Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 01/02-105

Commemorating the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, 2002

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Murray Scott

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

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

Annual subscriptions available from the Office of the Speaker.

Second Session

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2002

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3856, Sports - Team N.S.: Can. Summer Games - Congrats.,
The Premier 10052
Vote - Affirmative 10052
Res. 3857, Dalhousie Univ. - Honorary Degrees: Recipients -
Congrats., Hon. J. Purves 10052
Vote - Affirmative 10053
Res. 3858, Can. Health Day (05/12/02) - Recognize, Hon. J. Muir 10054
Vote - Affirmative 10054
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3859, H of C - Byelections: Victors - Congrats., Mr. D. Dexter 10055
Vote - Affirmative 10055
Res. 3860, MacLellan, John Neil: Occ. Health & Safety Workplace
Achievement Award - Congrats., Mr. M. Samson 10055
Vote - Affirmative 10056
Res. 3861, Allen, Tiffany/Black, Janine - Girl Guides (Can.):
Bronze Valour Award - Congrats., (by Mr. B. Taylor),
The Speaker 10056
Vote - Affirmative 10057
Res. 3862, Ebsary, Edith: Birthday (80th) - Congrats., Mr. K. Deveaux 10057
Vote - Affirmative 10058
Res. 3863, Brimac Masonry Ltd.: Occ. Health & Safety Workplace
Achievement Award - Congrats., Mr. R. MacKinnon 10058
Vote - Affirmative 10058
Res. 3864, Terrorist Attacks (09/11/01) - N.S. Volunteers: Efforts -
Recognize, Hon. D. Morse 10059
Vote - Affirmative 10059
Res. 3865, Int'l. Day of Families (05/15/02) - Recognize, Mr. J. Pye 10059
Vote - Affirmative 10060
Res. 3866, Health - Tobacco Epidemic: Fight - Join, Dr. J. Smith 10060
Vote - Affirmative 10061
Res. 3867, Harrington, Charles: Heritage Proj. (2002) - Commend,
Mr. W. Langille 10061
Vote - Affirmative 10062
Res. 3868, Wooden, Sandy - Pioneer Cemetery Heritage Soc.:
Init. - Recognize, Mr. W. Estabrooks 10062
Vote - Affirmative 10062
Res. 3869, Nat'l. Safe Boating Wk. (04/18-24/-02): Practices -
Promote, Mr. D. Downe 10063
Vote - Affirmative 10063
Res. 3870, Murley, Mike: Jazz Work - Commend, Hon. R. Russell 10063
Vote - Affirmative 10064
Res. 3871, Burns, Kim - Mun. of E. Hants: Recognition - Congrats.,
Mr. J. MacDonell 10064
Vote - Affirmative 10065
Res. 3872, Educ. - Adult Learning (Pictou Co.): Organizers -
Tribute Pay, Mr. J. DeWolfe 10065
Vote - Affirmative 10066
Res. 3873, Berwick - Dev.: Continuation - Success Wish, Mr. J. Carey 10066
Vote - Affirmative 10066
Res. 3874, Health - Smoking Ban: Total - Support, Mr. D. Dexter 10066
Res. 3875, DeLong, Claire/ Veinot, Thomas - Can.-Wide Science Fair:
Participation - Congrats., Mr. K. Morash 10067
Vote - Affirmative 10068
Res. 3876, Lawrence, Mildred (Millie) - Mun. of E. Hants:
Vol. Award - Congrats., Mr. M. MacDonell 10068
Vote - Affirmative 10069
Res. 3877, Carruthers, Marilyn Fraser - New Glasgow Music Fest.:
Contribution - Congrats., The Premier 10069
Vote - Affirmative 10069
Res. 3878, Sports - Timberlea Titans Football: Expansion - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 10070
Vote - Affirmative 10070
Res. 3879, Oldfield, Karen: Top 40 Under 40TM (2001) - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Muir 10070
Vote - Affirmative 10071
Res. 3880, Johnston, Leah: Charlottetown Fest. - Success Wish,
Hon. J. Muir 10071
Vote - Affirmative 10072
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 1050, Premier - Smoke-Free Places Leg.: Amendments - Accept,
Mr. D. Dexter 10072
No. 1051, Health - Smoking Ban: Total - Advocate,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 10073
No. 1052, Premier: Second-Hand Smoke Problem - Accountability,
Mr. D. Dexter 10075
No. 1053, Health - Prov. Health Council Recommendations:
Smoking Ban - Heed, Dr. J. Smith 10076
No. 1054, Environ. & Lbr. - Workplace Safety: Rights - Recognize,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 10078
No. 1055, Prem. - Atl. Energy Summit: Energy Min. (Part-Time) -
Absence Explain, Mr. Manning MacDonald 10079
No. 1056, Commun. Serv. - Cent. Nova Women's Res. Ctr.:
Continuation - Ensure, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 10080
No. 1057, Fin. - Tax Cut: Rescission - Details, Mr. D. Downe 10081
No. 1058, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel. - Market-Based Assess.: Problems -
Avoidance Explain, Mr. W. Estabrooks 10082
No. 1059, Health - Smoking Ban: Advice - Disregard Explain,
Dr. J. Smith 10083
No. 1060, Educ. - Pictou High Schools: Enhancements -
Responsibility Details, Mr. K. Deveaux 10085
No. 1061, Health - EMC: Firefighters - Billing Explain,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 10086
No. 1062, Sysco - Demolition: Harbourside Sch. -
Notification Details, Mr. F. Corbett 10087
No. 1063, Commun. Serv. - Subsidence (Glace Bay): Assistance -
Details, Mr. D. Wilson 10089
No. 1064, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel.: Res. Tenancies Review -
Details, Mr. G. Steele 10090
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 1:35 P.M. 10091
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 5:59 P.M. 10091
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Health: Emerg. Ambulance Fees - Illegality:
Mr. G. Steele 10092
Dr. J. Smith 10095
Hon. J. Muir 10097
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 6:30 P.M. 10100
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:58 P.M. 10100
CWH REPORTS 10100
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., May 15th at 2:00 p.m. 10100
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 3881, McDow, Goldie - 4-H: Service (25 yrs.) - Congrats.,
Hon. R. Russell 10101
Res. 3882, MSVU - Honorary Deg. Recipients: Achievements -
Congrats., Hon. J. Purves 10101
Res. 3883, UCCB - Honorary Deg. Recipients: Achievements -
Congrats., Hon. J. Purves 10102
Res. 3884, Sports - Springhill Judo Club: Championship - Congrats.,
The Speaker 10102
Res. 3885, MacLeod, Herbie - N.S. Baseball Hall of Fame Induction:
Impact - Recognize, The Speaker 10103
Res. 3886, Presbyterian Church Youth Group - World Vision Famine:
Participation - Congrats., The Speaker 10103
Res. 3887, Ferguson, Alan: Nat'l. Cadet Marksmanship Training -
Congrats., The Speaker 10104
Res. 3888, Wood, Cole: Hockey Achievements - Congrats.,
The Speaker 10104
Res. 3889, Stonehouse, Chrissy - Nat'l. Special Olympics:
Representation - Congrats., The Speaker 10105
Res. 3890, Springhill Girl Guide Leaders: Recognition - Congrats.,
The Speaker 10105
Res. 3891, Parrsboro Fossillettes: Chicks With Sticks Hockey
Tournament - Congrats., The Speaker 10106
Res. 3892, MacMullen, Jamie/RBC (Baddeck): Jr. Achievement Course -
Congrats., Mr. C. Clarke 10106

[Page 10051]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2002

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Second Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Brooke Taylor, Mr. Jerry Pye, Mr. David Wilson

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Before we begin the daily routine, the subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable Leader of the Opposition:

Therefore be it resolved that the government stop applying illegal fees for emergency ambulance services that are unconstitutional.

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

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

10051

[Page 10052]

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 3856

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's athletes consistently train hard and perform well at each Canada Games; and

Whereas Team Nova Scotia brought home 46 medals, the Centennial Cup and the Claude Hardy Award from the 2001 Summer Games in London, Ontario; and

Whereas the Centennial Cup is currently on display here at Province House as part of its tour of Nova Scotian communities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House take the opportunity to see the cup this week, congratulate our 2001 team for its success and support our 2003 athletes as they prepare for the upcoming Winter Games.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 3857

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

Whereas Dalhousie University will confer honorary degrees to 10 prominent Canadians at its convocation this month; and

[Page 10053]

Whereas Sir Harry Kroto, Dr. George Archibald, Mr. Anton Kuerti, Mrs. Joyce Ross, Mr. Ken Rowe, Professor Ken Hill, Dr. John Ruedy, Ms. Mary Eberts, and Mr. Edward Byrne will each receive a Doctor of Laws; and

Whereas Wilbert Langley will receive a Doctor of Engineering;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate these accomplished individuals on their achievements.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I would like to do an introduction in advance of reading my resolution.

MR. SPEAKER: By all means.

MR. MUIR: In the east gallery, Mr. Speaker, there are 49 French immersion students from Bible Hill Junior High School. They are accompanied by Traci Boudreau, Gilles Boudreau, Jeanne Archibald, and Lyne LaRochelle. Now I should say that those young people represent three constituencies. They live in Truro-Bible Hill, they live in Colchester North, and they also live in the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. So we are delighted to have them with us today. I was going to get my good colleague here, the member for Argyle, to greet you in French but he has disappeared. (Interruption) No, no, we will do it from this side of the House, thank you very much. Welcome to the House and I hope you enjoy yourself and thanks for coming. I will ask all members to welcome them. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: I certainly welcome our special guests to the gallery today. We hope you enjoy your stay with us in the Legislature.

[Page 10054]

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 3858

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

Whereas this year, health facilities and agencies, community health organizations and public health units celebrated and recognized May 12th as Canada Health Day; and

Whereas this year's theme, Together for a Healthy Environment, highlighted the importance of Canadians working together to promote a healthy environment; and

Whereas the event was co-sponsored by the Canadian Health Care Association and the Canadian Public Health Association, along with the Public Health Association of Nova Scotia, who are dedicated to the improvement and maintenance of personal and community health according to the public health principles of disease prevention, health promotion and protection and healthy public policy;

Therefore be it resolved that the House recognized May 12, 2002 as Canada Health Day in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

[Page 10055]

RESOLUTION NO. 3859

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 evening Canadians made their electoral choice in seven federal by-elections; and

Whereas the NDP and the Progressive Conservatives each gained a seat in the May 13th by-elections; and

Whereas the result will be a House of Commons that will be somewhat more diverse and representative;

Therefore be it resolved that the House congratulate last night's victors in the federal by-election, Brian Masse for the NDP in Windsor West, Rex Barnes for the Progressive Conservatives in Gander-Gander Falls, Stephen Harper for the Alliance in Calgary Southwest and the Liberals, who managed to retain the Party's remaining four seats.

