and, indeed, what we need most of all is to stop our young people from dying from the end of a needle. We need from the Department of Health, a system that not only tracks but is a first responder in a very urgent way when we see people either double-doctoring, as they say - and double-doctoring is quite simple, it's a matter of getting one prescription from one doctor and going to another. That's what we need, a prescription monitoring system with an urgency

[Page 7274]

to not only flag the abuse of OxyContin, but the other opiates that are on the street that are causing our young people to become addicted.

We need this - the obvious reason is we don't want to have addicts on the street- but we need it so that these people can be cured, that it's a system that will help these people find their way through life. These addicts didn't start off as people who said, I'm going to take this OxyContin and I'm going to become addicted, and wow. They've taken it for various reasons, some of them are that they were prescribed, as I mentioned earlier, as a chronic pain relief which they were never, ever, meant to treat. They are a palliative drug at best, but doctors were told by Purdue Pharma, and Purdue Pharma would fly people in to areas like the Appalachians and set up these quasi-town hall meetings and say oh, no, we've got Joe over here who couldn't get out of bed last week, but he's on OxyContin now and he's getting out and he and his wife went to four dances in a row - it's a miracle drug.

Mr. Speaker, that miracle for a lot of people in my community has become a nightmare. It's a nightmare of such great urgency that we've seen young people die, we've seen sisters and brothers have to grieve that loss and indeed we've had mothers and fathers just beside themselves because of this awful addiction. This is an addiction that could have been nipped in the bud right away, if we had had a pharmaceutical company that was really up front and proactive and said, look, we know the corner of the market, this is a marvellous palliative drug, if they hadn't have gone beyond that step and encased it in something that it wasn't, and what OxyContin never was, never intended to be, was a drug for chronic pain. It's a drug solely for palliative reasons.

We must be vigilant about this, we must be vigilant through a prescription monitoring system that works, that works rapidly, that we can get out and get that message when we see it, nip it in the bud, and obviously we have to give the tools to law enforcement - when they see the idea, as we do, they bring in other drugs, straight-out illicit drugs, that they would be able to monitor and infiltrate those people, those gangs, that we wipe it out there.

Basically, from this government, we need two departments to play severe leadership roles. We need Justice to make sure they supply our police officers, our investigators with the tools to be able to infiltrate and nip this thing - cut it down. We need the Department of Health to be there to make sure the prescription monitoring system is implemented as fast as we can to save as many lives as we can so nobody is fooling around with this. This indeed is an epidemic that's been held back in Cape Breton by some very hard working local people. I would hope we can count on the two good offices of this government - Justice and Health - to help us move forward and make sure no more young lives are lost to that despicable drug. Thank you.

[Page 7275]

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I rise to make a few comments with regard to this particular budget and some of the strengths and the weaknesses, obviously.

I've had a number of occasions to sit and listen to the debates from members of all three caucuses with regard to this particular budget. I've also had occasion to reflect on many of the points that are raised in this particular budget. I just wanted to focus on some of the reasons why I think it would be advantageous for all members of this House to support this particular budget. (Applause)

Members from Cape Breton Island have on numerous occasions indicated the importance of maintaining the Cape Breton railway. I was quite pleased to see in the budget that $1.5 million was allocated for the maintenance of this particular railroad which is important for the economic and the social well being of all of Cape Breton Island. (Applause)

I was also pleased to see that there is $400,000 allocated to the school breakfast program, a program, by the way, that members of the Liberal caucus - indeed the member for Halifax Citadel - knows is very near and dear to his heart and that is the full growth and development of our young people for the future of Nova Scotia. (Applause)

I was also very pleased to see that $2.5 million was allocated for low income Nova Scotians to deal with the issue of diabetes. Extremely important to those who have been disadvantaged.

The previous speaker spoke about the problems with OxyContin in Cape Breton - $500,000 has been allocated to the operation of a methadone clinic in Cape Breton, something that all members of this House were calling for, in particular the Liberal House critic.

As well, there was an additional $500,000 allocated in the budget to expand the self-management attendant care program. As well, 25 new beds for long-term care in Cape Breton, another positive. (Applause)

I heard members from various positions in this House stand and rail the government about the lack of funding for road infrastructure in this province. In 1993, the government, of which I was part, there was . . .

MR. TAYLOR: How much pavement did you get?

MR. MACKINNON: Only when I was in Cabinet, I have to admit. So there is a strategic advantage, Mr. Speaker. When this government took over, $42.2 million was spent on capital road construction. This year, it will be over $142 million (Applause).

[Page 7276]

I have heard individual members comment about the lack of rural economic development. I am very saddened to state one of the primary reasons for the lack of rural economic development in rural Nova Scotia in particular, rural Cape Breton, is because of a Liberal document that was adopted in the form of Bill No. 114, which was specifically designed to depopulate rural Nova Scotia.

[2:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I will read you the essence of that particular document. The key element to the municipal reform package being proposed is provincial takeover of all aspects of social services. Many other desirable changes follow in order to make this step financially possible. Item number seven, one of the reasons, more efficient government by reducing the artificial distinctions between towns or cities and rural municipalities, reducing the incentive to build outside cities and towns. Essentially, the government is saying that rural Nova Scotia was a liability to the Province of Nova Scotia, I think that's an absolute disgrace. That is the document that was used on the premise of doing what has been done here today.

So, you wonder why there's a lack of economic development in rural Nova Scotia? One only has to look in the mirror, Mr. Speaker. There is an additional $300,000 for nursing recruitment in this province, that is another plus for long-term health care. And $5.4 million to the Office of Health Promotion, bringing it to a total of $23.9 million. This is good news, I don't care where you stand politically, this is nothing but good news for the people of Nova Scotia. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, an additional $360,000 to enable district health authorities to have additional public health nutritionists, another need, another requisition by the good member for Halifax Citadel. He's so concerned about health nutrition and the young people of Nova Scotia, I would think he'd want to support this endeavour by the Government of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, an additional $17 million to go into the Pharmacare Program to keep the Pharmacare premiums at the same level as last year. This is nothing but good news for the seniors of the Province of Nova Scotia. (Interruptions) Well, it's not me that voted to depopulate the communities in Cape Breton West, it was the member for Cape Breton South, 28 out of 33 communities in Cape Breton West are rural, and they'll be pleased to see how the good member for Cape Breton South folded back in 1994. He's so ashamed of his actions, he can only eat crow and more crow. (Interruptions) If he had any sense of shame at all, he would vote for the budget and stop embarrassing himself and his Leader.

Mr. Speaker, he was one of the members today who voted to embarrass his own Leader by condemning the Leader's position on education versus health care. He is one of the members in this House who voted to take issue with the very Leader of the Liberal Party. No, we won't be intimidated by that bravado and that bullish behaviour. He's not going to push anybody in Cape Breton West around, I can assure you of that. They are very proud, they saw

[Page 7277]

the value of this budget last year, and they see the value this year, and they won't be bullied by that member again.

Mr. Speaker, the whereas is quite simple, whereas contrary to Liberal Leader Francis MacKenzie's opinion, this budget is welcome news to most and is being seen as an opportunity to provide more programming and better services. And that member votes against his own Leader. Are they using a gyroscope, are they using a Ouija board, or some kind of a willow rod to develop policy over there? Who knows? One day they want $500 million for capital road construction, and then they want to reduce taxes. Where's the money going to come from? They want to get rid of gambling in the province, $192 million. I don't see any member in this House saying that they fully endorsed the abuse to the citizens of Nova Scotia by the use of gambling, but realism is realism, this is not a perfect world. So if you take $192 million out of the gambling, and you want another $500 million for capital road construction, where are you going to get it? You'll have to raise personal income tax and corporate income tax by at least 20 per cent, right across the board.

Mr. Speaker, what kind of math are they using over there? What kind of policy do they have? (Interruptions) Well, the economy in Cape Breton West is growing, I'm not so sure about Cape Breton South. Everything that member has touched has turned to ashes. Look at Sydney Steel, the subsidization, you cannot continue to waste taxpayers' money on that. If more money was spent on Route 4, the Louisbourg highway, all the major infrastructure, that would lead to the long-term sustainability of the economical and social structure of Cape Breton, we would be further ahead than that type of draconian logic. (Interruption) Well, I will put my track record on the line any day in Cape Breton West against that member.

Mr. Speaker, over in the Northside Industrial Park, farm engineering, 40 to 50 jobs now allocated through the assistance of Nova Scotia Business Inc., with the possibility of going up to 150 jobs, that is looking into the future. We cannot continue to dwell on the past, we cannot. It has been an albatross around our neck for so long and that type of draconian drag-you-down logic is not going anywhere. Start thinking into the future for once in your life.

Mr. Speaker, federal gypsum, Stora Forest Industries, over $22 million in provincial assistance for the long-term development, and what do we get from that corner, squawking about things that are so contradictory they're going nowhere. Today we have 428,000 people working in Nova Scotia compared to a year ago, or in 1999, 383,500. There are a lot of positive initiatives here. It's easy to be a critic, but I'm telling you week after week here I've pointed out all the positive initiatives that have taken place in rural economic development in Cape Breton West and the amount of money that was spent on road infrastructure, even in the member for Cape Breton South's riding which he refuses to acknowledge, tens of millions of dollars, why not? It's much better to feed on the negativity and the misfortunes

[Page 7278]

of the people in Cape Breton than it is to stand up and do something positive. It's about time to put that stuff to an end.

Mr. Speaker, this is not about applause, this is about doing something good for the people you represent and do something good for the people of Cape Breton West and all of industrial Cape Breton. (Interruptions) Well, we'll allow that honourable member to stand on his own two feet if the time allots.

Mr. Speaker, the credit union small business loan guarantee program, $8 million specifically targeted to small business and more than $7 million has been provided to 100 businesses across rural Nova Scotia, resulting in the maintenance and creation of 700 jobs. Now, what's wrong with that? What's wrong with that?

Mr. Speaker, the community economic development investment funds successfully closed offerings, eight of them, which resulted in over $3 million of capital being available to rural Nova Scotia. It wasn't myself, it wasn't any member of the Progressive Conservative caucus of the day, it wasn't any member of the NDP caucus, it was the member for Cape Breton South and some of his entourage that voted to depopulate rural Nova Scotia, that is the public record. The record will show there was consistency and plot in what we said, not contradiction of plot in words and, yes, the people of Cape Breton West will be very pleased to see what the honourable member has done to depopulate the 28 out of 33 communities.

