Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 03-8

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Murray Scott

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

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

Annual subscriptions available from the Office of the Speaker.

Third Session

MONDAY, APRIL 7, 2003

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Flood (03/03): Responders - Commend,
Hon. M. Baker 567
Nat. Res.: National Wildlife Week - Conservation Licence Plate,
Hon. T. Olive 571
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 412, Johnson, Ruth: Death of - Tribute, Hon. R. Russell 573
Vote - Affirmative 574
Res. 413, Health: Nat'l. Medical Lab. Wk. (07/04-11/04/03) - Recognize,
Hon. J. Purves 574
Vote - Affirmative 574
Res. 414, Nat. Res.: Nat'l. Wildlife Wk. (07/04-12/04/03) - Recognize,
Hon. T. Olive 575
Vote - Affirmative 575
Res. 415, Health Prom.: World Health Day/IWK Reps. - Recognize,
Hon. Rodney MacDonald 575
Vote - Affirmative 576
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 416, Nursing Homes: Seniors' Savings - Depletion Halt,
Mr. D. Dexter 576
Res. 417, PC Gov't.: Funding - Inadequacy, Mr. W. Gaudet 577
Res. 418, Lantz, Joan: Lunenburg Day Care Ctr. - Service Thank,
Hon. M. Baker 578
Vote - Affirmative 579
Res. 419, Gottingen St. Fire (26/02/03): Fundraisers - Thank,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 579
Vote - Affirmative 579
Res. 420, Health Prom.: Funding - Improve, Dr. J. Smith 579
Res. 421, Rogers, Stan: Can. Music Hall of Fame Induction -
Petition Support, Mr. Ronald Chisholm 580
Vote - Affirmative 581
Res. 422, Hannah, Albert: Maitland FD - Service Recognize,
Mr. J. MacDonell 581
Vote - Affirmative 582
Res. 423, Environ. & Lbr.: Environ. Act Review Comm. -
Changes Implement, Mr. R. MacKinnon 582
Res. 424, Can. Diabetes Assoc.: Anniv. (50th) - Congrats., Mr. M. Parent 582
Vote - Affirmative 583
Res. 425, Vol. FDs: Insurance Prems. - Gov't. Intervene, Mr. F. Corbett 583
Vote - Affirmative 584
Res. 426, Police Forces Order of Merit: Recipients - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Wilson 584
Vote - Affirmative 585
Res. 427, Flying Scots Special Events Comp.: Winners - Congrats.,
Mrs. M. Baillie 585
Vote - Affirmative 585
Res. 428, Commun. Serv.: Fed. Funding - Social Housing Target,
Mr. J. Pye 585
Res. 429, Fin.: Prem. - Borrowing Inconsistency, Mr. M. Samson 586
Res. 430, Sports: Sackville Blazers - Don Johnson Cup Congrats.,
Mr. B. Barnet 587
Vote - Affirmative 587
Res. 431, Sports: Trenholm, Chad/Cole Hbr. Red Wings -
N.S. Peewee AAA Hockey Champs., Mr. D. Dexter 588
Vote - Affirmative 588
Res. 432, Sports: Halifax Mooseheads - QMJHL Awards Congrats.,
Dr. J. Smith 588
Vote - Affirmative 589
Res. 433, Jackson, Heather: Chartered Accountant Exams -
1st Place Congrats., Hon. A. MacIsaac 589
Vote - Affirmative 590
Res. 434, Gerrior, Bill: Acadian Awakenings - Publication Congrats.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 590
Vote - Affirmative 590
Res. 435, Barrington HS: Science Fair - Participants Congrats.,
Mr. D. Wilson 591
Vote - Affirmative 591
Res. 436, Special Olympians/N.S. Special Olympics Soc.: Efforts -
Recognize, Hon. N. LeBlanc 591
Vote - Affirmative 592
Res. 437, Capt. William Spry Commun. Ctr.: Outreach Initiative -
Congrats., Mr. Robert Chisholm 592
Vote - Affirmative 593
Res. 438, Harris Home Ctr.: BBB Award - Congrats., (by Mr. J. DeWolfe)
Mr. W. Langille 593
Vote - Affirmative 594
Res. 439, St. Joseph's Early Childhood Ctr.: Anniv. (35th) - Congrats.,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 594
Vote - Affirmative 594
Res. 440, Irondale Theatre Ensemble: Workshops - Congrats.,
Mr. Robert Chisholm 594
Vote - Affirmative 595
Res. 441, Rawdon Elem. Sch.: Northern Reg. Recycles Day -
Accomplishments Congrats., Mr. J. MacDonell 595
Vote - Affirmative 596
Res. 442, New Waterford Cons. Charitable Fdn.: Fundraising -
Congrats., Mr. F. Corbett 596
Vote - Affirmative 597
Res. 443, Commun. Serv.: Reg. Residential Service Soc. -
Wage Parity Ensure, Mr. J. Pye 597
Res. 444, Shanks, Barb/Feetham, John: Glengarry Estates
Homeowners Assoc. - Efforts Recognize, Mr. W. Estabrooks 598
Vote - Affirmative 598
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. G. Steele 599
Mr. M. Parent 603
Mr. F. Chipman 606
Mr. R. MacKinnon 608
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 5:45 P.M. 611
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 9:45 P.M. 611
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Apr. 8th at 12:00 noon 612

[Page 567]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, APRIL 7, 2003

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Third Session

4:00 P.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

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

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I will distribute the copies of my statement for the benefit of the critics. I believe they have received it already.

567

[Page 568]

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to take a few minutes to address my colleagues about the recent flooding. The last weeks have shown us the power of nature in all its fury. We have watched as extreme weather conditions tore a destructive path across the province, resulting in the tragic loss of two lives. We have watched as flooding destroyed and damaged the provincial road and bridge infrastructure in every part of this province. My department estimates that the flooding closed or damaged 200 roads and 47 bridges across Nova Scotia. The cost to our provincial infrastructure is estimated at $12 million. Countless more dollars will be spent on losses to personal property as Nova Scotians deal with their flood-damaged homes and add up the mounting costs.

Mr. Speaker, it has been a week of tragedy and loss. However, it has also been an incredible week of giving and sacrifice . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works is making a statement and he's in competition with a number of other members in the House. I would ask members to please turn it down a little bit, please. Thank you.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

MR. BAKER: However, Mr. Speaker, it has been an incredible week of giving and sacrifice. Nova Scotians have responded to this disaster with compassion, determination and kindness. The collective efforts of paid and volunteer organizations allowed us to overcome the obstacles and respond in a way that minimized the destruction as much as was humanly possible.

In many respects, the groups are too countless to mention. However, I will try to give you a sense of those who participated: volunteer firefighters, local Red Cross; Emergency Measures Organization staff; Ground Search and Rescue; local contractors; police, fire and ambulance personnel; town and municipal staff; and Transportation and Public Works' crews worked through the night to protect motorists and save roads and bridges.

I would also like to mention the local volunteers and residents who helped out during the flooding. Many Nova Scotians helped neighbours and provided hot meals and clean clothes. Others provided assistance as needed, including warm blankets for an injured Transportation and Public Works' backhoe operator. These countless acts of kindness may never be written down but they will be remembered by those who received them. They bring into focus the caring nature of our province and the values that make us strong.

Mr. Speaker, I'm going to depart from my text because since the text was prepared, I had occasion to visit one home, and I would like to recount a very short story which was one home of one couple in the Pinehurst area. They told a story of how a neighbour put a life jacket on and a rope around his waist and waded through the torrential flood waters to rescue

[Page 569]

their pets, which were stranded in the home. That is one of the kinds of acts of compassion and caring that I'm talking about.

I commend the efforts of many and the way they responded to the disaster with compassion, assistance, and determination of spirit. The collective efforts of numerous groups and individuals will long be remembered. Thank you. (Applause)

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for providing the text of his comments and especially that aside, because I know how important it is in that community. I, too, can speak of personal occasions of sacrifice in the community that I represent, in particular the Prospect Road Fire Department and the bridge that was literally blown out by the water in the Linwood Drive area of the community of Brookside.