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 Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 3860

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

Whereas John Neil MacLellan of Richmond County was honoured last week with an Occupational Health and Safety Workplace Achievement award; and

Whereas these awards were presented to 20 Nova Scotia companies as part of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week activities; and

[Page 10056]

Whereas these awards were given to companies for their achievement in the successful prevention of workplace injuries;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate John Neil MacLellan of Richmond County on being one of the 20 companies in Nova Scotia recognized for their achievement of preventing workplace injuries.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 3861

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

Whereas two Oxford Girl Guides, Tiffany Allen and Janine Black were out selling their Girl Guide cookies one afternoon when they came to the rescue of a local elderly woman; and

Whereas when the girls knocked on Serena Crawford's Black River Road home and heard her calling out for help, they went in and saw Mrs. Crawford in pain on the floor and quickly ran for assistance; and

Whereas Tiffany and Janine were awarded the prestigious Bronze Valour Award by the Girl Guides Provincial Commissioner and received a commendation from the National Council;

[Page 10057]

[12:15 p.m]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House thank Tiffany and Janine for their heroic act of coming to Mrs. Crawford's aid and congratulate them on their awards received from the Girl Guides of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 3862

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

Whereas Edith Ebsary left her native Newfoundland to pursue a teaching career in various locales in P.E.I., then Nova Scotia, that lasted until well into her 60s; and

Whereas Edith Ebsary raised two loving sons, Arthur and Edwin, and remains a lifelong church activist, maintaining her place as a choir member and Family Life Committee member in St. Alban's Anglican Church; and

Whereas Edith, who retired to Eastern Passage 15 years ago, has been a shining presence ever since and celebrates her 80th birthday at home this May 17th surrounded by friends and family;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Edith Ebsary of Eastern Passage on her 80th birthday on May 17th, celebrate her devotion to Nova Scotians through her teaching career and her church work and wish her many more years of happiness with friends and family.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 10058]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3863

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

Whereas Brimac Masonry Limited, located in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, was honoured last week with an Occupational Health and Safety Workplace Achievement Award; and

Whereas these awards were presented to 20 Nova Scotian companies as part of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week activities; and

Whereas these awards were given to companies for their achievement in the successful prevention of workplace injuries;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Brimac Masonry Limited, located in the CBRM, on being one of 20 companies in Nova Scotia recognized for their achievement in preventing workplace injuries.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 10059]

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 3864

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

Whereas Nova Scotians stepped in big time to assist airline passengers stranded by the terrorist attack on September 11th; and

Whereas the Kings County Firefighters Association, like so many other organizations, did more than its share to host our unexpected visitors; and

Whereas Germany's Lufthansa Airlines has flown Nova Scotian volunteers, including Kings County Firefighter Association President Jim Redmond, to be part of a ceremony this week naming two of their aircraft after Halifax and Gander in appreciation for our hospitality;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the swift efforts of those wonderful volunteers, true ambassadors of Nova Scotia's famous hospitality, during such a tremendously difficult time for all.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3865

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

[Page 10060]

Whereas May 15, 2002, is the 8th Anniversary celebration of the International Day of Families and provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families as well as to promote appropriate action; and

Whereas this annual observance reflects the importance that the international community attaches to families as a basic unit of society as well as its concern regarding their situation around the world; and

Whereas the international theme for 2002 is "Families and Ageing: Opportunities and Challenges," which raises public awareness about the crucial issues concerning families and older people;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize May 15th as the International Day of Families and the powerful values and strengths of families in our society and pledge its support for them.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3866

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

Whereas World No Tobacco Day is celebrated around the world every year on May 31st and is organized by the World Health Organization; and

Whereas themes throughout the years have included "Tobacco-Free Workplaces" and "Second-hand smoke kills"; and

Whereas the goal is to raise awareness of the health hazards of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke and to promote widespread action to reduce exposure;

[Page 10061]

Therefore be it resolved that the Government of Nova Scotia join the fight to end the tobacco epidemic, thus allowing people in Nova Scotia to claim their right to health and healthy living while protecting future generations.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3867

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

Whereas Glenholme, Colchester County, student Charles Harrington, as part of Heritage Day Celebrations this year, brought his heritage project to Government House; and

Whereas Charles' heritage project was about the Halifax Explosion as he explored the significance his great-great grandfather had as a photographer as he recorded the aftermath of the 1917 explosion; and

Whereas Heritage Day is celebrated on the third Monday of every February and was designated to assist Canadians in telling us who we are, where we came from and what influences shaped our nation;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs commend Charles Harrington for the recognition he has received and will continue to receive as the result of his 2002 heritage project.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 10062]

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. 3868

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

Whereas the Pioneer Cemetery Heritage Society of St. Margarets Bay has been formed to restore the French Village Pioneer Cemetery; and

Whereas 19 people have joined the society from throughout the local area, the province and the United States; and

Whereas area resident, Sandy Wooden, has provided exemplary leadership on this historically significant project;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Sandy Wooden for her initiative with the Pioneer Cemetery Heritage Society of St. Margarets Bay and congratulate all those who have joined the society.

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 Lunenburg West.

[Page 10063]

RESOLUTION NO. 3869

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

Whereas this weekend will mark the summer's first long weekend and traditional opening of cottages and boating season; and

Whereas National Safe Boating Week will be held during the week of May 18th to 24th; and

Whereas safe boating is a message that should be spread throughout the summer so as to protect boating accidents and misuse during the summer season;

Therefore be it resolved that this government take an active role in promoting safe boating practices in the Province of Nova Scotia during National Safe Boating Week and throughout the boating season.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

RESOLUTION NO. 3870

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

Whereas Mike Murley, a native of Windsor, Nova Scotia, captured another Juno Award in the recent ceremonies held in Toronto; and

Whereas Murley's CD "Alive at the Senator" was chosen in the Best Mainstream Jazz Album category; and

[Page 10064]

Whereas for some time now Murley has been considered one of the finest jazz artists in Canada and will be home this summer to perform at the Atlantic Jazz Festival;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs commend Mike Murley, son of Gary and Zel Murley of Windsor, for his outstanding work as a jazz musician and wish him every success in his future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3871

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

Whereas volunteerism is a noble and honourable endeavour; and

Whereas Ms. Kim Burns has been a gracious and valuable volunteer for the Kennetcook after-school program as well as with the Kennetcook Building Blocks Centre; and

Whereas Ms. Burns was awarded recognition by the Municipality of East Hants on April 26, 2002;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate and join the Municipality of East Hants in recognizing Ms. Kim Burns for her efforts in making her community a better place through her volunteer work at the Kennetcook Building Blocks Centre and after-school program.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 10065]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East. I will mention today it would be the honourable member's 53rd birthday, I understand. (Applause)

RESOLUTION NO. 3872

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

Whereas more than 150 people gathered at the Pictou campus of the Nova Scotia Community College in March for a two-day conference entitled, A New Face for Literacy; and

Whereas the conference focused on adult learners, but also provided information sessions for administrators and students; and

Whereas a panel discussion was featured involving members of the school board, community college and the provincial government on the coordination of adult learning from Level One to a high school diploma;

Therefore be it resolved that this legislative body pay tribute to people such as Eileen MacNeil, Ann Marie Downie and the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board for organizing such an excellent conference designed to improve the focus on adult learning initiatives in Pictou County.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 10066]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3873

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

Whereas the total population of Nova Scotia has decreased for the first time since the 1920s, but one Valley community has been making steady progress, increasing its size; and

Whereas since 1996, Berwick has grown in population by 4 per cent, a substantial increase for one of Nova Scotia's smallest towns; and

Whereas the increase in population in Berwick is at par with the total increase of the population of Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House acknowledge what others have known for some time, that Berwick is a beautiful place to live, and wish the town continued success in its development.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 3874

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

[Page 10067]

Whereas rumblings on its own backbenches may, hopefully, persuade this Tory Government that without changes its flawed anti-smoking legislation will not protect young persons and other persons from tobacco smoke; and

Whereas those backbenchers must surely wonder why their Minister of Health chose to pursue such a half-hearted and ineffective means of dealing with the issue of smoking in public places; and

Whereas the Minister of Health may still save face and cure his bill in the process by bringing forward amendments to put in place the total ban the public clearly seeks;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the Minister of Health to admit he has made a mistake, listen to his backbenchers, amend his own bill and get on the public record as supporting a total ban on smoking in public places.

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 Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 3875

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

Whereas for the second year in a row two North Queens Rural High School Grade 9 students, Claire DeLong and Thomas Veinot, will represent the South Shore in the Canada Wide Science Fair; and

Whereas DeLong's winning project focuses on micropropagation and the mass production of plants through tissue culture; and

Whereas Veinot's, Kelvin's Thunderstorm involves creating a static electrical charge using running water, and is also the result of extensive research and hard work;

[Page 10068]

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Claire DeLong and Thomas Veinot as they head off to the national Canada Wide Science Fair and commend North Queens Rural High School and Principal Orville Meisner for their part in developing excellence in science.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3876

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

Whereas volunteers are the glue that keeps a community together; and

Whereas Mrs. Mildred Lawrence has long been a fixture when it comes to volunteers in the Latties Brook and Maitland area; and

Whereas Mrs. Lawrence was awarded recognition by the Municipality of East Hants on April 26, 2002;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mrs. Mildred Lawrence on receiving her volunteer award from the Municipality of East Hants and commend her for her devotion to the improvement of her community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 10069]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Premier.

