Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

Hansard -- Fri., May 5, 2000

First Session

FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2000

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Educ. - Westmount School: Funding - Inadequate, Mr. W. Gaudet 5055
Educ. - Cuts: Millwood Elementary School - Oppose, Dr. J. Smith 5056
Educ. - Cuts: Gowrie Memorial School - Oppose, Mr. R. MacKinnon 5056
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1784, Fin. - Budget (2000-01): Info. - Facts Reveal,
(By Mr. W. Estabrooks) Mr. J. Holm 5056
Res. 1785, Fin. - Budget (2000-01): Vote - Postpone, Mr. R. MacLellan 5057
Res. 1786, Nat. Res. - Coastal Commun. Network (Proud Commun.
Award): N.F. Douglas Co. (Queens) - Congrats., Mr. K. Morash 5058
Vote - Affirmative 5058
Res. 1787, PC MLAs - Budget (2000-01): Support - Future Beware,
Mr. Robert Chisholm 5058
Res. 1788, Fin. - Budget (2000-01): Deficit Addt'l. - Oppose,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 5059
Res. 1789, Educ. - East Pictou HS (Trivia Questions Challenge):
John Fraser (Teacher) - Congrats., Mr. J. DeWolfe 5060
Vote - Affirmative 5061
Res. 1790, Fin. - Budget (2000-01): Expenditure - Detail,
Mr. F. Corbett 5061
Res. 1791, Gov't. (N.S.) - Restructuring Costs Fund: Health & Agric. -
Include, Mr. D. Downe 5061
Res. 1792, New Party (N.S.): Lib. & NDP - Form, Mr. F. Chipman 5062
Res. 1793, Educ. - Budget (2000-01): Schools - Facts,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 5063
Res. 1794, Commun. Serv. - Budget (2000-01): Cuts -
Children Effect Consider, Dr. J. Smith 5063
Res. 1795, PC MLAs - Budget (2000-01): Condemnation Public -
Endurance Unnecessary, Ms. E. O'Connell 5064
Res. 1796, Educ. - Budget (2000-01): Cuts - Gaelic Cultural Studies
Reinstate, Mr. K. MacAskill 5065
Res. 1797, Commun. Serv. - Child Poverty (17/08/99 on): Deficit -
Address, Mr. K. Deveaux 5065
Res. 1798, Fin. - Budget (2000-01): Incomplete - Oppose,
Mr. M. Samson 5066
Res. 1799, Youth - Brookside & Tantallon: Swissair Flight 111 Families,
European Assoc. of,-Summer Visits (Fr. & Switz.) - Congrats. Offer,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 5067
Vote - Affirmative 5067
Res. 1800, Educ. - Restructuring Costs Fund: Funding (Disaster)
Addt'l. - Provide, Mr. R. MacKinnon 5068
Res. 1801, Fin. - Budget (2000-01): Concoction - Musical
Background Inappropriate, Mr. J. Pye 5068
Res. 1802, Educ. - Budget (2000-01): Funding Info. Inappropriate -^^
Apologize, Mr. W. Gaudet 5069
Res. 1803, Scouts (Can.) - Donald Scott (Dutch Settlement) &
Tri-Co. Dist.: Commitment - Congrats., Mr. John MacDonell 5070
Vote - Affirmative 5070
Res. 1804, Fin. - Budget (2000-01): Fiasco - Obstruction Justified,
Mr. P. MacEwan 5070
Res. 1805, PC Caucus - Control: Source - Learn (05/05/00),
Mr. D. Dexter 5071
Res. 1806, Fin.: Budget (2000-01) - Defeat, Mr. D. Wilson 5071
Res. 1807, Educ. - Budget (2000-01): Cuts - Special Needs
Children-Censure (Min.), Ms. Maureen MacDonald 5072
Res. 1808, Educ. - Schools: Graduations - MLAs Attendance
Unnecessary, Mr. B. Boudreau 5073
Res. 1809, PC MLAs - Budget (2000-01): Vote - Oppose,
Mr. Robert Chisholm 5074
Res. 1810, Educ. - St. F.X. Univ.: Hon. LL.D. - Recipients Congrats.,
Mr. R. MacLellan 5074
Vote - Affirmative 5075
Res. 1811, Tourism - Peggy's Cove: Rock Patrollers Cut -
Non-Disclosure-Excuse Weak Admit, Ms. E. O'Connell 5075
Res. 1812, Econ. Dev. - Budget (2000-01): Business (Ex-Hfx.)
Unaddressed - Oppose, Mr. Manning MacDonald 5076
Res. 1813, Agric. - Budget (2000-01): Dismissal - Condemn,
Mr. D. Downe 5077
Res. 1814, Tory Backbench MLAs - Mushroom Cultivation End:
Agric. (Min.) - Petition, Mr. H. Epstein 5078
Res. 1815, Health - Aberdeen Hosp.: Smoke-Free - Congrats.,
Dr. J. Smith 5079
Vote - Affirmative 5079
Res. 1816, Health - Nurses: Shortage - Address, Mr. D. Dexter 5079
Res. 1817, Nat. Res. - Silviculture Industry: Cuts - Reverse,
Mr. K. MacAskill 5080
Res. 1818, Commun. Serv. - Soc. Assist.: Experience (Min.) -
One Month Sample, Mr. K. Deveaux 5081
Res. 1819, Gov't. (N.S.) - Budget (2000-01): Evidence -
Ex-Terrestrial, Mr. M. Samson ^Res. 1820, PC MLAs (Teachers): Students - Communicate, 5081
Mr. W. Estabrooks 5082
Res. 1821, Fin. - Budget (2000-01): Vote - Delay, Mr. R. MacKinnon 5083
Res. 1822, Fin. - Min.: Accounting Skills - Similarity (Min. [Prev.]),
Mr. H. Epstein 5083
Res. 1823, Annapolis MLA - People: Rep. - Remind, Mr. W. Gaudet 5084
Res. 1824, Commun. Serv. - Budget (2000-01): Cuts -
Welfare Recipients Explain, Mr. J. Pye 5084
Res. 1825, Culture - Music: Men of the Deeps - Savoy Theatre Soc.
Honour Congrats., Mr. D. Wilson 5085
Vote - Affirmative 5086
Res. 1826, Exco - Code of Conduct: Agric. (Min.) Threats -
Reprimand, Mr. John MacDonell 5086
Res. 1827, Petroleum Dir. - Offshore: Sell-Off - Rewards Pray,
Mr. J. Holm 5087
Res. 1828, Libercrat Party - Leadership Candidates: Acting Leader Role -
Try, Hon. A. MacIsaac 5087
Res. 1829, Justice - Natl. Flag (Can.): Desecration - Legislation Enact,
Mr. B. Boudreau 5088
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. Robert Chisholm 5089
Mr. P. MacEwan 5093
Adjournment of debate moved 5097
Vote - Negative 5098
Mr. T. Olive 5098
Mr. R. MacLellan 5102
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 11:41 A.M. 5103
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 1:11 P.M. 5103
REPORT OF CWH ON SUPPLY [Rule 62G(1)]:
Motion to Concur 5103
Vote - Affirmative 5105
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 49, Appropriations Act, 2000, Hon. N. LeBlanc 5105
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 49, Appropriations Act, 2000, Hon. N. LeBlanc 5105
Vote - Affirmative 5106
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 49, Appropriations Act, 2000, Hon. N. LeBlanc 5106
Vote - Affirmative 5108
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., May 8th at 2:00 p.m. 5109

[Page 5055]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2000

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

First Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Brooke Taylor, Mr. Wayne Gaudet, Mr. Kevin Deveaux

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition that I received from parents and students from the Westmount School which reads, "We, the undersigned supporters of the present and future students of Westmount School, by signing this petition, express our rejection of the seriously inadequate funding proposed by the Department of Education for public schooling for the academic year 2000-2001, pursuant to the provincial budget tabled in the Legislature on April 11, 2000." There are approximately 500 names on this petition and I have affixed my name.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

5055

[Page 5056]

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition in the form of letters from 30 students from the Millwood Elementary School, Grades 5 and 6, and their teacher. "My classmates and I are very upset to hear you are cutting our teachers." This is to the Minister of Education. "I was looking forward to band but now I hear you are planning to take it away. My teacher has to work very hard to teach 25 of us. Trying to teach more of us would be next to impossible which would happen when class sizes are increased. The kids that require more attention will not get it. We are only in Grade 5 and already understand how important education is (or it should be). Sincerely, Diana." Plus, it is from Andrew, and his parent, who is a very high special needs child with osteogenesis imperfecta. The quote is from Diana and I have signed my name.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition in the form of letters from all the Grade 5 students at Gowrie Memorial School in Port Morien, Cape Breton. Essentially, the cover letter states, "Please read these letters from my Grade 5 students at Gowrie Memorial School in Port Morien. They are very concerned about their education and they need you to help them. They are our Future!! They deserve a bright one. Kind regards, Geraldine Vallis-Beaver.", a representative for the school. I so move.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1784

