Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 01/02-118

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

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2002

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Justice - Electoral Boundaries: Nine Mine River to Shad Bay -
Changes Oppose, Mr. W. Estabrooks 10937
Justice - Electoral Boundaries: Lun. Co. Communities -
Changes Oppose, Mr. D. Downe 10937
Sports - St. Margarets Centre: Expansion - Proposed,
Mr. W. Estabrooks ~^^10938
Transport. & Pub. Wks.: Route 333 - Upgrade, Mr. W. Estabrooks 10938
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Ten Nova Scotians to be awarded the First Order of Nova Scotia,
The Premier 10939
Standing Committee of the House of Assembly for the
58th General Assembly, Hon. R. Russell 10939
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Agric. & Fish. - National 4-H Conference: Attendees -
Announce, Hon. E. Fage 10939
Nat. Res. - McNabs/Lawlor Islands: Provincial Park - Designation,
Hon. T. Olive 10942
Nat. Res.: 2002 Woodlot Owner of the Year - Awards, Hon. T. Olive 10943
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4377, Order N.S.: Recipients - Congrats., The Premier 10945
Vote - Affirmative 10945
Res. 4378, Tourism & Culture: "Group of Seven in Western Canada"
Exhibition - Welcome, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 10946
Vote - Affirmative 10946
Res. 4379, Montreal, HMCS - Crew: Operation Apollo - Service Thank,
The Premier 10947
Vote - Affirmative 10947
Res. 4380, MacQuarrie, Carla: Young Entrepreneur Award (2002) -
Congrats., Hon. E. Fage 10947
Vote - Affirmative 10948
Res. 4381, McInnes, Donald - Atl. Agricultural Hall of Fame:
Induction - Congrats., Hon. E. Fage 10948
Vote - Affirmative 10949
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 145, Homes for Special Care Act, Mr. D. Dexter 10949
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4382, Health - Long-Term Care: Min. Comments - Repudiate,
Mr. D. Dexter 10949
Res. 4383, Can. Assoc. of Veterans in UN Peacekeeping:
Sydney Chapter - Congrats., Mr. Manning MacDonald 10950
Vote - Affirmative 10951
Res. 4384, Sea Breeze Rebekah Lodge (Clark's Hbr.):
Birthday (100th) - Congrats., Mr. C. O'Donnell 10951
Vote - Affirmative 10951
Res. 4385, Ombudsman - Selection: All-Party Process - Ensure,
Mr. J. Holm 10952
Res. 4386, 4-H Prog.: Anniv. (80th) - Congrats., Mr. D. Downe 10952
Vote - Affirmative 10953
Res. 4387, Henderson, Terry - Sports Hall of Fame (N.S.):
Induction - Congrats., Mr. B. Taylor 10953
Vote - Affirmative 10954
Res. 4388, Health - Long-Term Care - System: Unfairness - Admit,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 10954
Res. 4389, Ballard Fdn. - Salvation Army: Donation - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Gaudet 10955
Vote - Affirmative 10955
Res. 4390, E. Pictou Rural HS - Smart Ask TV Prog.: Participation -
Congrats., Mr. J. DeWolfe 10955
Vote - Affirmative 10956
Res. 4391, Hfx. Reg. Dev. Agency: Eastern Matters Forum - Congrats.,
Mr. J. MacDonell 10956
Vote - Affirmative 10957
Res. 4392, Simpson, Judy: Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal - Congrats.,
Dr. J. Smith 10957
Vote - Affirmative 10958
Res. 4393, ANSMA Awards: Winners/Participants - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Hendsbee 10958
Vote - Affirmative 10959
Res. 4394, C.B. Nova MLA: C.B. Post Letter - Thank, Mr. J. Pye 10959
Res. 4395, Peterson, Joan: Nat'l. 4-H Conference - Attendance,
Mr. K. MacAskill 10960
Vote - Affirmative 10960
Res. 4396, Nat. Res. - Prov. Parks: Protection - Regulate,
Mr. H. Epstein 10960
Res. 4397, Hammites: Voters (N.S.) - Chastise, Mr. P. MacEwan 10961
Res. 4398, Gerrits, Greg & Suzanne - Corn Maze: Success - Commend,
Mr. M. Parent 10962
Vote - Affirmative 10962
Res. 4399, Swissair Memorial - Gov't. Employees:
Walkway Improvements - Thank, Mr. W. Estabrooks 10962
Vote - Affirmative 10963
Res. 4400, Environ. & Lbr./Health - Sydney River Residents:
Health Risk - Mins. Explain, Mr. R. MacKinnon 10963
Res. 4401, MacIsaac, Hughie & Roseanne: Truro Vols. of the Wk. -
Congrats., Hon. J. Muir 10964
Vote - Affirmative 10964
Res. 4402, Tourism & Culture - Arts & Culture Partnership:
Review Process - Maintain, Mr. Robert Chisholm 10965
Res. 4403, MacKeigan, Larry/Tri-Mac Toyota: Strait Area
Chamber of Commerce Award - Congrats., Mr. M. Samson 10965
Vote - Affirmative 10966
Res. 4404, Layton's Lumber: Anniv. (100th) - Congrats.,
(by Hon. Rodney MacDonald), Hon. C. Clarke 10966
Vote - Affirmative 10967
Res. 4405, Shearwater Aviation Museum - First Nations Military Exhibit:
Supporters - Congrats., Mr. K. Deveaux 10967
Vote - Affirmative 10968
Res. 4406, Waycobah Citizens - Democracy: Commitment - Congrats.,
Mr. B. Boudreau 10968
Vote - Affirmative 10968
Res. 4407, Fairview Legion: Anniv. (50th) - Congrats., Mr. G. Steele 10969
Vote - Affirmative 10969
Res. 4408, Sydney Casino: Charity Money - Reinstate, Mr. W. Gaudet 10969
Res. 4409, Henderson, Heather - NSNU Pres.: Service - Thank,
Mr. D. Dexter 10970
Vote - Affirmative 10971
Res. 4410, Gandy, Bruce - Highland Soc. of London: Gold Medal -
Congrats., Dr. J. Smith 10971
Vote - Affirmative 10971
Res. 4411, ANSMA/Matwawana, Ed - Event: Success - Congrats.,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 10972
Vote - Affirmative 10972
Res. 4412, Highland Village Museum - Scottish Settlement (C.B.):
Anniv. (200th) - Congrats., Mr. K. MacAskill 10972
Vote - Affirmative 10973
Res. 4413, Agric. & Fish. - Pork Producers (N.S.): Aid Refusal -^
Reconsider, Mr. J. MacDonell 10973
Res. 4414, Sydney Port Corp.: Marketing Efforts - Congrats.,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 10974
Vote - Affirmative 10975
Res. 4415, Cashin, Robert & Mae: Wedding Anniv. (60th) - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Deveaux 10975
Vote - Affirmative 10975
Res. 4416, Transport. & Pub. Wks.: Reids Brook Bridge (C.B.) -
Replace, Mr. R. MacKinnon 10976
Res. 4417, Sports - St. Margarets Ctr.: Funding - Commit,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 10976
Res. 4418, EDS: Strait Area Chamber of Commerce Award - Congrats.,
Mr. M. Samson 10977
Vote - Affirmative 10977
Res. 4419, Eskasoni Commun. Market - Const.: Band Members -
Congrats., Mr. B. Boudreau 10977
Vote - Affirmative 10978
Res. 4420, Penny, Emily: First Choice Air 2000 Scholarship -
Congrats., Mr. D. Downe 10978
Vote - Affirmative 10979
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 142, House of Assembly Act/Elections Act 10979
Hon. R. Russell 10979
Mr. D. Dexter 10981
Mr. D. Downe 10985
Mr. H. Epstein 11001
Adjourned debate 11007
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Nov. 5th at 2:00 p.m. 11007
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 4421, Rowley, Gillian/Yarmouth South Centennial Sch.:
Breakfast Prog. - Congrats., Mr. R. Hurlburt 11008
Res. 4422, Health - Long-Term Care System: Min. - Create,
Mr. J. Holm 11008
Res. 4423, Ross, Raymond - Walton Wharf: Strategy Dev. - Congrats.,
Hon. R. Russell 11009
Res. 4424, Gibson, Bill & Elizabeth - Windsor Tennis Club: Success -
Congrats., Hon. R. Russell 11009
Res. 4425, Reynolds, Ryan/Knowles, Jayne - 2003 Can. Winter Games:
Team Selection - Congrats., Hon. R. Russell 11010
Res. 4426, Wells, Davey: ANSMA Award (Posthumous)-
Congrats., Mr. D. Hendsbee 11010
Res. 4427, Hamilton, Dr. Sylvia: ANSMA Award - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Hendsbee 11011
Res. 4428, M2R Entertainment: ANSMA Award - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Hendsbee 11011
Res. 4429, Sparks, Jamie: ANSMA Award - Congrats., Mr. D. Hendsbee 11012
Res. 4430, Papa Grand: ANSMA Award - Congrats., Mr. D. Hendsbee 11012
Res. 4431, Hallelujah Praise Choir: ANSMA Award - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Hendsbee 11013
Res. 4432, Colley, Shane: ANSMA Award - Congrats., Mr. D. Hendsbee 11014
Res. 4433, Carvery, Linda: ANSMA Award - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Hendsbee^ 11014
Res. 4434, Millar, Harvey: ANSMA Award - Congrats., Mr. D. Hendsbee 11015
Res. 4435, Wild Blueberry & Maple Ctr. (Oxford, N.S.): Anniv. (4th) -
Congrats., The Speaker 11015
Res. 4436, Choisnet, Alisha: Can. Millenium Scholarship - Congrats.,
The Speaker 11016
Res. 4437, Handley Page Air Cadet Squadron (689): Dedication -
Congrats., The Speaker 11016
Res. 4438, MacDonald, Lorraine: Excellence in Teaching Award -
Congrats., The Speaker 11017
Res. 4439, Burbine, Marion: Excellence in Teaching Award - Congrats.,
The Speaker 11017
Res. 4440, Surette Battery: N.S. Business Inc. Award - Congrats.,
The Speaker 11018
Res. 4441, Patriquin, Barry - Paralympics/Music Career: Achievements -
Congrats., The Speaker 11018
Res. 4442, Mason, Michael - Baseball Season: Success - Congrats.,
The Speaker 11019
Res. 4443, Scallion, Kate - Mountain Biking: Accomplishments -
Congrats., The Speaker 11019
Res. 4444, NSCC - Cumberland Campus: Fundraising - Congrats.,
The Speaker 11020

[Page 10937]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2002

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Second Session

7:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the residents who live from the Nine Mine River in Shad Bay to and including the community of West Dover, "We are opposed to the electoral boundary decision to include our area in the Chester-St. Margarets provincial constituency." There are 162 signatures on this petition and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition of some 198 signatures, which brings the grand total so far since last week of over 323, and more coming. The operative clause is:

10937

[Page 10938]

"We the undersigned support the residents of the communities of Italy Cross, Middlewood, Crousetown, Petite Riviere, Broad Cove, Cherry Hill and Voglers Cove who oppose the proposed boundary changes in the final report of the Nova Scotia Electoral Boundaries Commission Report dated August 2002 and request they go back to the original boundaries set forth by the Nova Scotia Legislature Assembly (1992) . . ."

I might point out these are all from the areas that are affected, being at least a minimum of one-third of the people who are being affected are opposing at this point and more to come. I have affixed my signature last week as well as this week to these petitions.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition for the proposed recreational facility expansion of the St. Margarets Centre, posed with the questions: Why do we not have proper recreational facilities to accommodate the population in our area? Why are we not on the priority list for provincial funding? Where is our tax money being allocated? There are 308 signatures on this petition and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West on an introduction.

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to introduce to you, and through you to all members of the House, two very distinguished Cape Bretoners - if I may be so bold to say - Pat and Paula Lynch in the west gallery. They are here to view the proceedings and also to watch their daughter Brianne who is on her first day on the job, and they are very proud of Brianne. (Applause)

I know, Mr. Speaker, if she is anything like her mom and dad, she will bring warmth and a degree of professionalism to this very hallowed environment. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. For the mom and dad, she has already brought great honour to this Chamber with just her presence.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to introduce a petition signed by 151 tourists from such destinations as: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Houston, Texas; New Mexico; Philadelphia, P.A. - 151 signatures saying, "We, as tourists, bring a lot of money into your province and we feel that Nova Scotia will be the big loser if the roads stay

[Page 10939]

as they are," especially the Peggy's Cove Road, Route 333. There are 151 signatures and I have affixed my signature to this petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

HON. JOHN HAMM (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a document entitled Ten Nova Scotians to be awarded the First Order of Nova Scotia. This will enable the record of the House to show the names of those who had received the Order of Nova Scotia recently here. So I table this document.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled. (Applause)

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the Standing Committee of the House of Assembly for the 58th General Assembly.

MR. SPEAKER: The document is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pride to stand here tonight and share with you and the members of this House some encouraging news about a group of young Nova Scotians who are active in discussing the issues that face the future of agriculture in this country. Today the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries announced that 11 of the top 4-H members and leaders from Nova Scotia will represent Nova Scotia in Toronto at a national conference during National 4-H Week. Hosted by the Canadian 4-H Council, the conference allows 4-H participants from across North America and parts of the United Kingdom an opportunity to attend educational sessions and learn new skills they can bring back to their homes, their states and their provinces. The Province of Nova Scotia is pleased to invest in the future of agriculture by sponsoring these young people.

I would like to congratulate the individuals who will be attending the National 4-H Member Conference. First, Christy Dagley of Lunenburg County; second, Chris Vidito of Annapolis County; Martha West of Kings County; Ashley Sharpe of Pictou County; Megan

[Page 10940]

Rankin and Kyle Beaton, both from Inverness County. They will join more than 60 other young people from November 6th to November 10th under the very appropriate theme of "Agriculture. . . Focus on the Future." A strong 4-H program depends on informed and enthusiastic leaders. This is why it is important to also support the learning activities of our leaders who volunteer their time and their talent to the young 4-H'ers.

While the 4-H members are meeting, four Nova Scotians will be attending the National 4-H Volunteer Leaders' Conference. The theme of this conference is "Building the 4-H Team" and it aims to strengthen their leadership skills and provide opportunities for an exchange of ideas. Those who will be representing Nova Scotia, among the 40 leaders, will be Murray Workman of Antigonish County, Allister Palmeter, of Kings County, Joan Peterson of Victoria County, and Chella Henderson of Colchester County.

Mr. Speaker, the future of agriculture is dependent on the interests and skills of today's youth. It is clear that 4-H conferences, like these annual meetings, will help to develop the next generation by allowing young people to discuss the issues surrounding agriculture. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister for his good news announcement. I would have liked to have had some indication prior to getting here this evening. I want to say that the 4-H program is a program that has great value for young people in this province. I was probably some years in learning the value of it, because as a young person I didn't participate. I've come to learn a lot in two ways. One is, as a teacher, you could easily pick out those students in the class who had been through the 4-H program. The skills they are able to pick up through that program can serve them well for almost anything they decide to do, but the ability to stand in front of a crowd, to speak, to put on demonstrations, to have them properly coordinated and presented are values that any of us could use, and certainly members in this House could use some of those skills.

Also, I want to say that my children are involved in the 4-H program. I've seen it as a valuable asset for them. Certainly whether or not they become involved in agriculture I think they can take those skills with them. I think Nova Scotia is very lucky to have some young people of the quality that the minister has mentioned to participate in this program. We can only wish them well.