[12:30 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 3877

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

Whereas the 64th New Glasgow Music Festival was a tremendous success with over 12,000 entries; and

Whereas this success was in large part due to the dedication and talents of Festival Chair Marilyn Fraser Carruthers, who has volunteered on the festival's executive for nearly 30 years; and

Whereas Ms. Carruthers' dedication to the young musicians of this province is just one example of the many volunteer commitments she has taken on throughout Pictou County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Ms. Marilyn Fraser Carruthers and the entire New Glasgow Music Festival executive for the success of the 64th New Glasgow Music Festival and thank Ms. Carruthers for her exceptional contribution to Pictou County over the past 30 years.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

[Page 10070]

RESOLUTION NO. 3878

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

Whereas the Timberlea Titans Football Club has added a second team for the 2002 season; and

Whereas the Peewee Titans of 11- to 13-year olds, who had a successful first season, will now be joined by a bantam team consisting of 14- to 16-year olds; and

Whereas young athletes from throughout the area will have a greater opportunity to benefit from the value of experiencing the game of football;

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature congratulate the Timberlea Titans football organization on their expansion with best wishes for a fun-filled season.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 3879

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

Whereas Karen Oldfield of Halifax has been named one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40TM for 2001, an award that recognizes a new generation of business and community leaders; and

Whereas Karen Oldfield is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Halifax Port Authority; and

[Page 10071]

Whereas Karen Oldfield is a former Chief of Staff to Premier Hamm;

Therefore be it resolved that all members congratulate Karen Oldfield for the vision and achievements that earned her a 2001 Top 40 Under 40TM award and wish her continued success as she approaches the age of 40, when she reaches it and when she passes it.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 3880

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

Whereas Leah Johnston of Truro will be performing in three productions at this summer's Charlottetown Festival; and

Whereas, now 16, Leah has studied singing since Grade 3 and is also trained in ballet, jazz, hop-hop, lyrical, tap and modern dance; and

Whereas Leah was a member of the cast of the Secret Garden at Neptune Theatre and received rave reviews for her role as Eliza Doolittle in CEC's 2002 production of My Fair Lady, probably seen by a number of the people there;

Therefore be it resolved that all members congratulate Leah Johnston for her theatrical accomplishments and wish her every success at the Charlottetown Festival.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 10072]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Oral Question Period will begin at 12:34 p.m. and end at 1:34 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREMIER - SMOKE-FREE PLACES LEG.:

AMENDMENTS - ACCEPT

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, since Friday, we have been hearing from a wide variety of groups and individuals who are asking for changes to the Smoke-free Places Bill. Even the Premier's own backbenchers have expressed the desire to see 100 per cent smoke-free public places legislation. It is clear that the people want more out of any anti-smoking legislation than what is forthcoming from this government. So I want to ask the Premier, will you listen to the people, will you listen to your backbenchers and accept amendments to the Smoke-free Places Bill?

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the legislation which has been introduced is among, if not the very toughest in Canada. I should also draw to the honourable member's attention that that he may wish to check with the NDP Governments out West to find out why they have not introduced anything. In Saskatchewan, what they have introduced is basically a very weak shadow of what we are proposing here.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the municipalities who are appearing before the Law Amendments Committee say they are going to have to water down their own rules in order to accommodate the legislation from this government. This morning, another member of the Tory caucus stated that he would like to see a free vote on the Smoke-free Places Bill. This government needs to allow its members to listen to those constituents and to vote as their conscience dictates. I want to ask the Premier, will you live up to your 1999 campaign promise to "give members of the Legislature greater freedom to represent the views of the people they represent."

[Page 10073]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member opposite pointing out the fact that in this particular caucus there is a freedom to debate, there is a freedom to express different opinions, unlike that caucus which, by any stretch of the imagination, is anything but democratic.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, apparently the Premier rather than answering the question would prefer to hurl epithets at the Opposition and that's fine, if that's what he thinks is successful. The nature of this legislation demands that members be allowed to vote and act according to their conscience without being forced to toe the Party line. Your members should be free to vote as they see fit on amendments and to introduce amendments of their own, if they consider it to be in the best interests of their constituents. So I want to ask the Premier, why won't you commit here and now to allow government members the freedom to fully represent their constituents on the Smoke-free Places Bill?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I have not had the opportunity, because of my absence from the House last week, to participate in any of the debate at the Law Amendments Committee. But what is being reported back to me is that there is a healthy debate going on at Law Amendments, which varies from too tough from not tough enough, which delivers a message to the government that we probably have it just about right.

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

HEALTH - SMOKING BAN: TOTAL - ADVOCATE

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is also to the Premier. Last October 11, 2001, in Clementsport, Mr. Premier, you and your Health Minister, "endorsed a study commissioned by the Department of Health on smoke-free workplaces and the dangers of second-hand smoke." Mr. Premier, you endorsed the study in a news release, that very day you congratulated municipalities that were introducing a total ban, yet fast-forward six months and your government, despite unprecedented public support, as well as the support of at least our Party, pulls back.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the Premier this question. As a Leader, as a physician and as the Premier, why aren't you taking advantage of all of the support and advocating for nothing less than a total ban on smoking in public places?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite was a member of a government that was in charge of this province from 1993 to 1999. During that period of time the statistics about smoking were there, the information regarding the effects of tobacco smoke on a population were there, and despite that that government did nothing - did nothing - to inhibit tobacco use among our young people. This government has done something that very few governments in Canada have undertaken before and that is to meet the problem head-on with the most progressive anti-smoking legislation and program in Canada.

[Page 10074]

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, it's interesting what the Health Minister is holding up over there because it leads right into my first supplementary. That gentleman is the Premier today, he's the Premier responsible for the health of Nova Scotians today. I guess the Premier's view on smoking was made clear when he appointed the man in favour of keeping tobacco in pharmacies as his Health Minister. The honourable Health Minister sitting over there today who voted against our legislation to take tobacco out of pharmacies, your Health Minister voted against that. In this very House there is support on all sides for a total ban on smoking. My question again to the Premier, in light of tri-partisan support for a total ban - yes, tri-partisan because members of your own Party are advocating for a total ban - why won't you reconsider your government's present policy?

THE PREMIER: The comments of the member opposite are hollow and unconvincing because that member, when he was a member of government, had no policy on smoking. This government has and we are going to choke out smoking in Nova Scotia.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Yes, we asked to take tobacco out of pharmacies and his Health Minister voted no to that. That's their policy on the issue. My final supplementary, in light of the tri-Party support that the Premier seems unaware of, in a scrum outside this very place 15 minutes ago, he said a free vote on the ban of smoking in public places is hypothetical because no one in the Party asked him. Well, somebody should give that Premier a copy of today's paper because the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has asked for that as recently as last evening.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: In the blue book, the Premier has promised to allow more freedom for members of his Party. My final question - and I want to table this, this is from the government's own Web page, "We believe Nova Scotians are right to demand greater openness, accountability and participation. A John Hamm Government will be a government that listens to Nova Scotians . . ." A John Hamm Government will, "Give Members of the Legislature greater freedom to represent the views of the people they represent;". My question to you Mr. Premier, will you live up to that agreement and allow for free votes in this House on this anti-smoking bill? Will you or will you not?

THE PREMIER: I would anticipate that if the previous government of the province had a more enlightened view of caucus views, they wouldn't have left smoking going on in our school yards, they wouldn't have had smoking unabated in restaurants, they wouldn't have smoking unabated in malls. We are going to solve this because we are going to protect young people from smoking - something that government and that member didn't have the intestinal fortitude to do.

[Page 10075]

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

PREMIER: SECOND-HAND SMOKE PROBLEM -

ACCOUNTABILITY

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: My question is again for the Premier. In 1999 almost half of the Conservative caucus voted against amendments to the Tobacco Access Act. Their reasons were placed on the record by the member for Truro-Bible Hill who is now your Health Minister. The now Health Minister opposed Liberal legislation that, in his words, was simply moving the commercial aspect of tobacco sales from one segment of the retail trade to others. Those are his words, Mr. Premier, not mine. Can the Premier tell Nova Scotians why his government is now following the Liberal path with legislation that moves the second-hand smoke problem from one segment of the hospitality industry to another?

THE PREMIER: It's interesting that the member opposite is so reluctant to acknowledge, even for a moment, the fact that this government is bringing forward very progressive legislation, in fact the most progressive in the country, one of only three governments that will have this kind of legislation. The mere fact that his brethren in the West have not had the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing and bring forward anti-smoking legislation - it's interesting, as Opposition members, they seem to have all the answers. It's funny that they have so much advice for government when it suits them and yet, when they become government they have no answers.

[12:45 p.m.]

MR. DEXTER: Maybe we need to remind the Premier that he is the Premier in this province. The legislation he brings forward deals with the people of this province. The Health Minister is bound by rules of Cabinet confidentiality even though he clearly prefers a total ban to a partial ban, and he has said so in this House. That's why I'm directing my question to the Premier. Tory MLAs were ordered not to share their views about smoke-free legislation with the Medical Society. Mr. Premier, why did your government use a gag order to try to cover up the fact that the Health Minister, the Minister of Economic Development, the MLA for Sackville-Beaver Bank and others in your caucus support a total ban on involuntary exposure to second-hand smoke?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the legislation carried on consultation with many anti-smoking lobby groups, and I would ask him to respond to the question.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, just a comment on the pharmacy going in, that as they say, that legislation created a great boom for the construction industry. It didn't do much for curtailing the sale of tobacco. As a matter of fact, if that was their idea of anti-smoking legislation, we know why we have one inch of broken promises here from the Liberal Party.

[Page 10076]

The Medical Society did request to meet with caucus. In that period of time, leading up to the opening of the House, we didn't meet with any lobby groups, the Medical Society included. They were offered space at another time that was appropriate, when we were receiving outside groups. The Medical Society, in that case, was being treated the same as anybody else.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, in many respects, this is a moral issue. This is an issue about conscience. I don't know how in good conscience the Premier, a doctor, could ignore his colleagues in the medical profession, the health status of Nova Scotians and the overwhelming public desire for a total ban. I want to ask the Premier, why won't the Premier let his Cabinet and his caucus speak and vote as their consciences see fit on a total ban of involuntary exposure to second-hand smoke?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, while I wouldn't expect the members of either Opposition Party to totally endorse the position of the government with its anti-smoking legislation, I can report, because I made reference to it in answering a previous question, that the new Liberal Leader in New Brunswick has called upon the New Brunswick Government to follow the Nova Scotia lead and bring in a similar kind of anti-smoking legislation to what we're debating here today.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH - PROV. HEALTH COUNCIL RECOMMENDATIONS:

SMOKING BAN - HEED

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. On June 3, 1998, in the Legislature (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. The honourable member for Dartmouth East has the floor. Would you begin again, please.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. On June 3, 1998, in this Legislature, the Premier made the following statement, that it - meaning the Provincial Health Council - ". . . would be the public voice on health and health related matters and would draft the Nova Scotia health goals." My question, simply, to the Premier is, if the Premier believes strongly that the Provincial Health Council is the public voice on health-related matters, why isn't he listening with respect to a smoking ban in all public places, as recommended by the Provincial Health Council yesterday?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I will begin by saying I have great respect for the member for Dartmouth East, but I must remind the member for Dartmouth East that he was Minister of Health for some significant time in this province. He, as well, is a physician, yet he was not able to convince his colleagues to bring forward anti-tobacco

[Page 10077]

legislation while they were in government. I would think that the member should be looking at himself with some degree of disdain on this particular issue rather than looking at this government, which has taken a stand, a very strong stand.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I would just simply say that that is rather pathetic, that a Premier would stand in this House after forming government for 983-some days, in that area, and blame a previous government. I take responsibility for not maybe bringing it forward but I am here today and I am here to support the legislation and that is more than that Premier is doing.

