Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

Hansard -- Mon., Oct. 18, 1999

First Session

MONDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1999

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 148, Women: Progress (1929-99) - Recognize, Hon. J. Purves 407
Vote - Affirmative 408
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 5, Lobbyists' Registration Act, Mr. R. Chisholm 408
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 149, Econ. Dev.: Winter Works Prog. - Reinstitute,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 408
Res. 150, Abor. Affs. - Legal Rts.: Negotiations - Promote,
Mr. Robert Chisholm 409
Res. 151, Health - Chester Vol. Fire Dept.: Helipad Construction -
Congrats., Mr. R. MacKinnon 410
Vote - Affirmative 410
Res. 152, Agric. (Can.) - Farm Losses (N.S.): Relief (N.S. [Gov't.]) -
Signal Take, Mr. M. Parent 410
Vote - Affirmative 411
Res. 153, Lbr. - Hammonds Plains Fire Dept.: Mark Fletcher
(Firefighter 1999) - Congrats., Mr. W. Estabrooks 411
Vote - Affirmative 412
Res. 154, Tourism - Cultural Promotion: Agendas (Tourism/Fin.) -
Discordant, Mr. D. Downe 412
Res. 155, Environ. - Clean N.S. Fdn.: Waste Reduction - Applaud,
Mr. T. Olive 413
Vote - Affirmative 414
Res. 156, House of Assembly - Lobbyists: Registration Legislation -
Proceed, Mr. J. Holm 414
Res. 157, Gov't. (N.S.) - Schemes: Poor Punished - Inept,
Mr. B. Boudreau 414
Res. 158, Lbr. - Hammonds Plains Fire Dept.: Ladies Aux. -
Work Recognize, Mr. B. Barnet 415
Vote - Affirmative 415
Res. 159, Sports - Football (Paul Puma & Team): Hall of Fame (SMU) -
Induction Congrats., Mr. Robert Chisholm 416
Vote - Affirmative 416
Res. 160, Health - Administration: Monies - Continuance, Dr. J. Smith 416
Res. 161, Tech. & Sc. Sec't.: Sc. & Tech. Week - Congrats.,
Ms. E. O'Connell 417
Vote - Affirmative 417
Res. 162, Fin. - Charities: Monies - Restore, Mr. D. Wilson 418
Res. 163, Women - History: Importance - Remember,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 418
Vote - Affirmative 419
Res. 164, Environ. - Clean N.S. Fdn.: Waste Reduction - Applaud,
Hon. R. Russell 419
Vote - Affirmative 420
Res. 165, Lbr. - EMS: Negotiations - Withdraw (Min.), Mr. R. MacKinnon 420
Res. 166, Devco - Miners: Package - Improve, Mr. F. Corbett 420
Vote - Affirmative 421
Res. 167, Culture - John Greer (LaHave): Sculpture Comm'n. (Ottawa) -^
Congrats., Mr. D. Downe 421
Vote - Affirmative 422
Res. 168, Nobel Peace Prize: Doctors Without Borders - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Dexter 422
Vote - Affirmative 422
Res. 169, Fin. - Fiscal Responsibility: Poor/Poorest Regions -
Punished, Mr. D. Wilson 423
Res. 170, Lbr. - Fire Serv. Long Serv. Medal: Donald Connor
(Beaver Bank-Kinsac) - Congrats., Mr. K. Deveaux 423
Vote - Affirmative 424
Res. 171, Educ. - Prince Andrew HS: Woodlawn Environ.
Enhancement Conserv. Assoc. - Congrats., Dr. J. Smith 424
Vote - Affirmative 425
Res. 172, Oxfam Canada - Global Poverty: Awareness Promotion -
Congrats., Mr. H. Epstein 425
Vote - Affirmative 425
Res. 173, St. Philip's African Orthodox Church - Archbishop Vincent
Waterman: Achievements - Recognize, Mr. Manning MacDonald 426
Vote - Affirmative 426
Res. 174, Lbr. - Enfield Vol. Fire Dep't.: Extrication Competition
(3rd Place) - Congrats., Mr. John MacDonell 426
Vote - Affirmative 427
Res. 175, Sports - Ball Hockey (N.S.): Douglas Knickle -
Involvement Congrats., Mr. J. Pye 427
Vote - Affirmative 428
Res. 176, Health - Cobequid Multi-Service Ctr.: Walk-A-Thon -
Thanks, Mr. J. Holm 428
Res. 177, Justice - Violence Against Women: Solutions - Recommit,
Ms. E. O'Connell 429
Vote - Affirmative 429
Res. 178, Exco - Policy Directions: Poorest Impact - Responsibilities
Remember, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 429
Res. 179, Swissair Flight 111 - Hfx. Reg. Ground Search & Rescue Team:
Dedication - Recognize, Mr. D. Dexter 430
Vote - Affirmative 431
Res. 180, Culture - Musical Comedy (The Berkensons): Michael Grove
(Beaver Bank) - Success Congrats., Mr. K. Deveaux 431
Vote - Affirmative 431
Res. 181, Culture - Craft Crawl (Prospect Road [16-17/10/99]):
Operators - Congrats., Mr. W. Estabrooks 432
Vote - Affirmative 432
Res. 182, Agric. - Dept.: Amalgamation - Clarify, Mr. John MacDonell 432
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. H. Epstein 433
Mr. W. Estabrooks 435
Mr. R. MacKinnon 437
Mr. B. Taylor 440
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 5:22 P.M. 444
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 9:22 P.M. 444
ADDRESS IN REPLY:
Mr. B. Barnet 445
Mr. J. Carey 452
Adjourned debate 454
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Oct. 19th at 12:00 p.m. 454

[Page 407]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1999

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

First Session

4:00 P.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

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 148

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

407

[Page 408]

Whereas October 18th marks Persons Day in Canada, so-called from the Persons Case of 1929 when Canadian women achieved recognition as persons; and

Whereas the Persons Case was symbolic in that it broke the barrier which had prevented women from sitting in the Upper Chamber of Government, the Senate; and

Whereas much progress has been made in the 70 years since the Persons Case, progress that is even within living memory of many of our senior population and yet we see still only five women sitting as elected representatives in this House;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize and applaud the progress of women in all aspects of Canadian life and that we work to assure that the progress of women in the next 70 years will be as great or as greater than the progress achieved since the Persons Case of 1929.

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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 5 - Entitled an Act to Require the Registration of Lobbyists in Nova Scotia. (Mr. Robert Chisholm [by Ms. Eileen O'Connell])

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 149

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

[Page 409]

Whereas the cancellation of the Winter Works Program this year means that non-profit groups like the Open Door for the Homeless Shelter, Loaves and Fishes, and Island Alternative Measurers will lose much-needed help during the winter months; and

Whereas this vicious attack on the most vulnerable in our province is an inexcusable cash grab in light of difficult economic times in Cape Breton; and

Whereas the elimination of monies from the Sydney casino and the cancellation of the Winter Works Program is a double hit and means that many charities will be unable to sustain themselves through next year;

Therefore be it resolved this government show some common decency and re-institute the Winter Works Program so that those most in need are not cast into the streets by a morally bankrupt social policy.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 150

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

Whereas Mi'kmaq and non-native fishers in the Gulf of Fundy are demonstrating the value of cooperation and negotiation to ensure a peaceful resolution of fishing issues; and

Whereas many others in the fishing industry have also been open to reaching an agreement with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Chiefs, to reconcile the various fishing interests; and

Whereas events in Yarmouth on the weekend of October 16th-17th, reminds Nova Scotians that confrontation and arbitrary action create grave risks to our resource industries;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the government to take every possible measure to promote and encourage peaceful, negotiated responses to the challenge of giving effect to the legal right enjoyed by First Nations.

Mr. Speaker, I would seek waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 410]

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 151

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

Whereas Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society Nova Scotia, better known as STARS Nova Scotia, is requesting Nova Scotia communities to construct helipads to improve response times for more serious injuries or medical emergencies; and

Whereas the Chester Volunteer Fire Department has begun the process of constructing a helipad in the Village of Chester; and

Whereas the Chester helipad will be built with the use of funds raised by the volunteer fire department;

Therefore be it resolved this House extend congratulations and heartfelt thanks to the Chester Volunteer Fire Department on their community involvement.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 152

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

[Page 411]

Whereas Nova Scotia's agricultural industry is the key industry for many communities throughout the Annapolis Valley; and

Whereas communities throughout the entire province of Nova Scotia greatly benefit from the hard work and success of all those involved in this industry; and

Whereas Nova Scotia farm leaders have recently praised the Progressive Conservative Government for its demonstrated recognition of this valuable sector through the allocation of $10 million to agricultural drought relief;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House encourage the federal government to take this increase as a signal and improve its response to the severe losses suffered by Nova Scotia's farming community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 153

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

Whereas local fire departments are an integral part of many communities across our province; and

Whereas these departments are made up of women and men who volunteer their time and energy to provide this vital service; and

Whereas members of the Hammonds Plains Fire Department at their annual awards banquet presented the prestigious Firefighter of the Year Award to Mark Fletcher;

[Page 412]

Therefore be it resolved that this House offer its congratulations to Firefighter of the Year, Mark Fletcher, and to Chief Ambrose Smith, and compliments to all members of the Hammonds Plains Fire Department on a job well done.