So, Mr. Speaker, that type of bravado and bullishness doesn't scare anybody in Cape Breton West and that's what that honourable member loves to do, to try to be bullish and intimidate people and browbeat them. This is a good budget for the people of Nova Scotia and it will do well.

Mr. Speaker, the GDP ratio has been reduced from 46.8 per cent to 39.6 per cent. That's positive news. Over $28 million of capital construction in this province, that will stimulate jobs in the economy. For schools, $38.1 million; alterations, additions, $17.6 million; community colleges, $30.1 million; buses, $4.7 million; Department of Justice, $2.5 million; transportation, $14 million; on buildings, roads, highways, $142.2 million. I can go on and on, but some people just don't want to hear good news. But the people of Nova Scotia want to hear it. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The motion is carried.

[2:26 The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Daniel Graham in the Chair.]

[Page 7279]

[6:00 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott, resumed the Chair.]

[MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We have reached the moment of interruption. The subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Kings West.

"Therefore be it resolved that this government actively promote and protect our natural resources in Nova Scotia.]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

NAT. RES.: GOV'T. (N.S.) - PROMOTE/PROTECT

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I'm certainly pleased, today, to be able to speak to this resolution. The resolution, of course, grew out of the debate, the discussion, the wonderment as to where the 26 delisted sites would actually go. However, this topic does lend itself, as we know, to the much bigger question of the protection of our natural resources which I feel, and the Party feels, we need a very proactive position on. The delisting certainly provided an opportunity for both Opposition Parties to work in concert to try to bring about a resolve that would be in the agreement of those groups of people who found the delisting to be very untimely and to pose a number of problems for naturalists, conservation groups, and people who just like to get out to some of those areas, and not necessarily all of them.

Also, it was a time for the minister, I know, to hear from Nova Scotians. Many Nova Scotians addressed this issue by way of e-mail, letters, submissions and, of course, finally having some people come here to the Legislature to present very strong opposition to what was taking place. I must say I do thank the minister for listening to Nova Scotians and to groups that were represented here at the Legislature, and to take a position whereby now these sites, the 13 wildlife game sanctuaries and the 13 wildlife management areas, have in fact now been moved off that list.

The approach that I certainly feel, and again it's one that we've started to talk about in our Party, and a number of these have the characteristics to perhaps move forward to protected spaces. Again, that ties in very well with a piece of legislation that is in progress through the Legislature, brought in by the Minister of Environment and Labour to make it much more feasible for additional protected spaces to come under that legislation for Nova Scotians and for the future protection of lands that will become available.

[Page 7280]

I do want to draw, for a moment - I know my colleague, the member for Kings North, doesn't always like me drawing upon history because he usually has a rebuttal, but certainly a former Minister of Natural Resources, Don Downe, did have a very proactive approach to this area and brought 31 protected spaces. In fact, I would see that as a very fine achievement. One of the very interesting pieces of information that I researched and discovered during this process of looking at the delisted sites is that in Nova Scotia we have what can be called 80 natural regions, 80 areas of ecological significance. Currently, only 23 of those areas have any kind of protected land and space, whether it be by a national park, a provincial park, nature reserves, or now, of course, through these sanctuaries and wildlife management areas.

So we still have a long way to go in other words, is what I'm really saying, if we start to look at a lot of the unique areas that Nova Scotia has to offer - and I know there are many members of this House who have, in fact, travelled, either for canoe trips, camping trips, hiking, wilderness outings, perhaps, especially, a number of us being involved with Boy Scouts and the Scouting movement through the years, discovered some of the wilderness of Nova Scotia.

We truly, in my view, have a heritage that must be protected. We still have a lot of unique areas that have no attachment to an absolute mechanism to protect those for the future. Which brings up just having 11 nature reserves. It is my hope now to be able to see some of the sanctuaries, some of the game sanctuaries and some of the wildlife management areas that I feel very strongly about having to move to that kind of new status. Not all of them, and it was fine for the Department of Natural Resources to have a review of some of these sites. So, hopefully, some can be put into that category and into that classification.

A couple of areas that I do want to draw attention to today that I believe is a weak link in the protection of natural resources - because I think our ocean playground, as we often call our seacoast, is indeed a great resource. It's a resource linked primarily through tourism. The fact that we just have 10 per cent of our coastline that is in the public domain, in public ownership through Crown land, public beaches and so forth. I know when there is intrusion into some of those areas, we really do hear about what Nova Scotians really believe deep down.

When the Digby Neck area came up for discussion through a quarry proposal, we found out what Nova Scotians really wanted as part of their future. When we talk about some of the coastal area around the Northwest Arm, just today in the House, when that whole area of the Northwest Arm comes up for any kind of change in the natural area that is there, we certainly hear an outcry. Sperrys Beach in the District of Barrington is another area that (Interruption)

AN HON. MEMBER: That's Lunenburg.

[Page 7281]

MR. GLAVINE: Is it Lunenburg? Sorry about that. Okay, I'll have to check my resource on that one, thank you very much. I appreciate that correction - and that certainly is another area. Beaches generally; because we have a number of our beaches that harbour endangered species. So we certainly need to keep those for nature lovers and for those who are in fact true naturalists and want to see some of these endangered species protected. To that effect, there is a group now that has been organized in Nova Scotia called the Coastal Coalition of Nova Scotia. They are starting to try to fast-track a coastal zone management plan that will, I believe, be a very strong and positive initiative for our province.

The other area - and I know we sometimes deal with this, whether it's through the practices in our forests, we know our forests are a very important resource for the province, but we also know they are under enormous pressure. It is one of the areas that the words conservation and sustainability must move forward with economic development. We're starting to see an enormous stress on the woodlands of this province.

I want to finish off my allotted time with acknowledging the work of two groups that I'm familiar with. One is the Clean Annapolis River Project, which I think has done an enormous amount of work with conservation throughout the Annapolis Valley, and the other one is the Ecology Action Centre. In the classroom, I use some of their resources and I know the kind of message they bring to Nova Scotians through their work. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, indeed I am pleased to stand in my place today to speak about Nova Scotia's natural resources and my department's work in promoting and managing our natural resources in our province. Our mandate is to build a better future for Nova Scotians through responsible management of our natural resources. We're committed to stewardship and sustainable management of our natural resources and Crown lands.

Mr. Speaker, we take pride in doing our job for all Nova Scotians and for visitors who enter our great province. In saying that, I must go to some of the remarks from the member opposite on the 26 sites for the sanctuaries and the protected wilderness areas. Those sanctuaries are secure and safe and I have made that commitment to all Nova Scotians, and they will be, but we wanted to consult with Nova Scotians, and we wanted Nova Scotians to respond to my department and we have had an overwhelming response from citizens from all across this province on how important the protected lands are in this province.

Mr. Speaker, out of the land mass in this province, and we have approximately 13 million acres of land, 3.5 million acres of that is Crown land, and 20 per cent of that land mass is now under protection by this government and governments in the past. I must say we take our job and our responsibility very seriously and we're looking at nine additional sites. The member opposite spoke about the Coastal Coalition group. Yes, we have numerous groups

[Page 7282]

across Nova Scotia and I must say that I have met with that group, and it was music to my ears to hear what they're trying to do in the province and my department is working with that group. We're working with the Kingsburg Beach group, we're working with the Sperrys Beach group, all the beaches, and you heard the member from Cape Breton speaking the other day about Dominion Beach.

Mr. Speaker, those are treasures of our great province and we must protect them and enhance them in every way we can, and if we have to partner with municipalities, if we have to partner with community groups, I think that that's what government is all about, listening and understanding the needs of communities and working with the groups. I may add that even beautiful Yarmouth has beautiful beaches. Our Port Maitland Beach, I'm very proud of our Port Maitland Beach. It's one, for example. We have numerous beaches in my community, but Port Maitland is the provincial park and we're very proud of our beaches down our way.

Mr. Speaker, just last year alone my department has worked with other groups and the Crown has acquired some beautiful pieces of property for all Nova Scotians for years to come. We acquired the lands at Port Bickerton and Pyches Island, adding approximately 1,200 acres of coastal land base to our land mass under the Crown's jurisdiction. We partnered last year with Ducks Unlimited and the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture for about 2,000 hectares of wetlands that are now protected. That's by partnering and I believe that's what we have to look at today and in the future. We must continue partnering with all levels of government - federal, provincial, local governments and community groups.

I believe that is the answer and we are working with the Nova Scotia Nature Trust - as I made the announcement here approximately a month ago - partnering with them. We gave them $300,000 over a number of years, and in return they are going to give to the Crown land mass up to the value, or maybe even exceeding that value.

Our renewable resources - Mr. Speaker, we must work with our woodlot owners, as 75 per cent of the land mass in our province is owned by private woodlot owners, and we are working with them and we are managing in conjunction with the private woodlot owners and we're working with industry to make a small footprint by doing good management practices of our forests, we are having a smaller footprint that is being cut, and we're working with the sustainable forest groups to have silviculture for years to come and for generations to come. We must protect our forests. We must protect all of our interests there, our natural resources in our province.

We must educate people in the hurricane zone on fire protection of their lands and their homes, their real estate, and we are doing that by going out and doing advertisements and doing brochures on fires and letting people know of the awareness. The fire season is upon us and we are working with all these communities to make sure that they're aware. (Interruption) That's right, we are working with all groups. We are working with the

[Page 7283]

environmentalist groups, we're working with industry, we're working with private landowners and we're showing that by doing the proper management on Crown lands, Mr. Speaker, we will even enhance that more. We are coming out - my department has announced we are doing new strategies, reviewing our strategies, our forest strategies, our park strategies, our mineral strategies, and that's where the general public can have more input into my department and bring their views into our department, so we can understand more of the needs and the wants of Nova Scotians to enhance our resource for years to come.

[6:15 p.m.]

We have a number of parks across our province and I know my colleague wants to share my time with me so I'll be very brief. In the last year, we worked with the community of Rissers Beach. We announced last week that we would reopen the boardwalk. That's a very important segment to the park at Rissers Beach. We worked with the community, we opened the park, the boardwalk and told them that we would be back to put a brand-new boardwalk. Mr. Speaker, we did put in a brand-new boardwalk and it's up for all the guests who visit our park at Rissers Beach. That beautiful new boardwalk is open for this year's season. (Interruption)Yes, it is assessable, and they have safety rails on it for people using the park.

