Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 03/04/05-97

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Murray Scott

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

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

Annual subscriptions available from the Office of the Speaker.

First Session

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2005

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Small Bus. Wk. & Co-op Wk.: Owners/Staff - Salute,
Hon. E. Fage 8694
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. No. 4719, Criminal Code (Can.): Amendments - Support,
Hon. M. Baker (By Hon. J. Muir) 8698
Vote - Affirmative 8699
Res. No. 4720, Fraser, Emma: Death of - Tribute,
Hon. B. Barnet 8699
Vote - Affirmative 8700
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 259, Public Utilities Act
Mr. H. Epstein 8700
No. 260, Public Safety Protection Act
Hon. M. Baker 8700
No. 261, Volunteer Services Act
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 8700
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4721, Ins.: N.S. Rates - Comparisons,
Mr. D. Dexter 8700
Res. 4722, Small Bus. Wk. (10/16-10/22/05) - Acknowledge,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 8701
Vote - Affirmative 8701
Res. 4723, Swiggum, Sue: Work - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Hines 8702
Vote - Affirmative 8702
Res. 4724, Dart. Heritage Museum/Dart. Heritage Matters:
Heritage - Preservation, Mr. D. Dexter 8703
Vote - Affirmative 8703
Res. 4725, Parker, Linda: Retirement - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 8703
Vote - Affirmative 8704
Res. 4726, C.B. Power: Turbine - Installation,
Hon. C. Clarke 8704
Vote - Affirmative 8705
Res. 4727, Health: Specialized Equip. Prog. - Re-evaluate,
Mr. K. Deveaux 8705
Res. 4728, Digby Gen. Hosp. Aux.: Fundraising - Congrats.,
Mr. H. Theriault 8706
Vote - Affirmative 8707
Res. 4729, N. Shore CDA/Northumberland C of C: Commun.
Dedication - Thank, Mr. W. Langille (By Mr. C. O'Donnell) 8707
Vote - Affirmative 8708
Res. 4730, Brown, Lloyd O.: Retirement - Congrats.,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 8708
Vote - Affirmative 8709
Res. 4731, Fin.: Home Grown Food - Prov. Tax Reduction,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 8709
Vote - Affirmative 8709
Res. 4732, Agric. & Fish.: Pork Ind. - Fin. Situation,
Mr. S. McNeil 8710
Res. 4733, Mengert, Yara - Conservatory Can. Medal,
Hon. M. Baker (By Hon. J. Muir) 8710
Vote - Affirmative 8711
Res. 4734, Serenity Lodge/Mitchell's Rest Home: Long-Term Care -
Provision, Mr. J. MacDonell 8711
Vote - Affirmative 8712
Res. 4735, Boudreau, Marc - CSAP Award, Mr. L. Glavine 8712
Vote - Affirmative 8712
Res. 4736, Energy: Tidal Power - Development,
Ms. M. Raymond 8713
Vote - Affirmative 8713
Res. 4737, Smyth, Dorothy - Birthday (90th), Mr. H. Theriault 8713
Vote - Affirmative 8714
Res. 4738, Vohs, Matt & Brenda/Piper's Landing Rest. - Where to Eat
In Can.Guide, Mr. C. Parker 8714
Vote - Affirmative 8715
Res. 4739, Sir John A. Football Flames: Season - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 8715
Vote - Affirmative 8715
Res. 4740, Fultz House Museum: Vols. - Congrats.,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 8716
Vote - Affirmative 8716
Res. 4741, Children's Wish Fdn. (C.B.): wish Granting - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Gosse 8716
Vote - Affirmative 8717
Res. 4742, Res. Tenancies Act: Review - Status,
Mr. J. Pye 8717
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 243, Emergency Measures Act/Public Service Act^ ^ 8718
Hon. R. Russell 8718
Mr. H. Epstein 8718
Mr. H. Theriault 8724
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 8725
Ms. M. More 8730
Mr. J. MacDonell 8733
Hon. E. Fage 8736
Vote - Affirmative 8737
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. R. Russell 8737
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 244, Enforcement of Canadian Judgments and Decrees Act 8738
Hon. R. Russell 8738
Mr. K. Deveaux 8738
Mr. S. McNeil 8739
Hon. M. Baker 8739
Vote - Affirmative 8739
No. 246, International Trusts Act 8739
Hon. M. Baker 8739
Mr. H. Epstein 8740
Mr. S. McNeil 8740
Hon. M. Baker 8740
Vote - Affirmative 8741
No. 249, Enforcement of Court Orders Act 8741
Hon. M. Baker 8741
Mr. H. Epstein 8742
Mr. S. McNeil 8746
Hon. R. Russell 8747
Vote - Affirmative 8747
No. 254, Motor Vehicle Act 8747
Hon. R. Russell 8748
Mr. W. Estabrooks 8748
Ms. D. Whalen 8750
Mr. K. Deveaux 8753
Adjourned Debate 8753
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., Oct. 24th at 3:00 p.m. 8754
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 4743, Best, Bill: Berwick Sports Hall of Fame - Induction,
Mr. L. Glavine 8755
Res. 4744, West, Christian: Achievements - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 8755
Res. 4745, West Chester Vol. FD/Aux./Families: Commun. Contribution -
Congrats., The Speaker 8756
Res. 4746, McNutt, Jim - Springhill Centennial Golf Championship,
The Speaker 8756
Res. 4747, Patriquin, Georgina - Vol. Award,
The Speaker 8757
Res. 4748, Godfrey, Ted & Joan/ True Blue Fitness - Anniv. (5th),
The Speaker 8757
Res. 4749, Three-Way 4-H Club - Cumb. Co. Ex. Trophy,
The Speaker 8758
Res. 4750, Sears, Jessica - Miss Cumberland 2005, The Speaker 8758
Res. 4751, Robinson, Reg - CPR Rescue, The Speaker 8759
Res. 4752, Waters, Janet: New Business - Congrats.,
The Speaker 8759^

[Page 8693]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2005

Fifty-ninth General Assembly

First Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. James DeWolfe, Mr. Charles Parker, Ms. Diana Whalen

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Before we begin the daily routine I will call upon the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to refer to yesterday's Question Period when I asked the Minister of Education a direct question about the single mothers in our province and their need for support to attend university.

In the minister's answer he used some confusing terminology, he spoke about polygamist moms and I wonder if today he would rise in the House and apologize to the women he was referring to and perhaps clarify his remarks for the House. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The issue brought before the House by the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park is not a point of order, it is a disagreement of statements or facts used in the House.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. The Premier has imposed a Code of Ethics on his ministers and I think the minister has breached it and I would like you to make a ruling on that.

8693

[Page 8694]

MR. SPEAKER: I have already said that it is not a point of order in this House. Under the rules, that issue brought before this House is not a point of order.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise and address the House today, during Small Business Week and Co-op Week here in Canada and Nova Scotia. I know all members of this House will join with me in saluting small business owners, operators, and their employees today as we celebrate Small Business Week, which runs from October 16th to October 22nd.

Our business operators in Nova Scotia are helping to build a stronger economy in Nova Scotia and creating new wealth and opportunities for their communities and citizens. In fact, Nova Scotia's 52,600 small business operators, those enterprises with less than 50 employees, account for 25 per cent of the province's gross domestic product. According to a report released by the Bank of Montreal last week, 30 per cent of all jobs in Nova Scotia are from the small business sector and Halifax leads all cities in Canada in the growth of self-employed businesses over the 2002 to 2004 period, with a 30 per cent increase in that growth.

Given the success of our small business community, it is not surprising that more than 50 events are taking place this week across the Province of Nova Scotia, from Sydney to Yarmouth, from Amherst to Digby, which is indicative of the energy of the small business community. It's also not surprising that the theme of this year's Small Business Week is, You're the Power behind the Canadian economy, let's share the energy!

Mr. Speaker, as Co-op Week runs from October 17th to 23rd, I think it is also fitting that we recognize the hard-working members of the co-operative movement here in Nova Scotia. The numbers that come out of the co-op movement are impressive, indeed. There are over 400 co-operative businesses in Nova Scotia, and one of every three Nova Scotians belong to a co-operative or a credit union. Forty new co-operative enterprises were incorporated during the year, in new industries such as health care, export, manufacturing, technology and environment. Nova Scotia's co-operative movement has more than $5 billion in assets and employs more than 7,000 Nova Scotians.

[Page 8695]

It is fair to say that co-operatives, such as Just Us! Coffee Roasters, Farmers' Co-operative Dairy Limited and Scotsburn Co-op Services are continuing a long tradition here in Nova Scotia. After all, it was the coal miners in Stellarton who, I'm told, established the first co-operative business in North America in 1861.

Together our small business people and our co-operative members and owners are helping to build a better Nova Scotia for our children. They are building stronger communities. They are creating jobs all over the province so that our children can enjoy opportunities right here at home. The results are showing, in our provincial unemployment rate of 7.2 per cent, the lowest in 30 years, in the reduction in our youth unemployment rate, and in the growth of our entire economy.

Mr. Speaker, I believe this government has played a role in that growth. I believe that this government has helped set the stage so small business owners and co-operatives can prosper. Let me give you a few examples. Small business operators identified access to capital as a major issue, so this government responded with the Credit Union Loan Guarantee Program, a joint effort of the province, the credit unions and the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council.

This program expanded in July 2005, from $6 million in government guarantees to $25 million. This program, alone, has generated more than $9 million in loans to more than 130 businesses, creating and maintaining more than 900 jobs with almost no defaults.

The Nova Scotia Government's $25 million commitment is expected to finance more than $90 million in loans from the credit union sector resulting in the creation or maintenance of thousands of more jobs. Our CEDIFs, or Community Economic Development Investment Funds, make it easier for Nova Scotians to invest at home, especially in rural Nova Scotia. Since its inception five years ago, the number of funds have grown and so have the dollars invested. This program has attracted more than $13 million in investments from 2,400 Nova Scotians, with the majority of those dollars being invested in rural Nova Scotia.

We are investing in broadband, C@P sites, youth employment, procurement initiatives, and the list goes on and on. We have helped create the conditions of success with our balanced budgets, programs and sensible initiatives.

We have work to do, however. I think it is important that we recognize the underlying strengths in our economy and the hard work of the people who help make our economy successful. This provincial government is proud of the small business owners, operators, employees and proud of our co-operative members and our credit union members as well as the owners of these businesses. They deserve to be recognized. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 8696]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, I say yes and I say no.

Yes, indeed, the small business sector is very important. Yes, indeed, the co-operative sector is very important. Yes, indeed, they both deserve to be recognized. Yes, indeed, we should turn our minds to them. Yes, indeed, we should think about ways in which we in this Legislature can support them, encourage them and make them an even more fundamental part of our economy here in Nova Scotia. All of that is true.

On the other hand, we should start by reminding ourselves of why it is that we think that small businesses and co-operatives are so important. They are important, not just because they are a vital part of the economy and represent a significant portion of employment. They're important because they're locally owned. They're important because they tend to be of small and medium size. That means for one thing that they don't - unlike very large international businesses - tend to become highly dominant in the marketplace. And, because when they're locally owned, the money that they generate in profits, if they're businesses or surpluses, if they're co-operatives, tends to stay here in the community and be reinvested here.

The people who are members of co-operatives - be they producers' co-operatives or consumers' co-operatives - benefit themselves from their own spending, their own investments - they live here. They live here and those profits, their surpluses, tend to be spent in the local communities. This is all to our benefit. We have to contrast that with the position of the very large companies that really do dominate the economic life of this country because we have to remind ourselves that one of the obvious facts about Canada, in any statistical analysis, is that we are highly foreign owned and that we have a huge amount of corporate concentration.

[9:15 a.m.]

What that means is we have very large companies that exercise a disproportionate amount of economic power and many of those companies are foreign-owned companies. We are vulnerable for that reason as a nation and we're vulnerable for that reason as a province. We only have to look at the energy sector to realize how important that has been as an economic detriment in Nova Scotia. Think about SOEP. Our natural gas was developed by companies from the United States, clearly as an export project, with not nearly enough local benefit. That only builds on other irritants in Nova Scotia like our gypsum industry, again a foreign-owned company extracting the raw product for manufacture elsewhere.

Think about our forestry industry. The large pulp and paper plants are all foreign owned and a lot of the benefit goes to them. So I have to say that however much I agree with the minister that we should remind ourselves that small businesses and co-operatives are

[Page 8697]

important and we need them and we need to build them, it would be encouraging if we actually saw a great deal more attention paid to them. Since I heard the minister speak several times about rural communities in this province, I want to flag one particular point for him to think about.

Two of the major co-operatives that we have in Nova Scotia are Scotsburn and Farmers Dairy. Now, those are milk and milk product producer-owned co-operatives. They've been around in Nova Scotia and done good work for a very long time. Do you know what I worry about? I worry about the current round of international negotiations about trade under the auspices of the WTO that are moving very aggressively to attempt to remove what they are calling subsidies from agricultural production. I'm worried that supply-managed systems will be seen as subsidies. So if the minister is concerned to protect our co-operative sector, I hope he's talking to his colleague in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries about what our position is going to be nationally at the WTO negotiations and that our supply-managed systems that are run on a co-operative basis, although not always but largely on a co-operative basis, are protected.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister and his office for providing us with a copy of the statement prior to today's sitting. Many of the staff still left at the Department of Economic Development served our government well and they continue to do their best with limited resources.