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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 Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 154

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

Whereas our cultural industries represents 5 per cent of the jobs and GDP, as indicated in a cultural strategy announced by the Tourism and Culture Minister; and

Whereas the Tory Finance Minister sees no benefit in such a strategy and has strongly hinted that this strategy will not be supported by the government this spring; and

Whereas the creation of a separate tourism and culture Ministry was supposedly created to put Tourism and Culture on the front burner of economic development in the Province of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that this Tory Government sees little economic value in the promotion of our cultural industries and that the agenda of the Tourism Minister is not in keeping with the agenda of the Finance Minister.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Annapolis on an introduction.

[Page 413]

MR. FRANK CHIPMAN: Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to introduce three guests in the east gallery: my sister, Muriel, from Greenwich, Connecticut; my niece, Krista, who just arrived back in Canada today from London, after working there for a period of time; and my lovely wife, Doreen, without whose efforts I probably wouldn't be here today. Would they please stand. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston on an introduction.

MR. DAVID HENDSBEE: Monsieur le président, I would like to take this time and opportunity to introduce a friend and a colleague in the east gallery; a friend of mine who happens to be the constituency secretary for the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley and three time campaign manager for three consecutive elections, Mrs. Sherri Richard, and her Grade 1 son, Luc. I would like to introduce them to the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

RESOLUTION NO. 155

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

Whereas this is the 8th Annual Waste Reduction Week for Clean Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Clean Nova Scotia Foundation works year-round to encourage Nova Scotians to reduce the amount of waste they produce; and

Whereas Clean Nova Scotia is holding several theme days during Waste Reduction Week, including today's Lug a Mug Monday, during which the organization will celebrate the opening of its new offices at 126 Portland Street, in Dartmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the waste reduction efforts of the Clean Nova Scotia Foundation and join me in welcoming staff and volunteers to their new offices in downtown Dartmouth.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 414]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 156

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

Whereas during the recent election campaign, the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and now Premier, generously and quickly endorsed the NDP's proposed lobbyist registration act; and

Whereas the tape recorded conversations of lobbying efforts by Benny and Louis Friedman have provided fresh evidence of the need for this sunshine legislation; and

Whereas approval of such legislation in this session would keep the Premier's pledge to take good advice from all Parties;

Therefore be it resolved that the government should proceed this fall with lobbyist registration legislation along the lines of the NDP proposal that was endorsed by the Progressive Conservatives.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 157

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 Cape Breton Regional Municipality is facing a severe deficit at a time when the tax base is shrinking and uncertainty over Sysco and Devco is destroying confidence in the economy; and

[4:15 p.m.]

Whereas pressures on non-profit groups to assist the community in this desperate time will be greater this year than in any other with the cancellation of the Winter Works Program; and

[Page 415]

Whereas to add insult to injury, monies designated for charities have been ripped away to pay for political boondoggles like the Bedford corrections facility or the rerouting of the Antigonish Bypass;

Therefore be it resolved the current government is inept at best and cruel at worst as they muddle through without any plans except for schemes to punish the poor and the underprivileged.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 158

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

Whereas fire departments' ladies auxiliaries have been an integral part of the volunteer fire service throughout Nova Scotia raising badly needed funds; and

Whereas the Hammonds Plains Ladies Auxiliary has been performing this vital role for over 30 years in their community; and

Whereas June Smith of Hammonds Plains was recently recognized by her community as having served on the ladies auxiliary for all of the 30 years that they have existed;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the important work of the ladies auxiliaries and the outstanding commitment and contribution which June Smith has given to the fire service in Hammonds Plains.

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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.

[Page 416]

RESOLUTION NO. 159

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

Whereas members of the championship St. Mary's Huskies Football Team of 1964 were inducted, on Saturday, October 16th, into the SMU Sports Hall of Fame; and

Whereas Paul Puma, recently retired principal of J.L. Ilsley High School, was a prominent member of this Huskies' team; and

Whereas Mr. Puma used his renowned leadership talents from earlier football days to build a highly successful and well-recognized educational career;

Therefore be it resolved that this House offer its congratulations to Paul Puma and the members of the 1964 SMU Football Team on their induction into the SMU Sports Hall of Fame.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for 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 East.

RESOLUTION NO. 160

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

Whereas our current Premier stated in June that, "simply throwing money at a system without any plan is like throwing good money after bad."; and

Whereas this government's budget clearly indicates that the Tory health plan is non-existent despite throwing $204 million at the system; and

[Page 417]

Whereas the Tory non-health plan continues to allow the system to spiral out of control with no accountability and no plan to pay the money back;

Therefore be it resolved that this government continues to throw good money after bad despite its phony election promise to find money in the Health administration budget.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 161

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 October 15th to October 24th is National Science and Technology Week; and

Whereas consistent with this year's theme, Science and Technology . . . Naturally, some local scientists outlined their research at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History today; and

Whereas all their research used technology to assist in scientific research of the natural world;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate all those engaged in scientific and technical research during this Science and Technology Week.

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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 East.

[Page 418]

RESOLUTION NO. 162

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 taxation and social policies of Prince John were regressive as the poor suffered at the hands of an immoral regime; and

Whereas the Sheriff of Nottingham implemented the policies of the Crown with the ferocity of a Tory Finance Minister; and

Whereas the modern day version of the tale has no Robin Hood to save the day for the poor subjects of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier immediately take steps to restore monies destined for charity before he goes down in history as the merciless Prince John of Nova Scotia.

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 Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 163

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

Whereas on October 18, 1929, the British Privy Council ruled Canadian women would be legally recognized as persons; and

Whereas the day of this landmark decision has become known as Persons Day, which also occurs during October, Women's History Month; and

Whereas this is the 69th year in which Persons Day will be observed in Canada;

[Page 419]

Therefore be it resolved that this House notes the importance of remembering our history while recognizing the fundamental role an independent judiciary plays in upholding important human rights.

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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 Minister of Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 164

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

Whereas this week the Clean Nova Scotia Foundation has kicked off Nova Scotia's 8th Annual Waste Reduction Week; and

Whereas Nova Scotians now dispose of the lowest amounts of waste in all of Canada and are seen as world leaders in waste resource management thanks to the province's Solid Waste Resource Management Strategy; and

Whereas the Clean Nova Scotia Foundation has been and continues to be instrumental in encouraging Nova Scotians to reduce the amount of waste that they produce;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the waste reduction efforts of the Clean Nova Scotia Foundation and all of Nova Scotians in their efforts to sustain our environment.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 420]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 165

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

Whereas on Friday, October 15, 1999, the provincial government passed an order in this House for EMS to negotiate a fair and acceptable package for its ambulance operators; and

Whereas this unprecedented action is a clear violation of the collective bargaining process in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Minister of Labour, who is also the Progressive Conservative Government's House Leader, supported this intervention;

Therefore be it resolved that because of impartiality, the Minister of Labour must remove himself as Minister of Labour until these negotiations are complete.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice and passage without debate..

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 166

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

[Page 421]

Whereas the federal government's Throne Speech talked about a focus on children; and

Whereas Devco miners, who will be losing their jobs as a result of mine closures, have families; and

Whereas the economy of Cape Breton will be adversely affected by these layoffs;

Therefore be it resolved that this government remind the federal government of its stated emphasis on children and ask them to offer a better package to laid off miners to ensure the well-being of their children will be protected.

I seek 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 Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 167

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

Whereas LaHave artist John Greer, co-founder of The Sculpture forum, is working on a commission to be unveiled in Ottawa next year in September; and

Whereas the piece is dedicated to aid workers who have died while giving international assistance; and

Whereas Mr. Greer was chosen out of over 100 artists who applied for the commission from across Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate John Greer on his commission and wish him well on his unveiling next year.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

[Page 422]

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

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. 168

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

Whereas last week the organization Doctors Without Borders won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize; and

Whereas this organization has won world-wide admiration for the care it has provided to war-torn and destitute everywhere; and

Whereas Dr. Ann Duggan of Halifax, this past April, completed her 15th mission since joining Doctors Without Borders;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Doctors Without Borders for their Nobel Peace Prize and, in particular, Dr. Duggan for her unselfish efforts on behalf of humanity.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton East.

