Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 01/02-122

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/

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Second Session

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2002

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4635, RCL: Efforts - Salute, Hon. R. Russell 11337
Vote - Affirmative 11338
Res. 4636, Gov't. (Can.): Employment Policy - Protest, Hon. E. Fage 11338
Vote - Affirmative 11339
Res. 4637, CEC/Hants East Rural HS - Hist. Debate (Online):
Participants - Congrats., Hon. J. Purves 11339
Vote - Affirmative 11340
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 150, Universities Assistance Act, Mr. D. Dexter 11340
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Re. 4638, CAF - Sacrifices: Tribute/Remembrance - Pay, Mr. D. Dexter 11340
Vote - Affirmative 11341
Res. 4639, Roach, Clifford - Sport Hall of Fame (N.S.): Induction -
Congrats., Mr. Manning MacDonald 11341
Vote - Affirmative 11341
Res. 4640, O'Connell Drive Elem. Sch. Choir - Sobeys "Stars of
Christmas" CD: Inclusion - Congrats., Mr. D. Hendsbee 11341
Vote - Affirmative 11342
Res. 4641, Kristallnacht - Remembrance: Vigilance - Maintain,
Mr. H. Epstein 11343
Vote - Affirmative 11343
Res. 4642, Insurance - Auto.: Taxation - Hidden, Mr. R. MacKinnon 11344
Res. 4643, Cn. Red. Cross - Kentville: Service Centre -
Opening Congrats., Mr. M. Parent 11344
Vote - Affirmative 11345
Res. 4644, O'Keefe, Sister Joan/Sowinski, Barbara - Coordinator
Single Parent Ctr.: Past & Present - Thank/Welcome,
Mr. Robert Chisholm 11345
Vote - Affirmative 11346
Res. 4645, CAF - Remebrance: Honour - Daily Basis, Mr. D. Wilson 11346
Vote - Affirmative 11346
Res. 4646, RCL - Somme Branch 31: Anniv (75th) - Congrats.,
Hon. T. Olive 11347
Vote - Affirmative 11347
Res. 4647, E. Passage Educ. Ctr. - Call to Remembrance (2002):
Victory - Congrats., Mr. K. Deveaux 11347
Vote - Affirmative 11348
Res. 4648, Health - Planning: Bundling - Cease, Dr. J. Smith 11348
Res. 4649, Nat. Res. - Hunters: Traning/Permits/Licences - Obtain,
Hon. T. Olive 11349
Vote - Affirmative 11350
Res. 4650, Gov't. (Can.): Disability Tax Credit - Oppose, Mr. G. Steele 11350
Vote - Affirmative 11351
Res. 4651, Tory-Rumsfeld - Connection: Probe - Commissioner of
Truth Appoint, Mr. P. MacEwan 11351
Res. 4652, Commercial Business Supplies - Gov't. (Can.): Payment -
Withhold, Mr. B. Taylor 11351
Vote - Affirmative 11352
Res. 4653, Rumsfeld, Donald - House of Assembly: Subpoena - Issue,
Mr. P. MacEwan 11352
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 142, House of Assembly Act/Elections Act 11353
Mr. P. MacEwan 11354
Mr. J. MacDonell 11360
Mr. K. MacAskill 11363
Mr. J. Pye 11369
Adjourned debate 11375
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Nov. 12th at 2:00 p.m. 11376
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 4654, Hudson, Darren - Great Outdoor Games: Gold Medal -
Congrats., Mr. C. O'Donnell 11377
Res. 4655, Mink Breeders Assoc. (Can.) - AGM: Organizers - Applaud,
Mr. R. Hurlburt 11377
Res. 4656, RCL: Tatamagouche Branch 64 - Salute, Mr. W. Langille 11378
Res. 4657, RCL: Debert Branch 106 - Salute, Mr. W. Langille 11378
Res. 4658, RCL: Great Village Branch 27 - Salute, Mr. W. Langille 11379

[Page 11337]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2002

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Second Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Brooke Taylor, Mr. Kevin Deveaux, Mr. David Wilson

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

RESOLUTION NO. 4635

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

11337

[Page 11338]

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legions across Nova Scotia will once again organize activities perpetuating the memory of those who died in the Canadian Armed Forces; and

Whereas members and supporters of each branch will continue to ensure their community honours the supreme sacrifice made by so many and ensure that their memory and service to their country is never forgotten; and

Whereas with more than 500,000 members, the Royal Canadian Legion is one of the largest community service organizations in the country and in addition to keeping the memory alive contributes millions of dollars and voluntary hours to help Canadians, particularly seniors and youth;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs congratulate members of the Royal Canadian Legion for their continued support and commitment to communities and salute their efforts to ever remind us of the young men and women who gave their lives for our country.

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. 4636

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 Government of Canada is advertising jobs in Nova Scotia that are restricted to people who live in certain areas; and

Whereas this employment policy may be inconsistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that prevents discrimination based on a person's place of residence; and

Whereas even federal Cabinet Ministers are saying this policy is unfair to many hard-working Nova Scotia residents who are qualified for these jobs;

[Page 11339]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join in protesting the federal policy that is unfair to all Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 4637

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

Whereas students from two Grade 11 history classes took part in the first online debate on a national Web site hosted by the Historic Foundation on October 17th; and

Whereas Cobequid Educational Centre and Hants East Rural High School students were challenged with debating the importance of the famous battle of Vimy Ridge in our national history; and

Whereas students used a youth links Internet forum to debate the question and classes from both schools watched the debate unfold and voted on the arguments;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Cobequid Educational Centre and Hants East Rural High students, for participating in this meaningful debate and being the first schools in Canada to use this forum to foster interest in Canadian history.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 11340]

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 150 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 13 of the Acts of 1994, the Universities Assistance Act, to Freeze University Tuition Fees and to Require an Action Plan to be Developed for Sustainable University Funding. (Mr. Darrell Dexter)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4638

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

Whereas with the armistice that became effective at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918, the guns fell silent on the Western Front in France and Belgium, ending the four bloodiest years of human conflict to that point; and

Whereas in the Great War, World War II, the Korean War, peacekeeping and the current war in Afghanistan, Canada has suffered the loss of 116,000 of her finest; and

Whereas this day, once known as Armistice Day out of its World War I birth, is now universally recognized as Remembrance Day, a day on which we pay tribute to and remember the sacrifice of those who have died for Canada in wars and conflicts;

Therefore be it resolved that this House pay tribute and remembrance to the sacrifice in blood, sweat and tears by the many thousands of men and women who gave so much for our peace and freedom throughout the last century and in this new 21st Century.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 11341]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 4639

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

Whereas Clifford Roach was one of three Nova Scotians inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame on November 1st; and

Whereas Mr. Roach was an offensive standout at centre, leading almost every team and league in scoring for which he played; and

Whereas after retiring from hockey, Mr. Roach became a coach with the Sydney Millionaires and was a recruiter for the Montreal Canadiens;

Therefore be it resolved that each member of the House of Assembly congratulate Clifford Roach on his recent induction into the Nova Scotia Sport 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.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 4640

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

[Page 11342]

Whereas O'Connell Drive Elementary School Choir in Porter's Lake was recently chosen to be included in the 2002-03 Sobeys' Stars of Christmas compact disc, the result of a lot of hard work, auditioning and many hours of practice on the part of the choir members and their teachers; and

Whereas the Sobeys' Stars of Christmas compact discs, a double CD set, is an excellent fundraising project which benefits the schools of all contributing choirs; and

Whereas Sobeys is a proud supporter of national and regional programs that help make our communities better places in which to work and live;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the O'Connell Drive Elementary School Choir for their appearance on the 2002-03 Sobeys' Stars of Christmas compact disc, and thank Sobeys for their sponsorship of this important program.

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 Finance on an introduction.

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House of Assembly a group of 24 students from École Beaubassin. They are accompanied by Sandra Knee, who is volunteering her time today, and also by their teacher, Jacqueline Levert. I have known Jacqueline for a long time, she is a passionate supporter of the French language and culture. She was involved in many different activities, predominantly one of the ones that we hold dear to our hearts, les Jeux de l'Acadie, at which I met her a few times. Her class of students had some very provocative and interesting questions to me as Minister of Finance and also as Minister of Acadian Affairs. I would like the House to give our customary warm welcome to the Assembly. Please rise. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We certainly welcome our special guests to the gallery today, and hope you enjoy the proceedings.