Mr. Speaker, small businesses are indeed an economic driver in this province and they continue to work hard to make Nova Scotia more prosperous. Nova Scotia is the birthplace of co-ops and co-ops were solidified as part of our culture through Father Moses Coady and Jimmy Tompkins, among others. Co-ops are vital to our rural areas as well as our towns and cities. The problem is that the minister should note that it's not enough to salute small business government, but it has more to do with supporting small businesses - especially in rural Nova Scotia. A rural Nova Scotia economic strategy should be something that the minister is keeping foremost in his mind. (Applause)

I do commend the minister's office for helping facilitate the Credit Union Small Business Loan Program and it certainly deserves to be expanded. Mr. Speaker, that particular initiative creates a level playing field between credit unions in this province and the traditional agencies of lending, namely the banks and the finance companies. Anything that would create a level playing field for the credit union movement is certainly welcome to me, to the members of our caucus and indeed should be to all Nova Scotians.

[Page 8698]

I'm proud to be a member of the Sydney Credit Union for - well close to 50 years - and I'm also proud of the fact that I was a past president of the Sydney Credit Union for a few years back in the 1970s when that credit union was starting to grow, and not to any particular initiatives that I did there but certainly the people of the community realized the importance of the credit union. I'm also proud to say that my two children and my four grandchildren are all members of the Sydney Credit Union. I hope that they will someday say that the credit union served them well, and they served the credit union movement well in Sydney for a number of years in their case. That's a little commercial for the Sydney Credit Union and the credit union movement in general.

Mr. Speaker, the minister mentioned economic development investment funds but it should also be noted they were implemented under the previous government. The minister neglected to say that but I can understand that. After all, we live in a political world here and sometimes the past is forgotten and the initiatives of the past seem to go unnoticed. Rural Nova Scotia was ill served by this government when investment zones were scrapped by this government and those zones would have seen greater tax breaks to economically disadvantaged areas such as Cape Breton and rural Nova Scotia. According to Stats Can last month, 6,000 jobs were lost in Nova Scotia, most of those in rural Nova Scotia.

Energy costs are driving many small businesses to the brink and the government has done nothing to help with energy and transportation costs. Government's failure to address this problem will make it a difficult Christmas for many a small business this year given the current state of the crisis we have in transportation and energy costs. As we salute small businesses and co-ops, let's do more than provide kind words. I urge government to act to address the needs of small business. Thank you.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 4719

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

Whereas the Parliament of Canada is now considering Bill C-215, which would increase the minimum penalties for criminals who use firearms in the commission of an offence; and

Whereas these penalties would range from an additional five to 15 years, depending on the severity of the crime; and

[Page 8699]

Whereas public safety demands that violent criminals be kept off our streets, and that the punishment fit the crime;

Therefore be it resolved that this House express unanimous support for the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 4720

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

Whereas Emma (Mama) Fraser, the "Mother of the community of North Preston," passed quietly in her sleep on September 16, 2005; and

Whereas Mrs. Fraser had lived through two world wars, the Great Depression and the civil rights movement, both in the United States and here in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Mrs. Fraser passed, touching the lives of so many people in her community and her entire extended family;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending condolences to the family of Mrs. Emma Fraser, a great lady and pillar in her community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 8700]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 259 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 380 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Public Utilities Act. (Mr. Howard Epstein)

Bill No. 260 - Entitled an Act to Protect Public Safety. (Hon. Michael Baker)

Bill No. 261 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 497 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Volunteer Services Act. (Mr. David Wilson, Sackville-Cobequid)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 4721

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

Whereas victims of motor vehicle accidents in Nova Scotia have the worst benefits and least ability to even gain legal representation to help them deal with insurance companies; and

Whereas these harsh limits on automobile insurance coverage were justified by the claim that Nova Scotians would enjoy much lower rates as a result; and

Whereas the Consumers' Association of Canada reported on October 19th, that rates in Nova Scotia can be as much as 45 per cent higher than in British Columbia, where benefits were not capped, when rates are compared for the same driver, with the same vehicle and the same driving record;

Therefore be it resolved that the government should recognize that its denial of justice for accident victims has swelled the record-high profits of the major insurance companies, rather than ensuring the lowest and fairest rates for Nova Scotia drivers.

[Page 8701]

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 Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 4722

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

Whereas October 16th to 22nd marks this year's Small Business Week in Canada which represents a time to acknowledge the people whose efforts play a big role in driving the Canadian economy; and

Whereas activities held through Small Business Week provide training and development opportunities for entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs, enabling them to meet other business people and share ideas; and

Whereas much of the growth of the Canadian economy is due to dynamic entrepreneurs and the businesses they create;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Assembly acknowledge this week as Small Business Week and the important contributions these businesses make to our local and national economies.

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 8702]

The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 4723

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

Whereas with her Web site "theshiplist.com" attracting 4.5 million visits per month, Wellington's Sue Swiggum is being recognized around the world as having the most informative passenger cruise ship information anywhere on the Internet; and

Whereas Sue first began her Web site in 1997 and has been recognized by leading publications such as USA Today which averages more than 5 million readers daily, the Family Tree Magazine, Sea Breezes Magazine, a publication in the United Kingdom dating back to 1919, and is generally recognized as an excellent source of marine and historical technical data; and

Whereas Wellington's Sue Swiggum has diligently developed and published one of the best Canadian passenger ship historical resources in the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Sue for outstanding work and wish her nothing but continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

[Page 8703]

RESOLUTION NO. 4724

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 Dartmouth Heritage Museum Society, through various events, educates and informs people about the culture and heritage of the people of the Dartmouth area; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Heritage Matters of the Nova Scotia Rug Hooking Guild is celebrating its 25th Anniversary; and

Whereas on October 19, 2005, the Dartmouth Heritage Matters and the Dartmouth Heritage Museum Society held an opening reception at Evergreen House by presenting a hooked rug display entitled, Heart, Hand & Hook;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate the members of the Dartmouth Heritage Museum Society and the Dartmouth Heritage Matters of the Nova Scotia Rug Hooking Guild for their efforts to preserve and display important aspects related to the cultural heritage of the Dartmouth area.

[9:30 a.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4725

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

Whereas Linda Parker, the Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Berwick, has announced her retirement after a long, distinguished career; and

[Page 8704]

Whereas Linda has been a long-time advocate of political issues at the local and provincial level; and

Whereas Linda has been dedicated to municipal politics for 25 years, working for the Town of Berwick, the County of Kings and as a consultant for the province;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House acknowledge and congratulate Linda Parker for exceptional work and many years of public service.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Energy.

RESOLUTION NO. 4726

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

Whereas Nova Scotia in general and Cape Breton in particular have some of the best wind power regimes in Canada; and

Whereas Cape Breton Power Ltd. installed the second of nine massive wind turbines on October 7, 2005, in Glace Bay atop the former Lingan No. 26 Colliery; and

Whereas once the wind farm is up and running next year, it will provide enough energy to supply electricity to 6,000 homes year-round, and will become the second-largest privately owned wind farm in the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Cape Breton Power on installing another turbine in their wind farm and contributing to the development of the area by providing more jobs for Nova Scotians and maximizing use of our province's energy resources.

[Page 8705]

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 Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 4727

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

Whereas in a survey of Atlantic Canadians diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, 48 per cent of respondents stated they require some assistive aids to allow them to continue to live independently; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Department of Health's specialized equipment program does not provide funding for technical aids unless a person is in a long-term care facility; and

Whereas it is in the best interests of Nova Scotia and those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis to ensure those with the disease are able to live independently for as long as possible;

Therefore be it resolved that this House encourage the Nova Scotia Department of Health to re-evaluate the specialized equipment program to provide assistive aids to those living independently.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

[Page 8706]

The notice is tabled.

Order, please.

I would like to draw the attention of the House to some special guests who are in the Speaker's Gallery today. These people are visiting Nova Scotia - as all members know, we are hosting the Council of State Governments committee meetings this weekend. I'd like to introduce some very special, important people who are with us today. We have Governor Ruth Ann Minner, who is the Governor of Delaware - and I would ask that as I read your names, would you please stand - Senator Robert Martin of New Jersey; Representative Robert Godfrey, Deputy Speaker and ERC Co-chair, of Connecticut; Mr. William Cusano, First Vice-President of the Quebec National Assembly; Mr. Richard Daignault of the Quebec National Assembly; and Mr. Alan Sokolow, Director of the Council of State Governments in the Eastern Regional Conference. As well, accompanying the Governor is Ms. Kelli Steele, Communications Assistant.

As I said, they're here for the conference this weekend. It's a real privilege for Nova Scotia to be hosting this. I would ask all members to give this group a nice, warm Nova Scotia welcome. (Standing Ovation)

Thank you, folks. Welcome. I'm sure all members will be on their best behaviour this morning for our special guests. (Laughter)

I look forward to our deliberations this weekend.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 4728

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

Whereas for over 80 years the dedicated volunteers of the Digby General Hospital Auxiliary have taken on the enormous task of providing the very necessary extras that the Digby General Hospital needs for patient care; and

Whereas last year, the auxiliary raised over $28,700 through their innovative fundraising activities such as the Penny Sock, art sales, raffles and the Crafty Claus events for needed equipment for the cardiac intubations, physiotherapy and nursing departments of the hospital; and

[Page 8707]

Whereas they also support the education of future health professionals in the production of supportive health-related educational printed material;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the diligent efforts of these dedicated volunteers and wish them every success in their future fundraising efforts.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 4729

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

Whereas the North Shore Community Development Association has represented residents and business for 11 years; and

Whereas in co-operation with the Northumberland Chamber of Commerce a community TV channel was launched; and

Whereas the association also helps to manage rental properties, and has hired a volunteer coordinator to help groups in the community promote events;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank the North Shore Community Development Association and the Northumberland Chamber of Commerce for their dedication to the community, their hard work and volunteer efforts.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 8708]

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. 4730

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

Whereas Lloyd Brown joined Northwood in 1976, and currently holds the positions of president and chief executive officer for both Northwood Care and Northwood Home Care; and

Whereas during Mr. Brown's time at Northwood, it has grown and changed to become the largest and the most innovative long-term home care and independent living and community outreach centre for seniors in Eastern Canada; and

Whereas Mr. Brown's 29 very successful and productive years with Northwood will conclude with his retirement on October 31, 2005, and will be celebrated with a reception on October 25th;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Mr. Lloyd Brown on his decades of service to seniors, to Northwood and to the community, and wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 8709]

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. 4731

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

Whereas the cost of buying groceries for the average family in Nova Scotia has more than tripled in the past 20 years; and

Whereas for many Nova Scotians, income levels have barely doubled; and

Whereas rural Nova Scotians, in particular, should be encouraged to develop their own form of self-sufficiency in farming;

Therefore be it resolved that the provincial government consider introducing a provincial income tax deduction on a graduated scale for those individuals and families who grow their own produce and their own food supply.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Annapolis.

[Page 8710]

RESOLUTION NO. 4732

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

Whereas the pork industry in Nova Scotia has been in desperate need of assistance for too long; and

Whereas the future of this vital and important industry to Nova Scotia is in jeopardy due to this government's inability to take action; and

Whereas Pork Nova Scotia has generated a detailed report this year stating its immediate problems and what can be done to solve these matters, and yet there has been no response from this Progressive Conservative Government;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the serious financial situation of the pork industry in Nova Scotia and call upon this government to assist them immediately.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 4733

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

Whereas Josephine Skinner of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, is a noted piano instructor and has been providing piano lessons for many years; and

Whereas Yara Mengert of Lunenburg has been a student of Ms. Skinner's for 10 years; and

[Page 8711]

Whereas Yara will be receiving the Conservatory Canada Medal for Excellence for Theory 2 in Ontario on November 12th for achieving the highest mark in her grade and subject for the Province of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Yara Mengert on her excellent performance and for being awarded the Conservatory Canada Medal for Excellence for Theory 2.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleague, 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. 4734

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

Whereas there are growing numbers of seniors living longer, therefore placing more and more demands on the existing structure of seniors' residences; and

Whereas seniors, when forced by health and age to move out of their homes, prefer to live in their community; and

Whereas two new seniors' residences - Serenity Lodge and Mitchell's Rest Home - have been recently licenced and serve seniors in the Hants East area;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the management and staff of Serenity Lodge and Mitchell's Rest Home on their perseverance to provide long-term care facilities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 8712]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4735

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

Whereas Marc Boudreau, a student at École Rose des Vents, has created an award-winning project on the lives of the Mi'kmaq before the arrival of the Europeans in 1605; and

Whereas Marc's project won the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial Regional Fair, earning Marc a trip to Saskatchewan to participate in a national historic fair; and

Whereas the national historic fair is a truly national event, bringing together students from across the country to celebrate our rich heritage;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House acknowledge and congratulate Marc Boudreau for his creativity, knowledge and success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

[Page 8713]

RESOLUTION NO. 4736

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

Whereas California-based developers are now preparing to investigate the potential of electric generation from Nova Scotia tidal power; and

Whereas Osborne H. Parsons of Halifax devised a plan to generate electricity from wave and tidal action in 1917 and chose Tribune Head at Herring Cove in Halifax Atlantic as the ideal site; and

Whereas Parsons Ocean Power Plant began construction in 1922 and was able to generate 5,000 horsepower per minute until 1959 when Parsons abandoned his plant and his world-wide patents in the face of huge competition promised by nuclear power;

Therefore be it resolved that this House support the efforts of developers in their quest of electricity from Nova Scotia's famous tides and let it not be forgotten that the world's first tidal power plant was in Halifax Atlantic at Herring Cove.