I particularly want to thank the Department of Transportation out of the Beechville base. The professionalism of the people who arrived to put that new bridge in, in very quick order, to the people that I met who were there and came from other areas of the province, whether it was EMO or the Department of Transportation, I surely do appreciate their co-operation.

I, too, can mention an aside of Ken Saxton, who went out of his way, because there was no way for those 35 people to get to and from school or to and from work. He went down there and by his good graces, he built a bridge so that people could cross before vehicles were permitted. At the same time, I want to point out to this government that the Municipal Relations Critic of our Party has called upon that government to help out the people in Kentville right now to make sure that the $45 fee for the hookup of Nova Scotia Power will not be laid on those people because the only EMO decision made was a correct one - to disconnect the power. Well, now let's allow those people not to be charged that $45 for the reconnection.

You know we have to become more proactive with this issue, Mr. Speaker, and I can tell you that because I grew up in a flood plain, I know what the Tantramar Marshes were all about and I know the member for Truro-Bible Hill can say the same thing. With the extremes we have now in weather, we have to truly have a rainy day fund and it would seem to me that this government should follow the example of, I should say it, the climate change fund from the Government of Manitoba that has allocated $730,000 and they have approved over 37 projects to look at the issue of climate change in that particular province. No longer can we say, well, that was a once in 50 years flood. With the extremes of global warming, with the extremes that we have in weather, we have to make sure that we truly do set aside a rainy day fund.

[Page 570]

It's no way, to have a joke in here, as the Minister of Environment and Labour did the other day about global warming, it has become a real issue and there must be certain proactive steps taken. I would encourage this government to look at the Manitoba example and to look at it so that we're not always reacting to such disasters, but we have plans in place ahead of time. For example, they dike work of the Truro flood plain has to be looked at and it's not an issue that we should be reacting to. It's an issue the Department of Environment and Labour in combination with the Department of Transportation and Public Works should be looking forward to and looking at possible solutions in advance - the inconvenience, the disastrous deaths of those poor folk on the South Shore. They are terrible things for our province to face, but this government has a responsibility to show some leadership and should follow the example of the Manitoba Government by establishing a climate change fund, taking on projects so that we can be ready for such disasters because they're inevitable. They're going to happen with global warming and those of us near the ocean are well aware of the torrential power of floods when they do arrive. Thank you for your time.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for providing a copy of his announcement prior to the commencement of the House, but that's about as positive as it's going to get, unfortunately, because after reading today's paper where I see that the province is siphoning off $9 million of $11 million of federal money that was slated for housing, you wonder if maybe this is where the provincial government is getting the money for their EMO program.

Mr. Speaker, you know that this is the only province in Canada that doesn't even get its sufficient base funding. It's the only province that doesn't get the allowable funding for EMO that it's entitled to and why? Because of the ineptitude of this government and this minister, who we're not sure who's speaking for EMO at this point. I will even table the document that shows that they are not even getting their base funding for EMO under what they call JEPP - Joint Emergency Preparedness Program. They can't even get the bare minimum dollars that they're entitled to because they haven't even asked for it. You wonder why we're in a crisis situation when things like this happen in Nova Scotia and what's the provincial government doing? They're siphoning off money from other programs - which are federal dollars - so that they can take the credit for all the good things that they're doing.

[4:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, the people of Nova Scotia will not be fooled. Why is the government hiding the report on bridges in Nova Scotia? Because they don't want people to know how bad it is. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bridges are in dire need of repair. Some of them have been identified, whether the government likes to admit it or not, and are in

[Page 571]

critical need of repair to the point where they shouldn't even be used. What's the government doing? They're hiding under the freedom of information.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transportation and Public Works can get up and wax eloquent about somebody tying a piece of rope around their waist, and that's important in an emergency situation, but that's no way for this government or that minister to respond to emergencies in this province, by giving people pieces of rope to save themselves. He can do much better than that, than those types of little analogies that he has put here before us. We're not interested in that. We're interested in action and putting some money on the table to help these people.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Organization.

HON. TIMOTHY OLIVE: Mr. Speaker, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to share with you and my colleagues here in the House today's announcement on the launch of a specialty conservation licence plate for motor vehicles during National Wildlife Week. This attractive plate featuring the piping plover will help raise money for species-at-risk conservation. Here in Nova Scotia we currently have 20 wildlife species, including the piping plover, the pink coreopsis, the Atlantic whitefish and American marten, listed as species-at-risk under the province's Endangered Species Act. This law provides protection for these species and their habitats, and also provides for a fund to support conservation activities.

Mr. Speaker, the Species-at-Risk Conservation Fund will be used to support the development of status reports, species recovery activities, habitat conservation, as well as research and education for species-at-risk. An important aspect of this fund is its accessibility to Nova Scotians. Project proposals will be invited from conservation groups and the public. Of course, a fund of any type requires ongoing financial contributions to keep it going. That is why I'm so pleased to announce today the launch of the new conservation licence plate program. Through the purchase of a licence plate, Nova Scotians are able to contribute $50 directly to the fund and provide support for species-at-risk. I'm not sure, Mr. Speaker, did you want to see a copy of this, or I will table it. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister for his statement in advance. One of the things people ask me - they ask me a lot of things - about my job as an MLA, and I have, for some time been able to say that I'm not a cynic, but we're starting to push that envelope, I have to say, right now. The minister - who I think I'm going to start to regard as the minister of ministerial statements - is coming up with something that I hope will be a goodwill announcement, but I want to tell the minister that I looked at the number of species-at-risk in this province. I have them listed here. There are 20 species-at-

[Page 572]

risk in Nova Scotia, 10 of those have become at risk since 2001, six of those in 2001 and four of those in 2002.

I want to say to the minister, who is the Minister of Natural Resources, that in a province that clear-cuts 100,000 acres a year, and you want to promote saving these species by a licence plate and that $50 will go into a fund. Well, I would like to see more information in your statements. If I watch the news tonight, I might get it, because I never seem to get it here in the House. The question of whether or not this will actually get used for this purpose, how it's going to be administered, whether the licence plate price goes up by $50 - none of this has been explained in this statement.

We had people in this gallery the other day who were protesting Black Bull Resources and its mining operation or proposed mining operations so close to the Tobeatic. Their concerns about the moose population in the Tobeatic - well, you know what? That's the only indigenous moose population in this province because the moose in Cape Breton came from Alberta. The only Nova Scotia moose in the mainland is there.

I want to tell the minister, that population is threatened. It's not on your list. If the minister wanted to be proactive and try to save any of these species, he would examine the clear-cutting regulations in this province, on how we harvest timber. (Applause) He could actually raise the stumping fees to a point where they're competitive and put some of that money into conserving habitat and wildlife. The same as he might do when it comes to licensing, et cetera, for mining operations or any of those operations that take away from habitat.

Along with what may seem to the minister to be a highly negative comment on my part, I want to say if this helps, I would certainly be supportive of it. But I think there are so many more concrete things that the minister could be doing that would actually have a positive benefit for these species-at-risk and I would like to see the minister go down that road. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria.

MR. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I am glad the minister got his scolding already today so I'll go a little easier on him. I want to thank the minister for sending us over the statement as he generally does. It's very good to have it before we come to the House.

This is a good announcement today. It's good, but has it gone far enough? I'm not sure. It has gone far enough as far as the taxpayer of Nova Scotia is concerned, but what is the government putting into it? That's the question.

[Page 573]

Endangered species in Nova Scotia require support, they require monetary support. The big concern that I see with this announcement today is the fact that the non-profit organizations are picking up the tab for this. There's nothing in this statement that indicates to any group or any Nova Scotian how much the government is paying. We know they're going to pay $50 for a plate. Is the government going to match that $50 - which they do in a lot of programs - which they should do with a lot of the programs across the province if they're going to be sincere in their efforts of conserving our endangered species.

We all support the conservation measures that the government take, but we can't expect Nova Scotians to pick up the tab for everything. So, while the announcement is a good measure, the slack that the government faces is that they're trying to have the taxpayers pick it up or the non-profit organizations.