[Page 11343]

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 4641

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

Whereas on the night of November 9, 1938, rampaging mobs throughout Germany freely attacked Jews in the street, in their homes and at their places of work and worship, killing at least 96, injuring hundreds, burning more than 1,000 synagogues, destroying and vandalizing thousands of Jewish businesses and properties, while at the same time 30,000 Jews were being arrested and sent to concentration camps; and

Whereas this terrible night has become known as Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass, a terrible portent of Hitler's attempted physical destruction of European Jewry; and

Whereas this night has been commemorated ever since as a memorial to its victims and a warning that apathy can still pervade the world when the lives of Jews or other minorities are threatened;

Therefore be it resolved that this House remember the terrible deeds of the Kristallnacht and vows it will be ever vigilant in protecting the rights of minorities, promoting tolerance among all Nova Scotians, and celebrating our differences.

[9:15 a.m.]

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 11344]

RESOLUTION NO. 4642

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, at the outset I would like to indicate I will be using an individual's name of the general public in this resolution and I do have his permission.

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

Whereas this year Sheldon Fletcher of Bass River, Colchester County, is facing a 94 per cent increase in his auto insurance despite being accident free for nearly 20 years; and

Whereas the John Hamm Government continues in silence on this issue in large measure because of a 94 per cent increase in hidden provincial taxation to Mr. Fletcher on his insurance premiums;

Therefore be it resolved the John Hamm Government is becoming tarnished by this back-handed way of gouging Nova Scotians through this hidden taxation.

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 Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 4643

MR. MARK PARENT: 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, I joined the Minister of Health and Kentville Mayor Gary Pearl at the official opening of the town's Canadian Red Cross Service Centre; and

Whereas this is the first time that the Red Cross will have a facility that will meet all the needs of the Red Cross in the area, serving as a hub for the society's programs in the central western district, an area stretching from West Hants to Hubbards; and

[Page 11345]

Whereas the centre, with a staff of two and a volunteer base of 50, will offer health equipment lending programs, emergency first aid and CPR training among other training programs as well as assistance to the community in case of an emergency;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Canadian Red Cross on the opening of its new service centre in Kentville and express our appreciation for the continued service its staff and volunteers deliver to the people of Kentville and surrounding areas.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 4644

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

Whereas Sister Joan O'Keefe has recently retired as coordinator of the Single Parent Centre in Spryfield to take on an administrative role with the Sisters of Charity; and

Whereas Sister Joan has contributed so generously over many years to the well-being of the clients of the centre as well as the larger community of Spryfield; and

Whereas Barbara Sowinski has recently assumed the role of coordinator of the centre;

Therefore be it resolved that this House express gratitude to Sister Joan O'Keefe for her contributions to the community of Spryfield and welcome Barbara Sowinski to her new position as coordinator of the Single Parent Centre.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 11346]

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 Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 4645

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

Whereas Remembrance Day is a day to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defence of our freedom and liberty; and

Whereas this year Remembrance Day takes on new significance as we honour those who died in the war against terrorism; and

Whereas Private Richard Green of Mill Cove and Private Nathan Smith of Ostrea Lake paid the ultimate sacrifice in our defence;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House honour the fallen for their defence of our freedom on Remembrance Day, but more significantly that through our actions and deeds that we, as legislators, honour their memory on a daily basis.

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 Natural Resources.

[Page 11347]

RESOLUTION NO. 4646

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

Whereas on Monday, November 11, 2002, the Somme Branch 31 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Dartmouth will celebrate its 75th Anniversary; and

Whereas since its first days of providing free meals at its soup kitchen to the numerous community activities carried out today, the Somme Branch has invested more than $3 million to support its community of Dartmouth; and

Whereas today the branch has 780 members made up of World War II and Korean War veterans as well as former military, police, Coast Guard, merchant marines, their families and members of the public;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the members of Somme Branch 31 of the Royal Canadian Legion on its 75th Anniversary and express our great appreciation for their many years of devoted service to the citizens of Dartmouth and to our great country.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 4647

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 Royal Canadian Legion sponsored a Call to Remembrance 2002 Nova Scotia competition for junior high school students to test their knowledge of Canada's involvement in past conflicts and to encourage students to not forget those who fought for our freedom; and

[Page 11348]

Whereas the Eastern Passage Education Centre team consisted of Alex Boniface, Timothy Anderson, Monica Henneberry, Donald Ebsary and Holly MacLean; and

Whereas the Eastern Passage Education Centre team won the gold medal at the Nova Scotia championship, the second consecutive year that the team from Eastern Passage won the competition;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Eastern Passage Education Centre team on winning the Royal Canadian Legion's Call to Remembrance 2002 competition as well Murray Metherall, Dawn Hobson and Tom Curry for supporting the team and thank them all for helping to keep alive the memory of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

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.

DR. JAMES SMITH: With your permission, I would like to make an introduction prior to the introduction of my resolution. In the west gallery, a person that I've known for a long time, he and his family, Kyle Buott. He's from the Dartmouth-Cole Harbour riding and he has a great interest in the political process and also in his community and school activities. He attends Sir Robert Borden Junior High School in Cole Harbour where he is in Grade 9. So I would ask the House to extend a warm welcome to Kyle this morning. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 4648

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

[Page 11349]

Whereas any good plan requires a vision with its foundation, goals and objectives as its backbone; and

Whereas the Premier Hamm/Don Rumsfeld playbook for health care consists of a simple package of band-aid changes in health care; and

Whereas some of the notable changes that make up the playbook to date include emergency room closures, longer wait times and an exodus of specialist services requiring Nova Scotians to go out of province for treatment;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health stop planning by bundling and start planning with vision for the health and well-being of 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 Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 4649

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

Whereas hunting and trapping seasons are well underway in Nova Scotia and more than 50,000 people will take part in these activities throughout the year; and

Whereas hunting and trapping make a significant contribution to the province's rural economy; and

Whereas hunter education has been mandatory in Nova Scotia since 1980 and the time and effort put into this program by volunteer instructors is reflected in the low number of fatalities and accidents over the past number of years;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House encourage hunters to continue to obtain the proper training, permits and licences and to make safety a number one priority while respecting the rights of Nova Scotia landowners.

[Page 11350]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 4650

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 Canadian Paraplegic Association assists persons with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities and like other organizations supporting people with disabilities, helps them achieve independence, self reliance and full community participation; and

Whereas changes in criteria for the federal disability tax credit program have resulted in many fewer people qualifying for the disability tax credit; and

Whereas the Canadian Paraplegic Association, other organizations supporting people with disabilities and federal Opposition Parties have called on the federal government to restore the previously existing criteria for the disability tax credit;

Therefore be it resolved that this House opposes the federal government's changes to the disability tax credit and supports the Canadian Paraplegic Association's request that the former rules governing the tax credit be restored.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 11351]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 4651

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 Tories are claimed to have decided to make the name and portrait of Donald Rumsfeld central to their plans for the upcoming Spring election; and

Whereas the Hammite camp is said to be ordering thousands of Rumsfeld buttons and posters with which to litter the countryside; and

Whereas nobody knows if Donald Rumsfeld himself has agreed to any of this, let alone sanctioning crowds of Tories going about seeking votes by chanting Rumsfeld! Rumsfeld!;

Therefore be it resolved that a commissioner of truth should be appointed to determine if Mr. Rumsfeld ever gave the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia any authorization at all to be using his name and his portrait in so blatant a political promotion hereabouts.

Mr. Speaker, maybe I should seek waiver of notice on that one.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 4652

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

[Page 11352]

Whereas Commercial Business Supplies of Montreal, 1 of 20 alias names used by the company based on a CBC Marketplace report in 2001, is now hitting upon businesses in Nova Scotia, including Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley; and

Whereas this company operates outlandishly by calling a local business and informing them their order is in and ask where do they want their order sent, only for the company to find out when the order arrives in packages that they never ordered from this firm in the first place; and

Whereas the Brookfield Foodmaster grocery store was a recent victim, on more than one occasion, of this company which generated sales of $48 million in 1999 despite being run out of Connecticut while having unfair and deceptive telemarketing practices investigated against them by the State of Florida;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs in this House of Assembly make it clear to our federal government that no more payments of $300,000 in funds be made to this company while wishing the Federal Bureau of Competition every success in their ongoing investigation of this company.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova

RESOLUTION NO. 4653

MR. PAUL MACEWAN: Mr. Speaker, if you can't succeed at first, you try again.

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

Whereas it is claimed that Donald Rumsfeld's first point for the Tories in seeking re-election is to shut down the Cape Breton section of the Cape Breton-Central Nova Scotia Railway; and

[Page 11353]

Whereas it is claimed that Mr. Rumsfeld urged that the railway could easily be replaced by the B-1 bomber, the Trident nuclear submarine and the MX ICBM ballistic missile; and

Whereas it is claimed that economic growth will be stimulated by Rumsfeld-engineered development of the military-industrial complex if the Tories get back in just one more time;

Therefore be it resolved that Mr. Rumsfeld should be subpoenaed by this House to testify as to whether he has actually had any dealings at all with this Tory Government, let alone setting up a so-called Rumsfeld Corporate Plan as an agenda for Tory re-election.

