Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 01/02-114

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 28, 2002

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Hospital Hill (Sydney): CBRM - Green Area, Mr. Manning MacDonald 10591
Health - Strait Richmond Hosp.: Physicians - Full Time, Mr. M. Samson 10592
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4093, Tourism & Culture - Broad Cove Scottish Concert:
Founding Fathers - Recognize, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 10593
Vote - Affirmative 10593
Res. 4094, Health - N.S. Assoc. of Health Auxiliaries: Contribution -
Thank, Hon. J. Muir 10593
Vote - Affirmative 10594
Res. 4095, EnCana - Career Training: Efforts - Congrats.,
(by Hon. J. Muir), Hon. J. Purves 10594
Vote - Affirmative 10595
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 137, Education Act, Mr. K. Deveaux 10595
No. 138, School Closure Act, Mr. H. Epstein 10595
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4096, PC Gov't. - N.S. Caregivers: In-Home Support - Provide,
Mr. D. Dexter 10595
Res. 4097, Burchell, Margaret Evelyn: Death of - Tribute,
Mr. B. Boudreau 10596
Vote - Affirmative 10597
Res. 4098, Lake Ainslie Vol. FD: Contribution - Recognize,
Hon. Rodney MacDonald 10597
Vote - Affirmative 10597
Res. 4099, PC Gov't. - Seniors: Assess. Increases/Rates - Limit,
Mr. J. Holm 10597
Res. 4100, C.B. Dragon Boat Team - Congrats., Mr. R. MacKinnon 10598
Vote - Affirmative 10599
Res. 4101, Nemeskéri, Georg - Can. Plastics: Achievements -
Congrats., Mr. J. Chataway 10599
Vote - Affirmative 10600
Res. 4102, PC Gov't. - Seniors: Medical Care - Ensure,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 10600
Res. 4103, Bridgewater Elem. Sch. - N.S. Scholastic Chess:
Participants - Congrats., Mr. D. Downe 10600
Vote - Affirmative 10601
Res. 4104, Giles, Steve: Dal. Graduation/Accomplishments - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Hendsbee 10601
Vote - Affirmative 10602
Res. 4105, Astral Dr. Elem. Sch. - DARE Prog.: Grads/Sponsors/
Participants - Congrats., Mr. K. Deveaux 10602
Vote - Affirmative 10603
Res. 4106, Woodworth, Orren: Safe Driving Award - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Gaudet 10603
Vote - Affirmative 10604
Res. 4107, Colville, Alex - Can. Walk of Fame: Induction -
Congrats., Hon. Rodney MacDonald 10604
Vote - Affirmative 10604
Res. 4108, PC Gov't. - Pharmacare: Seniors Accessibility -
Calls Heed, Mr. J. Pye 10604
Res. 4109, Mason, Dr. William - CMA: Sr. Membership - Congrats.,
Dr. J. Smith 10605
Vote - Affirmative 10606
Res. 4110, Dart. - Real Estate: Boom - Applaud, Mr. T. Olive 10606
Vote - Affirmative 10607
Res. 4111, PC Gov't.: C.B. Inshore Fish. - Protect, Mr. G. Steele 10607
Res. 4112, Ball's Creek Cons.: BAND AID Grant - Congrats.,
Mr. B. Boudreau 10607
Vote - Affirmative 10608
Res. 4113, Ross, Dr. Joyce: Commun. Involvement - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Hendsbee 10608
Vote - Affirmative 10609
Res. 4114, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Hwy. No. 103: NDP -
Stance Clarify, Mr. P. MacEwan 10609
Res. 4115, Crouse, Elizabeth - Can. 4-H Council Pres.: Swearing In -
Congrats., Mr. D. Downe 10610
Vote - Affirmative 10610
Res. 4116, McBeath, Dr. Roderick - Med. Soc. (N.S.):
Physician of Yr. - Congrats., Dr. J. Smith 10611
Vote - Affirmative 10611
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 1154, Environ. & Lbr.: Water Problems - Info. Policy,
Mr. D. Dexter 10612
No. 1155, Environ. & Lbr. - Sir John A. Macdonald HS:
Surrounding Areas - Water Testing, Mr. R. MacKinnon 10614
No. 1156, Environ. & Lbr. - Sir John A. Macdonald HS:
Adjoining Props. - Test Results Time Frame, Mr. W. Estabrooks 10615
No. 1157, Environ. & Lbr. - Water: Nitrate Levels - Safeguard Adequacy,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 10616
No. 1158, Environ. & Lbr. - Well Water Testing: Fees - Eliminate,
Mr. D. Dexter 10618
No. 1159, Premier: Free Votes - Criteria, Mr. W. Gaudet 10619
No. 1160, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel. - Bill No. 129: Assessments -
Retroactivity, Mr. J. Pye 10620
No. 1161, Premier - Elec. Market Advisory Comm.: Reporting -
Hierarchy Identify, Mr. Manning MacDonald 10622
No. 1162, Health: Tobacco Control Laws - Enforcement,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 10623
No. 1163, Educ. - Educ. Grads.: Certification - Details, Mr. M. Samson 10624
No. 1164, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - LaHave Ferry: Review -
Confirm, Mr. W. Estabrooks 10625
No. 1165, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel. - Vic. Mun.: Tax Deferral Proposal -
Dept. Reaction, Mr. B. Boudreau 10626
No. 1166, Health - Wait Times/Cancellations: Anl. Rept. - Provide,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 10627
No. 1167, Health - Dental Plan: Ins. Coverage - Details, Dr. J. Smith 10629
No. 1168, Premier - Kyoto Protocol: N.S. Impact - Study Confirm,
Mr. H. Epstein 10630
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 1:36 P.M. 10630
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:00 P.M. 10631
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Environ. & Lbr. - Drinking Water: Info. Policy - Introduce:
Mr. H. Epstein 10631
Hon. D. Morse 10633
Mr. R. MacKinnon 10636
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 6:30 P.M. 10639
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:31 P.M. 10639
CWH REPORTS 10639
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 87, Cosmetology Act 10640
No. 101, Fire Safety Act 10640
Hon. D. Morse 10640
Mr. F. Corbett 10641
Vote - Affirmative 10641
No. 107, Land Registration Act 10641
Hon. A. MacIsaac 10641
Mr. J. Pye 10641
Vote - Affirmative 10641
No. 111, Motor Vehicle Act 10642
No. 113, Agriculture Administration Amendment (2002) Act 10642
No. 134, Volunteer Fire Services Act 10643
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 117, Geoscience Profession Act 10643
No. 106, Guardianship Act 10644
No. 108, Interjurisdiction Support Orders Act 10645
No. 115, Justice Administration Amendment (2002) Act 10645
Hon. M. Baker 10645
Mr. G. Steele 10646
Vote - Affirmative 10646
PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 118, Municipality of Inverness Supplementary Pension
Contribution Act 10647
No. 130, Lunenburg Common Lands Act 10647
No. 131, Gray Grant Act 10647
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. M. Baker 10648
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., May 29th at 2:00 p.m. 10648
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 4117, Jenkins, Steven - N.S. Special Olympic Team: Selection -
Congrats., Mr. C. Clarke 10649
Res. 4118, East. Reg. Help Line: Anniv. (15th) - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Clarke 10649
Res. 4119, N. Sydney Revitalization Proj.: Participants - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Clarke 10650
Res. 4120, Nat. Res. - Mines & Coke Ovens: Dev. Efforts - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Clarke 10650
Res. 4121, Boularderie Elem. Sch. - Team Diabetes Can.: Fundraising -
Congrats., Mr. C. Clarke 10651
Res. 4122, Minglewood, Matt - UCCB: Honorary Deg. - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Clarke 10651
Res. 4123, PC Gov't. - Seniors' Pharmacare: Increases - Stop,
Mr. G. Steele 10652
Res. 4124, Wolfe, Frances: Atl. Writing Awards - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Purves 10652
Res. 4125, Commun. Serv. - Queens Assoc. for Commun. Opportunity
Res. Services: Efforts - Commend, Mr. K. Morash 10653
Res. 4126, New Glasgow - Playground Proj.: Participants - Congrats.,
The Premier 10653
Res. 4127, Walsh, Fred - CNIB Friend for Life: Recognition - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Carey 10654
Res. 4128, Organ, Ann: Int'l. Exchange - Congrats., Mr. F. Chipman 10654
Res. 4129, Love and Hate at Half Past Eight: Cast/Director/Writer -
Congrats., Mr. F. Chipman 10655
Res. 4130, BRHS: Badminton Team - Congrats., Mr. F. Chipman 10655
Res. 4131, 4-H - Exchange Prog.: Accomplishments - Acknowledge,
Mr. F. Chipman 10656
Res. 4132, Prov. Tobacco Control Strategy - ACT Initiative:
Importance - Acknowledge, Mrs. M. Baillie 10656
Res. 4133, Little, Linda: Atl. Writing Awards - Congrats.,
Mrs. M. Baillie 10657
Res. 4134, Dutch Medal of Remembrance: Dutch People - Thank,
The Speaker 10657
Res. 4135, Thompson, Kent: Atl. Writing Award - Congrats.,
Mr. F. Chipman 10658
Res. 4136, Schofield, Holly: Best Wishes - Extend, Mr. M. Parent 10658
Res. 4137, Eastman, Ken - Kentville Kinsmen/Kinette/Kin Club:
Life Membership - Congrats., Mr. M. Parent 10659
Res. 4138, England, Josie - Coll. Reg. Nurses of N.S.:
Hon. Life Membership - Congrats., Hon. A. MacIsaac 10659
Res. 4139, MacFarlane - Nursing Profession: Dedication - Thank,
Hon. A. MacIsaac 10660
Res. 4140, Hall, Janet - Nursing Profession: Dedication - Thank,
Mr. J. Chataway 10661

[Page 10591]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, MAY 28, 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 member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage:

Therefore be it resolved that the government should introduce a policy to inform people when they have problems with their drinking water.

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

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition of 350 residents, including children, of the Hospital Hill area in Sydney, the Hospital Street area, the site of the old city hospital. The operative clause is:

10591

[Page 10592]

"We the undersigned request that the Province of Nova Scotia turn over Hospital Hill, (site of the former Sydney City Hospital), to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and that the site be designated as Recreational Land by the CBRM. This section of the City which has a high youth population, has few open and accessible green spaces. By signing this form I show my support for keeping this site as a green area for public recreational activities."

Mr. Speaker, I have signed this petition.

Accompanying the petition are a couple of drawings from the children of the Hospital Hill area with some loose change attached to the drawings which perhaps the honourable House Leader could use that as well as the $145,000 to pay down the province's debt. So I would table those as well from the two children of the area who are very concerned about long-term debt . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

[The petition is tabled.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition which is a further petition along with the petition I tabled last week which contained 1,406 signatures. This petition is also signed by residents of the Strait area from communities such as D'Escousse, Poulamon, Poirierville, Cap La Ronde, Arichat, Port Hawkesbury and other communities. The prayer reads, "We the undersigned residents of the Strait area are hereby requesting that the Minister of Health take immediate action to provide full time physician coverage at the Strait Richmond Hospital, Evanston. Under the present conditions the lack of both weekday and weekend physician coverage has caused considerable concern for life threatening emergencies and an enormous inconvenience for all area residents." This is signed by 100 residents, as I said, along with the 1,406 on the petition signed last week. Once again, I have proudly affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

[Page 10593]

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture.

RESOLUTION NO. 4093

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

Whereas during the months of July and August, along the Ceilidh Trail in Inverness County, there are many concerts, ceilidhs, dances and other events honouring the strong Celtic heritage that exists in the area; and

Whereas the annual Broad Cove Scottish Concert, which is held in an old hayfield behind St. Margaret's of Scotland Church the last Sunday of each July, is one event which stands out; and

Whereas the concert, now in its 46th year, is often referred to as the granddaddy of them all because of its deep-seated roots and the thousands of tourists who attend;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the founding fathers of the Broad Cove Scottish Concert who had the vision to see that outdoor galas are a necessary step in helping to promote the richness of our local Inverness talent and heritage.

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. 4094

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

[Page 10594]

Whereas the Nova Scotia Association of Health Auxiliaries works diligently to keep its members educated and informed about health issues and changes to the health care system to help them in their fundraising efforts; and

Whereas during the past year, Nova Scotia's 36 auxiliaries donated over $1.4 million for medical equipment, bursaries, patient aids and research, and invested over $500,000 for future purchases; and

Whereas in 2001, these auxiliaries' 1,700 members committed over 400,000 hours to generate these funds;

Therefore be it resolved that this Assembly congratulate these auxiliary members for their tireless efforts and thank the Nova Scotia Association of Health Auxiliaries for its outstanding contribution to the betterment of our health care system.