Again, I support the measure, Mr. Speaker. We all support conservation measures, but only when the government provides adequate support to a follow-up and showing leadership in this effort. Thank you. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 412

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

Whereas in February, Nova Scotia lost a strong public activist with the passing of Ruth Johnson, known by her friends and family as Dr. Ruth; and

Whereas Dr. Ruth, a former resident of Africville, worked for over 60 years on behalf of her community, which in turn helped build a stronger Nova Scotia; and

Whereas her personal excellence in life was also awarded with an honorary Doctor of Letters from Mount Saint Vincent University;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature join me in recognizing the significant contributions made by Ruth Johnson and express our condolences to her family and friends.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 574]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 413

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

Whereas approximately 85 per cent of all physician decisions regarding diagnosis and treatment are based in laboratory test results performed by medical laboratory professionals; and

Whereas medical laboratory professionals are Canada's third largest group of health care professionals, yet the profession faces a serious human resource shortage within the next three to five years; and

Whereas the province has purchased 22 additional seats in the New Brunswick Community College training program to train additional medical laboratory professionals;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in recognizing the work of medical laboratory technologists and acknowledging National Medical Laboratory Week, April 7th to April 11th.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 575]

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 414

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

Whereas April 6th to April 12th is National Wildlife Week, a week when all Nova Scotians and Canadians are asked to celebrate our national heritage and to play a part in its conservation; and

Whereas this year's theme is Native Species, Nature's Choice, and the week will focus on the harmful impacts of invasive, alien species on Canada's environment; and

Whereas throughout the nation, activities commemorating National Wildlife Week include nature walks, habitat improvement projects, and tree and flower plantings;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize that our wildlife are important natural resources that require protection, and take time during National Wildlife Week to think about what our natural resources mean to each one of us.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health Promotion.

RESOLUTION NO. 415

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

Whereas this year's World Health Day, Healthy Environments for Children, provides an opportunity to bring attention to the dangers children face in their environment; and

[Page 576]

Whereas each year, at the IWK Health Centre alone, more than 5,000 children visit the Emergency Department as the result of an injury; and

Whereas Child Safety Link, a community-based program, promotes a vision of safe communities where children can grow to reach their full potential;

Mr. Speaker, before I do the "Therefore be it resolved," I would ask those I will be introducing in my resolution to stand in the Speaker's Gallery as I say their name.

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature join me in recognizing World Health Day and the IWK representatives with us here in the gallery here today: Jane Mealey, Heather McKay, Kim Pitman, Sandra Newton, Lauren Cardiff and Kate Mahon.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that they receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

Just as a side note, Mr. Speaker, we signed a proclamation earlier with the Premier as well.

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.

Welcome to our guests in the gallery.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 416

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

[Page 577]

Whereas on April 4th, the Education Minister attacked the federal Liberal student loan policy because "In many cases, parents deplete their savings and accumulate debt to finance post-secondary studies for their children."; and

Whereas this Conservative Government knows all about how to force people to deplete their savings, because that's exactly what it does to seniors in nursing homes; and

[4:30 p.m.]

Whereas after the Premier told seniors they suffered this harsh treatment because the government had no money, his government underspent its budget for long-term care and today announced that they will keep taking seniors' savings until the year 2007;

Therefore be it resolved that the Hamm Conservatives should clean up their own backyard and stop forcing seniors to deplete their life savings before they start a crusade against similar practices of other governments.

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 Leader in the House of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 417

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

Whereas the Conservative Government has spent its four years in office blaming the federal government for not providing its share of funding for provincial programs; and

Whereas in reality it is the Conservative Government that skimmed $6 million of the federal Millennium Scholarship Foundation awards and reduced the province's share of health care funding and replaced it with federal funding; and

Whereas now the Conservatives are up to their old tricks again, skimming $9 million off the $11 million in federal funding for social housing programs;

[Page 578]

Therefore be it resolved that it has been the Conservative Government that has not provided its fair share of funding for Nova Scotians, not the federal government.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

RESOLUTION NO. 418

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

Whereas the Lunenburg Day Care Centre has been providing quality child care in the Town of Lunenburg since February 1973; and

Whereas Joan Lantz has been Director of the Lunenburg Day Care Centre since it began operation in 1973; and

Whereas Joan Lantz has retired as the Director of the Lunenburg Day Care Centre after 30 years of excellent service to its children;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House thank Joan for the excellent service she has provided to the Lunenburg Day Care Centre over the past 30 years and wish her all the best on her retirement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 579]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 419

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

Whereas a devastating fire at Gottingen and Falkland Streets in Halifax on February 26th destroyed several buildings and resulted in some 20 people being left homeless with the loss of all their personal possessions; and

Whereas individuals and organizations in the community rallied together to provide aid and assistance in various ways to those dispossessed by the fire; and

Whereas some individuals and organizations held very successful benefits to raise money for the Halifax Fire Relief Fund to help those left homeless and bereft;

Therefore be it resolved that this House thank all those who did so much for the victims of the February 26th Gottingen Street fire including Chris Lloyd and Craig Ferguson at the Khyber Centre for the Arts; and Greg Clark, David Henry and Victor Syperek at the Marquee Club and Hell's Kitchen as well as Club NRG.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 420

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

[Page 580]

Whereas in a matter of months we have seen this Tory Government go from creating an Office of Health Promotion with great fanfare to giving the office an embarrassingly brief paragraph in its Throne Speech; and

Whereas the marketing efforts may indicate that the Tory Government is committed to health promotion, a review of the inadequate funding level clearly demonstrated this is not a priority; and

Whereas the only physical activity we've seen from this Tory Government is how they continue to fiddle away and dance around this important issue;

Therefore be it resolved that if this government is truly committed to health promotion it will recognize that what will improve the health of Nova Scotians is strategic plans and improved funding, not public relations exercises of issuing press releases.

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 Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.

RESOLUTION NO. 421

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

Whereas Stan Rogers is an East Coast cultural icon and Canadian folk music hero, penning many classic songs in his short career; and

Whereas one of the first independent artists to significantly impact Canadian music, Mr. Rogers died in a plane accident in 1983 at the age of 33, leaving friends, family and fans from St. John's to Victoria devastated; and

Whereas you can help the petition to induct this honoured musician into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame by visiting www.geist.com/stanrogers and registering your support for Canada's folk legend;

[Page 581]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the important influence Stan Rogers has had on the East Coast music industry and wish the organizers of the petition luck as they aim to have Stan Rogers inducted into the Canadian Music 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 Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 422

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters have been among the longest serving and most dedicated of volunteers; and

Whereas rural fire departments and community safety are by and large dependent on volunteers; and

Whereas last January, Mr. Albert Hannah stepped down as Chief of the Maitland Fire Department after serving many years in that capacity;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Albert Hannah for his service to his community as former Chief of the Maitland Fire Department and the leadership he provided in making the Maitland community a safer place to live.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 582]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 423

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

Whereas the Minister for the Department of Environment and Labour appointed a committee to perform a comprehensive review of the Environment Act in January 2000; and

Whereas this committee submitted a report in October 2000 containing 46 recommendations on how the minister could improve the Environment Act; and

Whereas to date neither the honourable member for Hants West or his predecessor, the honourable member for Kings South, have bothered to implement any of these recommendations;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the lack of concern shown towards the environment by this government and encourage them to at least consider implementing some of these changes by the volunteer committee.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 424

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

Whereas 50 years ago this year, the co-inventor of insulin, Dr. Charles Best, recognized a need for a national organization to support the growing number of Canadians with diabetes; and

Whereas the Port Williams, Kings County native founded the Canadian Diabetes Association to support diabetes research, education and advocacy; and

[Page 583]

Whereas more than 50,000 Nova Scotians diagnosed with diabetes now benefit from Dr. Best's vision;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in recognizing the significant contributions of Dr. Charles Best to the health and well-being of all Canadians - particularly those with diabetes - and extend our congratulations to the Canadian Diabetes Association on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary.