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

[Page 5057]

Whereas we aren't sure which was louder, the flip or the flop of the Minister of Education, the Minister of Finance or the Premier on education funding in a possible deal with school boards; and

Whereas this deal is a clear sign of the chaos within the Department of Education; and

Whereas this government is still trying in vain to tell Nova Scotians the Education budget has not changed, despite getting money from a government slush fund and absorbing school board deficits;

Therefore be it resolved that instead of the stream of half truths and spin the Tories are trying to sell to us all, that maybe they should come clean with Nova Scotians, tell them they blew it and are now attempting to repair the damage.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1785

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

Whereas after weeks of protests and a possible caucus revolt, this Tory Government finally found an extra pot of money for Nova Scotia school boards; and

Whereas by dipping into this $88 million slush fund, Premier Hamm has admitted his harsh budget was unacceptable and unreasonable all along; and

Whereas like the deficit days of John Buchanan, this current Tory budget is a moving target with a secret stash of money being used to bail out a beleaguered Tory Government;

Therefore be it resolved that the budget before us be declared a sham and the vote should be postponed until the Auditor General thoroughly investigates the way money from the $88 million transition fund is allocated.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

[Page 5058]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 1786

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

Whereas the N.F. Douglas Lumber Company of Queens County was recently honoured by the Coastal Communities Network with a Proud Community Award for its efforts to preserve and enhance the quality of life in rural Nova Scotia; and

Whereas this company is now working with Kejimkujik National Park in the world- renowned Smithsonian Institute to identify and evaluate sustainable forest practices; and

Whereas the forests of this province are essential to our economic and environmental well-being, providing employment and enjoyment to thousands of Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to the management and the staff of N.F. Douglas Company for this honour and thank them for their commitment not only to the residents of Queens County, but also to a natural resource so valuable to the future of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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 New Democratic Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1787

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

[Page 5059]

Whereas Progressive Conservatives applauded on April 18th when the Education Minister said, "School boards want more money. That is their bottom line, whatever facts or numbers we present . . . I would love to give them more money. But the days of buying our way out of a problem are gone."; and

Whereas, yesterday, the Progressive Conservatives admitted they are buying their way out of a crisis they themselves created by giving school boards more money;

Therefore be it resolved that Tory MLAs who vote for this budget and who applaud this government are hereby warned that they will again be trampled when the Premier leads his Cabinet in yet another hasty retreat.

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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. 1788

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

Whereas the Tory Government of John Hamm pulled one of the greatest magic tricks in the book when it added a whopping $318.5 million in Sysco environmental clean-up costs on the deficit; and

Whereas the trick is the fact that not one dime of that money will be spent this year, next year and maybe never; and

Whereas this deceptive move inflated the true deficit and attempted to cast aspersions on Sysco workers and the people of Sydney;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House vote against the Hamm budget for its deceptive accounting practice of adding money to the deficit even though the money will not be spent in the current year.

[Page 5060]

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1789

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

Whereas East Pictou High School teacher John Fraser recently faced a mammoth challenge which involved marking 36,000 answers given to him by students participating in a trivia question associated with historic models; and

Whereas the models were part of an exercise his students had participated in over the past two years and involved the exercising of new options to demonstrate their knowledge of historical topics; and

Whereas Mr. Fraser, who won an award for teaching excellence last year, solicited the support of his Grade 10 and Grade 11 ancient and modern history students to help him mark the papers;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs congratulate East Pictou High School teacher John Fraser for building such a challenge that has sparked so much interest among students on an annual basis.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 5061]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 1790

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

Whereas the Premier says Nova Scotians want to know where the money is coming from, but not where it is being spent; and

Whereas how would the Premier know, people cannot get through to his office and he has been busy hiding in the United States; and

Whereas the Premier also cannot be hearing Nova Scotians' concerns from his own MLAs because they are not allowed to meet and talk with their constituents;

Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotians do want to know where the money is being spent and they want to know before any budget vote happens in this House.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1791

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

Whereas the Tory backbenchers deserve credit for pressing their government to dig into the slush fund to help bail out the education system; and

Whereas the backbenchers know that more money is required in order for them to go back to their ridings in peace; and

[Page 5062]

Whereas the Tory slush fund had $88 million in it to fix an ill-conceived budget;

Therefore be it resolved that this Tory Government do the right thing and spend the Tory slush fund on both Health and Agriculture as well as Education.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 1792

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

Whereas the two Opposition Parties are both now in the process of seeking new Leaders; and

Whereas these Parties are also both determined to waste valuable House time by calling for recorded votes and letting the bells ring needlessly for a maximum of one hour; and

[9:15 a.m.]

Whereas there doesn't seem to be a difference between their respective visions, which judging from all comments over the past two weeks, seem to include a sincere desire to bankrupt this province;

Therefore be it resolved that a union of the two Parties be formed, thereby requiring only one Leader, one vision, the same colours, the same colour hats, jerseys and one name which I would like to suggest be: either the New Libercrats, the New Liberdems or simply the Libercrats.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

[Page 5063]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 1793

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

Whereas the Minister of Education may or may not cut 400 teachers; and

Whereas the Minister of Education may or may not strip schools of furniture and computers; and

Whereas the Minister of Education may or may not have any idea of what is happening in her department;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education try to figure out what she may or may not be telling Nova Scotians about her Education budget and why she feels she may or may not tell Nova Scotians the truth.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1794

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

[Page 5064]

Whereas this past weekend Halifax hosted Nova Scotia's first Youth in Care Conference; and

Whereas people at the conference learned that young people in government care are not properly prepared for the transition when government support is no longer available; and

Whereas the Department of Community Services has reduced benefits for families on social assistance, without offering adequate supports;

Therefore be it resolved that before this government goes too far with its Harris-Hamm agenda that the Minister of Community Services please stop and think of the children who will be affected by these cuts.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 1795

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

Whereas on April 19th the Minister of Education told this House that she knew school boards had deficits and other financial pressures, but those deficits were not her responsibility; and

Whereas the minister denied any responsibility for lay-offs arising from school board deficits and said further that the board should find internal savings to deal with their deficit pressure; and

Whereas yesterday the Premier and his Minister of Education performed an about-face of Olympic proportions;

[Page 5065]

Therefore be it resolved that Tory MLAs may wish to ask why they were forced to endure three weeks of public condemnation if, as the Premier now pretends, the government was going to pick up school board deficits anyway.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria.

RESOLUTION NO. 1796

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

Whereas this month is Gaelic Awareness Month and an opportunity to recognize the importance of Gaelic culture in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Department of Education obviously does not see the value in Gaelic culture as a Gaelic Cultural Studies course is in danger of being dropped due to budget cuts; and

Whereas the Gaelic Cultural Studies course was a unique pilot program offered at four schools in Inverness, Mabou, Iona and Sydney;

Therefore be it resolved that this Tory Government should not abandon our shared heritage by putting important and innovative programs like Gaelic Cultural Studies at risk.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 1797

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

[Page 5066]

Whereas every day in the Province of Nova Scotia six more children are born into poverty; and

Whereas since August 17th, this Tory Government's first full day in office, 1,572 children have been born into poverty; and

Whereas this heartless Tory Government would prefer to talk about only one kind of deficit, a budget deficit;

Therefore be it resolved that this Tory Government start waking up to the health, education and social deficits faced by the 1,572 children born into poverty under this Tory Regime.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 1798

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

Whereas the Premier has stated that the Education budget has yet to come together; and

Whereas the statement makes a mockery of the budget process because we are voting on that incomplete document today; and

Whereas if the government were truly open and accountable, it would table a detailed budget well in advance of the vote;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House vote against this budget in condemnation of the government because it is at best, incomplete; at worst, a pure act of deception.