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. 4095

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

Whereas EnCana Corporation expects to hire 3,700 Nova Scotians to develop the Deep Panuke project; and

Whereas this week, staff from the company are giving presentations on careers in the oil and gas industry to Grade 11 students in Guysborough and Antigonish Counties; and

Whereas the presentations will help students understand the training and qualifications they will need to take advantage of the opportunities offshore;

[Page 10595]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize the efforts of EnCana to ensure that young Nova Scotians are prepared to succeed in our new oil and gas industry.

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

Bill No. 137 - An Act to Amend Chapter 1 of the Acts of 1995-96. The Education Act. (Mr. Kevin Deveaux)

Bill No. 138 - An Act Respecting the Closure of Schools and to Set Aside Decisions of School Boards Closing Schools and to Review the Funding Needs of the School Boards. (Mr. Howard Epstein)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4096

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

Whereas the NDP caucus invited Nova Scotians to speak out and make a difference by telling Premier Hamm and the Conservative Government what positive steps people want the government to take; and

Whereas one such suggestion from the constituency of Dartmouth-Cole Harbour calls for the Premier and his government to enhance in-home support services for caregivers; and

[Page 10596]

Whereas the Premier has told this House that he can listen and learn from Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and the Conservative Government should listen to those who call upon them to provide more for Nova Scotia caregivers who require in-home support services.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes.

[12:15 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 4097

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

Whereas Margaret Evelyn Burchell recently passed away; and

Whereas Mrs. Burchell was a resident of Bras d'Or, Cape Breton; and

Whereas in her last will and testament, Mrs. Burchell left more than $1.6 million to various community organizations across Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House offer their sympathy to Mrs. Burchell's family and friends and recognize her many contributions to the various charities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 10597]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture.

RESOLUTION NO. 4098

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

Whereas the Lake Ainslie Volunteer Fire Department celebrated its 30th Anniversary on Saturday, May 25, 2002; and

Whereas volunteer fire departments put in many hours to serve and protect our local communities; and

Whereas the people of Inverness County are very proud of the men and women who put their lives at risk for the safety of our residents;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize the Lake Ainslie Volunteer Fire Department for its valuable contribution to its local citizens and wish them our sincere congratulations on achieving such a significant milestone.

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 Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 4099

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

[Page 10598]

Whereas the NDP caucus invited Nova Scotians to speak out and make a difference by telling Premier Hamm and the Conservative Government what positive steps people want the government to take; and

Whereas one such suggestion from the constituency of Sackville-Cobequid calls for the Premier and his government to limit assessment increases and rates so seniors can afford to stay in their homes; and

Whereas the Premier has told this House that he can listen and learn from Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and Conservative Government should listen to those who call upon them to make sure assessment increases and rates do not force seniors from their homes.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4100

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

Whereas the Cape Breastoners Dragon Boat Team will launch Cape Breton's first dragon boat June 1st into the waters of the Mira River at the Mira Boat Club; and

Whereas the new dragon boat, which seats 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steersperson, is made up of breast cancer survivors from across Cape Breton Island; and

Whereas breast cancer, which is currently the leading killer of women aged 35-to-55- years-old, accounts for 30 per cent of all cancer in women and 18 per cent of all cancer deaths;

[Page 10599]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House extend their congratulations to all members of the first Cape Breton dragon boat team and wish them continued success in their fight to raise breast cancer awareness across the Island.

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 Chester-St. Margaret's.

RESOLUTION NO. 4101

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

Whereas Georg Nemeskéri, President of GN Plastics, is regarded as the business and technical acumen of the industry; and

Whereas in November of 1997 he received the Canadian Plastics Industry Association Atlantic Region's Industry Leader Award; and

Whereas on May 9, 2002, he received the prestigious Leader of the Year Award from the Canadian Plastics Industry Association in recognition and appreciation for his outstanding leadership and contribution to the Canadian plastics industry;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Georg Nemeskéri on his tremendous achievements in regard to Canadian plastics and wish him all the best in his future initiatives.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice. I would like to say I will send a copy of this article on Chester plastics to the Opposition House Leaders so they can know more about it.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 10600]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 4102

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

Whereas the NDP caucus invited Nova Scotians to speak out and make a difference by telling Premier Hamm and the Conservative Government what positive steps people want the government to take; and

Whereas one such suggestion from the constituency of Halifax Needham calls for the Premier and his government to improve medical care for seniors; and

Whereas the Premier has told this House that he can listen and learn from Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and the Conservative Government should listen to those who call upon them to make sure seniors receive proper medical care.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4103

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

[Page 10601]

Whereas three students: Grade 1, Travis Landry; Grade 2, Andrew Snyder; and Grade 5, Patrick Whynot, from Bridgewater Elementary School were named to the 2002 Nova Scotia Scholastic Chess Team; and

Whereas this team travelled to St. John's, Newfoundland to compete for national honours on May 19th and 20th at the Canadian Scholastic Chess Challenge; and

Whereas a special congratulation goes to Andrew Snyder who placed 3rd in Canada against a very talented group of Grade 2 provincial champions.

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Travis, Andrew, Patrick, the staff and all students involved in their accomplishments this year in Nova Scotia Scholastic Chess.

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 Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 4104

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

Whereas Steve Giles of Lake Echo, Nova Scotia, graduated from Dalhousie University last Friday with a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering; and

Whereas Mr. Giles found time outside his studies to become a member of the Canadian Olympic paddling team, through which he won more than 25 gold medals at the Canadian championships, including the world championships in 1998, and is ranked among the top 10 canoe athletes in the world; and

[Page 10602]

Whereas last September in Sydney, Australia, this Lake Echo resident won an Olympic bronze medal, and in his spare time he is actively involved in his community, speaking to school children about not smoking and raising funds for a variety of community organizations;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge Steve Giles' extensive academic accomplishments as recognized through his recent graduation from Dalhousie University, as well as his significant athletic accomplishments and his active community involvement.

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. 4105

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

Whereas DARE, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, is designed to educate and protect our children from the dangers of drugs; and

Whereas the DARE program has been very successful throughout Nova Scotian schools with the support of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and sponsorship by ExxonMobil; and

Whereas at an awards ceremony this June, the Grade 6 students at Astral Drive Elementary School will be presented with DARE awards for their successful participation in this program;

[Page 10603]

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate all the Grade 6 graduates of the DARE program at Astral Drive Elementary School, Constable Peter Marshall of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, sponsor ExxonMobil and teacher participants Joe Hines, Karin Myers, Dianna Goodz and Nancy Shurman for a job well done.

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 in the House of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 4106

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

Whereas 93-year-old Orren Woodworth of Bear River was presented with an award honouring him as a safe driver; and

Whereas Mr. Woodworth, who has been driving since 1926, says the three secrets to good driving are care, caution and common sense; and

Whereas sponsored by the Nova Scotia Safety Council, the Safe Driver Award Program recognizes and rewards the skills and attitudes of defensive drivers with annual safe driving certificates for award-winning drivers;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House extend their congratulations to Mr. Orren Woodworth on his award honouring him as a safe driver and wish him continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 10604]

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 Tourism and Culture.

RESOLUTION NO. 4107

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

Whereas Alex Colville is one of Nova Scotia's most famous painters; and

Whereas today he will be immortalized on a theatre district sidewalk with a star inducting him into Canada's Walk of Fame; and

Whereas Mr. Colville is a widely known and respected artist in the provincial and national arts community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members congratulate Alex Colville on his induction into Canada's Walk of Fame.

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. 4108

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

[Page 10605]

Whereas the NDP caucus invited Nova Scotians to speak out and make a difference by telling Premier Hamm and the Conservative Government what positive steps people want government to take; and

Whereas one such suggestion from the constituency of Dartmouth North calls for the Premier and his government to stop increases to seniors' Pharmacare that make a proper drug prescription program inaccessible to many seniors; and

Whereas the Premier has told this House that he can listen and learn from Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and the Conservative Government should listen to those who call upon them to make Pharmacare more accessible to seniors.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 4109

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

Whereas Dr. William Mason, a Halifax radiologist, had the privilege of receiving senior membership in the Canadian Medical Association; and

Whereas for over 30 years Dr. Mason used his extensive skills and knowledge to benefit the patients of the Victoria General Hospital and patients throughout Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Dr. Mason's contribution to the medical profession has been recognized by awards presented by the Victoria General Hospital and Dalhousie University medical alumni;

Therefore be it resolved that Dr. William Mason be congratulated upon receiving senior membership to the Canadian Medical Association.

[Page 10606]

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 South.

RESOLUTION NO. 4110

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

Whereas Dartmouth has the most dynamic real estate market in Nova Scotia today; and

Whereas as more and more people are recognizing the benefits of downtown Dartmouth and relocating to newly developed residential areas, the City of Lakes is on the verge of a significant population boom; and

Whereas for the past two years there has been an astonishing increase in residential developments and with over 300 new residential units in the downtown since July 2000 - some still under construction - there will soon be hundreds of new residents calling Dartmouth home;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the significant boom in Dartmouth's residential real estate and acknowledge what Dartmouthians have always known - that Dartmouth is a great place in which to live.

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 10607]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 4111

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

Whereas the NDP caucus invited Nova Scotians to speak out and make a difference by telling Premier Hamm and the Conservative Government what positive steps people want the government to take; and

Whereas one such suggestion from the constituency of Halifax Fairview calls for the Premier and his government to ensure that the in-shore fishery and coastal ecology of Cape Breton do not suffer because of the development of offshore oil and gas; and

Whereas the Premier has told this House that he can listen and learn from Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and the Conservative Government should listen to those who call upon them to protect the in-shore fishery and coastal ecology of Cape Breton.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 4112

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

[Page 10608]

Whereas on March 22, 2001, Jimmy Rankin, multiple Juno winner with the former Rankin Family, presented Ball's Creek Consolidated School band with $10,000 worth of musical instruments and equipment; and

Whereas the BAND AID grant from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awards these grants to schools which have music programs that are in jeopardy or in need of assistance to sustain their long-term development; and

Whereas Ball's Creek Consolidated School is a rural school serving 93 students in Primary to Grade 6 near North Sydney;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the students of Ball's Creek Consolidated School on receiving a BAND AID grant and recognize the importance of music programs in our schools.

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 Preston.

[12:30 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 4113

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

Whereas Joyce Ross, as part of her extensive community service, pioneered outreach efforts as a health care educator working in East Preston, North Preston, Cherry Brook and Dartmouth, helped to establish the Women's Wellness Clinic, launched the East Preston Girl Guides and Boy Scout troops, founded the East Preston Day Care Centre and began various education programs in her community; and

[Page 10609]

Whereas Joyce Ross, a lay minister, has served her church for more than 40 years and was inducted into the Order of Canada last year; and

Whereas this East Preston resident was one of the 10 outstanding citizens to receive an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Dalhousie University last week;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Dr. Joyce Ross for her extensive community involvement, as was recognized by Dalhousie University last week, and for her dedication to the use of her education in the service 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.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 4114

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

Whereas recently this government has committed itself to continuing the Liberal policy of twinning sections of Highway No. 103; and

Whereas the MLA for Timberlea-Prospect has spoken out in favour of the continued twinning of Highway No. 103; and

Whereas the MLA for Halifax Chebucto, however, has voiced dissent and is not in favour of the twinning of Highway No. 103;

Therefore be it resolved that the New Democratic Party should unite and come forward with a clear position as to whether or not they support Highway No. 103 being twinned.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 10610]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4115

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

Whereas Elizabeth Crouse of Truro was sworn in as President of the Canadian 4-H Council on May 24th at the council's annual meeting in Ottawa; and

Whereas Ms. Crouse has national involvement, including serving as Chair of the Canadian 4-H Council's Public Relations Committee, Extension Committee and Finance Committee, as well as participating in many subcommittees and special initiatives; and

Whereas the Canadian 4-H Council was founded in 1933 and is a not-for-profit, non-government agency governed by groups of volunteers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate Ms. Crouse on becoming President of the Canadian 4-H Council.

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.