Maybe we could try a waiver of notice on that one, Mr. Speaker.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 142.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova finished off last evening. He has 37 minutes left.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

[Page 11354]

MR. PAUL MACEWAN: Well, Mr. Speaker, I hope they will be 37 moments of truth. (Interruptions) Rumsfeld did not write my speech because I am speaking from the heart. I have no prepared text at all, it's all up here.

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, we are getting ready for the upcoming provincial election. When will that election be? Well, if you read David Rodenhiser's column in The Daily News, you will find that on November 3rd he quotes Premier Hamm as saying, "'There will be a budget next Spring. Any time after that would be fair game,' Hamm said." and because I've read that, I will have to table this document. Does somebody want to table it? Bring the table over here and put that on it. Thank you.

Now that we have that settled, we know that we are talking about an election call probably around April, a nice time of year when winter is over and Spring is coming on and people feel good and farmers sow their crops - no they don't sow them in April, they sow them in June in this province. Anyway, that's when they're planning to go. It's in the paper, that makes it so.

[9:30 a.m.]

Now, if that is their plan, why are we passing this piece of legislation now? The election is just around the corner. People are already getting their signs cleaned off and stacked in neat piles for early release. They're getting their Rumsfelds buttons printed at the button shop. People are getting ready for an election. This, in my view, Mr. Speaker, is not the time to go changing the map. People will not know what side of the street they're on. Well, I won't say that, they will know which side of the street they're on, but they won't know whether their side of the street is in riding A or in riding B. That's what they want, the public climate in which to call an election, confusion. They think that through confusion they can get back into office probably more easily than Donald Rumsfeld by himself would lead them. I raise that question because I think it's one that deserves an answer.

I realize that I only have, as you said, 37 minutes and it's probably now down to 35.5 minutes, so maybe I can't get the answer to that question right now. There are further stages in the debate in which unanswered questions can be raised again and again. If we can't get answers, at least we can raise public concern so that the people can see what this crowd opposite is up to. Now, they claim - and their NDP partners - that this bill implements the terms of the Electoral Boundaries Commission called Just Boundaries, which I have here in my hand and I want to quote from, but it's already been tabled in the House because the document was prepared for this House and released, I believe, to you, Mr. Speaker.

Now what did the Electoral Boundaries Commission actually have to say about the implementation of their report? Let me read from Page 73 of Just Boundaries. They said, that is the Electoral Boundaries Commission said,

[Page 11355]

"In order to allow a smooth transition to new electoral boundaries, the Commission feels that it is essential that a set-period of time be allowed for the Nova Scotia Electoral Office to implement new electoral boundaries.

20. The commission recommends . . ." - this is highlighted in bold-faced print, looks like about 16 points - " . . . that the proposed new electoral boundaries become law not later than six months after being adopted by the Nova Scotia House of Assembly."

Now here we are in November. We may not get this thing passed with Royal Assent until December 1st possibly. Six months from December 1st would be June 1st , but as we've already seen from The Daily News, the Tories intend to go to the people sooner than that. They intend to release their budget, and any time after that is fair ball, according to Premier John Hamm, as quoted by David Rodenhiser and therefore so. They're planning an election in April, when the Electoral Boundaries Commission itself said not to implement their recommendations until June. Do you get the picture, Mr. Speaker? Do you see where I'm coming from?

I'm not speaking against the bill, I'm speaking against the bill's deviation from the terms of reference of the Electoral Boundaries Commission. That's what I'm speaking against, and because the bill does not implement the Electoral Boundaries Commission report on this very essential point of implementation, I'm therefore forced to oppose the bill even though I do not oppose the report of the Electoral Boundaries Commission. If you can get that one straight, Mr. Speaker, you will probably be able to understand Clause 7.

AN HON. MEMBER: Paul, you were a member of the committee.

MR. MACEWAN: Yes, I was a member of the committee. So what? I was a member of the committee, yes. I was the man who proposed the name of Russell MacLellan to be a commissioner, and I'm proud of having done that, Mr. Speaker. (Interruptions) Ah, listen to the disciples of Donald Rumsfeld. How upset they are at the suggestion that a good, honest man like Russell MacLellan could serve on their "boundaries commission". (Interruptions) No, I proposed that and I would propose it again, because I don't think you would find a more honourable, decent man of integrity than Russell MacLellan. There is no comparison whatever, sir, between Russell MacLellan on the one hand and Donald Rumsfeld on the other hand. No comparison.

Now, I think I've made the point that the bill does not implement the terms of reference of the Electoral Boundaries Commission, which called for a measured approach to this subject. I'm going to make a confession here in the House. I spoke privately with members of the Electoral Boundaries Commission when they were in Sydney holding hearings on this very point, and one of them whom I was speaking to said - and this was off the record - yes, we know that the federal level of government does that. The federal level

[Page 11356]

of government, when they have a redistribution has a set time period before it comes into effect in the law that they introduced in the House of Commons and it says that this bill will not come into effect until a certain given date, which you don't find here in Clause 7.

You find the mention of a date as one of three scenarios saying that the bill will come into effect whichever of these three is the latest - and we know what those three are, I am not going to go through that because I went through that yesterday - so the bill is in violation, sir, of what the commission of inquiry on this matter found to be an essential matter, because they used the word "essential" - it's not my word, it's their word, and I am quoting. So if you can be that out of step and still be in step, gosh, you'll earn the commendation of the NDP, Mr. Speaker.

Now, I want to change my lecture on this topic, Mr. Speaker, from this bill, briefly to the Crimean War which took place in the middle of the last century - I think it took place from 1854 to 1856. It was the only war in history in which the British Empire fought militarily the Russian Empire. The only time in history, because in World War I the Russian Empire was our ally, although they dropped out kind of early because a certain group got into power there and in World War II, after June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union was our ally after their buddy Hitler attacked them in a surprise attack. So in the Crimean War they were opposite sides; the British were on one side, the Russians on the opposite.

In that war there took place a battle which featured what is called the Charge of the Light Brigade. This war, by the way, is remembered in this city by a monument in the old cemetery at the corner of Spring Garden Road and Barrington Street which says on it Sebastapol - in Russian it's Sevastapel, so they got a b for a v, but that's because in the Cyrillic alphabet their v is our b, if you can understand that. They use the letter b for what we would call v, so it got translated that way. So be it. Now the Charge of the Light Brigade took place in 1856; I suggest that what we have here is another "charge of the light brigade". I was especially reminded of this when I heard the law lecture of the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto. I said this is not just the charge of the light brigade, I think this is the charge of the light heads. (Laughter)

Now, I want to change a little bit to another topic and that is this autobiography that I have here of Huey P. Long, which I obtained from his son, Senator Russell B. Long, as a present, I guess you could say, in commemoration of my interest in the life of his late father. Anyway, in Huey Long's book, at Page 209, there appears this cartoon called the Charge of the Light Heads. It reminded me so much of what I saw when the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto was speaking that I made a number of photocopies of it here for the honourable members of the House to see. Yes, it involves other characters than what we're dealing with here. None of the people probably would be recognized by any member of the House unless they've studied these particular historical events. But it chose one man, a steed, a burro, I guess, or a mule at full gallop with sword extended leading a charge of others, some of whom are falling off their burros and going into the advancing fire from the other

[Page 11357]

side, and this is, I would suggest, the kind of a charge that we have underway here in this House, on this bill, in their brave efforts to get it passed no matter what, because it's the right thing to do.

May I table these cartoons, Mr. Speaker? Possibly the honourable member over there would like a copy.

AN HON. MEMBER: An autographed copy.

MR. MACEWAN: An autographed copy. Well, I can't autograph it because I didn't draw it. Anyway, this is the kind of approach I think that the government and their NDP allies are demonstrating as regards this bill. Are they in violation of the terms of reference laid down by the Electoral Boundaries Commission? Absolutely, Mr. Speaker, guilty on all counts. But still they say it's the right thing to do and so they charge onwards. They charge onwards. Are they playing to the gallery or are they playing to the gallows? I do not know, I merely raise that as a rhetorical question.

I've talked a bit about Huey Long. I became interested in him because he was recommended to me as somebody I should look up by Dave Barrett who was a former premier of British Columbia, yes, NDP from 1971-75. I looked up some books about him and one thing led to another and I got in touch with his son and that's how I got this book.

But I'd like to compare both Huey Long and Joe Smallwood, who is another of my political heros, I guess I could say. I don't agree with each and everything they said, I agree that Huey Long's attitudes on the racial question were certainly not in keeping with modern thinking, but he was a reflection of the times and certainly was more advanced that way than most others in the U.S. South at that particular point in time.