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. 4737

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

Whereas on September 7, 2005, Mrs. Dorothy Smyth of Clementsport celebrated her 90th birthday with friends and family from near and far, including Annapolis and Digby Counties; and

[Page 8714]

Whereas Dot has been, and continues to be, a role model of exemplary service to her province, her church, her community and her family; and

Whereas she has always been a champion for those persons who are not as able to advocate for themselves and for many other citizens of this province who needed her support by always finding innovative and unique strategies to constructively meet the needs of people;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House send their kind regards to this extraordinary lady and wish her much happiness and good health.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4738

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

Whereas Piper's Landing Restaurant in Lyons Brook, Pictou County, has been listed in the Where to Eat in Canada restaurant guide for every year since it opened in 1994; and

Whereas editors from the restaurant guide travel the country from coast to coast secretly visiting restaurants and observing menus, service and atmosphere, listing only the best in their guide; and

Whereas owners Matt and Brenda Vohs focus on customer needs and feature modern country foods with a seafood specialty;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Matt and Brenda Vohs and Piper's Landing Restaurant for their 11th straight listing in the Where to Eat in Canada restaurant guide and wish them continued success.

[Page 8715]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[9:45 a.m.]

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 4739

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

Whereas the Sir John A. Macdonald Flames Football Team is having a great first season on and off the field; and

Whereas the team came about as the result of many hours of effort by volunteers; and

Whereas Coach Al Wetmore, his staff and players much appreciate the dedication of parents and community supporters;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate and thank all those involved with the Sir John A. Football Flames in their inaugural season.

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 8716]

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 4740

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 the Fultz House Museum is named after one of the founding families of Sackville; and

Whereas the Fultz House Museum has been a landmark of our heritage since the early 1980s when the museum opened; and

Whereas the Fultz House host, throughout the Summer, Tuesday Teas to raise the funds needed to continue to restore and display the history of the community of Sackville;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the many volunteers from the museum in their tireless efforts to raise funds for the museum and to all community organizations and residents who support Tuesday Teas. They have all contributed in making this year's Tuesday Teas a great success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 4741

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 Saturday, October 15, 2005, the 13th annual Wishmaker parade made its way through the streets of downtown Sydney; and

[Page 8717]

Whereas approximately 200 people turned out for the occasion, raising a total of $22,000; and

Whereas all money raised from this worthwhile event goes to making the wishes of local children diagnosed with a high-risk, life-threatening illness, become a reality;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Legislative Assembly congratulate the Cape Breton sub-chapter of the Children's Wish Foundation, for their role in granting 109 wishes to Cape Breton children in the last six years, and most of all, for making wishes come true.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 4742

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

Whereas in 1998 the Minister responsible for the Residential Tenancies Act produced a discussion paper on tenant/landlord issues with the intent to review the Act; and

Whereas during this review many of the participating stakeholders identified areas of change; and

Whereas during the 2005 budget debates the Minister responsible for the Residential Tenancies Act stated "there will be no changes to the Act under my watch but the department will do an internal review of the Act";

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature request the Minister responsible for the Residential Tenancies Act to keep members of the Legislature informed on the status of the internal review.

[Page 8718]

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.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for 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. 243.

Bill No. 243 - Emergency Measures Act/Public Service Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Premier.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act, I move second reading of Bill No. 243.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I want to make (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. EPSTEIN: I'd like to make some comments on Bill No. 243 at second reading. Yesterday a number of us had the opportunity to tour the Emergency Measures Organization headquarters at Woodside on the other side of the harbour. It was a useful opportunity for those members of the committee who took the opportunity to go. It was very good to meet

[Page 8719]

the new executive director, new since a period of about eight months, and to have a look at the facilities and to meet some of the personnel who were involved in actually implementing the legislation that we have in front of us and that is now up for amendment.

I don't know if you're familiar with this facility, Mr. Speaker, it's in the police station that is in Dartmouth. It's immediately adjacent to the Dartmouth Hospital and is known as the Eric Spicer Building. What's interesting about it in terms of emergency measures is that unlike anywhere else in Canada, what we have put together here is municipal, provincial and federal facilities all side by side. So in the event of an emergency, there will be the operations room for HRM, and there will be the operations room for the provincial EMO, and there will be the operations room for the federal authorities. This is obviously a very good step. It's a very good design. It's innovative. It makes sense. It exhibits three levels of government co-operating on something that we really should co-operate about.

Indeed, we know that, like every area of the world, we're vulnerable to emergencies. Emergencies will come. One has only to think about some of the kinds of emergencies that we have experienced over the last couple of years, and ones that other parts of the world have experienced, to realize just how extensive the list is. Many of the reports are weather related. Here we've had a hurricane, a very significant hurricane that, although it just passed through, resulted in loss of electrical power, in some areas for quite an extensive time, and exposed some of the difficulties in our system of dealing with a hurricane. We can only be thankful, given what we've seen in some parts of the southern United States and in the Carribean in recent months, that the form of damage was not as extensive as it has been in other parts of the world.

We also had a strong Winter storm. Both of these events were given similar name tags, Hurricane Juan and then White Juan. The Winter storm was named after the hurricane itself. But Winter storms, of course, are a real vulnerability in Canada. This is something we have to face up to. We lost power again, and people were isolated. People were losing their stores of food. They were unable to cook, particularly vulnerable people who rely, as we do, on the availability of electricity, were put at risk for their health and safety.

Those are two examples of something that's weather related, and yet there's a third, of course, which is just outright flooding from heavy rain. There are several areas in Nova Scotia - the Truro area, the Bridgewater area for example - that are well known to be vulnerable to heavy flooding, or flooding during times of heavy rain or times of melt. Unfortunately, people have been allowed to build their homes and other facilities within flood-plain areas even though, to some extent, there are regulations in place. Unfortunately, a lot of building has taken place and that means that people are going to continue to be exposed, and we saw just what a massive effort was needed in order to deal with the flooding that took place down the South Shore just recently.

[Page 8720]

These are not insignificant occurrences. The consequences, and the reason we call them emergencies, can be very devastating for people, not just economically - we can absorb economic loss, with help, with insurance, with government assistance - but people can be put at risk. I have in mind here, particularly the elderly who are often isolated and particularly vulnerable. Yet there are other kinds of emergencies that can arise, again sticking with perhaps weather or climate related ones although the one I next have in mind, a tsunami, is often related to earthquakes.

Now we have to remember that earthquakes are not unknown in this part of the world. On the other hand, we don't have to have an earthquake here for us to be vulnerable to tsunami damage. It's entirely possible for an earthquake to take place in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Africa and to have a resulting tsunami come our way. We saw with last year's very devastating tsunami, all the nations adjoining the point in the Pacific or near the point in the Pacific where there was a major earthquake. Many nations were injured even though they were hundreds and thousands of miles away from the original point of the major earthquake.

Some scientists suggest to us that some of the Canary Islands are at risk of collapse and they've projected that if one or more of those islands were to collapse, they could set up a tsunami in the Atlantic and we wouldn't know about it necessarily until it arrived. The reason for that is it's not clear that there is any kind of good early warning system for tsunamis arriving. This is a real vulnerability. Think, for example, about the industrial facilities that we have. I'm sure that there are very good safety measures that are in place over at the refinery in Eastern Passage. What would be the consequences if something terrible were to occur there and such a facility were to explode? There could really be enormous damage. Think about railroad traffic or truck traffic. We have going through our municipalities, all across this province all the time, trucks that are carrying hazardous materials and trains that include some hazardous materials. Accidents have occurred, accidents will continue to occur and there can indeed be serious injury and danger as a result of that.

The whole point about this catalogue is that we have to remind ourselves that we're vulnerable and that these things can arise upon very short notice. Just think about the enormous problems that places like New Orleans or Galveston ran into when they were faced with the necessity of quick evacuation of their populations. If we're hit by a hurricane or another winter storm like White Juan, it wasn't really of the kind that required evacuation. We stayed, as much as we could, safe in our homes and tried to weather the immediate impact of the storm and really it was a question of trying to pick up afterwards and deal with the consequences.

What if we're dealing with a hurricane or some other kind of event that requires evacuation? Just imagine how enormously difficult it is to get people by the thousands out of a place like the Halifax peninsula to some other place. Where would that other place be?

[Page 8721]

It's not clear. The same applies in Dartmouth, Bedford, Sackville, Timberlea, in all of these densely populated communities that we have in the metro area. Now, we can't all run for safety to Sackville and maybe the people in Sackville will have to go somewhere else as well, who knows. Who knows how far people have to go. This would be a major undertaking.

[10:00 a.m.]

I have to say that although I enjoyed the tour, I learned from the tour, those of us who attended, undoubtedly, were pleased to have been shown what it is that is in place, we are still left with some worries, naturally enough, because the problem of evacuation is just an enormous problem. The logistical difficulties and the weaknesses in the systems that are in place were exposed by the recent experience in the United States. What we don't want is that the weakness of any system that might exist here should be found out - that is to say discovered - during an actual event. What we need is for the systems to be in place in advance.

Now I say all of this, Mr. Speaker, because I'm worried that we may not be so fully prepared as we might be. I'm not convinced that this legislation really does anything much to advance the situation to protect us. As with other pieces of legislation we've seen from this government, it tends to tinker with the system without necessarily providing all the resources that would be necessary in order to put the systems in place. It's this question of resources that, in the end, is the key to our success in dealing successfully with any kind of widespread emergency in our province.

What this bill does is very minimal. What Bill No. 243 does is it changes the name of the agency, for one thing. Well, I have to say that in an emergency, knowing that the agency has a different name isn't, I think, going to do a great deal to help us. I don't mind the agency's name being changed and I don't mind some kind of reorganization of who it is that the agency reports to. This is fine, but this is what's universally known, of course, as housekeeping legislation.

Is there anything else in the bill that the bill actually does? Well, it does one more thing besides changing the name of the agency. It provides that we can enter into written agreements for assistance with other provinces and with states in the United States of America. Furthermore, in these reciprocal arrangements, it provides that people who come to Nova Scotia in order to assist us and to practise their professions, they are entitled to practise their professions if indeed there's a framework agreement in place. Well, this is very sensible because, indeed, we know there's a long history of reciprocal assistance across the border. The beneficial experience of the Halifax area, from the Halifax Explosion of the time of World War I is probably the best-known examples. Americans came, individually and collectively, to help. That was wonderful.

[Page 8722]

So what we're dealing with here is we're recognizing that, indeed, physicians, nurses, perhaps engineers, perhaps people who work as electrical lines-people or other kinds of professions that might be regulated or licenced in Nova Scotia can legitimately and legally come and practise in our province. That's fine. It's entirely appropriate that we have this kind of housekeeping legislation that puts in place the regulatory framework for something like that.

I do want to flag one issue, which I didn't see addressed in this bill, nor did I really hear the minister speak to it, and it has to do with insurance. The question, of course, is, and I hope it never comes to this, but anyone who practises a profession should carry professional liability insurance. The question then becomes, of course, how do we ensure that people who are coming here to be, say, physicians or nurses or engineers carry some kind of financial backing, some kind of insurance backing when they come here.

Now, I don't think that if we were in the midst of an emergency anyone would be standing at the border saying you can't come and be a doctor here because we don't know whether you have insurance or not. Do you know what? No one would be standing there attempting to raise this as a barrier or an objection. That would be silly.

We're not in the middle of an emergency, we get the opportunity to think about this in advance. So, in a quiet moment when we can think about this in advance, we should be thinking about it in advance and there should be something there. I'm assuming that in the kinds of written agreements that will be entered into between the Province of Nova Scotia and some of the states in the United States that we might work with on this, that they will talk about this, that they will address the question, that perhaps the province will agree that it will pick up any associated costs - in essence, be the insurer.

I don't know. We don't know because I don't think we've been told by the minister what it is that he considers normal or appropriate in these circumstances. Or, will there be some kind of arrangement in which the physicians who come, for example, are hooked into the Canadian Medical Protective Association insurance system, which is what it is that insures physicians when they work in Canada. I don't know, but I'd like to know the answer. Whatever the answer is - and I'm sure there is an answer out there, I'm sure the government has turned their minds to it - we should be told. We should be told just to make sure as a matter of thoroughness that this question has been nailed down and will be nailed down and not left to be sorted out after the fact. It's indeed the kind of thing which, if necessary, we will sort out after the fact if we have to but, much better, we take the opportunity now to do it while we still can. So, this is a quiet omission from the bill. It's something that I think we could hear from the minister about.