[Page 5067]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1799

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 European Association of Swissair Flight 111 Families has provided two week visits to Switzerland and France this summer for 30 young people in the communities served by Sir John A. Macdonald High School, Tantallon and Brookside Junior High School; and

Whereas during these visits, these young Nova Scotians will live with Swiss families; and

Whereas all expenses for this trip will be covered by the European Association of Swissair Flight 111 Families;

Therefore be it resolved that this House thank and congratulate the European Association of Swissair Flight 111 Families for this wonderful offer.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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 5068]

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1800

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

Whereas over the past several weeks, the Minister of Education has faced public humiliation on her budget estimates; and

Whereas the Minister of Finance dipped into the government's slush fund to bail the Minister of Education out of her predicament; and

Whereas yesterday the final insult to the Minister of Education came when a senior advisor to the minister proudly wore a button entitled "Calamity Jane, Education's Misfortune";

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education be provided additional funding from the Tory's slush fund in the form of disaster relief.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1801

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

Whereas hospitals continue to rejig their budgets, apparently at a loss to come up with a business plan that will please the Minister of Health, who slashed their budgets in their first place with seemingly no idea of the consequences; and

Whereas the officials from the Minister of Education's department continue negotiations with school boards that may bring a sensible end to the minister's bug-eyed, simple scheme to remove 400 teachers from Nova Scotia classrooms at a cost of $20 million; and

Whereas massive cuts in the budget for the Department of Agriculture threaten to make us the agricultural backwater of North America;

[Page 5069]

Therefore be it resolved that this government must have concocted this budget while listening to the strains of, "I Don't Know Where I'm Going, But I'm Going, Nowhere In A Hurry Blues."

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 1802

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

Whereas last evening's newscasts announced that the Tory government was offering a new deal to Nova Scotia's school boards; and

Whereas the newscast revealed that the government was providing new money from sources other than the Education budget to offer this deal; and

Whereas the Minister of Education during the past several weeks kept insisting that there was no new money available to resolve the education crisis;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education offer an immediate apology to the people of Nova Scotia for having misled them and causing endless hours of grief and anguish to the parents, teachers and students of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

[Page 5070]

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1803

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

Whereas volunteers who devote their time to the training and improvement of young people perform an invaluable service; and

Whereas the Scouting movement in Canada has given us remarkable leaders who do exactly that; and

Whereas on March 25th at the Riverline Activity Centre in Dutch Settlement, Mr. Donald Scott, with 45 years of providing leadership and participation in the Scouting movement, was honoured as a guess speaker to the Tri-County District, which was celebrating 40 years of Scouting;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Donald Scott and the Tri-County District for their commitment to Scouting and to the betterment of many young people.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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. 1804

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

Whereas this government is leading Nova Scotia from chaos to catastrophe; and

[Page 5071]

Whereas the budget fiasco, with its ever-changing numbers and inaccuracy in preparation of the original estimates, clearly indicates the inability of this government to govern; and

Whereas four years of these inept incompetents at the tiller will wreck the good work of decades of past governments, be they Liberal or Conservative;

Therefore be it resolved that whatever can be done to obstruct, frustrate, impede, delay, harass, block, restrict or impair this government's headlong plunge, is good work done in the best interests of all Nova Scotians.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 1805

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: I can't believe he actually said that.

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

Whereas the Bible warns us against building a house on a foundation of sand; and

Whereas yesterday, Conservative MLAs saw that their political house is built on a foundation of quicksand, by a Premier who never admits a mistake even as he twists and turns; and

Whereas Conservative MLAs may well wonder why they would want to reward or encourage the incompetence, arrogance, betrayal and utter unreliability that this Cabinet demonstrates daily;

Therefore be it resolved that today is the day that Nova Scotians will learn who calls the shots for the Tory caucus, an unreliable Leader or the people who elected them.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1806

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

[Page 5072]

Whereas the workers of Glace Bay and area have contributed to provincial coffers for over 100 years; and

Whereas while the unofficial unemployment rate in Glace Bay is approximately 50 per cent, the heartless Tory Government see no need for government assistance to help the economy grow; and

Whereas there is not one significant economic development measure in the Hamm budget that will help alleviate unemployment in Glace Bay;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House condemn the Tory budget by soundly defeating it, so all regions of the province can enjoy economic prosperity and give us some of that slush fund money too.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for 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 Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 1807

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

Whereas the Minister of Education has seen fit to sacrifice the education of children with special needs; and

Whereas the Minister of Education blithely blamed Opposition members for not ferreting out these cuts to special needs children; and

Whereas what the Minister of Education did admit freely and openly in this House was that she deliberately withheld vital information that parents of special needs children require;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education be censured by this House for her deliberate act of deception on the parents of special needs children.

[Page 5073]

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver.

[9:30 a.m.]

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 The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 1808

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

Whereas the month of June is a busy month for many Nova Scotians; and

Whereas among the many June events are high school graduations; and

Whereas for some members of this House the invitations to attend graduations may not be forthcoming;

Therefore be it resolved that some members of this House realize that their presence may not be required at graduation ceremonies at the end of June and plan their schedules accordingly.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

[Page 5074]

RESOLUTION NO. 1809

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

Whereas in 1990, when another Conservative Government was forced by massive public protest to backtrack and write a new funding formula for public education, this House did not vote until school boards had the new numbers; and

Whereas in 1999, the Liberals were defeated on a budget which used deficit and debt to pay for additional health care spending; and

Whereas in 2000, a budget vote is being held before school board budgets are known and before the Health Minister has told anyone how much more he will borrow to cover the holes in his budget;

Therefore be it resolved that Tory MLAs who respect themselves and their constituents will today refuse to vote for a budget which is not yet written for government's two biggest undertakings, public education and health care.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1810

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

Whereas St. Francis Xavier University will graduate close to 800 students on Sunday, May 7, 2000, during spring convocation ceremonies; and

Whereas St. F.X. will bestow honorary doctors of law degrees on Dr. Purness W. Choppin, Charles Keating, Allan E. Gotlieb, Sister Margaret MacDonell and Urs E. Schwarzenback; and

[Page 5075]

Whereas the Xavierian spirit is a commitment to the tradition of St. F.X., which the university nurtures and celebrates among its students, faculty, staff and graduates;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate those receiving honorary doctors of law degrees. and all St. F.X. graduates, as they become lifelong members of the Xaverian family.

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 Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 1811

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

Whereas the Minister of Tourism and Culture claims that solicitor-client privilege prevents him from revealing the reasons for the asinine decision to axe the rock patrollers at Peggy's Cove; and

Whereas the minister, being the client on behalf of Nova Scotians, has it all convoluted, or he is such a nice guy he is taking one on the chin for his solicitor; and

Whereas that is akin to Captain Angus Walters rigging the Bluenose to sail backwards;

Therefore be it resolved that the minister admit his excuse for non-disclosure has more holes in it than a box of Tim Hortons' donuts and come clean with this House about why he really axed the rock patrollers.

At the call of the government side, Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver.

[Page 5076]

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. 1812

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

Whereas a recent job fair for the new call centre in Sydney attracted 3,000 people for 400 jobs; and

Whereas these jobs are welcome for the community, however the government must not be allowed to rest their laurels on a federal government led success; and

Whereas the absence of enterprise zone tax measures in the budget means the other 2,600 people at that job fair will have difficulty finding work.

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House vote against this budget because it fails to address the needs of business outside of Halifax.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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 Centre.

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

[Page 5077]

Whereas the Premier said in response to a question yesterday in this House that he would get out of this House as soon as the Opposition Parties let him; and

Whereas it would appear that the Premier has a very, very short memory as he has not been in this House for three days; and

Whereas the Premier was not in this province listening to concerned parents, students and teachers, but rather soaking up the sun in Houston, Texas, being wined and dined by large oil and gas companies;

Therefore be it resolved that before the Premier points his finger at Opposition members for keeping him in this House, that he stop and give some thought to his own previous actions.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The motion is out of order. The member knows he is not permitted to indicate the absence of a member from the House.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1813

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

Whereas the Minister of Agriculture has not been strong enough or doesn't care enough to access the government's slush fund to protect agriculture in rural communities; and

Whereas the minister's attitude appears to be condescending toward farmers, the agricultural community and members of this House; and

Whereas the government backbenchers know that this Tory Agriculture budget will devastate rural communities, the very same communities the Tories campaigned to protect;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House condemn the government for its dismissal of agriculture instead of recognizing that agriculture is an important part of our rural future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

[Page 5078]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 1814

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

Whereas the cultivation of mushrooms requires that they be kept out of sight and in the dark for long periods of time; and

Whereas the cultivation of mushrooms also requires the frequent application of manure and other fertilizers to promote rapid growth; and

Whereas cultivated mushrooms can expect a very short life, because they are cut off in their prime before they ever see the sunshine of a new day;

Therefore be it resolved that backbench Tory MLAs may wish to petition the Minister of Agriculture to end the cultivation of mushrooms before those MLAs find that they are the next crop to be cut off after a short period of manure-fed political growth.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

[Page 5079]

RESOLUTION NO. 1815

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

Whereas more than 1,400 people die as a result of smoking, making it the leading cause of preventable death and disability in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas on May 23rd, the Aberdeen Hospital in New Glasgow will go totally smoke-free, requiring those who wish to light up to go to an outside shelter; and

Whereas hospital manager Patrick Flinn said that the Aberdeen Hospital has a responsibility to promote good health for patients, visitors, and staff; and

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate the Aberdeen Hospital for this bold step toward a healthier setting, which is a recognition of the costs of smoking on our health care system.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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-Cole Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 1816

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

Whereas yesterday in this House the Minister of Health was enthralled by an article in the Truro Daily News titled "Bed Closures Coming"; and

Whereas the article states that beds in the cardiac care department at the Colchester Regional Hospital are being closed for two months so that overworked nurses can take a vacation; and

[Page 5080]

Whereas the article further states that due to a nursing shortage in this province, this step is necessary to give overworked nurses a break;

Therefore be it resolved that now that the Minister of Health has read about a nursing shortage in the paper, will he commit as promised during the election campaign to hire more desperately needed nurses.