Porters Lake was devastated by Hurricane Juan last year. The park was wiped out totally. My department worked very hard with the federal government to get assistance through the disaster relief and that took months and months of negotiation. But we are spending approximately $1.5 million on that park and that will be a state-of-the-art park when that's open. I committed to all members of this House and to all Nova Scotians that that park will be open this year, and that park will be open this year. But it's working with the community and it's working with their contractors and making sure we get what the community needs. And I could go on with our wildlife and our forest protection, and renewable resources, but I know my good colleague would like to have a minute to finish off. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North. You have about a minute and a half.

MR. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I'll talk very quickly. I was just inspired by the member's resolution and his comments about Don Downe, former member of this House, because Don told me that he had a helicopter all booked, ready to take the Premier to announce that Cape Split was going to move into the public's hands, and it never happened. I'm very proud of the fact that our government was the one that made Cape Split protective land for the public to use. I think that is something that we should take great pride in. I personally take great pride in it and I thank the government for having supported me. So Cape Split can be enjoyed for generations to come for the residents of Nova Scotia and visitors from afar. Thank you very much.

[Page 7284]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to get up and stand in my place in speak to this resolution. There is some great deal of sense in supporting this resolution. My impression of the honourable member for Kings West, who proposed this resolution, is that he's referring to the natural places, forests and so on, he wasn't referring to oil and gas and minerals, et cetera. I think that's the intent of his resolution, and that's the direction I'll go.

When we talk about the forest resource, Mr. Speaker, I think the Department of Natural Resources looks at it in two ways, perhaps in a variety of ways, and the minister can nod or applaud as I speak, for where I am in his way of thinking. I think the department looks at the province in terms of the total forest, and the total forest in this province is 4,218,000 hectares, and small private ownership of that is about 1,992,800; industrial is 908,000; provincial Crown is 1,204,200; and federal Crown 113,000. Now, roughly, and I think the minister is pretty close on this, but for small private, you're looking at close to 50 per cent of the land mass in the province; industrial is just about a quarter; provincial Crown is about a quarter; and federal is considerably less.

Mr. Speaker, if you deduct some areas that are protected and so on, if we deduct the federal lands, parks and protected areas, non-participating small landowners, wildlife habitat and biodiversity, areas that are inaccessible, non- or low-productivity areas and non-forestry areas - and actually this includes Christmas trees, et cetera - then you subtract about 1,600,000 hectares from that 4,218,000. So you're left with a forest of about 2,616,000 hectares, or approximately 6 million acres. Now that actually, in this province, is the forest we harvest. That's what the industry tends to look at as the area that they can actually extract wood fibre, and hopefully create value, jobs, et cetera.

Now, I am aware of the nine proposed areas to be protected or proposed to be wildlife management areas, and I want to say that it's not clear yet, it's not clear to me, unless I've missed something, and I would say that so seldom happens, I can't believe I could, but that the sanctuaries and wildlife management areas and the proposed wildlife management areas, it's not clear to me, exactly, what level of protection they have. It doesn't appear to me that they have any great amount of protection. It's my understanding there has actually been some clear-cutting occur on some of these areas. So when that's happening, then you have to question, gee, what level of protection do they get?

I've thrown this number out to the minister before, that the national target for protected spaces - and I mean actually protected or nature preserves, which have a significant level of protection, the activities are quite controlled, as to what you can do on those areas - is about 8 per cent. The national average is 12 per cent, that's the target, I should say. In this province, we have approximately 8 per cent, so we do have some distance to go, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 7285]

I think there's a very real reason to be concerned in this regard. The reason for that is the level of harvest in this province. We harvest about 100,000 acres a year in the forest sector, 97-plus per cent of that is in clear-cutting. Since this government came into power in 1999, they have doubled the number of species on the endangered or vulnerable or threatened species list. That, in large part, is due to our harvesting practices.

It would seem to me that even if we were to talk about our sanctuaries and our wilderness areas - and it's not clear to me that these areas are exempt or are not going to wind up as being harvested - that if we were to move in the direction of selection harvesting, we could certainly minimize the impact on these species, on our woodlands across the province, everywhere, so that we actually would be protecting lands in a much greater way and ensuring habitat for species all across the province.

I'm really more concerned that the province doesn't seem willing to go down this road and actually that the industry is not. I think a year or so ago I crunched some numbers, that at our present rate of harvest in this province - if Europeans bumped into Nova Scotia today and they started harvesting at the rate that we harvest now, they could harvest what we call the operable forest, which is the 6 million acres, they could harvest that in 60 years.

Now that is a ridiculously short amount of time, and we know the operable forest is basically harvested. In other words, the biggest part of this forest has already been harvested and we have less than 1 per cent of the operable forest that is 100 years or older. There's less than 3 per cent that is 80 to 100 years old, I think it's 32 per cent that is 60 to 80 years of age, and 36 per cent is 40 to 60 years.

That 32 per cent, which is 60 to 80 years of age, we can cut that in 19 years, at our present rate of harvest. We've actually been doing that cutting since 1996. When the department came out with its harvesting forecast, it was the document Toward Sustainable Forestry, 1996 to 2070, and we're almost 10 years into that harvest. I would say if you could take that age group of 60 to 80 years in one block - the minister and I both know that's not really possible, that doesn't arrive in one segment of the forest - that age group basically could be harvested in 19 years.

This is the difficulty that I have. Other than James River, Eigg Mountain, that area - and I applaud the government for what they've done in setting that aside and actually giving it true protection. Long Lake, on the Eastern Shore, is another area where the community is very concerned about getting it protected.

I'm also concerned about the impacts of our harvesting policies, and I see if the government could really actually do the most by changing our harvesting practices so they would be far more sustainable and allow for a much older forest. If the minister will say it in this House, I'd be surprised, because you can't get anybody in the department to say it, but that is in terms of an annual allowable cut, that they will actually put a limit on the amount

[Page 7286]

that's cut, and that has not happened. I heard people kind of hint to it on Crown land, but certainly not across the province, and I've never heard it nailed down on Crown land. It seemed to me, for a piece of land, which Nova Scotia is, that is almost an island, it's pretty easy to determine how many trees you have. If you wanted to do it in terms of codfish, we can see these codfish sticking out of the ground and we can determine our level of harvest, how long it will last. So I would like to see much greater protection for those areas the member for Kings West referred to, plus better harvesting strategy. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The House will now resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

[6:30 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Daniel Graham in the Chair.]

[6:57 p.m. CWH on Supply 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 Supply reports:

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and made some considerable progress in considering Supply and begs leave to sit again.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 177.

Bill No. 177 - Financial Measures (2005) Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes, you have approximately 40 minutes.

[Page 7287]

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, I just heard the honourable member say that we have made considerable progress and I'm hoping that I can be able to agree with that after the road plan that has been set forth in this budget.

Mr. Speaker, I must begin by quoting a lady, Wendy Beazley, from Halifax in Saturday's edition of The ChronicleHerald, May 7th, about a popular advertising for tires, "Are your tires ready for the road?" and I would like to respond with what she says in there, "Are the roads ready for your tires?" I have spoken on numerous occasions about the conditions of roads and I just couldn't help but quote Wendy Beazley on that because it's typical just the way that it works out, that a lot of the roads aren't ready for the tires.

Mr. Speaker, earlier today I mentioned Danny Ehler who has 11 employees in the Whycocomagh area in his service station. Well, actually he closed his service station last week and then returned to work at the request of his 11 employees and agreed to open it until after school has come out for the summer. I also must reiterate the fact that David MacRae in Baddeck is planning on closing his service station if he can't get a decision on the prices for gas or fuel or make a better profit. He has been in business for 30-some years and he was telling me, Gerald, if we don't get a decision soon, he'll have to get out of the gas business altogether.

Mr. Speaker, the reason I mentioned these two is because I'm under the understanding from Mr. Ehler's information that truckers go into his garage and tell him that diesel fuel is 75 cents a litre in Ontario, it's 95 cents a litre in his station, but my good friend down in Bay St. Lawrence, Robert MacLellan, is paying $1.18 a litre for diesel fuel to go fishing his lobster and crab. That is putting a tremendous stress on any businessperson, to have to come up with $1.18 a litre and trying to make yourself a profit. Coupled with that, the price of the crab that he is selling now has dropped down to $2 a pound, and that's very low for that.

[7:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I also cited the fact about volunteers. What I would like to do is - when I mentioned volunteers earlier this afternoon - I would like to mention a few of them, and I see the honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage's picture there with Donald Beaton and also in the picture is Myra Freeman, the honourable Lieutenant Governor. Donald J. Beaton of Little Narrows; Samantha MacKinnon, Washabuck Community Centre; Lonnie Dowe, Middle River Highland Senior Club; Dan E. MacNeil, a very good friend of mine, and an excellent councillor, representing the Highland Village; Valerie Patterson from Ross Ferry, the wife of the present councillor down there, who replaced me, and Fraser Patterson is doing a very good job; Laverne Barlow-MacRae, South Haven Community Hall; and Dan MacNeil, again, from North Highlands Nordic Ski; Marion Thompson, St. Anns Bay Health Centre; Ms. Andrea MacEachern, Baddeck and Area Minor Hockey; Mr. Donald Jardine, Cape Breton Four Seasons Project, that's north of Smokey; Lorna Thompkins, North Shore

[Page 7288]

Learning Centre and Enterprise Society; Gus MacLean, Washabuck Community Centre; Gerard MacNeil, Iona Community Access Society, a super man when it comes to computers and promoting IT in Victoria County; Milly Campbell, Big Bras d'Or - we all call her Aunt Millie - from the Big Bras d'Or Fire Ladies Auxiliary; Gevinna MacKenzie, I put a resolution through for her just yesterday, representing the Ladies Auxiliary of the Big Bras d'Or Fire Hall; Gary Stockley, Ingonish, a volunteer with the fire department, and you've heard me mention fire departments; Greg MacNeil, Iona Volunteer Fire Department.

Mr. Speaker, I could go on and on - and then after that there's 21 organizations, all volunteer organizations that have volunteers with them. It relates to the Financial Measures (2005) Bill, as I said earlier today, if a person were to put just a minimum wage of a price on one hour of volunteering, which is a very low value, especially when it comes to firefighters, or any volunteer organization, if the province had to pay for those, and the budget is having a hard job now to show a surplus, because from what I understand this balanced budget that we are here discussing, the government borrowed money to balance that very budget. I commented earlier also that borrowing to balance a budget, I'm wondering where the balance actually is.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to also, again, highlight the assessment on the Wreck Cove generating station, $150 million-plus project that was built in the 1970s, and is presently a state-of-the-art facility that has an assessed value of $640,000, which is grossly under-assessed and therefore a lack of funds coming to the Municipality of Victoria County. Victoria-The Lakes encompasses a large area of Cape Breton Regional Municipality, also. I cite the one in Wreck Cove, because if that's under-assessed to such a degree, they say you shouldn't assume anything, but at the same time, if that's under-assessed and it's such a state-of-the-art facility, it's easy to feel that Point Aconi generating station and the Lingan generating station could also be under-assessed. Therefore, the Municipality of CBRM is not getting the amount of funding that it should from these facilities.