[Page 10611]

RESOLUTION NO. 4116

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

Whereas the Medical Society of Nova Scotia held its annual conference last week; and

Whereas part of this conference paid tribute to important members of the society for success in the field of medicine; and

Whereas one of the new awards was given to Kentville obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Roderick McBeath, who received the accolade of Physician of the Year in recognition of his contribution to health care and his community, especially in soccer;

Therefore be it resolved that Dr. Roderick McBeath be congratulated for receiving the award of Physician of the Year from the Medical Society of Nova Scotia and be honoured by this House for his commitment to the field of medicine and his community 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.

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, would this be the appropriate time to report back to the House on the undertaking that I took for the member for Hants East?

MR. SPEAKER: Are there any further resolutions?

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

[Page 10612]

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, last Thursday, the member for Hants East asked a question about the whereabouts of a report on all-terrain vehicles that he suggested was being produced by my department. Specifically, he was asking for an explanation as to why it was declined under a freedom of information and protection of privacy application.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to report back that the member should maybe check back with his researcher. In fact, there is no such report within the Department of Environment and Labour, but I think that if he was to check with the Department of Natural Resources, he might have better success.

The other matter, Mr. Speaker, I would just like to clarify with regard to a question that was asked by the member for Cape Breton The Lakes, I told him that in Newfoundland, with regard to premium taxes, that it was subject to the HST. In Newfoundland, the people pay an extra 15 per cent on their auto premiums. In fact, that is a provincial Liberal sales tax, not the HST. Thank you.

MR. JOHN HOLM: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. It's my understanding that under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, if a freedom of information request has been made and it really should be going to another department, there is a legal obligation upon the department that receives the request to forward that on to the other department. So I didn't hear the minister indicating whether or not he had done just that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite would be more learned in this area than me, but the point that I was trying to make is the member for Hants East asked me, as the minister of the department, for an explanation why we, that is the Department of Environment and Labour, did not release the report to them. My answer is that we never got a FOIPOP request from the NDP caucus at the Department of Environment and Labour.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 12:36 p.m. and end at 1:36 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

ENVIRON. & LBR.: WATER PROBLEMS - INFO. POLICY

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Environment and Labour is overseeing a department that clearly has no policy whatsoever when it comes to informing residents about the hazards in their water. His department has failed to publicly report that

[Page 10613]

pregnant women and small children should not drink the water in areas of the Valley. He stated publicly today that radioactive lead levels some two and a half times the accepted standard weren't high enough to inform the residents of Hubley. So my question for the minister is this. Why doesn't the minister ensure that his department have in place a policy requiring that people be informed of water problems the instant that you learn of them?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. There are two points the member brought up. The first one was with regard to nitrates and the blue baby syndrome and in fact where that was the case, the affected homeowners were informed of the test results on all occasions. With the more recent one in the Sir John A. Macdonald High School, we got some preliminary test results back. The Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines suggest that based on the level of the test results that came back, this was a cause for further investigation but did not make a definitive rendering onto the drinkability of the water.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Environment and Labour truly amazes and astounds members of this House from time to time with answers like that. The people who live near Sir John A. Macdonald High School learned through the media that their water may contain two and a half times the acceptable levels of radioactive lead. Instead of contacting the affected people, the Minister of Environment and Labour decided to let this slip to some reporters on Friday afternoon. My question for the minister is simply this. Will the minister explain to this House why he thought it was appropriate to release this information to the media before he contacted those people whose lives were going to be affected by it?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, these results would pertain to anybody who was drinking the water at Sir John A. Macdonald High School and since the high school is closed for an environmental assessment at this time, it's unlikely that any of them would be drinking that water.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the dismissive attitude of the Minister of Environment and Labour is deeply disturbing. The minister seems to be confused about when residents want to know when there is a problem with their water supply. I want to tell him, the minister should know that people want to know immediately as soon as there's a problem with their water supply, something that's going to affect their lives. I'm amazed that the Minister of Environment and Labour wouldn't know that. So my question is this. Why won't the Minister of Environment and Labour commit immediately to put in place policies that lay out when and how his department will inform people of problems with their water supply?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, as I've already covered on the two previous questions, as soon as we're aware that there is something that would definitely impact somebody's water supply, the department does make the residents aware.

[Page 10614]

[12:45 p.m.]

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

ENVIRON. & LBR. - SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD HS:

SURROUNDING AREAS - WATER TESTING

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment and Labour. The minister conveniently timed the release of a report regarding water quality at Sir John A. Macdonald High School and the surrounding area of Hubley late Friday afternoon. Despite the minister's efforts, the issue hasn't just simply gone away. As the minister is already aware, the drinking water's radioactivity lead content is two and a half times the acceptable limit at the high school. What I'm concerned about is the quality of the water for the surrounding residents, as well. My question to the minister is, is the minister's department going to test the water for the surrounding area for harmful contaminants or will he continue his complete sense of indifference towards such an important issue by doing nothing?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I think it's important to follow the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines. Based on a preliminary single sample, the guidelines tell us to do further testing. We are doing further testing. We look forward to getting the results of those tests. In the meantime, if it becomes apparent that it would be reasonable and responsible to assist those adjoining homes, and there are five, then we will do the right thing by those residents.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, the minister is quoted yesterday as saying that perhaps the residents should buy bottled water until they're able to see the final report. In fact, Bible Hill has an ongoing water problem that was identified two years ago. The provincial Department of Transportation and Public Works is currently supplying the bottled water to these affected homes and residents. My question to the minister is, why is your government implementing a double standard when it comes to who will be supplied bottled water? Is it because the residents from Truro-Bible Hill are in a Cabinet Minister's riding, or is it because those at Sir John A. Macdonald High School are in an NDP riding?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, as I alluded to in my first answer, the first thing we have to do is follow the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines, and that is to ascertain whether this was just a minor aberration or, in fact, whether there is a problem and whether the problem is just confined to the school. I think that before we make those determinations, it would be premature to speculate on a hypothetical question.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, in the past week serious concerns have been made regarding water quality from the standpoints of health, environment and agriculture. In last year's Speech from the Throne, this government promised a safe drinking water strategy by

[Page 10615]

the Spring of 2001. My question to the minister is, in light of the urgent concerns about safe drinking water, why is the minister refusing to release his water strategy report that cost the taxpayers of Nova Scotia nearly $1 million and is more than a year overdue?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad the member brought that up. In fact, the money that was allocated in the budget is being spent for the intended purposes. Many of those purposes, in fact, have been outlined in the Walkerton report. Indeed, the Walkerton report from Justice O'Connor was released yesterday. In fact, we're doing a lot of the things, almost all of the things, that are recommended in the Walkerton report. I send my appreciation to the member opposite for pointing out that we are taking the appropriate steps to protect Nova Scotians' drinking water.

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

ENVIRON. & LBR. - SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD HS:

ADJOINING PROPS. - TEST RESULTS TIME FRAME

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Environment and Labour. This government brought to light, late on Friday afternoon, the poor quality of water in the adjoining properties of Sir John A. Macdonald High School. There was no press release, there was no announcement in the community, but a brief capsule in one of the Saturday papers. The result was alarm, anger, and of course, concern. My question to the Minister of Environment and Labour is, when did you become aware of these test results in the neighbouring area of Sir John A. Macdonald High School and why didn't you make it immediately public?

[12:45 p.m.]

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, actually there is a problem with the premise of the question, which will be implicit in the answer. The only test results I'm aware of was one test that was taken at Sir John A. Macdonald High School. I was not aware that there were tests taken of the neighbouring properties.

MR. ESTABROOKS: You see, Mr. Speaker, the minister has those sort of dismissive tones and people are concerned. This government owes it to the people for the secrecy surrounding the announcement, we continually wait and there has been recently a complete disregard for the health and well-being of the students and now the neighbours of our high school. Our community has already suffered greatly with this secrecy through the Minister of Education, the Minister of Transportation and Public Works, and now the Minister of Environment and Labour. I will ask the Minister of Environment and Labour a pretty simple, direct question. Why won't you, Mr. Minister, commit to this House and to the residents of Hubley to table a timetable of when the residents of the area can expect testing of their own water supply at no cost, to put their minds at ease?

[Page 10616]

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to say that the appropriate tests, as indicated by the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines, are going on and first is the John A. Macdonald High School water system. Once we are able to conclude that, if there appears a need to go further then we will be reasonable and responsible with the honourable member's constituents.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, tonight, in the community that I'm privileged enough to represent, will be the following people, and I will table this. There will be Ronald Brecher from Global Tox; there will be Marcel Deveau from O'Halloran Campbell Consultants Ltd.; Chris Moir from Transportation and Public Works; Robert Strang from the Department of Health; John Drage and Pat Wall from Environment and Labour; from the Department of Education there will be Darrell Youden, Charles Clattenburg, Paul MacLellan and Gerald Muise . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. ESTABROOKS: My question is, Mr. Minister, why aren't you at that meeting? You are the very person that the people I represent want to talk to.

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, as you can see, we have reacted swiftly to this, even though the results are not indicative, necessarily, that there is a problem with the water at Sir John A. Macdonald High School. We have acted decisively. We only became aware of these preliminary reports at the end of last week. We've taken action. A meeting has been facilitated through education for this evening and in fact all the experts who can answer the people's questions will be there to answer them.

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

ENVIRON. & LBR. - WATER:

NITRATE LEVELS - SAFEGUARD ADEQUACY

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment and Labour. In answer to a question last week, which I will table, the Minister of Environment and Labour said that I was misleading the House with respect to the ammonia nitrate problem faced by the residents of the Annapolis Valley and other farm areas. Well, it doesn't appear that the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries agrees with the Minister of Environment and Labour; in fact the minister is embarking on a plan to limit the use of nitrates over the next three years. My question to the minister is, could the minister explain to this House why his department is not taking similar progressive action to safeguard the water system from high nitrate levels?

[Page 10617]

MR. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, let us be clear on this. What I had a problem with last week in terms of the member's questioning was he was inferring that there was some sort of major ammonia nitrate spill in the Coldbrook area of the Annapolis Valley. He took two stories, one with regard to an ammonia leak in a large business in the Kentville Industrial Park, married it up with some broken bags of sand at a fertilizer plant in Coldbrook and completely misconstrued what was actually taking place. That was my problem with what he had to say last week in the House. (Applause)

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, they would be ill-advised to clap too quickly because I spoke with the fire chief who called in the complaint to his department, the Fire Chief of the Town of Kentville, Shawn Ripley, and he confirms that in his opinion there was

an ammonia nitrate leak and he and the deputy fire chief investigated. So I'm not going to pay too much attention to the credibility of that minister.

Mr. Speaker, the minister's department is not offering water testing for residents faced with radioactive levels. The minister is not taking any action to test Valley wells for nitrates. In fact, the minister doesn't seem to be concerned about the safety of our water supply. So I will give him, once again, a chance to demonstrate some concern now. My question to the minister is, if ever there was a need for a water strategy certainly the time is now and will the minister assure Nova Scotians in farming areas that nitrates are not imposing an unnecessary health risk by testing private wells and sharing the results with the residents affected?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, there were a number of comments there and questions that deserve comment. First of all, I want to be clear what happened at the plant in the Kentville Industrial Park was an ammonia leak. One of the maintenance people there inadvertently opened up a valve and I wanted that to be clear on the record - it was an ammonia leak. The member is mistaken and, in fact, the fire marshal, who is also responsible for public safety, is having an investigation done on that incident.

With regard to high nitrate levels in some of the groundwater in the Annapolis Valley, the member is right and again consistent with Part 2 of the Walkerton Report. I'm very pleased to understand that the Minister of Agriculture is proposing, over the next three years, to have environmental farm plans in place for, as I understand it, virtually every farm in the province and this will help address the nitrate problem.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, the people affected by nitrates and other harmful chemicals need reassurance that their long-term health is not being compromised by this uncaring minister. My question to the minister, why won't the minister simply agree to implement a comprehensive water strategy before it's too late?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, a lot of time has been spent over the last year to put the finishing touches on this very important document that is going to come out to safeguard Nova Scotia's water supply. Thank heavens that Nova Scotians paved the way for this back

[Page 10618]

in 1999 to allow it to happen, because that water strategy, which was started by a former Conservative Minister of Environment, John Leefe, was put in neutral for six years during that bunch's time here in government.