[Page 423]

RESOLUTION NO. 169

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 cancellation of the Winter Works Program and the removal of money destined for charity gives new meaning to the phrase, "kicking 'em when they're down"; and

Whereas Winter Works money was destined for areas of high unemployment, like Cape Breton, in a time when Cape Bretoners need it most; and

Whereas the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is facing a cash crunch without comparison, placing extreme levels of stress on charities like the Glace Bay Food Bank;

Therefore be it resolved that this Tory Government is punishing the poor in the poorest regions under the guise of fiscal responsibility.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 170

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are essential to the safety and well-being of many Nova Scotian communities; and

Whereas many firefighters have chosen to make a long-term commitment to their local volunteer fire department; and

Whereas it is important to recognize the sacrifice all firefighters make while serving the public for many years;

[Page 424]

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Donald Connor of the Beaver Bank-Kinsac Volunteer Fire Department who was awarded a Nova Scotia Fire Services Long Service Medal on Sunday, October 3, 1999 at a ceremony in Parade Square, Halifax.

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 Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 171

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

Whereas on Friday, October 18, 1999, Grade 12 students at Prince Andrew High School unveiled their lasting millennium legacy to the school by planting a centennial tree, 400 flower bulbs, as well as opening their new student patio; and

Whereas the Prince Andrew Woodlawn Environmental Enhancement Conservation Association will celebrate the millennium by honouring the school and the community with student-contributed projects totalling $50,000; and

Whereas all of these projects will not only improve the school surroundings but will also recognize the important link Prince Andrew High School has with its community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Crystal Walton, President of the Prince Andrew Woodlawn Environmental Enhancement Conservation Association and all of the Grade 12 students on this very worthwhile and lasting community initiative.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

[Page 425]

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 Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 172

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

Whereas October 16th was World Food Day; and

Whereas to mark the occasion, Oxfam Canada held an event called the Global Feast at St. Mathias Parish Hall; and

Whereas this event reminded participants how unequal is the distribution of resources throughout the world;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Oxfam Canada for its long-term work in promotion of awareness of global poverty issues.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

[Page 426]

RESOLUTION NO. 173

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

Whereas Archbishop Vincent Waterman of St. Philip's African Orthodox Church received the Griot, an award given by the Black Cultural Centre to wise elders; and

Whereas Archbishop Waterman is known for his work with young people and in race relations; and

Whereas he also volunteers his time with the Red Cross, Canadian Cancer Society, Affirmative Action Committee, Right to Life Society, the United Way, the Sydney Boys and Girls Club and the Children's Aid Society;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the many achievements of Archbishop Vincent Waterman as he truly leads the life of a wise elder.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 174

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

Whereas firefighters show the ultimate essence of the spirit of volunteerism by risking their lives to save others; and

Whereas on the weekend of October 16th and October 17th, the Enfield Volunteer Fire Department hosted an extrication competition in which 10 teams participated - four from Ontario and the rest from Nova Scotia; and

[Page 427]

Whereas the event was hailed, by those with experience participating in such events, as the best organized they had ever seen;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Enfield Volunteer Fire Department for their third place finish in the competition and praise Cecil Dixon and his committee for an event well organized.

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 North.

RESOLUTION NO. 175

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

[4:30 p.m.]

Whereas ball hockey became an active sport in Nova Scotia some 28 years ago, now having a membership of over 5,000; and

Whereas Douglas Knickle has been President for 25 of these growth years; and

Whereas Douglas Knickle demonstrated his love for the game by being involved in 3,750 games, not missing one;

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature congratulate Douglas Knickle for his outstanding involvement in the Nova Scotia Ball Hockey League.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

[Page 428]

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 Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 176

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 Cobequid Multi-Service Centre Foundation agreed to advance the upfront costs required to get the planning under way for the badly needed replacement for the Cobequid Multi-Service Centre that was promised by the former Minister of Health; and

Whereas on Saturday, October 16th, over $16,000 was raised by approximately 175 participants who took part in the walkathon as part of the ongoing community efforts to raise its share of the badly needed facility's costs; and

Whereas as the demands and pressures on the existing Cobequid Multi-Service Centre continue to increase rapidly due to growth, a new facility is desperately needed to maintain and enhance programs and ambulatory services it provides to residents in Sackville, Bedford, Waverley, Fall River, Mount Uniacke, Windsor Junction and surrounding communities;

Therefore be it resolved that this House thank the Cobequid Multi-Service Centre Foundation and all participants who made Saturday's walkathon so successful and wish them every success in their efforts to achieve the badly needed replacement to the Cobequid Multi-Service Centre on schedule.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

[Page 429]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 177

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 Friday, October 15th, marked the Take Back the Night March; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women extended its support this year to this cause; and

Whereas violence against women remains an ugly reality in our communities with more than 60 per cent of Canadian women being afraid to walk alone at night, 76 per cent afraid of using public transport, 83 per cent afraid in parking garages and 39 per cent afraid when they are home alone;

Therefore be it resolved that all members recommit themselves to finding solutions for violence against women and to helping women take back the night.

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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 Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 178

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

Whereas yesterday, Sunday, October 17th, was declared the International Day for the Elimination of Poverty by the United Nations; and

[Page 430]

Whereas a study recently commissioned by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities confirms that Canada's poorest people have been the hardest hit by the drop in family incomes during the 1990's; and

Whereas the study found that the poorest 10 per cent of residents in Canadian cities suffered a fall of 18.8 per cent in their total income since 1992, while the top 10 per cent enjoyed a 6.8 per cent increase;

Therefore be it resolved that this government be mindful of its responsibilities to all citizens for the policy directions it chooses and the impact these choices have on income security, particularly for the poorest and most disadvantaged Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I am seeking 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 Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 179

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

Whereas a local search and rescue team has been recognized for its work in recovering debris and human remains during the 1998 crash of Swissair Flight 111; and

Whereas the Halifax Regional Ground Search and Rescue Team picked up the National Search and Rescue Secretariat Certificate of Achievement for its work following Flight 111 and for 11 other major searches in the area during 1998; and

Whereas the team participated in the Flight 111 recovery for more than three months;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the dedication and commitment of the members of the Halifax Regional Ground Search and Rescue Team and thank them for their efforts on behalf of all of those in need of their vital service.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver.

[Page 431]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 180

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

Whereas the members of this Legislature are justly proud of the young people of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Millwood High School student Michael Grove, of Beaver Bank, has contributed to culture of both his own community and of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Michael's musical comedy, "The Berkensons" was produced by Limelight Theatre and ran four nights at the DuMaurier Theatre during the Atlantic Fringe Festival;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Michael Grove and wish him well in his future cultural endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for 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 Timberlea-Prospect.

[Page 432]

RESOLUTION NO. 181

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

Whereas on Saturday, October 16th, and Sunday, October 17th, the many operators of the craft shops along the Prospect Road held a successful Craft Crawl; and

Whereas tourists and smart local shoppers thoroughly appreciate the talents of these craftspeople; and

Whereas the efforts of these businesses combine to make Route 233 an attractive place to visit and shop;

Therefore be it resolved that this House offer its congratulations to the operators of these craft shops on their Craft Crawl.

Mr. Speaker, I ask 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 Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 182

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 July election has brought Nova Scotia a new slate of provincial ministers; and

Whereas in the August issue of Farm Focus the Federation of Agriculture aired concerns over the load carried by the Agriculture Minister and their fears that his three departments may become one; and

[Page 433]

Whereas the minister's response was "there are no plans for departmental amalgamation to my knowledge";

Therefore be it resolved that this House encourage the minister to check with whomever has this knowledge in his departments so that he may give a clear picture to all who are affected by his portfolios.

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.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, 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 member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, before we move into the detailed departmental estimates, I have a few comments with respect to the budget that I would like to share with my fellow members of the House. I plan on making comments with respect to a couple of different aspects of the budget over the next few days. I would like to start today by discussing a bit about deficit and debt. I have chosen to do that, not because I believe that the situation with respect to deficit and debt in the province is absolutely the most fundamental or important matter that we have to deal with in addressing the budget, but

[Page 434]

because it is the picture with respect to deficit and debt that this government has chosen to give to Nova Scotians in an attempt to justify what it is doing in their budget that drives our attention to that topic.

Mr. Speaker, in the budget, we were shown some restated figures for the deficit in the province with respect to the last few fiscal years. Our attention was drawn to restatement of deficit pictures going back to 1996. The suggestion was made that this was in fulfilment of an attempt by the government to come up with what is called an honest accounting with respect to the deficits and debt of the Province of Nova Scotia.

I certainly agree that restating the format of the books is appropriate, and yet, it seems to me crucial that all members of the House understand that an honest picture of the deficits and debt for the Province of Nova Scotia is not to be had simply by going back three fiscal years and reconsidering what it is that occurred during those fiscal years.