Mr. Speaker I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria.

RESOLUTION NO. 1817

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

Whereas during the election Premier Hamm promised to put $8 million into silviculture development; and

Whereas in the Tory document, The Course Ahead, it says, "Our commitment to silviculture remains strong."; and

Whereas the Minister of Natural Resources demonstrated his commitment to silviculture by chopping its budget by $1 million;

Therefore be it resolved that this Tory Government reverse its broken promise to the silviculture industry by restoring the $1 million they cut, and commit to the additional $1 million contained in the last Liberal budget.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5081]

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 1818

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

Whereas a single person on social assistance in this province is expected to find a place to live for $216 a month; and

Whereas a single person on social assistance is expected to be able to buy food for a month on $126, which works out to $4.20 a day; and

Whereas a single person on social assistance is expected to get by on $15 a month clothing allowance and $12 for miscellaneous;

Therefore be it resolved that maybe it is time for the Minister of Community Services to live on this amount of money for a month and see how he makes out.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 1819

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

Whereas today, May 5th, is the day that five planets - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn - will be in alignment on the opposite side of the sun from Earth; and

[Page 5082]

Whereas many people believe this will cause terrible and tragic events on Earth, including the beginning of the end of the world; and

Whereas the only tragic event scheduled for today is the vote on the terrible Tory budget;

Therefore be it resolved that while it may not cause the end of the world, this devastating budget certainly is ample evidence that this Progressive Conservative Government is from another planet.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1820

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

Whereas there are certain members on the government side who, at one time in another career, had the privilege of serving the youth of this province as teachers; and

Whereas teachers are renowned for their skills as communicators; and

Whereas previous teachers, now current government MLAs, have sat quietly in their place while our students' futures are on the budget chopping block;

Therefore be it resolved that teachers opposite immediately communicate with some of their past students so they may better be able to stand in their place and represent the concerns of their students.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

[Page 5083]

RESOLUTION NO. 1821

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

Whereas it has been nearly a month since Premier Hamm introduced his open and accountable budget; and

Whereas yesterday in this House the Premier stated that the Education budget ". . . is starting to come together"; and

Whereas this statement proves that the Premier and his government have been flying blind and without a clue since day one;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier do the right thing and delay the budget vote until all departmental budgets have fully come together.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 1822

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

Whereas we all know now that the Minister of Finance's budget is wrong; and

Whereas we know it is wrong because, among other reasons, it does not reflect $20 million in school board deficits or money transferred from a government slush fund; and

Whereas the Minister of Finance seems to feel that these are acceptable accounting practices;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Finance's accounting skills appear to be about the same as his predecessors, leaving one to wonder what school of accounting they both attended.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Clare.

[Page 5084]

[9:45 a.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 1823

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

Whereas the parents of the more than 200 children enrolled in the Annapolis Royal Band Program are concerned that education cuts will have a negative effect on the band program; and

Whereas these parents have been unable to reach their MLA, the Tory member for Annapolis, by phone or by e-mail; and

Whereas since they could not reach their MLA by normal means, these parents have had to resort to taking an ad out in the newspaper requesting their MLA to contact them;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Annapolis be reminded that when he ran for election he ran to be the representative of all the people in his constituency, that he do the honourable thing now and rise from his seat and go to the telephone and immediately place a phone call to these parents.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The resolution was much too long.

[The notice is tabled.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1824

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 this Tory budget they have increased Pharmacare co-pay; and

Whereas the Pharmacare co-pay will hit poor seniors and welfare recipients the hardest; and

Whereas there is no increase in welfare recipient allotment to cover the increase of co-pay costs of Pharmacare;

[Page 5085]

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Community Services explain to welfare recipients just what they should drop from their meagre food budget.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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 East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1825

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

Whereas the Savoy Theatre Society will honour the Men of the Deeps with a place of honour on the Walk of Stars; and

Whereas the award will be presented by Rita MacNeil at a concert on May 14th in Glace Bay; and

Whereas since 1967, the Men of the Deeps have been singing of the work and lifestyle of the Cape Breton coal miner to audiences throughout most of Canada and parts of the United States and the United Kingdom;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate the Men of the Deeps for this honour and for the contributions they have made throughout the musical community.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled. (Interruptions)

[Page 5086]

Order, please. Order, please.

There is a request for waiver on the member for Cape Breton East's resolution. It is not much wonder that no one has heard the "Therefore be it resolved", there is too much noise in the Chamber. If everybody would listen, we would hear what was being said.

The honourable member for Cape Breton East, would you read the "Therefore be it resolved" again, please.

MR. DAVID WILSON: Yes, I will, Mr. Speaker.

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate the Men of the Deeps for this honour and for the contributions they have made throughout the musical community.

I ask for waiver, Mr. Speaker.

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. 1826

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

Whereas the Premier stated in this House yesterday that we have a serious problem in this province; and

Whereas we all agree but we also feel that the Premier has an even more serious problem in his Cabinet; and

Whereas as seen in this House by tabled correspondence, the Minister of Agriculture is out of control, threatening employees of his department as well as farm representatives to submit to his will or else;

[Page 5087]

Therefore be it resolved that if the Premier is serious about a code of conduct for ministers that he take immediate action and reprimand the heavy-handed and out of control Minister of Agriculture.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 1827

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

Whereas the member for Cape Breton North claims the Minister responsible for the Petroleum Directorate sold off our interest in the offshore for a "bag of beans"; and

Whereas this harkens back to the children's classic, Jack and the Beanstalk, where Jack parts company with the family cow for a bean; and

Whereas though this minister has his bean, we will never know what kind of bean it is because the experts at the Department of Agriculture have all been axed;

Therefore be it resolved that for the sake of Nova Scotians this House prays that the minister's bean, whatever it may be, takes root and doesn't wither on the vine.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs.

RESOLUTION NO. 1828

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

[Page 5088]

Whereas the honourable member for Annapolis correctly dubbed the Opposition benches as the Libercrats; and

Whereas the current funding arrangements have the Opposition benches, that is the Libercrats, needlessly fighting for money; and

Whereas the Rules of the House have the Libercrats' benches fighting for the time of the House;

Therefore be it resolved that the Committee on Assembly Matters meet and bring forward rules that would permit all leadership candidates and potential candidates of the Libercrat Party to have turns as acting Leader of the Libercrat Party so that members of the Libercrat Party can effectively judge these candidates in a leadership capacity, that is as Leaders of the Libercrat Party.

I won't bother to ask for waiver, Mr. Speaker. (Laughter)

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 1829

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

Whereas members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 83 in Florence are concerned about the desecration of the Canadian flag in their area; and

Whereas the flag is a source of pride and acts of flag burning or other forms of desecration represent an insult to the most important emblem in our country; and

Whereas the Legion would like to see the offence carry a suitable penalty, such as a fine on a sliding scale from $500 to $15,000 or a specific number of days of community service;

Therefore be it resolved that the Tory Government enact legislation that will make it a crime to wilfully desecrate the Canadian flag.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

MR. SPEAKER: I believe the resolution is asking for something that is out of the jurisdiction of this province and this House. (Interruptions)

[Page 5089]

Order, please. There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to say a few things on this morning when members of this Legislature are going to be asked to vote on a budget brought in by this government some 24 days ago.