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

ENVIRON. & LBR. - WELL WATER TESTING: FEES - ELIMINATE

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, we would all be better off if the Minister of Environment and Labour would just address the problems instead of trying to take his time in the House to deflect and to deny that problems exist, because there are problems with the water supply in several areas in this province and he knows it. He knows that in Bible Hill some residents have been without drinking water for over a year. In Hubley, near Sir John A. Macdonald High School, lead levels may be as high as double the national Canadian standards. He knows that in Kings County a recent study shows that nitrate levels are high enough to be a danger to pregnant women and small children. So I want to ask the Minister of Environment and Labour, why won't your government recognize the severity of the issue and eliminate fees for well water testing until the problems are resolved?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, as I've indicated on the previous four questions which touched on each of those three areas, in fact steps have been taken or are being taken to address all of them. What the member is basically asking for is that government expands its responsibility into the maintenance of private wells, and I'm not sure that Nova Scotians are necessarily looking for us to do this. There is a responsibility on the private homeowner. It is something that we try to assist them with, as a department, but I'm not sure that those who are paying for the upkeep of public water utilities are looking to also pay for the upkeep of private wells. So it's a philosophical issue that perhaps should be well discussed at another time.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, when your water supply is at risk, when people are put at risk, it's not a philosophical issue, it's a very practical problem that you have to deal with, Mr. Minister. Public Health officials say that residents should test their wells once a year, but extensive homeowner tests cost over $100. In P.E.I. it's about $40. Other provinces made provisions to test their water supply, to keep it monitored and safe. My question is this, why does the minister persist in charging fees that will be a barrier to keeping our water quality high?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the member opposite that the Department of Environment and Labour does not charge fees for having people test their water. It's up to them to make the arrangements with the lab and to pay the fees. The member's right - the fees can start anywhere from $15 and up depending on the complexity of the test.

[Page 10619]

MR. DEXTER: For an infinitely reasonable question, Mr. Speaker, we get an infinitely unreasonable response from the minister. Why will the minister not agree that well testing in troubled areas is necessary for the public good. I want to ask the minister this question, why is the minister standing against the suggestion that will improve public safety and the quality of drinking water?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, for greater clarification, with regard to a problem in a confined area, if it becomes apparent that it is not specific to a particular property owner or a particular well, then under those conditions we will, as a department, do what is reasonable and responsible to protect the public.

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

PREMIER: FREE VOTES - CRITERIA

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. During the 1999 provincial election campaign, the Premier's plan for Nova Scotia included this platform promise, "Give MLAs greater freedom to represent the views of their constituents." The Premier followed up on that pledge by saying his members would be allowed to vote their conscience on matters that were appropriate. That message came only days after they won. My question to the Premier is, what criteria are necessary before the Premier will consider a matter appropriate?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I was very impressed when I was a member of the Opposition Party and occupying a caucus office in the same building as the government members from the previous government. They would come down in the elevator and would say to us, what bill is going to be introduced by the government today - because they usually tip you off - and what does the bill contain because we don't see the government bills. Unlike that government, this government caucuses the bill. The bill before the House today, Bill No. 125 has received more caucus time than any other piece of legislation that has been brought forward by this government. It represents a consensus of this caucus.

MR. GAUDET: I will remind the Premier, Mr. Speaker, we're talking about a promise that this Premier, this Leader, made when he was on the election trail. We're not talking about when he was sitting on this side of the House. The Premier recently stated that free votes would not be allowed on the smoke-free bill. Since it's not a matter of conscience, but rather, "It's an issue of health." Well, it's interesting that with that comment, the Premier seems to be implying that matters of health and conscience are mutually exclusive. While the Premier sees this as a health issue, some government members are saying otherwise - publicly stating that they want to think for themselves and vote their conscience. My question to the Premier is, can the Premier please tell this House what criteria must be present before he will allow government members to have a free vote?

[Page 10620]

THE PREMIER: I could perhaps direct the member opposite to some of the treatises that are available on free voting. Clearly, what this government has done, it has gone to the caucus after extensive consultation with stakeholders on this particular issue. We have come to a consensus and brought in a piece of legislation that the member for Dartmouth East has openly admitted that his government did not have the courage to admit into the House.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I don't understand. Is the Premier ready to admit this is another broken promise of his? Is that what he's saying to Nova Scotians? The nature of the smoke-free legislation demands a free vote to be allowed, but during the last three years, the Premier's promise to allow free votes has not been realized once. The Premier, along with members of his government, have stated that the smoke-free legislation is one of the strongest in Canada. Well it's interesting to note that the Premier will neither allow one of his own backbenchers to introduce an amendment, nor permit his members to have a free vote. My final question to the Premier is, if this bill is among the strongest, can the Premier tell this House why he's afraid of a backbencher presenting an amendment and allowing a free vote?

THE PREMIER: This government will stand proud behind the fact that it had the courage and the moral fibre to bring forward a piece of legislation that that government shied away from, knowing full well that by denying smoke-free legislation to the people of Nova Scotia, our young people continued to suffer additional years before a government finally had the courage to bring forward this legislation. Shame on that caucus.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL. - BILL NO. 129:

ASSESSMENTS - RETROACTIVITY

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. On May 9th, that minister told this House that Bill No. 129, which clarifies taxation, natural gas facilities and pipelines, was very important. He said, ". . . if we fail to address the issue and if there was a successful appeal in the court system, then the municipalities . . . would suddenly find that their revenue base has deteriorated very considerably. Properties which are currently assessable would all of a sudden have their values be diminished considerably, and that would be a real crime . . ." I ask the minister, why has this government's policy gone criminal by dropping the retroactive protection of these assessments?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Dartmouth North made an accusation that the policy itself, I guess, is criminal. I would ask him to stand in his place, please, and retract that statement. It is unparliamentary.

[Page 10621]

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, I will retract the comment "criminal" and I will ask the minister, why has his government policy been reprehensible by dropping the retroactive protection of these assessments - are considered reprehensible . . .

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. The legislation is legislation that is intended to put in place an assurance for all Nova Scotians, for the municipalities of this province and for the industry located in this province, the game rules that are in place and should have been in place with respect to the issue of taxation relative to this industry. The issue of retroactivity is an issue that all retroactive legislation is not considered to be very palatable. We are prepared to defend the current assessments that cover the period of the last two and a half years. We are prepared to move those forward to the URB as quickly as possible to have them dealt with. We feel confident with respect to our ability to provide that defence.

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, I would remind the minister that this retroactive legislation was supported by six of the municipalities that were affected in consultation with this government. Less than three weeks ago the government felt that it was very important to put into retroactive legislation forms of what it would put into regulatory form in December 1999. In an unsuccessful attempt to mollify an industry that seems never satisfied, the government dropped the retroactivity. I want to ask the minister, why don't you return to your original policy and give the retroactive legislation protection to the assessment of oil and gas structures that you enacted in 1999?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, again I thank the honourable member for the question. Last evening at the Law Amendments Committee, three of the municipalities to which the honourable member refers, appeared in support of the proposed amendments which we are putting forward and in support of the bill. That's fairly strong support in my view, Mr. Speaker.

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, three of those municipalities were under the impression that in fact the retroactivity would take effect in the legislation, which cannot supercede the legislation of the bill. The tail was wagging the dog when it comes to taxation of structures associated with the offshore. The minister explained very carefully on May 9th that retroactive legislation was necessary - again, I say, was necessary - to protect the province's right to assess and to protect the municipal revenue base. That's why it was retroactive.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. PYE: My question, Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, why has the minister and his government caved once again in the face of corporate lobbying, when will the caving stop?

[Page 10622]

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I just want to make it quite clear to the honourable member opposite that, in fact, two of the municipal units, the two most affected by the legislation and the appeal to the courts, that is Guysborough and Richmond Counties, were very much aware of the proposal to have the legislation retroactive to April 1, 2002, and they were supportive of that. They appeared in support before the Law Amendments Committee last night.

I will say this, Mr. Speaker, that we have provided every opportunity to reach a solution with respect to this issue through negotiations. We did not make the progress that we had hoped we would make with the industry relative to these negotiations. We are proceeding with the legislation. We are putting in place the game rules that will take us forward for the next 30 to 40 years and the game rules will be clear, something that had not been in place up to this point in time.

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

PREMIER - ELEC. MARKET ADVISORY COMM.:

REPORTING - HIERARCHY IDENTIFY

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Premier. Late yesterday the Petroleum Directorate issued a press release indicating that it was setting up an advisory committee on new electricity market rules in keeping with the province's energy strategy. The press release, which I will table, indicates that the Nova Scotia energy strategy will begin to introduce competition in the stage and measured process. My question to the Premier is, could the Premier explain to the House who the advisory committee will be advising considering he has yet to appoint a full-time Energy Minister or even create a permanent Ministry of Energy?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to report to the member opposite that the committee will report to the minister who made the appointments.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Yes, Mr. Speaker, still no indication and another broken promise from the Premier who said some months ago that there will be a full-time minister. We still don't see any evidence of a full-time minister or, indeed, any evidence that the petroleum department is still nothing but a second-class cousin to other departments in this very important field. I would ask the Premier - and he will probably shove it off to the minister - considering the competition in the energy sector, when will this Premier move to appoint a full-time Energy Minister and, indeed, a full-time Ministry of Energy, which today is the laughing stock of the industry and the stakeholders of Nova Scotia?

[Page 10623]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I find it ironic that the member opposite is so critical of the organization that his government set up. What I can say to the member opposite, because it is a serious question and an important question, is the matter that the question addresses will be answered very soon.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, once again the government has gotten things backwards here. It appoints a committee to report to nobody, which tells me that the government has no intention of doing anything with that committee any more than it has with beefing up the Department of Energy in this province to at least put it on a level playing field with the oil companies that want to do business in this province and protect the consumers of this province in the future in dealing with oil companies. My final supplementary is, why won't the Premier simply set up an Energy Department and install a minister prior to proceeding with the components of his energy strategy, including electrical competition? I would ask the Premier, live up to your word. You said you were going to do it, now do it.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will take the advice of the member opposite, and I will do it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

HEALTH: TOBACCO CONTROL LAWS - ENFORCEMENT

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, in 1993, the Tobacco Access Act was passed, prohibiting the sale of tobacco to people under 19. Fines up to $2,000 for the first offence, $5,000 for the second offence and $10,000 for the third offence can be levied against store owners who do not comply. They can also lose their ability to sell tobacco products. In spite of this, the compliance rate in Nova Scotia from 1995 to 2000 averages out at 74 per cent. That means that 1 in 4 youth in Nova Scotia is purchasing cigarettes. I want to ask the Minister of Health, why aren't you doing more to enforce existing tobacco control laws in this province?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the Department of Health's Tobacco Control Unit enforcement section has three full-time inspectors whose responsibility it is to enforce the provincial Tobacco Access Act. I can say that in the last fiscal year, the degree of compliance - and these would obviously be comparing with checks from the year before - was up 4.6 per cent.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, statistics from Health Canada in 1997 show that compliance in refusing to sell to minors in Sydney was 80 per cent, while in Halifax it was a pitiful 57.4 per cent. When it came to posting the proper signage, compliance had slipped to 42.2 per cent in Halifax and only 26.8 per cent in Sydney. My question to the Minister of Health is, how many fines, if any, were levied in 2002 against retailers who sold tobacco to minors?

[Page 10624]

MR. MUIR: You're looking for 2002 and I think you may mean the 2001-02 fiscal year. Mr. Speaker, I don't have, just isolated, the 2002 fiscal year, but I can tell you that since 1995, when this went into operation, there have been about 60 convictions under that Act and about $50,000 in fines has been generated.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would ask the honourable Minister of Health to table that document at the end of Question Period.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, a full quarter of our youth aged 15 to 19 are smokers, and they're getting their cigarettes someplace. I want to ask the Minister of Health, how does he plan to enforce his new smoke-free legislation when he apparently hasn't been able to enforce legislation that's been around now for almost a decade?

[1:15 p.m.]

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, in the last fiscal year a total of 274 retailers were either fined or warned, so that program does have some degree of merit, a considerable degree of merit, and I think the answer to the honourable member is that the youth possession thing is one part of a seven-part tobacco strategy and, as we've said time and time again, it's a comprehensive integrated strategy and one part does not stand by itself.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

EDUC. - EDUC. GRADS.: CERTIFICATION - DETAILS

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, most members of this House are well aware of the impending teacher shortage that is expected in the Province of Nova Scotia in the next few years. This is especially true for rural areas that have a much more difficult time attracting new teachers to their areas. This is one reason why it is very important that recent graduates have an easy and quick transition from university to doing substituting work in the classroom. My question to the Minister of Education is, can she tell us, how long does it take for a recent education graduate to obtain their teacher's certification and professional number from the Department of Education?