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Provincial Health Council advocated a total ban and urged the government to do so. In fact, in March 2000, the Provincial Health Council had 1,000 surveys of Nova Scotians returned with the results being compiled. One of the findings stated, "The need to make sure we have a healthy physical environment in which to learn, work and live. This includes clean water and air . . ." My question to the Premier is, given that the Provincial Health Council made their presentation yesterday based on the findings of Nova Scotians, why isn't the government listening? Why isn't his government listening?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, in the course of coming forward with a balanced piece of legislation that works, which we have done, we consulted and the minister consulted with any number of groups. But I also heard the member opposite saying that he supports - and I can't recall his exact words but I infer from what the member opposite said he is going to support - the legislation and I thank him for that support.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, the Provincial Health Council was important to this Premier (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Dartmouth East has the floor on his final supplementary, please.

DR. SMITH: I'm having trouble keeping my light on today, Mr. Speaker. (Laughter) The Provincial Health Council was important to the Premier in 1998, that was the year that the Premier allocated $359,000 to the Provincial Health Council. He was committed to that Provincial Health Council. However, as revealed yesterday in the Law Amendments Committee, the Provincial Health Council was not even consulted on the contents of the smoking bill that's before this House. My question to the Premier is, why didn't this government and its Premier see fit to consult with the body that they claim to be the voice of the people prior to tabling their legislation?

THE PREMIER: The Minister of Health will remind the member opposite when he answers the question of the extensive consultation with anti-smoking groups that went on before the introduction of this bill.

[Page 10078]

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, this government has consulted more about anti-smoking legislation than probably any other provincial government in Canada and, of course, that's probably why we have introduced the toughest legislation.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

ENVIRON. & LBR. - WORKPLACE SAFETY: RIGHTS - RECOGNIZE

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Environment and Labour. Sean Ryan has been working in the food service industry for about five years, he's 28-years-old. Last year he started having difficulty breathing, his doctor told him it was probably because of exposure to second-hand smoke. Six months ago he was fortunate enough to find employment in one of the only non-smoking bars in Halifax and since then he has stopped wheezing, his lungs and sinuses are clear and he has more energy. My question for the Minister of Environment and Labour is, when will you recognize that it is the right of every Nova Scotian to work in a safe environment?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I do acknowledge that it is extremely important that everybody be able to live and work in a healthy and safe workplace or home. So, indeed, that is in the general regulations. Now, of course, we know that some people are more susceptible to conditions than others. I'm very pleased to hear that Mr. Ryan has been able to find more appropriate employment that suits his particular health.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, there are lots of workers in food service industries that don't have that choice. Exposing food service workers to second-hand smoke is exploitive and maybe even illegal. Exposing them to tobacco smoke may be in contravention of the Nova Scotia Health and Safety Act of 1996. The Act requires employers to provide a safe working environment, and tobacco smoke, I want to remind the minister, has been proven to have adverse effects and is classified as a class A carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. So my question to the minister is, why do you think tobacco smoke is not an environmental hazard?

MR. MORSE: Yes, again I thank the member for her question and I would point out that if anybody in the Nova Scotia workplace is encountering difficulties for either health or safety reasons that there is a mechanism that's put in place to assist them. Companies of the size of 20 or more employees would have a joint occupational health and safety committee; for those less than that there should be a health safety officer and they can refer it to the department.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, second-hand smoke is the number-one cause of workplace deaths in the country and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 13(1)(a) states that, "Every employer shall take every precaution that is reasonable . . . to ensure the health and safety of persons at or near the workplace." So my question to

[Page 10079]

the minister quite simply is, why aren't your inspectors applying Section 13(1)(a) in workplaces where second-hand smoke is affecting workers' health?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that, first of all, if there is a complaint that's called into the department, they would act on the complaint. They would consider it and it is very encouraging to hear from the Halifax Chamber of Commerce that with this legislation 97 per cent of workplaces in HRM will be smoke-free.

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

PREM. - ATL. ENERGY SUMMIT:

ENERGY MIN. (PART-TIME) - ABSENCE EXPLAIN

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is again to the Premier. Industry leaders will be joining today in Saint John for an Atlantic Energy Summit. Those attending will be U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci, Maine Governor Angus King, federal Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal, and the Premiers of New Brunswick and Newfoundland. They're all there with the purpose of examining the energy needs of the U.S. Northeast and Atlantic Canada. My question to the Premier is, why is he, or the part-time energy minister of this province, not at that meeting?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the government is represented at that meeting by officials from the appropriate government department and clearly if it's the wish of the member opposite to have myself and our ministers on the road all the time we would respond positively to all of the invitations we get. Clearly, yesterday, I had an opportunity to talk with Minister Dhaliwal. Last week I was at the Oil and Gas Conference in Houston which was key to the development of our oil and gas industry, but it is not the intention of this government and the front bench to be on the road all the time.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, of all the lame answers this Premier has given in this House since this session started, that has to take the cake. He says that he shouldn't be out of the province, yet he had no problem spending a whole week over in Houston with at least a dozen provincial officials, including his part-time energy minister, but he doesn't have the time to attend a conference in New Brunswick that's dealing with the very use of our gas here in Nova Scotia.

By 2005 Nova Scotia will be exporting 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day through the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. Projects like GenPower will soon be exporting electricity to New England. Everybody from the U.S. Ambassador, to the Premier of New Brunswick is discussing the issue for the use of our resource, yet you, Mr. Premier, can't find the time to be up there defending Nova Scotia's interests. Why are you not there and why isn't your energy minister there?

[Page 10080]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the short answer, the reason I'm not there is because I'm here because I do have a responsibility to be here some of the time despite the urging of the member opposite to have me away all of the time.

[1:00 p.m.]

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, that answer speaks volumes as to why we're not even a player in the gas and oil industry in this province. That answer and that uncaring attitude towards the future of this province's economic prosperity is the reason why he's not there - because he doesn't care. That's the same reason why he hasn't appointed a full-time energy minister.

The Governor of Maine is getting cheap electricity while Nova Scotians are paying more. New Brunswick is trying to assert control over our natural gas resources and Newfoundland completely outplayed this Premier in the Laurentian Sub-basin dispute. Why won't the Premier get Rob Batherson to gas up the car and him and Robbie go right up there now and attend that conference, where he should be, representing Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, despite that intriguing invitation issued by the member opposite, this member plans to be in the House this week.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

COMMUN. SERV. - CENT. NOVA WOMEN'S RES. CTR.:

CONTINUATION - ENSURE

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Community Services. The Central Nova Women's Resource Centre will be closing its doors at the end of this month. The centre has been refused provincial funding by the Minister of Community Services. This women's resource centre provides valuable and necessary services to women of the Truro area. I want to ask the Minister of Community Services, why will his department not step in to ensure that these services continue to be offered in the Truro area?

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, in the last few weeks we have had correspondence from that group. They've asked to have a meeting with us and we plan to do that. We have asked them what they're planning to do, what their plans are with HRDC, if that's continuing, and when we get that information we will be able to draw our final conclusion.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, this is the second blow to services for women in the Truro area. The Advisory Council on the Status of Women was forced to cut the field worker's position in this region due to this government's budget cuts. The issue is

[Page 10081]

simple - either this government values programs for women or it doesn't. So my question to the Minister of Community Services is, why is this centre being allowed to close its doors?

MR. CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, we have been having discussions with them. When we get the information that we have been seeking, we will draw a conclusion and then we will have discussions with that group.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure what additional information the minister requires. His colleague, the Minister of Health, has already written on behalf of this centre in support of their funding proposal for this year. Once the Central Nova Women's Resource Centre is gone, it's gone for good and so are the services that it provides: education, training opportunities, employment counselling and advice, parenting counselling and advice. So this service for the Truro area is very important and it must remain open. So I ask the Minister of Community Services, will he commit to keeping this centre open long enough so that the centre can take part in the provincial redesign of women's services programs, please?

MR. CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member perhaps has a copy of the letter that was sent by the chair of that group to us asking that question. We have indicated to the group on the redesign that we will be looking at the people that are involved. We are going to include them in that decision as to whether that group comes and we will probably bring them into the discussion and we will make the conclusion as to how we're gong to work with the centre in the very near future.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

FIN. - TAX CUT: RESCISSION - DETAILS

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians learned last week that the suspect tax-cut promise the Tory Government used to get elected was no more. During the last election, our Party as well as other individuals warned the Tory Leader that his across-the-board 10 per cent tax-cut promise was simply not doable. Now, almost three years later, we learn that the promise of a 10 per cent tax cut to all Nova Scotians was to be, in the government's curious language, modified. To all Nova Scotians, whoever, no matter how you want to call it, the issue still reads to be a broken promise. My question to the Premier is, at what point did you learn that your 10 per cent tax-cut promise, as stated in the 1999 election, was no more?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite seems to want to engage in the budget debate of 2003. I will ask the Minister of Finance to respond to the question.

[Page 10082]

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, the fact that we're having this discussion is a consequence of the fact that we've balanced the budget. I know the member opposite would like to have been the author of the budget that I tabled this year, however, the people of this province decided to change. Our government came to office. We have met our commitments. We are on plan and we will be on plan next year.

MR. DOWNE: My question, back to the Premier. Mr. Premier, you said your word is your oath. People deserve to know, if you didn't know that your promise was going to be broken, shouldn't the Finance Minister have at least told you prior to this point in time. My question to the Mr. Premier is, when did you find out that you were no longer offering a 10 per cent tax cut to all Nova Scotians? When did you know that, Mr. Premier, when?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what a profound disappointment it must be to the member for Lunenburg West, who, unfortunately, when he was Minister of Finance, could not table a balanced budget. What a profound disappointment it must be to him.

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, what a profound disappointment it is to Nova Scotians that this Premier did not keep his promise to Nova Scotians. What a profound disappointment it is for that Premier to break his word and his covenant to Nova Scotians. This promise was a faulty promise from the start. We knew it and, Mr. Premier, even the buddies next door knew it. Now, finally, you know it, that you cannot keep your promise. My question to the Premier is, how will you explain to Nova Scotians why it took you three years to reveal that your 10 per cent across-the-board tax-cut promise was false?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will remind the member opposite, if he would take some time to read the commitments in the blue book, I can assure him they will be kept.