I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker and the Minister of Health, how absolutely disgusting I find the budget and the activities of this government. I was here in 1993 when we fought an election at that point with a Tory Cameron Government that said that what we need to do in this government is to cut and slash and hack away and make government smaller. They were very up front about it. They were very truthful about it. They said, this is what we are going to do to the Province of Nova Scotia: we are going to make government smaller, we are going to slash and hack away at public services, we are going to privatize, we are going to contract out, we are going to inflict more pain on Nova Scotians than they have ever seen before, because we have a huge deficit and debt problem.

The Savage Liberals at the time said, that is not the way to go, it is not the public servants' fault, we have to restore the integrity of the health care system and education, we have to put people back to work. You may remember the ads then that ran, 58,000 unemployed Nova Scotians will be put to work the day the Liberals are elected, in 1993.

[Page 5090]

Nova Scotians made a decision at that time against the mean-spirited, hack and slash, smaller government approach of Donald Cameron's Tories and they went with John Savage. Then John Savage and his Government of Liberals turned expectations on their ear and went about to carry out exactly what Don Cameron and the Tories said they were going to do.

In 1998 and 1999, this Tory bunch across from us, ran on platforms that said, we understand the need to be accountable to Nova Scotians, we understand the need to reinvest in health and education, to give communities more responsibility and to grow our economy and build a better future. They didn't say anything about cutting; they didn't say anything about tearing back health and education; they didn't say anything about putting a pounding on the poor in the Province of Nova Scotia. Guess what happened? They ended up getting elected in 1999. So what does that say? Now they have turned around and they are carrying forward with basically the plan that Don Cameron talked about in 1992-93. So what does that tell you, the history I just presented, what does that tell you?

What it tells Nova Scotians is that they can't trust their government, they can't trust political Parties to tell them the truth when they are seeking their votes. The Parties that want to do something that Nova Scotians don't want to do, won't get elected. That is what happened to Donald Cameron and the Tories of 1993. He told them exactly what he was going to do, he talked to them about harsh medicine and Nova Scotians said, not a chance, we don't believe that is the right way to run the Province of Nova Scotia and they turfed them out. Then John Savage was elected and they ramped up the level of cynicism in this province to levels it had not been before. Then this government, when they ran for election in 1999, added to that a level never seen before.

You go back and look at the statements that this now Premier and his colleagues made during that election campaign and it is scary, it is sickening what was said. Things like, "The Liberal Government has relied on smoke and mirrors to pretend to have balanced Nova Scotia's budget.", things like, "We must develop plans based on listening. Government must exercise compassion in every decision. Most importantly a premier must be honest with the people, and respect their honesty in return."

The Premier said, with respect to a decision out in Bedford - the Minister of Community Services will remember, he was there - a statement that was made on accountability. The Premier said, quoting Russell MacLellan, "I can understand the concern, but I think a lot of it is being fostered by people who are completely irresponsible." You have heard that coming from this government in response to protests from parents and teachers over the education cuts. He follows up by saying, "It has never struck me that parents concerned with the best interests of their children are irresponsible. It's the government that is irresponsible in this case." He went on to say, "A Progressive Conservative government, with members like Peter Christie, will work with parents who are motivated by the goal of protecting their children - present and future." Those very parents have been soundly

[Page 5091]

condemned by this government over the past 24 days, as they protested against the strategies of this government to inflict more pain and devastation on the education system.

On education the Tory Leader, now Premier, said about the Liberals, "They lost sight of the children in the classroom. They lost sight of the students whose future rests with their schools. They lost sight of the values and discipline that school offers young people." He said, "My Party and I recognize every school as a community within itself - one that should be respected so that, in turn, its members will respect others." He said of the Liberal Government, "Students and parents were left to twist in the wind, while the government issued dictates that ignored the root cause of the difficulties. It was just one more example of how this government's inability to plan is playing havoc with the lives of Nova Scotians."

[10:00 a.m.]

He said again, and again, and again throughout that campaign, Mr. Speaker, of a plan, "What we have seen over the last two weeks is proof that nothing beats having a plan." He is talking about the Conservatives' plan. He said, "A plan that you share with people in advance. That is why we presented our plan to voters. We want people to know that we do the hard work before we make the decisions."

In response to the decision to vote against the Liberal budget in the spring of 1999, the now Premier said, I believe, as do all Nova Scotians, that health care must be a number one priority of government. It continues to be mine, and that of my caucus, and it shall remain so. He said, "I know that fixing health care will require new investment . . .". He said, " . . . the pricetag was his right to increase government revenue. To hard working Nova Scotians that means increasing taxes." We have seen this government do that, " . . . a government that works from day one to meet Nova Scotians most urgent needs." He says, "In the final analysis this decision is based on my belief that the essential element in politics is being honest with the people in telling them the truth."

He said on the day preceding the vote on July 26th, "Tomorrow Nova Scotians will choose a new government." He said the choice they have before them, " . . . the choice of a solid, sensible government with a clear plan and the ability to deliver it. When voters choose a Progressive Conservative government, they will be choosing a government that is responsive, disciplined."

He said on that same day, this is the final day of campaign, the most important issue is health care. He said with respect to his Party, "Just as we made health care our number one priority in the last election - we did so again throughout this campaign. We understand the extent and nature of the demands on our health care system. And we are prepared to meet them."

[Page 5092]

Mr. Speaker, " . . . balanced, reasonable and compassionate government to work with me to realize those expectations . . . and to build the trust, I know is so necessary, between a government and the people it serves." This is when the Premier accepted the victory that his Party realized on July 27th. He said, "Trust built on realistic expectations, and . . . above all else . . . an honest relationship with the people that government serves."

Why do I go back and revisit these commitments and these statements? I do so, Mr. Speaker, because there is such a huge disconnect between what this Party said to voters when they sought their election. Every single one of the Tory members on the benches opposite, they said to Nova Scotians, trust us. They said, we will work with you. We will invest in education, we will invest in health care, we will be accountable, we will listen. You can trust us. Yet, ever since Nova Scotians gave them their trust on July 27, 1999, they have done everything but. They have turned their backs on Nova Scotians, they have shut them out. Government MLAs won't go out and talk to Nova Scotians who are concerned about what this government is doing; a vicious, mean-spirited attack on education being led by the Minister of Education and her colleagues like the Minister of Finance.

Mr. Speaker, the cuts to health care are as serious as the ones in education, if not more so, and yet this government is so devious that they have told the regional health boards and the hospitals . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would suggest to the honourable member that saying the word devious is unparliamentary, and I would ask him to retract that word, please.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: I will retract that and tell you that is what Nova Scotians are calling this government.

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, that's not all. You are being polite.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: The point is, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health and his colleagues will not allow regional health boards and regional hospitals to know exactly what their budgets are going to be and what is being approved until after this session is over because they don't want the true impact of the health care cuts to come out. Day after day we are beginning to get an indication. The QE II is looking at a $10 million deficit which is growing by $100,000 a day as a result of the lack of action by this government.

Mr. Speaker, we are going to be asked to vote on a budget today that has been changing every single day. We have been debating this budget for 24 days and this budget has changed every day and it is continuing to change. The big bombshell yesterday was the fact that the Minister of Education and the Minister of Finance have agreed to assume the deficits of the schools boards estimated to be $33 million. Now they didn't say anything about that when they put their budget on the table. The Minister of Finance didn't say anything about that when he said, this is what the deficit for 1999-2000 is, but they stand here in this House,

[Page 5093]

and outside, and they just think that they can increase the deficit by $33 million, they can increase the debt by $33 million just like that and nobody will know, nobody cares. It is not right. It is the kind of accounting chicanery that this group condemned the Liberals for doing and yet now it is okay.

What I am most upset about, what this government is doing to education, to health care, to the poor, to farmers . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: To seniors.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: . . . to seniors, to the disabled. The Minister of Education said yesterday, and the fact that children who are deaf and blind and need assistance to achieve education, she said they don't need any more money. What upsets me the most about all of this is the fact that Nova Scotians have been deceived once again by a political Party and how can they expect to have any confidence when a politician or when a political Party comes to them with commitments? It is a sad day, Mr. Speaker, it is a sad day . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member's time has expired.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

MR. PAUL MACEWAN: Mr. Speaker, before you leave the Chair, there are a number of matters to raise for the consideration of the House and to indicate that if the honourable member for Cape Breton North, the Leader of the Liberal Party, is without and would return to the Chamber, I would be happy to yield to him so that he could continue for the remainder of my 15 minute slot.

Mr. Speaker, today, we presume, will be the day that we vote on the budget. Today is the day that the deliberations of the Committee of the Whole House on Supply will, in all likelihood, conclude and when the 75 hours are up, the Chairman will simply report to you, sir, through the Clerk, that the committee has concluded its deliberations, the 75 hours of debate have been completed and the committee reports to the House that the estimates should carry, at which point you will say, is it agreed? Some honourable members will say yes, I presume some, and many honourable members will say no.