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, that would vary from case to case so I will take that question under advisement and I will get back to the honourable member on any figures that we may be able to supply.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, most recent education graduates received their diplomas in early May. This would mean that there is clearly an influx of young, energized new teachers ready to put their newly acquired skills to the test. However, these new graduates cannot substitute until they receive a professional number from the Department of Education.

[Page 10625]

Mr. Speaker, keep in mind that this is right at the end of the school year and teachers are tired, vice-principals have probably called everyone in their area and school boards need these new teachers immediately. At the same time it is a wonderful opportunity for graduates to start paying down their heavy debt load from their university days. My question to the minister is, is the minister working on any plan to solve the problem of the delay in obtaining this teacher number in order to help these teachers to begin to acquire their much-needed experience in their profession as quickly as possible?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, certainly if there is any unreasonable delay in obtaining a teacher number, we would certainly work on that. I'm aware of other problems in our certification division. I had not been made aware of that particular one, but if the member opposite would like to discuss that with me, I can certainly give him further information.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's a bit surprising that the minister is not aware of the problem because certainly it's something that I have heard most recently about graduates having to wait an extended period of time before being able to get their professional number from the Department of Education. I am certainly pleased that the minister is going to look into it.

Mr. Speaker, this is the same government that is making it more difficult to attract teachers to this province in the way of continual user fees. Teachers have to pay to have their licences upgraded to higher teaching certificate levels. New graduates cannot begin to work until they obtain their professional number. At the same time, the Province of New Brunswick has no such difficulties being encountered by their graduates. My final supplementary to the minister is, what is this minister doing to not only help out recent education graduates, but the school boards as well, to solve the looming teacher shortage in our province?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, we've taken numerous steps to streamline some of the issues in the teacher certification section of our department in which I know very well there were problems and probably still are some problems. The looming teacher shortage is being worked on through a number of strategies, but I would like to repeat, as I have repeated many times in this House, that the teacher shortage applies mainly to certain specific areas and those are the ones that we are working on first.

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

TRANSPORT. & PUB. WKS. - LAHAVE FERRY: REVIEW - CONFIRM

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Public Works and it concerns the LaHave cable ferry. In 1996, Mr. Minister, the Liberal Government conducted an extensive review of the province's ferry operations - those vital links in our provincial highway system. They concluded that the

[Page 10626]

system should remain in place, but increased fees for the ferry services would be appropriate. People in LaHave now hear rumours that their ferry is under review again. So my question for the minister is, could he confirm for this House if he's doing a review? Is this a review that he has ordered in his department on the LaHave ferry?

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: No.

MR. ESTABROOKS: So he won't confirm that, Mr. Speaker, but I want to talk about the LaHave community because I've had an opportunity to meet with a number of them. The LaHave community spoke out vigorously in 1996 against cuts to the ferry service. The government of the day allowed the ferry - a public service incidently since 1830 - to remain in operation. This government however has increased ferry fees by 67 per cent. So my question for the minister is, will the minister advise us if he intends to recover the cost of the LaHave ferry system as part of the provincial highway system through this new fee structure?

MR. RUSSELL: No.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Well if I have one more no, then I will be satisfied with the answers I am getting today. I'm told that in the first month since the fee increase, traffic use of the LaHave ferry is down by 1,600 vehicles. Some people feel that the minister is playing a shell game here, raising the fees to a point where people won't use the ferry so he can have a reason to pull the service or sell it to a private interest. So will this minister come clean and tell us what are the plans for the LaHave ferry? Does it involve privatization?

MR. RUSSELL: No.

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

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

TAX DEFERRAL PROPOSAL - DEPT. REACTION

MR. BRIAN BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Last week the Municipality of Victoria was forced to find a short-term solution to the problem of high property assessments in rural communities. Their proposed tax deferral plan is only a short-term solution to a complex problem that would relieve residents of a heavy tax burden. The warden and councillor met with the minister on May 14th. My question is, could the minister inform the House as to what the official reaction of the department was toward the Victoria proposal?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. The reaction was positive.

[Page 10627]

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the Victoria proposal is one that will defer high property assessment rates in the short-term until something more workable can be adopted. A potential problem from this proposal could mean that the municipality will then be in a money crunch situation. One concern raised by any solution for the waterfront property assessments issue is whether or not other residents in these communities will be unfairly impacted with higher taxes. My question to the minister is, will the minister assure the members of this House that any solution on coastal property assessments will not increase tax rates for those residents living in non-coastal areas?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. It is interesting, in conversation with officials from the Municipality of Victoria, when they did an assessment of the numbers that would be affected within their municipality they indicated that the number would be quite low. They didn't think that it would provide any severity with respect to their budgeting process and thought that they would be able to handle the situation with relative ease. I was very pleased with that reaction and very pleased with the progress that we're making.

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, obviously the minister isn't aware that this is only a delay, really. The UNSM wants this minister to address the sky-high property assessment rates for waterfront properties. I don't think I have to remind the minister that the UNSM is not the enemy on this issue. This organization can offer reasonable suggestions, and the minister, if he wasn't so stubborn, should have been aware of that before he brought in his amendments. My question for the minister is, will the minister be willing to have a meaningful consultation process with the UNSM in order for municipal units to have input on solutions on municipal issues?

MR. MACISAAC: I thank the honourable member for the question. I would like to, first of all, point out to the honourable member that I did have an opportunity to speak to a workshop and speak with the people at the workshop of the UNSM in Digby about two weeks ago. We did discuss, through question and answer, the matter of taxation of waterfront properties, and I did undertake at that time to work with the municipal units most affected by the issue of taxation to create an initial study group, if you like, that could put together proposals and see whether we thought they would be workable. If we made significant progress, and I feel confident we can, we would bring those proposals forward to the UNSM for their consideration. I just want to add one thing, that (Interruptions) They never like my good answers.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

HEALTH - WAIT TIMES/CANCELLATIONS: ANL. REPT. - PROVIDE

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: My office has been flooded with letters, phone calls and e-mails about surgeries cancelled at the last minute and wait times for surgeries and other

[Page 10628]

procedures. When we check government statistics on wait times and cancellations, we find they're either non-existent or they do not reflect reality. For example, the government claims the wait time for MRIs is four to six weeks, but we know that patients are actually waiting closer to eight months. My question to the Minister of Health is, why doesn't his department provide an annual public accounting for wait times and cancelled surgeries in Nova Scotia?

HON. JAMES MUIR: With reference to wait times for MRIs, like most of the procedures in the province and clearly, the honourable member has a point; people have to wait here for some things. The important thing is that those who need it the most get it the quickest, including MRIs. If you need an MRI and it's an extremely critical situation, then you will get it right then.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: The minister knows full well that I was speaking as well about the cancellation and wait times for elective surgeries. This province used to keep track of these things. On November 18, 1996, the province produced a report on health performance that outlined elective procedure wait times from 1992 to 1996. I have the report here. It states that measuring what is happening in Nova Scotians' changing health care system is critical. It may be critical, but the province has never since produced a similar report to check out progress. I want to ask the Minister of Health why he won't commit to producing a detailed report from existing information that will show whether wait times have gotten shorter or longer under his watch?

MR. MUIR: Such statistics are kept by the individual facilities in the district health authorities. The information is available. It's submitted to CIHI on a regular reporting basis. The information is available if the honourable member wishes to have it.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: It's clear why the minister doesn't want to produce a similar report, so all the people who have contacted my office to tell me about the incredible waits they have had to endure for simple procedures won't be able to embarrass this minister. I want to ask the Minister of Health, why won't you admit that the real reason you won't commission a similar report is that you would be embarrassed by what it revealed?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I don't like wait times any more than anybody else. I don't like wait times for a variety of procedures, but what I am pleased to say is that in Nova Scotia people who need the service the most urgently get it when they need. That's the issue. I wish I could eliminate wait times, but the process that we have in this province is very favourable compared to the rest of the country. That doesn't mean it's great, but it's better than other places.

[Page 10629]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH - DENTAL PLAN: INS. COVERAGE - DETAILS

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. On April 4th of this year, this minister advised dentists throughout the province that only those children who did not have private insurance would be eligible for coverage under the Children's Dental Program. However, dental health coverage under most private insurance plans is an option, it's not mandatory, but it has additional cost. My question is, will it be a policy of this minister to force private insurance holders to take out a dental option should they currently not have that coverage in their plan? (Interruptions)

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I have been asked to refresh their memory about what the Savage Government did about dental care, but I will not go down that road. The answer to the honourable member is no.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, well, he better clear it up with the dentists because it's causing confusion in dentists' offices across this province. Well, most private plans only provide for 60 per cent reimbursement. For a person on a limited income, this could mean fewer trips to the dentist or worse, for their children, not any at all. My question to the minister is, how can the minister ensure that children's dental care will not be impacted negatively as a result of the policy change? (Interruptions)

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I apologize. It's a serious topic. The member across the room did make me smile. The issue of children's dental care is not only important in Nova Scotia, it is important in a good many other provinces. If the honourable member would like to compare the coverage we have in our province with other provinces, he would find that we stand very favourably.

DR. SMITH: Maybe as we speak today, but not at what we will be seeing in a short period of time. Unfortunately with private insurance, more and more user fees and co-pay are added to the final bill, which leads to two outcomes: increased costs borne by the individual, as well as the insurance rates for dental options. My question to the minister is, will the minister ensure that there will be no increases in user fees and co-pays as a result of the policy change in the Children's Dental Program? Currently, now, physicians treating children under the dental program have to accept the fee paid by MSI. That is not so under private insurance plans. Will he make those guarantees . . .

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure whether I really understand the question. He's right, there is a scale of fees that we pay under MSI. The scale of fees, for the most part, is different than if one pays privately. There's no question about that. We review our fees annually as all governments do, and we will make adjustments where needed if they are needed.

[Page 10630]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

PREMIER - KYOTO PROTOCOL: N.S. IMPACT - STUDY CONFIRM

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier about the Kyoto Protocol. As the Premier will know, there has been extensive debate around the country about what might be the potential costs of implementing the Kyoto Protocol. We've seen documents issued by the Government of Alberta, in which they've made an estimate of a downside. We've seen responding documents issued by the federal government. We've seen the David Suzuki Foundation, which has done its own analysis of Kyoto, which says that there will be a savings to the economy and job gains if it's done correctly. But, of course, impact on the economy might vary in different parts of the country. I wonder, can the Premier tell us whether he or his government have done any study or estimate of what the Kyoto impact might be in Nova Scotia and if they haven't, whether they plan to do so?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, that is a good question. It's a question that this government is wrestling with, as are other governments across the country, and we had made a strong commitment to greenhouse gases and our energy strategy. We had participated with the New England governors as part of the Conference of Eastern Canadian Premiers and New England Governors to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in our province in coordination with our partners in that conference. However, the water on the beams changed dramatically when the U.S., in fact, withdrew its support for Kyoto. We are now working and watching what . . .

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

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.]

[1:36 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Chairman, Mr. Brooke Taylor in the Chair.]

[Page 10631]

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We have reached the moment of interruption.

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

ENVIRON. & LBR. - DRINKING WATER:

INFO. POLICY - INTRODUCE

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my appreciation to my colleague, the member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage, for having brought forward the resolution that we're going to consider this evening.

"Therefore be it resolved that the government should introduce a policy to inform people when they have problems with their drinking water."

I think we have to take a broad approach to what it is that's been put in front of us. We know, of course, that there are current examples that have been debated earlier in the House in the context of Question Period that are very current. We have in mind examples in the Annapolis Valley with nitrates; we have in mind, of course, the question of the area surrounding the Sir John A. Macdonald High School; questions have been raised with respect to lead contamination in that area.

Those are immediate problems that have been referred to as currently as today in our province. They are illustrative of the fact that we have to take water matters very seriously, simply for the fact that when we reflect upon our own beings, that's what we are. We are - in the words of what I think I heard once on a science fiction program referred to as - bags of mostly water, that's what human beings are, 90 per cent water.

We have to drink water on a regular basis in large quantities in order to stay alive, let alone stay healthy. We know that the recommendations from nutritionists are that we all do this every day. Water is crucial; water is fundamental. There is no getting away from it. It's a fact of life, and fresh water - which is what we drink, we can't drink salt water - is therefore fundamental to human health, human vitality, human life, human survival, and everyone knows this.

[Page 10632]

Water is one of those environmental problems that is so fundamental to our life that it's one on which there is unanimous worldwide agreement that there has to be a regime of very high standards to protect our water, to give us the water supplies that are necessary. Indeed, it's when pollutants of any kind find their way into the water supply or into the food chain that people become extremely alarmed and begin to take serious action. They might be more sanguine about things in the air, they might be more sanguine about things that are isolated in particular areas, feeling they can escape them, but when something is in the food or in the water supply, they can't escape their reliance upon food and water, therefore, they take them seriously.