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 Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 425

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

Whereas volunteer fire departments have over the years prevented much loss of life and property and, as a consequence, have saved insurers from paying out a lot of expensive claims; and

Whereas imagine their surprise when the volunteer fire department in Port Hastings learned that while they were out fighting a fire at a local motel that their insurer, Royal and Sun Alliance, had cancelled their coverage and that of 34 other volunteer departments in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Port Hastings Volunteer Fire Department has found another company willing to provide coverage but for more than double the cost;

Therefore be it resolved that when private insurers are even putting the screws to the very people that save them countless dollars, the volunteer fire departments, it's time for the government to intervene and ensure that loss of insurance and skyrocketing insurance premiums do not hinder the dedicated volunteer fire departments in this province.

[Page 584]

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 Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 426

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

Whereas Governor General Adrienne Clarkson has presented RCMP Deputy Commissioner J. Terry Ryan, Inspector Ronald Keith Sherwood, Inspector Robert Purcell, Assistant Commissioner Dwight Bishop, as well as Chief Edgar MacLeod of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service with the Order of Merit of the Police Forces at a ceremony in Rideau Hall; and

Whereas Assistant Commissioner Bishop and Chief MacLeod have been appointed officers, Deputy Commissioner Ryan was named Commander, while Inspectors Purcell and Sherwood have been named Members of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces; and

Whereas these awards are to recognize Canadian police officers whose contributions and dedication to law enforcement have exceeded protection of the community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these police officers and recognize their contributions to our province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 585]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 427

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

Whereas the Halifax Dance Society held its annual Flying Scots Special Events Competition on January 25th; and

Whereas Pictou County was well represented at this event, with highland dancers participating in a variety of dance categories including the sailor's hornpipe, the Highland fling and the sword dance; and

Whereas Anna Matheson, Eve MacKay, Kelsey MacKenzie, Jannah McIntyre, Janelle Langille, Harmony Wilson, Gwen Henderson and Allison Smith all brought home awards;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in congratulating all the winners of the Flying Scots Special Events Competition.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 428

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

[Page 586]

Whereas the Metropolitan Regional Housing Authority has a waiting list of 1,300 people who need public housing; and

Whereas the waiting period is up to two years for families who need affordable shelter; and

Whereas in spite of this pressing need, this government has squirrelled away $9 million of the federal $11 million intended for social housing;

Therefore be it resolved that this House call on the Minister of Community Services to target all of the $11 million of federal money for social housing at the construction of new and maintenance of old housing units, or in the form of subsidies for families to offset the ever-increasing cost of rent for private housing.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 429

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

Whereas on March 4, 2002, the Premier told a local newspaper, "To be sure there are some people who suggest that government should continue borrowing on its debt and spending beyond its means. I don't believe there is merit to this argument"; and

Whereas somewhere between then and now, the Premier has decided that it is now okay to continue to borrow and spend beyond his means; and

Whereas during the last election, the Premier also said he would run a government of honesty and integrity;

[Page 587]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize that the Premier has been inconsistent on his borrowing promise, which continues to cast a long shadow on the credibility of the Premier.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 430

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

Whereas the Sackville Blazers hockey team recently captured the Nova Scotia Junior B title in a hard-fought battle; and

Whereas this victory earned them a berth in the Don Johnson Atlantic Championship Cup in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, this weekend; and

Whereas this weekend, the Blazers were victorious with a 5-0 record, defeating the host, Mount Pearl Junior Blades, in a back and forth battle for the title;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Blazers in their first Don Johnson Cup.

[4:45 p.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 Leader of the Official Opposition.

[Page 588]

RESOLUTION NO. 431

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

Whereas this winter's hockey season is rapidly drawing to a conclusion and minor hockey champions are being declared these last two weeks; and

Whereas the Cole Harbour minor hockey system is on a par with any developmental organization in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as the Cole Harbour Red Wings prevailed to win the Nova Scotia Peewee AAA hockey championship;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Coach Chad Trenholme, his assistants and his young charges on the Cole Harbour Red Wings on winning the Nova Scotia Peewee AAA hockey championship.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 432

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

Whereas the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has recently honoured its top players at their annual awards banquet in Montreal with many of the Halifax Mooseheads taking centre stage; and

Whereas Shawn MacKenzie of the Halifax Mooseheads has been named the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Coach of the Year; and

[Page 589]

Whereas, not to be outdone by their coach, the players on the Halifax Mooseheads were also recipients of many awards - Petr Vrana received top rookie and all rookie team honours, A.J. MacLean shared the Humanitarian Award with David Masse of the Quebec Remparts, while defenceman Jimmy Sharrow was named to the all rookie team;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these Halifax Mooseheads players and coach and wish the team every success in their quest for the championship.

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 Antigonish. (Interruptions)

RESOLUTION NO. 433

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

Whereas Heather Jackson from North Grant received the highest marks in Nova Scotia on the chartered accountant exams in 2002 and placed 10th in Canada; and

Whereas a graduate of the class of 2000 from St. F.X., earning a degree in business administration with honours in marketing, Ms. Jackson received the Governor General's Gold Medal for attaining the highest average over three years; and

Whereas for placing first in Nova Scotia, Ms. Jackson will receive the Centennial Gold Medal and the Harry G. Hoben Memorial Prize for top marks in Atlantic Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Heather Jackson on achieving first rank scores on her chartered accountant exams and wish her continued success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 590]

MR. SPEAKER: The Minister of Education is requesting waiver of notice.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 434

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

Whereas an appreciation of our historical past allows us to more fully understand the present; and

Whereas author Bill Gerrior of Brookside has published the first of a four-book series called Acadian Awakenings; and

Whereas this labour of love is a culmination of many years of work and dedication by Mr. Gerrior;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Bill Gerrior of Brookside on the publication of Acadia Awakenings with best wishes for a great future in his future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

[Page 591]

RESOLUTION NO. 435

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

Whereas for generations science fairs have been an outlet for many Nova Scotian students to have hands-on experience with various aspects of science and to display their scientific knowledge; and

Whereas last Thursday, April 3, 2003, 116 Barrington High School students ranging from Grade 7 through to Grade 12 took part in the school's science fair organized by Grade 9 teacher Lynn Fraser; and

Whereas the top 30 displays, as judged by community members, will advance to the district science fair in Yarmouth on April 11th, where the top three displays will travel to Calgary for the Canada-wide science fair;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate the students of Barrington High, as well as all Nova Scotia students taking part in science fairs throughout this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 436

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Special Olympics Society held its annual Sports Celebrity Festival Dinner and Gala on April 3rd; and

[Page 592]

Whereas the fundraising event supports Nova Scotia's Special Olympics Olympians in day-to-day programming or when they compete in provincial, national or international events; and

Whereas our Special Olympics Olympians continue to demonstrate world-class dedication, commitment and ability, and are true champions of challenge;

Therefore be it resolved that all members recognize the dedication and the commitment of our Special Olympians and congratulate and thank the Nova Scotia Special Olympics Society for its continuing efforts to support these special athletes.

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. 437

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

Whereas the Captain William Spry Community Centre in Spryfield provides facilities for a wide range of activities including a library, fitness centre, pool and community meeting rooms; and

Whereas the board of directors has always fostered involvement with a great number of community groups operating in the area; and

Whereas this board hosted a very successful "Community Information Sharing Meeting" on Saturday, April 5th, to provide an opportunity for groups, agencies and volunteers to become better informed about the services offered to residents;

Therefore be it resolved that this House commend and congratulate the Captain William Spry staff for their initiative in outreach to the community of Spryfield.

