Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD 03-3

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, MARCH 31, 2003

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Transport. & Pub. Wks.: Beechville/Lakeside/Timberlea -
Crosswalk Lighting, Mr. W. Estabrooks 199
Health - Seniors: Smoke-free Apartments - Provide, Mr. W. Estabrooks 200
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 255, Paris, Doreen - Pres. Status of Women Advisory Coun. (N.S.):
Appt. - Congrats., The Premier 200
Vote - Affirmative 201
Res. 256, Paul, Chief Lawrence: Business Man of the Yr. (Truro) -
Congrats., Hon. M. Baker 201
Vote - Affirmative 202
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 8, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act,
Mr. K. Deveaux 202
No. 9, Municipal Elections Act/Municipal Government Act/
Municipal Grants Act, Hon. P. Christie 202
No. 10, Whistleblowers Act, Mr. F. Corbett 202
No. 11, Motor Vehicle Act, Hon. P. Christie 202
No. 12, Off-highway Vehicles Act, Mr. J. MacDonell 202
No. 13, Motor Vehicle Act, Mr. J. Pye 202
No. 14, Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act,
Mr. H. Epstein 203
No. 15, Road Improvements Act, Mr. W. Estabrooks 203
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 257, Sackville Blazers Junior B Hockey Club: Championship -
Congrats., Mr. J. Holm 203
Res. 258, PC Gov't.: Plan - Lack, Mr. Manning MacDonald 204
Res. 259, Lewis, Daurene: Order of Can. - Congrats., Mr. F. Chipman 204
Vote - Affirmative 205
Res. 260, Red Cross: Workers/Vols./Supporters - Commend,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 205
Vote - Affirmative 206
Res. 261, Paris, Doreen - Pres. Status of Women Advisory Coun. (N.S.):
Appt. - Congrats., Mr. W. Gaudet 206
Vote - Affirmative 207
Res. 262, NSCC: Expansion - Success Wish, Mr. J. DeWolfe 207
Vote - Affirmative 207
Res. 263, Hamilton, Cpl. Ryan/Augustine, Cpl. Ronald: Safe Return -
Hope Express, Mr. J. MacDonell 207
Vote - Affirmative 208
Res. 264, Nat. Res.: Sable Proj. Potential - Gov't. (N.S.) Response,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 208
Res. 265, Sir John A. Macdonald HS: New School - Best Wishes Extend,
Mr. J. Chataway 209
Vote - Affirmative 210
Res. 266, Little, Angie: Safe Return - Best Wishes Extend,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 210
Vote - Affirmative 210
Res. 267, Savage, John & Margaret Book Award: Recognition -
Appreciation Extend, Dr. J. Smith 211
Vote - Affirmative 211
Res. 268, Miller, Trever/Graham, Herbert: Flotation Device -
Invention Congrats., Mrs. M. Baillie 211
Vote - Affirmative 212
Res. 269, Learning Disabilities Awareness Month (03/03) - Celebrate,
Mr. J. Pye 212
Vote - Affirmative 213
Res. 270, Nat. Res.: Deer Health - Update, Mr. K. MacAskill 213
Res. 271, Jennings, Eric: Masstown Market - Expansion Congrats.,
Mr. W. Langille 214
Vote - Affirmative 214
Res. 272, Educ.: St. Pat. HS French Immersion - Maintain,
Mr. H. Epstein 215
Res. 273, Gov't.: Fiscally Responsible - Prem. Provide, Mr. M. Samson 215
Res. 274, During, Cpl. Ron: Bosnian Children - Efforts Commend,
Mr. B. Barnet 216
Vote - Affirmative 217
Res. 275, Macdonald Cons. Sch.: Anniv. (100th) - Museum Staff Honour,
Mr. Robert Chisholm 217
Vote - Affirmative 218
Res. 276, Graham Gov't.: Nova Scotia - Need, Mr. P. MacEwan 218
Res. 277, SMU Huskies Football Team: Bullies Never Win Prog. -
Participation Commend, Mr. D. Hendsbee 218
Vote - Affirmative 219
Res. 278, Sir John A. Macdonald HS/Sackville Commun.:
Return Congrats. - Cooperation Thank, Mr. W. Estabrooks 219
Vote - Affirmative 220
Res. 279, Tourism: Funding/Resources - Provide, Mr. D. Wilson 220
Res. 280, Wallace, Louise: Volunteerism - Congrats., Hon. J. Muir 221
Vote - Affirmative 221
Res. 281, Dacey, Mark/Vols.: Nokia Brier - Congrats., Mr. W. Gaudet 221
Vote - Affirmative 222
Res. 282, Mahone Bay: Anniv. (84th) - Congrats., Hon. M. Baker 222
Vote - Affirmative 223
Res. 283, Transport. & Pub. Wks.: Rural Rds. - Address,
Mr. K. MacAskill 223
Res. 284, Fin.: Debt (N.S.) - Growth, Mr. M. Samson 224
Res. 285, Budget (1999): Defeat - NDP Blame, Mr. P. MacEwan 224
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ADDRESS IN REPLY:
Mr. B. Taylor 226
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 230
Mr. P. MacEwan 236
Mr. J. Carey 250
Mr. J. MacDonell 254
Adjourned debate 259
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Apr. 1st at 2:00 p.m. 259
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 286, Springhill: Anniv. (114th) - Congrats., The Speaker 260
Res. 287, Paris, Doreen - Pres. Status of Women Advisory Coun. (N.S.):
Appt. - Congrats., Ms. Maureen MacDonald 260
Res. 288, Windsor Curling Club: Efforts - Acknowledge, Hon. R. Russell 261
Res. 289, Insurance: Premiums Reduction - Solutions, Mr. F. Corbett 261
Res. 290, Christie, Steve: Mt. St. Vincent Badminton Tournament -
Victory Congrats., The Speaker 262
Res. 291, Fahey, Megan/Bragg, Meghan: ORHS Science Fair -
Accomplishment Congrats., The Speaker 262
Res. 292, McClelland, Christie/Bragg, Courtney:
ORHS Science Fair - Accomplishment Congrats., The Speaker 263
Res. 293, Burden, Jill: Springhill Winter Carnival - Miss Congeniality,
The Speaker 263
Res. 294, Canning, Alan: Springhill FD - 15 Yr. Service Bar, The Speaker 264
Res. 295, Gilbert, Ashley: Queen Springhill HS Winter Carnival -
Congrats., The Speaker 264
Res. 296, Sports: Advocate Lady Coyotes Basketball Team - Congrats.,
The Speaker 265
Res. 297, Bushen, Anne: UNB Dean's List - Congrats., The Speaker 265
Res. 298, Sports: Advocate Lady Coyotes Basketball Team - Congrats.,
The Speaker 266
Res. 299, King, Alfred: Golden Jubilee Medal - Congrats., The Speaker 266