I want to say to the minister that I've heard the quote supposedly by some farmer saying that I don't have a child I hate bad enough to leave the farm to. I think that when we support programs like the 4-H program, that cannot end there. Our support for the agricultural sector cannot just end with good news announcements about 4-H, things that are kind of warm and cuddly. I think that the agricultural sector is an important sector to the economy of Nova Scotia. I think it's incumbent on the government to invest in agriculture,

[Page 10941]

to invest in rural Nova Scotia. I think it's incumbent upon them to show these young people, if we really believe that programs like the 4-H program have some meaning in our communities and the people we develop through that program have some qualities that we want to see shared and promoted in our communities, then let's not drop the ball by not putting support into those communities, so that those people actually have some avenues to pursue agriculture.

I think that is something I would like the government to pay more attention to and I know the minister in his role is aware of many issues in the industry and the crisis in the pork industry right now is one. I would like to see an endorsement not only of 4-H programs, but of those individuals who are developing, and we hope would enter into the agricultural sector.

[7:15 a.m.]

I congratulate the minister for his good news announcement and I congratulate those individuals involved in the 4-H program, the young people and their leaders. This for them is usually a voluntary effort and so it can only be a positive effect, I think, for Nova Scotians and our caucus would be supportive of any initiative that the minister wants to put forward to help 4-H-ers. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

MR. DONALD DOWNE: I want to congratulate the minister for affording our caucus and our staff the announcement prior to the House opening. It's probably a good reflection of our capable, competent staff in making sure that I had some notes and the ability to respond to the minister's comments.

I want to start off by saying, as a past president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, I have had the pleasure of working with 4-H for many, many years and being involved in the farm community for almost 30 years, I can attest to the tremendous leadership and work that goes on in 4-H. I'm happy to hear the minister give this statement today because it was not that long ago that that caucus was seriously considering eliminating the 4-H program as a budgetary cut in the Province of Nova Scotia. Let it be very well known that they made the right decision in supporting 4-H in the Province of Nova Scotia and I applaud them for that.

Secondly, the issue of 4-H crosses over the boundaries of urban/rural. One of the beauties of the 4-H program is that they in turn have been able to bridge farming community to rural community to somewhat urban communities, working together. The motto of the 4-H is so important to us all, how to learn by doing. The fact that the 4-H movement in the Province of Nova Scotia has built leaders, not only in rural Nova Scotia, but leaders throughout the Province of Nova Scotia and throughout the country.

[Page 10942]

I want to also point out that the members that are being supported by the leaders in the Province of Nova Scotia, the leaders deserve recognition. We have a lot of great leaders that were mentioned today - Murray Workman, Allister Palmeter, Joan Peterson and Chella Henderson, but there are many leaders in the Province of Nova Scotia who have given of their time freely for many, many years. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the longest reigning 4-H leader in Canada, for 63 years, is Russell MacKinnon, the member for Cape Breton West's mother. That's the kind of example of leadership that we've seen throughout the Province of Nova Scotia by volunteers. I wanted to have that read into the record.

I also want to compliment the Department of Agriculture and Marketing on the selection of the candidates - I know some of their parents throughout the province - all very competent, capable people that undoubtedly will represent the Province of Nova Scotia with dignity, with determination and with a great deal of excellence. For that, as a member of the Liberal caucus, I congratulate the minister. More importantly, I congratulate the members who are going to the 4-H national competition and say that this is a good announcement, minister. We, as a Liberal caucus, support the 4-H movement and especially the individuals who will be representing the Province of Nova Scotia. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. TIMOTHY OLIVE: It gives me great pleasure to share with you and my colleagues here in the House today the announcement of the official designation of McNabs and Lawlor Islands as Nova Scotia's newest provincial park. (Applause)

Because this province has the lowest percentage of Crown land in the country - approximately only 25 per cent - the wise use and stewardship of this land is very much a priority for this government. I'm sure you will agree that properties such as McNabs and Lawlor Islands are significant acquisitions that will add significantly to our Crown land estate and our park system.

McNabs Island comprises over 400 hectares of land and 22 kilometres of coastline in the mouth of Halifax Harbour. Nearby Lawlor Island comprises 58 hectares. Combined, these two islands contain significant natural and cultural heritage values and provide tremendous recreational opportunities, all of which are situated in the heart of Nova Scotia's largest metropolitan area. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I will be responding on behalf of my caucus since the parks that were dedicated today are in my riding. I was at the dedication today with the Premier and the Minister of Natural Resources. It was a beautiful day and it was a good ceremony. It's something that our community has been long awaiting and it's a good thing for the community. Those islands are part of the community of Eastern Passage, and I think

[Page 10943]

it's important that as we move forward with the development of a management plan, as we move forward with the development of the islands and the protection ecologically and the promotion of recreational services, that we continue to ensure that the islands reflect the fact they're part of the community of Eastern Passage and the benefits that are drawn from those islands also have an opportunity for the people of Eastern Passage to benefit from them and I look forward to working with the Department of Natural Resources in that way. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria.

MR. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I too want to congratulate the minister and I also want to thank him for sending a copy to our caucus prior to the sitting of the House today. I have to admit as far as ministerial statements go, this is probably one of the shortest ones I have seen in my time here. So I can't accuse the minister of wasting the time of the House, while this is a good announcement. I know we will all agree that this is good news for our parks system in Nova Scotia. I think that Lawlor and MacNabs Islands are fine candidates for all Nova Scotians. It is a real treasure for residents of the Halifax Regional Municipality and, of course, all of Nova Scotia.

Having said that, however, Mr. Speaker, I believe that we are getting to a point where we are designating parks and creating a parks system that we can't afford. I know there are parks in our area that are going without the proper maintenance because the government says they don't have the money to maintain them. By adding to the parks system, more funding will be needed for maintenance. So far, this government has not demonstrated a willingness to adequately maintain the current parks that we have. So I hope that's not another park that we're designating and then leaving to go without the proper maintenance.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. TIMOTHY OLIVE: Mr. Speaker, I rise and it gives me great pleasure today to share with you and my colleagues here in the House my congratulations to three Nova Scotians who represent leaders in sustainable forest management. The 2002 Woodlot Owner of the Year award was presented to Mr. Les Corkum at a public field tour held on his woodlot located on Highway No. 14 near Chester on October 5th. Earle Tanner of Hardwoodlands, Hants County and Robert Glaze of Orangedale, Inverness County also received recognition for their efforts in the eastern and central areas of the province.

Mr. Speaker, this is the 13th year for this award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in woodlot management. Woodlot owners are evaluated on their effort and commitment to setting and meeting sustainable goals for their land; improving their knowledge or understanding of the forest land or the forest in general; improving the condition, access and health of their woodland; integrated resource management with an emphasis on wood production; and considering values such as wildlife habitat protection and recreation. Thank you. (Applause)

[Page 10944]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister for the copy of his announcement just moments before he made his first one and since he was able to do that and the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries wasn't, I will consider this an olive branch. I want to say, first of all, that two of the individuals that he has recognized here in this announcement, I was actually able to speak to on Saturday evening at a totally unrelated function to Natural Resources, the 40th Anniversary of a fire brigade in Shubenacadie. I want to say that of these individuals, I share with the minister in his congratulations. I think the efforts put forward by these individuals merit that we recognize what they've done.

I met Les Corkum about 20 years ago at a Christmas tree growers seminar. I'm not sure how much individuals would know, certainly those from Lunenburg would be aware, but this is an individual, among many of the things that he does, who can graft softwood trees. I would have to say that for someone who can't even graft an apple tree, I was quite amazed that someone could do this with the softwood species.

Earle Tanner, an individual who has received this award for the second time in 11 years, I think shows his commitment to forest management. Mr. Tanner was my employer 20-plus years ago, a much younger individual I was, I must say.

I want to say that I'm unfamiliar with Mr. Robert Glaze, but I will certainly agree with the minister's department, that they would be aware of Mr. Glaze's efforts. I commend the minister and their recognition. These are individuals who take what they do very seriously and have a real love of their woodlots. I want to tell him that certainly their practice is not to clear-cut their wood stands. So maybe there's a message there for the minister when it comes to management of Crown lands and forest policy in this province. I thank the minister on behalf of our caucus, and I congratulate those recipients.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria.

MR. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, again, I want to thank the minister for sending over the copy, and I do want to congratulate him on making this public. Thirteen years of selecting a woodlot owner of the year is quite beneficial to the woodlot owner and, I think, to many Nova Scotians. I recall probably 12 years ago or 11 years ago, I attended one of those woodlot public field tours in Iona. If I remember correctly, the woodlot owner was a chap by the name of Malcolm MacNeil. It was a beautiful day in October, and there was a huge turnout for that tour. It was a great demonstration to many of us there who didn't know exactly the value of our forests and were not able to realize the importance of thinning, selecting trees to thin, and the other things involved with proper forest management and procedures.

[Page 10945]

This is a good program, Mr. Speaker, and I do hope that the minister in the short time he will be in government, and the rest of them, will continue to encourage this type of thing because this is a great program. There are many woodlot owners and individuals who benefit from such things as the woodlot owner of the year. I want to congratulate Mr. Les Corkum, Robert Glaze and Earle Tanner for their efforts and for being recognized as good managers of our forests. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 4377

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

Whereas on October 2, 2002, there occurred the inaugural ceremony for the Order of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas 10 Nova Scotians received this honour, as they had made the pursuit of excellence their life's work; and

Whereas the recipients' work and names have been given a place in Nova Scotia's history so that the high standards they have set for themselves will be emulated by others in the future;

[7:30 p.m.]

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulates the inaugural recipients of the Order of Nova Scotia and commends them for their contributions to this province.

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 favor of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[Page 10946]

The honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture.

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I might be permitted to make an introduction. I would like to introduce in the east gallery a visitor from the Strait area, a councillor from Richmond County, a former warden who is well known in our area. I would ask Richie Cotton to stand up and accept the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4378

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

Whereas last Friday I had the pleasure of opening The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia's latest exhibition, The Group of Seven in Western Canada; and

Whereas this exhibition is a powerful collection of the beauty of the West as seen through the eyes of some of Canada's most recognized artists; and

Whereas The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia continues to play a leading role in bringing the riches of nationally acclaimed art collections to Nova Scotia for everyone to enjoy;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House join me in welcoming The Group of Seven in Western Canada, to Eastern Canada and I invite all members to view this remarkable exhibition.

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 Premier.

[Page 10947]

RESOLUTION NO. 4379

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

Whereas the HMCS Montreal, carrying 261 personnel, is serving in the Arabian Sea and Operation Apollo, and it is a reminder that our military personnel are still on the front lines in the fight against terrorism; and

Whereas it was the 11th Canadian ship sent to take part in the war on terrorism and the 7th ship that is based in Halifax; and

Whereas while in the Arabian Sea the Montreal will also serve as the base for Commodore Dan Murphy, who will be overseeing all of Canada's sailors in the region;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House wish the crew of the HMCS Montreal all the best as they serve overseas for Operation Apollo, and thank every member of its crew for their willingness to serve their country and wish them a safe return.

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 Agriculture and Fisheries.

RESOLUTION NO. 4380

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

Whereas Carla MacQuarrie, age 27, of West Chezzetcook, Nova Scotia, is operating Future Aqua Farms Limited, an innovative land-based aquaphonics business where the waste from aquaculture grown fish is used as an organic nutrient to grow hydroponic vegetables; and

[Page 10948]

Whereas for the past 15 years the Business Development Bank of Canada has honoured young Canadian entrepreneurs like Ms. MacQuarrie for transforming innovative concepts into viable, dynamic businesses; and

Whereas Ms. MacQuarrie and 12 other Canadians were recognized by business and government leaders when presented with their 2002 Young Entrepreneurs Award at the national launch of Small Business Week in Vancouver, British Columbia, on October 21st;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House applaud Carla MacQuarrie for being recognized nationally for her entrepreneurial spirit, innovative approach to business and commitment to developing an energy efficient and sustainable method for growing produce.

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 Agriculture and Fisheries.

RESOLUTION NO. 4381

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

Whereas the Agricultural Hall of Fame celebrates individuals from each of the four Atlantic Provinces nominated by their peers for outstanding contribution to the agricultural industry; and

Whereas on October 23rd, Donald McInnes of Pictou County was named as this year's Nova Scotia inductee into the Hall of Fame for his life work and involvement in the agricultural community as a 4-H member, a farmer, a civil servant and an industry leader, as well as a former member of this House; and

[Page 10949]

Whereas Donald served the interests of all Nova Scotians as an elected member to the Nova Scotia Legislature from 1978 to 1999, having been assigned various Cabinet posts, including the Department of Agriculture;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize the lifetime commitment Mr. McInnes has given to the agricultural industry and congratulate him for his most recent and well-deserved accolades of being inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall 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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 145 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 203 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Homes for Special Care Act, to Ensure the Fair Treatment of Residents of a Nursing Home or Home for the Aged or Disabled. (Mr. Darrell Dexter)

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered this bill be read a second time at a future date.

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4382

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

Whereas in his October 4th article on The Challenge of Paying for Nursing Home Care the Health Minister said: "We ask seniors to pay what they can. We are not ashamed to do so . . . The people who can pay for their own care do,"; and

[Page 10950]

Whereas the minister also wrote that "The province, through the Nova Scotian taxpayer, is also paying what it can."; and

Whereas the minister wrote further that admission to a nursing home is "the time when they need to make an investment in themselves.";

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the Premier to immediately spell out exactly how his government will repudiate the arguments made by his Health Minister and ensure that nursing home residents are no longer driven into poverty by his government.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 4383

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

Whereas on Saturday, November 1, 2002, members of the Sydney Chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping marked a proud day in their history when they received the colours flag; and

Whereas the Sydney chapter, one of 17 across the country, works with other chapters of the association across Canada to fight for the rights and recognition of peacekeepers who have served their country in the service of peace; and

Whereas more than 450 Cape Bretoners have served overseas as peacekeepers;

Therefore be it resolved this Legislature congratulate the members of the Sydney chapter, named after Major General Lewis MacKenzie, in raising their organization's profile in the community about the important role peacekeepers play.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 10951]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 4384

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

Whereas the Sea Breeze Rebekah Lodge #24 in Clark's Harbour, Shelburne, consisting of approximately 70 members, will celebrate its 100th birthday next Monday; and

Whereas the building, originally constructed in 1895 by the Oddfellows before they received their lodge charter in 1902, recently underwent renovations thanks to the generosity of the Town of Clark's Harbour; and

Whereas one member of the Sea Breeze Rebekah Lodge recently celebrated their 100th birthday, having first joined when she was only 19 years of age;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the members of Rebekah Lodge #24 in Clark's Harbour for the dedication to community services, their volunteer work for the World Eye Bank, the CNIB, and the IWK Children's Hospital, as they exist solely on funds raised in western Shelburne County.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 10952]

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 4385

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

Whereas the Ombudsman, who acts on behalf of citizens who are aggrieved by government, is an officer of the House, not a government employee; and

Whereas 1984 was the last time that an Ombudsman was chosen by the government of the day, rather than being chosen by an all-Party process; and

Whereas on Friday afternoon, November 1st, the Justice Minister announced his intention to have the Conservative Cabinet select the Ombudsman, a rollback to the worst days of Buchanan abuse;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the government to admit its mistake, respect the modern practice and ensure that the next Ombudsman is chosen by an all-Party process so that every Nova Scotian knows that the Ombudsman is truly independent of government.