[Page 593]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 438

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

Whereas the Better Business Bureau annually recognizes companies making contributions to charitable and non-profit organizations in their community; and

Whereas the award winners are chosen based on their long-term commitment to the Better Business Bureau and the level of community activity performed by the company; and

Whereas Harris Home Centre of Truro has received the Better Business Bureau's Community Achievement Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the owners and staff of Harris Home Centre on the receipt of their Better Business Bureau award and wish them continued success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 594]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 439

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

Whereas St. Joseph's Early Childhood Education Centres have been centres of excellence in quality child care for many years; and

Whereas the children who attend, their families, staff and board members remember fondly their association with St. Joseph's; and

Whereas on March 26, 2003, St. Joseph's Early Childhood Education Centres celebrated its 35th Anniversary with many well-wishers thankful for the continued success of this excellent program;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate St. Joseph's Early Childhood Education Centres on the anniversary of its 35 years of superb services to children and their parents, and thank all the board members, staff and families who, over the years, have contributed to the success of this excellent 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 member for Halifax Atlantic.

RESOLUTION NO. 440

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

[Page 595]

Whereas Irondale Theatre Ensemble has been providing exciting, stimulating and challenging theatre throughout metro and rural areas for over 11 years; and

Whereas this distinguished theatre company does public performances of original, company-created works, adaptations of classic text and dance theatre pieces as well as working with the Department of Education to deliver important messages to school children throughout the province; and

Whereas Irondale Theatre is demonstrating its commitment to the community even further through its arts and educational programs by hosting open workshops on Thursday nights to allow everyone an opportunity to enjoy the social interaction while participating and creating theatre;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the ensemble members, artists, support staff and volunteers for their outstanding efforts to make and nurture links to the diverse population of Nova Scotia through its educational and theatrical works.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 441

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

Whereas recycling is an important waste management strategy; and

Whereas learning the value of recycling at an early stage of life will only benefit young people in our communities; and

[Page 596]

Whereas this past January, Rawdon Elementary School students won several honours at the annual Northern Region Recycles Day Celebration held in Riverside Education Centre in Milford;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the students of Rawdon Elementary School for their achievements in making Nova Scotia a cleaner place to live and for the recognitions brought to them because of their accomplishments at the annual Northern Region Recycles Day.

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 Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 442

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

Whereas New Waterford Consolidated Hospital is a 24-bed facility housing acute and continuing care services to residents in New Waterford and area; and

Whereas the District Health Authority has been in need of MRI equipment leaving patients to have to undergo long waiting periods before travelling to Halifax; and

Whereas the DHA recently received a donation of $50,000 from the New Waterford Consolidated Hospital Charitable Foundation to help purchase an MRI and bone densitometer;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House commend the New Waterford Consolidated Hospital Charity Foundation and the citizens of New Waterford and area for their generosity and their dedicated efforts to raise funds for a much-needed MRI and bone densitometer.

[Page 597]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: One of the honourable member's colleagues is saying it was too long. However, there has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 443

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

Whereas the Regional Residential Services Society has begun to move residents of group homes into alternate facilities, including the Nova Scotia Hospital, in anticipation of a labour dispute; and

Whereas the workers in the homes and the families of residents are concerned that moving these residents is throwing their lives into disarray and, particularly for those who are being moved into the Nova Scotia Hospital, creating a fear of being institutionalized; and

Whereas this anxiety could be prevented if the government would provide adequate targeting funding to the Regional Residential Services Society so that it could meet the workers' reasonable request for wage parity with their counterparts in hospitals;

Therefore be it resolved that this House call upon the Minister of Community Services to ensure the safety and comfort of the residents of group homes by providing adequate funding to the Regional Residential Services Society so that it can provide workers with wage parity with hospital workers.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 598]

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 444

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

Whereas Timberlea residents, John Feetham and Barb Shanks, have provided valuable leadership to the Glengarry Estates Homeowners Association; and

Whereas this action group continues to represent the views of residents on numerous topics of concern; and

Whereas the Glengarry Estates area will be a better, safer place to live because of the efforts of these volunteers;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognizes the efforts of Barb Shanks, John Feetham and the Glengarry Estates Homeowners Association and thank them for their dedication.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[5:00 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 599]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in this estimates debate. I have been pleased to represent the constituency of Halifax Fairview since March 6, 2001. Halifax Fairview is a constituency that has had a tradition of strong representation. My predecessor as the MLA for that riding, of course, was the honourable Eileen O'Connell, well known, well respected on all sides of this House, who tragically passed away in September 2000. Before Eileen was Alexa McDonough.

Mr. Speaker, Alexa is very well respected, well regarded in the constituency. Anybody who doubts that should perhaps canvass door-to-door with her in Fairview, as I have had the privilege to do, to see the high regard with which she is held by the people of Fairview on whose behalf she worked for many years. There are parts of the riding, in fact, that Alexa has represented for over 20 years. She is very well known and well regarded by the people in my constituency.

Mr. Speaker, the constituency of Halifax Fairview - one of the interesting things about it there is no one thing that you can say about it that is true of the whole constituency. It's not rich, although there are parts of it that are very well off, and it's not poor, although there are parts of the constituency where there is a great deal of poverty. There are many seniors, particularly in the Fairview part of the constituency, and there are many young families as well, many families who have been here for a long time and many families who have just moved to Halifax, typically from somewhere else in Nova Scotia, although I have met people in my travels who have come from all across Canada and all around the world.

[Page 600]

Mr. Speaker, there's a very large and growing immigrant community. I've been told by someone from the Metro Immigrant Settlement Association that it is the most popular area for new immigrants to settle, because no matter what country people come from they can always find someone from their homeland, someone with whom they can relate as they try to integrate into Canada. That's a very special part of the constituency, the multicultural aspect of it as people come from all over the world.

If I could sum up Halifax Fairview in one word, it would be hardworking. These are the people who keep the City of Halifax going, who keep the institutions of the Halifax Regional Municipality going. You're far more likely to find a nurse or a lab technician than you are to find a surgeon. You're much more likely to find a bank teller than you are to find a bank vice-president. You're much more likely to find a teacher or custodian than you are to find a school superintendent. These are the people who plug away day after day after day, they pay their taxes day after day after day, and they expect a high quality of public services in return for themselves and their families.

Mr. Speaker, during the campaign when I was elected and every day since then, I have been mindful of the pledge that I made to my constituents, which was in my campaign literature and has been on my MLA Web site since the day I was elected. It is, in a sense, my mission statement as an MLA. It reads as follows:

"MY PLEDGE TO MY CONSTITUENTS

On March 6, 2001, you honoured me with the great privilege and responsibility of being your representative in the Legislature.

My promise to you is that I will work with integrity, energy and commitment to serve you, to be your voice in the Legislature, to be your advocate in government, and most importantly, to work with you to build this community and this province."

Mr. Speaker, that is the standard by which I hope I will be judged by my constituents - have I lived up to that or have I not? - and that is the pledge that I'm going to be taking to the doorsteps of Halifax Fairview in the next election. I have also told my constituents, and I am absolutely clear that I'm going to keep to this promise, that no one is going to outwork me, no one is going to outwork me on the campaign trail, nobody is going to outwork me as an MLA and that is one promise that I know I'm going to keep.

Mr. Speaker, as an MLA, a very important part of what I'm able to do on behalf of my constituents is to be their advocate in government. My professional background is as a lawyer and there's actually a great deal in common with a lawyer's work and that of an MLA. There's a great deal of similarity between lawyers who are practising what some might call poverty law and the work of an MLA because the poorest people, the people who most need

[Page 601]

help from their government, are the ones with the fewest resources to deal with government when their government is causing them a problem and so my role is to be their voice, to be their advocate. Some of my proudest moments as an MLA have not been in this House at all, they've been in the work that I've been able to do for an individual family in my constituency.

Mr. Speaker, last week I had a good week. Two of my most complex cases resolved themselves happily and long after I have forgotten what we were debating in this sitting of the Legislature, long after people have forgotten what I have done here, I will remember the casework that I was able to do to make a difference in the lives of individual families because that's why I was elected. That's what I was elected to do.

One of the cases was a workers' compensation case, a gentleman who was hurt, believe it or not, in 1997 and after a great deal of difficulty and heartache for himself and his family, he came into my office in December 2000. Ever since then we've been dealing with the Workers' Compensation Board trying to get his claim accepted, working through the appeal system, and I was very proud that last week the appeal decision finally came down that was 100 per cent in his favour. His claim was allowed, causation was established. His pre-injury earnings were accepted and the periods for which he was claiming were accepted and so I was very pleased that that family and I were able to work together to a successful resolution.