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

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL. - MARKET-BASED ASSESS:

PROBLEMS - AVOIDANCE EXPLAIN

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Last month the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations introduced his solution for sky-rocketing assessments in this province. Just four weeks later, the minister has to admit the solution is a failure and a disastrous one. The minister has once again decided to hide his head in the sand and hope the problem solves itself. My question to the minister is, why have you chosen to walk away from the serious and growing problems with market-based assessments?

[Page 10083]

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, we're certainly walking toward the problem of high tax payable by individuals. We're working with affected municipal units. We intend to come forward with a solution that is workable for all Nova Scotians, with respect to this problem.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, this minister has so little understanding of the problem that is province-wide that he's limited his, what shall we say, correspondence and connections to two municipalities, but people in my riding - that's in the HRM - and in the ridings for the members for Eastern Shore, Chester-St. Margaret's, Inverness, parts of the Valley and all along the South Shore are starting to see the effect of this lack of communication. So my question to the minister is, why is the minister breaking his promise to provide an acceptable solution for all Nova Scotians and why is he betraying those backbenchers over there and their constituents by not consulting them?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, we are working with the municipal units affected. We are attacking the problem, which is the high tax payable. That is the difficulty that has to be overcome and that is the difficulty we will overcome.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, this caucus has for months, I believe almost years now, brought up the individual cases of the Wentzells, the Coveys, the Creasers and, of course, the Slaunwhites. My question, however, cannot go to this minister because he doesn't understand the issue. My question is to the Premier. He owns shorefront property in this province. I want to ask the Premier, why don't you take over this file and develop a province-wide solution to the continuing assessment problems in this province?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, yes, I own some property, and yes, I pay my taxes, and yes, the minister has provided a solution.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH - SMOKING BAN: ADVICE - DISREGARD EXPLAIN

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. Two weeks ago the Premier acknowledged receipt of the recommendations made by his Youth Tobacco Advisory Committee. The youth of this committee recommended to this very government that an all-out ban on smoking in malls, restaurants and bars was essential in Nova Scotia. The opinion of many Nova Scotians is to ban smoking in all public places. My question to the Premier is, why does your government continue to ignore major public opinion, including the very youth you're trying to protect, by tiptoeing around a complete ban on smoking in all public places?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health will respond relative to the consultation with the Youth Tobacco Advisory Committee.

[Page 10084]

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the Youth Tobacco Advisory Committee met again on May 8th, and indeed, a number of those people were actually present when we did the little summer thing up there in the Grand Parade. Among other things, they talked about tobacco tax increases as being the most important thing; they're the strongest youth deterrent. They made a number of recommendations. Obviously, the Minister of Finance has increased tobacco taxes three times, and I commend him for that. That is what the Youth Tobacco Advisory Committee said was the strongest deterrent and certainly he has done that.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, all would agree that increased taxes on tobacco are important. We've heard that very clearly. We've also heard that the people of Nova Scotia are ready for a complete ban in all public places. My question to the Premier is, Nova Scotians want a 100 per cent ban to protect our young people from second-hand smoke and to protect workers in the service industry, a health and safety issue in the workplace. My question to the Premier is, when will this government introduce legislation that will put the safety of workers at the forefront of anti-smoking legislation, as well as our young people?

THE PREMIER: I refer that to the Minister of Health.

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the proposed legislation calls, in the majority of situations, for enclosed, self-ventilated rooms. Even the Leader of the Official Opposition, in one of his earlier questions, recognized that was a reasonable approach and I don't think he did, but that's what he said in his question. He supported the government's legislation. It's not a total answer; we know that. I can tell you that it is a tremendous amount of progress and will make us a Canadian leader.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, my final supplementary is to the Premier. The Minister of Health is right, but we would like to support a full loaf, not half a loaf. We are a province that deserves the leadership from the Premier, who is ultimately responsible for the health and wellness of Nova Scotians. My final question to the Premier is, public support is large; the time is now; will your government take the lead to prevent smoking from all public places where young people are present and where people work?

[1:15 p.m.]

THE PREMIER: I'm not aware or I can't really recall if the member opposite, the member for Dartmouth East, was present the day that our bill received the endorsement of so many of the members of the anti-smoking lobby. They see this as a tremendous step forward and I would hope that eventually the members opposite will see this as a tremendous step forward.

[Page 10085]

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

EDUC. - PICTOU HIGH SCHOOLS:

ENHANCEMENTS - RESPONSIBILITY DETAILS

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. I would like to table an article from the Pictou Advocate. In this article, Mayor Art Fitt of Stellarton is quoted as saying, " . . . it's probably the dirtiest piece of politics I've experienced since I've been mayor." The mayor is referring here to the Premier's lobby to have enhancements at the two new Pictou area high schools paid by municipal taxes, in addition to the increased education costs downloaded on his municipality. However, the town did not - conveniently - receive the increased tax bill until after the extra money for the enhancements had been approved and paid for. So my question to the Premier is, why did the Premier and the Department of Education withhold the increased education tax bill until after they got the enhancements approved by the Stellarton Town Council?

THE PREMIER: The Minister of Education will respond to that question.

HON. JANE PURVES: I know the member opposite knows that it takes a while to get things in writing, but it was clear to everyone that when the education budget increased this year that the municipal share towards education would also increase; that was not a secret and they knew it.

MR. DEVEAUX: Like anyone, I assume the mayor, when he saw the bill, really got a rude awakening. Stellarton received its increased taxation bill after it actually even paid for the enhancements. We're now moving towards a two-tiered education system in which have and have-not areas of this province are going to be left to fend for themselves. I want to ask the Premier, why is his government actively lobbying to create a two-tiered education system in Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Yes, we did have a two-tiered education system in Nova Scotia and unfortunately, in Pictou County we were on the second tier. But because this government found a way to build two new high schools in Pictou County and because the community came forward, including the teachers, including the corporate side, to put enhancements in the school, Pictou County will finally be at the top tier, where we want to be.

MR. DEVEAUX: Yes, let's talk about being on the top tier. The new East Pictou High School is going to be located in Parkdale, in the minister's riding, at the very top edge of an actively working gravel pit - talking about top tier. This is something the Premier pushed for, and now he's hoodwinked the town councils with regard to getting enhancements paid for, even though those costs and others should have been covered by his government. I want to ask the Premier, why is he taking such inappropriate political action as lobbying and ensuring

[Page 10086]

schools are located in his riding, instead of ensuring that all children in Nova Scotia are provided a good quality education?

THE PREMIER: I was discouraged when, in the course of fulfilling my duties, I travelled around and I saw in other communities schools, particularly high schools, that were far superior to anything we had in Pictou County. As the local MLA and sharing the concern with the members for Pictou East and Pictou West, we wanted to be absolutely certain that the young people in Pictou County had the same advantages as people have in other parts of this province. As MLAs we got out and we lobbied for that and we should not be embarrassed for that; it was our MLA responsibility and we carried it out.

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

HEALTH - EMC: FIREFIGHTERS - BILLING EXPLAIN

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Volunteer firefighters perform a valuable, first-response emergency service across this province. Sometimes in the course of carrying out that duty, they become injured on the job and need to be transported from the scene to a medical clinic and so on. Under the billing policy of EMC, they're obligated without exemption to bill the volunteer firefighter or the volunteer fire department, but it's the Department of Health's Emergency Health Services that establishes the billing policy and receives all the revenues. My question to the minister is, why does this minister believe that his department should be billing volunteer firefighters anywhere from $85 to $600 for transportation when they are injured performing services at a scene?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member raises something that is a sensitive issue in his community. I have explained on the floor of the House before that it's not our intent to generate revenue from volunteer firefighters who are injured in the course of their duties. The fact is that the way the billing system is set up with EMC is that if a person is transported, then a billing procedure goes in. We're working on it, but right now the computer can't make that adjustment. So what the policy is, is that EMC will write a cheque for the amount of the ambulance transport and donate it back to the volunteer fire department.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, that's rather ironic. They're willing to give volunteer firefighters money when they die, but on the other hand, they're trying to bury them with bills. It's amazing how this government thinks. The inefficiency inherent in the system is totally unacceptable. Some volunteers are charged because they have insurance while others are charged and a donation goes back to the department. My question to the minister is, for a government that promised to run an efficient health care system, why is this system of billing for ambulances in such a sorry state?

[Page 10087]

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the billing system is run by EMC, not by the Department of Health. I'm not trying to make excuses for that particular situation, it's a glitch in the system. They're working on it. I think the important thing is that we know that there is a problem, EMC knows there's a problem and the fire departments are reimbursed if that is necessary.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, that's a double standard because even if they have insurance, that's put through their insurance and their premiums will go up. It's quite simple. So what the minister says just doesn't make any sense at all.

This is a government that said it was going to, through its red tape task force, reduce red tape. So my question to the minister is, why is the minister presiding over a situation that clearly does not make the best use of our health care dollars?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the health care dollars in that instance are, of course, I guess you could say credited to the emergency ambulance transport system, which is among the very best in North America; the dollars are being well used. The issue of the glitch in the billing, I know that EMC is working on it. They are also meeting with representatives some time before too long, I believe it's with the director of fire services or whatever the particular title is of the person in CBRM, to discuss the issue further.

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

SYSCO - DEMOLITION:

HARBOURSIDE SCH. - NOTIFICATION DETAILS

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, this government has clearly shown its distaste for Cape Breton by doing things such as shutting down the steel plant and giving inadequate pensions, inadequate severance packages. Now this government has gone one step further. They're threatening the health and safety of the children who go to school in Whitney Pier and particularly at Harbourside Elementary School in Whitney Pier. So my question to the Minister of Education is, why was Harbourside Elementary School not informed about the asbestos in the demolition of the Sydney steel plant?

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, I refer that question to the Minister responsible for Sydney Steel.

HON. GORDON BALSER: Mr. Speaker, I assure the member opposite and all Nova Scotians that every safety precaution was taken. The school principal was informed, air monitoring equipment was in place. There is absolutely no risk to anyone living in Cape Breton as a result of the taking down of those stacks.

[Page 10088]

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, clearly that minister knows that that's not accurate. That was not brought forward until a concerned parent brought that forward. The people of Murray's Demolition did not bring this forward and the minister knows that full well. It's another example of this government looking in the rearview mirror on health and safety concerns, in Cape Breton in particular. It's quite all right for the people of Murray's Demolition to say there's no risk involved, because their children aren't going to that school, their sisters and brothers don't teach at that school, nor does anybody else who belongs to them work there.