I'm concerned about some other omissions from the bill. I'm concerned particularly about the question of those who are most vulnerable. I'm concerned about people who are in seniors' housing, people who are in hospitals, people who live by themselves and yet need

[Page 8723]

certain kinds of aids in order to live, for example, oxygen. The question is, how are they to be protected particularly during an emergency. What, if anything, can be done for those people who are vulnerable or who may even be out and out disabled?

I know, for example, in my constituency that there is one apartment building which is a 10-story apartment building in which a great many people who are functionally confined to wheelchairs live - if they get the chance to go out at all. They live in this building because it's very central in the peninsula, it's handy to grocery shopping, it's handy to restaurants, it's handy to a whole variety of stores. It's on Quinpool Road, and this is a fine place for them to live. I have made sure - I have made sure when I was on HRM council and city council - that there are curb cuts in all of the curbs so that people who are in wheelchairs can, in fact, move around, that if they are in wheelchairs, they're mobile at least when they go out, they're not running into barriers when they get to street corners. It's a fine place for them to live. It's appropriate.

On the other hand, to get out they have to go down in elevators. They're on the fourth floor, the seventh floor, the eighth floor, and there are a lot of them. Furthermore, of course, they require electricity to see, they require electricity, as we all do, for their refrigerators, in some instances they require electricity for mechanical devices that move them up and down, in and out of beds and so on. This is an important part of their lives and, unlike the fully abled, if the power goes out, they can't simply get up and walk out and go and take care of themselves and move elsewhere, there has to be some kind of specialized system in place to make sure that these people, in particular, are taken care of, that these people are at the top of the list.

So, I don't see in the bill that there's anything that deals with this. I'm not opposed to this bill. This bill, I'm sure, will go through along with our support and probably the support of all members of the House. Yet we have to recognize it for what it is. We have to recognize that there is a wider range of issues out there that has to be dealt with.

I know this is just an amending bill, that we already have in place a Statute that sets some of the framework for emergency measures and their organization in Nova Scotia and yet, we still, a couple of years on from Hurricane Juan, have to think, have we really learned all of the lessons and taken the chance to implement the systems that need to be implemented? For many of us, when we think about it, it's not clear that we are making as much of an advance as we could because the essence of the system in Nova Scotia is to rely on municipalities. This is not a federal government, not a provincial government central function exclusively. Very much it relies upon the municipalities. It requires the 52 or 55 municipalities that we have in the province to have in place their own systems, up and running, rehearsed and staffed, in order to deal with the local emergencies that might arise.

[Page 8724]

Unfortunately, the last time that there were detailed surveys done of the preparedness of the municipal level, EMOs, we found that a number of them simply weren't up to snuff. Now I know in the interim, there have been more training courses and a little more resources but we still have problems. Probably not so much here in HRM, although we're very vulnerable if there has to be an evacuation, I must say. In many of the other smaller communities, there are problems with their systems for very understandable reasons, and yet there's not much in this bill that really addresses that. Nothing really.

A reorganization, a renaming of the organization, that's fine. A reciprocal signing of agreements with U.S. states for mutual aid, this is also fine but on the ground it's resources. In the end, it's resources that are needed, which means partially money, partially personnel and partially some thought toward how it is that all those municipalities can be most effective when the time comes.

Again, Mr. Speaker, I'm happy to support this bill. I think it does a few useful things and we will certainly see it through this House, in conjunction with the government, but it doesn't mean that our problems go away. Just because the government waves a bill around that has in its title, emergency measures, doesn't mean that we're 100 per cent prepared.

I think that people would be well-advised to make sure that they have their own emergency kits at home and take steps to defend themselves as much as they can because that's what it's going to be like. Now I don't object to that. I think that's the right thing. People have to do that if they're in a position to do it and those who can, of course, let them have flashlights. Let them have wind-up radios. Let us all have flashlights and wind-up radios, some canned food, some propane tanks if you have a barbeque, a generator even if you can extend to that; all of those things that make sense, if you can afford them. If you're in a position to do them and if you're in a position to actually operate them, but we know there are a lot of very vulnerable people out there.

So, in the end, we as a society have to turn our minds to making sure that we protect those who are particularly vulnerable. I thank the minister for bringing forward this legislation, but I assure him that we are going to continue to scrutinize in detail the efforts that he and his department and his agency make to actually deliver the system and make sure that it's in place, and we want to do this through the instrument of scrutiny in advance, rather than test the system when we actually find ourselves in the midst of a real emergency. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise in my place to speak as the Critic for the Emergency Measures Organization. We believe this is nothing more than just a simple name change to this bill, but I believe we must make sure that the name change is not confusing. We cannot confuse the elderly people any more than they have already been

[Page 8725]

confused by EMO. There are other people with little communication who sometimes get in trouble, through emergencies, and that's been a problem, a lack of communication. Some progress has been made with EMO, so we hope we don't lose that in a name change.

[10:15 a.m.]

Mr. Speaker, there are other problems with EMO, other than having to put a bill through this House to change its name. We believe there has to be better coordination of EMO resources during emergencies in this province. During a three-day power outage in Digby last Winter, it was proven that the Emergency Measures Organization was not coordinated or communicating with its partner, the Red Cross - the left hand didn't seem to know what the right hand was doing. One group set up one building in the community, and another group set up another building, both miscommunicating with the people in that area. Telephone lines were jammed constantly. The only lines that were open were to my office.

We believe communication and coordination are great tools during an emergency, and for that reason we are disappointed with this government, that it has not looked into bringing in the Reverse 911 system. We believe this would be a great addition for the communications of EMO. It's about making lines of communication better for all the people who need this in the province. Instead of people have to worry about who to call, and who to call out to, help would be calling in to the people.

However, with that, we do support this bill going to the Law Amendments Committee.

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

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I, too, want to say a few words about Bill No. 243, concerning the Emergency Measures Organization. Definitely, as the previous speakers have stated, this is a piece of legislation that will change the name of the Emergency Measures Organization, change the word "measures" to management. So, if that's what government needs to do to get everything in line, then we accept that and we understand that you need pieces of legislation like this to come forward to do that, to change the name of the agency to a more proper name title.

Mr. Speaker, the thing we want to emphasize, especially to government and especially to the Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act, is that we, as a province, the residents who live here, look upon government to ensure the well-being and safety of all residents of this province. We need to ensure that agencies such as the Emergency Measures Organization have the resources and the funds to ensure that they can do their job to the fullest extent.

[Page 8726]

I've dealt with emergencies my whole career, and the one thing I know as a paramedic in this province is that you need to be prepared for everything, Mr. Speaker. Things are so uncertain when you respond to an emergency - I know this - you have to be prepared for every kind of emergency under the sun; you never know what you're going to walk into. It's the same thing when you're dealing with larger emergencies, a larger scale of an emergency in the province. As a province we have witnessed several disasters over the last several years, and one was Hurricane Juan, which I think really caught Nova Scotians and government off guard. We were unprepared for this. It was something that hadn't really happened a lot in our province. There have been hurricanes in the past that have hit our province, but we hadn't seen the damage and devastation that we did with Hurricane Juan in many years.

I know as a paramedic, the profession was a bit unprepared in trying to cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Juan. It was a really hard time for the province, for the profession of paramedicine in this province. As everybody's well aware, a colleague of mine during that storm lost his life while he was trying to protect Nova Scotians and respond to emergency calls that night. If there is anything we learned from that it is that we need to be prepared. We need to have the agencies prepared to deliver the services, the health care, the resources to the communities throughout this province after a devastating emergency. Not only during Hurricane Juan but it was during that severe winter storm that we had where thousands and thousands of Nova Scotians were left without power, without the ability to get the necessary resources they needed to continue providing for their families - food, water and heat.

It was a trying time for myself in my community to try to help those people who would get in contact with me to get some services and some help. It's very important as a government to have those resources ready to act upon any emergency that we see in this province and we need to ensure that the Emergency Measures Organization has those resources to do the job now, right now as we speak, to be prepared for that next emergency. There are going to be other things that are going to happen in this province that are going to require that agency to be enacted to their fullest ability to govern, if you say, that's really what they do is govern the resources and the many organizations throughout the province to deliver help to Nova Scotians.

I know that the Emergency Measures Organization is going through changes right now. I believe we have a new person in charge of that, I believe it is a retired RCMP officer. I think that's great that we go to those people who have made it a career delivering emergency services and services like policing and health care, to draw on their experience to provide to the people of this province a good plan when emergencies happen in Nova Scotia. That's the most important thing I want to say about Bill No. 243, that it's good that we see that they're moving in the right direction to get everything lined up and be prepared but these organizations need to have the support of government and the appropriate funding and the resources so that they can do their job to ensure the safety of all Nova Scotians.

[Page 8727]

That's what people want, that's what they expect and that's what they deserve in this province, that government is prepared to respond to the needs during a major emergency.

We don't have to look far to the disaster scene over the last year even with Hurricane Katrina and the earthquakes overseas. It really shows that we need to be prepared here in Nova Scotia because we can see the aftermath of some of these large hurricanes that hit the Caribbean, or states down south of us. They do make their way up here and everybody says with the warmer waters off the shores of our province, it's only going to get worse down the road. That really encourages these storms to continue on a path of destruction. We find ourselves seeing these storms moving more north than they ever did a few years ago.

We need to ensure that the organizations throughout the towns, villages and small cities in the province have the resources to ensure that they're ready for an emergency. It's those individuals, those volunteer firefighters, those small groups in our cities and towns, like search and rescue, that we're going to call upon to provide that service. The emergency management office, which if this bill passes, which I assume it will, is going to coordinate that but it's going to be those residents, those volunteers, those emergency personnel, in the small towns and cities across this province who are going to have to go out during those emergencies, during serious weather, a dangerous environment in which to work, and hopefully help the residents of their towns and cities, they need to have the resources to draw upon.

Many of these volunteer fire departments, for instance, Mr. Speaker, they're scattered throughout the province in all the small towns and villages across this province. These are volunteer individuals in the community that have taken it upon themselves to make sure that their town is protected, not only from fire, but many of them provide emergency services, you know, because maybe there's not an ambulance station in that small town. So many of these people are volunteers who have taken it upon themselves to stand up in their community and say I will be willing to be trained and learn as much as I can in hope to support my community, my fellow neighbours, my family, in times of emergencies.

Mr. Speaker, they need that help and that commitment from this government to be there when catastrophes happen in their communities because they don't have the resources. They don't have large sums of money in their accounts. Many of these volunteer organizations fundraise throughout the year just to maintain the equipment that they have, maintain the apparatus that they drive to emergency calls, the equipment they put on the trucks. They don't fundraise to place money in their own pockets, to pay them wages.

Some of the municipalities do give an honorarium to many of the volunteers in this province and it's diverse throughout the province, Mr. Speaker. You can come into Halifax and, you know, there's an honorarium that is put in place that compensates the volunteers in HRM. I believe that it's probably one of the areas in the province that has the highest honorarium when it comes to how much money volunteers get. They're much busier. We've

[Page 8728]

seen definitely a change in HRM with the workload of volunteers, especially in the volunteer fire departments.

These smaller communities that aren't fortunate enough to have a paid fire service in their community, like we are in Halifax, depend on these volunteers and they don't have the money that will really, the cost of an emergency will go up in their community because of the services and the equipment they need to respond to emergencies, but they need the commitment from this government that they'll be there and that they'll help support and actually fund these small volunteer organizations that provide their services to Nova Scotians.

We need that and I believe that we need to be prepared in this province. Just think about the evacuation we saw in New Orleans, Mr. Speaker, and to be quite honest, the lack of evacuation. It was devastating to people in New Orleans - to the residents who were unable to get out of there. There were thousands and thousands of people who lost their lives in that disaster. Then we had the following hurricane in Texas and how they learned from the first hurricane which wasn't that far ahead of the one they were dealing with. They did manage to evacuate millions of people in a short period of time, but there were problems with that.

So we have to look at those examples and prepare now. If something like that happened here, say in Halifax, Mr. Speaker, I bet if we went out and asked residents, you know, where the evacuation routes are, or where would I go, most people really don't even consider that an issue. It's not on the radar and that's the job I hope that Emergency Measures Organization can get out and work on, is getting the message out that we have to be prepared. I know that since Hurricane Juan and the severe Winter storm that we saw, White Juan, there has been more of an effort put into advising people to be ready, to have supplies ready in their homes and drinking water and stuff like that, Mr. Speaker, it's important for that. We need to encourage that and ensure that that continues on to a greater level.

[10:30 a.m.]

We need to get the message out that there is a plan put in place that if there's an emergency in this province, that this is what you do, and I know that many people take it for granted. But I know that many people have learned a lesson from the last several disasters we've seen in this province. It only takes a trip to Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart or Zellers, or the grocery store, Sobeys or Superstore, right before severe weather is going to hit us. It's amazing to see. It's good, in my view, as emergency personnel who has worked in this province. It's good to see these people are starting to take this seriously and be prepared and get the supplies they need, but we also need the government to take this seriously too. This is a good step to get the housekeeping out of the way now. As the member for Halifax Chebucto stated, it's good to be prepared and to start that ball rolling in the right direction but there's a lot more that this government needs to do. They need to promote more in this

[Page 8729]

province. They need to ensure that the Emergency Management Office, that will be the new name, have the resources and the funds. It's plain and simple too, the funds to ensure that their organization can do the best job they can.