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. 4386

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

Whereas this year, the Nova Scotia 4-H program is celebrating 80 years of educating rural youth and strengthening rural communities; and

[Page 10953]

Whereas since 1922, 4-H has been in the business of developing well-rounded, responsible citizens who will grow up to be leaders of tomorrow; and

Whereas 4-H allows young people the opportunity to learn varieties of skills and broaden their interests;

Therefore be it resolved that each member of the House of Assembly congratulate the Nova Scotia 4-H program on its 80 years of success in educating rural youth and strengthening rural communities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 4387

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

Whereas the words softball, Brookfield Elks and Terry Henderson are synonymous with another word - excellence; and

Whereas Terry Henderson of Brookfield was one of seven individuals inducted into Nova Scotia's Sport Hall of Fame during weekend ceremonies; and

Whereas besides his work in softball as a player, coach and executive on local provincial and national levels, Terry, after winning the Canadian Nationals, nearly coached the Elks to a world championship in California;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs in the House of Assembly recognize the tremendous capabilities of Terry Henderson and what he still means to the game of softball in this province while congratulating him on his induction in the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, where he so rightfully belongs.

[Page 10954]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 4388

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

Whereas thousands of Nova Scotians have signed the NDP petition on long-term care fees, showing their agreement that the present system is unfair; and

Whereas the NDP's call to have the government pay for the health care portion of nursing home fees has met with unprecedented support from the public and the media; and

Whereas six other provinces in Canada have found a way to pay for the health care portion of long-term care fees and Nova Scotia has the means to do the same;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier stand up in this House, admit that the province's long-term care system is unfair and tell Nova Scotians whether or not his government will pay for the health care of seniors in nursing homes.

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 Clare.

[Page 10955]

RESOLUTION NO. 4389

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

Whereas the Salvation Army is world renowned for the contributions they make both in times of crisis and the helping hand they are willing to lend individuals at times of need; and

Whereas the Ballard Foundation has generously donated a community response unit to the Maritime Salvation Army to assist with their good works; and

Whereas this community response unit will allow the Salvation Army to develop new programs and deliver hot meals to individuals in emergency situations;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature congratulate the Ballard Foundation for their generous gift and thank the Salvation Army for the never ending support for our communities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 4390

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

Whereas four students from East Pictou Rural High School will be going to Toronto in the next few weeks to participate in a National Challenge on CBC Television entitled Smart Ask; and

[Page 10956]

Whereas the team consisting of Gillian English, Emmy Cornish, Zach Fraser and Chris MacCulloch advanced to the national finals by defeating a team from Carlton North High School in Bristol, New Brunswick; and

[7:45 p.m.]

Whereas in preparation for their trip to the nationals, the four students are studying hard and holding regular practices with their coach, John Fraser, a teacher at East Pictou Rural High;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs extend our best wishes to Gillian, Emmy, Zach, Chris and their coach, John Fraser as they attempt to bring home a national championship to Pictou County and 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 member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 4391

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

Whereas on Saturday, November 2nd, the Halifax Regional Development Agency organized a forum entitled, Eastern Matters to discuss community economic development on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas some 65 participants, from Cole Harbour, Lawrencetown and the Prestons in the west to Moser River in the east, gathered in Ship Harbour to spend the day exploring how community-identified opportunities might be moved into action through partnership and collaboration; and

[Page 10957]

Whereas agency staff facilitated and supported the effort and have already followed up with the creation of an Internet-based discussion forum to further the discussion and generation of ideas for the community;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly applaud the leadership being demonstrated by the Halifax Regional Development Agency, the supportive work of its staff and the strong commitment of Eastern Matters participants to the future of their communities, and wish them every success in expanding economic opportunities on the Eastern Shore.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 4392

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

Whereas Judy Simpson, a palliative and supportive care coordinator with Cancer Care Nova Scotia, was awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal on October 6, 2002 at a ceremony in Montreal; and

Whereas palliative care requires a very special individual with a specific set of talents, as palliative care workers treat patient needs and provide comfort for those with terminal illnesses; and

Whereas Ms. Simpson has spent 27 years in the health care industry and is seen as a pioneer, teacher and as a champion of palliative care here in Nova Scotia;

[Page 10958]

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Ms. Judy Simpson for her achievements and recognize the incredible contribution that all palliative care workers make in their care and comfort to patients and families facing end-of-life issues that we all must face.

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. 4393

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

Whereas our province's finest Black musicians, performers and music industry promoters were honoured on Saturday, November 2nd at the 5th Annual African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards (ANSMA); and

Whereas the ANSMA awards are an important recognition of the artistic and cultural excellence of our region's musicians and performers, and serve as an exceptional showcase for local Black artists; and

Whereas the ANSMA awards included spectacular performances from the Hallelujah Praise Choir; rappers, Treamane Howe and Bonshah; R&B singer, Dammien Alexander; and country artist, Lonnie James; 18-year-old singer and performer, Shane Colley; and saxophonist extraordinaire , Adrian Gough; and jazz guitarist, Dr. Harvey Millar, who received three ANSMA awards last Saturday evening;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards for their promotion of over half a decade of our province's African Nova Scotia musical community, and offer all the 2002 ANSMA award winners and participants our congratulations and best wishes as they gain greater prominence in our music industry.

[Page 10959]

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. 4394

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

Whereas the member for Cape Breton Nova complained greatly in a letter to the Cape Breton Post that the NDP's long-term care campaign has achieved great success because the NDP bought billboards and slick brochures to sell it; and

Whereas that member claims the Third Party would have had the same success if they bought billboards and mail-out brochures because they have not only raised the concerns but also are putting forward the well thought-out remedies; and

Whereas the well thought-out remedies mentioned by the member for Cape Breton Nova are the Leader of the Third Party's endorsement of the NDP;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Cape Breton Nova be thanked for his letter to the Cape Breton Post on the NDP's long-term care campaign, which, after all the fuss and hyperbole, could be simply titled, NDP long-term care campaign: Liberals say, ditto.

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.

[Page 10960]

The honourable member for Victoria.

RESOLUTION NO. 4395

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

Whereas Joan Peterson of Baddeck, Victoria County, is 1of 11 4-H leaders from Nova Scotia attending the national conference in Toronto during National 4-H Week, November 6th to November 10th; and

Whereas 4-H leaders play a vital role in the Nova Scotia 4-H program; and

Whereas this conference helps to strengthen leadership skills and provides an opportunity for the exchange of ideas;

Therefore be it resolved that each member of the House of Assembly congratulate Joan Peterson of Baddeck, Victoria County on wanting to enhance her leadership skills and on providing such an important contribution to the community that she serves.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 4396

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

Whereas congratulations are due this government which today designated McNabs and Lawlor Islands as provincial parks for the use and benefit of all Nova Scotians; and

[Page 10961]

Whereas while the Premier and the Minister of Natural Resources take great credit for this park designation, events in other areas of the province question this government's commitment to protect our natural heritage; and

Whereas this government intends to allow the development of a quartz mine that borders within mere metres of the Tobeatic Reserve, despite warnings that mine waste will contaminate the pristine preserve;

Therefore be it resolved that this government not only designate provincial parks, but also regulate them adequately to protect the natural heritage they hold for all Nova Scotians.

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 Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 4397

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

Whereas the Hammite persuasion affects to be all for the veteran and also all for the volunteer firefighter and also all for those involved in ground search and rescue; and

Whereas the Hammite persuasion has not scrapped the free license plates for volunteer firefighters and ground search and rescue workers contained in the Liberal budget of 1999; and

Whereas the Hammite persuasion has now seized on the idea of recognizing the veterans with licence plates, but plans, unlike for the firefighters and ground search and rescue crews, to charge the veterans $100 per plate;

Therefore be it resolved that here again, Nova Scotian voters will not be impressed by the vote-seeking of the Hammite persuasion and will chastise them for giving free licence plates to the firefighters and ground search and rescue crews, while charging the veterans a discriminatory $100 bill. I rest my case.

[Page 10962]

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 4398

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

Whereas for the second summer, Greg and Suzanne Gerrits of Eldridge Farm Limited turned three hectares of their farm into an elaborate corn maze; and

Whereas the maze, depicting an eagle flying across the face of the sun, stood almost two and half metres in height and took precise GPS mapping and an all-terrain vehicle to construct; and

Whereas last year the maze attracted almost 5,000 people, enabling the Gerrits to donate $2,000 of their admission fees to the IWK Health Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Greg and Suzanne Gerrits on the huge success of their corn maze and commend them for the sizable donation they offered to support the work of the IWK Health Centre.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 4399

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

[Page 10963]

Whereas the Swissair Memorial at The Whalesback in Indian Harbour continues to attract visitors year-round; and

Whereas this memorial is a lasting testimony to those who lost their lives on that September night and to those nearby communities that reached out to assist in the aftermath of that terrible disaster; and

Whereas the Swissair Memorial Fund was established to maintain the site in perpetuity;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly thank the government employees who responded to a recent request for needed improvements to the walkway leading to the Swissair Memorial in Indian Harbour.

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 West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4400

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

Whereas a breakdown in Sydney River's central sewer service is generally acknowledged as the cause of fecal contamination in a section of Sydney River's groundwater supply; and

Whereas this problem has been known to municipal and provincial government agencies for several weeks without notifying residents of this community; and

Whereas water is vital to all Nova Scotians and should be considered a priority by this government and all governments;

[Page 10964]

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Environment and Labour and the Minister of Health explain why the health and well-being of the residents in Sydney River were unnecessarily put at risk.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 4401

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

Whereas Hughie and Roseanne MacIsaac were recently honoured as the Truro area Volunteer of the Week; and

Whereas Hughie and Roseanne MacIsaac have been volunteering their time and talent to benefit others for 30 years; and

Whereas some of the activities in which they are involved are Kane's Kitchen, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Christian Counselling Ministries, the Kidney and Heart Foundations and the Arthritis and Diabetes societies;

Therefore be it resolved that all members thank Hughie and Roseanne MacIsaac for their outstanding community services and congratulate them for being named the Truro area Volunteer of the Week.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

[Page 10965]

RESOLUTION NO. 4402

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

Whereas this government, after repeatedly reducing the budget administered by the Nova Scotia Arts Council, cynically axed the council after making it what the Minister of Tourism viewed as too expensive a tool to administer its meagre funding; and

Whereas the axing of the Arts Council also called into question whether this government would honour the peer assessment panel review process that ensured the council operated at arm's-length from government; and

Whereas tomorrow the minister will release the recommendations of the Culture Sector Team on a new Arts and Culture Partnership Council for Nova Scotia, a recommendation of which is sure to include maintaining an arm's-length relationship between government and funding decisions by the council;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Tourism and Culture assure the House that the arm's length peer assessment panel review process established with the former Arts Council is maintained in the Arts and Culture Partnership Council.

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 Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 4403

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

Whereas on October 22, 2002, the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards dinner; and

[Page 10966]

Whereas Larry MacKeigan of Tri-Mac Toyota is this year's recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Business Award; and

Whereas Mr. MacKeigan has been honoured for providing quality service to the community of Port Hawkesbury and the Strait area for the last 15 years;

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature congratulate Larry MacKeigan of Tri-Mac Toyota on receiving this honour and wish he and all his employees many years of continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture.

RESOLUTION NO. 4404

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD: On behalf of the honourable member for Cape Breton North, Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Layton's Lumber is one of the few remaining original family owned, family operated building supply operations in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas established in 1902 in both Sydney Mines and North Sydney, Layton's Lumber this year celebrates 100 years in operation in Sydney Mines; and

Whereas Charlie Layton noted that, "The key to survival of a family business is to provide quality service and quality workmanship" and indicated that the family will continue to operate as an independent operation, a unique feature in today's business world;

[Page 10967]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Layton family and their staff at Layton's Lumber on reaching a century of operation and wish them well as they continue to provide quality product and service to their community while retaining their independence.

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.

[8:00 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 4405

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

Whereas the Shearwater Aviation Museum has been a leader in preserving and recognizing the history of the military in Nova Scotia and Canada; and

Whereas on November 1, 2002, the Shearwater Aviation Museum opened its newest permanent exhibit recognizing the contribution of Canada's First Nations to the Canadian Armed Forces both in peace and in war; and

Whereas the exhibit was dedicated by Mi'kmaq spiritual leader Noel Knockwood, and included the efforts of his daughter, Anna Nibby Woods, and granddaughter, Shelly Woods;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Shearwater Aviation Museum on its First Nations military exhibit and recognize the efforts of Noel Knockwood, Anna Nibby Woods, Shelly Woods, as well as the work of Barbara Hicks, the museum general manager, and Diane Jodrey of the 1st Canadian Air Division in supporting the development of the exhibit.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 10968]

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 The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 4406

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

Whereas on October 30, 2002, the Waycobah Native community held their election for band council with seven people running for the position of chief and 49 seeking a council seat; and

Whereas almost 90 per cent of the band members participated in the band election which resulted in four new members being elected to the band council; three members being re-elected and Chief Googoo retaining his position; and

Whereas for the first time in Atlantic Canada, the vote count was televised live on community television, allowing all band members to view the democratic process;

Therefore be it resolved that we, as members of this House of Assembly, congratulate the citizens of Waycobah for showing a strong commitment to democracy in our province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 10969]

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 4407

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 Fairview Branch No.142 of the Royal Canadian Legion received its charter in November of 1952; and

Whereas the Fairview Legion has made and continues to make a substantial contribution to the welfare of veterans and their families and to the Fairview community; and

Whereas the Fairview Legion is this year celebrating its 50th year of remembrance, honour and service;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly thank the men and women of Fairview who have served in the Armed Forces, congratulate the Fairview Legion on its 50th Anniversary, and send its best wishes to the Fairview Legion for its next 50 years.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 4408

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

Whereas the first significant act of the Hamm Government was to take away millions of dollars in money destined for charitable and community groups from the Sydney Casino; and

[Page 10970]

Whereas the Premier should restore that money wrongly taken from the cash-starved community and charitable organization; and

Whereas no matter how much the Premier tries to enhance his image, the fact remains that Nova Scotia charities are poorer because of the action of this Tory Government;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House strongly urge that Sydney Casino charity money be reinstated without delay so that the money flows to those who need it most, in an act of goodness rather than an act of publicity.

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 Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 4409

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

Whereas Heather Henderson served with distinction during her six-year tenure as the President of the Nova Scotia Nurses Union; and

Whereas under her leadership, nurses made important achievements, not the least of which is the great respect accorded to their profession during those tumultuous years when the very face of health care in this province was recast; and

Whereas Heather Henderson now leaves her former post in the good hands of Janet Hazelton, knowing she carried out her mandate forcefully, fairly, with dignity and the admiration of her union and the public;

Therefore be it resolved that the House congratulate Heather Henderson for her six years as President of the Nova Scotia Nurses Union, during which she gave stellar service to her members, to the public at-large and to our public health care system, and offer her best wishes for the years to come.

[Page 10971]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 4410

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

Whereas Bruce Gandy won the Highland Society of London's gold medal at the Northern Meeting competition in Inverness, Scotland on September 5th; and

Whereas this award has been given out since 1781 and is considered to be one of the most prestigious honours among bagpipers; and

Whereas winning this award has been a dream of Mr. Gandy's for over 20 years;

Therefore be it resolved that each member of the House of Assembly congratulate Bruce Gandy on winning the Highland Society of London's gold medal at the Northern Meeting competition in Inverness, Scotland.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 10972]

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 4411

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 5th Annual African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards were held on Saturday, November 2nd at Dartmouth's Alderney Landing Theatre; and

Whereas the ANSMA awards are considered a positive stepping stone to the urban music showcases at the East Coast Music Awards, which will be held in Halifax in February; and

Whereas among the winners at this prestigious event were Shane Colley for Best Up- and-Coming Artist, Linda Carvery for Entertainer of the Year, and Harvey Millar for Best Jazz Artist;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate all the winners and the African Nova Scotian Music Association and its President, Ed Matwawana for its 5th annual successful event, and for providing this opportunity to showcase the diverse talent in the African Nova Scotian music 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 Victoria.