Jake brakes, I'm getting worn out from mentioning the words jake brakes. The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works has heard me mention it. I see some signs going up, hopefully as a result of my lobbying, but the signs are going up because they are entering a 50-kilometre zone where it is legal. But the area that I keep harping on, Mr. Ambrose Lewis who is kind of a point person for the area off Route 125 going up the French Vale Road, he lives on the corner of the French Vale and Beechmont Roads - maybe that's not actually in French Vale, it's Balls Creek - but himself and Gordie MacKinnon, very vocal people, and wanting the noise to stop. They live in a rural area, the area is only seven-tenths of a kilometre long from where the gravel pits come down on the Beechmont Road to get on Route 125. If the minister would see fit to lower that speed limit from 70 kilometres per hour to 50, then they could legally put up the signs.

[Page 7289]

I would like this government to make a decision and to stand up and for the peace and quiet and harmony of that community. To lower the speed limit or put up the signs and leave it at 70, whatever they prefer, but do something. Lower the speed limit to 50, make it legal, put up the signs. I've submitted pictures of these signs that are on the highways in British Columbia and they work very well out there.

Why we can't make a decision here, I don't know. The last excuse I received was that there was a pilot project going on in the Halifax area to measure how many decibels the noise was creating. But unless you're there on a permanent basis, like residents - people deserve to sleep sometime during a 24-hour period. Right now with construction going on and coming into the busy season and the truckers have to make a living, so let's not call down the truckers, let's defend the workers, but there has to be a compromise. If the jake brakes were disallowed, then the truckers could truck their gravel 24 hours a day, seven days a week like they're doing. But at the same time, the people could sleep.

I have to reiterate again, Bert MacDonald on the Scotch Lake Road asking for years to have that road paved. It's a k class road, the total responsibility of the province. As he said, he was told in the 1960s, way back to the 1960s that was on a priority list, the 1980s he was absolutely guaranteed it was on a priority list to be paved and nothing has been done to date and I've given that to the honourable minister.

I notice the honourable Minister of Energy released some roads that were being paved, the roads in my area were put on a priority list. So I don't feel very confident with them being put on a priority list when I read that somebody's been on the list since the 1960s and 1980s. Hopefully, somebody will do some of those roads that are on the priority list.

I just spoke today with Marie MacDonald from Long Island Road and she lives on a road that is very neglected, I must say. Potholes that I personally bottomed out my car on. Wheel ruts, potholes and total fractures that you just can't even do the speed limit. As I say, you must break the law in order to travel on these roads - either straddle the road or go from lane to lane to try to duck them. We're all aware there's a lot required for the roads, but I fail to see the analogy of a balanced budget and the Department of Transportation and Public Works saying they're $3.1 billion behind and looking forward to $4.4 billion by the year 2011.

I don't know what can be done about this other than the fact that I think somewhere along the line there's a lot of mismanagement, there are missed opportunities and there's underachievement a lot of times. I think that can and should be corrected.

I had received calls from up in the Wagmatcook area. The Humes River Rear East Loop and something they've been looking forward to have paved and I hear from the area manager, Mr. Charles MacDonald, that it's on the priority list. Kelly Lane in Ingonish doesn't qualify as a department road although a lot of people live on it and the department doesn't bring the roads up to standard anymore, but I'm working with the construction company

[Page 7290]

that's going to put the waterline in and what they're planning on doing is use the fill that they excavate when they're putting the waterline in to make a better entrance from the paved road into Kelly Lane for the benefit of the people. There is a sheer drop-off when you leave the pavement to go into Kelly Lane. Therefore, in the Wintertime, you have to come out and before you stop, you must be out in the first lane of traffic. If you stop on the hill coming up, you can't get back out on the road.

Mr. Speaker, those are some of the concerns that I have in my area. To go back to the planning for the highways, the residents of Pugwash, I entered a petition on their behalf. You heard me bring up in the House the Como Road, four weeks with the culvert collapsed and the gentleman standing up to his waist in a hole. I'm sure, although the weight restrictions were on, in an emergency situation like that that the department could easily have accessed that without breaking their own rules of the weight restrictions on the highway.

Mr. Speaker, down in my area again, the road to Washabuck, I call it the road to wash out. It's in a tremendous state and needs repair. I don't know what's going to be done with that, but they are deteriorated. As area managers Mr. Charles MacDonald and Barb Baillie both told me, in a lot of situations the sub-grade of the road is gone and it really needs a lot of construction. To patch it is useless, it's a waste of money.

I referred to the song, the truck driver's song recently when I spoke in the House, Six Days on the Road. Well, Mr. Speaker, I would say the operative line for that song should read, six days on the road and I can't make it home tonight, simply because of the road situation.

Mr. Speaker, what does the cost of roads have to do with education? Unnecessary damage to school buses that are transporting the students to and from school. The education system is costly, and rather than add more cost to it, if the roads were repaired, it would cut down on the damage to the school buses that must travel on all roads and, basically, in any and all weather. The unnecessary damage is, of course, causing unnecessary cost, which is coming out of the school budgets. Repairs to the road would actually improve the bottom line of the Department of Education. So everything is all interconnected.

I'd like to talk about the motive fuel tax, Mr. Speaker. You've heard me mention that the diesel price in Ontario is 70 cents per litre, 95 cents per litre in Whycocomagh, $1.18 in Bay St. Lawrence. For 2001-02, the actual motive fuel tax revenue figure for the fiscal year was $207,950,550. So, $207 million, almost $208 million, is a very substantive amount of money to gain from the fuel tax. I would hope that this is all going into the roads, as I hear the honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works say that it is. These are figures from the Public Accounts that were garnered for this piece of literature that I have in front of me by a lady by the name of Ruth Blades. She's a researcher for the Greater Halifax Partnership. I would like to give her credit for that, because it's a very informative document to have.

[Page 7291]

I've said to you before, it sounds like a lot of repetition, but 75 per cent of the calls to my office have been and still continue to be about roads. Letters to the editor by the Nova Scotia Chamber of Commerce, and this appeared in the Victoria Standard, which is the biweekly newspaper that we get in the Victoria-The Lakes riding, and it says; "Priorities should be set for road work. Our secondary routes are atrocious, and business operators from Yarmouth to Sydney are sounding the alarm, says Nova Scotia Chambers of Commerce (NSCC) President Alastair MacLeod." Now, that's the overseeing body of all the Chambers of Commerce in Nova Scotia. "We're getting constant complaints from business operators along the Eastern Shore, the Glooscap Trail, The Cabot Trail, The South Shore and the Valley, he says, 'If the province doesn't take this seriously, we can kiss our most important business links goodbye.'"

So, Mr. Speaker, I'm not the only one talking about the bad situation of the roads and how it is affecting our economy and how it affects the budget that we have before us today.

[7:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I was receiving unsolicited pictures of roads, potholes, letters to the same - people complaining about driving on Nova Scotia roads. As I said in my own article, I must break the law each and every time I travel to and from Halifax in order to prevent my vehicle from being destroyed any more than it already is. Roads are an economical tool for any part of the province.

Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to see the honourable Minister of Energy here because I'm going to quote from an article on Saturday, April 2nd, in the Cape Breton Post with the honourable Minister of Energy and the honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage and the gentleman who owns the Inverary Inn, Mr. Scott MacAulay. The heading says, Cabot Trail look-offs set for facelift thanks to government funding. "Four hundred thousand dollars is a significant investment" to quote the honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, and he acknowledges how strongly we feel as a province about the role of the Cabot Trail in tourism.

The problem is, Mr. Speaker, and he says, "One of the things the visitor is looking for is the scenic natural landscape and if they can't see that natural landscape . . . than (sic) they're not getting the full experience." Travelling the Cabot Trail right now is worse than the "full-meal deal" because it's the best off-road experience that you can get if you're not driving in the park area. In the park area you can use rollerblades and skate on the highways and enjoy yourself, but come out of the park and you're taking your life in your hands.

Mr. Speaker, I've met with the department on several occasions and one of the problems that I have - and maybe the executive director of highway operations can get this moving along a little quicker - there's a temporary workplace traffic control manual and it

[Page 7292]

was decided they would change that back in 2003 - then it got pushed to 2004, then it got pushed to 2005, and now it's another definite 2006.

What this is doing is taking a considerable amount of time on behalf of the Department of Transportation and Public Works to do their job effectively, and we have good committed workers with the Department of Transportation and Public Works, experienced workers, competent workers, but what's happening is without this temporary workplace traffic control manual being approved it's taking them an hour to follow the present rules and regulations under the Department of Labour to close down a lane, takes five minutes to repair the pothole and another hour to open the lane up again - unnecessary time that these workers cannot do their job.

When you lose two hours to do a five-minute job, there's a lot of inefficiency that is blamed on the workers, whereas it's actually the fault of Department of Transportation and Public Works for not coming up with the manual and having it approved, because after it's approved then there's going to be a need for a training session.

Mr. Speaker, I want to quote again from the Cape Breton Post, March 19th, where the chamber focuses on the road and the honourable gentleman again is Alastair MacLeod. "A lot of the tourists who come around the trail express great appreciation . . ." but they "won't be coming back again because your roads are so deplorable . . . The road system is a serious handicap to doing business and so much of our business involves tourism." That's just a small quote from the larger article.

Mr. Speaker, it seems the same message is continuing to come from each and every corner of the province, people fighting to have their roads repaired, yet at the same time they're all paying the same amount of taxes and I must say that drivers in rural areas seem to - well, they don't seem to, they actually pay more road tax per capita than people in the urban area because a tank full of gas is not one day's driving for people in the rural area.

Mr. Speaker, I'm going to quote Michele Rogers from Riverside Road, near Stewiacke, who on April 2nd in The ChronicleHerald called it "pothole province" and she said her "husband travels extensively the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. and many times has heard the comment from our neighbours to the south: Oh, we love your province, but the terrible roads!" She says, "I'm not saying I would ever want to revert to a dirt road, but at least the gravel portion sees a grader from time to time."

Mr. Speaker, it's not one area of the province, it's all over and here we are with deteriorating roads. It riles the West Branch residents. This is in Pictou and there's a gentleman by the name of Troy Webb, who's with the Department of Transportation and Public Works, he's an area manager, and he's saying that the department produced a document to improve results when the department is competing within government for funding.