This was illustrated, of course, by the poisoning of Japanese, with what's known as Minamata disease, when industrial pollutants found their way into fish. The population easily realized that anyone could eat the fish. It wasn't like small industrial pollutants that might be located in a particular area that might, by zoning or through safety measures, be isolated. Once it's in the food supply, it's a poison that could harm anyone. In that case it was mercury pollution and, of course, there was central nervous system damage that was done. That's why it traumatized everyone in the world, not only the Japanese, and it's why we know this term, Minamata disease.

We start with this recognition that protecting the water supply is something that is of high value for everyone and, of course, that includes us here. We start with that. Given that, we have to ask ourselves, what on Earth have we been doing in Nova Scotia over the last decade since the first time a report came forward sponsored by our Department of Environment that warned us that we had problems with water and that we should be taking aggressive action to deal with it. Now, that report, in 1991, was sensible. It pointed the way towards remedial action; it pointed the way towards public education; it pointed the way towards the necessity of making sure that we have in place all the appropriate steps and the staff and the funds in order to make sure that no one is going to be harmed by our water.

Since then, unfortunately, we haven't seen the kind of aggressive action in our province that should have been taken in order to protect our water supplies. Much more than has happened so far should have occurred. Moving through the subsequent decade you cannot say that there's been no awareness. Clearly, there's been awareness on the part of the government. There's been awareness on the part of the public, but there hasn't been enough action. We have been told on several occasions that what's needed is a comprehensive management system for protection of our water.

Now what would be the elements of this? We hope that we will learn soon what this government's answer is to this requirement for a comprehensive management system. When the Environment Act, which was passed in 1995, was looked over after its initial five years by the committee that was mandated under that Statute to look at Nova Scotia's Environment Act and make recommendations, one of the thing that committee told us was that the Act ought to be amended, PART X ought to be amended in order to make it clear that a

[Page 10633]

comprehensive water strategy is necessary. Let me just read into the record, and I will table the extracts in a moment, recommendation 38. It says, "Insert specific water resource management objectives.", at the beginning of PART X of the Environment Act. It goes on to say that what should happen is that there should be particular objectives and they should ensure that water is managed sustainably, emphasizing pollution prevention. It talks about taking measures as are reasonable to provide access to safe, adequate and reliable water supplies for individual industrial and agricultural uses.

Several other recommendations are made but one of them includes public education and participation. It's the public education part, the public participation part or, in this case, the notification that this resolution addresses. If people don't know that there are problems with their water supply, they're in a difficult position to do anything about it. We have to remember that not everyone in this province is on a municipal water supply, certainly not a municipal water supply of the standard and sophistication that we're able to enjoy here in most parts of metro. There are many people who are on much smaller systems. There are many people who are on systems where wells service up to 25 adjoining properties. There are systems where people have their own personal wells as their drinking water supply. No matter how much we may say to them, test your water every year, make sure you get samples and take it in to the local labs and have the testing done, it doesn't always happen or it may be the contaminants come more frequently than one year's sampling will allow protection for. So if information comes to the government from whatever source, they must take action to notify people and do so immediately so that they can take steps to protect themselves, and that's what seems not to be part of the system at the moment.

Now the government has promised for some time that there would be a comprehensive water strategy brought forward and implemented, we hope, within its mandate. Now we're three years into the mandate, we haven't seen it. There's been lots of notice. As I said, the first government reports on this date back now a little more than a decade and so far we have yet to see any government bring in a comprehensive water management system. We need one and part of it has to be an obligation to let people know at the first available opportunity. When that strategy comes forward, as I've heard several times from the Minister of Environment and Labour that it will come forward soon, I'm going to be looking for a whole variety of elements, but one of them I will certainly look for will be a mechanism to make sure that people are told and told promptly and that that is mandatory. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, when this subject came forward earlier today, I was not expecting the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto to be speaking on it and I would like to start to say a few comments off the record (Interruption) not off the record, in response to some of the very thoughtful comments that he's just shared with us and indeed all Nova Scotians who may be paying attention to what's going on here in the Legislature this evening.

[Page 10634]

I would first like to say that the honourable member, I think, is a very well-informed member when it comes to areas of environment. This is something that I think has been a passion for him in previous careers and continues to be. I would also like to say that I was very impressed with the honourable member's questioning during the estimates as he was going over the first volume of the Walkerton report, that would be Justice O'Connor's report, and his careful scrutiny made me feel very good about having him as an Environment Critic because I think that the type of comments that he has just made here today and the comments that he made during estimates are very constructive and I think that he takes the level to a higher plain.

I would also like to acknowledge some of the member's concerns about what is to show up in our water strategy. I would tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I have read more than a few incarnations of this evolving water strategy and it gets better with each reincarnation as we come forward to a launch. Last Thursday, part two of the Walkerton inquiry report was released by Justice O'Connor and, once again, we took advantage of that opportunity to match our evolving water strategy against what Justice O'Connor had to recommend for Ontario. With the exception of one small, but I think significant suggestion, we matched up very well and, in fact, in some areas I would suggest that perhaps we even exceed the recommendation for Ontario. So we feel very good about what's coming forward in terms of the water strategy and I look forward to the honourable member having a chance to see that strategy, I believe soon, although I've said that on more than one occasion before over the last year.

But I think that what's important, and I know that the honourable member would agree with me, is that in the meantime, until we're able to bring forth a comprehensive document that coordinates everything that he would like to see and we would like to see in a water strategy, that some of those necessary recommendations are, in fact, put into action today and we are not waiting until the release of the final strategy. In fact, the member would recall that during estimates, those monies that were made available for a water strategy have been invested in hiring new staff. This staff is out and they're doing the jobs that are laid out in the emerging water strategy.

As an example, Mr. Speaker, with regard to public utilities, last year there were two random audits that were taken of the public utilities and I'm pleased to say of the 82 utilities, all of them came back negative in terms of fecal coliform and, indeed, coliform test results. So we thought that spoke well of the 82 public water utilities. I would also suggest though that the member opposite has pointed out that we have to go further afield than the municipal water utilities and, indeed, as the member would be aware, on October 1, 2000, this government brought in the system to register private wells for public consumption. That means if somebody is serving more than 25 members of the public on a given day and it's for a specific period of time, which I think is 60 days or 61 days a year, or if there are 15 connections to that water utility, they have to submit to quarterly bacteriological testing and

[Page 10635]

depending on whether it's a surface water or it's a groundwater source, they have to have annual or bi-annual chemical profiles done on the water.

I think this is a very positive step and that's one area where perhaps we have gone a little further than Ontario and I would suggest that the honourable member would be very pleased I think with setting that high bar because what we are trying to do is protect the public. The member also spoke about the importance of protecting, or assisting really, the private well owner because 40 per cent of Nova Scotians depend on private wells. Now, we're not talking about private registered wells for public consumption which you might find in schools, nursing homes or hospitals, but this is owned by the private, you know, by residents, by property owners. In that regard he's quite right. There has to be a continued focus on a greater awareness and education.

[6:15 p.m.]

The member opposite, I suspect, has been through our Web site many times, and with regard to the recent situation in Hubley, he would be interested to know that in 1998 - and that's before the time of this government. I would like to acknowledge the Environment Minister from the previous government, who perhaps can take some responsibility for putting in the steps for people who are encountering unacceptably high levels of uranium or radon in their water supplies. Indeed, methods to address the problem and extract those substances from their domestic water supplies. That is on the Web site and that information is available. I think that might be rather timely in view of what's going on in Hubley at the moment.

I got up with two pages of notes that were provided by the department and I fear I'm not going to do them justice. I would also like to, before I get into them - and I'm not sure how far I'm going to get into them because I can see my time is waning away quickly - I would like to acknowledge that the member opposite recognizes that the minister's task force on clean water, came about in 1991 by former PC Minister John Leefe, who I think was a real visionary in the Department of Environment. We are still reaping the benefits today from the work that was done at that time. Indeed, I think a lot of the work not only for the water strategy, but for the Environment Act, which was a compilation of the 17 Acts that were amalgamated into one, is certainly in part a credit to Minister Leefe. If whatever small legacy I might leave this department is just a percentage of what Minister Leefe has done, I would be very pleased for having done so during my time as Minister of Environment and Labour.

Having said that, there are some things here that I think warrant comment. The member opposite and his colleague for Dartmouth North were asking about an oil spill a couple of weeks ago, and they were asking at what point in time do you notify people that could be affected by this? There is a protocol that is followed through the department; that division is very sensitive to making sure that people who could be affected by a potential release are made aware. In the case of, maybe, a leaking septic system, clearly, if there are any neighbours who are on wells adjacent to it, we do inform them. But it's on a need-to-know

[Page 10636]

basis because by the same token, if there are no neighbours who are affected by it, I'm not sure that private property owners would particularly appreciate the Department of Environment and Labour broadcasting that they have a problem with their septic system. They would, I think, want us to come in and assist them to deal with the problem but not necessarily to put it out on the news unless it could impact a neighbour, in which case we would inform the neighbours.

Then it becomes a matter of degree. Indeed, as we're speaking of this, sometimes there are potentially charges that may flow from a release that could damage the environment. In cases where there are potentially charges that could flow from it, to release that information publicly could jeopardize the Crown's case in bringing about a successful prosecution and conviction. With regard to that, one has to use some discretion as to when one releases that information.

There's really a lot that could be said about this topic, but I do want to say that the department's first priority is the health and safety of our residents, and individuals, businesses and communities receive information as required to make sure they can make informed decisions about a particular situation. That is what we undertake as a department.

Mr. Speaker, there are about two pages of notes here and I have gone over about three lines of them, but I would like to say that I did appreciate the member's thoughtful comments. I look forward to the release of the water strategy. I think Nova Scotians look forward to the release of the water strategy and I look forward to the members' comments, either privately or publicly; I would welcome them.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable minister's time has expired.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and speak on this particular resolution. I believe it's a very worthy resolution, and it's a very timely resolution. I commend the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto for bringing it forth, because it's through these types of resolutions that we sometimes have to encourage the government to do what it said it was going to do on a previous date and never seems to do.

At the outset I would like to correct some of the misstatements that have been persistently made by the Minister of Environment and Labour on this provincial water strategy. First and foremost, this water strategy process was commenced in August 1997, not under - speaking to the particular strategy that he now has before Cabinet - the previous Tory Administration, as he would like people to believe. Again, the first draft of that was tabled or put before the Department of Environment and Labour - Environment at that point - for consultation and review with various stakeholders on January 1, 1999; again, before the Conservative Government of the present day took over.

[Page 10637]

Mr. Speaker, that's on the government's own Web site for Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Perhaps the Minister of Environment and Labour might want to break down that silo mentality that Premier said he was going to break down and communicate with his seatmate, who is only about one and a half feet away from him. Then he will come to realize that all the statements that he's been making and trying to take claim for this water strategy that's now before Cabinet was all of the John Hamm Government's doing. It's simply not a fact. It's not the truth and that's the long and the short of it.

In terms of saying that, and leaving the impression that the new Environment Act was brought forth by his predecessor, the Honourable John Leefe when he was the Minister of Environment, that's not true; it's simply not true. The Act of the Legislature, An Act to Reform the Environmental Laws of the Province and to Encourage and Promote the Protection, Enhancement and Prudent Use of the Environment, assented to January 9, 1995. Again, there was no Conservative Government in place at that time.

That particular piece of legislation set the groundwork for this provincial water strategy that the Minister of Environment and Labour is sitting on before Cabinet, and he and his colleagues, for whatever reason they've postponed it three times. Their recent investment to the tune of more than $850,000-plus seems to defy all logic as to why they're excluding the public from any participation in that, because the intent of the water strategy was to have public involvement. It's outlined in various aspects and sections of this document entitled Planning Developments, Protecting our Water - a Water Resource Management Strategy for Nova Scotia, dated January 21, 1999.