It's good to see in this legislation that there are amendments to the Emergency Measures Act, dealing around language and the ability of the new office and what agreements they can enter into, Mr. Speaker. One of the lines I read, which I thought was a good thing, is to ensure that we have a line adding a State of the United States of America to the municipalities. What that pertains to is that we, as a province or the Emergency Measures Organization as an office, can enter into agreement with municipalities, with other provinces and with states.

Because we are closely related and attached and deal with the same problems as many of the Eastern States do, it's important that we can enter into those agreements with them to provide the services here in time of need. The same thing also that we need to ensure that we do, is be there for other provinces, other municipalities and other states. If we're going to be standing up one day and asking for the help and the assistance of other provinces, other States, then we need to ensure that we have the resources here in Nova Scotia that we can return the favour. We can't just ask for people to come to our aid and that's it. We have to ensure that we, as a province, can return that favour. Maybe we'll have to return that favour before we actually play that card and ask for the assistance. That's a potential, especially to our neighbours to the south, the U.S., because they have been dealing with many disasters over the last six months to a year.

So we, as a province, need to be prepared to go there and help them, and that really emphasizes the fact that we need to have a strong organization here in the province that have the resources and the funding from government, to ensure that we can do that. By us returning that favour, or actually going there before we ask, we can get better at preparing ourselves, our province, in a time of emergency, Mr. Speaker.

As a paramedic, the training we go through, we go over and over - there's no better training than actually doing the work. As they say during my course and the schooling I took to become a paramedic - I mean it's great that you can learn what's in the books and there's a strong emphasis on the grades you need to pass, but the real test is once you get your diploma, once you get your certificate, once you become a paramedic licenced in the province, it's when you get out into the streets and you start performing what you've learned in the class. That's the real test and that's what really builds on a good thing, builds on a good paramedic for one. That's what would build on our ability as a province and for the Emergency Measures Organization, for them to build and hopefully be trained and able to provide the services we need in emergencies. They need to get out and practice that, be prepared. You look at search and rescue here in the province. They meet on a regular basis, going out and honing in on the practices of finding people, of offering the services they're going to provide.

[Page 8730]

That's what we need to do in the province. I know it happens with EMSNS, with fire and with police - not as much as it should but they do practice together in the event of an emergency, such as plane crashes. We've had our share of those in our province and you need to be prepared for those things. You need to ensure that all the policies and procedures are in place so that in the event of an emergency people aren't starting to read through books saying okay, what's our first step, what's our second step? It needs to be second nature to the organizations out there and by the organizations having the funds and resources to do this training that's required then it will best serve our residents in the long run, in the future.

I know that our caucus supports this piece of legislation that has come before us. Really, it's a housekeeping type of legislation but we wanted to ensure that government recognizes that there's other things that we have to ensure that the Emergency Measures Organization needs to have that support, the resources and funding so that the next time there's an emergency in this province, no matter what it is, that the residents who are effected by that emergency can have those services there and have the ability to call upon the government to be there in a time of need.

With that I look forward to this passing through and going through the Legislature. I look forward to the new office name or the new terminology for Emergency Measures Organization and the work that they're going to do in the future. Thank you.

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

MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I'm really pleased to have an opportunity to speak to Bill No. 243 on second reading. It has a bit of an unwieldy title, an Act to Amend Chapter 8 of the Acts of 1990, the Emergency Measures Act and Chapter 376 of the Revised Statutes of 1989, the Public Service Act. I'm interested in EMO on a number of different levels. As many of you know, the joint operations centre is in my constituency, it's in the Eric Spicer Building in the Woodside Industrial Park. I, too, had an opportunity to tour this facility yesterday, and I was very impressed with the side-by-side operation rooms for all three levels of government. I understand in the very near future they hope to be in electronic contact with other municipalities within the province. This will really provide a more coordinated response to disasters and emergencies in this province.

My personal interest in EMO goes back many years to when I was a child, a very impressionable child. My father, who was an engineer with the City of Dartmouth, had added to his responsibilities the role of EMO Coordinator for the City of Dartmouth. The family accompanied him to Arnprior, Ontario, which is the centre of the Canadian Emergency Preparedness College for all of Canada. As my father was off taking these courses on EMO, I was sitting back in the motel room, in the dead cold of Winter reading some of his manuals. This really impressed upon me the need to be prepared, to help all levels of government to be prepared and also individuals and communities to be prepared.

[Page 8731]

There are a number of different facilities in my constituency that really bring home on a daily basis the necessity for being prepared for an emergency. In the very neighbourhood of the joint operation centre we have the only refinery for the Province of Nova Scotia. We have a propane transfer station, we have the railway track along the waterfront, we have a number of industrial parks, we have a number of seniors' homes - we have Alderney Manor, Nantucket, Edgemere and Eastwood - all of them have many floors and housing many, many seniors. There's also a nursing home in the area and a number of small options homes, boarding homes and residential facilities for people with disabilities, and people on low incomes.

I'm also interested in this bill and the future of EMO in terms of how it responds to vulnerable people. I think this is an area of concern raised by the number of emergencies we've had over the past few years and perhaps inadequate response to dealing with their needs.

The Standing Committee on Community Services, of which I am the chairman, has recently decided to bring officials from EMO before the committee, because we are concerned about the level of preparedness, especially as it relates to vulnerable citizens in Nova Scotia. We would like to be reassured that there's been an improvement in the response and the preparedness as it deals with communities and families and individuals who perhaps don't have the wherewithal in terms of resources and knowledge to adequately prepare themselves for these disasters.

The bill itself appears to have minor housekeeping changes, but I would like to suggest that the change from measures to management I think indicates a broadening of the mandate of EMO within this province, which is probably a very good thing. I would suggest that probably now their expanded mandate includes mitigation measures. This is to lessen the severity of impact of potential disasters.

I can give you a very practical experience. During the tour yesterday we found out that for the first time some communities in Nova Scotia now have sandbag filling machines. It's hard to believe that up until several months ago all sandbags in Nova Scotia had to be filled by hand. Now there are a number of portable machines available in Cape Breton, in the HRM and also on the South Shore, and more are going to be added over the coming years. I applaud this, because flooding is a serious problem in Nova Scotia. It's happening more frequently, and I think the first responders in communities and also individual families are better able to prevent severe flooding now that they will have access to these machines.

So I do applaud the increased focus on mitigation, not just waiting to see how severe damage is going to be and then dealing with it after the fact, but actually stepping in as an intervention and trying to prevent severe damage. I think this is a very progressive step and I do applaud EMO officials for getting more into the mitigation area. They've always been involved with preparedness, response and recovery but I would hope the lessons learned from

[Page 8732]

the last couple of years would increase the resources and their awareness of what needs to be done to protect all citizens.

I think as part of this, we as MLAs need to be better informed about our role after and before an emergency. I remember after Hurricane Juan, I'd just been elected several weeks, getting in the car with one of my sons and just driving through the constituency - where I could drive, weaving in and out of fallen trees - and whenever I saw a group of people standing around talking, I would stop and talk to them and try to reassure them that services were coming, trying to find out if there were any particular emergency needs and helping to report those, generally trying to reassure and encourage people that by working together and working with municipal and provincial services that we would be able to recover fairly quickly from this.

[10:45 a.m.]

I think our elected officials need to be brought more into the communication loop, so that we are more effective in our role as community leaders, in helping people deal with these emergencies. Certainly, having emergency numbers, knowing what's happening, where to refer people to match them up with services, I think, would be a much better response. So I'm hoping that that information is going to be more readily available to elected officials at all levels.

I just wanted to say, as well, that the joint emergency operation centre in Dartmouth is unique. My colleague, the member for Halifax Chebucto, mentioned this earlier. To have all three levels of government working side by side provides a degree of communication and coordination that is very unusual; in fact, it's the only centre of this kind in Canada, and I think it sets a model. I would encourage the minister in Cabinet to make sure that the model is as well resourced as possible, so that its potential for coordinating at all levels is actually borne out. It would be unfortunate if the facility were there and ready to operate, but all the equipment, the human resources and other funding that would be necessary to make it as effective as possible weren't in place.

I wanted to mention that during the tour yesterday, we had the opportunity to meet many of the staff at EMO. They all seemed very passionate about the work that they do. I certainly would like to congratulate them and the minister for that. I wanted to get back to the Standing Committee on Community Services. We are worried at the committee level that not everything that can be done is being done by government to provide the infrastructure and the support for our more vulnerable citizens of this province. We're hoping that those resources and that priority to focus more on vulnerable members of our society will be in place before another disaster happens.

[Page 8733]

I also wanted to mention that we recognize that EMO is not a first responder. They are, at the provincial level, meant to coordinate the provincial services. Certainly I think a lot more can be done. We've seen evidence in the past of departments sort of operating in silos, not collaborating and co-operating to the degree necessary to best serve the interests of citizens of Nova Scotia. I haven't recently seen the evaluations done on the preparedness standards on a municipal level, but I know that several years ago there were several municipalities that were very low on that evaluation, and in fact a couple that I think hadn't done any for various reasons.

I don't fault those municipalities. I know that different areas have different resources and abilities to get ready for a disaster. I think EMO and Cabinet have a responsibility to help motivate those municipalities and provide some funding opportunities for them to be able to bring their EMO standards up to a level that would benefit all Nova Scotians.

I just wanted to say that although these changes in Bill No. 243 appear to be minor, I think the one change in the name from measures to management does indicate a broader mandate and an understanding of the broader responsibilities that the provincial government has in this area of mitigating, preparing, responding and helping Nova Scotians recover from an emergency or a disaster. I, and my caucus, will certainly be supporting moving this bill forward to the Law Amendments Committee. Hopefully we'll have a chance there to discuss some of the omissions and other areas of focus that need to be considered for the best interests of all Nova Scotians, as well as EMO itself.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to make a few comments on Bill No. 243. The name change, as far as I can see, if that works for the government, fine. I don't really have a problem with that. I think they are probably going down a good road, in terms of trying to draw a road map - if that can be the term - for entering into agreements with states of the United States of America. With emergency management plans, I think we've always had fairly good relations with the Americans and this could be beneficial, I think, to them and to us.

I do have slight reservation only in the fact that I notice, it seems perhaps on the private side and the public side, to have the minimum amount of resources available at any one time and have the notion that when disaster hits we're going to really rely on somebody from some other jurisdiction to help us out. That tends to bother me and I see it, or at least my impression is I see this with Nova Scotia Power, with the snowstorm last November that seemed to have caught everybody, including the government, off its guard.

I'm concerned about the fact that when it comes to emergency measures, that the province actually makes no requirement of a major utility like the Nova Scotia Power to see that they have a certain level of service staff on hand at all times - we know that since that

[Page 8734]

corporation became a private corporation that the amount of linemen has been cut in about half over the years. They've made in the range of $100 million in profit and still keep cutting.

There are concerns, I know in my constituency, around the infrastructure and the fact that we seem to get power outages with more frequency than we used to and they last longer. If you lost your power for an hour you'd say gee, I wonder what happened, but now you lose it for half a day, two days, and that seems to be par for the course. I am concerned that the province doesn't look at electrical generation as a major component of its emergency measures strategy and set some limits or some standards for operation of that corporation, so that if we're struck with a much greater emergency they are able to come to the aid of the people of the province.

The reason I say this, we only need to look at the history this year of hurricanes in the South Atlantic, and I was watching the news last night and I didn't realize that hurricane season started in June. I only heard about it with Katrina - we were partway through the alphabet before I ever knew we were really into hurricane season. The season actually started in June and they showed a little bit about the history of the hurricanes that have hit the southern United States. I think the scientific community is really starting to say that there's nothing that's predictably predictable anymore and there are issues around global warming and the impacts on our weather systems.

If we think back to Hurricane Juan and the impact that it had - I mean there are people in this province who went without power for a significant period of time. I think I was a week at my place, but you know it was beautiful weather. It was September 28th, probably 15 degrees after that hurricane. The next morning the sun came out. It was a beautiful stretch of weather for two weeks after that hurricane and yet they were days and days and days still trying to get the power back to the people of this province. Mr. Speaker, what is going to happen if it's the middle of January and it's 20 degrees below for two weeks and then maybe a continuous blizzard or snowstorm as part of the same storm system that covers New Brunswick, P.E.I., Maine and Quebec? Well, where are we going to get all the help that we need to come to this jurisdiction when they're tied up trying to get the power on in another jurisdiction?

I have five seniors' homes in my constituency. One of them has an elevator and one of them is only the ground floor. It has no second storey, so an elevator is not necessary, but the other three don't have elevators. Actually I think the Department of Community Services had initiated a program of putting a generator in those. I think two of them have them, I don't think all of them have them. Those generators really light the hallways, so you get the exit doors and whatever, but you can't use your kitchen in your apartment.