But anyway, both these men had a good way of getting around the press and that was by putting out their own publications. Joe Smallwood sponsored a newspaper called The Confederate in 1948 at the time he was trying to get Newfoundland into Canada and it went into every single home in Newfoundland explaining how the family allowance system would work and how the Old Age Pension system would work in Canada as compared to how it worked in Newfoundland. There was quite a difference, but I won't get into that because that's not the topic of this bill. I can some other time, though.

But anyway, they did this because the daily newspapers of their times and their particular jurisdictions had no use for those men. They wouldn't give any favourable news coverage whatsoever to Joe Smallwood when he was trying to put forward the argument that Newfoundland should join Canada. That simply did not get printed as news. They would, in some cases, print letters to the editor from Joe Smallwood on that topic, but no news coverage whatsoever.

[Page 11358]

This sounds like the plight perhaps of the Liberal Party in Nova Scotia today. I don't know, I just say that in passing. But I can tell you there's a way around it. Our friends in the NDP know that - you rent billboards, you publish brochures, you put them into mailboxes. You get your message out. Where there's a will, there's a way and the press cannot stop, in a democratic society, a message from getting out if it deserves an audience.

AN HON. MEMBER: Even the Rumsfeld point of view.

MR. MACEWAN: Even the Rumsfeld point of view will get out, I'm sure. If they can't get it out through the regular newspapers, they can rent billboards like the NDP did, print brochures and put them into every mailbox. That's how you get around the press. Huey Long did it, Joe Smallwood did it and I don't know who's going to do it now, but it seems (Interruption) Oh, I'm doing it pretty well, but I've been doing it for quite a few years. I've never let the press set my agenda, I have given my agenda directly through the people and that's how I got re-elected nine times in a row - not through the press.

But anyway, this sampling here of the type of propaganda that Huey Long would put directly into every mailbox in the State of Louisiana demonstrates, I suggest, the approach of this government and their allies under this Molotov-Ribbentrop pact to this particular bill. They're charging ahead madly with no intent or purpose other than to create confusion and chaos and for those reasons I'm not supporting them. I don't have to. We still have in this House the right to vote yes and the right to vote no. I don't need to get into a lecture about how the Supreme Soviet used to operate, but if you have 1,100 people all voting yes together and the hands used to go up in unison. It was like marching in the army where all the right feet go forward and then all the left feet go forward, if you're in step. All the deputies in the Supreme Soviet, they had voting cards, they were like that, maybe, and they would all hold them up like that in the right hand together at one time and then the hands would drop all together. Excellent choreography, Mr. Speaker, excellent. That's the way these two would like to see our Assembly work, but it doesn't. And they're going to find that out in the next number of days, I submit.

I don't remember how many moments I had. I think those are the main thoughts I had on this bill as we advance into the fray and I can tell you that there are more opportunities to speak beyond this. I don't know if anyone wants to introduce an amendment at this stage of second reading, it can be done, it's in order if the amendment is in order. There's the 20 hours of discussion in the Committee of the Whole House on Bills where you can speak over and over again; if your point hasn't been made the first time, then you can get up the second time and try again.

So there are opportunities to examine this bill, Mr. Speaker, and if it does get passed in the end, at least I want to be able to say to my conscience that I tried to hold them back because I tried to point out to them what they were doing, but the point is, Mr. Speaker, they know what they're doing. They know what they're doing. They're putting in a bill here with

[Page 11359]

three options; you can take path A, path B or path C, whatever turns you on. I don't like that kind of legislation. I like legislation that is clear and obvious and states exactly what the government or what the law, when it gets passed, intends to do.

[9:45 a.m.]

Under this bill, Mr. Speaker, I don't know where I will be running in the next election, because if an election was called right now, we would be fighting on the current boundaries. That's the law. If an election was called after this bill is passed, we don't know if it will be fought on the old boundaries or the new. It's true the bill says on the dissolution of the House the bill comes into effect, giving 30 days under the Elections Act for the holding of an election. That's a formula for chaos if you ever heard one. It also says the House itself can pass, I guess, a resolution adopting an unset date, which could be any time. It could be in 2008, it could be in 2012, it would be perfectly legal under the terms of the bill as now worded. I think there's a third option, that there's a date given that if that date passes the bill could come into effect, but then the operative section of that clause says whichever of these dates is the latest in time. So you let the cut-off date pass. You let the House dissolve and then we're into a 30-day election campaign on new boundaries that have just come into effect like that. I don't know how the press, the public, or the Tories, or the NDP, or the Liberals are going to be able to react to that kind of situation.

I want to say one more thing while I have the floor, Mr. Speaker. The closest, during my conscious lifetime, that the world ever came to an all-out nuclear war, was in 1963 at the time of the Cuba crisis. Now, it didn't happen. It didn't happen and some say it's because Kruzchev backed down and others say, well, because Castro didn't press the button and others say because Kennedy didn't press the button and I don't know, but that was the closest it ever came. But had that happened, I don't think we would be here today, because it was a formula for global disaster. Both super powers at that time had enough atomic warheads to more than destroy everybody living on this planet, just let them go.

When we're passing laws, Mr. Speaker, we ought to be cautious, we ought to be sober, we ought to know what we're doing. I don't think this government or its NDP partners know what they're doing. The bill does not implement the terms of the Electoral Boundaries Commission. It does not bring into effect the legislation in a timely and appropriate manner. It leaves wide open the door to chaos if passed in its present form. I know the bill can go to the Law Amendments Committee and be reworded. I know that. There is that possible way out for them, that they can take Clause 7 and discuss it with the Legislative Counsel and try to come up with something that is more meaningful on which we will pass the final vote, not necessarily the words that we have before us now. I know that. I would certainly urge and recommend that if this bill gets through second reading, because I don't think, if you look at Clause 7, that it's the way to go. I rest my case.

[Page 11360]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I want to say about the previous speaker that if ever there was a member who had a case to rest, he certainly is the one. This has been an interesting debate, I must say. I have to admit and I want to admit to all members of the House it's a debate that I actually have not been particularly engaged in. It's one that I've actually, I think purposely, stayed away from. The reason for that is that I have some faith in this House. I have some faith in the process that was devised in this House. I have some faith in the members of all Parties who took part in a committee that tried to set up parameters for this commission before the commission ever did its work.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova might refer to the New Democrats as lightheaded and more than likely, before he leaves this House, and it's inevitable, I assume that he will but I would say considering his record, he will outlast us all, I would be quite sure. The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova makes a good point about being elected nine times in a row, about the fact that he could get his message out to the public without using the media, and that's the reason he is here. I want to say that the reason his Party is in third place is because we were able to get our message out to the public.

I want to say that to politicize this process around electoral boundaries and I guess that's the problem with what we do in this House, if you could take the politics out of our jobs, it might be a somewhat better job that we do. To rant, rail and rave about the process that we went through to get to the point we are at today, is blatantly unfair. I guess if there is any area that we will say is severely affected, certainly the members of the Third Party are, because Cape Breton is losing a seat and that should concern them; the politics of it should concern them.

Whether or not the people of Cape Breton are better represented or appropriately represented, that's the question they haven't answered. Nobody seems to want to go down that road of whether or not the commission, as it was set up and the parameters that it was given, were actually done for the benefit of all Nova Scotians. If anyone looks at this report, they will find that Hants East has the largest number of voting constituents. I have no intention to rail and rant about the fact that I represent more people in a constituency than any other member in this House; as a matter of fact, I think they are lucky.

If the commission had seen fit to make my constituency larger and to give me more people to represent then I would have said, thank you, because that gives me the opportunity as a politician to try to give them representation from a New Democrat. As much as we try to use the media or whatever avenue possible to get the message of our political Parties out, there is nothing that sells better than the job we do every day on the ground in our constituencies. So if somebody wants to offer me more people to represent so that I can try to show them that having a New Democrat represent them is a good thing for them, I'm willing to do that. (Interruption) Well, New Democrats did have it. (Laughter)

[Page 11361]

Mr. Speaker, I think it's important to us all that not only is this process transparent but it appears to be transparent. In other words, not only must justice be done, but justice must appear to be done. I would say that I would be too naive if I was to let the members think that I don't believe that there are times in the past, when politics would enter this process. Certainly, I think as much as possible, this House tried to keep politics out of the process as much as it possibly could.

Although I'm not familiar with a lot of the members of the commission, I want to say that one of the good things the committee did was in naming Ron Landes to the commission, because Mr. Landes participated in the previous commission. He offered continuity on the two Electoral Boundaries Commissions, and being a political scientist he offered that political backbone of information that the commission could use.