Consequently, I have gone back a full 20 years and more - 22 years, in fact - and looked at the budgets of each government during all of that time in order to lay out for all members of the House, exactly what is the situation and was the situation during that time. I went back to the fiscal year 1975-76 but, of course, what is probably of particular interest to all of us here is what was the state of the province's debt in the first fiscal year in which the previous Progressive Conservative Government took over. It is well worth remembering that in that time the total debt to the Province of Nova Scotia was only $500 million.

During the successive 15 years of Progressive Conservative Governments, there were massive deficits year in, year out - $144 million the first year; $126 million the second year; $210 million; $369 million; $578 million; and on it goes. So the result was, after 15 years of government by the Progressive Conservative Party, the debt had grown so that it was in excess of $6 billion at the end of their period of government.

What happened during the time in which the Liberals were the government, during the six successive years, is that again, massive deficits were the order of the day so that when they left, Nova Scotians were looking at about $9 billion, or as we stated, about $10 billion worth of debt.

I think that if we are going to be honest about remembering what it is that the financial picture is, we have to remember those figures. So let me point out what I think some of the lessons are that we have to learn right away. First is, that what we have been given, as a so-called honest accounting, omits a huge amount of information. The second point is that the bulk of the debt is Tory debt. The third point is that both the Liberals and the Tories have been terrible financial managers of the Province of Nova Scotia and there is virtually nothing to distinguish between them. The average deficit each year is on the order of $400 million and that figure doesn't really change whether it was 15 years of Tory Government or six or seven years of Liberal Government.

[Page 435]

The next point is, of course, there is nothing new or startling in the debt and deficit picture that has been given to us by the new Minister of Finance. It is especially not any justification for how it is they propose to proceed. There is another lesson. If the picture over 20 years has been that for every year there has been a deficit on an average basis of about $400 million, this government will not be able to turn that situation around during its term unless it sets out a positive program for transformation of the economy. Nothing else will do it. The final point that has to be learned when considering the only context that we should remember, which is the full history of every year in which we have run up this debt, is that cuts to government services are definitely not the answer. Nova Scotia is now the only province that is proposing a second round of cuts to its services. They won't work. They will, in fact, inflict serious damage on those who are the most vulnerable of which we have begun to see the worst examples come forward. Thank you.

[4:45 p.m.]

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a few moments before we move into the estimates this evening to bring up a topic near and dear to my heart and of some consequence to the community which I am so privileged to represent.

I am sure that the members in this Legislature, whether new or old, are aware of the fact that in my previous career, I was fortunate enough to be a schoolteacher at a number of schools throughout the metro area. Mr. Speaker, I began my teaching career at Sir John A. Macdonald High School. I had the privilege for 10 short years to work in that school, to serve that community as the vice-principal and to see the development of this legendary school. In 1999, that school is 32 years of age. I think it is of some importance for members present, for past Education Ministers and for the present Education Minister to be aware of some of the concerns dealing with Sir John A. Macdonald High School.

Tradition is a word that is used in so many educational institutions, tradition where you see the value of involvement, the commitment to community and the strength that a particular school can give to that community.

Mr. Speaker, I have had the opportunity to have two daughters graduate from this high school. I have had the opportunity to coach and teach various young men and women who have graduated from that high school. Sir John A. Macdonald has a valued reputation, academically, athletically and throughout this country. There are some outstanding young people who are attending this school this year. Outstanding young people that I have had the opportunity to work with, volunteer students involved with the St. Margarets Lions Club, young men and women who will look forward to hosting a model United Nations, young men and women who are involved in the ABEL class, that is an adventure-based, experiential learning group.

[Page 436]

In that same school, over the years, there have been numerous outstanding staff members who have given of their time freely with such programs as the Cooperative Education Program. Currently, Sir John A. Macdonald is lucky enough to have an outstanding principal by the name of Martha Norris as our leader at the high school level in our community. Ms. Norris has gathered around her, a dedicated staff that cares deeply for her students. She has the opportunity daily to work with teachers like Nancy Alford, Kevin McNair and Art Campbell. She has the opportunity to go down to the school cafeteria and be served by outstanding community citizens such as Susan Gamble. Those are the positive things about Sir John A. Macdonald.

I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that the community that I represent is sick and tired of the double talk, the excuses and the delays as the young people who attend this school are subjected daily to an ongoing health problem. Two portables now reside at Sir John A. Macdonald, the result of overcrowding. I am far from Einstein, as I am sure you can vouch, but I can tell you that I knew three years ago that there was going to be overcrowding at Sir John A. Macdonald High School. You do not build a new middle school in Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea and a new middle school in Hammonds Plains and a new elementary school in St. Margarets Bay without adding those figures up and saying that a high school that should have 950 students in it, now has 1,150 students. The math tells me that Sir John A. Macdonald is overcrowded. The two portables now in back of it confirm that.

Mr. Speaker, on Friday there was a very interesting meeting held in those portables. On Friday, the staff of Sir John A. Macdonald High School could not hold their staff meeting in that school, on that day, because of the fumes and the noxious smells that were in that school. They had to have that staff meeting out in the portables. Thankfully, the wise decision was made not to have students present.

Mr. Speaker, as you might be aware, there were no students at Sir John A. Macdonald High School again today. Throughout the weekend there has been a rush of activities. Tenders suddenly have been called and we have construction happening to help with the ventilation problems at this high school. As the political representative at the provincial level, I run into people all the time who say, you politicians never listen, you never listen to the fact that we have an older high school that needs renovations and needs additions.

I can tell members present and the Minister of Education that Sir John A. Macdonald High School has a gymnasium that most junior highs now use. It has a cafeteria that can hold at the outside maybe 200 students; 200 students when you have 1,150 attending. I can tell you that there is a portion of the school called the industrial annex that is in embarrassing condition. This high school has been the focal point of our community for a long time. It has been sadly neglected by Ministers of Education in both governments that previously served. Both times the Ministers of Education stood in this House making excuses. Mr. Harrison and the current member for Clare served as Ministers of Education. They are aware of the needs of this school and now the challenge is up for this new minister.

[Page 437]

I do not want excuses that I have heard - a new minister, and a new minister has to learn the various things that are happening in their schools. The same bureaucrats are in the same departments and they know the situation at Sir John A. Macdonald High School. The community has been patient. The community has listened. Young people are becoming ill. This is a serious problem and it is no time to play politics with the health of the children in my community. Thank you.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and offer a few interventions on a number of issues on a provincial level before we enter into Supply. The first is with regard to the fishery of Nova Scotia and, in particular, the ongoing, rather sensitive issue in terms of the native fishery dispute that seems to have in some cases polarized all stakeholders across Nova Scotia.

As we know, Mr. Speaker, the native community in Canada, and indeed in Nova Scotia, has won the right by a Supreme Court decision to have their native fishing rights exercised and as has been recognized by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, I believe that all governments, both federal and provincial, have a responsibility to respond. However, what has also been recognized is the responsibility and the right of the federal government to ensure that conservation measures are intact so that we have a long-term sustainable industry whether we are dealing with the native fishery or the traditional non-native fishery.

Mr. Speaker, here in Nova Scotia, in particular southwestern Nova Scotia which represents approximately 85 per cent of the total fishery in Nova Scotia, it is essentially the backbone of our economy in that sector of the province. Jobs, new money and the spin-offs of untold proportion play a major important economic and social role for Nova Scotia. The investments that have been made by many of our stakeholders whether in the supply or, in fact, the actual fishing, harvesting and marketing of lobsters in this particular case for which the issue is polarized, is of major significance.

Mr. Speaker, I believe it is important to recognize that to a certain extent the greater number of individuals who are involved in the process, particularly on the front lines with the lobster fishery, both in the non-native and the native communities, have shown goodwill and the intent to engage in a significant dialogue which, by the way, is essentially the position that the federal government is taking in terms of ensuring that through communication and dialogue we are more apt to come to a more favourable resolve than by a confrontational approach. I believe, for the most part, that the provincial government supports that, although sometimes the issues of fear, tension and the risk of losing has brought out the not-so-positive attributes of the various stakeholders, and only yesterday there was clear evidence of some of those apprehensions and fears that have brought out the not-so-positive in the individual beings.

[Page 438]

I am somewhat perplexed, Mr. Speaker, that while the provincial government, on a number of its election platform issues with regard to fisheries stated quite clearly that, "During its first mandate, a PC Government will:" - and I emphasize will, not shall - "Aggressively represent Nova Scotian fishing interests in Ottawa; Support policies which recognize that the traditional strength of the fishery in Nova Scotia has been diversification of plant, vessel and gear type;" - then it goes on - "Promote research and development of new seafood products.", and so on. Approximately eight individual items in their platform that the provincial Conservative Government indicates, and they state quite clearly, "We are committed to maintaining the delicate balance between harvesting and conservation which ensures that the fishery will continue to be an integral part of Nova Scotian life. Effective enforcement is a key measure.".