[Page 7293]

So the department is competing within government for funding, Mr. Speaker, it appears that there is a pecking order even in the Tory Government itself for who gets what. What I would like to quote are some 2003 figures that were released as of December 30th. It showed Digby received $1.5 million in funding for their pavement; Lunenburg, $5 million; Hants County, $18 million. So it appears that it just depends upon who has got the most clout and where. I hope the honourable minister, with all my requests to him, will see fit to loosen the purse strings a little bit for Victoria-The Lakes and come across with a bit of paving for the residents of my area.

Mr. Speaker, again, Pictou County's Highway 256 Improvement Committee, the residents are even making improvement committees in order to lobby for some road work. Local residents are frustrated and angry. "On Tuesday, March 15, at a meeting of concerned local citizens, a committee was established with a mandate to find ways to urge the provincial government to repave Highway 256 from the Pictou County line through to Scotsburn to Lyons Brook." Everybody is requesting, requesting and requesting.

To go back again to the budget that we're discussing, power hikes could hurt the very poor, Every Woman's Centre coordinator. Mr. Speaker, there's the lady from Every Woman's Centre looking for help because of the increase in power rates. It seems everything is going up - the cost of fuel and the cost of power rates - but the service is not there and the budget seems to be creating a hardship for anybody and everybody who's living in Nova Scotia. There, again, the drivers demand a fix for the crumbling road, the Pictou road. Imagine. George Campbell of West Branch told a public meeting "We'd be better off driving on dirt roads . . . I wish you would just rip it up and leave it to gravel."

Now, Mr. Speaker, there's something there, it's time that somebody is going to have to listen and it bears repetition and that's what I'm doing here tonight, I'm repeating a lot of these things hoping that somebody will do something about it. I spoke about the lack of a plan and I have numerous copies of the tenders that are being called and I'm glad to see those tenders being called, but the problem with it is, if the tenders are being called now, they're being awarded in the following month. It all looks well and rosy, but you have construction companies that travel all through the Winter months and up to the present time not knowing what the future holds.

It's indecision, it's poor planning, it's mismanagement. If these tenders were put out in the Fall and these companies could tender in the Fall and win their tender, they could go into the new year prepared to go to work as soon as the roads opened, when the roads open, it shows stability. The contractor can improve on his equipment. The workers know they're going back to work and the families can feel a little more comfort in spending some money that they ordinarily would have to hang onto because of the indecision, of the lack of knowledge that they're not going to work, dad may not be going to work if the company doesn't get the tenders.

[Page 7294]

I look at the $2.3 million to help make it smoother for motorists to travel in Inverness County, and two projects on Highway No. 105, on either side of Whycocomagh. That's not my riding, but guess what? I was the one who brought that up to the minister and also to Mr. Martin Delaney, the executive director. And of course anything on Highway No. 105 would be cost-shared, so that's good. As I told him, when we drive on that road, it appears that we're driving into a third world country, when we're coming to and from Cape Breton, back and forth each week.

Mr. Speaker, you've heard me talk about the word, being pro-regressive, which is totally opposite, it's almost like trying to put two to three negatives together. Progressive means you're interested in going forward. This is supposed to be the Progressive Conservative Party, and yet, at the same time, pro means to go forward and regressive is going backwards, and I'm pointing out, again, that it appears to me that this government is looking forward to going from $3.1 billion in deficit road construction, looking forward to 2011, when they'll be $4.4 billion in debt. Yet, at the same time, these words, balanced budget are floating on one side of my brain, and the other is saying, oh, gee, isn't it going to be great in 2011, we're going to owe $4.4 billion. So we're going to go further in the hole.

That's a regressive step, but looking forward to it is a proactive approach. So I guess pro-regressive is about the closest that I can come to try to comprehend what the solution is, because anybody who owes a bill - we've heard them talk about the Department of Community Services and people struggling to get along on $756 a month. Well, those people should be consulted on how to stretch their dollars and give advice to this government. Never mind asking the deputy minister what to do, because apparently the advice those deputy ministers and those departments are giving is wrong. Ask some person with children, scrounging and scraping to get by on that meagre amount of money how they go from one end of the month to the next month. That would be lesson learned, maybe a lesson in economics that the province should follow, Mr. Speaker.

At the same time, I'd like to just touch for a moment, go back to education. As I said the other evening, we have the student loan. There's a lot of calls coming into my office about student loans, and the problem with student loans, Mr. Speaker. Here we have students being funded, working Summer jobs for minimum wage, getting a student loan, going to college, and there are situations that I'm getting calls on now. What's happening is students are being funded for the first, second and third, and some of them for the fourth year, and the bill is large. Some of them get through in four years, some of them need a course or two, or maybe three.

But, I know of one particular case, a call that came into my office, the student has completed four years, and they need one more course. It can't be taken in a Summer course, they need six credits, a full-year course, and they owe four years of student debt. But now, the loan board has refused them. So, where do they go from here? They can't get funding to go back to college for that final year to complete the degree. Without the degree the student

[Page 7295]

can't get a good paying job, therefore, the student is now going to have to work for minimum wage, try to live, and cannot pay the loan back. It's ironic that somebody would be funded 99.9 per cent, and then not complete it.

Mr. Speaker, I printed off the May is Motorcycle Awareness Month that the honourable minister had released the other day, saying that there were 10,000 motorcycle users in the province. Motorcycles are a popular form of recreation and transportation. The honourable minister released that document, but it's rather ironic that he released that document the very day that the article appeared about Nova Scotia roads getting a thumb's down from the motorcycle riders who write for the Thunder Press, which goes out to 120,000 Harley Davidson enthusiasts all over North America. Now, Mr. Speaker, we're saying that this is a motorcycle month and we have the Thunder Press saying, every time you get on the bike to ride it was a battle. It wasn't pleasant, and talking about the roads in Nova Scotia. So I wonder, when is somebody going to listen? When is somebody going to create a plan? As I said, when any small community organization, they all have a plan of knowing where they're going to go in five years and where they definitely intend to be in 10. What's happening here is we don't know where we're going to be in five years with road construction. Well, I guess we do know, not in five but in six years we're going to be $4.4 billion in the hole.

[7:30 p.m.]

So, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to see a plan. A definite five-year plan of road construction and a proposal that would carry us through to 10 years, that could be flexible. That way there, we would know where we're going and we would have a plan on how we're going to get there. But the way it works, it's old-fashioned politics. We've been starved for pavement in the areas that I represent and all around the province, but what's going to happen it appears with the plan for this year is that I'm going to probably advise the hitchhikers to be extremely cautious and to keep moving when they're on the highway because if they stop to put their thumb out, they risk the chance of being paved over, because when the paving truck is coming, you know the election truck is immediately behind it, and that's what it looks like.

I'm looking at, "Resolved that a sum not exceeding $263,954,000 be granted to the Lieutenant Governor to defray expenses in respect of the Department of Transportation and Public Works . . ." Well, Mr. Speaker, that's a lot of dollars, but at the same time, it's not what you have, it's how you use it, and that way if you use it diligently and properly, then you can get a lot more bang for your buck.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I could go on and on. I have a folder here that's another three inches thick, but I understand that some members of the NDP would like to have the opportunity to address the Financial Measures (2005) Act, and in the vein of co-operation, I've consumed a fair amount of time and I would like to relinquish what time I have left and turn it over to the NDP, so they can speak on the Financial Measures (2005) Act, Bill No. 177. Thank you very much.

[Page 7296]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MS. JOAN MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand here tonight and talk for awhile on Bill No. 177, the Financial Measures (2005) Act.

When the minister stood up and spoke on what he thought was in this bill, I was listening and I did write down a few of his comments. He did mention that there were some changes to the Acts of the Nova Scotia Legislature and that this bill would implement some government plans and that this bill was going to help children get in shape, stay in shape, and it was going to help out in the areas of recreation and sports activities, and that it was going to make the province more competitive and give us a better future for our children and our next generation. So what I'm going to try to do over the next few minutes is talk about some of those issues that I see in my community and then look and see if this plan is really a plan that will do anything for families and people in Dartmouth East.

The government's supposed plan, will implement a tax credit for children of, I believe, $15 per family. I don't know what that's going to do for recreational sports in my constituency because as some of the honourable members are telling me from the sidelines, it won't even buy a hockey stick, and it's been awhile since I've bought a hockey stick because my kids are not in hockey any longer.

So, this $15 per family is only going to be available to those who qualify in the first place, and I don't think there are any facts or figures on how many people actually will or will not qualify for this, Mr. Speaker. So that's going to be left for us to find out, I guess, who is going to partake of this $15 tax credit. I know it won't buy a soccer uniform or a soccer ball, what have you. The minister talks about helping children get into shape. Well, I think a good way for children in my community to get into shape would be moving towards building us a community centre in Dartmouth East.

I don't know if anyone here is aware of the fact that our area of the old city is the only area that does not have a community centre. I mean, this is almost unbelievable but it's true. This community centre, if built, and there is a society working on that and I'm involved with them. They meet regularly at 7:30 in the morning, I will tell people that, 7:30 in the morning and I can't make it to all the meetings but this is a committed group of people in Dartmouth East and the surrounding area that have been working since 1982 to try to get a community centre for Dartmouth East and there are representatives from the Boys and Girls Club on that society.

We would like to give the Boys and Girls Club a permanent home in Dartmouth East. Right now, 250 children and youth are partaking in programs in Dartmouth East out of five different venues. One of these is actually an outbuilding of a church in my constituency and they make the best they can with this facility but obviously it's not what a community centre would offer the Boys and Girls Club. A new community centre in Dartmouth East would

[Page 7297]

recognize the recreational programs that are needed for our youth and I know the government is very concerned about what's happening with our youth in Nova Scotia and I don't see why they would not support this.

Right now, there are a lot of families in Dartmouth East that would actually access this facility. The facility would address various needs, as I mentioned, a replacement facility for the Boys and Girls Club which actually had burned down, I'm not sure how many years ago, and I think they were promised, you know there's always a promise on the table, it's the government's four-year plan promise, they will promise you something and then if you elect us maybe you might get it. Anyway, this facility would address some concerns, we could do some community outreach there, we could offer office space, maybe even a place to hold community-wide events. Definitely a community centre would offer us a sense of pride and a place to gather in our community which it is lacking right now.