[Page 8735]

In one case, in Shubenacadie, at Sunnybrook Manor, there was a lady there, I was there last Spring and we celebrated her 100th birthday. She had quite good health, she was mobile, she can get around, she can take care of herself. I'm going to tell you, Mr. Speaker, if we had a disaster in the middle of the Winter with two weeks or three weeks of 25 degrees below or colder weather, we would have a real problem taking care of those people, and those should be individual, self-contained units. In other words, there should be generators at those seniors' homes that would operate those fully, that those people could run their apartments without worrying about ever having to leave, and then you wouldn't be trying to haul 90-year-old and 100-year-old people to a local fire department or some other such place to see that they get service.

Mr. Speaker, I have to say that the changes here, the two major changes I see in this bill, there may be some positive benefit, and I think trying to open the road to an easier plan, or a plan that would help get help from the American states, as well as us helping them, I see that as a positive thing. My worry is that whatever disaster hits us, it's going to hit those states that we might be thinking are going to come and help. I don't see anything by way of this government that's looking ahead, that makes a requirement that, you know, so many kilometres a year in certain areas of the province that power lines are buried, that we actually start to get power lines underground so that you don't have as many lines toppled. There should be strategic points where we have self-contained areas within communities that we can get people to.

I know the Enfield Legion, presently, has applied for funding for a generator. They're trying to have that as an emergency unit so that they can get people in there if there's an emergency, and usually weather-wise, that would require them having to leave their homes and go to a place that's heated and where they can get meals and so on. I have to applaud them. I think the province is helping them with some of the funding on that. I'm very pleased that they're willing to do that. This has been an initiative by the Legion themselves to do this. There are lots of other Legions that are not doing this, there are other communities that are not doing this and probably don't have the wherewithal, resources to try to complete the other part that the province is not helping them with, and this is still a challenge for the Enfield Legion.

I want to say that I would really like to see the province take the lead to ensure that these facilities are made available and are furbished to a point where we know that if anything happens, here is where we can put 200, 300, 400, 500 people for a certain period. I'm not sure why, when the weather's nice, we don't look to having those things prepared for impending disaster. I think that if anybody had thought they were going to predict the ice storm in Quebec where people were actually without power for months there, this is something that we should be thinking about because weather patterns are not all that predictable and actually the weather service now is saying that this may be a milder Winter. Well, a milder Winter is probably one where you're going to get rain and freezing rain and

[Page 8736]

more potential for ice and more potential for power outages if that was to actually be a repeat of the Quebec ice storm.

[11:00 a.m.]

So with those comments, Mr. Speaker, I have no problem with the present bill but I do have a problem with what I see as our lack of preparedness for what's at some point going to be a fairly great disaster heading our way, so with those comments, I'll take my seat. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act.

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to rise in the House this morning and make some concluding comments and remarks on Bill No. 243. This legislation is put forward to enhance existing legislation and to make it even more effective and to provide that assuredness to Nova Scotians, that we are prepared as a province and coordinating with federal and municipal authorities as best that can possibly be achieved to protect our citizens in time of emergency or disaster, as well as to be prepared as much as is humanly possible and to warn our citizens when a disaster and emergency may be pending.

The legislation does two major things, Mr. Speaker. It changes the name to Emergency Management Office, which more actively reflects the role of EMO in coordinating provincial agencies and co-operating and coordinating with municipal agencies as well as federal agencies and all the different volunteer organizations like the Red Cross, that are involved in emergency preparedness and relief efforts. I would be remiss if I did not point out that we now have an emergency plan with each of the 55 municipalities in Nova Scotia. Again it comes back to that management role for EMO, as well, and I think it's important to recognize the people and staff involved with EMO and the volunteers that the Senate Committee in Canada recognized this is the model for the country and certainly as the federal government works at getting their House in order, we volunteer our model and of course our comments and services in helping them get their house in order and their emergency plans.

The second thing this bill achieves, Mr. Speaker, is greater coordination on identification and documentation and certification for trained people of all trades responding in times of emergency crossing the U.S. border and we're specifically referring to reciprocal agreements and aid that would come across from the Atlantic Coast, northeastern United States. Currently, there are problems with documentation and this legislation is an attempt to ensure that there will be swift and easy passage of emergency vehicles. I might add, the best example to exemplify this that I've heard was from our CEO at EMO, Craig MacLaughlan, who used the example that if the Halifax Explosion had occurred in this time

[Page 8737]

frame, the doctors, nurses and professionals, who rushed to our aid from Boston by train would be held up at the border. That shows why this is important and it's critical.

Other measures are majorly housekeeping to improve efficiency and modern definition for the bill. I want to thank before I conclude the members opposite for their support of EMO and their insights. The one thing that I would certainly offer to the member of Hants East is that he has an opportunity to become more informed. I certainly would endeavour to supply him with a portable radio and hopefully we can supply him with one that has the hand crank in case the power does go off because obviously he's missing a number of the communications that occur with all forms of media on a regular basis so we'll supply that as well to the member. With those remarks it's my pleasure to move Bill No. 243 for second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 243. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, with the concurrence of the House I would ask that we revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments I'm directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 222 - Tobacco Damages and Health-care Costs Recovery Act.

Bill No. 228 - Social Workers Act.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

[Page 8738]

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that these bills be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 244.

Bill No. 244 - Enforcement of Canadian Judgments and Decrees Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Justice, I move second reading of Bill No. 244.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: I'm going to speak very briefly on this piece of legislation. This is what is also known in some circumstances as Reciprocity Act. It ensures that judgments made in other parts of Canada against individuals that want to be enforced in Nova Scotia can be done with a fair bit of ease, mainly if the judgment is done out of the province, has to be brought here in a pro forma manner and is dealt with in our courts and becomes an order of our court.

There are some changes I understand to this piece of legislation around, specifically, consumer goods, if there's a contract for purchase of consumer goods that there's an opportunity, if someone feels there has been a problem, that they actually have to sue in Nova Scotia if the consumer is here in Nova Scotia. I think it's good, it doesn't rely on them having to travel or mount a defence in another province before it can be brought back here in a pro forma manner. Which means they have to come to Nova Scotia, do the lawsuit here and I think that's good for Nova Scotian consumers.

Having said that, I am looking forward to seeing at the Law Amendments Committee what other concerns or comments there may be before it comes back to this House. At this stage we're prepared to vote on the principle of the bill and move it forward to the Law Amendments Committee.

[Page 8739]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis.

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Just to add a few comments on behalf of our Justice Critic, we too are looking forward to seeing this go to the Law Amendments Committee to have the public make submissions around the law. To add to the comments made by the honourable member just earlier, we also believe it's a good idea that judgments will take place in Nova Scotia and some of the other amendments that have taken place. We do look forward to seeing this in the Law Amendments Committee and I look forward to having submissions.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the Minister of Justice it will be to close the debate.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise to close debate. I appreciate the support of both members who spoke on the bill and we believe these are valuable improvements to the bill and in particular, the provision that will protect Nova Scotia consumers. We believe it will provide a level of flexibility that will not only allow commercial transactions to be enforced in Nova Scotia but will also provide the appropriate level of protection to the public.

With that, I move second reading of the bill.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 244. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 246.

Bill No. 246 - International Trusts Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, this is a bill that would implement The Hague Convention signed by the Government of Canada relative to this matter. I think we would be the eighth Canadian province to pass such legislation. It is one of these bills that is really designed to harmonize the law between countries and also, obviously, within Canada. With that, I move second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

[Page 8740]

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Indeed, as the honourable minister says, there is a virtue in having uniformity on certain commercial matters insofar as the arrangements exist among states and parties that would be looked to to enforce certain kinds of contractual or semi-contractual arrangements, in this case, trusts.

I don't think anyone has any objection to this. I only want to say that I never understood there was a problem here. It was a bit of a surprise to me to see that this legislation had to come forward especially to deal with trusts. I hadn't understood that there was any particular difficulty in coming forward. I've looked at The Hague Convention, which is appended to the bill and which is, in effect, made applicable in the province, to use the language of the bill. It's not clear to me that it changes something that wasn't the case before, but I'm certainly not objecting to the legislation. I want it clearly understood that we're supporting it. I think if there is some call for it, if there has been some difficulty, then it's appropriate to tidy it up.

If it's a question of anticipating and avoiding any problems, then this is also a virtuous step. Anyway, the bill is fairly straightforward - at least we hope - in its application. I suppose in the fullness of time, we'll find out from the learned justices of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and perhaps at higher levels whether there are any difficulties in it. I commend the minister for having paid close attention to the proceedings of the negotiators of The Hague Convention and coming so promptly to us with this bill and we will certainly support it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis.

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: On behalf of our Justice Critic, I also want to add our support of moving this forward to Law Amendments. As said by the minister, we are the eighth province to join on and it is good to see uniformity across the country. With those few remarks, I move second reading.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments of the honourable members opposite and like them, I look forward to the bill going to the Law Amendments Committee. With that I move second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 246. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 8741]

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I'm not too sure - I have a mark on Bill No. 250, and I'm not too sure if there was some member who asked that we not proceed with Bill No. 250, today? (Interruptions) Monday, okay.

[11:15 a.m.]

Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 249.

Bill No. 249 - Enforcement of Court Orders Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I'll rise briefly to speak to this bill. (Interruptions) That's right, make sure that the Opposition is satisfied that we are proceeding with this bill today.

This bill does fundamentally two things, Mr. Speaker. The first thing that is done by this bill is to create an enforcement mechanism to encourage people who are in default of fines and other penalties, the costs and alike that are owing to the Province of Nova Scotia under federal legislation. There is a difficulty that is developing in the criminal law in this country and that is around the difficulty of enforcing those kinds of court orders, because they are a court order to pay money, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so, and what this bill does is fundamentally ensures that people respect those orders and that they pay the money that is required to be paid.

Mr. Speaker, we have heard from a lot of law enforcement officers, that it's becoming an increasing problem that certain offenders seem to not respect court orders as a general type of instrument, and this is designed to, frankly, encourage the respect for those court orders and to ensure that people take the appropriate action. I should also add that this is clearly not an attempt to put those people who are less fortunate in our society in a worse situation. Clearly, the Fine Option Program, which is the program which allows a person who has received a fine, but feels that they cannot afford to pay that fine, to elect into the Fine Option Program, which allows them to do community service, in effect, working off their fine as a debt owing to society by doing work beneficial to society in another way; therefore, whether or not people have the amount of ready cash or not, there is an option available.

[Page 8742]

What we are talking about is that group of people who choose to flout the law altogether, and that is what this bill is designed to address. Not those people who cannot afford to pay. Not those groups of people who simply sometimes need more time. Mr. Speaker, my experience as a lawyer always taught me that many times people go into court and they have come upon hard times, they need a little more time to pay the fine, and the courts are very willing to give people extensions on the time to pay their fines to enable them to take care of those fines.

There is, however, a small minority of people who fall into the category of the people who intentionally choose not do that. Criminal Code offences are the more serious offences and frankly are the ones primarily covered by this. To date, the issue of, for example, taking someone's drivers licence or refusing to do business with them is available to people today, the government does it with respect to motor vehicle offences and those similar kinds of offences, and so it seems appropriate that people who are in more serious conflict with the law should respect the law as well.

I think, however, Mr. Speaker, another element of this bill which is perhaps more important to innocent members of our society is the provisions that allow for the creation of a scheme whereby, like maintenance enforcement, restitution orders can be enhanced through the courts.

Courts in this province, Mr. Speaker, often make restitution orders. That is an order where the perpetrator of crime is ordered to pay a sum of money to the victim of a crime, and all too often the victims of that crime fail to receive any money from the perpetrator and, quite frankly, because of the civil enforcement methods that are available, there is no penalty whatsoever to someone who simply chooses not to pay the victim of the crime. We believe that it is important that the state does what it can to assist the victims of a crime in receiving the money that they are lawfully owed by the perpetrators.

Mr. Speaker, this bill will also provide for such assistance to those victims of crime - and that is the second provision in this package. We would encourage all members on all sides of the House to support this bill going forward to the Law Amendments Committee because we believe, while it is not the complete answer to the problem, it is a step in the right direction, and with that I would move second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Last weekend, Mr. Speaker, I saw a wonderful film. This film is called Cool Hand Luke. (Interruptions) Friends of mine have recommended this film to me for years and for some reason I just never got the chance to see it before - I understand, from some of the cross-chat here, that some other members have seen this film and perhaps have enjoyed it. It's a Paul Newman film. Paul Newman does a wonderful job as the chief character, the fellow who is having trouble adjusting after World War II to his civilian life.

[Page 8743]

Here's what happens in this film. In the opening scene we see Paul Newman as the Cool Hand Luke character, very drunk. He's out in the nighttime, on the street in some small town - this would be 1946-1947, somewhere in the southern United States - and he's very drunk. He has in his hands a big pipe wrench and what he's doing is he's taking the heads off various parking metres up and down the streets in this town - he's got no reason for doing it, he's not stealing the money from the parking metres; he's just lost. He doesn't know what to do with his life and is very drunk, and he's got the pipe wrench, there are the parking metres. He takes the heads off the parking metres and he ends up in jail. The rest of the film follows him through his time for the next two years. He's given a two-year sentence in this jail somewhere in the southern United States where they all work on a road crew.