What I found particularly perplexing, Mr. Speaker, is the fact that the Premier, a little more than a week and one-half ago, publicly declared that there should be a moratorium on the non-native lobster fishery in Nova Scotia, and this, while at the same time, through their platform, they are advocating dialogue and communication and support for the respective stakeholders to come to a favourable conclusion. So here we have a rather strange dichotomy: on the one hand the Premier of the province is saying shut down our 7,000 or more lobster fishermen in southwest Nova Scotia; on the other hand saying that we want to be equal partners and we want to communicate.

The key issue is a regulated fishing industry. I believe that all stakeholders, in particular all members of this House, I think would readily agree that what we want is an even playing field for all various stakeholders, whether they be native or non-native. If you look at the traditional fishery, non-native fishing communities in Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, we see that it is already regulated by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. So, in essence, if we are on one hand saying to the people of Nova Scotia, and indeed, to the lobster fishermen of Nova Scotia, both native and non-native, that there are plenty of lobster to go around over and above what they are already regulated, then why would we want to shut down the non-native fishery in Nova Scotia because of an unknown factor within the Premier's thought process?

I believe it is incumbent upon both the Premier and the Minister of Fisheries to explain why they do not want the non-native lobster fishermen of Nova Scotia to continue to fish as per the season schedule. I am very perplexed on that because obviously conservation is the key and that is ultimately the responsibility that has been identified and stated quite clearly by the federal Fisheries Minister on Thursday past that, in fact, it is the federal government's responsibility ultimately to ensure that there is a regulated fishery to ensure proper conservation, whether that means intrusion on the native fishery or not.

The native community may take issue with the federal government's position on that but then we get into the interpretation of the Supreme Court decision, Mr. Speaker, but ultimately at some point in time, as the federal government has appointed a mediator to try

[Page 439]

to bring a positive conclusion to this impasse that, in fact, this mediator, hopefully, will develop this meeting of the minds so that we do not have continued polarization between the native community saying they want to regulate on their own terms and the federal government speaking for all Canadians saying that they ultimately have the right. At some point, all the stakeholders have to come together and bring a successful conclusion.

[5:00 p.m.]

I agree, Mr. Speaker, ultimately, the federal government has to ensure that there is a sustainable resource in the fishing community so that all stakeholders, both native and non-native, are satisfied. But I reject the position that we have to throw out the baby with the bathwater because we don't have resolve in the native community in terms of regulation enforcement. I believe it is erroneous to ask all the non-native lobster fishermen in southwestern Nova Scotia to keep their traps on the wharves and not proceed in this regulated fishing industry.

As well, Mr. Speaker, I would like to just digress momentarily on another issue which I think is one that we dealt with here in the House on a previous day with regard to the hiring policy here in Nova Scotia for civil servants. As we know, through the Department of Human Resources, we have a fair hiring policy, which, in essence, binds the provincial government to the Civil Service Act. Now, outlined in this fair hiring policy document there are exemptions and I would readily support those, whether it be for ministers' EAs, senior confidential staff or, indeed, certain contract positions, whether it be Mr. MacLeod in the Cabinet office in Sydney and I would agree, yes, we may have different political philosophies but yes, that is a sensitive political position and I have no problems with that. Certainly, I have contracted individuals in my own office to do short-term contractual obligations that met the needs of the various directors in my department, in concert with the Human Resources Department, so there are some considerations that would have to be allowed.

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Labour has indicated in the House, if you have a public competition to give all Nova Scotians the opportunity to partake and someone chooses not to partake and the competition closes and then you turn around and say, well, we want to go and pick a, b or c, or as the Minister of Labour had indicated last week for the Workers' Advisers Program with the workers' compensation division in the Department of Labour, that we are going to go outside the scope of that, that creates a double standard for a number of reasons.

Number one, it is contrary to the fair hiring policy, which is tied into the Act. I am sure the Minister of Human Resources would readily agree, the legislation is quite specific. So this is a direct contravention of the Act. You cannot apply one set of rules to one group of individuals for the same job description and then another set of rules for someone who obviously has proclaimed herself as a good friend of the government. Mr. Speaker, just to emphasize, just in the last number of days, the number of faxes that have come into my office

[Page 440]

would be astonishing to anybody, in particular, for the position of the Pictou County Injured Workers President or Chief Advocate.

Surprising to many individuals, injured workers across this province who have put their trust in this particular advocate find out that despite the fact that they were advised by this individual that they were faxing all their confidential and sensitive information on injured workers' concerns and so on to her home or to her particular confidential positioning, in fact, they went to the constituency office of one Peter MacKay at 980 East River Road, whereas other injured workers were advised that they belonged to a business not far from her home.

Mr. Speaker, I think when it comes to trust and credibility, in fairness to all those injured workers across Nova Scotia, and in particular to those in Pictou County, I believe they deserve much better. Here we have a double standard, a double standard in the greatest of proportions. We are telling Nova Scotians that they have to go through a public competition for a job by the strictest of hiring policy processes, but at the same time discard that whole group of individuals, that whole fair hiring policy, and indeed the Civil Service Act, for the sake of somebody who has gone out of her way to become a very strong advocate for the government under the guise of the Pictou County Injured Workers.

Mr. Speaker, this is the issue I have. I have no issue with some of the positions this individual stands for, I respect that. I have taken issue publicly and privately with this particular advocate, but I do not believe it is fair to all Nova Scotians that we have a double hiring standard for all Nova Scotians. If you are going to have a job description and a process for one, you have it for them all.

Mr. Speaker, to me, I realize my time has come short, but I believe my point is well taken, and I will rise on a future day to deal with similar issues. Thank you.

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

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak on a topic that is still near and dear to Nova Scotians, especially rural Nova Scotians, and that is the federal government's Firearms Act. As you would know, true to our word, we did keep our commitment, if we formed government, and that was to apply for intervention status. Our request has been approved. We will be, along with the Provinces of Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut. We have made application to legally challenge the Firearms Act on behalf of Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, as you will be well aware, as I said, in rural Nova Scotia, it is still a big concern. It is a concern in Colchester County, it is a concern in Kings County, it is a concern in Cumberland County; in fact, it is a big concern in most every constituency across Nova Scotia. Now, since Bill C-68 has been put into legislation, it is now referred to, as you would know, as the Firearms Act, but I have learned some startling facts about that legislation. I

[Page 441]

have learned, unbelievably, that only the firearms of English Canadians are being registered at the Canadian Firearms Centre in Mirimachi, New Brunswick. Quebec residents, on the other hand, have their own centre, at a cost of some $33 million. I want to point out, clearly, that this sum was not included in the Chretien Liberals' original estimates. In fact, Allan Rock and the present federal Minister of Justice tells us that the Firearms Centre and all related costs would only mean an additional $85 million to Canadians.

When we dig a little further, we can clearly find out and confirm that in fact the cost of the firearms registration system, or the new Firearms Act, has nearly cost Nova Scotians $480 million thus far, and it cost Canadian taxpayers $132 million before one firearm was even registered. That has been confirmed and documented through a Freedom of Information request. Do you know that you can't even get a straight answer from the federal Liberal Government in Ottawa about the cost, the true cost of the Firearms Act, unless you go through a Freedom of Information?

Mr. Speaker, I know we can't and we are not permitted to accuse, in the Legislature at least, in this Chamber, we cannot accuse people of lying, but obviously somebody in the federal government has misled Canadians, and in particular, I am concerned about Nova Scotians, about the true cost of Bill C-68.

Mr. Speaker, I will make this analogy. All members of the House might be interested to know that the federal government spends under $5 million on breast cancer which claims some 5,400 Canadians on an annual basis. Our federal government in Ottawa spends less than $5 million and to date, as I indicated earlier, the federal government has spent some $475 million on Bill C-68, or the Firearms Act, presumably to protect us from ourselves.

Mr. Speaker, I just want to rise and point out that we have kept the commitment that we made in this blue book, Strong Leadership . . . a clear course, and we have kept the commitment we made to legally challenge Bill C-68. It was an absolute disgrace that members opposite, particularly members in government - although the NDP could perhaps be lumped in with the Liberals on this one - were woefully silent when rural Nova Scotia said there is something wrong, and it is an insult to all law-abiding citizens and all law-abiding Canadians that the federal government would continue to pursue this issue when the majority of Canadian Provinces - I understand that in a true democracy majority does rule - such as the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Nunavut, lined up against this legislation and yet the Chretien Liberals are going to shove this thing through. In fact, it is through. The Firearms Act is in place, but we have joined our colleagues in other provinces in opposition.