Another case that I worked on that came to a happy resolution actually ended up on Page 1 of The Chronicle-Herald last weekend. Some members may remember seeing the couple where the wife is very ill. She's really terminally ill. She holds a taxi owner's licence that her husband uses to make a living and the only thing they asked for was to transfer the licence from her name to his name so that if she passes away, he will still be able to earn his livelihood, but the city said no. Their city councillor wasn't able to help and so they came to me and together, working co-operatively, we were able to bring it to a successful resolution by going to court and getting a court order ordering the city to make the transfer. Long after I'm forgotten here and long after I've forgotten what I've done here, I will be very proud of the work that I was able to do for that family and other families like them.

Mr. Speaker, some of the other things I've been able to work on as an MLA are simple things like getting a fence for School Avenue. School Avenue, which all the members in this House have seen but may not have noticed, as you're coming down the Bicentennial Highway into the city, there's a residential street right on your left and that street is closer to a 100-Series Highway than any other residential street in the HRM, so I'm told, and working co-operatively with the Minister of Transportation and Public Works, with his officials in the Department of Transportation and Public Works and the city, we were able to make a difference on that street by putting up a new fence and some vegetation which will grow and provide some esthetic improvement in their environment.

[Page 602]

I was able to work with the residents of Elliott Street on getting rid of some graffiti. I've been able to work with Nova Scotians from across the province on the issue of unfair ambulance fees, something on which this government still refuses to budge. But, Mr. Speaker, on every single case that I took on, where we said to the government we are not going to pay these bills, the government has given up its collection efforts. So, that was with seven test cases and if I have to take on another seven or another 70 or another 700 until this government changes its unfair ambulance fee policy, I will do that because that's what I was elected to do.

I was pleased to be able to work with the residents of the Fairmount Subdivision, as contaminated land near their homes was cleaned up. I'm pleased to work with the residents of Fairview to try to solve the issue of jake brakes, which are used on the highway beside their homes and which reverberates throughout the community of Fairview. Working again with the Department of Transportation and Public Works, I hope to be able to solve that problem.

Mr. Speaker, what I will do if the voters of Halifax Fairview decide that they want me to come back to this Legislature, I will continue to work as hard as I can and as effectively as I can to address their concerns, to address their needs, to address the needs of today's families. Today's seniors need a break and my job is to make sure that they get it. Today's student need a break and my job is to make sure that they get it.

I want to talk particularly about the seniors who have been so badly dealt with by this government that in order to deal once and for all with the issue of seniors having their assets taken in order to get into long-term care facilities, I will work on that until that issue is solved. One promise I will make to the government and to this Minister of Health is it will be solved before the year 2007. I want to work to reduce the burden put on our seniors by Pharmacare fees. I want to work to make sure their health care system is there for them when they need it and they don't have to wait unconscionable lengths of time in order to access it.

I'm going to work on the auto insurance issue, Mr. Speaker, because seniors in Nova Scotia are being discriminated against in the provision of auto insurance. Every member of this House knows it. The challenge is, what are we going to do about it? If I am returned to this House I will work every day to make sure that that discrimination stops.

Mr. Speaker, I want to address the needs of today's students, to address the quality of education, because, if for no other reason, this September, my oldest son will be entering the public school system and I want to make sure that he and every child his age, every child in Nova Scotia, gets the best education that's possible to give them.

[Page 603]

I want to tackle the issue of post-secondary tuition. When I graduated from university here in Nova Scotia, Dalhousie University, 1989, I graduated with a debt of $10,000 after three years of student loans and, that, Mr. Speaker, is less than a student today runs up in a single year. That issue has to be addressed and I will do that if I'm returned to this House.

I want to deal with auto insurance for families. I want to deal with the issue of HST on the necessities of life, because this government doesn't understand the crisis of home heating oil, doesn't understand the crisis caused by high gas prices or user fees, and it doesn't understand the very real poverty that is there in my constituency. Mr. Speaker, that is what I've done, that is what I will do.

MR. SPEAKER: The member's time has expired.

The honourable member for Kings North.

[5:15 p.m.]

MR. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity (Interruption) not an editorial comment this time, honourable member.

This time I want to talk about a recent event that affected my riding - a very sad event that hurt the lives and caused some great challenges for many people in my riding as well as for other communities throughout Nova Scotia. In particular I want to speak about my riding because it was one of the ridings hardest hit by the floods recently. As I said, this is a very sad event and a challenging one that will affect the lives of these people long after the media attention has moved away.

It also does give me the opportunity to talk about the many volunteers in the town, the county, the Department of Transportation, the RCMP staff and about the wonderful community that we have in Kings County and in the Town of Kentville. Fred Sgambati, who's the editor for The Advertiser, had an editorial recently that I was quite intrigued by. I didn't realize that he had moved from Upper Canada to the area, but he talked about how much he enjoyed the sense of community and how much that meant to him and over the years how he had grown to appreciate that and the sense of community in Nova Scotia, particularly in Kings County and the Town of Kentville, was second to none.

In the old Judaic Code there's a passage, if there's anyone among you in need, a member of your community, do not be hard-hearted or tight fisted. Mr. Speaker, I'm very, very pleased and very, very happy that the people in my community when this tragedy struck various members, were not hard-hearted, not tight fisted. In fact, it was the opposite. They went out of their way to help those who were in need and to open their homes to provide whatever help they could provide.

[Page 604]

I was actually at a meeting trying to deal with the problem of smoking in high schools at the Berwick offices of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board and I got the call from Hall's Harbour, when I first got the call of massive flooding going on. They wanted me to come out and look at it. Councillor, Madonna Spinazola and her husband, Dick Killam. Dick phoned me up, he's a volunteer firefighter with Halls Harbour and I went running out and I couldn't believe what I saw. It was like a mini Niagara Falls and we were convinced that the whole causeway would go soon, the boats would be in trouble and the communities would be cut off.

From then on, as recently as this morning, I've had constant meetings with residents who are having to cope with the problems caused by the flooding. This morning it was with residents who were coping with the fact that their oil tanks were knocked over in the flood, causing environmental damage and there's a question of remediation and getting back into their homes. I still have, as of today, eight people who are not yet back in their homes and, hopefully, by this evening that problem will be resolved.

The volunteers and the town and county staff have been superb. I can't speak highly enough of them. The Mayor, Gary Pearl, has done yeoman service, has taken over sump pumps and personally helped people individually. He's chaired various meetings that I've been at, trying to get all the various players together to make sure that help is coming. Bill Boyd, the CAO for the town; Bernie Cooper, who is the EMO officer for the Town of Kentville - he did such a wonderful job that I have forgiven him for all the parking tickets he gives me because he's the by-law enforcement officer as well and he gives me more parking tickets - I think he sees my car and goes right to it with his little chalk gun. But, he did a fantastic job and coordinated the activity.

The Town of Kentville received the highest marks in the analyses that my colleague, the Honourable Tim Olive's department did on EMO preparedness and well I can see that they deserve that.

Mark Phillips, on the town staff; Wayne Gibbons; Charlene Brown; Hal Henderson, all these people did a wonderful job. In Kentville, they divided up the town into six different regions and the area that was hit the worst, served by people such as Frank Simons, David Cunningham and Linda Rankin. I just spoke with Frank Simons this morning and not only was he trying to help out his neighbours, but having to cope with his own home being flooded and not sure if the insurance would cover it, he just got the news today that insurance will cover it. He's one of the ones who has severe problems with the oil tank tipping over - not his own, but his neighbour's, which came across on his property.

The Kentville Fire Department, I went in to see them on that Monday. They were busy at work, all of them volunteers. I can't speak enough. They opened up the Kentville Fire Department and the Red Cross staff were there with Richard Harvie to welcome people. I was there when the first family came in, a mother with three young children. They were

[Page 605]

scurrying around to try to get the television going so the kids had something to watch in this room. They had food there. It was just a wonderful sort of activity. Richard Harvie, by the way, is from Kingsport. He was one of the individuals who went down to New York City and helped out there after the September 11th, and was recognized for his service to the people of New York on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia.