AN HON. MEMBER: You got that right.

MR. MACEWAN: Then, perhaps, we may have to have a recorded vote to determine if that is truly the wish of the House because it would be much too important a matter to simply decide on a voice vote, I should think. That is on today.

[Page 5094]

Now, Mr. Speaker, with all that in mind, I think it would be an appropriate time at which to review some of the matters that are to be decided in these votes because when those questions are put, there isn't any opportunity for honourable members to record their views into the record. That is presumed to have taken place during these debates on the motion to go into Supply and during the consideration of the estimates. It is a situation where simply a question is put to the House for a yes or no vote, without debate, and immediately after that, of course, the Minister of Finance will have his Appropriations Act under his wing and will introduce that bill and you will ask, when will this bill be read a second time, and the government members will say, now, Mr. Speaker. That is the convention of the House, that the bill will then be immediately read and voted on a second time without debate and, likewise, for a third time immediately after that, without debate. Then you will order that the bill be engrossed, the title be as read by the Clerk and that the bill do carry. So that will be that and we have to at this time, I think, take a look at some of the matters that are under consideration when those votes are put to the House later today.

Mr. Speaker, this budget exercise, in my view, has been an extraordinary one in that there has been virtually a budget a day presented by the government. There has been virtually a new budget every day and the numbers that were contained in the books that were tabled by the Minister of Finance in his Budget Speech, apparently, are completely irrelevant. There are new numbers that you read every day. I think the best way to keep up with the budget is to take out a subscription to The Chronicle-Herald, because on Page 1, every day, you will get the new budget, the budget of the day, just like you have the orders of the day in the House, you have the budget of the day in the newspaper. That is how this government has been governing.

AN HON. MEMBER: A budget du jour.

MR. MACEWAN: A budget du jour, yes. Mr. Speaker, that is unprecedented. I have not encountered anything of the like in all my many years in this House. Usually when governments bring in budgets, they are well researched, they are prepared. The staff in the various departments have put together their preliminary estimates of what they think is needed. Then that is vetted by Cabinet and finally the minister will come in with some very well honed numbers that will represent the government's honest opinion as to the sums of money that are required to carry out the Public Service of the province for the following fiscal year.

It is not necessary to rush pell-mell through that exercise. Lord knows that when this government came to power in the summer of the year, and the previous government's budget having been defeated on the floor of the House, they did not have to introduce a budget immediately. They took their time. They slightly revised the Honourable Don Downe's budget and brought in some new numbers and presented that to the House as a budget in the fullness of time. It did not have to be done instantly. There was opportunity for reconsideration and review before any numbers were finally put on paper, but in this case, the seem to be all gung-

[Page 5095]

ho. They wanted to get the budget through by well, I guess Victoria Day or some such target, and I don't blame them.

It is a good thing to govern with dispatch, but it is a much better thing, Mr. Speaker, to have your homework done before you come to school, much better, and they did not. They caved in at the first major protest that they faced to the medicine that they had come up with as a formula for a better Nova Scotia. You know that education is not the major hit area in this budget, it is health. The cuts that are to come in health care will make the cuts to education, that were attempted by the Minister of Education, pale away as nothing. They will look insignificant when the full story comes out on health, and we in the Opposition have been denied the opportunity to know what we were voting on before the question was put because the government deliberately introduced the budget crafted in such a way that you could not find out the facts and then they challenged the Opposition to ferret the facts out; go ferret for them.

That is not the way we have done things around here before, Mr. Speaker, and we in the Opposition are very upset about this new procedure, this deviation from the established norm, this new math, this new way of approaching budgeting in Nova Scotia. As I stated earlier today, in a notice of motion that I presented to the House, I believe that it is justified to do everything possible to delay and obstruct, yes, to delay and obstruct, but further to expose the way in which this government has been carrying on, because they certainly have not done things the right way at all.

They have come to this House unprepared. They have come to this House without any commitment really to do anything, because the first time they encountered a little bit of protest, guess what, they gave in, they backed off. They said, no, our numbers were not correct, we have revised them. Here is a new revision and if we get more protests, well, we will revise them again until we get that particular interest group satisfied and then we will move on to deal with the next interest group and so on and so forth.

[10:15 a.m.]

In other words, Mr. Speaker, rather than having a government by plan, because there is no plan, we are having government by systematic and ongoing chaos; this we cannot have. I do believe it would be appropriate to reconsider all these matters and to delay the voting on the budget to a future time. I don't know exactly when; I would say whenever the government has its numbers revised to the point they feel they are firm and final. When they get to that point, then let's have a debate on it; then let's have a vote on it. But, as it is, we have been asked to vote on something as amorphous as a jellyfish. It is just not rational or logical and it is an insult to the members of the House. It is a waste of our time because we are arguing and debating about something that has no firm form, and it is greatly exaggerated in many respects, the amount of the deficit being exaggerated by factoring in costs that aren't real to try to create an atmosphere of crisis.

[Page 5096]

I would like to compare this budget if I could with the budget presented by the honourable Donald Downe, which some felt wasn't good enough, a budget that was in balance except for the hospital investment fund, but that was a separate item. We didn't hide it, we came right up front and said, here is what we want to do. There were no cuts in that budget, there was nothing in that budget that would have precipitated a crisis in education or in health care. In fact, that government, Mr. Speaker, was on the verge of a major expansion in those fields. Those were times of growth, those good old days, under one of the best governments that Nova Scotia was ever privileged to have.

We were on the brink of carrying forward the largest expansion program in the history of education in all of Nova Scotia's record. We had the largest school construction program in history well under way and many of those schools were so far advanced that - guess what? - when the Tories got in, they were too far gone to stop them, so the construction carried forward and they are just about ready to be occupied.

AN HON. MEMBER: Now they are taking out the mortar and the bricks in front of . . .

MR. MACEWAN: I hear they are going to take the mortar out of the bricks as part of their austerities, to try and scrape up a little bit of cash to try and avoid further lay-offs in the workforce.

Mr. Speaker, the logic of the exercise that was attempted by the Minister of Finance with respect to stripping those new schools, was akin to the logic of a person who sells their furniture and their goods in a yard sale to try to raise some cash to pay their personal debts. That was the rationale, and they call that good government. Besides, the nickels and dimes that could have been raised by selling some of that furniture and some of those computers was insignificant in terms of the overall need.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Don't forget the NDP caused this. That's the other part of . . .

MR. MACEWAN: Well, my good friend for Richmond wants to speak in the debate and he will have his turn. He asked me to cast blame on the NDP for making all this happen. Of course, he is absolutely correct, because if it hadn't of been for the NDP, the Liberal Government would still be in office. The NDP would still be right here as the Official Opposition with 19 MLAs, and we would be having a continued good government in this province, and the Tories would be down there as a third-place rump. So all that was brought about as a result of the folly of the NDP. The hunger for power, and look where it led them. They were reduced from 19 members down to 11 as a result of the folly of over-anxious greed for high office.

[Page 5097]

Well, Mr. Speaker, these matters are serious indeed, and I can't adequately canvass them in a short 15 minute speech; besides I wasn't even scheduled to make this speech, but I had to take the opportunity because the opening was there. So I do think, because more time is required on this matter, it would be appropriate if I moved that the House do now rise to meet again on Monday, May 8th, at the usual hour as prescribed by the Rules of the House, and I so move.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a motion to adjourn. Two members have requested a recorded vote.

A recorded vote is being called for.

Ring the bells. Call in the members.

[10:19 a.m.]

[The Division bells were rung.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There was a motion to adjourn, but before we proceed on that, the other day when the honourable member for Hants East attempted to make a motion to adjourn the House during debate and I ruled at that time that we had to adjourn debate before we could move a motion to adjourn the House. The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova, it was brought to my attention afterwards, had actually made a motion to adjourn the House and I would suggest that motion should be to adjourn debate.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

A motion was made for a recorded vote.

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[11:19 a.m.]