I have some information here, Mr. Speaker, that was provided me by a doctor, a constituent from the Waverley area, and I just want to express some of the comments that he made, if I might. I would believe that perhaps other Canadians and Nova Scotians share his view. He points out that the most disturbing feature of the new Firearms Act is that through Orders in Council the federal government has empowered one individual to circumvent the

[Page 442]

House of Commons, the Senate and the Supreme Court. In this situation it is conceivable that laws could be passed in secret without citizens having any recourse to a court of law since Bill C-68, the new Firearms Act, allows the police to search your home without a search warrant on the grounds of sheer suspicion alone. It has come to be known in some circles as the home invasion bill. That came from a professional.

Mr. Speaker, for no just cause the Minister of Justice, Anne McLellan, has implemented legislation which will destroy . . .

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. The honourable member obviously has quoted rather extensively from this particular document and I would ask that he be requested to table that document.

MR. SPEAKER: The request is that you will table that. You did refer to it.

MR. TAYLOR: I did refer to it and I have absolutely no problem providing the honourable member with the portion of the text that I read in the Chamber just a few moments ago, Mr. Speaker. I am sure he is not going to want a copy of my rough notes.

We do have to be very concerned about this legislation because it is so costly, and people in rural Nova Scotia and people in other rural parts of Canada feel that it is, in fact, an invasion of their privacy. So, again, I would ask honourable members opposite that seem to be - it is certainly implicated by their silence at least, that they are - in full support of this legislation, I hope they carry that message back to their constituents, especially in the rural parts of their riding. Perhaps in Richmond and Cape Breton West there are people who are in support of the legislation (Interruptions) No, well, there you go, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, when the Honourable Allan Rock and the Honourable Anne McLellan get up in the House of Commons and tell Canadians that this legislation is going to cost $85 million, can I take from the comments opposite that honourable members actually believe that the true cost of the federal piece of legislation was $85 million? Again, I would make that revelation and analogy, that that same federal government that honourable members opposite support, spend under $5 million on breast cancer and, yet, 5,300 to 5,400 Canadians lost their lives. I think it is important that we do, in fact, repeat that, and I did that for the benefit of the honourable member for Cape Breton West and the honourable member for Richmond because I know with statistics like that - and these statistics have been advanced along to the Progressive Conservative caucus by a professional, by a doctor that is very concerned - that the federal government has let the true cost, and we have to look at the true cost of this legislation, get way out of hand.

[Page 443]

[5:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, although the former federal Minister of Justice, Allan Rock, assured Canadians that only about 200 civil servants would be needed to operate the registration system, it is estimated that there are already 800 to 1,000 full-time public servants working to protect us from ourselves. So it certainly was a job creation scheme, if it was nothing else. But the fact of the matter is that this Firearms Act, formerly called Bill C-68, could cost the Canadian taxpayers and the taxpayers in this province $1.5 billion. Again, I appeal to you, where was Mr. Rock and Ms. McLellan coming from when they stood before the cameras and they stood in the House of Commons and told Canadians that it would only cost $85 million. It is a big reason for concern.

The problem is . . .

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am absolutely flabbergasted. I would ask if the honourable member would entertain a question with regard to his figures on the $1.5 billion?

MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley entertain a question?

MR. TAYLOR: Yes, Mr. Speaker, gladly.

MR. MACKINNON: Please supply the documentation that would show that the cost of registration of firearms in Nova Scotia would cost 25 per cent of the total provincial budget, because our budget is $4.2 billion and he just indicated that it is going to cost $1.5 billion for the registration program. Is he in la-la land or what is the problem?

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, a number of federal Liberal Members of Parliament, in fact, back in, I believe, 1993, the federal Members of Parliament, for the red team, which represented the Party right across this province from one end to the other now seem to be off in la-la land. To answer the honourable member's question, to date, the feds are known to have spent $475 million on the Firearms Act. What I said previously, and I apologize if I didn't clearly articulate this, is that the true cost of the new Firearms Act could exceed $1.5 billion. That was the point I made.

We have to question if the federal government has their priorities mixed up and backwards. I would suggest that they do have their priorities mixed up and a little bit backwards. We are having difficulty here in Nova Scotia trying to have the feds, if you will, enter into some type of provincial-federal cost-shared arrangement relative to the infrastructure. But there is no problem, so far, finding monies for this piece of legislation. Mr. Speaker, it has been reported that the Justice Department, Hon. Anne McLellan's department,

[Page 444]

has asked, because the budget for this program is broke, for another further $300 million to see this program through.

While the honourable members opposite apparently support this piece of legislation . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: No, I don't.

MR. TAYLOR: The member now is saying he doesn't support it. Perhaps I could ask a question, Mr. Speaker, seeing as how questions are going back and forth. I would ask the honourable member to answer sometime where he was when the previous Premier of this province, Dr. John Savage, put a gag order on members?

AN HON. MEMBER: On vacation.

MR. TAYLOR: He was on vacation, yes. But the fact is, Mr. Speaker, his federal colleagues that used to be in Ottawa found out that Nova Scotians, along with the HST and some other issues, do not support this type of top-down government. Nova Scotians and Canadians want to be consulted. They want to be consulted when expenditures are made, especially the expenditures that could go as high as $1.5 million, the true cost of the new Firearms Act.

We were told that there would be one gun registration centre in Miramichi, New Brunswick, one only with perhaps up to 200 people working. In fact, I think it was a Liberal Member of Parliament or a Liberal MLA who said, when we talked about that firearm registration centre going to Cape Breton, it is only 100 or 200 jobs. That was the attitude from Liberal members opposite and their colleagues in Ottawa. In fact, now there are 1,000 civil servants working at the Firearms Registration Centre in Mirimachi and the other one that is Montreal, Quebec.

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is the Liberals were silent and their silence cost us, and as long as they remain silent, and members of the other Party remain silent on this very important issue, it is going to cost taxpayers and it is going to be very ineffective. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[5:22 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Brooke Taylor in the Chair.]

[9:22 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott resumed the Chair.]

[Page 445]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, I move that the adjourned debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne now be resumed.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank.

MR. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, it is particularly difficult to begin in the middle of a speech, however, certainly I will do the best that I can. I did want to take a few minutes to go back, just briefly. I spoke earlier about history and background, and I would like to share with this House some personal history and some personal background that may be of interest to some members.

Mr. Speaker, I have done a little bit of research, and what I have discovered is that, to the best of my knowledge, I may in fact have some personal history with this House. I have discovered that, Charles Cottnam Hamilton who represented the good people of Kings North during the term of 1863-67, happens to be a direct descendant of mine. That, I suppose, would explain my Conservative roots.

I have also discovered, since my time here, that I am directly related to a member, actually.

AN HON. MEMBER: Lucky you.

MR. BARNET: Yes, or lucky him. Maybe I am related to his brother, his twin brother. In fact, the member for Hants East is certainly a direct descendant, my grandmother was a MacDonell from Belnan in Hants County, and his ancestors and my ancestors, or should I say, his brother's ancestors and my ancestors are related. (Laughter)

Mr. Speaker, some members of this House may be aware that I have had some political experience with the Municipality of the County of Halifax, and then subsequent to that, by decree, Halifax Regional Municipality. (Interruptions) Absolutely. I would like to share with the members of this House that, certainly, I have seen my own life as a municipal politician

[Page 446]

as somewhat of a training ground, I guess, to ultimately serve in this capacity. There are others who have followed in the past. My colleague, the member for Halifax Chebucto, went that route. (Interruptions) My mentor, yes.

The former member who served the riding of Sackville-Beaver Bank, Bill MacDonald, who I might add served the riding very well during his term both as a councillor and MLA, he came from the former County of Halifax. In fact, when Bill MacDonald vacated his seat on Halifax County Council, I ran in the by-election and succeeded him in that role. Certainly he was, and is, a good guy. He served his community very well.

Mr. Speaker, often in my political career, I suppose as others, I sought out advice from those who served before me and those whom I served. I would like to point out particularly some people who I would declare as people who mentored me, who I received good advice from; former County of Halifax Councillor Ken Margeson. Some may know Ken; he served very well in the County of Halifax, he is a good gentleman, and he served his community well. I often would seek out Ken Margeson's advice and still do. In fact, Ken Margeson and I have had a regular dialogue; I ask for advice, he sends over a jar of honey each year annually to provide the sweetness that I need from time to time because I am not always this pleasant.

My former colleagues on Halifax County Council, Frank Sutherland and Bob Harvey, also have been two people that I have, and I do on a regular basis - as recently as today - sought advice, input and feedback, both of whom I would consider mentors, people who have helped me along the way who have helped mould me to the person that I am. I am not saying that I am perfect, but at least have helped create some positive influence.