Getting back to the fire department, they were there 24 hours, throughout the day. Shawn Ripley, the Fire Chief - I can't speak highly enough of him - Shawn Ripley, by the way, is Don Ripley's son. Don Ripley wrote a very interesting book about political life in Nova Scotia, and thankfully we've progressed since then, from what Don was writing about. (Interruptions) Well, it was more Regan, I think, that he was talking about in the book, if I remember it correctly.

Anyway Shawn Ripley, and Paul Maynard, Darren Coxhead, Tim Margeson, Carl Knox, Kendall Crouse, Stephen Leslie, Don Miesner, these are all the captains in the Kentville Fire Department - it sounds like one of those biblical passages, the "begets", and they sort of drive you crazy, but I don't want to minimize because each of these individuals really took time out of their busy schedules, time out of their lives to help their neighbours - Walter Margeson, Hugh Stronach, Paul Laurence, Ryan Stronach, Bill Hunt, Danny Curling, Robert Spicer, Brian Kingsbury, Ian Fairclough - who also works for The Chronicle-Herald - Brian Saunders, Mike Ward, Ryan MacEachern, and Mike Benjamin. All these people are officers with the Kentville Fire Department, all of them volunteers, all of them giving their time and serving the community, and serving not only the Town of Kentville but also helping out in the Community of Kings as well.

In Kings, Warden Fred Whalen, a good friend, an excellent warden - he was out there on that Monday with me in the riding, looking at the damage and trying to get some help and see what could be done. Bert Greene, who is the EMO co-ordinator, the contact for the councillors, and is the Councillor in the area I live, a wonderful person. Mike Innis, the EMO co-ordinator for the County of Kings, and Administrative Assistant Kelly Lee, very, very active. Particularly, Mr. Speaker, Madonna Spinazola, who is the Councillor for the area that was hit most dramatically, in the county at least, by the flooding, Hall's Harbour and the Meadowview area in North Kentville, which experienced much of the same thing that Kentville did, with the flooding.

These people really deserve credit. Madonna, I think, rose in council to congratulate me for the work I had done, but in this House I want to congratulate her, because she really cared for the citizens. She got the citizens together that Wednesday. The Premier came by to visit - and I want to thank the Premier for coming to my riding - and met with the citizens, some of them really without a lot of financial resources, but working together as a community and rich because they are part of a caring community.

[Page 606]

The Department of Transportation and Public Works, Bob Brien, the area co-ordinator and Alan Slack, who is the OS for my riding. I met Alan out in Halls Harbour, and he actually took me across, because the one bit of new pavement I got last year was going up the mountain and it washed out. I was heartsick. He took me and said, let's go take a look. Fortunately the damage wasn't quite as bad as it made it sound. The Honourable Timothy Olive, I want to thank him and the department, EMO. He took the opportunity to take a direct look at Halls Harbour, and the people in the community were quite excited about it. So I want to thank him.

Very quickly, Mr. Speaker - I have just a few minutes - the attention will shift on to other things, but my community and members of my community still have to deal with this. We are planning benefits in the area to raise money to help out with the costs, and a poster with images of the flood, Kentville and images of the flood, Kings County, these will be fundraisers to help people in the area. They're at the printers right now. If any of the honourable members want to buy one of these posters when they're ready, they're $10 and all of the money will go to help these flood victims.

I want to pass my time on now to my esteemed colleague, the venerable colleague, the member for Annapolis who also wants to thank some people.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis. (Applause)

MR. FRANK CHIPMAN: Mr. Speaker, I don't want my colleagues to applaud too much because that would take away from my time at the microphone here. Anyway, it's a pleasure to rise and I'm pleased to share my time with the member for Kings North. Last week Mother Nature unleashed her wrath on Nova Scotia. I was going to mention here that I grew up on a farm on the Annapolis River, but I guess I should say raised on a farm. Anyway, I experienced first-hand the problems with flooding on the Annapolis River as a child. On our farm there used to be one spot in particular that would wash out every year, every time we had a major flood, but this past week the Premier called me and he said he would like to come down to the Annapolis Valley and visit some of the sites. So I was very pleased that he did that. It showed that he was caring and compassionate for his fellow Nova Scotians.

One thing that I would like to mention, I would be remiss if I didn't say that we were joined on our tour by Reg Ritchie who is a councillor for the Municipality of Annapolis Royal and he's also the Emergency Measures Organization Coordinator for that area. Anyway, we made a tour down through Middleton and we stopped at the bridge in Middleton, Route 10, that had severe flooding the day before and I must mention now that by the time we arrived a lot of the water had receded. We then proceeded to Brickon and visited Mr. Todd Roberts. Mr. Todd Roberts runs a service centre there, fixes vehicles, does body work, that sort of thing. Anyway, the water was about three feet to four feet inside his shop and he had considerable damage. We then continued on our tour and we were joined

[Page 607]

by Mr. Phil Milo who is also a councillor with the Municipality of Annapolis County. Phil was very concerned because these people were in his district.

So we then proceeded to the Lawrencetown area and drove down along the bridge there in back of the store, I think it's AJ Grocery in Lawrencetown, and then proceeded on to Paradise, Annapolis County, to the farm of Jack Pearle. I must mention, as we were travelling across the Annapolis River, we ran into a former colleague, I shouldn't say a colleague of mine but some members of this House, Mr. Laurie Montgomery who was the MLA prior to myself. Anyway, we went on to Jack Pearle's farm and Jack and Marie were there and very pleased that we took the time to come by and visit. It's interesting to note that Jack Pearle is the chairman of the stage committee for the Annapolis Valley Exhibition and Jack is responsible for the stage. The amusing part is that the stage is in four sections. I would probably estimate 15 feet by 15 feet square. All four sections of the stage floated down the river and guess where they ended up - in Jack Pearle's back field three miles away.

Anyway, I also had an opportunity yesterday to visit some damage on Highway No. 101. My wife and I went down to the Legion in Annapolis Royal. They were having their 75th Anniversary and we drove down Highway No. 101 and there were sections of Highway No. 101 washed out. We then proceeded down to what they call the Dugway Road where the grist mill is and the bridge is completely gone there. It has probably dropped about a foot or two and the Clerk of the Legislature here would be very familiar with that because that's in his area.

Anyway, I would just like to say that the Minister of Natural Resources, by bringing forth the information that he has, that there will be assistance for flood victims, it is very encouraging because there are a lot of people out there who are devastated. In fact, I saw pictures today from a Mr. Gary Wagner, who is also in my constituency. It showed pictures of his house and the water was within a foot or so of the window. In fact, there were pictures that I had seen last week of water coming through the windows of a newly constructed house. Anyway, Mr. Wagner suffered severe damage. He is able to live in his house again, but apparently during the peak of the flood, they had to rescue him with a boat, he and his dog. Mr. Speaker, I would say that this is probably the worst flooding I've seen in over 50 years and that's not an indication necessarily of my age, it may have to do with the pictures I've seen over the years.

One other thing I wanted to mention was the excellent work that's done by the Municipality of Annapolis County and their Emergency Measures Organization and, in particular, Reg Ritchie. I would like to make special mention of Reg because he has been a councillor for several years and he has done an excellent job.

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

[Page 608]

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

[5:30 p.m.]

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, it's ironic that both the previous speakers referenced the issue of EMO and EMO preparedness in the Province of Nova Scotia because that's essentially the topic that I wish to focus on here today. As we all know and acknowledge we live in sometimes dangerous and troubling times. We remember 9/11, we remember not so long ago, a little more than a week, the flooding situation, and who knows what else may come. Although we are a small province in a country that, for the most part, works for rather than against peace in conflicts around the world, we must agree with the Mayor of Canso, Mr. Frank Fraser, when he said in a Mail-Star article dated March 22, 2003, that "because of the Iraq situation, the terrorist stuff, you don't know where (an emergency) is going to take place." That's the plain truth of the matter.