RESOLUTION NO. 4412

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

[Page 10973]

Whereas from July 28th to August 4th, Highland Village Museum/An Clachan Gaidhealach in Iona took part in a community-wide celebration marking the 200th Anniversary of the first Scottish settlement of central Cape Breton; and

Whereas Fééill Nam Barrach, or Barraman's Feast, brought together people, communities and organizations throughout the area to celebrate the cultural and historical legacy of these early Gaelic-speaking settlers; and

Whereas Highland Village Museum continues to serve as a valuable provincial resource by linking our past with our present, and by celebrating and promoting Nova Scotia's Gaelic language, culture and heritage;

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature congratulate the excellent work of the Highland Village Museum in celebrating and marking the 200th Anniversary of the first Scottish settlement of central Cape Breton.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 4413

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's pork producers face the worst market conditions since the Asian crisis of 1998, and face a Minister of Agriculture who has refused a short-term loan; and

Whereas farmers are losing $50 a hog or more, and if current market conditions continue, many will be forced out of the industry; and

[Page 10974]

Whereas it's clear that the existing agricultural safety net programs, such as NISA, are inadequate to the task of even allowing farmers to recover their cost of production;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries reconsiders his denial of a request for short-term aid by Nova Scotia pork producers to help them through the crisis in the marketplace.

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 South.

RESOLUTION NO. 4414

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

Whereas the Sydney Port Corporation reported that 40 cruise ships visited Cape Breton this season with 54,734 passengers and 23,631 crew; and

Whereas visitors from these ships were treated to such attractions as the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, scenic drives through areas like Iona, Baddeck, Cheticamp, as well as the Cabot Trail; and

Whereas the economic impact of these cruise visits represented over $4 million for local merchants;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate the Sydney Port Corporation for their continued successful efforts to market Cape Breton ports to cruise lines throughout the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 10975]

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. 4415

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

Whereas Robert and Mae Cashin were married on November 3, 1942, at St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church in Dartmouth; and

Whereas Robert and Mae Cashin have been active in their community, Eastern Passage, for almost 60 years, helping to shape the community and improve it for all its residents; and

Whereas Robert and Mae Cashin raised four children, and now have seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Robert and Mae Cashin on their 60th Wedding Anniversary and wish them many more years of happiness together.

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 West.

[Page 10976]

RESOLUTION NO. 4416

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 Department of Transportation and Public Works advised residents of East Bay that it would be replacing a small bridge over Reids Brook, crossing Glen Morrison Road in Cape Breton County, to replace an existing bridge; and

Whereas the replacement of this bridge is essential for the residents of East Bay and Sydney Forks in accessing their woodlots and properties; and

Whereas departmental delays are now preventing residents from their right-of-access because the existing bridge was removed and not replaced;

Therefore be it resolved the Minister of Transportation and Public Works immediately take action to resolve this situation so that residents of East Bay and Sydney Forks can travel in safety to their properties.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 4417

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

Whereas the communities of western Halifax County have access to limited recreational facilities and only one ice hockey surface; and

Whereas the Board of Directors of the St. Margarets Centre in Upper Tantallon have worked diligently towards a much-needed expansion of this facility to meet the needs of this growing area; and

Whereas it is vital that the provincial government actively support this project with the necessary funding;

Therefore be it resolved that the minister responsible for sports and recreation commit publicly this government's intention to support this project financially.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

[Page 10977]

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 4418

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

Whereas on October 22, 2002, the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce awarded EDS with the New Business of the Year Award; and

Whereas EDS has made major contributions to the economy in other areas of Cape Breton Island by creating hundreds of jobs in Sydney and surrounding areas; and

Whereas EDS has shown themselves to be a valued and trusted employer in the Strait area, whose growth has been as a result of the trained workforce in the new information technology;

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature congratulate EDS for receiving this honour and wish them continued success and development in the Strait area.

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 The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 4419

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

Whereas Chief Blair Francis of the Eskasoni Band has announced, in conjunction with the Federal Government of Canada, that the construction of the Eskasoni Community Market will go ahead; and

[Page 10978]

Whereas the band will be the sole owner of this new enterprise which will create 21 full-time positions when the building is complete, in addition to the temporary employment opportunity during construction; and

Whereas the building of this new market within the Native community will not only create employment opportunities for the band members, but will improve the day-to-day quality of life - families will no longer have to drive 40 minutes to simply buy groceries;

Therefore be it resolved that each member of this House of Assembly congratulate the members of the Eskasoni Band for taking a proactive approach to the economic and social development of the Eskasoni Band.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4420

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

[8:15 p.m.]

Whereas Emily Penny of New Germany, Lunenburg County, a first year public relations students at Mount Saint Vincent University, has been awarded the First Choice Air 2000 Scholarship; and

Whereas this scholarship was created by Signature Vacations as a thank you to Mount Saint Vincent University for their assistance to the passengers diverted to Halifax in the wake of September 11, 2001; and

[Page 10979]

Whereas Ms. Penny is the first Mount Saint Vincent University student to receive this scholarship in honour of the humanitarian efforts of her fellow Mount Saint Vincent students and staff;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Emily Penny for winning this scholarship.

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.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 142.

Bill No. 142 - House of Assembly Act/Elections Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, before saying a few words on Bill No. 142 and putting the bill in for second reading, I would like to call the attention of the House to the presence, in the east gallery, of the Chief Electoral Officer, Ms. Janet Willwerth. I would ask members of the House to accord her the customary welcome. (Applause) Ms. Willwerth

[Page 10980]

will be involved, I am told, during the presentations and the hearings in the Red Chamber on this bill, and will be available to assist as necessary and if requested.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased, on behalf of the Minister of Justice, to speak to the proposed amendments to the House of Assembly Act. This bill will change the Nova Scotia electoral map. As you may recall, the Provincial Electoral Boundaries Commission presented their report in September of this year. This legislation is intended to implement their recommendations. The bill is very straightforward. It contains a description of each of the revised boundaries.

Mr. Speaker, as honourable members know, the commission has recommended changes to 27 of our 52 ridings. This bill is based on the recommendations that they brought forward. The cornerstone of our democratic system is the electoral process. How our electoral boundaries are drawn and by whom is an important aspect of that process, as noted by the commission itself. Nine members sat on the commission, which is the largest ever established in Canada and a testament to the representative nature of the committee. The committee held 14 meetings in locations throughout the province, and they had a number of factors to consider as part of their terms of reference.

In order to ensure effective representation, the committee was asked to consider the relative parity of voting power in constituencies of equal electoral populations, to the extent that is possible. It is important to noted the distinction. We are not talking about the overall population but rather electoral populations or the actual number of voters in a constituency. The committee also had to take geography into account, particularly the difficulty involved in representing a large physical area. I know many members in this House can identify with that difficulty.

The history and interests of the community also had to be considered, as well as minority representation, particularly relating to Acadian and Black peoples. Along with the boundary changes, the commission recommended that the chief electoral officer be allowed to initiate minor changes in boundaries between elections. This legislation will allow the chief electoral officer to recommend changes to the House, as long as no more than 300 voters are affected.

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to thank the commission for their work in completing the report, as I am sure all members do. This process must be repeated again as boundaries are to be re-examined no later than 2012. I trust that I will not be here for that event. (Interruptions) Well, thank you very much for your endorsements.

There are also changes being proposed to the Elections Act, Mr. Speaker. The chief electoral officer will be able to establish satellite returning offices in very large districts. This will eliminate the need for electors to travel great distances in order to access the services of a returning officer during an election. The positions of assistant returning officer and

[Page 10981]

assistant election clerk, are being created to start these offices. I know this legislation affects some members more than others, but certainly it speaks to the importance and the integrity of a democratic system.

Mr. Speaker, I now move second reading of Bill No. 142.

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

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I want to just say a few words about this piece of legislation as it comes forward for debate. I think most people who are watching this on broadcast or who read about it in the papers don't realize that this Act essentially is the opportunity for the government to enact the recommendations that are put forward by the Electoral Boundaries Commission. The commission, of course, was appointed to do what is I think widely seen as an impartial job of assessing the political needs of the province - political is probably not the right word - the electoral needs of the province, looking at how it is that you can divide up the province in a way that will make sense to as many people as possible and achieve some kind of basic aims that are set out in the terms of reference to the Electoral Boundaries Commission.

There are, as pointed out, a number of criteria set out in the terms of reference. Before I talk about that I should acknowledge that the commission, chaired by Dr. Colin Dodds, many of us, I don't know if all of us, but certainly many of us here would have had an opportunity to attend at some of those hearings that were held and to see the input that was given by citizens from one end of the province to the other, to see it received in what I have to say was a very gracious manner by all members of the commission. It was very thoughtful. They took the time to listen, to ask intelligent questions, and I think the commission just generally was conducted in such a way that all the members of this House, whether we agree with them or not, can appreciate the fine work that they did and the dedication with which they extended the opportunity for people to have their input in this very important process.

Dr. Dodds was joined in this by Mrs. Anne Dillman, Mr. Doug Hill, Mr. John Kitz, Mr. Hayden Landry, Dr. Andrew Molloy, Mr. Ian Spencer, Ms. Candace Thomas as well, of course, by Dr. Ron Landes. You will remember, Mr. Speaker, that Dr. Landes was, in fact, involved with the last Electoral Boundaries Commission and this gave the commission a kind of continuity that I think served the commission well in coming to its decision. Certainly when you look back at the way in which the electoral boundaries were set, in many cases I think the difference between the first set of proposed boundaries and the second set was the advice that they had received from the public, but also, you know, having some of that continuity about looking back to the first set of recommendations to the last set of boundaries and finding out why it was that those particular boundaries were set 10 years ago.

[Page 10982]

I know that was certainly the case in my own riding where initially the proposal had divided up the Forest Hills land assembly area and sought to define Cole Harbour by the old city boundaries which would have been a mistake and, in fact, would have cut more of Cole Harbour out of the Cole Harbour boundaries than they sought to put back in. So just kind of generally, I think the operation of the commission worked very, very well and even though some members may disagree with some of the findings that they made in the end, generally speaking I think, the job was very well done.

I would point out that although there were a number of criteria on which the commission was asked to base its decision, the one which was seen to be most important and in fact is spelled out in the terms of reference, was the relative parity of voting power among voters of this province. This really comes forward, I'm sure that the Legislature would be enlightened enough to see that as a value, that all the citizens have an opportunity to have relative power in the extension of its democratic right to vote. However, in the event that the Legislature didn't have the foresight and progressive approach to this, the reality is that that is mandated through a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada. Some of us would know it as the Carter decision. I think it was actually a reference case that came forward from Saskatchewan, as I recall.

What it basically said was in the drawing of boundaries, you had to ensure that there was some approximate equality among voters from one end of the province to the other and that it was okay to look at other factors as well - historical, matters of history, tradition, geography, all of those were factors - but if there was going to be any large deviation from having relative equality, it could only be justified if it was for the better governance of the overall population.

That's why in the terms of reference I assume the government saw fit to say that the question of relative voting power, relative voting parity, was of paramount importance in all of the considerations that were being put forward in determining the size of constituencies.

Now, unfortunately, the reality is that the commission didn't really go all the way in terms of recognizing the relative voting parity across the province. The reality is that in and around the metro area, by and large the metropolitan Halifax-Dartmouth area is under-represented in the House of Assembly. The larger constituencies are all located within metropolitan Halifax-Dartmouth. That was done, I assumed, in order to accommodate other parts of the province.

However, this didn't need to be the case. It didn't need to be a contest necessarily between metropolitan Halifax-Dartmouth and other areas of the province - Cape Breton and rural Nova Scotia - it didn't have to happen that way. One of the problems was that the mandate was to set up 52 seats. So it was locked into a formula that existed prior to the Electoral Boundaries Commission coming into force. So everybody was going to judge whatever the Electoral Boundaries Commission did on the basis of the existing 52 seats.

[Page 10983]

It may have been, had the Electoral Boundaries Commission been given some flexibility in that regard, that they would have come back with a recommendation that would have said 47 seats was a better idea and they would have adjusted the boundaries in some other fashion so that even though the ridings would have been bigger, everybody would have felt that they had received a fair hearing and the ridings fairly represented their interest in the House of Assembly. They may have come back and said instead there should have been 55 seats. That may have been a way of adjusting the relative voting parity of the province.

[8:30 p.m.]

So I think, although I'm sure that the government was trying to very clearly spell out the number of seats it saw within the House of Assembly, perhaps for other considerations, for consideration of space or whatever, they really ended up kind of tying the hands of the Electoral Boundaries Commission in a very critical way because it did not allow, it did not give them the flexibility to make decisions in such a way that they could accommodate all of the interests, Mr. Speaker. At least, that's what I would submit.

I would say further, that because this has happened, we are going to have, quite frankly, much larger problems in the years to come. I think in 10 years when the next Electoral Boundaries Commission seeks to review these boundaries - and I don't know what the Government House Leader had in mind, he said that he didn't think he was going to be here for that one, perhaps he will chair the commission, Mr. Speaker, at that time and I'm sure he would be very fair. I don't know what it is going to look like, but I do know this. If current trends continue, what's going to happen is metropolitan Halifax-Dartmouth is going to continue to increase in population, and even if there were no decline in any other part of the province, it is going to become more and more difficult to try and meet that test of relative voting power across the province without taking seats from some other part of the province.

So that's why it is important that we put on the record, for now, that in the next round, really, tying it in to just 52 seats is probably not a good thing to do, and in the future, we may want to give the Electoral Boundaries Commission an opportunity to have more flexibility on this particular issue.

That is, I suppose, one small point that I wanted to make in relation to the report. I think, overall, Mr. Speaker, the report has dealt adequately - I know there are folks down the shore, we've seen the petitions coming in from Lunenburg West, we've seen the petitions coming in from those who are presently in Timberlea-Prospect who don't relish the thought of being torn out of their own constituency and put in some other ones. Certainly, that is something that the Electoral Boundaries Commission wouldn't have done lightly. I don't believe they want to disrupt those communities, but I guess the question has to be asked, if you don't make changes, you have to make changes somewhere and it is not a matter of just staying with the existing boundaries.

[Page 10984]

So for those of us who would like to say, well, perhaps we would like to see something different in terms of the boundaries, the question then has to be, well what is it that you want to see? Because, inevitably, there will be change and inevitably that change will respond to fundamental democratic principles like relative voting parity across the province. We, certainly, as legislators, have to appreciate that that is the case.

I want to say that on balance, we are going to be supporting this legislation. We want to see it go forward. We are looking forward to the discussion at the Law Amendments Committee to see what kinds of presentations come forward. Certainly, it is always the case that there may be common-sense kinds of amendments that need to be made. This particular piece of legislation includes a provision to allow the chief electoral officer to modestly recommend changes to particular boundaries and this, I think, is a very good thing.

We have seen in the past where the tail end of one street will fall outside of a particular constituency and yet all of the traffic and all of the pattern flow and everything goes into that constituency and in fact it may even be kind of landlocked. People would have to come in that road, come completely through a different constituency and then back out to vote in a poll a considerable distance away from their home instead of being able to vote in a polling station that would be very much closer, just because of the way that the electoral boundary has been drawn. I think that's a positive change to have been made with respect to the legislation.

I think there are lots of things that could have been done and perhaps should have been done with respect to the terms of reference. I think it is, in short order, time for us to be looking at alternatives to the way that we elect members. Proposals have come forward from groups like Fair Vote Canada to talk about proportional representation. I know that's not a concept that has a lot of currency in our House of Assembly at this point, but certainly something that needs to be explored and I would suggest that the next Electoral Boundaries Commission would look at that, or at least there should be some comprehensive look at the way in which the House of Assembly Act is structured, a comprehensive look at the various alternatives that exist in the electoral system.

Mr. Speaker, there are candidate lists that are used in other countries. There are very few, as I understand it, first-past-the-post democracies left in the world. In fact, most other countries have some variation on that in order to provide for adequate broad-based representation in their Houses of Parliament. This is something that we should be looking to in the not too distant future.