As mentioned in here the other day, I don't want to get off track but I do have concerns about what's going on right now in all of Dartmouth and the outlying areas as far as high schools go. Whether or not this government is actually looking at Prince Andrew High School and of course, Prince Andrew High School does offer up some recreational facilities, but these are not always accessible and people cannot always access those or afford to.

A community centre would also contribute to the cultural side of life and the social

life of our community, wedding receptions could be held there and would bring in some revenue. So these kinds of facilities are very important to the youth in our community and I can't stress that enough. Going back to Bill No. 177, the minister does speak about, again, the healthy child tax credit and what better way to provide a health promotion in your community but to provide that in a facility like a community centre. I know at the Dartmouth North Community Centre they do provide a lot of health promotion activities there. There's been talk about putting on nutritional programs so that single parents with young children or babies could access these and come in and be shown nutritional meals that they could make on their own and ways to shop for the best produce and these sorts of things. A community centre would also help in health promotion by, of course, providing physical activity.

We know that phys ed has been cut back in the school system, and that due to the lack of facilities in Dartmouth East, a lot of our youth don't have the money, Mr. Speaker, to travel outside of their own community to access recreational facilities. There is the Sportsplex in Dartmouth and there's the Cole Harbour Place, but those places, you have to pay to use those facilities. Most of them are organized sport kind of gathering. So there are a lot of families in Dartmouth East that cannot afford to either access those facilities, pay the fees or travel to get to those places. Really, what's happening in Dartmouth East is that people are going outside of our own community and taking their money and spending it in other parts of Dartmouth. Those are the people who can afford to do so. Then, as I said, there are folks who just can't afford to do that, and then they are stuck with, really, little choice.

[Page 7298]

Again, on the Health Promotion side, we could provide healthy lifestyle choices and those sorts of things in a community centre, so that we could address some of things, like poor nutritional habits. Also we do know that there's an inadequate access to healthy food right now that a lot of people are facing. We want to be able to provide a venue that could really help people with those issues in their life.

Mr. Speaker, I don't think that $15 is really going to address what the minister thinks it's going to address. Some of the issues in the community and, of course, right around Nova Scotia, one of the big issues is poverty, and we do know that poverty is a major factor affecting the health and well-being right now of people in Dartmouth East and across the whole province. Right now people are struggling. I see them at my office, they come in. We can barely keep up with it. Certainly, we can't help people as fast as we would like to.

What happens is people try their hardest to really keep their head afloat of their bills and things that they need to purchase for their families, but what happens is, especially people on social assistance, they end up juggling bills. They move things around or they don't pay this and they don't pay that, because they want to feed their kids. What a surprise. They want to send their kids to school with books, scribblers, and now, as we all know, you have to come with your own Kleenex to get into this school system. They have to pay for childcare, and they have transportation issues. So when they come to our office, they've been trying to struggle and juggle with all these issues, and we're their last resort, because they have tried to go to the government for help. As I said earlier today, MLA offices are like government satellite offices, social service offices, whatever you want to call it.

One of the things I would like to mention, in talking about poverty, one of the things I noticed in this budget was a breakfast program for younger children, but I'm wondering what the government's going to do in regards to breakfast programs for teens and youth, because we all know that that's an issue, too. If young children are going to school hungry, teenagers are going to school hungry, too. I'm just wondering if anyone has had the chance to question whichever department is responsible for that. Food is expensive. You go to these high schools and the cafeterias aren't giving the food away, and that is an issue.

Mr. Speaker, issues in our community that are youth related, some of them are access to health services and a lack of accessible facilities, as I mentioned, not being able to access facilities because they're not in your neighbourhood, not being able to join various clubs, hockey teams or soccer teams, and because of the decline in physical activity in schools, these things are so important. I think we need to pay attention to what's going on with youth right now. I think I heard the other day that the next generation is going to be the first generation to have a shorter lifespan than their parents, and that's pretty sad.

I think for our youth we have to address these health issues that they have right now. One of the solutions to that, that I don't think Bill No. 177 addresses, is that a community centre would offer a place for youth to gather, both day and night, and access some of these

[Page 7299]

health issue facilities or programs. I believe last summer we had a problem with some graffiti in Dartmouth East and maybe that's a sign that we need somewhere we can keep our youth busy and active and doing productive and interesting things in a community centre.

[7:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, they're our future and we have to give them a place to go that's safe and healthy. A community centre would actually offer a venue for us as adults to interact with our youth and this was actually an idea that came forward through the Dartmouth Community Health Board at one of their community meetings that they had and it was actually a youth forum. That's what the youth, that was one of their ideas, that they wanted to be able to meet with us and talk with us in groups and they really wanted to interact with adults in their community because they do have a lot of great ideas and I think we're missing out on a lot of their ideas by not having a place to really get together with them in our community.

In Bill No. 177 the minister says that he is going to make this province more competitive. One of the ways I guess he's planning on doing that is by giving our large corporations a tax break, but I have to wonder. Although I have a small percentage of small businesses in Dartmouth East, I think it's less than 1 per cent, there are not a lot, they are important to Dartmouth East. They support our communities, I can't say enough. As an MLA, and I know everyone here will agree with me, you're probably at an auction at least once a week, either supporting a school, a church or what have you, and these auctions are supported by our businesses in our community.

They donate the items and certainly moms, dads and relatives donate items also, but why is this government not helping our small businesses to either grow in Nova Scotia or promoting some new businesses to open because these are the people, the majority of them are probably, you know, born in Nova Scotia. They want to stay here. Their kids are here. They would like their kids to stay here. They want to have a small business, have their children work in the business, hand that down to their children, and they don't want to see their kids have to move away and take jobs, not just in other provinces, but in other parts of the world which we do see happen a lot. These small businesses are the people who have a real caring for the province and they do add to our economy.

So, Mr. Speaker, I can't talk enough about the government's actions recently and their actions I think do speak louder than their words because, as we know, this government would not help a very long-running family business called Snair's. Apparently this business did not have a good enough business plan. Apparently P.E.I. had no problem with their business plan because they welcomed them with open arms, but you have to wonder, don't you?

[Page 7300]

Bill No. 177 doesn't help small businesses with the rising insurance rates. I have a constituent who last year was telling me that he has a small fleet of vehicles and his insurance went from $11,000 a year to $33,000. Now, I don't know how a small business is supposed to keep afloat because they're probably operating on a small line of profit. Is this a way to keep small business in Nova Scotia or a way to drive them out? I think sometimes small businesses, the only reason they stay here is because their family is here. I would doubt that a lot of small businesses look at Nova Scotia and say, hey, let's go there, let's open up a satellite office there, or let's go there, or let's start a small business in Nova Scotia because why would you? What's the incentive to start a small business here when you look and say, well, they drove Snair's right out of the province to P.E.I.? When you've got a small business here that their insurance rate has tripled in a year, how are they supposed to stay afloat? Are they going to pass that cost on to their employees? Are they going to make them take a loss in their pay? What are they going to do?

So as far as a plan for a better future, I don't believe I see that. This government is continuing to give breaks to large corporations and insurance companies. I don't see these breaks going to families or small businesses.

At one community meeting I had, I had some people coming in to tell me what some of the issues were that they were facing in Dartmouth East. One of them was that there is an issue with non-profits not being able to meet the costs of their insurance coverage. We know that these non-profit groups are continuously fundraising and I think, you know, it's sad when you stand here and actually hear the Minister of Community Services sort of insinuating that maybe these non-profits should just get out and do some more fundraising, as if that's an easy thing to do. I wonder if he has ever run a Spring fair, or done anything like that, or ever had to work six months straight in a year to fundraise and make $6,000, or to get the volunteers behind him to help him do that.

So those resources that go into raising the money to pay for the added cost of insurance could have gone to help the people that these non-profit groups are actually trying to help. These groups will continue to fundraise, they're not going to just close the door on the people they're trying to help, but it would be nice if the government tried to give them a helping hand.

Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 177 doesn't address some seniors' issues that I know about in Dartmouth East and I'm sure are very common around the province. Seniors in my area have talked to me about problems in being able to upgrade their homes. They have got problems with government grants on upgrading their windows, their roofs, chimneys, various things that they need help with to stay in their homes. I've had people who have been turned down for help from the government to convert their home so that their son, who has become physically disabled, so that they could build a ramp and refurbish a washroom. These people were told that, I think they were like $2,000 above the line of income that you would need.

[Page 7301]

So there's no grey area with this government, it's black and white, and nobody gets anything I guess that the government thinks they shouldn't get.

Seniors talk to me about wanting to stay with their families, whether they're staying with their sons or daughters, because they don't want to go into long-term care facilities unless they absolutely have to and the government is really not helping these people stay in their own homes which I believe is more cost-effective. Seniors are having a problem meeting the higher costs of drugs and we all know this. If you've ever canvassed during an election, this is one of the things that people will tell you, that they actually are not taking the medication that they should be, or if the doctor wants to put them on a different kind that perhaps has a better result but it's more expensive, they have to turn this down.

Mr. Speaker, that's just not right. Seniors are not taking their medication because, guess what, they want to eat too. What another surprise. Can you imagine seniors who want to eat? I mean this bill does not address health issues. It doesn't address long wait times in our emergency rooms or in our hospitals. It doesn't address seniors waiting in emergency rooms for not just hours but days before they even get upstairs into a room. I cannot say enough about the staff that work in our hospitals, and this is from personal experience, and they are fabulous people. I actually spent one of the best weeks of my life, not that long ago, on the 4th Floor of the Dartmouth General Hospital and the staff on that floor and what they do for the people there, and I'm not just talking about the nurses and such, but I'm talking about the people who delivered the meals, the cleaning staff, these are fabulous people.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Because of the hour, would the honourable member like to move adjournment of debate, please.

MS. MASSEY: I certainly will, Mr. Speaker. I move adjournment.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn debate on Bill No. 177.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage on tomorrow's hours and order of business, please.

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the House will sit from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. After the daily routine we will be calling Bill No. 36 which is the Medicare Protection Act and Bill No. 194, Cape Breton Strip Mines Moratorium Act. I move adjournment of the House.

[Page 7302]

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

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 House is adjourned until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 7:55 p.m.]