Well, I want the honourable Minister of Justice and members of this House to think about what would happen in contemporary Canada if some Cool Hand Luke character committed some act of public mischief that involved destruction of public property today because the thing about Bill No. 249 is that it invites us to focus on enhancing the kinds of penalties that are going to be incurred by people. Now, I know the minister put it in terms of collection of the penalties - but do you know what? - we have to turn our minds to the particular choice that's being made in this bill and we also have to understand it in a context. We have to understand it in the context of what other remedies are already available to the government under the Criminal Code, or civilly.

I mention the Criminal Code because of course this bill flows from the Criminal Code. There is a section in the Criminal Code right now, Section 734.5, that essentially sets the framework for the legislation that we have. What Section 734.5 says is that when there is a conviction and a fine, the province, if they're to be the payee of the fine, can in fact set up an additional step that would flow from this, if they wish to. So that's what this bill is all about. This bill says, let's take this power, the sentencing power or this enforcement of sentencing power that's in the code and now adopt it in our province. But what Section 734.5 says is that the province can attempt to enforce this penalty through any licence that the province has control over. Yet the focus here is just on one particular kind of licence. We know that the province licences people who go in for sport fishery, more seriously, they licence people to teach, to practice medicine, they licence surveyors, they licence optometrists as we just saw in some of the bills that went through this House yesterday, and the list goes on.

There are a huge number of licences that are within the control of the province. A driver's licence is not the only licence that is in the control of the province. Before I look at why it is that perhaps this particular licensing scheme has been focussed on by the minister, lets go back and think about what it is that's available to the Crown if it turns out that some kind of fine is determined to be appropriate for a violation of a Criminal Code offence. Of course there are lots of circumstances in which this one arises - if someone is sentenced to jail we're not talking about this kind of offence or this kind of administrative step. We're

[Page 8744]

only talking about instances where fines are imposed and indeed there are going to be lots of cases where that's the appropriate sentence and the judge will deal with that.

The first, of course, is that the Criminal Code itself already provides for civil enforcement. It is already a provision in Section 734.6 of the Criminal Code of Canada that if a fine is imposed by the court for a criminal offence, they can treat that as a matter of a civil judgment and can move the same way as if there were a civil judgment against someone. In other words, there is that option, that option to move as if it were a civil penalty already exists. The option exists there to sue somebody and to move in that way. It's not as if the Crown has to sit around waiting upon the good graces of someone who has been convicted of a crime and fined to decide, in their own good time and in their option, whether they're going to pay or not. The Crown can sue and take that judgment and enforce that judgment. That's only the start of it.

Under the next section, Section 734.7, it's possible if someone is not paying their fine to go for a warrant of committal and indeed this is a standard provision in the kinds of sentences that are imposed upon people if they are fined. In other words, it's an in default of payment clause. What happens is that if a person doesn't pay their fine, the judge tells them at the time what will happen. In other words, you'll do jail time if you don't pay your fine. It's right there, it's already in the Code and it's a standard step taken by judges in our criminal courts every day when they fine people, to say if you don't pay your fine, you're going to go to jail for this amount of time in default of payment. It's right there in the Criminal Code and it's used daily, all the time.

Furthermore - and I get back to my Cool Hand Luke example from before - suppose there's been destruction of public property and that's the essence of the crime. You know what, at the time of sentencing, including the fine, the judge has the power under the Criminal Code to order restitution. That can be part of the sentence on top of the fine. In other words, you pay a fine for what you did because it breached the law and furthermore you've got to pay back, in the Cool Hand Luke example, the municipality for the damage done to the property or perhaps a private person if there was damage done to them. That can be part of sentencing and that is also subject to civil enforcement - it sort of bypasses the whole necessity of going to court for civil action if there's been a criminal case in which the judge is prepared to do that.

These are examples, furthermore, it gets tougher. The Criminal Code has sections that allow application to be made for forfeiture of property that's used in the commission of crime or property that is in fact gained through criminal activity. So think about Cool Hand Luke again, he's sitting there with his pipe wrench - that pipe wrench can be forfeit to the Crown. That's possible under our Criminal Code right now.

[Page 8745]

[11:30 a.m.]

Furthermore, if someone makes a lot of money doing certain kinds of criminal offences, particularly the serious ones, and they buy real estate, that real estate can be forfeit to the Crown, if the Crown can show they have used the proceeds of crime in order to buy that real estate. It doesn't matter if the criminal puts it in their spouse's name. Part 12.2 of the Criminal Code lays out a whole array of steps that can be followed in order to take property that's the proceeds of crime. There have been cases in Canada in which a criminal bought a condominium and put in the name of their spouse and that property was taken. It was forfeit to the Crown.

What I'm saying here is that there is already a wide array of appropriate measures available under the Criminal Code to enforce fines and to impose penalties upon people. So why is it that we feel we have to take this extra step and if we are going to take this extra step, why do we focus on driver's licences?

It's handy, but it doesn't focus on the examples I gave before of sports fishery - that's a licence - a teaching licence, medical licence, surveyor's licence, optometrist's licence. The reason I mention these is because driving is more than just a convenience in our society. Let's be clear that we're not talking here just about crimes that are somehow involving a motor vehicle - these are any crimes. These are any crimes under the Criminal Code that could have nothing to do with a motor vehicle. They could be just like my Cool Hand Luke example from before from the film, malicious destruction of public property, public mischief.

Think about a taxi driver. At that point, we're going to be saying to the taxi driver, under this bill, you're fined, you'll go to jail if you don't pay your fine. We might confiscate your pipe wrench if you're taking the heads off of parking metres, we might confiscate other property. There will be a judgment against you and now there's the extra step that you will lose your livelihood until you pay it.

I want people to be encouraged to pay their fines. I think this is right, but we're not taking away the livelihood of other people if they don't pay their fines. We're taking people - truck drivers, taxi drivers, perhaps people who have to drive in order to get to their work. Perhaps they don't have a convenient way of going with other people to get there - we're really striking at the heart of what it is that they do to make a living in a way that we're not, under this proposal, for other people, for other forms of employment.

It's handy and it will probably be very efficacious in some ways, but you have to wonder why it is that the honourable Minister of Justice has chosen to focus on this. I think this has come up entirely too often. I wonder if there's been a blurring of the understanding. Whether instead of just focussing on crimes that are somehow linked to the use of a motor vehicle, or perhaps it might be appropriate. In expanding it to all the other crimes out there, I'm wondering whether we're taking what is not too broad a step.

[Page 8746]

I listened carefully to what the minister said. It seemed to me he spoke in general terms, it seemed to me he didn't really focus on exactly why it is he thinks this particular measure is one that is more appropriate than any other. I didn't hear him say that somehow the range of options for collecting fines under the Criminal Code was inadequate, that it wasn't working, that there were scofflaws who were failing to do this. If that's the case, then I'd like to hear it. I'd like to hear some details about this.

We do know that some people don't pay their parking tickets. We do know that we have a mechanism in place that directly deals with licensing and registration of their vehicles that doesn't allow them to continue to drive if they're not paying their parking fines, but we can understand that. That's purely under provincial laws. It's purely related to how they treat their motor vehicles, and it's clear that there's a one-on-one link. It doesn't have a link between driving and other kinds of Criminal Code offences - and we haven't heard the minister make that linkage for us.

So I'm happy to see this bill to go on to the Committee on Law Amendments for further scrutiny, but I have say I think it's important that the honourable minister give us a little bit more of context and explanation, either here or at committee, before we finally move ahead with this bill. I know the minister is familiar with sections of the Criminal Code that I outlined - I saw him nodding earlier when I referred to them - and I know he understands the context within which this bill has arisen, but if he wants to justify it, he should justify it and not simply wave his arms around and say here's a way to get tough on criminals. I know this is how he wants to brand himself and present himself, but we have to do something sensible, we have to think carefully about whether we're doing exactly the right thing.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to seeing this bill proceed through the detailed scrutiny of the House that I know we'll all give it, but in this case in particular, I think that there's a real obligation on the minister to come forward and tell us why he's chosen this particular mechanism for that particular end. Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak to this bill. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis.

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I'll just say a few words. When you think you understand something and then you listen to lawyers talking, then you're completely confused about everything. I think there should be a law against that - having two speak in a row. (Laughter)

Anyway, just to speak on this bill for a few moments around the fine options, I don't think anyone would argue the fact that when the courts impose fines that there needs to be the proper mechanisms in place so we ensure that those who have been levied those fines have to pay them. The concerns, and one of the concerns that I have around this is the fact that we're not creating a two-tiered system. Not everybody is not paying those fines because

[Page 8747]

they are just opposed to what the courts have said, they're not paying those fines for obvious reasons of not having the money, and to suggest that there's another way, to put a heavier hammer on them by taking their licence, that all of a sudden that money will come forward.

I listened to the Minister of Justice who said that there was the Fine Option Program in place, and I look forward to exploring that on my own to see what that is like, and when we get an opportunity to see community members come forward at the Committee on Law Amendments to speak on this bill, it will be interesting.

The other concern that I have - and I share that with the member who spoke previously - is around the driver's licence. I would argue and I would submit - I sound like a lawyer - I would submit that people who do not pay their fines, that is based on the fact that they just do not have the money, and the fact that we are going to become heavy-handed and remove their driver's licence, is to run the risk of their employment which, in turn, would impede their ability to pay that fine.

So, Mr. Speaker, we as a caucus do support moving this to the Committee on Law Amendments. We look forward to the general public coming in and making some submissions on this.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Justice, I move second reading of Bill No. 249.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 249. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 254.

Bill No. 254 - Motor Vehicle Act.

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

[Page 8748]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of Bill No. 254. Bill No. 254 consists of two major amendments to the Act. The first change deals with the interlock system. A system which has been adopted by eight provinces now that we are in the process of adopting, we'll be the eighth province. Prince Edward Island is following as well later on in the year.

Mr. Speaker, this has been an item that has been before the province for quite some time, about two years actually we've been considering the interlock program. We delayed bringing in a bill last year and earlier this year simply because we hadn't received all the answers to the questions that we had with regard to the program. For instance, in some jurisdictions it's compulsory and in other jurisdictions it's not compulsory, it's by choice.

Mr. Speaker, we are going into the by choice regime simply because of the fact that at the present time driving while impaired is a criminal offence and automatically carries a one-year suspension of your driver's privilege. However, the law itself allows that after a period of three months, a person may reinstate their licence by applying for an interlock system. If they apply to the courts to utilize the interlock provision, they can then proceed to have that device installed in their vehicle, which will permit them to drive the vehicle providing that they do not have any alcohol. It has zero tolerance - the actual equipment itself. The equipment costs approximately $1,200 to $1,500 - somewhere in that range - to have it installed in the vehicle, to have the readings taken on the device at periodic intervals, and then to have it removed from the vehicle.

The second part of this, Mr. Speaker, deals with a matter of speeding and it deals with speeding in spaces that are restricted at the present time. This further increases the restriction by doubling the fines for speeding in those particular locations. Those two locations are school zones and areas where there is a temporary workplace on the highway. I'm sure most members are familiar, if they drive at any time in the U.S., or in the Province of Quebec, with these large signs that advise motorists that if they exceed the speed limit in a workplace, double fines exist. That will be the same as the type of signage which we will employ in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, with those few words and also adding that this program is endorsed by MADD, I would move second reading.

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I look forward to making a few comments on this particular piece of legislation. The part of the legislation, of course, which is of particular interest, and I would say some expertise of course, is the speeding in school zones. Before I turn to that topic, I want to clarify and maybe sometime during the process if we're clarifying this ignition interlock and monitoring program, I have some questions. I know we'll get through this as we go into the Committee on Law Amendments. It's

[Page 8749]

something, of course, that works, but there are always ways around it and the question that comes to my mind, when we first discussed this at our caucus, was of course that if the person who is in this particular situation and has been charged and found guilty of drinking and driving and on the vehicles that are under their possession in their home, in their driveway and their garage if this particular monitoring program is put in place. What kind of provision is there if for some reason this person - and I use the word with some reserve - stupid enough to borrow his buddy's vehicle, or a neighbour's vehicle, and then he proceeds to drive although he is in this monitoring program?

I would be interested in other jurisdictions at how they handle that because that's after all a problem we know. I have heard of cases in certain parts of our province where we deal with people who have been caught numerous times, six and seven times, because of driving under the influence and charged and for one reason or another are still - and I use the word again with reserve - stupid enough to get behind the wheel of a vehicle again when they were in such a state.

I would like to draw the attention of the House to the speeding instructions in this revision to the Motor Vehicle Act. I want to compliment the ministers involved because the Leader of the Official Opposition, in a Private Member's Bill a number of years ago. introduced a Private Member's Bill dealing with the fact of speeding in temporary work areas. Private Members' Bills, as members of the Opposition will note, generally go nowhere but here we are with this particular piece of legislation, it has been followed up on and is one of the most efficient and, I think, effective advertisements I've seen when it comes to the Department of Transportation and Public Works.

[11:45 a.m.]