YEAS NAYS

Mr. MacAskill Mr. Christie

Dr. Smith Mr. Baker

Mr. MacLellan Mr. Russell

Mr. Downe Dr. Hamm

Mr. Manning MacDonald Mr. LeBlanc

Mr. Holm Mr. Muir

[Page 5098]

Mr. Robert Chisholm Miss Purves

Ms. O'Connell Mr. Fage

Ms. Maureen MacDonald Mr. Balser

Mr. Corbett Mr. Parent

Mr. Epstein Ms. McGrath

Mr. Estabrooks Mr. Ronald Chisholm

Mr. Deveaux Mr. Olive

Mr. Dexter Mr. Rodney MacDonald

Mr. MacEwan Mr. MacIsaac

Mr. Gaudet Mr. DeWolfe

Mr. MacKinnon Mr. Taylor

Mr. Samson Mr. Dooks

Mr. Boudreau Mr. Langille

Mr. Wilson Mr. Morse

Mr. Pye Mr. Hendsbee

Mr. John MacDonell Mrs. Baillie

Mr. Carey

Mr. Morash

Mr. Chipman

Mr. Barnet

Mr. O'Donnell

Mr. Hurlburt

THE CLERK: For, 22. Against, 28

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is defeated.

[Motion for Supply continued.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

MR. TIMOTHY OLIVE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to have a small discussion and provide the members with a little update on our fine borough of Dartmouth, I guess I have to call it now, I can't call it the city anymore.

On this day, where it is the first day of the rest of our lives provincially, with a positive move, with a positive budget, I wanted to provide some positive comments about how things are also progressing in Dartmouth. As we all know there has been a lot of doom and gloom floating around and I must tell you that it is not all doom and gloom. Dartmouth has begun the turnaround as you know; many businesses in Dartmouth rely on a good population base and I am very pleased to say that while the business community is working hard to maintain itself, the corporate community is working also very hard to expand the residential base over in Dartmouth. A number of groups have worked very hard - the Downtown Development

[Page 5099]

Corporation, to name one - and they have been working very hard with Halifax Regional Municipality which has taken a renewed interest through comments, some as recently as last week, from His Worship Mayor Walter Fitzgerald, that he would certainly encourage development in downtown Dartmouth similar to that on the waterfront in Halifax.

That is very encouraging for all those people who own land, who have vacant land and want to develop it and are looking for support through the Municipal Planning Strategy, which has just been completed, which was a two year program for downtown Dartmouth.

I would like to highlight just a couple of areas and bring the honourable members of the House and you, Mr. Speaker, up to date. I know there has been some discussion and some comments regarding areas, for example, the Starr property. We are very pleased that Jacques Whitford has completed their survey of that property and while determining that the land and the buildings are not as polluted as was originally stated by the Halifax Regional Municipality's staff, it still is of major concern to the people of Dartmouth. However, the heritage groups over there are also keeping their ear to the wall, so to speak, and trying to find a way to save building B.

It appears that building B of the four buildings, A, B, C and D in the Starr structure, may be the one building that has some limited opportunities. The unfortunate part about it is that even that building does require extensive pollution management, I guess is probably the best way to put it, through a complete wash down, scrub down, and for anybody who does not understand what that means, it unfortunately means that anything that washes off those buildings must be recovered as well. So it becomes quite an expensive proposition.

So there is some concern as to whether or not the building B in Starr can be saved at all, but that is still up in the air. There was a very good meeting in the last few weeks with a cross-section of people in Dartmouth regarding the Starr property. The consensus is that the site has to be cleaned up. When it is cleaned up, it will be much easier to promote it for development with or without building B. That is basically where we are with the Starr property and I think it is a good-news story for everybody.

As a result of the discussions, Mr. Speaker, on the Starr property there is a lot across the road which used to be the old Mazda dealer - which for the honourable members' edification, in fact, used to be a Teasdale and Foote dealership which I believe was the first, and I could be corrected, General Motors dealership in eastern Canada, many years ago - and the owners of that property have subsequently demolished the building and have tentative plans to put some 30 townhouses on that property, which is exactly the situation that we are trying to promote in the downtown, to get more residential people living down there.

Again, as a result of that, the thought of development of the Starr property, there is property on the corner of King and Alderney which a contractor has received approval to put the initial six to eight townhouses on King Street with an additional 15-plus in the area facing

[Page 5100]

Alderney Drive opposite the Dartmouth Marine Slips. So we are very pleased that we have a potential there for anywhere from 20 to 26 townhouses facing the water, looking out over lovely Halifax Harbour to Halifax and out to the ocean and across to merry old England. It is a beautiful site, and I think the buildings that are going to go up there will sell very easily and further enhance the residential community downtown.

Through the MPS strategy, Mr. Speaker, and through work of the Downtown Development Corporation, there were 10 sites that were designated as potential residential sites in the downtown and in the area immediately adjacent to downtown. Five of them - actually it is a split, five and five - one of the five sites is a Park Avenue/King Street site which is owned by Dr. Elias, which has been vacant for I think somewhere in the range of 15-plus years. Dr. Elias has been trying to get approval to put a very large building up on that property well in excess of the 35 units per acre that the MPS strategy is going for. As a result of changes to the MPS within the last couple of weeks and approved by the DDC and the Harbour East Community Council, in discussions at Harbour East Community Council, we are very pleased that the five sites outside the business core have all been approved for a maximum density of 35 units per acre and that the downtown core, the business district which has another five quite large sites, has now received, or hopefully will receive when it passes through regional council, approval for up to 100 units per acre. We are talking the potential for . . .

[11:30 a.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, I am wondering if the honourable member for Dartmouth South would entertain a question?

MR. SPEAKER: The answer is no.

MR. OLIVE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to continue by indicating that the lots in the downtown area, for a number of years, have been vacant. We are pleased now the opportunity will be there for developers to get maximum bang for their buck, so to speak, in the development of those lands. The potential for increase, a few years ago there was in the range of 10,000 residents in the greater downtown area and the abutting areas to the business district, and now we are down to approximately 6,000, plus or minus a few hundred. The change to the MPS is very important to development downtown. What it means is when the properties, the five on the outside of the business core and the five in the downtown area are fully developed, we hope, over the next two, three, four years, that will increase our residential population in the downtown business core by nearly 4,000 residents. That would put downtown Dartmouth back where it was 15, 18 years ago and certainly allow for greater

[Page 5101]

increase in commercial development and the return to the downtown of businesses that have seen fit to go to Mic Mac Mall or out the Portland Street corridor to the shopping malls where they thought there was a bigger population and a better traffic flow.

It is very important to downtown that the five lots in the business core are developed and are developed soon. There are a number of landlords, one who has quite a large amount of space downtown, who is now seriously considering construction of a building on Portland Street; a four or five storey building, a business on the ground floor and high-end condominiums on the four floors, which is going to be very important and bring a good number of residents back into the downtown.

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before, the development of the Starr property started a lot of people looking at the downtown as to where they wanted to go, where there are opportunities in metro. As we know, the opportunities on this side of the harbour are becoming fewer and fewer every day. Another area that has sparked interest in the downtown is the CN shunting yards, or rail yards, that are in front of Shore Road in the harbour view area. There have been a number of discussions with Canadian National.

The last meeting was on March 16th, with the superintendent for CN, Eastern Canada; the coordinator of Land Management office in Montreal for CN; the director of Communications in Montreal; and the assistant district engineer for the Halifax Region out of Moncton. They met with the Waterfront Development Corporation upon a request from the DDC and from myself, to find out whether there was any value in furthering talks that were started back in the late 1980's, early 1990's, in actually having those rail yards moved out from that area, perhaps out towards Burnside or even further out towards Windsor Junction. At that point in time the City of Dartmouth was not in a position to get into serious negotiations due to the costs. Amalgamation came along in 1995, and the issue basically got put on the shelf.

Mr. Speaker, you might want to wonder why we are talking about that particular area. In consultation with the residents of Shore Road, who obviously have some concerns that their views not be blocked - I think that is not an unreasonable request - they want to be given the opportunity to have all the input they certainly deserve because of their investment on Shore Road, they want to have the opportunity to be involved in the discussions and the development of the CN lands.

I bring your attention, Mr. Speaker, and members of the House to Jim Spatz, who is developing the land down on the waterfront with very high-end condominiums, and the process he went through. We see a similar type of development, hopefully somebody of his ingenuity and imagination, who can take over those lands and negotiate a deal through HRM and through CN with, hopefully, the support of the provincial and federal governments, particularly the Canadian National, to have those yards removed because that indeed is one of the most prime pieces of property left on the waterfront, from the new bridge down

[Page 5102]

through to Eastern Passage and, on this side, from Point Pleasant down through to Rockingham.

We are very anxious to continue those discussions. Unfortunately however, the result of the meeting of May 16th, CN have indicated that the cost of relocating their yards and bringing that land back to a satisfactory development status would be in the range of $15 million, and $15 million is a lot of money for any developer to have to put up front before they even do a survey. So that issue is an issue that has become a long-term project for the citizens of Dartmouth and for the Waterfront Development Corporation, in consultation with the federal government. But if the members can just imagine that piece of land fully developed, from the new Alderney Theatre Complex right down to underneath the old bridge piles, or underneath the piles where the old bridge is, that is certainly a prime piece of property.