I want to ask the Minister of Education, will she tell this House when exactly will Harbourside students, parents and staff receive information and assurance that there is no asbestos in that school or in the surrounding area, when will she do that?

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, I refer that question to the Minister responsible for Sydney Steel.

MR. BALSER: Mr. Speaker, again to the member opposite, air monitoring equipment was in place, precautions were taken. There's no risk to the community.

MR. CORBETT: Listen to Kreskin over there, Mr. Speaker, he's the only guy who knows there's absolutely no risk. Why would you bother doing the monitoring, Mr. Minister, if you can tell now? Why didn't you just tell the people that right then and we could all just walk away safe knowing that Minister Kreskin here knows what's going to happen to people's health and safety.

The Minister of Education is quick to get involved with schools when a few bucks go missing, but children's health is a whole other matter, especially if they're from Cape Breton. So I want to ask her, could the minister let this House know her plans for the operation of Harbourside Elementary School, what will go on while the demolition of Sysco continues? Will you operate that school as usual or will you take certain precautions to help the safety of the children and the staff at that school?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, the health and safety of children is a primary responsibility, perhaps the primary responsibility of the Department of Education and the school boards. I have been assured that all the safety precautions were in place; that measures are in place. If the member opposite would like a timeline of who knew what, when, I will do my best to supply it to him.

I would like, Mr. Speaker, to respond to something he said earlier about a few bucks missing from schools. A few bucks, a few million, a few more million. That's the typical attitude of the NDP - money doesn't matter.

[Page 10089]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

COMMUN. SERV. - SUBSIDENCE (GLACE BAY):

ASSISTANCE - DETAILS

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the minister responsible for housing. As the minister should be aware, subsidence has claimed another home in Glace Bay. As was the case in the past, the homeowner is not insured for subsidence problems, as a matter of fact the owners, the Nightingales, face costs of some $45,000 to fix the damage and buy a new lot for their small home. My question for the minister is, could the minister explain to this House what, if anything, can be done to help out in this particular case?

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, there are a lot of incidents where that happens and it has happened in the past. There are a number of incidents across the province where we have an unfortunate accident. I hope the honourable member has encouraged the family to come to housing and indicate what the issues are and to talk to them about the programs that are available. Each case is dealt with as a case-by-case issue and I hope they've had the opportunity to talk to people so they can get those answers for themselves directly.

MR. WILSON: Mr. Speaker, at this point, I would like to table in the House a resolution from our current Premier in which he calls upon the government of the day to help with a subsidence problem at that time in Westville. Governments, both past and present, have not heeded the call for help in most cases. There seems to be an absence of an overall policy and there seems to be an absence in some cases of some compassion. My question, again to the minister of housing, could the minister at least have officials from his department help out this particular family with exploring alternatives to their current situation and not wait for them to contact the department but have the department contact them?

MR. CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated to the honourable member, normally in situations where people are applying for the different programs, they come in, they have an opportunity to look at the program, and I would strongly encourage them to do that. That gives them the opportunity to look at all of the different programs that are there; that gives them the opportunity to look at how they can be helped; and it just provides them with that general information. I would hope the honourable member would encourage them to come into housing, so that they can see these programs.

[1:30 p.m.]

MR. WILSON: Mr. Speaker, that's great in normal circumstances. This is not a normal circumstance, when your house sinks into the ground. I would like to thank the minister anyway for his response. My final supplementary would be to the Premier. The Premier believed the government was responsible for the well-being of residents in Westville when

[Page 10090]

they faced subsidence problems. My question is, does the Premier feel that residents in Glace Bay also deserve the same consideration today?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite brings an important issue to the floor of the House on behalf of his constituents. What I heard the Minister of Community Services, responsible for housing, say to that member is that there are programs available, and I would hope the member opposite will encourage his constituents to investigate accessing those programs.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL.: RES. TENANCIES REVIEW - DETAILS

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I have here a government news release saying there's going to be consultation on residential tenancies. The consultation paper was produced by a stakeholder group, and they're putting it out for public consultation. The problem is, it's four years ago. My question for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations is, where is the residential tenancies review?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the honourable member that that matter is under consideration, and the honourable member can appreciate that there are a lot of issues that need to be evaluated in doing that review. It has not proved to be as simple and easy as one would expect at first glance. That process is underway, and I hope it will be concluded at an appropriate time.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, this news release is dated September 1, 1998. In estimates last year, I asked the minister, one full year ago, where the review is, and he gave exactly the same answer that he gave today. It's complicated, more complicated than they thought. My question for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations is, what concrete steps are you and this government going to take to put the residential tenancies review back on the front burner where it belongs?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated to the honourable member, we are dealing with the matter. It's not as straightforward, as I've indicated previously, as we would like it to be. As I have indicated previously, there are a lot of issues that need to be evaluated, and we are in the process of carrying out that evaluation. (Interruption)

MR. STEELE: . . . are you going to be abolishing the Residential Tenancies Board, with no proof? That's no way to run a government.

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

[Page 10091]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, before we move into the Committee of the Whole House on Bills, I would like to bring to your attention and to the attention of the members of the House of the presence in the east gallery of approximately 40 students from a Grade 8 class in Windsor Regional High School. They are accompanied today by Tina Dale, Tara Dolmont, Suzanne Hennigar and Brad Pemberton. I would ask the members to give our visitors from Windsor Regional High School a typical legislative welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: I certainly want to welcome our special guests to the gallery today, and hope they enjoy the proceedings.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[The motion is carried.]

[1:35 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Acting Deputy Chairman Mr. William Dooks in the Chair.]

[5:59 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Jerry Pye in the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: Honourable members, we have reached the moment of interruption. The late debate was submitted tonight by Darrell Dexter, the MLA for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour and the Leader of the Opposition. The resolution reads:

"Therefore be it resolved that the government stop applying illegal fees for emergency ambulance services that are unconstitutional."

[Page 10092]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

HEALTH: EMERG. AMBULANCE FEES - ILLEGALITY

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I had earlier given notice to my colleagues, the Health Critic for the Liberal Party and also to the Minister of Health, that the wording of the resolution came out somewhat differently than I had intended when I had suggested this topic be submitted for late debate. I have advised them and I believe they have accepted that I'm not going to address tonight the constitutionality of the ambulance fees, which is not anything that I had ever meant to put to issue.

MR. SPEAKER: Excuse me, honourable member, for the record then, can I have concurrences that in fact they have agreed with respect to the content of the resolution.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Okay, thank you, honourable member.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I believe it's agreed by all sides that we will be addressing the issue of the reasonableness of the ambulance fees. On March 13th, together with seven Nova Scotians, I made public my intention to challenge the legality and the reasonableness of the system of ambulance fees in Nova Scotia. That day - on behalf of those seven Nova Scotians, all of whom had received an ambulance bill that they considered to be not just illegal, but unfair and unreasonable, as well - I wrote a letter on their behalf to both the Minister of Health representing the province and also to the chief executive officer of the private company that runs the ambulance system in Nova Scotia, namely EMC, Emergency Medical Care. Today, on May 14th, I have not yet received a reply either from the minister or from the CEO of Emergency Medical Care. I thought it was important to put on the record the state of that challenge to ambulance fees in Nova Scotia.

The genesis of the challenge, Mr. Speaker, was a remark made by the Auditor General in his last year's annual report where he simply pointed out that there was no apparent legal basis for the system of ambulance fees in Nova Scotia. When I raised that issue with a representative of the government in the Public Accounts Committee, I was deeply dissatisfied with the answer because there was no apparent intention on the part of the government to do anything about this possible illegality of ambulance fees. It is a very serious issue because it brings in millions of dollars in revenue every year to the Province of

[Page 10093]

Nova Scotia and imposes sometimes large fees on individual Nova Scotians. I thought it was important and necessary to remind the government that if they are going to impose user fees, they need to have legal authority to do it.

In the course of talking to Nova Scotians, receiving their e-mails, their phone calls and their faxes, it came to my attention something that I had not known before and that is how unfair and unreasonable some of the ambulance fees are, in addition to this issue of illegality. Now the government in this Financial Measures (2002) Bill that is currently before the House is attempting to cure the problem of illegality. They are doing it by giving themselves a retroactive legal authority. Retroactive authority, that is reaching into the past and deeming the law to be different than it actually was. They are giving themselves retroactive legal authority to impose ambulance fees. That's their prerogative. I can't say it surprised me that they did that, Mr. Speaker, because I knew it was an option available to them, but it did, nonetheless, disappoint me that they chose to go that route. But even if this government, exercising its majority, deems the law in the past to be different than it actually was, it still leaves the issue of the unfairness and the unreasonableness of some ambulance fees. I have raised these issues with the minister in this House and I cannot seem to get the minister to acknowledge that there are any problems.

So what I'm going to do in the time available to me this evening, Mr. Speaker, is I'm going to run down the list of issues that have come to my attention. In the positive, proactive way that the NDP Opposition has become known for, I am going to suggest solutions to those issues and I am going to earnestly commend to the minister's attention that these solutions that we are proposing to very real problems, because make no mistake about it, I have heard from Nova Scotians from one end of the province to the other, people from industrial Cape Breton have called me, as have people from Yarmouth, people from the South Shore and the Annapolis Valley. People from northern Nova Scotia have called me and people from the Halifax Regional Municipality have called me. People from all over Nova Scotia have issues with the system of ambulance fees.

The first issue, and the one that it seems to me is the easiest to deal with, is this issue of double- and triple-billing; that is if more than one person goes in an ambulance each person receives the full bill. If a motor vehicle is involved in Nova Scotia, the bill is $500, and that means that if there are three people in an ambulance, as there are at times, the total bill for that one ambulance ride is $1,500. There is no justification of any kind for double- and triple-billing. When the minister tries to justify it, he refers to the cost of service. I will acknowledge and I will accept the minister's figures that on average the cost of an ambulance ride in Nova Scotia is $560, but that does not justify $1,000 or $1,500 for the same trip. Mr. Speaker, the solution is simple and effective, and that is to outlaw the practice of double- and triple-billing; there is simply no justification for it.

[Page 10094]

The second problem is this issue of billing to third-party insurers. The normal rate for an ambulance in Nova Scotia is $85. As a result of this government's budget, soon to go up to $105, but if there's a third-party insurer, like the Workers' Compensation Board or a motor vehicle insurer, the bill is $500, soon to go up to $600, and it's all premised on a false premise, and that is that the insurer will pay. Mr. Speaker, I'm here to tell you, based on the stories I've heard from Nova Scotians, that the insurers will not always pay. They will not always pay; sometimes they refuse. That may be another province, like the Ontario Health Insurance Plan - I'm aware of a couple of cases like that, that have come to my attention - or it may be the motor vehicle insurer, but at times they won't pay.