Maybe some members would feel that one of the parameters that was seen as a restraint for the commission was to maintain 52 seats in the House. Now, we've had members of this House who have suggested that we reduce the number of seats - well this plays well with the public - actually the number was 40 seats. I was out to an event put on by the Federation of Agriculture, probably just about a year ago I think, and I met a constituent from another MLA's riding and he said you know the notion of 40 members in the House, that's a good one, I would agree with that.

I said well, you might be right and the honourable member who proposed that might be right. I said I'm wondering why we can't have one member of the House instead of 40. If you're going to have a member who's going to do nothing for you anyway, then you might as well just have one member for the whole province. But, I said, in my constituency I try to work for my constituents, and I don't really want to take on a greater load unless it's absolutely necessary. In order to give people good representation there has to be some balance in the number of seats that we bring to this House and the roles of the members who come to this House.

Mr. Speaker, the question may not be electoral boundaries, maybe it should be an electoral reform commission where we look at a wide variety of issues, and electoral boundaries is one, the whole process around determining electoral boundaries could be part of that. We all know that there certainly are a number of issues that are bandied about, by Parties, to the public in order to gain a political foothold or a toehold so that they get an edge come election time. Recall is one of those things, plebiscites and referenda, proportional representation, electoral boundaries and fixed-term elections - these are all items and issues that one or more Parties throw out to the public, and it plays well to certain parts of the public.

The question of whether or not any of those items play well to a Party while in government is another issue, and is the reason why most Parties will speak about them in Opposition and not necessary embrace them when they form a government. But the more we

[Page 11362]

can engage and involve the public and the more we can educate the public to any of these issues so they can make informed decisions, the greater the chance is that when they speak to their MLA they raise these things in an informed way to drive the agenda of governments once they're in place.

Mr. Speaker, it is the direction and the wish of our Party to support this legislation - I'm not sure that we deem what the commission or the committee has done to be perfect, but we deem it to have been an informed process, we deem it to have input from all three Parties in the House, and we would say that once those Parties had their input at the committee stage, in the determining of the commission and the role of the commission, then we were willing to let the commission do its work and we're willing to accept what it was that the commission said.

Now, the honourable member for Cape Breton Nova talked about the six-months time period for the bill to come into effect, once proclaimed. His uncertainty as to what constituency he would be running in, well it can only be one of two. It can either be a constituency in the old boundary or a constituency in the new boundary, those are his choices. Now my thought is that a member who has been in the House as long as he has certainly would know the geography of the area that he represents. So if it turned out that the line changed, he certainly would be familiar, at least with that close area to him.

[10:00 a.m.]

I would say that if any of us are making plans, trying to get out on the doorsteps ahead of the game to get to our constituents, if you're in doubt, go to those areas that are not in doubt, go to the areas that you know will be in your constituency whether the line changes or not and try to get to those people, and enter the new area after the date that the lines come into effect.

Mr. Speaker, I have to say I'm not devastated, I'm always curious as to the line that the honourable member for Cape Breton Nova keeps using by linking the New Democrats to the Tories. I would say that probably Nova Scotians would be equally perplexed about why he keeps connecting the most-left Party in the House with the most-right Party in the House, even though it's blatantly obvious to Nova Scotians that there's no difference between the Liberals and the Tories. (Interruptions)

I think the sad reality for New Democrats is that when we get on the doorstep and people say, well, there's no difference, they mean there's no difference between all three Parties, and that Nova Scotians have become disengaged, disillusioned, disenchanted with politics and politicians, simply because the Parties that have been in power in this province, which are the Tories and the Liberals, have shown no difference in policy or procedure or what they delivered to Nova Scotians, and therefore they lump us all to be the same.

[Page 11363]

I think the most obvious example that comes to mind for me in this House, and I can't help but relate this whenever I get an opportunity, is the issue around the 911 fees and how the government, under the Hon. Jamie Muir, was attacked by both of the Opposition Parties for bringing in that fee. I remember one of the members of the - then I guess it wasn't the Third Party, we were tied for seats - Liberal caucus ranted and railed at the government for bringing in this fee, how unjust it was, only to have the minister rise and say, you signed it before you left. Something that the Liberal caucus intended to do, and doing their job in Opposition, would rail against it, never believing that it was unjust in the first place.

Mr. Speaker, my final comments will be that this is a process that we felt was an appropriate one, it was one that we felt we participated in through our member on the committee, and it's one that we were willing to let the commission do its role once that had been determined for the commission. I want to say that we are supporting this piece of legislation, whether or not we get wrapped with the Tories in that, we can defend our ground in that regard. I think that if any of the members of the Third Party or if any of their constituents pay attention to this at all, they will have some explaining to do as to why they would consider opposing it.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, I will take my seat and look forward to listening to any other members who want to talk.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria.

MR. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I won't take up much time of the House this morning because my remarks will be brief, but I do believe that it's appropriate for any member who has been affected to some degree, even a small degree, to make some comments relative to the changes we have seen in the latest boundary restructuring.

Mr. Speaker, many of us believe that there are flaws in the boundaries of the Electoral Boundaries Commission and whether they were intentional - not likely they were - but however some of us who live and represent people from rural areas believe that the Electoral Boundaries Commission could have struck boundaries a bit better to some degree. The theory, of course, leading up to the commission's work and their hearings across the province, was that the media in the Halifax Regional Municipality, and indeed some members in the Legislature, were of the mindset that the HRM should have more and Cape Breton less and I think that mindset was out there and, of course, the commission probably followed that line of thinking.

Mr. Speaker, in my tenure as a representative in the Legislature, this is the second change that I have seen in Victoria since 1988 when I was first elected. In 1988 I represented Victoria County. Even at that time a portion of Inverness was included in Victoria County, but it was only a small portion, an area on the northern tip of Cape Breton Island which included Meat Cove, and the reason for that was because access to that small community was

[Page 11364]

much easier through Victoria than from the County of Inverness. In the latest revision both Meat Cove and Pleasant Bay are back in the County of Inverness.

Mr. Speaker, the difficulty for an MLA to be an effective representative in the small community of Meat Cove, it's quite a drive from the Town of Inverness and to represent those people it would make more sense, we believe, for the commission to have looked at breaking up the Highlands of Cape Breton somewhat in a little different manner. We believe that the revisions from the latest round of boundary hearings, we always felt in Cape Breton that part of the highlands was a separate entity, or felt like a separate entity in the Province of Nova Scotia, and prior to . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Would the honourable member for Victoria permit an introduction.

MR. MACASKILL: Sure, Mr. Speaker, gladly.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education on an introduction.

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to introduce students from three high schools visiting our House of Assembly today. We have Canadian History and Political Science students from Lockview High in Fall River and also Canadian History students from Hants East Rural High and Cobequid Educational Centre and they took part in a historic debate I mentioned in a resolution this morning. I wonder if all the students could please rise and receive the welcome of the House of Assembly. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, indeed, welcome to all our guests in the gallery and I would like to recognize, if I could, the Principal for Hants East Rural High, John Wheelock. John, if you would please stand and receive a warm round of applause from the members of the House, including your MLA - Jamie Muir. (Applause) John, like all principals, is very involved with his school and I've had the privilege of going into Hants East recently to enjoy the program, Student Links, where Hants East linked up with the Cobequid Educational Centre and they debated over the computer. The debate was on Vimy Ridge, quite appropriate as we approach Remembrance Day. I really enjoyed it. Thank you very much.

The honourable member for Victoria.

MR. MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I, too, welcome all our visitors to the House of Assembly today. I'm not quite sure if they will be impressed with my deliberations today, but I hope I can add a little insight into the realm of what I'm talking about.

Many of us who live in rural Nova Scotia and particularly in rural Cape Breton, as we refer to the Highlands of Cape Breton, have a number of disadvantages. Disadvantages in conditions of our highways and certainly conditions of our bridges and many other things

[Page 11365]

that affect us greatly. As long as we follow the theory of representation by population, we will continue to lose. A part of losing a member to 300, 400 or 500 people, it's a loss. It's a loss to them and it's a loss to communities.

The difficulty in servicing smaller areas like Pleasant Bay, Meat Cove, the difficulty in weather conditions, the difficulty in highway conditions in both winter and summer. The people who live in rural areas expect more because somehow you know these people, there's a better personal relationship and they expect you to be in these communities on a number of occasions throughout the year. We see that taken away from us so that is why we feel that representation by population is not the way many ridings in rural Nova Scotia should be heading. We believe that the people living in rural areas deserve and are entitled to the same representation as the people in Halifax or any other urban area of the province are.

If I were seeking re-election, I hope in my remarks today I wouldn't be supporting the new people who will come into the new riding of Victoria The Lakes. Indeed, that's not the point I'm making. I'm sure they're very fine people because there are many there who I know. While we feel a loss when you lose small communities in the Highlands, it's felt as a loss. However, that's the way the commission has seen to split their ridings and we must move forward.