AN HON. MEMBER: You went to school with Bob.

MR. BARNET: Yes, in fact, Mr. Speaker, that is a good point. Bob and I went to school together. We both were at Sackville High. He was a teacher and I was a student. We often share that.

Mr. Speaker, in the community that I represent, as some may know, we have experienced substantial growth. I spoke to that briefly in my earlier remarks, but for those of you who do not know the type of growth that we are experiencing, if you look at the 1996 census that looks back at the previous five years, the catchment area that takes in my riding actually includes portions of other ridings, but it has grown 12 per cent in population. That is pretty substantial in a five year period. If you actually extract out the community that I represent, you will find that it has grown in population by about 20 per cent in five years, which certainly is substantial.

Probably the most substantial point of this is that there sits waiting, either under construction, approved or in some form of subdivision approval stage, some 6,000 lots. That is 6,000 homes, 6,000 families and over the next number of years, probably three to five

[Page 447]

years, you will see each and every one of those houses filled. My riding which probably sits among the highest in population will exceed its own population by 50 per cent over the next three to five years. It is substantial. It creates not only opportunities in my community, but it also creates substantial problems and concerns that need to be addressed.

We have seen brand new schools open in the community of Sackville, Hammonds Plains and Beaver Bank, open beyond capacity. The very first day of school in a brand new school, designed for 500-some students, there are 700-some students sitting there. That is an amazing thing. It is not anything that any government can control immediately, obviously.

[9:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, talking about our schools and our students, there is something that we in our community are very proud of. Yes, we have suffered with crowded classrooms and portables, but with the commitment of teachers, parents and, most of all, the students, we have endured. In spite of these conditions, our schools in our area have received national recognition and acclaim.

I will speak to one particular school, Harry R. Hamilton. Harry R. Hamilton has developed a naturalization program and environmental work that has seen acclaim across this province. It has been written about in magazines. It has been the feature of National Film Board feature films. It has had a great deal of recognition and reward. Mr. Speaker, that school, as well as others, has done marvellous things.

In the Speech from the Throne, we talked about implementing a code of conduct for our teachers and our students. In fact, in that school, it had a code of conduct for quite some time. A former teacher and vice-principal by the name of Hettie Adams implemented a peace in the classroom program at Harry R. Hamilton School. That program has spread to many schools and it certainly has been something that has been worthwhile over the last five to seven years. I know that personally because my sons, Kyle and Bradley, have had the opportunity to go to school in a peaceful environment. Certainly, the direction that we have taken in this province and our commitment in the Speech from the Throne about a code of conduct is certainly something that is required right across this province. Why shouldn't the students across all of HRM have the same benefit as those in Harry R. Hamilton that they have received as a result of the good work of people like Hettie Adams.

AN HON. MEMBER: All of Nova Scotia.

MR. BARNET: Exactly. Mr. Speaker, many schools in my constituency, including Beaverbank-Kinsac Elementary, Harold T. Barrett Junior High School, Hammonds Plains elementary have developed strong Parent-Teacher Associations and strong school councils to help direct their futures. Certainly, it is something that I believe is of great value to those students and those parents to at least try to direct the futures of those schools.

[Page 448]

Others schools, like Millwood High School, have worked to help eliminate smoking by their students. Obviously, we know what the benefits of that will be. It will help resolve some budget issues in 20 to 30 years', time when a government will be dealing with the ill-effects of smoking in the future.

Mr. Speaker, we also have the unique pleasure of schools that have seen some high-tech classrooms. The renovated Sackville Heights Junior High School, the new high-tech classrooms, are certainly something that the school, the faculty, the students and the parents are very proud of in our area, as well as the new schools in Hammonds Plains and we look forward to seeing those schools and the efforts and the contributions by the students, the staff and the parents be recognized and rewarded, like schools like Millwood High School and Harry R. Hamilton have and other schools in Beaver Bank in the past.

Mr. Speaker, I think it is safe to say that the people in the constituency that I represent want to provide every opportunity that we can afford to our young people. Certainly, at this point in history, at the dawn of a new millennium, we, as a government, must know and understand the importance of providing opportunities for our young people. It is my belief that the future in this province looks bright and promising. I truly believe that. However, we do have some short-term hurdles to overcome and we cannot miss one single opportunity.

The past in this province has not always been kind to the young people in our community. In fact, at the time when I left school, the opportunities were limited. You had two choices: a minimum wage job, if you were lucky to find one; or move west. Mr. Speaker, many of the people that left school at the same time that I did in the late 1970's and the early 1980's, from our community, were forced to accept the latter of these choices. They left Nova Scotia in search of not only a new job, but a future that provided opportunity for growth and security.

Mr. Speaker, some people believe that there were more people from Sackville-Beaver Bank in Calgary and Edmonton than here at home during those times. As disturbing as this was, and is, it is a trend that still exists in parts of this province today and it is my belief that as a government we must take every step to keep our young people home with their families and friends, where they want to be and where they ought to be.

Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne addresses this concern in the section on building our human potential. That ought to please everybody; it certainly pleases me. Although it may seem to many that the communities within the constituency of Sackville-Beaver Bank are merely bedroom communities of homes and shopping areas, nothing could be further from the truth; in fact, we have thriving industries located here.

The milk produced and consumed across this province very likely is produced within my constituency. Farmers Dairy operates a fantastic operation there and employs several hundred people, at their plant and through distribution. Wood products are also a very

[Page 449]

important industry in our area. There are hundreds of direct and indirect jobs in harvesting and mill work, both at Barrett Lumber and Hefler Forest Products, and in wood siding production at Cape Cod Siding. We have not strayed far from our roots in Sackville; in fact, our industries prove that. The products produced at these companies are used here in Nova Scotia as well as being shipped around the world. I have had the opportunity to tour all of those three plants, Hefler Forest Products, Barrett Lumber and, lastly, Cape Cod Siding, and I was amazed to find out where they actually ship their products.

The people of Sackville-Beaver Bank have been respectful of the resources and have shown leadership in the area of forest management and stewardship. Many of the forests surrounding our communities are not publicly owned; they are actually privately owned woodlots. Once again, Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to hear in the Throne Speech the importance that we as a government place in our traditional resources such as forestry. The speech also speaks to our commitment to the tourism sector. This also pleases me, and we have taken bold steps in this regard by establishing a separate Tourism and Culture Department. I believe this will be good for all Nova Scotians; it will also be good for the people who come to visit us to see the beauty that we take for granted almost always too often.

We in government - and I suspect even the Opposition - know the importance the people of Nova Scotia place on their health care system. We also know only too well the spiralling costs and the near-crisis condition that we have found the health care system in. Having said that, Mr. Speaker, I feel compelled to point out the fact that the community I represent, along with the neighbour ridings of Sackville-Cobequid and Bedford-Fall River, find ourselves with huge gaps in our health care system. The emergency care comes from a revamped liquor store that has served well but outgrown its useful life. In our communities you can shop for groceries and you can buy a hamburger at a later hour than you can receive critical, emergency health care. This certainly does not represent my values, nor do I believe it represents the values of our government.

The previous governments have made a point of coming out to see us and promise us new, expanded facilities. No, they have never shown us their money, but they did ask for ours, Mr. Speaker. As a community we have been busy raising money to help fund a new, expanded facility; a fund-raising committee held a walkathon this Saturday. It was very well attended and, as the member for Sackville-Cobequid pointed out earlier, they raised over $16,000.

I would like to point out to all members that we will be counting on their support to fulfil this promise in the near future. Mr. Speaker, the life and health of our communities depend on it. As I speak here today, the Cobequid Multi-Service Foundation is busy raising money and searching for a new location. I would like to publicly thank the facility director, Margaret Merlin; the foundation board chairman, Tony Benson; the fundraising coordinator, Paul Benoit, for their efforts to date in this project. I would also like to thank the member opposite for helping me read my speech. (Laughter) He is good at reading my mind, I wonder

[Page 450]

if he knows what I am thinking now. (Laughter) (Interruptions) I am pleased to say that, so far, the foundation has raised over $300,000 towards this worthwhile project, and they should be commended.

Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne is very clear in the area of health care, and I quote, "Nova Scotians must know that their health care system comes first.", and the responsibility for ensuring good health care rests with them as well as with the health care system. In our communities, we know and understand this. We have demonstrated this by raising in excess of $300,000. I would add that from the time I wrote this speech to now, it is $316,000. It is my understanding that they have another contribution of $100,000 that puts them up to $416,000.

Mr. Speaker, like the member for Halifax Bedford Basin, I consider myself to be an ordinary Nova Scotian. Although I have had experience in a political forum as a member of the Halifax Regional Council and the County of Halifax, I did not set out in this life on a political course. In fact, I was very comfortable and content in the private world, in various jobs, most recently in the real estate business. This is until one issue drove me to politics, and I would suspect that many of the members in this House have been driven into politics by a single issue.