With that, again, I would just point out that we're looking forward to the debate in the Law Amendments Committee. We're looking forward to hearing the presentations from the public and if it goes as we expect it will, we expect to be supporting this legislation. Thank you very much for the opportunity this evening.

[Page 10985]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

MR. DONALD DOWNE: I want to say, standing here in my place to discuss and talk about Bill No. 142, I want to make a point that the highly-respected Government House Leader mentioned that the next time - well, of course, we have two very illustrious, maybe three, it's early in the session. I will say that the Government House Leader said that the next time this is brought to the House it will be 2012 and he will not be here. I'm sure that broke the hearts of many members on this side of the House, but I can assure the good House Leader that even if he's not here physically, he will always be in this Legislative Assembly in the Province of Nova Scotia spiritually because we will never, ever forget what he's done in the Province of Nova Scotia and the leadership he's shown. (Applause) It's yet to be announced, but I say that without necessarily a hook beside it. I say it because I mean it.

As the previous speaker, the Leader of the Opposition, talked about change, there are three things that are absolute in Nova Scotia: there's death, taxes and resistance to change. I'm not here to talk about resisting the issue of change, I'm here talking about the need for common sense with some of the changes that are being proposed. For that I stand in my place as the representative of Lunenburg West to speak; not as the MLA for Lunenburg West, but representing what the people in Lunenburg West have told me with regard to the report that was brought forward by the Electoral Boundaries Commission itself.

Since the commission's report has come forward, there have been three public meetings in my riding. Out of those three public meetings, the public also started a petition and I haven't got them all in yet, but I understand there's somewhere in the vicinity of 1,200 to 1,300 individuals who have signed petitions in my riding, which ironically enough is the magic number that was required to make some of those shifts happen. Those people are saying to me as I bring petitions to the floor of the Legislative Assembly, that they don't see the proposed changes for Lunenburg West and Queens as being the right decision. We'll bring forward those particular issues during the debate.

I note with interest that it's not just merely the residents of the area that brought their concern, but a past member of the Legislative Assembly has written to the Premier, for example, "The Electoral Boundaries Commission report regarding the alignment of Queens County and Lunenburg West is still not acceptable." It's still not acceptable and this is an e-mail that was given to the Premier himself. I asked the individual to send me a copy and I would be bringing it in. They talk about the fact that the commission has corrected the alignment of the original report, but still there are many areas of the riding that are greatly affected. It removes Petite Rivière, Broad Cove, Crousetown and many other areas within Lunenburg West to move them to a new county representation and that individual is a former member of the Progressive Conservative Government and held a Cabinet post, Ms. Marie Dechman, pointing out to the Premier and to members of the House her opposition to the proposed changes that are brought forward by the commission.

[Page 10986]

Now, that is an individual who spent years in this House. She was a good representative for Lunenburg West. She fought hard for the people of Lunenburg West. I have said that publicly in the past. I happened to beat her in the first election because probably they thought I could do a better job, I don't know, but nevertheless I will say that she worked hard for the people of Lunenburg West and she's still concerned about the people of Lunenburg West and for her to make that statement in regard to the proposed changes as being not acceptable I think deserves the respect of this House to listen to that because she has got nothing to gain by making that statement. She's not an MLA anymore, but she certainly is one who could point out very clearly that it is not acceptable, the proposed changes that have been made, and she goes on to elaborate. She actually goes on to state, "I trust the Legislature will consider petitions at the Law Amendments Committee and I am asking consideration for the delay in bringing the bill forward."

In regard to the public hearings that were held in the riding of which we had three and some of the media covered some of those areas, the general feeling that I received from constituents in the riding, they were saying they can't believe it. What do you mean that all of a sudden Lunenburg County is going to have representation possibly from Queens County? Those areas that are going to be affected are Italy Cross, Middlewood, Somerset, Voglers Cove, Crousetown, Broad Cove, Cherry Hill and Petite Rivière. Those individual communities, we're talking about communities of interest, those communities are saying where is the community of interest as being part of the criteria that was given to the mandate of the commission to go forward to come back with recommended changes and they're saying where is the community of interest for the people of Petite Rivière? Where do they normally do business? Where do they go to church? Where do they have commerce? Where do they do their activities? They don't do them in Queens County. They do them in Bridgewater, they do them in Lunenburg County, and now we're saying that your community of interest, although the structure is for you to go and do all your living and working in Lunenburg County, your representative will now come possibly from Queens County.

Mr. Speaker, it probably will get a lot hotter in here and cooler over the next period of time, I'm sure, as debate heats up, but I want to say that this particular issue is one that I want to sincerely say that the people in these areas are very upset by the fact that the issue and the criteria of communities of interest were not taken into consideration. I note that this will be going to committee pretty soon, I assume after the second reading, and I'm sure that there will be people making presentations. I want to quote from some people who have sent me information in regard to their concerns.

In this report it set out two perceptions about the significance of the boundaries. First, while the commission recognizes the public has a concern that provincial boundaries might be affecting other aspects of their lives, the commission feels that, once created, electoral districts are primarily a way for adding up votes.

[Page 10987]

[8:45 p.m.]

Well, I don't know about that, Mr. Speaker, what they're saying here is simply adding up votes - how does that equate? For example, if Petite Rivière encroached on all those areas that are going to be affected and maybe have representation by a representative from Queens County, whether it's a Liberal member or whatever, the question really is, what MLA will be responsible for those services? It will be the representative from Queens County who will then be dealing with road issues, snow removal, road conditions - God only knows there are roads that need to be paved down there and work needs to be done - what about Community Services concerns? What about when those individuals have concerns?

I am sure the member for Truro-Bible Hill knows that when constituents have a problem they want to be able to go after their MLA to help find a solution, whether it's how the health care system is not working or whatever the situation might be - roads, education, whatever it is - they want to go to the MLA. There's no community of interest for the people of Lunenburg West to all of a sudden find an MLA somewhere in another constituency, way up in Liverpool, there's no tie-in here. (Interruption) Some of these people, I'm sure if they had to walk from Petite Rivière to Liverpool, they would say that's a long ways away.

AN HON. MEMBER: Yes, but I would do it.

MR. DOWNE: Well, maybe some of those Haligonians would like to take that walk, but I can tell you the good people of Lunenburg West are smarter than that, because they don't necessarily want to take a walk all the way there. I think he's taking us on a walk down the garden path here.

Mr. Speaker, they go on to state that only Party organizations and Party representatives have continued interests of concern for electoral boundaries. What we're saying here is that people in those particular areas that have no common interest feel and are concerned that all of a sudden they're being represented by somebody in another county who is not going to be able to do the job properly or do the job as effectively as what they're used to. They all say they love the people of Queens County, and I have a great deal of respect for the great people of Queens County. The representation they have in Queens County is a choice the Queens County people make. I respect that, as do all of us respect what happens in the voting processes in the Province of Nova Scotia because, ultimately, the voters are always right.

In this case the people are saying that before we get to a vote we want you to understand, and we want, through you, Don Downe, the Members of the Legislative Assembly to understand that they feel their democratic right is being taken away, because they don't even want to vote if it means that they're going to vote for a representative who will probably come from Queens County, because there are 1,326 votes that will be coming from the District of Lunenburg West.

[Page 10988]

That is certainly not going to necessarily change the outcome of Queens County, and it's certainly not going to have any major, profound effect on the outcome of what's going to happen in the Province of Nova Scotia. They're saying leave well enough alone. If it ain't broke, why fix it? (Interruption) It isn't broken, it's working, and they're asking me to stand in my place to fight that battle and bring forward their concerns to the Legislature, and I will endeavour to do just that.

The terms of reference had been stated earlier and there are four or five areas of terms of reference. Of paramount importance, they talk about the relative parity of voting powers achieved through the constituents of equal electoral population to the extent reasonably possible. I note in a presentation made by another former Cabinet Minister, another former highly-respected member of the Legislature, John Leefe, who is now the Mayor of the Region of Queens, he - and I asked for his permission to be able to talk about his presentation - opposes the proposed changes that are being made. Not only does he personally oppose them, but his council opposes them.

AN HON. MEMBER: The council.

MR. DOWNE: The council opposed them.

He goes on, in his very articulate way, about the concerns about representation and population and the 25 per cent variance. The 25 per cent variance is something that some people will say is a constitutional issue; it's an issue that is being awarded by the courts. Well I want you to know that not all things that are awarded by the courts are consistent. There are areas in the country, federally and provincially, that are allowed certain provisions within that 25 per cent variance of 100 - for example, we have four representatives in P.E.I., federally. It's not based on population; they have it enshrined that they will have four representatives.

AN HON. MEMBER: It is constitutional.

MR. DOWNE: It's a constitutional issue. There are other areas in Newfoundland and Labrador that are guaranteed certain representation, even though it doesn't meet the criteria of the Supreme Court. Some could argue, and I know the more learned lawyers could argue, notwithstanding aspects of these constitutional decisions, the voting power achieved through the constituencies of electoral population to the extent reasonably possible. So one could argue that, reasonably possible, Queens County, geographically, is a very large constituency. They are close to 70 per cent and, as you know, Mr. Speaker, they started off with 100 and the variance is to go 25 per cent below or 25 per cent above and it's somewhere in that scope.

Well, Queens County is around 70 per cent. In fact, it was higher than that. It was within 75 voters at one point and then they came back and the commission said they made a mistake a number of years ago, the numbers are even lower. Well, the numbers are

[Page 10989]

whatever they are. Somewhere around 1,200 voters will bring them back into this 75 per cent or 76 per cent. But you know, we have, in the Province of Nova Scotia, many ridings that are below that number and they are able to do that because of certain conditions. There are areas, for example, I would note in Halifax, that are much beyond the 125. So I didn't see that change. I didn't see that being the end of the world. They might have 130 per cent or higher and I'm sure that members in this House will probably want to argue those points later on. I certainly don't disagree with that.

So the point is, there is nothing overly consistent about the formula - try to do the best you can. Well, if that's the case, when the first report came out, they talked about Lunenburg County, instead of having three representatives, boil it down to two. Out of those two, they were all changed every which way from Sunday. Lunenburg was now Lunenburg-Bridgewater and the constituency of Lunenburg West was Bridgewater-Lunenburg and then Lunenburg was some other combination. As it turned out, they came back and they left those two ridings basically the same. Certainly, the one of the district of Lunenburg, the Minister of Justice, his hasn't changed one iota. But Lunenburg West was changed and the question was asked of me, why? Why would they change that? Why would they change just that for the sake of some thousand votes or something?

Yet, in Halifax, you have areas that are in excess of thousands of votes over the threshold and that's okay, but it isn't okay in Queens County. I know that the honourable member for Queens County might or might not say anything on this issue and for whatever reasons, whether he stands in this House or not, stands in his place or not, that's his choice. But I'm not saying anything negative about the good people of Queens County, I'm simply saying that in the four or five points of the criteria, it appears to me that they are basing the decision of moving and changing the boundary of Lunenburg West, predicating it on the basis of the population, yet, it doesn't follow suit in most other jurisdictions in the province.

The second area they talk about is geography, in particular the difficulty in representing a large physical area. Now the Leader of the Official Opposition used to live in Queens County. I think even he would agree that it is a very large constituency. It is a very large riding. People in Shelburne know how large Queens County is. It is a large geographic area. In fact, it is larger than the Lunenburg West riding. It's probably larger than Lunenburg West and the constituency of Lunenburg put together. It's a very large area and, yet, that didn't seem to have any weighted consideration in the decision to all of a sudden kind of come in around and they referred to it as the toe of Lunenburg County. I refer back that that toe could be like a toe that has either gout or a hangnail. It will hurt if they try to sever it away and it hurts the people of my riding.

Community of history. Now we have some historians and people across the way who have studied history and the access of community history. What is the history of Queens County versus Lunenburg West? You have a German-Dutch kind of community in Lunenburg County, historically speaking, and you have a separate group of people in Queens

[Page 10990]

County that are not necessarily considered German-Dutch. They're more Loyalists. You have a large Black community in the area of Queens County and I remember when I went to the public hearing how frustrated they were to even think that Lunenburg West or anybody in Lunenburg County was going to be dealing with them. They brought those issues forward - I didn't. I listened to the debate.

So there are a lot of different issues that are uniquely part of their culture and their community history which I respect and appreciate and consider very special to the fabric of the Province of Nova Scotia. All of a sudden now we're going to have the lower end of Lunenburg West tied into that.

How does that fit into the issue of community history? The argument of community of interest is probably the most compelling aspect of the debate that you want to have. Community of interest. What is the community of interest of the people in Italy Cross? What is the community of interest in the area of Crousetown or Broad Cove or Petite Rivière? What is the community of interest of those individuals that are - Hansard wants a copy of my material. Well, I'll tell you, we'll have fun with that later on. I'm on point number four if you're following, minister, it's called community of interest. Where is the community of interest between Lunenburg and Queens County? I ask any member across the way, what is the community of interest between Lunenburg County and Queens County?

They're good neighbours, but where is the commerce and where is the business and where are the activities? Where do education, schooling and things of that nature all happen? The normal movement of community of interest from any area - from Voglers Cove, Cherry Hill, Broad Cove, up through Petite Rivière and including, I believe, Rissers Beach - what is that community of interest? It is all going towards Bridgewater and Lunenburg. It doesn't go towards Liverpool in the beautiful community of Queens. It never has. Historically, it's never been there.

So what are we asking now? We're asking people to change the community of interest with regard to their elected representative. What's going to add even more confusion to the individuals, your municipal government will stay the same, so your municipal representative will be in Lunenburg County and you can go see your municipal representative just like that, it's going to be right next door. But when it comes to your provincial representative, where are you going to find your provincial representative? Does it mean that the provincial representative is now going to have an office in Voglers Cove or Cherry Hill or those areas? How are they going to represent the people of that area in the level of representation that they've become accustomed to?

They're concerned about that. In fact, the majority of the people that I've heard from of those areas have said one thing - they are so frustrated by this decision that they simply would not even vote. I don't know if it was ever the mandate of the commission to find a way to stop people from being involved in the democratic process. I don't think so, but when they

[Page 10991]

make decisions that people in the ridings that are being affected are now telling me that they don't even want to vote anymore because of this proposed change, then I think we as legislators in the Province of Nova Scotia have a responsibility to try to listen to what these people are saying and to try to find a resolve for the concerns that they have. It's not that they're opposing change, they're opposing the fact that this particular change that's being proposed to them flies in the face of many of the criteria that actually would be there to help protect them.

As I pointed out again, the geography - there's a large enough geography in the community of Queens. The community history - it doesn't have a history of working together in that regard. It never has. Community of interest - there's no community of interest. It all moves towards Bridgewater. The community of interest has historically all been in that direction; not towards Liverpool, towards Bridgewater. That's the communities of interest. Whether it's church, school, fire departments, whatever it is, it's all been working towards that area.

The committee also had the issue of minority representation, including particular representatives of Acadian and Black peoples and I respect that. We respect that, obviously. We're not arguing that point. But the issue clearly is whether or not this Legislature, in light of the fact that part of our responsibility is to open the democratic process, to have people involved in the democratic process, to have people involved with the future of the Province of Nova Scotia. Will these 1,200-some people, in the changed differential based on the population, make such a profound effect on the Province of Nova Scotia that the province has to accept the commission's report? I say not.

If they're going to follow that rule, that precisely, on that issue, then I think they've another problem in Halifax that has to be addressed. I think that should be a concern. The member for Timberlea-Prospect had brought up some concerns of residents in his riding.