We really don't know where or when a terrorist attack may occur. The Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness, OCIPEP, as it's better known, which is the federal office coordinating responses to emergency situations, informs us, gravely, in their recent alerts and advisories that Canadian interests could be at risk due to their proximity to potential U.S. targets. Other warnings that came from that same office identified the fact that water supplies, banks, critical infrastructure such as electrical power generating plants, computer systems, highways and Armed Forces bases would be major targets for any terrorist in Canada.

That same office also identified the fact that some sensitive information, such as the location of major infrastructure facilities is best left out of the public domain, especially when that information allows a terrorist or deviant to gain knowledge of a potential target without having the need to physically access it.

Mr. Speaker, in an OCIPEP information note entitled, Securing Publicly Available Information dated May 31, 2002, the agency makes it abundantly clear that when releasing sensitive information to the public, security professionals must determine if said information could be used "to increase the attractiveness of a target."

That, Mr. Speaker, is the case - said information should not be released. Therefore, it would not be very prudent to release to Nova Scotia's most-read newspapers and on television and radio the name of communities or any community which is the least prepared of all Nova Scotia municipalities to deal with an emergency situation, whether it involves natural disasters or a terrorist attack of some kind. Neither would it be wise to release a virtual score card of all 52 municipalities of this province listing their preparedness from excellent down to poor.

[Page 609]

Clearly, Mr. Speaker, this is the kind of information that only serves to, in the words of the same OCIPEP federal document, "increase the attractiveness of certain targets" target towns and cities in our province which may not be able to respond to an emergency as it would occur. It is obvious that such information would make fascinating and useful reading for any potential malcontent determined to cause harm.

Yet, Mr. Speaker, here we have a copy of The Mail-Star dated, Saturday, March 22nd of this year in which we find exactly that kind of sensitive information printed that OCIPEP warns against releasing. You have to ask yourself why, why would any Minister of the Crown compromise the safety and the well-being of the communities that are most vulnerable in this province?

Look at Canso, look at Goldboro, where we have vital infrastructure, the offshore. Look in Stellarton, look at New Glasgow, the County of Pictou. Was this simply a question of the minister wanting to get his name in the paper to create the optics that he was doing some good for the Province of Nova Scotia, and that he was on top of the situation? Well, I think it's ill advised to put politics ahead of the security issues of this province. Had the minister responsible for EMO consulted with his federal counterparts or any of his other provincial counterparts before making such a proclamation, he would have been well advised to stay out of the newspaper with the type of advertisement that he put forth. It lacks of the type of leadership at the ministerial level that's required to protect this province.

Mr. Speaker, clearly this attempt to garner publicity compromises our communities' security. If anything, it's a clear demonstration that the minister obviously doesn't grasp the significance of releasing sensitive information such as this. It's ironic. The minister himself is quoted in the Mail Star as saying that things have changed since 9/11 and the people have to recognize that. Well, if that's the case, why is the minister exposing the people in these communities across Nova Scotia in such a vulnerable state?

Mr. Speaker, yet the government will come out and say that it's concerned about the leak of information from various municipalities on water and sewer projects in any discussions that may take place at in camera meetings. Now what's more important? You have to beg one to wonder what in the name of heavens is going on over there. Why is politics being put ahead of the security of this province?

Mr. Speaker, the minister would be well advised to take heed of his own words. Even on emergency funding for preparedness in this province, as I stated a little earlier in the House, we are the only province in Canada, including the territories, we are the only provincial jurisdiction that does not receive the full funding amount that's allotted under the JEPP Program. I will table this document. In fact, Nova Scotia has shortchanged itself by over $100,000 because it simply didn't ask for the money. Why is Nova Scotia the only one that's not receiving at least the base amount of $150,000? It's the only one. Why?

[Page 610]

If the minister is so concerned about helping municipalities and these communities, why isn't he banging on the doors in Ottawa and saying, we need this money? Why isn't he putting the application in? Why isn't he writing a letter, or going and visiting with the federal authorities and doing something about it, rather than trying to glorify himself in the Chronicle-Herald to make the government look like it's on top of emergency situations? There's a big difference, Mr. Speaker, between taking the responsibility as minister responsible for EMO in its true form as opposed to the politics of it, and that's all we've seen to date.

We've seen the Minister of Transportation and Public Works stand here today and say, well, we're going to come up with $12 million. We've identified $12 million worth of emergency situations because of the flooding. Mr. Speaker, they siphoned off $9 million out of housing programs that the federal government provided to this province, federal taxpayers' money and they're siphoning it off and squirreling it away, like they did on the government readjustment or re-organizational program, like they did at Sydney Steel with the cleanup of the tar ponds. They booked the same dollars year after year after year to make it look like they were doing all this work.

So for four years they booked the same amount of money. Well, I believe they may have spent - out of $322 million or $324 million - $6 million or $8 million. Well, whoop-de-do. Then they're going to come in and say they have a balanced budget and a surplus. They've been playing voodoo economics for years. The Minister of Finance knows that - of course, he was taught in the best of schools, by John Buchanan's School of Economics. Whoever is the last one to come through the door is the one he would give the money to. It didn't matter where it came from, he was going to give it away. He gave it away until we were on the verge of bankruptcy.

Successive governments have had to deal with that. The John Savage Administration, the Russell MacLellan Administration and, yes, the John Hamm Administration. So, despite all the posturing, what we've seen is just shuffling the numbers around to make it look like they're doing a lot of new things. We heard the speech in the House, the Prime Minister gave a response to the Leader of the Reform Party about new-old money. Well, this is a classic case of new-old money. It's not new-new money; it's not new-old money; it's not old-new money . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: What is it?

MR. MACKINNON: They don't know, they can't tell us. All we know is it's not their money. It's really not Ottawa's money, even though Ottawa is supplying the money for them to take the credit. It's the taxpayers' money; the people of Nova Scotia and what does the member for Kings North say? We're going to sell posters to raise money for flood victims. Where's the provincial government on this? Where's the real leadership? They're going to go around and have bake sales. Well they should have learned about bake sales and

[Page 611]

fudge sales - they couldn't balance the budget on a fudge sale, for Heaven's sake. They haven't been able to do it in 20-some years.

So my question is why are they standing here trying to ingratiate themselves with the people who have been hard hit because of the floods across Nova Scotia - they don't want to be patronized by the eloquence of people who can stand and speak with these $10 words. They're not interested in that; they want to know what the government is going to do to help them.

The government has been wishy-washy on this. Lots of tours and tour guides - oh yes, your land is under water and yes, your bridge has been washed out and yes, your home has been adversely affected, but they really haven't said what they're going to do. They're going to wait to see what the insurance companies are going to do; they're going to wait to see what kind of responsibility the municipalities are going to take on.

Yes, let's look at the environmental side of the issue. The member for Kings North has touched on it - the oil spills in the Valley. How is that going to adversely affect the domestic water supplies, and what has the Department of Environment and Labour and indeed the minister responsible for EMO done about it? It's a good chance for him, I'm sure he'd love to get his picture in the paper again. Seems as though he's more concerned about that than he is about helping these people in need.

Mr. Speaker, I'm kind of disappointed that the government hasn't really been able to address this issue in a more substantive manner. That $12 million wouldn't even address the issues in one community in Colchester County. If you go to Truro, that $12 million would barely cover the damages, let alone everything else across this province. I would submit that we need real leadership, not talk. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The motion is carried.

[5:45 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Kevin Deveaux in the Chair.]

[9:45 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Brooke Taylor in the Chair.]

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

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

[Page 612]

MR. SPEAKER: [Is it agreed?

It is agreed.]

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move the House do now rise to meet again on the morrow at the hour of 12:00 noon. The House will sit until 6:00 p.m. The order of business following the daily routine and Question Period will be a further review of the estimates. I move we now rise.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do now adjourn and sit tomorrow from 12:00 noon until 6:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[We stand adjourned.]

[The House rose at 9:47 p.m.]