Again, the minister has misled the people of Nova Scotia and the House. These are not my words, Mr. Speaker, these are the words of the facts as they are documented. I will table it, since his colleague, the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, can't seem to find the wherewithal to pass that information one and a half feet to his right, to be able to educate the Minister of Environment and Labour, we will help. That speaks to why so many people in Nova Scotia are concerned about what's happening. (Interruptions)

Yes, the Minister of Tourism and Culture would say it's the Great Wall of China. But the way the Minister of Environment and Labour has been conducting himself, you would think he's in a complete silo, with no windows or doors. That's why the people, at Sir John A. Macdonald High School, at Hubley, down in the Valley, and so on are so concerned, because there's a sense of indifference by this government and this minister about their environmental concerns, and the strategy. Again, the preliminary documents make the basis for participation by the general public to speak to the issue of the resolution that was brought forth by the member for Halifax Chebucto, that being public consultation, public participation and making sure that the people are aware of serious situations as what's happened out in Sir John A. Macdonald High School.

[Page 10638]

Mr. Speaker, that particular piece of legislation of 1995 repealed and combined effectively 16 different pieces of legislation, one of them being the Well Drilling Act, another one being the Water Act, and Transboundary-Pollution Act, the Smelting and Refining Encouragement Act, Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps Act, Recycling Act and we can go on, the Environmental Protection Act. Everything was encompassed. It was so comprehensive I'm not so sure that the Minister of Environment and Labour has actually taken the time to read this particular document because had he done that he would have been in a better position to address the problems at Sir John A. Macdonald High School.

He would have not tried to mislead the House in saying that there wasn't an ammonia nitrate spill at the Scotia Fertilizer plant in Coldbrook when the mayor of Kentville says there was; the fire chief of Kentville says there was; the deputy fire chief says there was; several residents say there was and now that complaint is before his department. Yet he would rather focus on little rabbit tracks and say, oh, a couple of those bags that used to have ammonia nitrate now have sand in them. So that's what the member for Cape Breton West is talking about. That is so irresponsible on such a massively important issue.

Last week, CNN reported that a whole truckload of ammonia nitrate was stolen down in the United States. They got the truck back but they didn't get the ammonia nitrate. Well, why is that a major concern? Because it's used in explosives, not just for making fertilizer. Also, if it's left out unattended in a wet environment it's a contaminant to the water table. You think the nitrates are bad? Allow that property to saturate the water table, Mr. Speaker. Yes, we would have a major problem. Why the Minister of Environment and Labour, who comes from Kings County, would be so indifferent and so passive about this issue just absolutely defies logic.

Yes, we will stand in our place and we will jostle and we will have our different political positions, but I mean lead contamination out at the Sir John A. Macdonald High School - we as a government we have a responsibility as elected officials to be proactive and not say, oh, well if you think there's a problem in your water, if you think there's lead there, go buy water. No, Mr. Speaker, that's not what a Minister of Environment and Labour is for. You can get that same advice from somebody walking down the street. If you don't think there's something good about your water, go buy some other water. I mean that's so irresponsible.

Communicating with the general public is so important. How we do it and when we do it is of critical importance, because if we communicate our public issues, our issues of public importance, public policy, particularly on the issue of water safety or water contamination in an irresponsible manner, can you imagine, Mr. Speaker, sitting home out in Hubley watching the news to find out that your water may be contaminated with lead, radioactive lead at that? We don't want to be alarmists, but at the same time, that's a poor, poor way to communicate a very important issue. There has to be a strategy for communicating and allowing for public involvement. So the minister is absolutely wrong to

[Page 10639]

say that nothing was done from 1993 until 1999. The public documents that are registered in his colleague's department speak quite to the contrary. Why would the minister continue to mislead Nova Scotia? It is absolutely irresponsible for a minister to stand in his place and say such a thing. We have to have a buy-in from the people of Nova Scotia and we have to make sure that that confidence level is there.

Mr. Speaker, I realize my time is coming to a close. I do thank the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto for bringing this important resolution before the House. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Time has expired on the debate this evening. I would like to thank the members for taking part in the debate this evening. The House will now revert into a Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

[6:30 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Brooke Taylor in the Chair.]

[6:31 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 and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 9 - Pension Benefits Act.

Bill No. 106 -Guardianship Act.

Bill No. 108 - Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act.

Bill No. 115 - Justice Administration Amendment (2002) Act.

Bill No. 118 - Municipality of Inverness Supplementary Pension Contribution Act.

Bill No. 125 - Smoke-free Places Act.

Bill No. 130 - Lunenburg Common Lands Act.

Bill No. 131 - Gray Grant Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

[Page 10640]

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker would you please call Bill No. 87.

Bill No. 87 - Cosmetology Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, I would move third reading of Bill No. 87, the Cosmetology Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 87. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 101.

Bill No. 101 - Fire Safety Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I would move third reading of Bill No. 101, the Fire Safety Act.

[Page 10641]

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, just a few words on the bill. Again, this was a result of an all-Party select committee that toured the province. I've been on the record quite a few times about my feeling about the select committee and its real value. It's a bill that was long in coming. It is a reform that is necessary. It's a reform that I think through the Law Amendments Committee we saw that there were people in the building inspection side who had some questions with it. I hope they were answered by this bill, but it is a bill that some could say is three to four years old. I'm glad to see it at this stage. My own belief and the belief of this Party, we hope it's a bill that will give clarity to the fire safety aspect in this province and it will give what we desired from this and that's safety for the citizens of this province. So with those few words, I will be taking my place.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 101. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 107.

Bill No. 107 - Land Registration Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I move that this bill be now read for the third time.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, we recognize that this bill was brought forward simply for some minor language changes and also some typos. This bill is generally a housekeeping bill and we will support the legislation.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 107. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[Page 10642]

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 111.

Bill No. 111 - Motor Vehicle Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I move that this bill be now read for the third time.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 111. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 113.

Bill No. 113 - Agriculture Administration Amendment (2002) Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, I move third reading of Bill No. 113.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 113. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 10643]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 134.

Bill No. 134 - Volunteer Fire Services Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I would move third reading of Bill No. 134.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 134. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 117.

Bill No. 117 - Geoscience Profession Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

MR. JAMES DEWOLFE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to move the Geoscience Profession Act, Bill No. 117, for third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 117. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 10644]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, there are three bills that we just put through in Committee of the Whole House on Bills, Bill No. 106, Bill No. 108 and Bill No. 115. I would ask for the concurrence of the House to move those into third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader. (Interruptions)

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: One at a time.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

MR. JOHN HOLM: The Minister of Justice, I think the point is, was going to make an undertaking during third reading debate on Bill No. 115.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. So we can deal with Bill No. 106 and Bill No. 108.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 106.

Bill No. 106 - Guardianship Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Justice, I move third reading of Bill No. 106.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 106. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 10645]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 108.

Bill No. 108 - Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to move third reading of Bill No. 108.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 108. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 115.

Bill No. 115 - Justice Administration Amendment (2002) Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I just want to speak for a very few minutes with respect to this bill. As members would have heard, the honourable member for Halifax Fairview referenced an undertaking I had made at the Law Amendments Committee in discussions that I had with him with respect to this bill. I wanted to indicate to the House that it is the intention of the government to pass a regulation with respect to the fees chargeable on appeals on residential tenancy matters to the Small Claims Court of $2,000 and under in value so that those matters would be subject to a fee of $25 and not the regular fee of $75, which would ordinarily be the case.

The intention of the government with respect to these matters, Mr. Speaker, was never revenue generation; it was always the improvement of the administration of justice, and as I indicated to the honourable member, that will be our intention with respect to this bill, if it's passed, to pass a regulation to that effect. I therefore would move third reading and the honourable member may wish to speak to that matter.

[Page 10646]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the minister for accepting our caucus' proposal to make some accommodation for those people who are taking forward residential tenancy matters. I think the Minister of Justice recognized that the purpose here was to improve the administration of justice, not to add an additional barrier to the administration of justice. I note for the record that there still is in the Act, where there always has been, an added provision for an outright exemption for fees for those with very low incomes. So the minister's undertaking applies to those people who do not qualify for that exemption and whose case involves less than $2,000.

I would like to note, Mr. Speaker, that this is of much benefit to what I would call small landlords as it is to tenants. There are very many of both in my constituency of Halifax Fairview. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of residential tenancy matters are over a small amount of money and it's appropriate that the fee charged for people to vindicate their rights under the Residential Tenancies Act should not be the full $75 chargeable to small claims but rather the maximum of $25 that the Minister of Justice has promised will be enacted in regulations. So I would like to thank the Minister of Justice again for agreeing to this proposed amendment.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 115. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private and Local Bills for Third Reading.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I will be calling Bills No. 118, No.130 and No. 131. I would ask for the concurrence of the House to move those bills forward to third reading.

[Page 10647]

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 118.

Bill No. 118 - Municipality of Inverness Supplementary Pension Contribution Act.

Bill No. 130 - Lunenburg Common Lands Act.

Bill No. 131 - Gray Grant Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of these bills. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motions are carried.

Ordered that these bills do pass. Ordered that the titles be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bills be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, that completes the government business for the day. The business for tomorrow will be that of the Official Opposition, I beg your pardon, the Liberal House Leader will . . .

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Liberal House Leader on Opposition Members' Business for Wednesday. (Interruption)

Order, please.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, could we have the concurrence of the House, please, to revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 10648]

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEE

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 129 - Assessment Act/Municipal Grants Act.

and the committee recommends this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

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

The honourable Liberal House Leader on Opposition Members' Business for Wednesday.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the House will meet from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Following the daily routine and Question Period, we will be calling Resolutions No. 3748 and No. 4069.

I move that this House do now adjourn.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House adjourn until 2:00 p.m tomorrow. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

We are adjourned until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 6:45 p.m.]

[Page 10649]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 4117

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 Steven Jenkins, past Provincial Special Olympian, has been selected as one of Nova Scotia's representatives at the Canada Special Olympics this coming July in Saskatchewan; and

Whereas Steven will join the Nova Scotia bowling team and is the only member hailing from the Northside; and

Whereas Steven, who bowls for fun every Tuesday at the local bowling lanes in North Sydney, was chosen for the team for his competitive edge and his superb skill level;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Steven Jenkins on the honour he has received in being named to the Nova Scotia Special Olympics team and wish him success at the games in Saskatchewan.

RESOLUTION NO. 4118

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 the Eastern Regional Help Line has been in operation for the past 15 years for people in the community who need to talk; and

Whereas the Help Line was started to assist those with addictions and covered only a small area and has since expanded to have range over all of Cape Breton, Guysborough and Antigonish Counties, dealing with a wide variety of problems; and

Whereas all the progress made by the Help Line has been due to the dedication of the volunteers who sit on the board, answer the calls and put on workshops;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Eastern Regional Help Line on 15 years of providing their vital service to the community and commend the efforts and commitment put forward by the Help Line's many volunteers.

[Page 10650]

RESOLUTION NO. 4119

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 four groups heading up the revitalization project in North Sydney have met recently to update the public on their progress; and

Whereas the primary focus of the meeting was to inform the citizens of North Sydney of the positive developments in some sectors including landscaping, tourism and infrastructure; and

Whereas the revitalization committee is now nearing completion of the North Sydney Web site, due for launch on June 1st, and will contain a listing of the town's business directory;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate all those involved in the revitalization project and thank them for their initiative to improve their community by communicating news of developments to area residents and to the world.

RESOLUTION NO. 4120

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 Sydney is getting some valuable input into developing projects in the many former mines and coke ovens from German officials in town to tour the sites; and

Whereas the scale of the environmental legacy in Germany is far greater than that of Cape Breton and local officials are sure that they can remedy the hectares of land by turning the open mine pits into lakes; and

Whereas the relationships growing between Cape Breton and Germany offer an opportunity to share advice on linking government support, university research and private sector co-operation on large-scale projects;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House applaud the efforts being made to develop the former mines and coke ovens.

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RESOLUTION NO. 4121

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 Boularderie Elementary School raised over $1,800 in its annual walk-a-thon for Harve Grant of Team Diabetes Canada who will be participating in a marathon in Ireland this coming October to raise money for the Canadian Diabetes Association; and

Whereas Mr. Grant's participation in the marathon was inspired by his wife, who has diabetes; the school, which their two daughters attend, wanted to show its support for the cause he is fighting for; and

Whereas Team Diabetes Canada is made up of both males and females of all different ages and any extra funds raised by the team go directly to the Canadian Diabetes Association;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Boularderie Elementary School for their initiative in helping fight diabetes and wish Harve Grant luck in completing the marathon in October.

RESOLUTION NO. 4122

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 Cape Breton music legend Matt Minglewood was on hand at the University College of Cape Breton convocation ceremony earlier this month to receive an honorary degree from the university; and

Whereas Mr. Minglewood, who has completed 10 albums to date, was one of six people the university was rewarding with honorary degrees; and

Whereas receiving the Doctor of Laws Degree was special to Mr. Minglewood because he is originally from North Sydney and UCCB is his hometown university;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Matt Minglewood on his Doctor of Laws Degree from the University College of Cape Breton and wish him continued success in his musical career.