[9:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, when the first report came out, we did have at one time, for the very first time that I ever recall, every town and municipality in the District of Lunenburg County, including Queens County, put out a statement in the media and so on and so forth that the proposed changes were wrong. That position, I understand, still stands with regard to the concern of harvesting out part of Lunenburg County to bolster the numbers in Queens County. I think if we were really concerned about Queens County, not because of its geographic size, the geography is large enough, but if we were really concerned about the good people of Queens County, we would find ways to develop economic strategies to help bolster the economic numbers in the community of Queens. In some areas when they made their presentations to the commission, they talked about a 10-year growth in their community. They talked about a 10-year proposed growth in their community and used those numbers as a criterion.

[Page 10992]

Well, you know, Queens County has a call centre coming and I don't know how long it's going to take to get it up and running, but they announced it awhile ago. That in itself is going to bring people to the area for employment. Give Queens County an opportunity to grow economically and create some jobs and allow their young people to stay there. That's what this government hasn't been really great at doing, but that's what they should be doing because Queens County is an important community and for the sake of a few hundred votes they will be able to have that with the proper representation, but now the member is going to be going all over Queens County and then looking after the people down in Petite Rivière and the good people affected down in Crousetown, Voglers Cove and other areas, and the list goes on.

So I would say that what we should be doing, if you're talking about trying to help the good people of that area, we should be trying to find ways to help stimulate economic activity in the community of Queens. Help the member across the way that undoubtedly is fighting hard to create jobs and economic growth in Queens County. That's what we should be focusing on instead of trying to tear up parts of Lunenburg County to appease the numerical base that they need to have to meet the acid test that they're using under this criterion, under this terms of reference, even though it's not being followed in every other jurisdiction in the province. It's interesting to note that there have been changes made in some areas more than others but, you know, the issue of Queens is a question that has to be asked.

Mr. Speaker, when the commission came out with its first report they went around the province and they went to Queens County. They went to Liverpool to make their presentation known and to have input. I was there at that presentation and I listened to the discussion, and so was the member for Queens County, and we listened to what the members of the community had to say. I'm sure the member for Queens County would agree with me there was not one presenter there who talked about any reason, rationale or logic in tying Lunenburg together with Queens. They unanimously opposed that concept.

I, in turn, came back to my riding and the people couldn't believe it. The comments were how in the name of heavens, you know, this just doesn't make any sense. So then they asked me if I would try to arrange for a meeting in my riding. So I wrote the commission and asked if they would reconsider having a meeting in Lunenburg West to talk about the areas that are going to be affected, and because of scheduling or whatever it was, we were unable to have that request accepted. Petitions were signed. I have sent those petitions in and made representation to them on that as well.

Clearly, if the commission had had the time to come and hear what people had to say in my riding, in Lunenburg West, about the fact that this just does not work and will not work, maybe they might have had a change of attitude, I don't know. People in my riding are very upset. They've asked me to express those concerns to this House. By the time I finish tabling all the petitions that have been signed - and I ask you to look at those signatures,

[Page 10993]

they're from down in Petite Rivière, they're from down in Cherry Hill, they're from down in Voglers Cove, they're from down in the areas that are being affected. Those are the families that are saying no. They're saying to the Legislative Assembly in the Province Nova Scotia, please do not make that change because that is taking away, in our view, our right to fair representation for the people in our area.

Mr. Speaker, there's been articles in newspapers from individuals, concerned residents in the area who talked about changes. I am sure that some people, when the Law Amendments Committee meets, whenever that might be, if we have the proper time - and that's another issue, I hope that committee has not said it's going to meet tomorrow morning at 10:00 o'clock. Allow people the opportunity to be able to go forward and understand the changes that are being proposed, but, more importantly, to give them time so that they may be able to give their presentations in the Legislative Assembly to that committee.

I hope we have enough time, whenever the House Leader picks the time, or whoever picks the time tonight of when that will be dealt with that we give time for the rural people in Lunenburg West and possibly in Queens to be able to get their notes together and make the trip into Halifax. They can't come at the drop of a hat, they need to have a few days notice so they can make their presentations. I believe there will be some people who will want to come in and talk about the terms of reference and the impact that these decisions will have on individuals, especially the issue of community of interest. That will resonate, I'm sure, throughout this whole debate.

I found it somewhat frustrating and confusing when people in my riding were phoning me and saying, Don, we want you to fight this issue, we don't like this thing, it's wrong what they're doing. Then they will say, do you think it will have any effect in a true democracy that we stand up and ask you to represent us at the House, stand up and voice the concerns of the people who elected you? Do you believe that these petitions will actually make any difference, and is this process open and transparent and accountable and that decisions will not be made until people in this House, who have the ability to vote on this and make final decisions, if they want to, because this power in this Legislature can do anything it believes is right?

I have been saying to them, I hope that democracy still rules and that freedom of speech and expression will still be upheld in this fine House and decisions will be made after people have heard from concerned Nova Scotians about their future. Then, after only making those statements to residents in my riding, I find out that the Progressive Conservative Party is having their founding meetings before the legislation is even approved. (Interruptions) It's not been debated, it's been tabled. It's just starting the debate, it hasn't been debated. It hasn't allowed for individuals to come forward to the Legislature to (Interruptions) and now they're having founding meetings.

[Page 10994]

This bill hasn't had Royal Assent, it hasn't been voted on, and now they're going to be having founding meetings, despite the fact that Royal Assent hasn't been given. I think if you want to have something to say about this, go right ahead. I will sit down if you have a question to ask. If you want to do that, go right ahead. But I'm saying, how can they go and have founding meetings unless they've already predetermined they're going to be voting in favour of this bill no matter what's being said by constituents of Lunenburg West. They are going to go and vote for this bill no matter what the people of Lunenburg West or Queens County have to say or any other area of the Province of Nova Scotia. Shame on the arrogance of a government that says we're going to have founding meetings before this is given Royal Assent, before it's been voted on, before we've had the opportunity to go into committee.

So now what do I do? Do I go and phone all those people back and say what I had hoped and believed, that democracy still rules in the Province of Nova Scotia and that this Legislative Assembly still has respect for the rights of individual Nova Scotians, is all wrong because they're going to go ahead anyway, those founding meetings? I say that is wrong. Maybe somebody made a mistake. Maybe it was a typo and he got the wrong date to go ahead and have those founding meetings. But it seems to me those dates were given. Actually, we have not only one date, we have a number of dates. Meeting scheduled November 4th, Dartmouth North. The good people of Dartmouth North are going to be having a founding meeting November 4th and what's today? Is today November 4th? It seems to me that the bill was tabled on Friday and this is the first chance we have had to talk about the bill, a bill for which they are now having a founding meeting based on the outcome of the debate that we haven't even had. On November 5th, we have Halifax Needham; November 10th, we have Eastern Shore; November 13th, Halifax Citadel; November 13th, Cape Breton West; November 13th, Cape Breton North; November 16th, Victoria The Lakes; November 18th, Timberlea-Prospect.

I don't know when this bill is going to have Royal Assent, but I have a funny feeling it will not be before those dates. I think it's going to be after those dates. Now they are sending me over Frank magazine, for goodness sake. I don't need Frank magazine. I've got enough Frank magazine trying to put up with what you guys are doing right now and that is circumventing the democratic rights of individual Nova Scotians by saying we are going to just laugh at you when you come to the committee that will be in the Red Room. We are going to laugh at you as a member of this government because we don't care one thing that you have to say, the good people of Lunenburg West.

The people who are going to come in, if they do come in now after hearing what is going to happen, they are going to come in believing that this process is legitimate, believing that this Progressive Conservative Government is going to be open and accountable and transparent about the democratic process that they started. But, instead, what they are going to read is that we have scheduled meetings for their foundation meetings going right up until November 20th. Queens County is November 20th, Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage is November 20th, Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville. On the 21st, we move into Halifax

[Page 10995]

Chebucto, the 22nd Inverness, the 26th Halifax-Clayton Park, 26th Cape Breton Centre, 27th Cape Breton South.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's in a phone booth.

MR. DOWNE: I understand it is in a phone booth. I don't know if it is or not, but November 30th in Cole Harbour. Yet, we don't even know what the outcome of this legislation is - at least the members of the Opposition of this House did not know what the outcome of this debate was going to be. We believed, fundamentally, that we would have an opportunity to represent our people and that our people, through petitions and through their voice in coming to the Legislative Assembly, we're going to have the respect of the members of this House to the extent where they would listen to their arguments and their debate, but do you know what they're going to have? They're going to have the members of that Conservative side sitting in the Law Amendments Committee, they're probably going to sit there and laugh at them or smile and grin at them because the bottom line is they're dead on arrival when it comes to having a concern about the changes that are brought forward by the commission.

[9:15 p.m.]

You know, they might think this is a joke over there, but this is not a joke. This is not a joke for the people who live in that part of my riding. They are not laughing about this issue. They are not happy about this issue and they wanted to come in here, and these people aren't necessarily ones who normally would come to Halifax to voice their opinion, they wanted to come in to let people know how they felt. These are people who have Progressive Conservative backgrounds. These are people who are New Democrats and who are Liberals. It doesn't matter what their politics are, they are just concerned about the fact that they are being forced to make a change. (Interruption) I can use that for second debate, next caller, next caller, next caller.

You know, as the heckling on the other side of the House, Mr. Speaker, continues and they say next caller, I would like that person to sit in the Law Amendments Committee when people come in to talk about how they feel about this process when they say thank you, next caller, goodbye. As arrogant as you want to be about this issue, I don't care about anything here tonight except the fact that you people have got to understand one thing. You've been elected to represent all the people of the Province of Nova Scotia, not just your riding, and you are there to represent them and show respect for Nova Scotians. When you start having founding meetings in your own ridings throughout the Province of Nova Scotia before this bill is even passed - and you have the majority of votes in this House and we know that - so you're saying to Nova Scotians it doesn't matter now, we are going to vote in favour of this proposal no matter what anybody else has to say.

[Page 10996]

You know I wonder if somebody was sick and they wanted a second opinion by a doctor, you know, they would have the respect of having that. We have got people who are very frustrated in my riding about this issue and they don't have anybody who will give them a second hearing. In fact, we never got the first hearing in some people's minds because they wouldn't come to the riding. I wonder how the member for Lunenburg would feel if his riding wasn't kept the same, or Truro-Bible Hill. I don't believe there's too many changes there. I don't believe there's too many changes in the Minister of Finance's riding or other members' ridings. They're all happy I guess, but I can tell you something - there are ridings other than Progressive Conservative ridings that are affected and they are concerned and they are saying they deserve a voice. I am sure the member for Eastern Shore probably would love to stand up and talk about the concerns that he has been given by his constituents.

Anyway I don't know how you're going to reconcile that your association - here's the other one. We're going to be appointing association presidents and executives at these founding meetings, right? Okay. So they're going to have a president of a riding that hasn't been approved by the Legislature. It doesn't exist. It hasn't been approved. It hasn't been in the Royal Gazette. It hasn't been given Royal Assent. (Interruption) So does that mean that the Progressive Conservative Party is all smoke and mirrors because they don't have the legitimacy of being able to do that? (Interruption) Well, I haven't got into the assets, but maybe I should talk about the assets because it would be interesting. I think what the government should do when they have those founding meetings, before this is given a vote in the Legislature and before this has gone through and given Royal Assent, that all the assets that are in those constituencies and having those founding meetings would then go into the hands of the Province of Nova Scotia, into general revenue because it didn't exist, or put it into trust somewhere else. Maybe they can lend the money in the interest of that to help pay for some of the health care needs in the Province of Nova Scotia.

These are legal, founding meetings - through their constitution - they are bringing forward, but yet they don't have enabling legislation to do that. I would like to know how they can do that. We have lawyers in the room. Is that legal, to have founding meetings even though (Interruption) they can't do it? They say it's legal.

AN HON. MEMBER: He didn't like the answer.

MR. DOWNE: No, I don't like the answer. Maybe it's legal, but is it morally right? Is it ethically right? (Interruptions) I knew the Official Opposition was good for one thing, when I asked the question and that is the answer is no, it's not ethically right, it's not morally right. (Interruptions) The last time I believed a lawyer, that's a good question. Even as blinded as the New Democrats can be, they even know the truth of that answer, and that's what I applaud them for. Thank you very much.

[Page 10997]

Mr. Speaker, there was a lot of work that went into this, and I'm not here to lay blame on anybody or on the commission, I'm here to ask that I hope that this Legislative Assembly will uphold the democratic rights that are there in the Province of Nova Scotia to at least have the respect given to individuals who have concerns about these boundary changes. One could argue about whether the 25 per cent variance, from a constitutional point of view, is locked in stone. Well, it isn't. There are all sorts of manipulations to that process proven throughout the province and throughout the Country of Canada.

The issues that were very frustrating to me and to many Nova Scotians was that the terms of reference - and that's all of us, to deal with that - there was no weighted fact on the issue of community of interest and community history. The criteria wasn't like 75 per cent on population and 10 per cent on community of interest and 10 per cent on community history and 5 per cent on something else. There was no weighted factoring whatsoever. It was all based on the numbers. This is a numbers game. This is a big numbers game. I don't understand why they even had any other terms of reference there when it doesn't matter, it wasn't taken into consideration.

Mr. Speaker, I know there are other speakers probably wanting to get up and talk on this issue. I know there is going to be another day to debate this in more detail, but I do appreciate the attention of . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Weeks, weeks, months, next month.

MR. DOWNE: Next month, probably the end of December or whenever it is. I appreciate your attention, Mr. Speaker. I think I probably, hopefully, caught the attention of the members of the government to realize there is a moral, ethical issue here. From the optics point of view they should have at least shown respect for individuals who might want to come forward. This is not a slam dunk issue. This has concerns. I know members across the way, that if their constituents were as upset as the constituents in my riding and asked them to stand up, I would hope they had the intestinal fortitude to do exactly that; I would hope they would. I know the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley member, he's never been a coward, he would always stand up - well, maybe sometimes but not in the House. He has always stood up and fought for his people.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. DOWNE: I take that back. I apologize. I meant to give a compliment. The member from that beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley area always fought for his people, what I've seen. He's never been afraid to stand up in this House. I know that he respects the fact that I'm standing up for my riding. I hope that he allows some process here for independents - in fact, I don't know why we don't have a free vote on this issue.

[Page 10998]

I know our Leader has talked about free votes. I remember our Premier talking, in 1999 - I believe in free votes. Do you remember that debate? Do you remember that? We will allow for free votes.

AN HON. MEMBER: Did he say when?

MR. DOWNE: I think most people assumed he meant in his first tenure, somewhere in the first two, three, four, five years of government he would allow for at least one free vote. Wouldn't you assume that? I would think. Even though some members of his caucus voted their conscience on different bills, maybe they weren't treated the same afterwards, but at least they stood up and voted their conscience - at least one member I know did. Why wouldn't the government, if they are so positive about how this is so good for everybody, why wouldn't they allow for a free vote on this? Why wouldn't they allow for members who maybe have some concerns about this to have a free vote? This is a question that I think is fair. I don't know why, but I haven't heard the government or the Premier say they will allow this to be a free vote, because this affects constituents in every riding differently.

This isn't a money bill; this isn't a policy of government that's going to take them down. This isn't something that the government inner Cabinet figured all out, I hope. This is something that was done by an independent body and so for that, why wouldn't they allow for a free vote? One has to ask the question: Is it because they don't want a free vote, they are scared to have a free vote, they are afraid to have a free vote, on the government benches?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Will the honourable member allow for an introduction?

MR. DOWNE: Yes.

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

MR. DAVID HENDSBEE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the honourable member for this opportunity to make an introduction. In the west gallery, I would like to introduce to the members of the Legislature another Leader of a political Party here participating and listening to the debate in the House with this important piece of legislation, Mr. Gerry Rodgers, the Leader of the Nova Scotia Party. I would like to recognize him and also, if I may take this opportunity, in the Speaker's Gallery, is the lovely daughter of the honourable member for Eastern Shore, Michelle Dooks. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West has the floor.