[Page 199]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2003

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Third Session

7:00 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

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to introduce a petition, "PLEAD FOR FLASHING LIGHTS".

"PARENTS AND CONCERNED CITIZENS OF BEECHVILLE/LAKESIDE/TIMBERLEA ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR CHILDREN. THE CROSSWALK BETWEEN CHURCH ST. AND THE RECREATION CENTRE IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. WE ARE IN DESPERATE NEED OF FLASHING LIGHTS."

I have 182 signatures on this petition and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

199

[Page 200]

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I have another petition signed by 198 residents addressed to Premier Dr. John Hamm on the topic of second-hand smoke. "Please make it a top priority to have smoke free apartments for senior citizens for the non-smokers." I have affixed my signature to this petition that contains the signatures of 198 residents.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 255

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

Whereas New Glasgow's Doreen Paris has been elected as Chairman of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women from April 1, 2003, through March 31, 2005; and

Whereas Ms. Paris has been a member of the council since 1994, working hard to help women get away from violence, discrimination and abuse in their everyday lives; and

Whereas Ms. Paris is a moderator of the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia and Past President of Tearmann Society for Battered Women;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature join me in congratulating Ms. Doreen Paris on her new position and thank her for her leadership in support of women in our communities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 201]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried. (Applause)

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, I would like to make an introduction, if I may. It's my pleasure to introduce some representatives of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, who are in the gallery this evening. Of particular note, I would like to extend great appreciation and thanks to Rita Warner from Judique, for her excellent leadership over the past two years as Chairman. I would also like to welcome: Mary Hamblin, member; and I would like to welcome and congratulate the subject of the Premier's resolution, Ms. Doreen Paris from New Glasgow, as the newly elected Chairman of the Advisory Council. If you would please rise and receive the welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: I certainly welcome our special guests to the gallery today.

The honourable Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs

RESOLUTION NO. 256

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

Whereas Chief Lawrence Paul of the Millbrook Reserve in Truro has been chosen Businessman of the Year by the Truro and District Chamber of Commerce; and

Whereas he has been instrumental in the development and promotion of the highly successful Truro Power Centre; and

Whereas this business park has greatly enhanced the livelihood and future prospects of the residents of the Millbrook Reserve and provided employment in the greater Truro area;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Chief Lawrence Paul for his selection as the Truro and District Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year, and his perseverance and vision in creating the Truro Power Centre.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 202]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 8 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 5 of the Acts of 1993. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. (Mr. Kevin Deveaux)

Bill No. 9 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 300 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Municipal Elections Act; Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998. The Municipal Government Act; and Chapter 302 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Municipal Grants Act. (Hon. Peter Christie)

Bill No. 10 - Entitled an Act to Protect Civil Servants Who Disclose Government Wrong-doing. (Mr. Frank Corbett)

Bill No. 11 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act. (Hon. Peter Christie)

Bill No. 12 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 323 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Off-highway Vehicles Act. (Mr. John MacDonell)

[7:15 p.m.]