Mr. Speaker, in my community, we were faced with an ever-expanding, unwanted, mismanaged, smelly landfill. The political will to close this facility simply was not there. I thought, I as the elected member for that area could make a difference. Eventually, the landfill closed, and I might add, every single political person elected and not elected claimed credit for the landfill closure.

Mr. Speaker, if the truth be known, the major factors for the Sackville Landfill closure had more to do with the will of the people, a strong organized community, as well as the simple fact, the landfill was full. (Laughter) Oftentimes, politicians want to claim credit when things go well in the constituency, and it is often my experience that that credit rests clearly in the hands of the hardworking community people who work hard to lobby politicians.

Mr. Speaker, at this point, I would like to recognize the hard work of one such community person, who helped keep the elected people on the right track in our community. Mr. Paul Theriault and others won the battle to close what was Nova Scotia's worst-run landfill. His efforts helped create a new beginning for his community.

Mr. Speaker, the community of Upper Sackville has had the experience of the extreme negative impact of government mismanagement. Now, they are experiencing rejuvenation. With earned compensation, this community has seen many improvements. They have seen funding for schools, further education, seniors' clubs, fire departments, recreation facilities and many more. The community of Upper Sackville now has a new community hall, where

[Page 451]

they host their community meetings. The hall has been used for weddings, community meetings, Scouts, Girl Guides, political nominations.

Mr. Speaker, Citizenship Court, they have hosted several Citizenship Courts on Canada Day there, and it has been where several hundred new Canadians were sworn into this country. I might add, everything in between. The community has also seen a new baseball field built at the same site, said to be by those you use it as the best in Atlantic Canada. Also under construction, there is a new synthetic surface soccer field that will be ready later this fall. This is the first community-owned soccer field of this type in Atlantic Canada. This field will go a long way to filling the ever-expanding need for soccer and football in our community.

[9:45 p.m.]

As I spoke about earlier, the growth in our area is 12 per cent according to Statistics Canada. You would be amazed to know that, in some parts of our community, there is between a 1 per cent and 17 per cent, and near 50 per cent in some areas, increase in population in our young people.

Mr. Speaker, in closing I would like to thank all those who helped me along this journey so I would have the pleasure to serve the constituency of Sackville-Beaver Bank as their member in this House. I would like to thank some important people: my parents, Bob and Rose, my wife, Edna, and my two sons, Bradley and Kyle, and to my other family members, to my many good friends - both new and old - and, particularly, my good friend David Borden who took a solid month out of his busy real estate business to help me along this journey. I would certainly like to thank him for his overwhelming energy and support.

Mr. Speaker, to all the members of this House, I look forward to working with you for the good of all of Nova Scotia. I particularly look forward to working with my neighbour who, I might add, once represented me in this House.

AN HON. MEMBER: You voted for him?

MR. BARNET: Again, Mr. Speaker, the question was, did I vote for him? He reads my mind. He should know.

I paid particularly close attention to the reply from my former colleague, the member for Halifax Chebucto. I will say that, certainly, there has been a great deal of attention in the media as to comments that he made. I never once, nor do I now, ever thought any differently about him before or after those comments. (Laughter)

[Page 452]

Mr. Speaker, the member for Halifax Chebucto and I have shared similar views, there have been views that we have shared. As well as the fact that we have shared similar views, we have been on opposite sides, but we have always been civil. I read somewhere that you know you are among civilized men when you see them fighting so savagely. We have had occasions at Halifax Regional Municipality where we have been diametrically opposed. But I think that is the beauty of getting good decisions, especially when I win the debate and the argument and the vote.

Mr. Speaker, I thank members for allowing me to complete my first response to the Speech from the Throne. I look forward to responding at some other time again.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. JON CAREY: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity - and it has taken some time to have this opportunity - to be in this historic House of Assembly and privileged to respond to the Speech from the Throne on behalf of the people of Kings West.

I am honoured to have been supported by so many of the citizens of Kings West and realize the tremendous task that comes in following a man who provided 21 years of outstanding service to Kings West and the Province of Nova Scotia, my predecessor, Mr. George Moody. (Applause) George treated all people of all political stripes with respect. He distinguished himself as a man of integrity, honour, ability and fairness. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly recognize and thank him for his contribution to Nova Scotia and extend best wishes to George and his wife, Jeanette, for the future.

I extend to you, Mr. Speaker, as well as to the three Deputy Speakers, my congratulations on your election to this distinguished office. You all have proven abilities within your constituencies and I am sure will serve this House with integrity and fairness.

Mr. Speaker, I believe with so many new people elected to this House we have a tremendous opportunity to serve the people of Nova Scotia by encouraging and supporting good ideas from all members, regardless of political affiliation, working to improve the lot of Nova Scotians. I believe the people of Nova Scotia are fed up with the pettiness and bickering prevalent for so long, that compares best to a kindergarten mentality. They elect people to office that hold their very futures and that of future generations in their hands - a privilege that deserves in turn our respect. I believe that change has been evident since on July 27th the people of this province voted into office our Premier. (Applause) I congratulate returning MLAs and all newly elected members; I look forward to working with you and serving the people of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, my success at the polls was due in large measure to the hard work and dedication of a number of wonderful and capable people; first, the love and tireless work of my wife, Rhonda, who has diligently waited for this speech; my two sons, Bryce and Shawn,

[Page 453]

who vigorously campaigned and succeeded in getting the youth vote out; my mother and father, Vesta and Fred Carey; my mother-in-law, Bonnie Mitchell; and an uncle, Paul McMahon; as well as other relatives who supported me even though the Progressive Conservative Party had never previously been their choice. I thank them.

Mr. Speaker, to the most capable and dedicated people anyone could hope for, my campaign co-chairs, Robert Ripley and Ron Walker, Jr., I want to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation. To those who organized the campaign offices, drove, went door to door, worked the phones and advised and supported, my sincere thanks.

Mr. Speaker, Kings West, near the middle of the beautiful Annapolis Valley - and I will share with another member that we do have more than one beautiful Valley - it offers a great diversity of people from all parts of the world who work and live in harmony and cooperation. We combine village, town and country living with the lifestyle and hard work ethics of the military, farmers, technical and industrial workplace. In the west end of the constituency is one of the finest airports in Canada - CFB Greenwood - which is capable of handling the largest of aircraft, a place where military and civilians happily co-exist. You have the highest quality of search and rescue personnel who are forced to use less than adequate equipment, to the shame of all Canadians, but despite the poor equipment, search and rescue is proudly carried out from this base. Peacekeeping, Maritime patrols, fishery surveillance and pilot training are only part of the responsibilities of this community.

With much regret I must say the military and civilian workforce at this base has been targetted for major cutbacks that will have far-reaching social and economic impacts on Kings West and Nova Scotia. I am pleased that the Premier has shown leadership in sending a message to Ottawa of the implications their actions could have. I am proud of the people in the community who are working towards every and any eventuality, to not only lessen the blow but also to enhance the area's economic potential despite any setback. A very active Greenwood Village Commission is working with the local chamber of commerce to be proactive in seeking alternatives that could offset the effects of the federal government's cuts to the base. I commend and offer my total support to this venture.

In addition to its military prowess, the base provides aviation enthusiasts a military aircraft museum as well as private civilian flight training with all the advantages of military expertise and facilities. Greenwood offers much to the recreation and entertainment of Valley residents with the Greenwood Golf Course, the arena, Greenwood Theatre, various sport fields along with the Community Centre and a large shopping mall.

Mr. Speaker, the Village of Kingston borders CFB Greenwood, home of the Kingston Steer Barbeque and championship golf course, Paragon, with seven times Nova Scotia champion Gerry MacMillan as its superintendent. One of the major employers in Kingston is O.H. Armstrong, a company that has continued to grow over the last number of years and is so important to the local farming community, especially the cattle industry. This area is home

[Page 454]

to many senior citizens and Kings West, in particular, has become a wonderful retirement area for many ex-military who, while stationed at CFB Greenwood, realized what a wonderful area this truly is.

Mr. Speaker, as we move eastward to the community of Auburn, we come to West Kings District High School that since 1956 has provided training to most Kings West students with annual enrolments in excess of 1,000. Here young people from farms, towns and villages, as well as the military, share cultural and background experiences unique to each.

As the hour is getting late, I would move that we continue this on another day.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn the debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to advise that the hours tomorrow will be from 12:00 noon until 6:00 p.m. The order of business will be the daily routine, Question Period, Supply and then continue with the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne.

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

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

The motion is carried.

[The House rose at 9:57 p.m.]