I suppose if the person were looking at whether it's easier to drive from Englishtown - where my constituency office is - to Blackett's Lake or Sydney River, into parts of the new riding, indeed, it would be easier. There would be better highways, it would be an area where you frequently visit because you have more shopping areas and many other opportunities to go into that part of the riding more than you would in areas of Pleasant Bay and Meat Cove. However, while that is important and it gives you a better chance to represent your people, the riding of Victoria and Inverness, as they exist today, is just . . .

[10:15 a.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable member permit an introduction?

MR. MACASKILL: Sure, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Energy.

HON. GORDON BALSER: Mr. Speaker, I would call the members' attention to the gallery opposite. There is a person here from my riding, who is at the archives doing some research. She is from Digby Neck, Nora Peach, and she's one of the people who is very concerned about the quarry. She's here looking into the history of that area to determine when there was a settlement there, if there was a settlement there. I would ask the members to give her a welcome. (Applause)

[Page 11366]

MR. SPEAKER: Good morning, welcome to the Nova Scotia Legislature.

The honourable member for Victoria.

MR. MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, again, welcome to our visitors. We were talking, before the introduction, of the differences between servicing a rural area or a remote area of the province versus the riding being extended into an urban area. As I was saying, in terms of representing those people, to some degree it becomes probably more natural in the sense that it's an area that you frequently travel. But there is a feeling of being part of areas like Meat Cove and Pleasant Bay, that appears to be part of our culture. As I said earlier, this is the second change in the boundaries that I've seen since 1988.

We believe rural areas of the province are different, the culture is different, and prior to the last round of commission hearings the riding of Victoria had special designation on that very reason because of its remoteness, because of its culture and the traditions, and we still believe that by maintaining that we would have seen, I believe, better representation to the Highlands of Cape Breton. As I said earlier on, both the Inverness and Victoria ridings are too large but, again, if we follow the theory of representation by population, then we will continue to see boundary changes and people being moved from rural areas into the urban and the cities.

Mr. Speaker, when you consider that the riding of Inverness, now with one member, is larger than the total Province of Prince Edward Island, which has 28 members and 4 federal members, that's the point that I believe has been overlooked when these boundary changes are to be made. I think we overlook a very important factor - that there's a difference in rural Nova Scotia. You have to have a special connection with these people, and they expect that. As I said earlier, it goes from highways, the differences and the conditions of our highways, both winter and summer, our telephone exchanges, and if we continue on this path of rural areas and rural ridings getting larger, we will still be faced with moving from the rural areas into the urban and city areas.

Yes, Mr. Speaker, do you want another introduction?

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, honourable member, yes. We do apologize for interrupting the honourable member for Victoria so many times with introductions, but the honourable member knows that introductions are very important and we appreciate his politeness here this morning. I know he was in full flight, but we will let him get back to that shortly.

I would like to bring to the attention of all members of the House and visitors to a very important occasion today - it's a milestone of sorts and I have been told that I can tell the age of one of our very valuable custodians at the House here and that would be Richard

[Page 11367]

Ramsay. Richard, please stand. Richard's celebrating 45 years today. Thank you Richard. (Applause)

MR. MACASKILL: I want to inform the Speaker that I am quite pleased at any time to be interrupted for an introduction because we all like to see visitors. Indeed, Mr. Ramsay is no exception.

We were talking about the benefits, or the lack thereof, that we face in rural areas of the province. Services, and I think I was talking about the services in telephone exchanges, how much it costs to make your telephone calls from local rural ridings versus urban areas, the mileage you put on your car in these rural areas. I could leave my home and travel to Halifax in the same time that I could, if I were representing the new riding of Victoria-The Lakes, if I were to leave Cape North and travel to Blacketts Lake, it would take me probably just as long to drive to Halifax.

I believe that's unfair to the communities, it's unfair to the member and I think it's unfair to all Nova Scotians. I don't believe, personally, that the people are represented by the members in Halifax or anywhere else in the urban areas where the member can pretty well walk around their constituency in an afternoon. To me, the picture is flawed and that's why I believe that the commission in their final report, I see flaws in this.

We talked about a number of things that affect rural ridings and the current set-up we have now with one office - and we try to locate centrally in a riding - but the resources that we have at the present time, if the commission has looked at that and made reference to changes, that probably changes made in this area, then it's something the House should look at in the changes to the boundaries.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria has indicated he would permit an introduction.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries on an introduction.

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure this morning in your gallery to introduce to the House His Excellency Anthony John Hely. His Excellency is the High Commissioner of Australia to Canada and he is here this morning to view the proceedings and have an overview of what's taking place with the economy and agriculture here in Nova Scotia. So, it is my pleasure to introduce His Excellency, Anthony John Hely. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, indeed. Welcome to His Excellency and also welcome to all our guests in the gallery. The honourable member for Victoria has been very polite in permitting a number of introductions this morning. He says he welcomes introductions, so thank you.

[Page 11368]

MR. MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, as I said before, we always welcome visitors. I think any member of the House is pleased at any time to relinquish the floor for a visitor.

Let's look at the activities in the rural areas. For instance, on Monday, Remembrance Day, I have invitations to attend five different Legion services. Of course, most of them are at the same time, at 11:00 a.m., so no doubt you're not going to get to them all, but some of them are scattered at 11:00 a.m. and some at 2:00 p.m. and some at 4:00 p.m. and some at 6:00 p.m. One thing about a rural area, everyone knows you so at least if you don't make an appearance to at least three of the services, if you can distribute your time effectively, that's part of representing rural areas. You're known by mostly all your constituents, or 90 per cent of them, personally. The expectations for you to attend the bean suppers, wedding anniversaries, weddings, the list goes on and on; the expectations of rural members are much larger than they are, I'm sure, in urban areas, the HRM or the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

Mr. Speaker, I went on at some length, and I just want to close by saying that while the changes are inevitable, I respect that, I respect the decision of the commission and the committee that selected the commission, I think their intentions were well-intended. I want to thank all the people who made submissions on behalf of the people of Victoria to the commission when they were travelling the province. I want to thank the people of Pleasant Bay and Meat Cove who have supported me while they were part of this riding. While we hate to lose these people as constituents, I know they will be served well by the member for Inverness. To the new people who will come into our riding from Cape Breton The Lakes, we certainly welcome them, and we will look forward to providing for them the best possible representation that I can, or whoever will be representing them after the next election.

Mr. Speaker, it's always disappointing to see a member lose his seat, and I make reference to the member for Cape Breton The Lakes, the present riding, but I'm sure, and I hope, that that member will have a future in politics in some area of the riding. I suppose I could go back to the last changes that were made in Cape Breton, and it appears that it's always Liberal ridings that are affected, but as long as they're taken from Cape Breton it's going to be Liberal ridings that are affected. That's certainly not going to change. I recall back in 1984 or 1983 they changed the boundaries in Inverness South to accommodate a member. Anyway, that's in the past and I don't think I should dwell much on what happened in the past. Let's hope that we can move forward from here.

Mr. Speaker, while I spent some time talking about many negative things about the commission's report, I agree with the people who have already spoken and said that we will support this Bill No. 142 to move to the Law Amendments Committee. We will see what comes out of the hopper after it goes through that process. I thank you for your time today, and I hope I didn't bore the members and visitors in our gallery too much. With that, I will relinquish the floor to another speaker.

[Page 11369]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to acknowledge the students who are in the public gallery today, both the east and west public gallery. My understanding is that a number of these students are history students and students of political science or are learning political science in the high schools. I want to say that one day one of those students will be a politician, there's no question. I also want to say that while attending Model Parliament I was always impressed at the number of students who partake the Model Parliament. It shows that the democratic process is alive and well. Many of young people, in fact, are interested in the political arena.

I want to tell you that sometimes you enter politics in a very strange way. Some of you never dream that you will ever be involved in politics, and I will tell you that's the same thing that occurred to me. There was never a dream that I would ever be involved in politics one day, until I was represented by people who did not live in the ward. At that particular time I was an alderman for the Dartmouth City Council and these wards are carved out and they're carved out for a specific reason. They're carved out to have representation and a level of government, that being the municipal level of government, and I decided that since I had no representation in the ward at that particular time, I would offer for public office.

[10:30 a.m.]

Mr. Speaker, to be honest with you, I lost the first time. I did. As a matter of fact, there are people who don't believe that I've lost an election campaign, but I did, you know. I have lost an election campaign. I decided that this was very good, the reception was excellent and I decided that the next time around I would prepare for it. So I prepared for the next time around by looking at that carved out, what people call electoral boundary. I want to refer to those electoral boundaries as something different. Those electoral boundaries, if we don't refer to them as electoral boundaries, there's another name for them and that's voter districts, and voter districts are significantly important to the democratic process because voter districts imply that that is a carved out portion that you represent in a level of government. In that particular case I challenged and I went forward and I won on the basis of resident representation and that was the only basis on which I ran for municipal politics. It wasn't because of the level of service. It wasn't because of inadequate representation. It was because of resident representation and that is what I firmly believe is why we have carved out voter districts and they're commonly known as electoral boundaries.