One should not forget also that in any development along our waterfront, we are very concerned that we maintain adequate parklands, adequate walkways for our residents, not unlike what has happened along the waterfront in Halifax. It is the intention of the Dartmouth community and all those involved to ensure that that does happen regardless of the level of development on these lands.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to also bring your attention to the Halifax Harbour solutions proposal to place the sewer outfall on the old Coast Guard lands on the end closest to the Nova Scotia Hospital. There are ongoing discussions now with the residents to ensure that, should this operation be established there, the rights of the citizens in that area, on the Boundary Street area looking over this region, that their rights are protected.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

MR. RUSSELL MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak for a few minutes on what has transpired in this province in recent days. I want, first of all, to thank the parents, teachers, and members of the school board for their stout defence of the education system in Nova Scotia. I want to say, too, that what we have obtained in Nova Scotia in the way of additional funding for education has not been enough to maintain the school system that we really should have, the education system that Nova Scotia's young people should have to make sure that they are ready for the opportunities of the future.

I would ask the government to continue to reassess this need, to work with the school boards, the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, the parents, and the students, to review what is necessary. We have identified a slush fund of $88 million, which this government classified as a restructuring amount. It seems now the only thing that is being restructured is the budget of this government. Not only do we have $88 million this year, but we have hundreds of

[Page 5103]

millions of dollars over the next three years. So this slush fund continues and that is unacceptable. This government has put forward no plan for restructuring, so we have no basis for accepting their explanation that there was to be a need for funding for restructuring.

I want to say to this government as well, don't spend the slush fund too fast on other things, because we still have great needs in other areas, such as health care and agriculture. The QE II does not have their budget fixed. They brought forward a budget where they reduced their budget from last year by $10 million; the number one acute care facility in Nova Scotia was forced to reduce their budget by $10 million. The government said, that was not enough. They wanted another $18 million knocked off their budget. When the QE II came back with the results of what that $28 million would result in, the government was horrified and backed away completely.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The motion is carried.

[11:41 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Brooke Taylor in the Chair.]

[1:11 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott, resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and considered the estimates and the Chairman has been instructed to recommend 50 such estimates, to the favourable consideration of the House.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House concurs with the report of the Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

There has been a call for a recorded vote.

The bells will ring at the pleasure of the Whips for up to one hour.

[1:12 p.m.]

[The Division bells were rung.]

[Page 5104]

MR. SPEAKER: Are the Whips satisfied?

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, when the Whips are satisfied could I request that you read the motion?

MR. SPEAKER: Are the Whips satisfied?

The motion is that the House concurs in the report of the Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[2:09 p.m.]

YEAS NAYS

Mr. Christie Mr. MacAskill

Mr. Baker Dr. Smith

Mr. Russell Mr. MacLellan

Dr. Hamm Mr. Downe

Mr. LeBlanc Mr. Manning MacDonald

Mr. Muir Mr. Holm

Miss Purves Mr. Robert Chisholm

Mr. Fage Ms. O'Connell

Mr. Balser Ms. Maureen MacDonald

Mr. Parent Mr. Corbett

Ms. McGrath Mr. Epstein

Mr. Ronald Chisholm Mr. Estabrooks

Mr. Olive Mr. Deveaux

Mr. Rodney MacDonald Mr. Dexter

Mr. MacIsaac Mr. MacEwan

Mr. DeWolfe Mr. Gaudet

Mr. Taylor Mr. MacKinnon

Mr. Dooks Mr. Samson

Mr. Langille Mr. Boudreau

Mr. Morse Mr. Wilson

Mr. Hendsbee Mr. Pye

Mrs. Baillie Mr. John MacDonell

Mr. Carey

Mr. Morash

Mr. Chipman

[Page 5105]

Mr. Barnet

Mr. O'Donnell

Mr. Hurlburt

THE CLERK: For, 28. Against, 22.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, will you please call the order of business, Introduction of Bills.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 49 - Entitled an Act to Provide for Defraying Certain Charges and Expenses of the Public Service of the Province. (Hon. Neil LeBlanc)

[PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of Bill No. 49, the Appropriations Act, 2000.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 49, the Appropriations Act, 2000.

A recorded vote is being called for.

Ring the bells. Call in the members.

[2:13 p.m.]

[The Division bells were rung.]

MR. SPEAKER: Are the Whips satisfied?

The honourable Minister of Finance moved second reading of Bill No. 49, the Appropriations Act, 2000. A recorded vote was called for.

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[Page 5106]

[3:09 p.m.]

YEAS NAYS

Mr. Christie Mr. MacAskill

Mr. Baker Dr. Smith

Mr. Russell Mr. MacLellan

Dr. Hamm Mr. Downe

Mr. LeBlanc Mr. Manning MacDonald

Mr. Muir Mr. Holm

Miss Purves Mr. Robert Chisholm

Mr. Fage Ms. O'Connell

Mr. Balser Ms. Maureen MacDonald

Mr. Parent Mr. Corbett

Ms. McGrath Mr. Epstein

Mr. Ronald Chisholm Mr. Estabrooks

Mr. Olive Mr. Deveaux

Mr. Rodney MacDonald Mr. Dexter

Mr. MacIsaac Mr. MacEwan

Mr. DeWolfe Mr. Gaudet

Mr. Taylor Mr. MacKinnon

Mr. Dooks Mr. Samson

Mr. Langille Mr. Boudreau

Mr. Morse Mr. Wilson

Mr. Hendsbee Mr. Pye

Mrs. Baillie Mr. John MacDonell

Mr. Carey

Mr. Morash

Mr. Chipman

Mr. Barnet

Mr. O'Donnell

Mr. Hurlburt

THE CLERK: For, 28. Against, 22.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 49, the Appropriations Act, 2000.

[Page 5107]

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. We are being asked today to vote on a budget which I believe and I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, is wrong because the budget, as we are speaking here today, the Minister of Education has said that that budget . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would ask the honourable member to take his seat. It is not a point of order. Order, please. Order, please! I will ask the honourable member one more time to take his seat or I will ask him to leave this Chamber. Order, please. (Interruptions)

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, I have (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order!

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, I indicated before that I move third reading of Bill No. 49, the Appropriations Act, 2000.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance moves third reading of Bill No. 49, the Appropriations Act, 2000.

A recorded vote is being called for.

We will ring the bells at the pleasure of the Whips.

[3:15 p.m.]

[The Division bells were rung.]

MR. SPEAKER: Are the Whips satisfied?

The honourable Minister of Finance moved third reading of Bill No. 49, the Appropriations Act, 2000. A recorded vote was called for.

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[4:14 p.m.]

[Page 5108]

YEAS NAYS

Mr. Christie Mr. MacAskill

Mr. Baker Dr. Smith

Mr. Russell Mr. MacLellan

Dr. Hamm Mr. Downe

Mr. LeBlanc Mr. Manning MacDonald

Mr. Muir Mr. Holm

Miss Purves Mr. Robert Chisholm

Mr. Fage Ms. O'Connell

Mr. Balser Ms. Maureen MacDonald

Mr. Parent Mr. Corbett

Ms. McGrath Mr. Estabrooks

Mr. Ronald Chisholm Mr. Deveaux

Mr. Olive Mr. Dexter

Mr. Rodney MacDonald Mr. MacEwan

Mr. MacIsaac Mr. Gaudet

Mr. DeWolfe Mr. MacKinnon

Mr. Taylor Mr. Samson

Mr. Dooks Mr. Boudreau

Mr. Langille Mr. Wilson

Mr. Morse Mr. Pye

Mr. Hendsbee Mr. John MacDonell

Mrs. Baillie

Mr. Carey

Mr. Morash

Mr. Chipman

Mr. Barnet

Mr. O'Donnell

Mr. Hurlburt

THE CLERK: For, 28. Against, 21.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

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

The honourable member for Annapolis on an introduction.

MR. FRANK CHIPMAN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce and welcome to the House, in the east gallery, Mr. Carl Crouse who is an LPN at the Soldiers Memorial Hospital in Middleton. Would you please stand and be recognized by the House. (Applause)

[Page 5109]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise to meet again on Monday at the hour of 2:00 p.m. The House will sit from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. The order of business will be the daily routine, followed by Public Bills for Second Reading, and if we have time - they are shaking their heads - it will be Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

We stand adjourned until Monday at 2:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 4:17 p.m.]