[Page 7303]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 3839

By: Mr. William Langille (Colchester North)

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

Whereas North Shore Business Women in Action, as a dynamic group of business owners and entrepreneurs on the North Shore, they meet the second Monday of each month for ongoing professional development; and

Whereas the members display their businesses through live demonstrations and workshops; and

Whereas local members include: Linda Byers, a local consultant, teacher and coach; Susie Belt of Sunrise Mercantile; Tanya Dondale of the Balmoral Scrapper; Bev Robert of Mary Kay; Debbie Rodgers of Paradise Porch; Amy Schmidt, owner of Deer Watch Retreat Bed and Breakfast; Annette Hunziker, owner of the Village Florist; reflexologist Susan Moore-Buckley; Joyce Mingo of Mingo Resource Management; Sherry Martell of Napa Auto Parts; Mary Lynn Caruthers of Ladybug Clutter Control and Healing Hemp; Oxsana Dzura of Dzura Optimum Learning and Consulting; and Hilary Langille of Maslan Kennels;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this House recognize the dynamic members of the North Shore Business Women in Action for their commitment to their professional development and business relationships in the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 3840

By: Mr. William Estabrooks (Timberlea-Prospect)

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

Whereas legendary Elsie MacNeil will celebrate her 80th birthday; and

Whereas Elsie's boundless energy and her involvement with her church and community are exemplary; and

Whereas Elsie MacNeil's friends and family will gather on Saturday, May 21st, at the home of Maureen Cyr to celebrate this wonderful woman's birthday;

[Page 7304]

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature offer its congratulations with best wishes to Elsie MacNeil on her 80th birthday.

RESOLUTION NO. 3841

By: Mr. William Estabrooks (Timberlea-Prospect)

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

Whereas Sir John A. Macdonald's Football Flames will join the Nova Scotia High School Football League in September; and

Whereas Alan Wetmore has been appointed head coach; and

Whereas Mr. Wetmore brings many years of experience and dedication to the game of football at the high school, university and professional level;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Alan Wetmore on his selection as the head coach of the Sir John A. Macdonald Flames.

RESOLUTION NO. 3842

By: Mr. William Estabrooks (Timberlea-Prospect)

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

Whereas Florence and George Harrison of Terence Bay will celebrate 50 years of marriage on Sunday, May 15th, in the Terence Bay Fire Hall; and

Whereas Mr. and Mrs. Harrison's marriage serves as a valuable example for all of us to follow; and

Whereas Flo and George remain involved in their community;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Florence and George Harrison of Terence Bay on their golden wedding anniversary.

[Page 7305]

RESOLUTION NO. 3843

By: Mr. William Estabrooks (Timberlea-Prospect)

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

Whereas Ashley Avery of Upper Tantallon has been chosen to represent Nova Scotia at the International Children's Games in Coventry, England this July; and

Whereas the International Children's Games and Cultural Festival has become the world's largest international multi-sport youth games; and

Whereas Ashley will travel to England as part of our swim team;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature recognize and congratulate Ashley Avery and other Nova Scotian youth going to England with best wishes for a great time at the International Children's Games and Cultural Festival this Summer.

RESOLUTION NO. 3844

By: Mr. William Estabrooks (Timberlea-Prospect)

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

Whereas Kevin Estabrooks of Hammonds Plains was named Coach of the Year by Baseball Nova Scotia at its annual awards presentation in January; and

Whereas Kevin was the coach of the Hammonds Plains Bantam AAA Athletics, which had an extremely successful baseball season in 2004; and

Whereas Kevin Estabrooks firmly believes that baseball is about kids playing the game and having fun;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Kevin Estabrooks on his selection as Baseball Nova Scotia's Coach of the Year with best wishes in the future, on or off the baseball field.

[Page 7306]

RESOLUTION NO. 3845

By: Mr. William Estabrooks (Timberlea-Prospect)

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

Whereas it is important that decision makers in our province hear from individual Nova Scotians with their concerns; and

Whereas during recent power interruptions, Lewis Lake resident and mother of six Tara Yaschuk eloquently spoke out about her frustrations; and

Whereas Tara is someone who should be listened to;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature thank Tara Yaschuk for her initiative in speaking out about the hardships faced by NSP customers during a power outage, and recognize her for her willingness to provide leadership on an issue which is important to all Nova Scotians.

RESOLUTION NO. 3846

By: Mr. William Estabrooks (Timberlea-Prospect)

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

Whereas the Prospect Bay Road from Whites Lake through to the Village of Prospect is badly in need of immediate work; and

Whereas residents and visitors have been more than patient with the delays and excuses from the Department of Transportation and Public Works; and

Whereas these communities are highly promoted as tourist destinations by the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation and Public Works make the Prospect Bay Road a priority paving project for road improvements, upgrading and paving.

[Page 7307]

RESOLUTION NO. 3847

By: Mr. William Estabrooks (Timberlea-Prospect)

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

Whereas the Terence Bay Road from Whites Lake through to Lower Prospect and Sandy Cove is badly in need of immediate work; and

Whereas residents and visitors have been more than patient with the delays and excuses from the Department of Transportation and Public Works; and

Whereas these communities are highly promoted as tourist destinations by the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation and Public Works make the Terence Bay Road to Lower Prospect and to Sandy Cove a priority paving project for road improvements, upgrading and paving.

RESOLUTION NO. 3848

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 youth of all ages are encouraged to participate in sports; and

Whereas large numbers of youth are involved in a variety of minor hockey league events; and

Whereas Avery Demone of Auburndale, Lunenburg County, won the Atom B shoot-out at the 24th Annual Joe Lamontagne March Break Hockey Tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate nine-year-old goalie Avery Demone for his participation and his success in the shoot-out.

[Page 7308]

RESOLUTION NO. 3849

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 schools provide a variety of outlets for students to express their interests and skills; and

Whereas some students enjoy and excel in the arts, such as drama and music; and

Whereas the students of Hebbville Academy, Lunenburg County, performed Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for a variety of audiences;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the students, staff, and parents for volunteering their time, energy and skill to make this magical journey a real success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3850

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 children in our schools are encouraged to strive for excellence; and

Whereas many students take the challenge in the field representing their interests and talents; and

Whereas Matthew Hachey of Hebbville Academy, Lunenburg County, won a gold medal and the Daniel Roblee Memorial Fund Award at the South Shore Regional School Board District Science Fair;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Matthew Hachey for his participation and success in the science fair.

[Page 7309]

RESOLUTION NO. 3851

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 we are all encouraged to promote the theme of Active Kids, Healthy Kids; and

Whereas families involve their children in a variety of physically active programs whenever possible; and

Whereas the Cusack family of Conquerall Bank, Lunenburg County, keep active by enjoying many of the outdoor exercises such as hiking, walking, skating, coasting, camping and kayaking;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend congratulations to the Cusack family, Ron and Elizabeth (parents) and children, Hannah, Rebecca, Erin, Simon and Leah, for their efforts to stay active and healthy.

RESOLUTION NO. 3852

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 charity starts at home; and

Whereas fundraising is always necessary to help communities and individuals in need; and

Whereas the children at Bridgewater's Small World Learning Centre are collecting change to donate to the IWK Children's Hospital;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the children and staff at Bridgewater's Small World Learning Centre for their caring and support for other children.

[Page 7310]

RESOLUTION NO. 3853

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 nurses demonstrate an uncompromising commitment to patients and their safety; and

Whereas nurses take pride in their role of preventing illness, providing care and comfort, and improving the health of our communities; and

Whereas National Nursing Week is being celebrated the week of May 9th to May 15th;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend best wishes and thanks to all nurses for delivering competent health care in a challenging and complex system.

RESOLUTION NO. 3854

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 musical skill development and appreciation are very important components in school music programs; and

Whereas young students are encouraged to participate for enjoyment and to improve their music talents; and

Whereas many young musicians are given the opportunity to demonstrate their musical talents by participating in music festivals which are sponsored by schools in partnership with such community service groups as the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Hebbville Academy Beginner Concert Band for their performance in the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Finale Concert and for receiving the Bridgewater Fire Department Band Trophy for the Outstanding Concert Band.

[Page 7311]

RESOLUTION NO. 3855

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 musical skill development and appreciation are very important components in school music programs; and

Whereas young students are encouraged to participate for enjoyment and to improve their music talents; and

Whereas many young musicians are given the opportunity to demonstrate their musical talents by participating in music festivals which are sponsored by schools in partnership with such community service groups as the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Melanie Martin for her performance in the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Music Festival Finale Concert and for receiving the South Shore Chorale Society Rose Bowl for the Outstanding Festival Vocalist.

RESOLUTION NO. 3856

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 musical skill development and appreciation are very important components in school music programs; and

Whereas young students are encouraged to participate for enjoyment and to improve their music talents; and

Whereas many young musicians are given the opportunity to demonstrate their musical talents by participating in music festivals which are sponsored by schools in partnership with such community service groups as the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Bronwen Thomas for her performance in the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Music Festival and for receiving an Elementary Vocal Award.

[Page 7312]

RESOLUTION NO. 3857

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 musical skill development and appreciation are very important components in school music programs; and

Whereas young students are encouraged to participate for enjoyment and to improve their music talents; and

Whereas many young musicians are given the opportunity to demonstrate their musical talents by participating in music festivals which are sponsored by schools in partnership with such community service groups as the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Kelly Cunningham for her performance in the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Music Festival and for receiving an Elementary Vocal Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 3858

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 musical skill development and appreciation are very important components in school music programs; and

Whereas young students are encouraged to participate for enjoyment and to improve their music talents; and

Whereas many young musicians are given the opportunity to demonstrate their musical talents by participating in music festivals which are sponsored by schools in partnership with such community service groups as the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Laura Whynot for her performance in the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Music Festival Finale Concert and for receiving the Young Vocal Performer Award.

[Page 7313]

RESOLUTION NO. 3859

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 musical skill development and appreciation are very important components in school music programs; and

Whereas young students are encouraged to participate for enjoyment and to improve their music talents; and

Whereas many young musicians are given the opportunity to demonstrate their musical talents by participating in music festivals which are sponsored by schools in partnership with such community service groups as the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mitch Baker for his performance in the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Music Festival Finale Concert and for receiving the Elementary Piano Trophy.

RESOLUTION NO. 3860

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 musical skill development and appreciation are very important components in school music programs; and

Whereas young students are encouraged to participate for enjoyment and to improve their music talents; and

Whereas many young musicians are given the opportunity to demonstrate their musical talents by participating in music festivals which are sponsored by schools in partnership with such community service groups as the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jennifer Pitman for her performance in the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Music Festival Finale Concert and for receiving the Buckley's Gift Certificate for Junior Piano.

[Page 7314]

RESOLUTION NO. 3861

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 musical skill development and appreciation are very important components in school music programs; and

Whereas young students are encouraged to participate for enjoyment and to improve their music talents; and

Whereas many young musicians are given the opportunity to demonstrate their musical talents by participating in music festivals which are sponsored by schools in partnership with such community service groups as the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Meghan Jamieson for her performance in the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Music Festival Finale Concert and for receiving the Frank Gow Trophy for the Outstanding Intermediate Pianist.