MR. DOWNE: I want to go back to - well you mentioned about John Leefe. I will table for this House, if the members opposite want to take the time, if the government benches would take the time to read what the former member of the Legislature - who sat in

[Page 10999]

the Progressive Conservative Cabinet and who is now the Mayor of Queens - has to say about this issue, I will table that. I'm going to table this, but I'm going to ask by a show of hands, if I'm allowed, Mr. Speaker, through you to them, how many are going to read it? Would anybody over there read it?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. You can table it, but you can't ask for a show of hands.

MR. DOWNE: Just for the record, Mr. Speaker, nobody raised any hands over there, but I want you to know . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Can anybody over there read?

MR. DOWNE: I know they can read and they can read a lot of things. But, you know, when members of this Legislature, former members like Marie Dechman, former Cabinet Minister, and John Leefe, former Cabinet Minister, who were with the Progressive Conservative Government, are saying this is wrong, they should be able to read the politics of that issue.

[9:30 p.m.]

Now I want to pose some questions of transfer of assets. They're having these founding meetings. I think it's under Clause 6 in the document and they go on in Clause 7, independent boundary commission recommended that these changes shouldn't - oh, in Clause 7, I'm talking about clauses of the bill - but in the report it's been talked about and they had recommended - I'm just trying to catch their attention, Mr. Speaker - the independent commission said they recommended these changes shouldn't take effect until six months after Royal Assent. So we're having founding meetings now, in fact there's one tonight, and one almost every night for the rest of the month, but yet the commission said they shouldn't do anything for six months after Royal Assent.

They want to be selective about what is recommended in the report. They want to be selective of doing what they think is right for them and not what the report had recommended. It appears that when you want to be selective about it, it almost shows a sense of arrogance to the whole commission's efforts.

They go on to say that it shouldn't be done for six months after Royal Assent. The government has chosen to shorten this recommendation and has said that the new boundaries will take effect on March 1st. The commission has said six months after Royal Assent, whenever that will be, and based on the Conservative Government's understanding that will be some time tonight. That isn't going to happen. Six months after it's done, so whenever that will be - maybe the end of the month. December, January, February, March, April, May, they're talking about saying - well, that's after Royal Assent, and God knows when that will

[Page 11000]

be. They're saying it will take effect March 1, 2003. Obviously a signal to all of us on this side of the House, it's code for when the next election is going to be, when the writ will be dropped.

Interestingly enough, some of us were guessing when the writ would be dropped. I think the ones that were elected in 1998 need to go until March some time before they're eligible, but I don't know if that was the case.

AN HON. MEMBER: Eligible for what?

MR. DOWNE: I don't know - eligible for something, but the bottom line, they're making a code here of when, basically, the election will be.

AN HON. MEMBER: Wouldn't be pensions or something, would it? Wouldn't have anything to do with pensions?

MR. DOWNE: I don't know, but they have a method to their madness. And that method to their madness is not respecting the moral and ethical rights, the democratic rights of individuals who have concerns about this bill.

The transfer of assets. How is this going to be that they're going to transfer assets - and maybe they can enlighten me on this and I'm open to that - transfer the cash assets and the physical assets of a constituency that is recognized under the legislation that is current, that was brought in in 1992, to the proposed legislative change of Bill No. 142 that has yet to be approved in the House. They're going to transfer those assets into an entity that doesn't exist.

So the question is, how can those assets be legally transferred, and under what name will they be transferred? Will that be legal? I'm sure there are people who can answer that question from an accounting point of view, but those assets are indeed a question. Why wouldn't they simply wait until the Legislature approved whatever comes out and then do it? They want to get it done beforehand. Why are they so anxious to get those founding meetings done by the end of this month? Is that another code? Is that another guess what's coming around the corner? Maybe they're saying this will allow them to go and fight the next election earlier than what anybody would think because they'll have all those founding meetings done, get this bill done and drop the writ.

AN HON. MEMBER: When do you think they will do it?

MR. DOWNE: I have no idea. Maybe they want to do it before the 10 per cent tax cut across the board. Or maybe the Minister of Finance is wondering where he's going to find all the money that he needs to make sure at least that he comes in with some sort of respectable numbers for whenever the budget is brought forward.

[Page 11001]

Mr. Speaker, I didn't realize that I possibly spoke for an hour, but you just indicated that I have merely a minute left. I will soon take my place, but I want members of this government to take a thought tonight when they go to bed, before they go to sleep, to think about the fact that people in this province are all of a sudden feeling let down, disappointed and frustrated by the fact that their approach to this bill is taking away democratic rights and freedoms that some people feel are important to them. They are saying we are going to have these meetings, we are going to constitute new committees and new ridings without this bill being approved so that when people come to the Law Amendments Committee in the Red Room that this is nothing more than a farce that they are going through. They shouldn't even show up to hear what people have to say and I ask them to reconsider what they're doing and to allow the good people of Lunenburg West to have the respect that they deserve as members of the family of the voting public of the Province of Nova Scotia. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, I'm sure I join with every person in the province who is unfortunate enough to have to listen to the tirade of the honourable member for Lunenburg West, that I speak for all of us in saying that it's far from obvious what on earth the honourable member thought he was doing delivering that speech to us now. That was not a speech that should have been offered to the Legislature of the Province of Nova Scotia. That was not a speech that should have been offered to the people of Nova Scotia at this late date. If the honourable member wished to put forward those sentiments, he should have put forward those sentiments to the Electoral Boundaries Commission when it was holding its public hearings all around the province.

I hear the honourable member suggesting that he did just that. I was about to observe that he probably had. Given that . . .

MR. DONALD DOWNE: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, just for the record, although my colleague was making some comments that were not accurate, I know he didn't mean to be somewhat slanderous to the honourable member for Lunenburg West in his comments, but I will say this. If he reads the document, he will realize that I had written and voiced the concern to the chairman of the committee a number of months ago. As well, I have written and put in petitions in regard to exactly what I talked about here tonight. So I ask the member to retract the statement in regard to that statement.

MR. SPEAKER: It is not a point of order, but it is a point of clarification.

MR. EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, the question that was asked by the member in passing was, is this process legitimate? That is a fair question that we ought to look at. The real question, indeed, is what is the process that we are dealing with at this moment? When it comes to electoral boundaries, when the matter comes before the Legislature, this is a bill which is unlike other bills. It's a bill that is unlike other bills precisely because it was the

[Page 11002]

express intention of all of the members of this House to set up an independent electoral boundaries commission to advise us and the people of Nova Scotia as to what the boundaries ought to be. It is not for us to second guess the independent Electoral Boundaries Commission.

I am going to say immediately, because it's important to note it for the record right now, that although we in our Party do have some criticisms of the final report of the Electoral Boundaries Commission, we intend to vote for the legislation that has been brought forward that embodies that report because that's the right thing to do. That respects the process of independence that was set up a decade ago and which was administered by us this year. That was the essence of what is in front of us right now. This is a bill unlike other bills for precisely that reason. We agreed a decade ago and agreed again, essentially this past year, that the process was going to be one in which we would appoint an independent electoral boundaries commission to make those decisions, to go out in a public process, to go out in a democratic process, to go out among the people of the province and see what they have to say, to bring their expertise to the task and to advise us what the boundaries ought to be on the basis of some guidance that we gave to them. That's what's occurred.

Mr. Speaker, I had the good fortune to be a member of the select committee that was established by this House for purposes of establishing the Electoral Boundaries Commission. I think everyone will recall that at the time when the select committee, the select committee of members of this House representing all Parties was established, this House chose to give a certain limited number of items as guidance to the members of that select committee for transmission to the terms of reference for the Electoral Boundaries Commission. The essential point was that the Legislature should be composed of 52 constituencies. That was the basic instruction that was given to the select committee to pass on to the Electoral Boundaries Commission. The select committee was also instructed that when it selected the members of the commission - and we weren't even told how many to select, this House simply said that it will be a commission that is broadly representative of the population of the province. Those were the only two criteria that the select committee was given, and they were put in place because the Electoral Boundaries Commission was, in fact, broadly representative of the population of the province and, furthermore, they were told in no uncertain terms that there could be no greater and no fewer than 52 constituencies.

Now you could look at that and in retrospect maybe that wasn't the right decision, maybe we might have thought in more detail about that number. Certainly there were articles in the press at the time that suggested a smaller number. I have to say that wouldn't be my personal inclination. My personal inclination would be to think in terms of more members of this House simply because it affords us the opportunity to have more comfortable sizes in the constituencies that we represent which, indeed, has turned out to be something of a point of contention in the whole process.

[Page 11003]

Be that as it may, this House, I think unanimously, endorsed the terms of the Electoral Boundaries Commission through the establishment of the select committee. That's how the process got started. But the question we're asked is, is this process legitimate? If this process were not legitimate, then indeed when the bill finally comes in front of this House, as Bill No. 142 has now come in front of us, we might turn our minds to it and say this was unfortunate, this was not a democratic process, this was somehow fundamentally flawed. That hasn't been proven, not even remotely.

What we have here is some quibbling with some of the boundary lines for some of the seats. Many of us might have quibbles about where the boundary lines have been suggested to be drawn by the Electoral Boundaries Commission. There may be many citizens out there who, for one reason or another, don't like where the new boundary lines have been drawn as it affects them in their household or with their neighbours. I've heard from a few people in that regard. I'm sure many of us have. But the question is, did we in fact set up a legitimate process? Well, that's worth examining. It's worth putting on the historical record whether we did go through something that was a legitimate, arm's-length, independent process.

Now, I think, by and large, we did. As I said, our Party intends to vote in favour of this bill where it puts forward what the Electoral Boundaries Commission has recommended, even though we don't agree and if we had our druthers wouldn't have necessarily written the recommendations that they gave us the same way but, because we regard this as an important element, fundamental to how democracy ought to be administered in this province, we will vote in favour of it.

The quibbles that we might have with some of the lines on the map or even stronger criticisms with the extent of variation in size of the different constituencies as proposed are not such fundamental flaws as to induce us to say that this report ought to be rejected or interfered with at this stage. Our job at this stage is to take the report of the Electoral Boundaries Commission and pass it into law. That is important and it's important also that we recall why it is that this kind of system was established a decade ago.

[9:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, it was only a decade ago that the first truly independent Electoral Boundaries Commission was established here. Prior to that really the redrawing of the lines for constituencies was in the hands of the government of the day. They could, according to their own self-interest, choose to draw lines in ways that would advantage them. This was, well, in fact, one of the honourable members has said and they did, past governments certainly did this and it wasn't unique to Nova Scotia, every politician knows the word gerrymander. This is a word that goes back well into two centuries ago and was rooted in the actions of a Governor Gerry of Massachusetts who drew such tortured lines on an electoral map in order to favour his Party, that one of the results looked like a dragon or a salamander

[Page 11004]

and the pundits of the time put together Governor Gerry's name with the word salamander and they ended up with the word gerrymander which has passed into the English language. To gerrymander means to draw electoral boundary lines in such a way as to favour the Party that's drawing the lines.

Now, before we chose in this province, a decade ago, to put in place an independent system, the system we had previously worked with was open to exactly that kind of abuse and that is fundamentally anti-democratic abuse of the system that puts us here, the system that people trust in order to elect their representatives to come to this body to pass laws for them, to come to this body to collect their taxes and spend their taxes for them to the public benefit. That is fundamentally wrong. It hits at the heart of what democracy is all about if that system had been allowed to persist. It was precisely that system that was rejected more than a decade ago, I think 1991 when it was first put in place in Nova Scotia and the first Electoral Boundaries Commission, the first independent Electoral Boundaries Commission was established. This is a very good step forward and what we have done here this time is we have replicated it only for the second time in our province, but we have replicated it and it was done reasonably successfully.

But let me point out that some attempts were made by the Party to my left, the Party opposite, to suggest names for the so-called independent Electoral Boundaries Commission that I have to say, Mr. Speaker, failed the sniff test. The question would have been how independent were they? The Liberals proposed the name of a former Liberal Premier of this province, recent former Liberal Premier of this province, to go on this independent arm's- length, non-partisan Electoral Boundaries Commission. I have to say that was not appropriate. That should not have occurred, but it did occur and that person was not accepted by the majority of the select committee. Even the government members on the select committee, I have to say, put forward the name of a person who had run as a PC candidate in the 1999 election, run unsuccessfully, and who was planning to run again in the next election, I hope again unsuccessfully.

Now, let me say that I think this kind of attempt to pack the committee with people who would have been clearly partisan was wrong, but do you know what? At the committee stage where the select committee got together, all three Parties being represented on that select committee, we worked it out, we talked with each other, we criticized each other's lists of names, and the final committee that was struck met the test.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, in regard to the comments made by the member to my right, just in seating only, he made the statement, casting aspersions on two Parties in this House, at the way that members were being selected to this committee and I take great exception to that. They were honest hard-working Nova Scotians that were asked to serve on that particular committee and I take grave exception to that member's comments. The purist opposite over there, the do-no-wrong Party, and that particular member, who, earlier tonight in his remarks, also made reference to the fact that

[Page 11005]

this legislative body, this elected body, has no other right in this House but to rubber stamp that commission's report. That is fundamentally wrong. This Legislature will make the decision on how the Electoral Boundaries Commission ends up once the procedure of this House is finished.

MR. SPEAKER: Just before the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto takes over again, the honourable member for Cape Breton South does make one good point in the fact that the honourable member in his comments did make reference to the fact that the two other Parties did attempt to appoint people to a committee and made it sound as if it would be of benefit to them. You could interpret that as casting aspersions. I would ask the honourable member to refrain from those types of comments and the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto has the floor.

MR. EPSTEIN: As I was saying, Mr. Speaker, the result was in the words used in the terms of reference of the resolution of the House, a commission that was broadly representative of the population of the province and the result was an independent and I think, so far as I can tell, non-partisan and, indeed, hard-working commission that went off and did its work. That was the result of the three-Party discussions. That was a step that tended to make that process legitimate.

The question was asked by the honourable member for Lunenburg West, is this process legitimate? And I say it was legitimate. It was legitimate through the striving of all members of this House through that process that was established.

Let's recall that that select committee before it turned its mind to appointing the members of the Electoral Boundaries Commission and before it turned its mind to the actual details of the drafting of the terms of reference, went out and held public hearings itself all around the province. There was a series of public hearings that the select committee held in different parts of the province in which we asked people to come to us and talk to us - not about where the boundary lines ought to be drawn because that wasn't what we were doing. We asked them to come to us and say, what kind of person ought to be on the Electoral Boundaries Commission? What should be part of the terms of reference of the Electoral Boundaries Commission? That was another step in the legitimacy of the process. It was an extra step that I think perhaps had not been explicitly contemplated when the original resolution went through this House, but it's a step that the select committee made and I say it added to the legitimacy of the process. It added to the fundamental democratic legitimacy of that process.

Now, after the Electoral Boundaries Commission was appointed, it's important to recall that its process is mandated by Statute. It is told that it has to hold public hearings. It is a requirement. And it did. Furthermore, the governing Statute requires that the Electoral Boundaries Commission come up with an interim report and then hold a second round of public hearings. This the commission did. The commission made available on a Web site and

[Page 11006]

through written materials, all of its statistical analysis, nothing was hidden. The data was there for anyone who wanted to come and make a presentation to that commission, all of their analysis of past electoral data of what it might mean in terms of average numbers of over 18 voters in the different constituencies if there were different lines drawn. All of that was out there for people to look at, access, think about and use as background information for their presentations.

To the extent that there is something we ought to regret about the process of the Electoral Boundaries Commission, it is that I think, unfortunately, not a lot of members of the general public took the time and trouble to come out and make presentations to the Electoral Boundaries Commission. It wasn't a hot topic. Now, it should have been a hot topic, but it wasn't.