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RESOLUTION NO. 4123

By: Mr. Graham Steele (Halifax Fairview)

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

Whereas the NDP caucus invited Nova Scotians to speak out and make a difference by telling Premier Hamm and the Conservative Government what positive steps people want the government to take; and

Whereas one such suggestion from the constituency of Halifax Fairview calls for the Premier and his government to stop increases to Seniors' Pharmacare that make a proper monthly prescription program unaffordable; and

Whereas the Premier has told this House that he can listen and learn from Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and the Conservative Government stop increases to Seniors' Pharmacare that price it out of the reach of seniors.

RESOLUTION NO. 4124

By: Hon. Jane Purves (Halifax Citadel)

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

Whereas the 14th Annual Dartmouth Book Awards, held last week during the Atlantic Book Week Festival at Alderney Landing as part of the larger Atlantic Writing Awards, celebrates the best works of fiction and non-fiction that have a Nova Scotian flavour; and

Whereas first-time writer and gifted illustrator Frances Wolfe took the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children's Literature for Where I Live; and

Whereas a self-taught artist, Wolfe still lives near where she grew up at the mouth of Halifax Harbour and has worked in the Children's Department of the Halifax Regional Library for the past 27 years, often illustrating library materials and painting murals;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Frances Wolfe and all those who won Atlantic Writing Awards last week, and thank the organizers for honouring writers from the four Atlantic Provinces and for increasing public appreciation of literature.

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RESOLUTION NO. 4125

By: Mr. Kerry Morash (Queens)

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

Whereas thanks to Queens Association for Community Opportunity Residential Services, special-needs residents now have two new group homes in Liverpool which they can call home; and

Whereas both of these six-bedroom group homes will offer safety, comfort and a homey environment for nine residents, formerly housed in an institution; and

Whereas these group homes are made possible by the Department of Community Services which has redirected funding from institutions to provide small options living within Queens County;

Therefore be it resolved that this House commend the Queens Association for Community Opportunity Residential Services and the Department of Community Services for pooling their efforts and resources to ensure that adults with special needs can have the services they require in a beautiful, home-like setting.

RESOLUTION NO. 4126

By: Hon. John Hamm (The Premier)

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

Whereas the South End Playground Association in the Town of New Glasgow undertook an enormous project last summer raising funds and assisting in the construction of a playground; and

Whereas the playground was the first ever for children living in the south end of New Glasgow and required just less than $200,000 in capital funds to make the project a reality; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission contributed $25,000 to assist with the construction, as did a number of local merchants, along with Nova Scotia's Resource Recovery Fund which provided $57,000;

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Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the valuable efforts of people such as Project Manager and Playground Treasurer Allan Floyd for their work with so many community volunteers in making such a worthwhile project a reality.

RESOLUTION NO. 4127

By: Mr. Jon Carey (Kings West)

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

Whereas Berwick resident Fred Walsh at a recent ceremony in Halifax was recognized by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind as a Friend for Life; and

Whereas Fred was presented with a Friends for Life pin by Walter Gretzky, father of NHL great Wayne Gretzky; and

Whereas Walter Gretzky is an avid supporter of the CNIB and was in metro to support and promote the first Walter and Wayne Gretzky CNIB Golf Classic scheduled for this September;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly, through this resolution, pay tribute to the work of the CNIB and to Mr. Fred Walsh of Berwick for being recognized as a CNIB Friend for Life.

RESOLUTION NO. 4128

By: Mr. Frank Chipman (Annapolis)

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

Whereas Ann Organ, a Middleton NSCC student, was selected to participate in an international exchange; and

Whereas this exchange will increase access to education for people with special needs; and

Whereas members of this exchange will be visiting post-secondary institutions throughout Ireland, Spain and England in order to increase the exchange of ideas and practices in terms of education for people with special needs;

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Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Ann Organ on her accomplishments and wish her luck on her international exchange.

RESOLUTION NO. 4129

By: Mr. Frank Chipman (Annapolis)

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

Whereas the International Theatre Festival was held May 15th to May 19th in Liverpool; and

Whereas Love and Hate at Half Past Eight, written by Dean Taylor and directed by John Browne, was chosen to compete in this year's International Theatre Festival; and

Whereas Angie Tervogt and Doug MacInnes performed the musical comedy for the festival;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the cast, director and writer of the play Love and Hate at Half Past Eight for their dedication and tremendous achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 4130

By: Mr. Frank Chipman (Annapolis)

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

Whereas the BRHS Senior Badminton Team has proven time and time again their abilities and skills; and

Whereas there are not divisions between schools as in other sports, as all schools play together, no matter the size; and

Whereas the BRHS Badminton Team received the provincial badminton title;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the members of the badminton team including Jesse States, Ben Stewart, Sam Stewart, Craig Stewart, Lea Campbell, Erin Hannam, Jenna Gaul, Emma Chipman and Coach Mike Stewart, and wish them all luck with the sport and their future plans.

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RESOLUTION NO. 4131

By: Mr. Frank Chipman (Annapolis)

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

Whereas on July 13th, Senior 4-H-ers from local 4-H groups will be offered a chance of a lifetime; and

Whereas these lucky students will be participating in an exchange program with 4-H members in Milk River, Alberta; and

Whereas 4-H members of Milk River will be coming to Nova Scotia from July 30th to August 9th;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House acknowledge the accomplishments of the Senior 4-H members including Stephanie Burnie, Katy Elliott, Matt Medicraft, Tanya McLaughlin, Michael Baltzer, Sara Weidhaas, Nicole MacHattie, Misty Trails, Emily Weidhaas, Jen MacHattie and leader/chaperone Wenda McLaughlin, and wish them the best of luck in this exchange.

RESOLUTION NO. 4132

By: Mrs. Muriel Baillie (Pictou West)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has the highest smoking rate in Canada and tobacco use remains Nova Scotia's number one cause of preventable illness and death; and

Whereas reducing the use of tobacco and exposure to second-hand smoke are key areas for Cancer Care Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Cancer Society which, through the Action in Your Community Against Tobacco (ACT) initiative are helping communities reduce the harmful effects of tobacco; and

Whereas students from Pictou West District High School and Pictou Academy recently made use of the ACT tool kit to explore ways to reduce tobacco use at their schools and to encourage students to be smoke-free for the rest of their lives;

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Therefore be it resolved that members of this House acknowledge the importance of the ACT initiative which is an important part of the community development component of the Provincial Tobacco Control Strategy.

RESOLUTION NO. 4133

By: Mrs. Muriel Baillie (Pictou West)

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

Whereas the 14th Annual Dartmouth Book Awards, held last week during the Atlantic Book Week Festival at Alderney Landing as part of the larger Atlantic Writing Awards, celebrates the best works of fiction and non-fiction that have a Nova Scotian flavour; and

Whereas nominated for three prizes, Linda Little of River John, Nova Scotia, was awarded the Cunard First Book Prize for Strong Hollow, a story of poverty and self-discovery, Little's first published work; and

Whereas Little's short fiction has appeared in literary journals with a chapter from Strong Hollow chosen from the 1999 Journey Prize Anthology, and Strong Hollow has been nominated for the Amazon/Books in Canada 2001 First Novel Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Linda Little and all those who won Atlantic Writing Awards last week, and thank the organizers for honouring writers from the four Atlantic Provinces and for increasing public appreciation of literature.

RESOLUTION NO. 4134

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 role Canadian soldiers played in the liberation of Holland from the Nazi regime was monumental and the Dutch people, young and old, have never forgotten; and

Whereas the Dutch Medal of Remembrance was created by the Kingdom of the Netherlands to formally recognize Canadian soldiers and, in a gesture of generosity, the Dutch Ambassador, His Excellency Jacques van Hellenburg Hubar, has brought these medals to veterans or their spouses living in the Maritimes; and

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Whereas with the help of the coordinating efforts of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Nova Scotia campaign has included a ceremony in Truro where medals were presented to veterans and their survivors by Consul General Fred deBruin;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House sincerely thank the Dutch people for their remembrance of our Canadian soldiers and acknowledge the members of the Royal Canadian Legion who have made sure our veterans received their due recognition.

RESOLUTION NO. 4135

By: Mr. Frank Chipman (Annapolis)

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

Whereas the 14th Annual Dartmouth Book Awards, held last week during the Atlantic Book Week Festival at Alderney Landing as part of the larger Atlantic Writing Awards, celebrates the best works of fiction and non-fiction that have a Nova Scotian flavour; and

Whereas Kent Thompson won the 24th Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-fiction for Getting Out of Town by Book and Bike, a collection of personal essays on cycling as well as a memoir of growing up in the Maritimes; and

Whereas a widely published former editor of The Fiddlehead, Kent Thompson lives in Annapolis Royal and rides his bike everywhere he goes;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Kent Thompson and all those who won Atlantic Writing Awards last week and thank the organizers for honouring writers from the four Atlantic Provinces and for increasing public appreciation of literature.

RESOLUTION NO. 4136

By: Mr. Mark Parent (Kings North)

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

Whereas Holly Schofield, a Grade 12 student at Northeast Kings Education Centre, is a talented and accomplished young musician who is looking forward to pursuing her musical education on scholarship this fall at Acadia University; and

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Whereas Holly, a flutist, also plays saxophone and has recently begun to play piccolo and has an amazing record of success in musical competition; and

Whereas the Provincial Representative for Woodwind at the upcoming Provincial Musical Festival, Holly has also shared her musical gift at community events, at Bethany Baptist Church and at benefits for many causes;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in wishing Holly Schofield happiness and success and encourage her to continue to share her talent and appreciation for music.

RESOLUTION NO. 4137

By: Mr. Mark Parent (Kings North)

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

Whereas in the 38-year history of the Kentville Kinsmen/Kinette/Kin Club only four members have been recognized with the club's highest honour, Life Member; and

Whereas this year, Ken Eastman will be the fifth Kentville club member to receive the honour of Life Member; and

Whereas Ken is held in high esteem for dedicated service to his association over his 12-year membership where he has undertaken several major offices and always been ready to volunteer for every occasion;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House commend Ken Eastman for his valuable service to the Kentville Kinsmen/Kinette/Kin Club and congratulate him on receiving such an honour from his fellow club members.

RESOLUTION NO. 4138

By: Hon. Angus MacIsaac (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

Whereas the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia held their annual banquet and awards ceremony this month recognizing several nurses for their extraordinary contributions to the nursing profession; and

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Whereas the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia Honorary Life Memberships are granted to those leaving their professional careers who have rendered distinguished service or valuable assistance to the nursing profession; and

Whereas Josie England, retired from St. Martha's Regional Hospital after a distinguished 38-year career in nursing, served as nurse manager and coordinator of occupational health and safety as well as secretary and president of the Occupational Health Nurses Association of Nova Scotia, held local executive positions within the Registered Nurses Association of Nova Scotia for a total of 11 years, and is described as a true mentor for nurses through her leadership and teamwork of her peers, staff and students;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House thank Josie England, honorary life member of the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia, for her steadfast dedication and compassion throughout her career.

RESOLUTION NO. 4139

By: Hon. Angus MacIsaac (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

Whereas the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia held their annual banquet and awards ceremony this month recognizing several nurses for their extraordinary contributions to the nursing profession; and

Whereas the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia Excellence in Nursing Practice Awards were established in 1991 to recognize registered nurses who have made outstanding contributions in one or more disciplines of the nursing profession, including administration, community development, counselling, education, practice and research; and

Whereas Ellen MacFarlane, a professor at St. F.X. University in Antigonish, was one of six nurses who recently received the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia Excellence in Nursing Practice Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House thank Ellen MacFarlane for her dedication to excellence within the nursing profession.

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RESOLUTION NO. 4140

By: Mr. John Chataway (Chester-St. Margaret's)

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

Whereas the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia held their annual banquet and awards ceremony this month recognizing several nurses for their extraordinary contributions to the nursing profession; and

Whereas the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia Excellence in Nursing Practice Awards were established in 1991 to recognize registered nurses who have made outstanding contributions in one or more disciplines of the nursing profession, including administration, community development, counselling, education, practice and research; and

Whereas Janet Hall, a supervisor at Shoreham Village in Hubbards, was one of six nurses who recently received the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia Excellence in Nursing Practice Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House thank Janet Hall for her dedication to excellence within the nursing profession.