I see the minister opposite and I want to compliment him on that very progressive way of advertising dangers in temporary work areas, that this is my workplace. Sometimes one of the workers interviewed says sometimes they're going so fast through a work area they take the hats right off our head. That after all, along with that great featherduster ad when that weather comes, is very effective advertising and highlights the fact that this is their workplace and because of what is happening it's important to instruct Nova Scotians that they should be slowing down, if they don't they will face the consequences which will mean double fines. I compliment the minister on responding to that piece of suggestion, which was of course brought forth earlier by the honourable member for Cole Harbour.

I want to turn to the issue of speeding in school zones. I think it's appropriate that we recognize the member of the Third Party who has been very outspoken on this particular piece of legislation, on her own piece of legislation, the member for Halifax Clayton Park. She's going to have the opportunity, I would imagine, to make a few comments on this piece of legislation. Of course, the key thing is to educate and identify on those school signs - they're very good signs, those fluorescent signs, and they stick out. Now we have to have an

[Page 8750]

addendum on those signs appropriately placed that if you're caught speeding in a school zone, you're going to pay double the fine. I ask the minister and his staff to look very carefully at some kind of suggestion when it comes to that particular way of dealing with informing the public.

I want to point out a very good idea in another province. Manitoba school boards, I point out to the minister - I know I'm talking the principle of the bill and not specifically - make available to individual school principals those signs that you can put up beside the road. I see the Minister of Education looking at me saying, let's do this. There are principals who will contact an appropriate school board in Manitoba and they'll say, I am having a problem with speeding going by my school. I want one of those notified signs that blinks at you as you're going by, you're going 60 in a school zone. Some school principals very proudly stand out there, they have it for a period of a week, for Monday to Friday, and they stand out there with the gun - if that's the appropriate term after all it would be a very public position to have a school principal in. They point that gun, the speed gun, at people who are rushing by on their way to work, or if they're rushing home, that radar gun will then come up with the fact that this person is speeding. You can reserve those signs, they're moved around through various schools by boards in the province, it's very well received.

I think it's an idea that perhaps we should be looking at. You could reserve it for certain peak times. I know when school first starts, in particular, it's a crucial time when people are involved in going to and from their place of work in a regular habit. It's the Summertime of course and we don't have to obey the school signs because the kids are not there. It's one of those things that would be really useful in enforcing the fact that you're in a school zone and you should be slowing down. In fact, that habit comes to me so often that for example, if you notice schools that are used on Saturday, schools that are used on Sunday in certain situations by community groups, the first reaction when you're coming near that school zone, just slow down no matter what day of the week it is, no matter what time of the day it is. This suggestion that the fines are going to be doubled will hopefully be an incentive for drivers in Nova Scotia to make very sure that they are going to pay attention to these signs or they are going to suffer the consequences.

With those comments, I plan to share my time as we come towards what I understand is the hour of adjournment today. Those are my comments and I know the member for Halifax Clayton Park has some comments also.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, it gives me a lot of pleasure to rise today and say a few words on Bill No. 254, which was introduced this week by the Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

[Page 8751]

There are two key clauses as has been noted. The first one relates to the interlock device, which would prevent a person who is convicted of alcohol-related driving offences from starting their car without first making sure they haven't had any alcohol. It's a device that would not allow the car to start unless the person is alcohol-free. I think that's a very good thing. I believe all caucuses have had meetings with MADD Canada's representatives here in Nova Scotia. I certainly did in my first year in office and was aware of this as one of their key concerns - that we have some further measures, that we make use of some technology and further measures to make driving safer for people on Nova Scotia roads.

As we know the alcohol-related accidents and injuries are very significant in our province, as they are in other jurisdictions. Anything we can do to decrease that is very important and to also look at the reoffending of people who have been charged more than once with alcohol-related driving offences. Driving under the influence of alcohol is very unsafe and this is one way to prevent that recurrence. I think it's going to be a good measure.

My one major concern, which the minister touched on, was the idea that this - I guess the way the government has chosen to go - is to make it something a person could do by choice. They could decide to sign on for this program, pay the costs themselves and have the device installed. I believe that we would have a more effective system if we go with a mandatory system. We simply say, for people who have been convicted, that this is now part of your penalty. This is a price you pay for having broken that particular law.

Really, when you say breaking those laws, we're saying taking excessive risks and putting other people at risk on our roads. I would like to see the government look at mandatory rules for the interlock system and I hope that may be raised at the Law Amendments Committees as well.

I'm going to move to the second major clause in the changes to this bill that is before us. That is calling for a doubling of fines in school zones and in temporary work areas on highways for speeding infractions. I was very pleased to see this come forward today. There are other jurisdictions that have this in place already.

It had come to my attention - I guess I should refer to Monday when I introduced a Private Member's Bill, Bill No. 234, which called for a portion of this. It called for a doubling of fines not only for speeding but also for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk if those offences take place in a school zone or a playground zone.

One of my concerns is we still haven't covered playground zones in this. I think the intent of my bill, Bill No. 234, was to raise the awareness of drivers in areas where there are children present. I think it's really important that be emphasized. In fact, the street I had in mind that is in the heart of my constituency is Parkland Drive, which is an oversized street - I guess it's called a collector road - and it has fast moving traffic. The speed limit is 50, but the traffic is going 70, racing between Lacewood and Kearney Lake Road. There are no

[Page 8752]

traffic lights along that entire length, no stop signs, nothing to slow traffic down and there is a playground zone in the Glenbourne Subdivision that is along that street.

That is how I became aware of the idea of doubling fines from talking to parents who live along Parkland Drive who were complaining about the safety of their children on their way to school because they have to walk along Parkland Drive and cross there. One resident who spoke to me is in the military and from Ontario and he told me that in Ontario where he was from, the signs actually say, fines doubled. He said that sign is attached to the playground or the school zone sign to say this is an important area and to really make drivers pay attention.

I think there's a lot of merit in looking at that at playground zones as well. This is an area where children are at risk. If I go to the bill itself, we're talking about school zones, and I think that this is, again, a very good forward move for the government to look at doing something to increase safety in the school zones. In Nova Scotia, our school zones have a minimum speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour. If you're on a busier street that means the traffic must slow to 50, but that's really not, I think, enough attention to the importance of a school zone. I think that what we want to do in those areas is, again, make sure that the signage on the school zones will actually say fines doubled.

Now I looked into the Ontario situation, because it had been raised by a resident in my area, and found that in Ontario the municipalities have the right to designate community zones. Any community centre, any school zone or playground zone, they can determine themselves which ones will have that special status and they can add those "fines doubled" signs at their discretion, but I would certainly like to see it on the school areas.

Again, this bill has included the temporary work areas or highway construction areas where our workers are at risk, and I think that's another positive step. I had originally put out a press release on just that at the beginning of the school year which included both of those, where in fact my bill talks only about playground and school zones. I think it's really important that the temporary work on a highway also be covered. This Summer I had the occasion to go to Connecticut for a conference with the Council of State Governments and noticed all the way through on my drive down through the work zones along the highways and freeways in the U.S., in the States of Maine and Massachusetts as well, there were quite a few of these signs visible and they really make a difference.

I think that will go, as well, a long way towards ensuring the safety of the men and women who work on our highways because, as it was said earlier, this is their workplace and they need to be safe. I believe there was a fatality only last week of somebody - it was in the paper - working on a highway. So it's a very dangerous place to be and I think it's very important that we follow through and put this in place as well. I know that the signage will say fines doubled, so that drivers know, it reinforces that problem.

[Page 8753]

In the school zones again, one of the things that other jurisdictions do is actually lower speed limits. In the Province of Alberta, speed limits . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Adjourn debate.

MS. WHALEN: Right now?

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes.

MS. WHALEN: I believe we're getting close to the time of adjournment, so I would like to, with that, see this bill go forward to the Law Amendments Committee. I look forward to hearing from the public, and thank you very much.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, because we're getting close to the end of the time for the day, I will move adjournment of debate.

MR. SPEAKER. The motion is to adjourn.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise, to meet again on Monday at the hour of 3:00 p.m. The House will sit from 3:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. The order of business, following the daily routine, will be Public Bills for Second Reading and Committee of the Whole House on Bills. With that, I move that we adjourn.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 8754]

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

The motion is carried.

We are adjourned until 3:00 p.m. Monday.

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

[Page 8755]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 4743

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Bill Best has a long history of success in hockey, winning the Nova Scotia Provincial Men's High School Hockey Championship in 1969 and being drafted for the Boston Bruins in 1974; and

Whereas Bill's achievement and dedication have contributed to the development of sport in his community; and

Whereas the Town of Berwick has recently inducted Bill Best into their Sports Hall of Fame;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Bill Best for these achievements and recognize the contributions he has made to his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4744

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Christian West, a resident of Kingston, Nova Scotia, has recently graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Engineering in Mining; and

Whereas Christian has been honoured with numerous academic awards including the Convocation Award from the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia (APENS), the APENS Senior Project Award in Mining, and the Dean Flynn Memorial Prize for academic standing; and

Whereas Christian has also been an active member of his student community being recognized with a gold D from the Dalhousie Student Union;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House acknowledge and congratulate Christian West for his prominent record of achievement.

[Page 8756]

RESOLUTION NO. 4745

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas on November 26, 2005 the Westchester Volunteer Fire Department will be holding its annual banquet; and

Whereas the members provide a very professional and much-needed service to the residents and community; and

Whereas these well-trained volunteers respond to many emergencies, including fires, car accidents and much more;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Westchester Volunteer Fire Department, members of the auxiliary and their families for their contribution to their community and its residents and wish them a safe and successful upcoming year.

RESOLUTION NO. 4746

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Jim McNutt, from Oxford, shot a two-round total of 148 to capture the Springhill Centennial Golf Club championship held in August; and

Whereas Jim McNutt earned a one-stroke victory over his runner-up player; and

Whereas Jim has been an avid golfer for many years and is well liked and respected by his fellow golfers who were proud to see him achieve the victory last year.

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Jim McNutt on winning the Springhill Centennial Golf Championship and wish him continued success and much enjoyment in the future.

[Page 8757]

RESOLUTION NO. 4747

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Georgina Patriquin of Wentworth is one of eight Nova Scotian seniors to be honoured by the Senior Citizens' Secretariat;

Whereas she is being recognized for her significant contributions to her community and her work with seniors; and

Whereas Georgina was recognized for her volunteerism during the 16th Annual 50-plus Expo on June 10th in Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Georgina Patriquin on this outstanding achievement and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4748

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 True Blue Fitness Centre of Oxford celebrated its 5th Anniversary this year; and

Whereas Ted and Joan Godfrey, owners and operators of the gym, had the concept for a fitness centre five years ago and continue the direction in which True Blue is headed these days; and

Whereas Ted recently reached an agreement with the building's owner for use of downstairs space for wellness classes, including stability ball classes taught by his wife, Joan, who is a physiotherapist, and, new this season, Pilates classes will be taught;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Ted and Joan Godfrey and the True Blue Fitness Centre on their 5th Anniversary and wish them many more successful years in business.

[Page 8758]

RESOLUTION NO. 4749

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 Three-Way 4-H Club of Leicester earned the 2005 L.B. Thompson Memorial Trophy during 4-H Day at the Cumberland County Exhibition; and

Whereas attending the ceremony where they were presented with a trophy were David Siddall, Calvin Siddall, Melanie Hunsley, Nicole Matheson, Mrs. Delaney, Andrea Carter, Brad Baker and Matthew Baker; and

Whereas the Three-Way 4-H Club has been operating for many years and the community and the county are very proud of their accomplishments over the years;

Therefore e it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Three-Way 4-H Club and wish them many more years of success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4750

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Jessica Sears, the 17-year-old Amherst Regional High School student emerged as Miss Cumberland for 2005 at the special crowning ceremony on September 1st at the Cumberland County Exhibition in Oxford; and

Whereas Jessica, who was also named Miss Model in this year's pageant of 15 lovely contestants, is a Grade 12 student who enjoys reading, singing, painting and spending time with her many friends; and

Whereas Jessica plans for the future are to attend university and obtain a Bachelor of Arts in history;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Jessica Sears on being crowned Miss Cumberland 2005 and wish her all the best in the future.

[Page 8759]

RESOLUTION NO. 4751

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Reg Robinson, an employee at Oxford Frozen Foods in Oxford, was a hero on April 19, 2005, when his 51-year-old co-worker had a dizzy spell and collapsed to the floor; and

Whereas Reg and another worker were there to help him to his feet and escort him to the first aid room where he again collapsed, clutching his chest, going into convulsions, then gasping and stopped breathing; and

Whereas 911 was called, the co-worker's pulse was taken, CPR was successfully started, which got the gentleman breathing again, and the EHS arrived and transported him to hospital where it was discovered that he suffered a heart attack;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Reg Robinson on his quick action and thank him for his selfless act of compassion.

RESOLUTION NO. 4752

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 River Philip Old Country Store is under new ownership and operating with a new name; and

Whereas Janet Waters, a Halifax area native, and three of her children returned to Nova Scotia after 17 years in Ontario to buy the store from owners Brian and Brenda Watts; and

Whereas Ms. Waters is calling the store Waters of River Philip Country Store;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Janet Waters on her new business and wish her and her family continued success in the future.