In saying this, I'm not criticizing those who did come out. Those who did come out had legitimate concerns that they wanted to put on the record and they did that. They put their legitimate concerns on the record. They had input into the process. They had respectful input into that process, and by respectful I don't mean that they were respectful to the commission, but that the commission was respectful towards them. I attended a number of those sessions to watch the commission at work, and it was clear that they were very much on top of the material. It was clear that they understood what they were doing; it was clear that they had turned their minds to the detail; it was clear that they listened to each and every presentation; it was clear that they asked intelligent questions of the presenters. This is exactly the kind of process that one would have expected. Those are exactly the kind of steps that make that process a legitimate process, in answer to the question from the honourable member for Lunenburg West.

Mr. Speaker, that is background. Even though that honourable member or other honourable members, or I or other of my colleagues, might not enjoy all of the results of what the Electoral Boundaries Commission did, I say that it is incumbent upon us to accept it, that that is our obligation, that that is in fact the democratic step at this point, that the right thing to do is to accept it now.

Mr. Speaker, I see the hour is drawing on; perhaps I could move adjournment of the debate and will continue tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn debate.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 11007]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move the House do now rise to meet again on the morrow at the hour of 2:00 p.m. The House will sit from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. The order of business will be Public Bills for Second Reading and we will continue debate on Bill No. 142 and, if we complete that, we will go on to Bill No. 143. Thank you.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

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

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

[Page 11008]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 4421

By: Mr. Richard Hurlburt (Yarmouth)

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

Whereas the Yarmouth South Centennial School Breakfast Program has recently celebrated 10 years in operation, currently offering a good start to the morning for 40 to 50 children daily; and

Whereas to honour this anniversary, program coordinator, Gillian Rowley, organized a quilt fundraiser; and

Whereas the fundraiser raised over $1,300 for the breakfast program, which has become a model for other schools in Yarmouth County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Gillian Rowley on the success of the quilt fundraiser and also thank the Yarmouth South Centennial School and its supporters for the provision of its breakfast program for the past decade.

RESOLUTION NO. 4422

By: Mr. John Holm (Sackville-Cobequid)

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

Whereas this government continues to make seniors foot the bill for the cost of the medical portion of their long-term care costs; and

Whereas the Minister of Health told the Romanow Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada last April that Nova Scotians are "prepared to play our part in . . . a renewal of our health care system"; and

Whereas seniors in Nova Scotia are calling on the minister to play his part in that renewal by stopping the practice of stripping them of their assets to pay for their long-term care;

[Page 11009]

Therefore be it resolved that this House call on the Minister of Health to create a renewed, equitable long-term care system by committing today to fund the medical care costs of Nova Scotians in long-term care.

RESOLUTION NO. 4423

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

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

Whereas a number of residents in the Walton area are working hard to ensure their existing wharf and breakwater remain a community mainstay; and

Whereas Walton firefighter, Raymond Ross is playing an integral role in the developing of a steering committee to examine the type of role local residents envision for their wharf; and

Whereas Ross has stated that the loss of the wharf and breakwater would have dire consequences because of the erosion that would take place in the harbour;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Raymond Ross and his committee for their tireless work in attempting to secure a long-term strategy for the Walton Wharf.

RESOLUTION NO. 4424

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

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

Whereas the Windsor Tennis Club recently concluded one of their best seasons ever, with lots of activity under the capable guidance of Elizabeth Gibson and her husband, Rev. Bill Gibson; and

Whereas a large class of young children in their early elementary grades took lessons on a regular basis throughout the week, leaving the courts open for some fun and competition every evening; and

Whereas the club championships were played the final week of August, with awards and presentations handed out at a social potluck dinner on September 15th at the club;

[Page 11010]

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs congratulate Bill and Elizabeth and their executive for making the 2002 tennis season in Windsor a wonderful experience for both old and new players.

RESOLUTION NO. 4425

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

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

Whereas players have now been selected for the 2003 Canada Winter Games Nova Scotia men's and women's hockey teams; and

Whereas Ryan Reynolds of Falmouth was selected to the men's team, and Jayne Knowles from Avondale was chosen for the women's team; and

Whereas the 2003 Canada Winter Games are scheduled for northern New Brunswick in the Bathurst-Campbellton area between February 22 and March 8, 2003, and will host a total of 3,200 athletes in 21 sports events;

Therefore be it resolved that Ryan Reynolds and Jayne Knowles be complimented by members of this House of Assembly for their hard work and wish them every success as they attempt to bring home a gold medal for the Province of Nova Scotia in the men's and women's hockey programs.

RESOLUTION NO. 4426

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas our province's finest Black musicians, performers and music industry promoters were honoured on November 2nd at the 5th Annual African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards (ANSMA); and

Whereas the ANSMA awards are an important recognition of the artistic and cultural excellence of our region's musicians and performers and serve as an exceptional showcase for local Black artists; and

[Page 11011]

Whereas the Music Heritage Award was presented posthumously to Davey Wells, a fixture on Frank's Bandstand and Singalong Jubilee, who helped pave the way for Black entertainers on television;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the African Nova Scotian Music Association for half a decade of promoting our province's African Nova Scotian musical community and recognize Davey Wells and all ANSMA award winners for their musical excellence.

RESOLUTION NO. 4427

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas our province's finest Black musicians, performers and music industry promoters were honoured on November 2nd at the 5th Annual African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards (ANSMA); and

Whereas the ANSMA awards are an important recognition of the artistic and cultural excellence of our region's musicians and performers and serve as an exceptional showcase for local Black artists; and

Whereas filmmaker, Dr. Sylvia D. Hamilton, was awarded the Pioneer Award for her work as "a visionary artist and creative genius";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the African Nova Scotian Music Association for half a decade of promoting our province's African Nova Scotian musical community and congratulate Dr. Sylvia Hamilton and all ANSMA participants for their many contributions to the music industry.

RESOLUTION NO. 4428

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas our province's finest Black musicians, performers and music industry promoters were honoured on November 2nd at the 5th Annual African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards (ANSMA); and

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Whereas the ANSMA awards are an important recognition of the artistic and cultural excellence of our region's musicians and performers and serve as an exceptional showcase for local Black artists; and

Whereas Muzik2Reign (M2R) Entertainment picked up the Black Business Initiative's Industry Development Award for its efforts in producing, promoting and marketing hip-hop and R&B artists.

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the African Nova Scotian Music Association for half a decade of promoting our province's African Nova Scotian musical community and congratulate M2R Entertainment and all ANSMA participants for their many contributions to the music industry.

RESOLUTION NO. 4429

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas our province's finest Black musicians, performers and music industry promoters were honoured on November 2nd at the 5th Annual African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards (ANSMA); and

Whereas the ANSMA awards are an important recognition of the artistic and cultural excellence of our region's musicians and performers and serve as an exceptional showcase for local Black artists; and

Whereas Jamie Sparks of Cherry Brook, N.S. won the awards for Best R&B Artist and Best Album for his CD "Unforgettable";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the African Nova Scotian Music Association for half a decade of promoting our province's African Nova Scotian musical community and congratulate Jamie Sparks and all ANSMA participants for their musical excellence.

RESOLUTION NO. 4430

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

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Whereas our province's finest Black musicians, performers and music industry promoters were honoured on November 2nd at the 5th Annual African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards (ANSMA); and

Whereas the ANSMA awards are an important recognition of the artistic and cultural excellence of our region's musicians and performers and serve as an exceptional showcase for local Black artists; and

Whereas Papa Grand was presented with the award for Best Hip-Hop Artist;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the African Nova Scotian Music Association for half a decade of promoting our province's African Nova Scotian musical community and congratulate Papa Grand and all ANSMA participants for their musical excellence.

RESOLUTION NO. 4431

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas our province's finest Black musicians, performers and music industry promoters were honoured on November 2nd at the 5th Annual African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards (ANSMA); and

Whereas the ANSMA awards are an important recognition of the artistic and cultural excellence of our region's musicians and performers and serve as an exceptional showcase for local Black artists; and

Whereas the North Preston-based Hallelujah Praise Choir was also awarded the Best Gospel Artist award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the African Nova Scotian Music Association for half a decade of promoting our province's African Nova Scotian musical community and congratulate the Hallelujah Praise Choir and all ANSMA participants for their musical excellence.

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RESOLUTION NO. 4432

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas our province's finest Black musicians, performers and music industry promoters were honoured on November 2nd at the 5th Annual African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards (ANSMA); and

Whereas the ANSMA awards are an important recognition of the artistic and cultural excellence of our region's musicians and performers and serve as an exceptional showcase for local Black artists; and

Whereas 18 year old singer, Shane Colley, won the Up and Coming Youth award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the African Nova Scotian Music Association for half a decade of promoting our province's African Nova Scotian musical community and congratulate Shane Colley and all ANSMA participants for their musical excellence.

RESOLUTION NO. 4433

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas our province's finest Black musicians, performers and music industry promoters were honoured on November 2nd at the 5th Annual African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards (ANSMA); and

Whereas the ANSMA awards are an important recognition of the artistic and cultural excellence of our region's musicians and performers and serve as an exceptional showcase for local Black artists; and

Whereas jazz and gospel singer, Linda Carvery, received the award for Entertainer of the Year;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the African Nova Scotian Music Association for half a decade of promoting our province's African Nova Scotian musical community and congratulate Linda Carvery and all ANSMA participants for their musical excellence.

RESOLUTION NO. 4434

By: Mr. David Hendsbee (Preston)

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

Whereas our province's finest Black musicians, performers and music industry promoters were honoured on November 2nd at the 5th Annual African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards (ANSMA); and

Whereas the ANSMA awards are an important recognition of the artistic and cultural excellence of our region's musicians and performers and serve as an exceptional showcase for local Black artists; and

Whereas jazz guitarist, Harvey Millar, received the awards for Best Jazz Artist, Best New Artist and Artist of the Year for his work with Freedom Jazz Band and his debut solo CD Milestones;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the African Nova Scotian Music Association for half a decade of promoting our province's African Nova Scotian musical community and congratulate Harvey Millar and all ANSMA participants for their musical excellence.

RESOLUTION NO. 4435

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 Wild Blueberry and Maple Centre in Oxford, Nova Scotia, is celebrating its 4th Anniversary; the centre has experienced a steady increase in the number of visitors since opening; and

Whereas as of October 9th, 10,500 visitors have stopped in to view the interpretive centre's wild blueberry and maple industries displays, and retail sales continue to climb; and

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Whereas the Wild Blueberry and Maple Centre remains a business that promotes tourism to both the town and the county in the summer months and allows tourists who want to check their e-mail, send messages home, or do banking, to do so at their business;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Wild Blueberry and Maple Centre on their 4th Anniversary and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4436

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Alisha Choisnet, a student from Springhill Regional High School, was honoured with the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation Excellence Award; and

Whereas Alisha was granted a $4,800 scholarship, renewable for four years, to be used towards her studies at Acadia University where she plans on obtaining a Bachelor of Science; and

Whereas Alisha is a vital role model and established the Youth Against Racism group that identifies, discusses, and works to eliminate ignorance of all kinds;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Alisha Choisnet for receiving the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation Excellence Award and wish her all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4437

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas several members of the 689 Handley Page Air Cadet Squadron visited local tourist attractions in Parrsboro to do their part to keep the town clean; and

Whereas the annual cleanup saw these cadets collect several bags of garbage at a local campground, Partridge Island, and Legion; and

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Whereas cadets Clifford Bennett, Andy Rector, Matti Levy, Ashley Pettigrew, Ketelyn Bowden, Patrick Klein, Josh Paris, Ryan Matthews, CL Nancy Burton, Cpt. Ashley Skidmore, CO Maj. Doug Robinson, and Ben Forrest, all participated in this cleanup;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the 689 Handley Page Air Cadets on their dedication and effort to do their part to help keep their town clean.

RESOLUTION NO. 4438

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Lorraine MacDonald of the Junction Road Elementary School in Springhill, Nova Scotia, was honoured for her years of teaching during Excellence in Teaching Awards in Amherst on June 6, 2002; and

Whereas Mrs. MacDonald also helps coordinate the peer mediation program and CARES (Children at Risk Experiencing Success) program, which is part of a stay-in-school initiative; and

Whereas the children have great respect and admiration for Mrs. MacDonald, who has helped them through many changes and challenges;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Lorraine MacDonald on her Excellence in Teaching Award and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4439

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Marion Burbine of the West End Memorial School in Springhill, Nova Scotia, was honoured for her years of teaching during Excellence in Teaching Awards in Amherst on June 6, 2002; and

Whereas Mrs. Burbine also helps coordinate the peer mediation program and CARES (Children at Risk Experiencing Success) program, which is part of a stay-in-school initiative; and

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Whereas the children are said to care very much for Mrs. Burbine because of her warm sense of humour and her caring attitude towards them;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mrs. Marion Burbine on her Excellence in Teaching Award and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4440

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Surrette Battery from Springhill, Nova Scotia, has won the prestigious award of 2003 Long Term Exporter from Nova Scotia Business Inc.; and

Whereas Surrette Battery has also won awards for export achievement from 1978, 1980, 1982 and 1994 showing that the company, who employs more than 50 staff members, are dedicated to excellence; and

Whereas Surrette Battery noted that although the goal is the profit, non-monetary satisfaction comes with the job, and after 45 years of business they continue to research and develop new products;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Surrette Battery from Springhill Nova Scotia for its award and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4441

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Barry Patriquin from Oxford, Nova Scotia, competed in the 2002 world paralympics track and field competition in Lille, France, this summer; and

Whereas he finished ninth out of a field of 22 in the 100 metre event and fourth in the 400 metre and would like to concentrate on focusing on training for the 2004 paralympics in Athens, Greece; and

Whereas Barry is also releasing his first album this year on which he sings and plays his own music;

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Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Barry Patriquin on his achievements in both the paralympics and his music career and wish him best of luck in all of his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4442

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas 11-year-old Michael Mason has the distinction of being the only Springhiller on the winsome Casey Concrete Mixers baseball team this season; and

Whereas Michael and his team captured the Amherst Little League pennant on July 26, 2002 and the championship on August 22, 2002, as well; and

Whereas this was Michael's 6th year playing ball, the first with this league, Michael and his parents Terry and Laura are so grateful that Michael got to partake in such a successful year of baseball;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Michael Mason for his success with the Casey Concrete Mixers and wish him luck in all of his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4443

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Kate Scallion of Wentworth, Nova Scotia, competed in the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships in Austria and placed 25th overall and 4th Canadian; and

Whereas as Kate was an unfunded member of the Canadian team she had to raise enough money for her airfare, meals and accommodations on her own; and

Whereas Kate has also placed at the Canadian National Mountain Bike Championships in Kamloops, British Columbia, she represented Nova Scotia as a member of the Canada Games cycling team in London, Ontario. Kate also achieved the honour of being named top Atlantic junior mountain biker in 2000 and 2001 and continues to hold this

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title. Kate is now training for the Canada Winter Games where she will be competing in cross-country skiing;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Kate Scallion on all of her accomplishments and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4444

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 students of Nova Scotia Community College, Cumberland Campus in Springhill, Nova Scotia, raised $500 within hours to help students who are struggling financially; and

Whereas the students collected hundreds of dollars worth of goods from local businesses to be raffled off at the college and throughout the community to enable them to fund the emergency student bursary; and

Whereas the students had realized that several students may have had to drop out because they couldn't afford to pay for groceries or medicine because of the student poverty level so they took it upon themselves to start this fund to help their fellow students through difficult times;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the students of Cumberland Campus in Springhill, Nova Scotia, for their human kindness and unselfish nature that makes college life a little less stressful, and we wish them all the best in the future.