The other false premise is that it will not affect people's insurance premiums, because that's what the insurance industry tells them and that's what the Department of Health tells them. I'm here to say that that is not true. I have cited examples to the Minister of Health where people's premiums do go up. It happens. That's the way insurance works, even though the industry says publicly that it doesn't happen. I'm here to say on the record that privately they admit to me that it does happen. It does happen, and the Department of Health will not acknowledge it.

Mr. Speaker, the solution is direct billing to third-party insurers. That's what should happen. I think today in the House the minister hinted at some of the reasons why that doesn't happen in a question around why volunteer fire departments are billed. He says the computer system can't handle it. Well, who's running the system? Is it Nova Scotians and the minister and the civil servants, or is it the computer? If the computer stands in the way of doing this, then they need to rework the computer program. We also need a legislative guarantee that premiums will not go up as a result of an ambulance bill. That's what the government says is the case; if they really believe it, legislate it.

Third, Mr. Speaker, is billing based on distance and service. This is a difficult one, but it rankles Nova Scotians when sometimes they have to go literally across the street to the emergency room; it rankles them that they may get a bill for $500. I don't know how you deal with that, because many Nova Scotians live far from medical care. I'm not suggesting for one second that those people should pay the full cost of distance billing. What I'm saying is that government needs to consider it, because probably more than any other issue raised by Nova Scotians, that is the one that rankles the most, that no matter what services are provided or not provided, no matter what distance is travelled or not travelled, the bill is the same.

We also need some form of relief based on ability to pay and circumstances. There are some people whose only means of getting to the hospital or back from the hospital is an ambulance, and there is no provision for any relief from the ambulance bill. There are many Nova Scotians who simply do not have the ability to pay.

[Page 10095]

Mr. Speaker, finally the thing that Nova Scotians raised with me that I earnestly commend to the minister's attention is the hard-nosed billing practices employed by the collection agency employed by EMC, Emergency Medical Care. Nova Scotians deserve better than what they're getting from that agency. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to speak on the Adjournment Motion under Rule 5(5), late debate.

"Therefore be it resolved that the government stop applying illegal fees for emergency ambulance services . . ."

This is a matter that has been before this House on many occasions and it's an opportunity to further address this particular issue. We speak in terms of increased fees, that I will address through the few moments I'm allowed here this evening, but other issues have also been mentioned by the previous speaker, I would just like to underline the issue of all of a sudden the last bills that are arriving in people's homes without notice and not understanding really what their rights are or what their responsibilities are.

Certainly our seniors, I know there's a tendency to whatever bill comes, things even that arrive that aren't bills, sometimes notices, they will frequently pay them and you know that, Mr. Speaker. So these are very disconcerting, these third-party bills that aren't billed directly to the insurance company or whomever, but come directly to those people. On some occasions, I've seen it's arrived - two separate bills: one, in the Musquodoboit area going to the hospital and that local community; and then also another $500 bill that came when that person was transported from Musquodoboit Harbour into the tertiary care hospital. The third-party fees would be sometimes part of that, but these bills are arriving and it's poorly understood, the issue of appeal on those matters is poorly understood.

Often when the phone calls are made, not well explained, even to ourselves as MLAs when we call on their behalf, because sometimes these people just look to whoever happens to be close by to help them in these matters. It's a concern, certainly not only people on fixed incomes, but anyone faced with a $500 or $1,000 bill, it is disconcerting. Especially when they hadn't expected or budgeted for that.

This year the cost of an ambulance transport from home to hospital will be increasing from $85 to $105. The cost of transport for an insurance-related claim, for example as in a motor vehicle collision, will increase from $500 to $600. This total ambulance fee increase is estimated to bring in approximately $1 million more in revenue for this government. Yet, despite the steep increase in fees, there is still no legislation to legalize them and that's what the address is here this evening that we are debating.

[Page 10096]

The Auditor General himself has recommended that the authority to charge ambulance fees be legislated and this has not been done. On March 13th of this year, the minister said he would comply with legislation, but here we are, May 14th - I keep thinking it's the 15th today - and still no legislation and the Spring session is moving swiftly along.

Mr. Speaker, I wouldn't be so bold as to say that the minister should stop charging fees, all fees. We understand that they're very much a necessity for cost recovery if that is what the charges are being used for. Unfortunately, the fees, as they stand before this budget, were pretty adequate and sufficient. The government has not demonstrated that those fees, increases that we've seen, are in fact justified. I would urge the government to do a better job in telling the people about ambulance fees and indicate upfront with them that there could be a charge; not all of a sudden, as I mentioned earlier, bills arriving out of the blue.

There should also be an effort to tell people about the appeal process that I think is poorly understood, relative to these bills. The Department of Health has always subsidized the cost of ambulance service for Nova Scotia's residents while billing a portion of the cost of ambulance transport to the user of the service. This is as it is in every province in Canada. The user fees should be used to defray the cost of providing this service, but no more, Mr. Speaker. Government should not make money on the injured and the ill of this province. These fees are permitted under the Canada Health Act, but that should not be used as an excuse to gouge the patients.

[6:15 p.m.]

People need to be made aware that there is an appeals process available for those who feel they have been unfairly charged. I must say that, under the topic the previous speaker spoke about, those others in the ambulance who think they're accepting a ride and they receive a large bill, one has to question the practice of that and the legitimacy of double and triple billing. That was done in the old days, I know; ambulances back in the private side, they would fill them up, bring them in from Cape Breton and wait around until several were being discharged to go back. I thought that we had gotten away from that because it was frowned upon. While maybe it could have been legal, it was frowned upon. But anyway, the appeals process - people, I don't believe, have been adequately made aware of that.

Mr. Speaker, about 60 per cent of the bills sent out are for home-to-hospital ambulance transports, which were $85 and now the fee is $105. The second category, another 30 per cent of the bills are for ambulance transports involving workplace injuries - and these are covered by workers' compensation - or from car crashes, where insurance companies pay the bill, hopefully without the premiums going up too high. Another percentage of the bills would be for non-Nova Scotians or non-Canadians, who are billed a significantly higher ambulance service rate. That's $500 and $750 respectively. That fee, I believe, is important. Uninsured people should be not gouged, however, and I urge the government to review its billing practices as they now stand. At the very least, this government could pass legislation

[Page 10097]

like it promised, take the advice of the Auditor General, do what's right and make this into legislation.

Mr. Speaker, the one thing that is not in dispute is the quality of service. Trauma is the leading cause of death in people under 45 years of age. A quality ambulance and trauma infrastructure is vital to the health and well-being of all Nova Scotians. I am proud to be part of a government that recognized the importance of an excellent ambulance service, of pre-hospital care. Now we are asking this government to be fair to those who are requiring that care and must use that service. The current government commissioned the study to find the quality of care that was being delivered. I don't believe they trusted the new ambulance service when they first became government initially, but hopefully they've come to appreciate how great a service Nova Scotia has in pre-hospital care. Now they've adopted it as their own; I hope they're proud of it and I hope they take care of it. That's fine, that's okay, but I want to serve notice that they have the responsibility to maintain the quality care delivered by EHSNS and not to look upon ambulance services as the cash cow where they gouge the sick and the injured of this province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to rise this evening to say a few words about ambulance fees in our province. I am pleased to see the honourable member for Dartmouth East recognize that we do have a very fine service here. It's not only fine, it is very expensive. One of the difficulties that we have here in Nova Scotia - and the honourable member for Halifax Fairview, I think, is well aware of this and he mentioned it - is that the emergency health services in Nova Scotia, or in any other jurisdiction, are not covered under the Canada Health Act. In other words, provinces pay for those.

In our case, Mr. Speaker, the estimate for the cost of the air and ground ambulance service this year - and I don't think there's any need for me to table this; this is the estimates of the province - is more than $67.5 million. We will recover against that $67.5 million about $10.6 million. In other words, the province is picking up over 84 per cent of the cost of emergency transport in the province; in other words, for every dollar that is spent, the provincial government is contributing about 84.3 cents. I should also tell the members of the House and whoever else might be interested that the estimate for 2000-01 for the emergency transportation service was about $44.3 million. It has gone up, for the 2002-03 year, it's an increase of approximately 28.6 per cent.

Mr. Speaker, the costs have grown. If anybody in the province thinks that, basically, they are paying the cost, or for the honourable member for Dartmouth East to indicate, with the support of the member for Halifax Fairview, that our government or any government in the country is gouging people on the emergency transportation system, that's ridiculous. The government is subsidizing to the tune of more than 84 cents on every dollar that's spent.

[Page 10098]

What we do right now is we have taken the cost of the service, in this case the ground ambulance service, divided by the number of trips, the number of transports, and you come up with a cost. This year it is somewhere over $600, probably about $640 this year on average is what is projected, if you took last year's numbers and divided them, by this year's projections.

Therefore, it seems to me to be appropriate, and this is why you carry insurance. The insurance companies build this in. If you are in an auto accident and you must be transported, you carry insurance to pay the cost of that transport. I'm amazed to hear the honourable member for Halifax Fairview, given the socialist leanings of that group that he represents, say that the government should be subsidizing insurance companies. Mr. Speaker, I'm really astonished to hear him say that. Yet, he has gotten up on the floor of this House, four or five or six times and made that statement, getting up and saying government should be subsidizing big business, in this case big business is insurance companies. He's gotten up and said that on a number of occasions. (Interruptions)

He's talking about fees. If it costs $600-some for an ambulance transfer, then we charge the insurer $600-some. That's what it costs, and that's reasonable. You pay insurance to do that. We have been informed by the insurance industry that that transport does not cause an increase in rates. The ones that he's speaking of, and he says they're exceptions, this might have been their 18th car accident in two years. The reason their insurance has gone up is that they've had a bunch of accidents. It has nothing to do with the ambulance transport. That's the information that we've had, not only from the industry, from the various individual insurance companies with whom I've consulted because when he raised that I thought, well, gee, maybe the information I had was wrong, but I've had it from so many places that I believe it's accurate.

People who don't have insurance - if they don't have insurance, that's their problem. If you're driving a motor vehicle, you're supposed to have insurance. Don't come complaining to the government or to the Health Department if all of a sudden you're out driving a vehicle, and you get a bill for $600 and you don't have insurance. Mr. Speaker, to be quite candid, I really don't have much sympathy for that. I don't think other Nova Scotians do. For that member for Halifax Fairview to stand up and say that he has sympathy for those people, I'm really surprised.