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the Electoral Boundaries Commission, I want to say first of all that I'm not in objection to their particular position with respect to the way that they've carved out these particular boundaries. They were mandated by an all-Party select committee of the Legislature on what they could or could not do. The terms of reference that were crafted by the all-Party committee led the direction in which the Electoral Boundaries Commission would proceed. Now, am I happy? No, because I firmly believe that the

[Page 11370]

democratic process is best served by larger numbers. It is also best served by those larger numbers because you have more people representing the population. I know it's cumbersome, I know it's expensive and I know it's awkward and sometimes people will complain about the business of government and that the wheels of government slow down, but when I look across the Northumberland Strait to an island called Prince Edward Island and I look at the kind of representation that that island has with respect to political representation and that which was crafted within the BNA Act that allowed Prince Edward Island to have the kind of representation it has, we understand why voter support is at an all-time high.

For those of you who don't know, Prince Edward Island has 36 municipal officials. It has 24 MLAs, four MPs and four senators, and that's for a total population of 135,000, one-third of that of the Halifax Regional Municipality. Voter turnout is significantly high, it's in the 85 per cent, 90 per cent and 95 per cent levels and that's at the municipal level, at the municipal level that's unheard of in Nova Scotia, it would probably be about 50 per cent of voter turnout. On Prince Edward Island the voter turnout is 85 per cent. In the provincial elections it's 92 per cent and even up as high as 95 per cent at the federal elections and so on, which demonstrates to me and to this Legislative Assembly that people want to know who their politicians are. They want to be able to know that their politician is their next-door neighbour, one they can call and one they can talk to. The representation on Prince Edward Island per population and the number of voters that they represent is somewhere around 5,000 to 8,000 people - eligible voters - excuse me, I should say eligible voters, a bit higher, approximately 10,000 as the population go. That, to me, reflects that people want a democratic process that they can feel comfortable with.

I don't know whose agenda it is out there to say reduce government or reduce the number of political representations, Mr. Speaker. I don't know whose agenda it is out there, but when we get phone calls and people say we can never reach you and the only time we see you is when you're at our doorstep on election day, remember that we're representing 13,000 to 15,000 eligible voters. I don't know who represents that in business at one given time, 24 hours a day like we do. I don't know that, and that goes for people on all political sides of this Legislature floor today. You know you can say what you want, but we work extremely hard within the means that we have.

Mr. Speaker, I want to go back to those electoral boundaries because they're significantly important. Those electoral boundaries are significantly important because of the way and the shape and the sizes that they do. I sympathize with those on Cape Breton Island who in fact have lost a seat, and why is it that you have to lose a seat because of out-migration? Is there a reason? Is there some kind of a logical sense that you must lose a seat because of out-migration? You still have to represent a community and a district. Also, there is the member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury whose constituency now you would need an aircraft to fly from one end of it to the other. Representation is almost virtually impossible, and I sympathize with those individuals who had extremely large constituencies

[Page 11371]

like Timberlea-Prospect, like Halifax Bedford Basin, and Sackville-Beaver Bank, many of those constituencies that certainly were representing large numbers of people. Most unfair, but we have to recognize that there is an optimum number that politicians ought to represent.

In my opinion, that optimum number is not the kind of optimum number that I see bandied about within some of the voter districts. In some of those voter districts there's approximately 5,000, 6,000 to 7,000 eligible voters. Some of them range up to 17,000 eligible voters, a significant difference, and we do know and I do support the carving out of districts for the francophone communities. Clare, Argyle, and Richmond - all have an appropriate place within this Legislative Assembly, and the constituency of Preston has an appropriate place within this Legislative Assembly.

Mr. Speaker, I have a bit of criticism with respect to the formation of the Electoral Boundaries Review Commission, because I don't think it was reflective of the communities of interest as a whole, because I don't believe there was any disabled person served on that Electoral Boundaries Review Commission. As a result of that the commission didn't have the opportunity to sit back and listen to the kind of difficulties that a disabled person might have in campaigning in a constituency that takes all day to travel through just for one trip, or a constituency that is so compact that it's extremely difficult for them to get around because of the geographic landscape of the constituency. I know that under the Elections Act this year we've changed the number of campaigning days was changed from 30 to 36. A disabled person is unlikely able to campaign in that kind of an environment in those number of days. I can tell you the 36 days were exceptionally kind to me. I didn't get the opportunity to see everyone.

Mr. Speaker, you know as well I know that there are people who, in fact, don't vote unless they see you on their doorstep. They say, I'm not voting for that person unless they come to see me. It's impossible for disabled persons to campaign in the election campaigns. I know that Jerry Lawrence was probably the last disabled person to come into this Legislature since myself. That was approximately a seven-year gap. The next review from this Electoral Boundaries Commission or the government's mandate is to allow it within 10 years, so that comes in the year 2012. What do those individuals do in the interim? There are no special mechanisms set within the Act of the legislation that says those persons who are deaf and hard of hearing, those persons who are blind, visually . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. My goodness, I wonder if we could ask honourable members to try to turn down their private conversations a little bit. I know we did agree, unanimously, to relax the quorum, but there has been no reference of relaxing the decorum. I just thought I should point that out.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North has the floor.

[Page 11372]

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, I must say I was unaware of the relaxing of quorum and I was doing the counting over here, I was ready to call it. Thank you very much for bringing that to my attention. As well, I want to tell you that there may be a time when I might have to sit down. That is not to imply that I want to relinquish my time, it's because I find it more comfortable after a while to have a seat. If that's necessary. Mr. Speaker, I should have advised you of that earlier.

However, getting back, those are some of the concerns that I have with respect to the people in the disabled community. We have not set out a process whereby they can be a part of this democratic process. There are some 22.5 per cent of persons in Nova Scotia with varying degrees of disabilities.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Understanding the position the member finds himself in, with the unanimous consent of the House, if it's deemed necessary, I would ask the House to allow the honourable member to speak from the chair if he finds it easier to do that, without standing. That's with the agreement of the House. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I wonder, just based on my experience at the Public Accounts Committee, if the honourable member would maybe move up to one of the front row seats of another honourable member in his caucus, because the camera has difficulty picking the place. Would it be agreed by all members to let the honourable member move up if he so agrees to? (Interruptions)

MR. PYE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the House for its compassionate concern with respect to what I've been talking about without coming out and specifically implying. I want to tell you that, in fact, I'm going to make every attempt, since it's only another 15 minutes, 16 minutes, to balance myself and stay here. If it's necessary, I would prefer to just simply take the seat here and continue on. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you honourable members.

The reason I say this is because I know that there are a number of individuals from the disabled community who would prefer to be actively involved in the democratic process. Those individuals are restricted because they may not have the technical aids, the kind of equipment that may be needed, and these things are not covered under the Elections Act as part of the campaigning process or part of the expenses of a candidate in an election campaign. That's the kind of compassion and understanding that this government, and governments proceeding this government ought to consider before we craft the next electoral boundaries and change the Elections Act in the year 2012.

I will tell you that I know many individuals from the disabled community who personally said to me that they would be honoured to have the opportunity to campaign in the election, whether as independents or whether they represent a political Party. But that's

[Page 11373]

extremely difficult when you look at the carved out electoral boundaries or the voter districts, as I prefer to call them. Those voter districts are a reflection of a community. Those voter districts reflect everyone who lives in that community and everyone who has an interest in that community, as we know of a community of interest, as determined under the Elections Act.

[10:45 a.m.]

I would certainly hope that we would take into consideration - and this may not come up at Law Amendments, but I hope that those people who are going to listen to the witnesses before Law Amendments will seriously look at this. I know that these reflective changes can take place within the Internal Economy Board, they can actually talk about it with respect to election expenses and so on. Now there may be some tinkering with the Act, after recommendations from the Internal Economy Board come forward, but by the same token that can certainly be crafted in the Act.

I am going to sit now for a moment if you don't mind.

MR. SPEAKER: I just wanted to point out to the honourable member that Legislative Television will have difficulty picking the honourable member up. If he's able to move to a front row, would that be . . .

MR. PYE: Sure, no problem.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. With the indulgence of the House. The honourable member for Dartmouth North will be taking the place of - just for the time being - will be taking the seat of the honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid for Legislative Television purposes. The honourable member is going to carry on with the debate on this piece of legislation from his seat. The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. PYE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is one way of pushing yourself up to the front of the floor. I knew that eventually I would get here, it was just a matter of time.