RESOLUTION NO. 3862

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 musical skill development and appreciation are very important components in school music programs; and

Whereas young students are encouraged to participate for enjoyment and to improve their music talents; and

Whereas many young musicians are given the opportunity to demonstrate their musical talents by participating in music festivals which are sponsored by schools in partnership with such community service groups as the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Justin Taylor for his performance in the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Music Festival Finale Concert and for receiving the Bridgewater Fire Department Band - Band Camp Scholarship.

[Page 7315]

RESOLUTION NO. 3863

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 musical skill development and appreciation are very important components in school music programs; and

Whereas young students are encouraged to participate for enjoyment and to improve their music talents; and

Whereas many young musicians are given the opportunity to demonstrate their musical talents by participating in music festivals which are sponsored by schools in partnership with such community service groups as the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Tyler Killiam, Rachael Pineo, Meghan Adams, and Douglas Brenton for their performances in the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Music Festival Finale Concert and for receiving a Music Festival Scholarship.

RESOLUTION NO. 3864

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 musical skill development and appreciation are very important components in school music programs; and

Whereas young students are encouraged to participate for enjoyment and to improve their music talents; and

Whereas many young musicians are given the opportunity to demonstrate their musical talents by participating in music festivals which are sponsored by schools in partnership with such community service groups as the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Samantha Fraser, Anna Sarty, Rebecca Jordan, and Alexis Fernier for their performances in the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Music Festival Finale Concert and for receiving the Elementary Vocal Awards.

[Page 7316]

RESOLUTION NO. 3865

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 musical skill development and appreciation are very important components in school music programs; and

Whereas young students are encouraged to participate for enjoyment and to improve their music talents; and

Whereas many young musicians are given the opportunity to demonstrate their musical talents by participating in music festivals which are sponsored by schools in partnership with such community service groups as the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Bridgewater Elementary School Handchime Choir for their performance in the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Music Festival Finale Concert and for receiving the Clarice Wile Trophy.

RESOLUTION NO. 3866

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 musical skill development and appreciation are very important components in school music programs; and

Whereas young students are encouraged to participate for enjoyment and to improve their music talents; and

Whereas many young musicians are given the opportunity to demonstrate their musical talents by participating in music festivals which are sponsored by schools in partnership with such community service groups as the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Bridgewater Elementary School Choir for their performance in the Bridgewater and Area Kinsmen Music Festival Finale Concert and for receiving the Wendy Fraser Elementary School Choir Trophy.

[Page 7317]

RESOLUTION NO. 3867

By: Hon. Cecil Clarke (Energy)

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

Whereas six Nova Scotia municipalities applied to the Department of Energy to cost share the retrofit of more than 2,500 incandescent traffic lights to more energy efficient LED traffic lights; and

Whereas this project will accelerate the rate of LED traffic signal conversions within Nova Scotia municipalities, improve intersection safety, and reduce energy costs; and

Whereas the Department of Energy is eager to work with all Nova Scotia municipalities to increase the adoption of LED traffic signal technology to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas production;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House congratulate the municipalities of Amherst, Bridgewater, Halifax, Kentville, New Glasgow, and Truro, for their investment in converting to LED traffic signal technology.

RESOLUTION NO. 3868

By: Mr. William Dooks (Eastern Shore)

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

Whereas through the wonders of the Internet, photographer Roger Belanger is capturing his discoveries and the beauty of the Chezzetcook Inlet; and

Whereas for the past 25 years Roger Belanger has lived in the Acadian community of Grand Desert, and attempts to communicate his perspective of a special part of coastal Nova Scotia through his on-line photo gallery - www.chezzetcookimages.ca; and

Whereas Roger Belanger photographs birds, rocks, ice, waves, vegetation, seashells, and sediments to communicate the beauty of the inlet and portray his respect for this remarkable place; and

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Roger Belanger for providing people with an insider's view of Chezzetcook Inlet and the beauty in the surroundings.

[Page 7318]

RESOLUTION NO. 3869

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Richmond)

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

Whereas Peter Larade, St. Peter's Lions Club member and Alfred Sampson, St. Peter's Lions Club President, presented a donation of $2,500 to the Richmond Villa Activity Department; and

Whereas this generous award was accepted by Eva MacPhail and recreation director Paula Sampson on behalf of the Richmond Villa Recreation Department; and

Whereas this donation represents the generosity and contribution of the St. Peter's Lions Club in an effort to give back to their community and its local establishments;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the members of the St. Peter's Lions Club for their monetary donation to the Richmond Villa Activity Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 3870

By: Michel Samson (Richmond)

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

Whereas St. Peter's Lions Club member Gerry Gibson and President Alfred Sampson donated $1,000 to the Dr. Kingston Memorial Clinic in L'Ardoise; and

Whereas this award was accepted by the chairman of the Memorial Clinic, Rene Samson; and

Whereas this donation represents the continued support of the St. Peter's Lions Club to their community and surrounding community organizations;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the generosity of the St. Peter's Lions Club in their donation to the Dr. Kingston Memorial Clinic.

[Page 7319]

RESOLUTION NO. 3871

By: Michel Samson (Richmond)

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

Whereas the St. Peter's Lions Club member Kevin Digout and President Alfred Sampson donated $1,000 to the Early Childhood Education Centre in St. Peter's; and

Whereas this monetary donation was accepted by the Early Childhood Education Centre director, Dauphe Campbell; and

Whereas this donation represents the generosity of the St. Peter's Lions Club towards organizations in the St. Peter's community.

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the St. Peter's Lions Club for their charitable donation to the Early Childhood Education Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 3872

By: Michel Samson (Richmond)

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

Whereas St. Peter's Lions Club member Peter Larade and President Alfred Sampson presented the L'Ardoise Volunteer Fire Department with a donation of $500; and

Whereas this donation was accepted on the behalf of the fire department by Kevin Mombourquette; and

Whereas this contribution demonstrates the generosity of the St. Peter's Lions Club towards the various organizations within and surrounding the St. Peter's area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the St. Peter's Lions Club and their generosity to organizations in St. Peter's and surrounding areas.

RESOLUTION NO. 3873

Par: M. Michel Samson (Richmond)

À une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

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Attendu que l'équipe de hockey junior de l'École Beau-Port a remporté la bannière JARIS 2005; et

Attendu que l'équipe a été invaincue pendant l'ensemble du tournoi, remportant les six parties prévues à l'horaire; et

Attendu que le fait de reporter la bannière JARIS 2005 récompense les efforts, les capacités et le travail d'équipe des joueurs et des entraîneurs de l'École Beau-Port;

Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres de cette assemblée félicitent les entraîneurs et les membres de l'équipe de hockey junior de l'École Beau-Port d'avoir remporté la bannière JARIS 2005.

RESOLUTION NO. 3874

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Richmond)

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

Whereas the École Beau-Port junior hockey team were the winners of the 2005 JARIS banner; and

Whereas the team was undefeated throughout the entire tournament, winning all six games scheduled; and

Whereas winning this year's 2005 JARIS banner rewards the effort, ability and team work of the players and coaches at École Beau-Port;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate all coaches and members of the École Beau-Port junior hockey team for winning the 2005 JARIS banner.

RESOLUTION NO. 3875

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Richmond)

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

Whereas St. Peter's Lions Club President Alfred Sampson presented the Chapel Island Volunteer Fire Department with a donation of $500; and

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Whereas this donation was accepted on behalf of the Chapel Island Fire Department by Sidney Francis, a representative of the organization; and

Whereas this donation represents the generosity of the St. Peter's Lions Club towards the Town of St. Peter's and surrounding communities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the St. Peter's Lions Club for their generous donation to the Chapel Island Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 3876

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Richmond)

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

Whereas the St. Peter's Lions Club member Alec Morrison and President Alfred Sampson presented the MacAskill Yacht Club with a donation of $4,000; and

Whereas the donation was accepted by the yacht club's Commodore Peter Digout and Rear Commodore Jack Hicks, and will be used towards purchasing a boat to be used for a sailing program for the handicapped; and

Whereas this donation demonstrates the generosity of the St. Peter's Lions Club and their dedication towards expanding the community of St. Peter's;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the St. Peter's Lions Club for their generous contribution to the MacAskill Yacht Club to aid in the development of a sailing program for disabled individuals.

RESOLUTION NO. 3877

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Richmond)

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

Whereas St. Peter's Lions Club member Peter Larade and President Alfred Sampson presented the L'Ardoise Volunteer Fire Department with a donation of $500; and

Whereas this donation was accepted on the behalf of the fire department by Kevin Mombourquette; and

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Whereas this contribution demonstrates the generosity of the St. Peter's Lions Club towards the various organizations within and surrounding the St. Peter's area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the St. Peter's Lions Club for their generous donations to the L'Ardoise Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 3878

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Richmond)

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

Whereas the St. Peter's Lions Club member Alec Morrison and President Alfred Sampson presented the St. Peter's Volunteer Fire Department with a donation of $500; and

Whereas this donation was accepted by the Vice-President of the fire department, Terrance Terrio, and Deputy Chief Wallie Owens; and

Whereas this donation demonstrates the ongoing contribution of the St. Peter's Lions Club to the town and organizations of St. Peter's;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the St. Peter's Lions Club president and members and their donation to the St. Peter's Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 3879

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Richmond)

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

Whereas St. Peter's Lions Club member Vic Clayton and President Alfred Sampson donated $500 to the Air Cadets in St. Peter's; and

Whereas this donation was accepted on behalf of the St. Peter's Air Cadets by Captain Charles McManus; and

Whereas this donation represents the generosity of the St. Peter's Lions Club towards various organizations in the St. Peter's community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the St. Peter's Lions Club for their donation to the St. Peter's Air Cadets.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3880

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the annual Parrsboro Spook-a-Rama, an annual Halloween video dance/prize giveaway for local youth, marked its 15th Anniversary on Sunday, October 31st, 2004; and

Whereas three pioneers of the event were presented with plaques on the following day's assembly at Parrsboro Regional High School; and

Whereas Northeast Nova District RCMP Superintendent Constable Ted Upshaw was on hand at the November 1st assembly to present the plaques to Constable Colin Morton and retired members Bob Foley and Rob Forbes, for their roles in making the event a longstanding success;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the coordinators of the Parrsboro Spook-a-Rama for their dedication to assuring that the youth of their community will have a fun and safe activity to take part in to celebrate Halloween, and we wish them many more years of success.