Mr. Speaker, the ambulance fees, they're expensive. There's no question. We have an expensive service. I would like very much - the same as I would in long-term care, the same as I would in Pharmacare, the same as I would in home care, the same as anything else - to say this government is in a financial position where we don't charge anybody for anything. We don't charge anybody for anything in the health field. But we're not in that, and no province in the country is in that, and no territory.

[Page 10099]

Mr. Speaker, I can say that the charges for the ground ambulance service here are reasonable. We, at the suggestion of the Auditor General and a commitment we had in the blue book, had an external person look at the operation of the EHS ambulance system in conjunction with the EMC. The person came back and said, hey, your fees are reasonable given what the costs are. That's an objective third party person who goes around and examines emergency transport systems for a living. That's what that person does. We accept that.

I can also tell you, Mr. Speaker, that if people don't like their bill, there is an appeal process. The honourable member for Dartmouth East talked about the appeal process. There is an appeal process and you can go and present this. The other thing is, the honourable member for Halifax Fairview, in particular, has tried to make out that EMC, because they run the ground ambulance service, are tremendously hard-hearted. I can tell you that when people go through the appeal process, if they have difficulty paying the $85 last year, $105 this year, up front, then they do set up payment plans to accommodate the individual ability to pay.

Mr. Speaker, we operate in the province on a postage stamp rate, to be quite frank. That's what we do. It's a postage stamp rate. He will stand up in the House and he will say, well, a person only had to go four blocks. Why did they get billed the same $105, or in the case if it was a car accident, the same $600, as the person in Meat Cove or the person in Yarmouth who had to be transported to the VG or the QE II. It used to be, about three years ago, to move an ambulance was something like $141 up front and $1.31 a kilometre. Now if you live in metro Halifax or if you live where I live, the Town of Truro, and it's about a kilometre to the hospital, I would have gotten billed about $135. But if I happen to live in Yarmouth and had to be transported to the QE II, which is roughly around 300 kilometres, it would have been the $140 up front plus about $400 in mileage or kilometre fees.

Mr. Speaker, people know that we're trying to provide a level playing field for the province in terms of health services, including the cost of emergency transport. For the Opposition to stand up and say that it's irrational to have a postage stamp rate for Nova Scotians and the person that lives in Yarmouth that has the cardiac arrest, he or she should pay out of their pocket four to five times as much as the person who has a cardiac arrest here where I live on Tower Road? That does not make good sense. We try to do these things equitably.

The issue of the legality of the fees, Mr. Speaker, we have been advised that the policy that was there certainly covers the billing practices of the Department of Health for ground ambulance fees, the same as it does for many, many other fees that are levelled throughout this province for one thing or another. The Auditor General did suggest that we should do that in legislation and we have accepted the Auditor General's suggestion and we are doing it this year in the Financial Measures (2002) Act. When EHS was established, there was a large number of changes that had to be made. Thank you.

[Page 10100]

MR. SPEAKER: That concludes the moment of interruption.

[The motion is carried.]

[6:30 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Acting Deputy Chairman Mr. William Dooks in the Chair.]

[7:58 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott, resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK: That the committee has met, made progress and begs leave to sit again.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow being Opposition Day, I call on the Liberal House Leader for the business.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Liberal House Leader.

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform members that the House will be sitting from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. tomorrow, and will be debating Resolution Nos. 3824, 3832, and 3835.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

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

[The House rose at 7:59 p.m.]

[Page 10101]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 3881

By: Hon. Ronald Russell (Transportation and Public Works)

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

Whereas 4-H is a dynamic youth organization which encourages care and responsibility for our resources while building positive life skills to secure the future of rural Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Goldie McDow was honoured on Sunday, May 5, 2002, for being a leader with the Border Riders 4-H Club for the past 25 years; and

Whereas Ms. McDow's time and effort, along with her strong leadership skills, have proven to be exceptional qualities which many youth have benefited from;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend Goldie McDow for her 25 years of service to 4-H in this province and wish her continued success as she demonstrates her leadership qualities to youth members who have learned so much from her over of the years.

RESOLUTION NO. 3882

By: Hon. Jane Purves (Education)

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

Whereas Mount Saint Vincent University conferred honorary degrees on four accomplished and diverse women at its Spring Convocation; and

Whereas the recipients are the Rt. Honourable Madam Chief Justice Beverley McLachlan, medical pioneer Dr. Judith Hammerling Gold, former Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island the Honourable Marion Reid and Linda Lundstrum; and

Whereas all of these women have made important contributions to their communities and are excellent role models for students;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate these accomplished individuals on their achievements.

[Page 10102]

RESOLUTION NO. 3883

By: Hon. Jane Purves (Education)

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

Whereas the University College of Cape Breton conferred six honorary degrees at its convocation; and

Whereas UCCB honored two-time Boston Marathon winner Johnny Miles, musician Matt Minglewood, retired Gen. Romeo Dallaire, entrepreneurs and humanitarians Arthur DeFehr and Ron Joyce and Tom Kent, a founder of UCCB; and

Whereas the granting of Doctor of Laws recognizes the outstanding contributions that these individuals have made in their respective fields;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate these accomplished individuals on their achievements.

RESOLUTION NO. 3884

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the provincial championships for the martial art of judo were held on April 20th in Halifax; and

Whereas the Springhill Judo Club had an outstanding performance, including winning three gold, three silver and three bronze medals; and

Whereas Neil Ripley garnered gold in the Atom Division, -27 weight class; Raven Lynds won gold in the PeeWee Division, -35 and silver in the -35 combined PeeWee/Atom class. Joshua Wilson won gold in the provincial cadet class and bronze in the -40 provincial cadet class. Justin received two bronze medals in the -35 provincial cadet and combined cadet classes and Tyler Brayley won silver in the -45 combined PeeWee/Atom class;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the members of the Springhill Judo Club for their provincial championship accomplishments and wish them luck in their future championships.

[Page 10103]

RESOLUTION NO. 3885

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the late Herbie MacLeod is being inducted into the Nova Scotia Baseball Hall of Fame and is the latest member of the golden era Fencebusters; and

Whereas he was considered the best linedrive hitter in Nova Scotia in his day and had, as a rookie, caught the eyes of Major League scouts; and

Whereas Mr. MacLeod is still remembered in Springhill for hitting a massive home-run at the field on Willow Street;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the tremendous impact the late Herbie MacLeod had within the baseball community, especially to the people of Springhill.

RESOLUTION NO. 3886

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the 30-hour famine, a World Vision initiative, is an international youth movement which allows youth to make a significant impact on the problem of world hunger; and

Whereas members of the Presbyterian Church youth group undertook the 30-hour famine on April 12th; and

Whereas the youth group raised over $1,000 to aid underprivileged children and families;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the youth members of the Presbyterian Church group who participated in this 30-hour famine and took an active role in helping to alleviate human suffering around the world.

[Page 10104]

RESOLUTION NO. 3887

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas 15-year-old Alan Ferguson of the Springhill Cadet Corps is heading to CFB Comox CSTC Quadra in British Columbia to attend national cadet marksmanship composite training; and

Whereas to get his placement at CFB Comox, Alan placed in the top 10 at the CFB Aldershot marksman competition, scoring 377 points out of a possible 400; and

Whereas what makes Alan's accomplishments even more spectacular is that he hasn't even been shooting for a year;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Alan Ferguson of the Springhill Cadet Corps on being selected to go to CFB Comox and wish him the best of luck in his training.

RESOLUTION NO. 3888

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas 9-year-old Cole Wood of Oxford has received many awards and accolades over the past year for his impressive hockey skills; and

Whereas Cole's achievements include three MVP trophies, gold and silver tournament medals, and the title of the most dedicated player on his team; and

Whereas the one Cole is most proud of, however, is his recent award for being the top defensive player on his team;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Cole Wood on all the honours he has received over the past year and wish him the best of luck in the tournament and with his future hockey endeavours.

[Page 10105]

RESOLUTION NO. 3889

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Springhill resident Chrissy Stonehouse will be attending the National Special Olympic Games in Saskatchewan this summer; and

Whereas Chrissy will be representing Nova Scotia in the track and field events; and

Whereas local businesses like Fundy Lanes, Pizza Delight and Rollways are helping Chrissy with her fundraising as well as the community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Chrissy Stonehouse on her advancement to the National Special Olympics and wish her the best of luck in her events and also thank local business and individuals in the community who are assisting Chrissy in achieving her goals.

RESOLUTION NO. 3890

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas for decades the Girl Guides of Canada has been helping Canadian girls become responsible citizens; and

Whereas Cumberland County recently honoured some of its Girl Guide leaders at an awards ceremony in Springhill; and

Whereas those leaders who were presented with awards at the ceremony were Shirley Bidwell, Gail Murphy, Cindy MacLean, Lori Kyle, Pat Russell, Shelley Rector and Ena Harris;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House thank the Girl Guide leaders on their years of hard work and dedication to the organization and its goals and congratulate them on the awards recognizing their tremendous commitment.

[Page 10106]

RESOLUTION NO. 3891

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the first annual Chicks With Sticks hockey tournament has recently taken place; and

Whereas the Parrsboro Fossillettes emerged victorious to become the first team to win the tournament; and

Whereas the Fossillettes ladies hockey team consists of Nicole Warren, Erin Lewis, Sarah Jones, Katelyn Bowden, Hilary Nichols, Stephanie Desjardins, Deanna Esch, Jeannie Morris, Terri Erb, Jodi MacGlashen and Lisa Morris;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the members of the Parrsboro Fossillettes on bringing home the championship trophy of the first ever Chicks With Sticks hockey tournament.

RESOLUTION NO. 3892

By: Mr. Cecil Clarke (Cape Breton North)

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

Whereas Grade 9 students at Baddeck Academy got a valuable lesson in money management and the importance of education through a Junior Achievement course recently brought to their school; and

Whereas to give students an understanding of budgeting, employment and the importance of education, students were asked to prepare a monthly budget for one, were then assigned a job and asked to compare their monthly take-home pay to their budget estimate; and

Whereas about 40 students participated in The Economics of Staying in School, sponsored by the RBC Royal Bank and took part in activities which demonstrated how education relates to income;

[Page 10107]

Therefore be it resolved that this House thank Jamie MacMullen, Community Market Manager for RBC Royal Bank Baddeck Branch, for organizing this opportunity for Grade 9 students to learn how education, income and reaching personal goals are connected.