What I want to say is that this in itself is something that I hope the Law Amendments Committee will look at and possibly the Chief Electoral Officer, Ms. Willwerth, will look at recommending to the government some positive moves or actions that can be taken so that persons with disabilities can be active participants in the democratic process of this province. That's one of the very reasons why I firmly believe that there ought to be an optimum number with respect to a voter district. The reason I say that is because some things are not taken into consideration.

[Page 11374]

I represent a voter district that has increased some 15 per cent above the average. The average in the statistics for 2002 is approximately 13,000 - well, it isn't approximate, I can tell you exactly, it's 13,545 eligible voters. With the 15 per cent plus above the average, I will be representing approximately 15,421 eligible voters. Now, you would say that's only a couple of thousand voters but it does make a significant difference. I want to welcome them to the constituency of Dartmouth North as well, but I also want to tell you that there are some other fundamentals that are never taken into consideration when, in fact, electoral or voting districts are carved out or hived off of the overall map of the Province of Nova Scotia.

One very important issue with respect to Dartmouth North, and I don't know if you're aware of it and I'm sure most members are because a huge chunk of the tax base that comes from that particular community, is the community of Burnside. The Burnside Industrial/Business Park, Mr. Speaker, is a park that has 1,100 companies employing 17,000 people on a daily basis. Now you say well what does that have to do with you; it is a significant factor to me simply because the electoral boundaries or the voter is districts are carved out based on a population and then based on the number of eligible voters and that's the only criteria for carving out an electoral district or voter district. There's no other criteria other than the communities of interest, of course.

Those 17,000 people, although they may live in Truro, Bible Hill, they may live in Porters Lake or Preston, they may live in Bedford, they may live in Hammonds Plains or anywhere else, they have concerns and issues that need to be addressed every day and those concerns and issues you might ask are what? Well, they're transportation. There are labour issues, there are environmental issues, and those kinds of issues consistently eat up the time of a constituency office to serve 17,000-some people with worker turnover, Mr. Speaker, and my office gets a tremendous number of calls. So not only do I represent a constituency that is unique in Nova Scotia in having not only the population parameters and the eligible voter parameters, but also the employment parameters are placed there as well because this is a place of employment.

I want you to know that this is larger than the Town of Truro. On a 12-hour daily basis it serves more people than the Town of Truro. It serves more people than the Towns of Bridgewater and Lunenburg or Yarmouth and who is called when those employment turnovers and so on take place? I can tell you that this constituency office is called and it's called a considerable number of times plus you have to remember that there are some constituencies that have greater demands of a needed service than others.

I can tell you that Halifax Citadel, Mr. Speaker, would be one that requires a tremendous demand, Halifax Needham, Dartmouth North, and there may be some other constituencies that have special circumstances and special needs because of the social and economic status of that particular constituency that require special needs on that as well. Now, I know that there has been some talk and conversation around the issue with respect to satellite constituencies, particularly in the constituency that's now carved out so large - I

[Page 11375]

believe it's the Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury constituency that will now be extended - and also the loss of Cape Breton The Lakes that extended that constituency to an even greater geographic boundary. I know there has been some talk of satellite stations, but it's more than satellite stations, it needs to be represented by human resources - people. I know that right now this Legislature allows for constituency assistants on a part-time basis only and there is a real need out there for full-time constituency assistants in some of these constituencies.

I don't know about your constituency, Mr. Speaker, but I can certainly speak for the number and the volume of work that comes through the constituency that I represent in this Legislature and that's the constituency of Dartmouth North. When you think of 15,000-some eligible voters, well, remember that that's out of a total population of 21,000-some residents and on top of those 21,000 residents are another 17,000 people coming in on a daily basis for a 12-hour period and how do you represent those individuals fairly and equitably without some resources to back you up. There needs to be a review of how those resources and constituency offices are meted out. I can tell you the Eastern Shore, for example, is a huge constituency. It's an extremely huge constituency. It's unfair for the elected representative to be criticized for not being able to do his/her job when, in fact, the resources are not there and available for them to do the job properly.

If, in fact, we are going to talk about the reduction of the number of seats within the provincial Legislature, and Mr. Speaker, I'm concerned that that may have been some of the reason why the select committee mandated to the Electoral Boundaries Commission that they ought not to go beyond the 52 seats, there might have been some fear that they would even reduce it if they left it in the hands of the Electoral Boundaries Commission. I must say that the select committee, at that particular time, was looking after the interests of serving all Nova Scotians when probably introducing that part of the terms of reference.

However, I would not have had concern because I simply believe that the commission may have come back with an even larger number of representation because the Halifax metropolitan area then loses out as a result of that. That's unfair to the Halifax metropolitan area simply because people have migrated here for jobs and employment.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Would the honourable member like to move adjournment of the debate, please.

MR. PYE: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I will.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn debate.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 11376]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to move to adjourn the House. I would inform the House that we will sit again on Tuesday, November 12th, from the hours of 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. We will do the daily routine, after the daily routine is completed we will carry on with Public Bills for Second Reading. We will continue debate on Bill No. 142, continue with Bill No. 146 and, if that is completed, we will do Bill No. 147.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[The House rose at 10:57 a.m.]

[Page 11377]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 4654

By: Mr. Cecil O'Donnell (Shelburne)

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

Whereas Darren Hudson, a native of Barrington, Shelburne County, and three-time Canadian log-rolling champion, recently brought home an international gold medal from the Great Outdoor Games in Lake Placid, New York; and

Whereas Darren also placed second this year at the world log-rolling championships in Kimberly, Wisconsin; and

Whereas Darren is a nephew of nine-time world log-rolling champion Phil Scott and has been a professional log-roller since being in Grade 11 at Barrington Municipal High School in 1995;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs in this Legislature congratulate Darren on his world-class showings in New York and Wisconsin in 2002, and wish him every success in 2003 and beyond.

RESOLUTION NO. 4655

By: Mr. Richard Hurlburt (Yarmouth)

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

Whereas late September saw Yarmouth play host to the 50th Anniversary annual meeting of the Canadian Mink Breeders Association; and

Whereas there are about 80 mink ranches presently operating in Nova Scotia, employing approximately 500 people, a number of them located in the southwestern part of this province; and

Whereas Nova Scotia's mink ranches produce about one-third of the pelts necessary for the $1.5 million fur skin industry in Canada;

[Page 11378]

Therefore be it resolved that with Nova Scotia's mink industry continuing to grow, MLAs applaud the local organizers of the recent Canadian Mink Breeders Association AGM and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4656

By: Mr. William Langille (Colchester North)

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

Whereas Branch 64 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Tatamagouche will once again organize activities perpetuating the memory of those who died in the military, merchant navy and ferry command services of Canada; and

Whereas members and supporters of Branch 64 continue to ensure their community honours the supreme sacrifice made by so many and ensure that their memory and service to country is never forgotten; and

Whereas with more than 500,000 members, the Royal Canadian Legion is one of the largest community service organizations in the country and, in addition to keeping the memory alive, contributes millions of dollars and voluntary hours to help Canadians, particularly seniors and youth;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Branch 64 of the Royal Canadian Legion for their continued support and commitment to communities and salute their efforts to ever remind us of the young men and women who gave their lives for our country.

RESOLUTION NO. 4657

By: Mr. William Langille (Colchester North)

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

Whereas Branch 106 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Debert will once again organize activities perpetuating the memory of those who died in the military, merchant navy and ferry command services of Canada; and

Whereas members and supporters of Branch 106 continue to ensure their community honours the supreme sacrifice made by so many and ensure that their memory and service to country is never forgotten; and

[Page 11379]

Whereas with more than 500,000 members, the Royal Canadian Legion is one of the largest community service organizations in the country and, in addition to keeping the memory alive, contributes millions of dollars and voluntary hours to help Canadians, particularly seniors and youth;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Branch 106 of the Royal Canadian Legion for their continued support and commitment to communities and salute their efforts to ever remind us of the young men and women who gave their lives for our country.

RESOLUTION NO. 4658

By: Mr. William Langille (Colchester North)

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

Whereas Branch 72 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Great Village will once again organize activities perpetuating the memory of those who died in the military, merchant navy and ferry command services of Canada; and

Whereas members and supporters of Branch 72 continue to ensure their community honours the supreme sacrifice made by so many and ensure that their memory and service to country is never forgotten; and

Whereas with more than 500,000 members, the Royal Canadian Legion is one of the largest community service organizations in the country and, in addition to keeping the memory alive, contributes millions of dollars and voluntary hours to help Canadians, particularly seniors and youth;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Branch 72 of the Royal Canadian Legion for their continued support and commitment to communities and salute their efforts to ever remind us of the young men and women who gave their lives for our country.