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

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, visiting in the gallery tonight are three friends of mine, three members of my constituency association - Paul Scott, Marge Hodgson and Barbara Walker. I wonder if they could stand and receive the welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: I certainly welcome our guests to the gallery this evening.

Bill No. 13 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act. (Mr. Jerry Pye)

[Page 203]

Bill No. 14 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 3 of the Acts of 1987. The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Implementation (Nova Scotia) Act. (Mr. Howard Epstein)

Bill No. 15 - Entitled an Act to Set Criteria for Prioritizing Road Improvement Projects. (Mr. William Estabrooks)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 257

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

Whereas the Sackville Blazers Junior B hockey club has excited local fans since its formation in 1982; and

Whereas the Blazers won the western division of the Nova Scotia Junior B Hockey League with a stellar 26-5-0 record; and

Whereas on Saturday, March 29th, the Sackville Blazers capped their season by winning their first Nova Scotia Junior B Hockey Championship by defeating the Strait Pirates in a 4-3 double overtime thriller;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Sackville Blazers Junior B hockey club, coach Andy Conrad, all his assistants, and all the players on winning the first of what we hope will be many Nova Scotia Junior B Hockey Championships.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

[Page 204]

RESOLUTION NO. 258

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

Whereas on February 17, 2000, the Premier said in a speech to the federal and provincial public servants, "We will not achieve anything if we pass the buck, or the blame - if we simply download or upload."; and

Whereas since coming to office, the Premier has blamed the federal government and the previous government, downloaded to the municipalities and the taxpayer, and passed the buck to our public servants, teachers and nurses; and

Whereas using the Premier's own logic, one would assume he has accomplished nothing;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the federal government, municipalities, the taxpayer, nurses, teachers, public servants and the previous government for doing the heavy lifting for a Tory Government devoid of its own plan for what Nova Scotia should look like.

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 Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 259

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

Whereas the Order of Canada recognizes Canadians who have made a positive impact on the lives of others as our country's highest honour for lifetime achievement; and

[Page 205]

Whereas Daurene Lewis - the first black municipal leader in Nova Scotia - holding the title of Mayor of Annapolis Royal is one of these exemplary Canadians being honoured; and

Whereas Ms. Lewis has also worked strongly for the advancement of women in business, and now serves as President of the Halifax campuses of the Nova Scotia Community College;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Daurene Lewis on the receipt of the prestigious Order of Canada, and wish her every 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.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 260

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

Whereas in times of peace and in times of conflict and emergency the Red Cross provides vital programs and services across the country and throughout the world; and

Whereas the Red Cross helps build community participation through training teams of disaster-services volunteers, reducing and preventing relationship abuse and bullying through education, and fundraising locally for large-scale disasters; and

Whereas March has been declared Red Cross Month throughout Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House commend the many Red Cross workers, volunteers and supporters for their dedication and commitment to efforts to help those in need as they deal with concerns and fears resulting from tragic events.

[Page 206]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader in the House of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 261

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

Whereas Ms. Doreen Paris of New Glasgow was recently elected as Chairman of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women by members of the council; and

Whereas Ms. Paris brings tremendous experience to the position by virtue of her involvement as council member and through her efforts working with women's groups, community organizations, and as moderator with the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Advisory Council plays a tremendously important role by ensuring equality, dignity and fairness for all Nova Scotian women;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Ms. Doreen Paris and wish her and the entire Advisory Council on the Status of Women all the best in the times ahead.

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 207]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 262

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

Whereas the Pictou campus of the Nova Scotia Community College is getting a 364-seat expansion, and $11.2 million to provide invaluable opportunities for Nova Scotia's young people; and

Whereas in the last five years the NSCC has modified 50 per cent of its programs to coincide with employer needs, showing how closely the community college system is operating with prospective employees; and

Whereas Nova Scotia is seeing new economic opportunities opening up every day, and with the NSCC teaching students how to put theory to practice we are certainly looking at a solid future for our young people;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House recognize the significant opportunities the Nova Scotia Community College is offering to our province's students and wish them success in their upcoming expansion.

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. 263

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

[Page 208]

Whereas First Nation members hold dual citizenship, enabling their sons and daughters to serve in the American Armed Forces; and

Whereas American and coalition forces are currently engaged in hostilities in Iraq; and

Whereas two fine young men from Indian Brook, Corporal Ryan Hamilton and Corporal Ronald Augustine, are serving there with the U.S. Marines;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly express its hope with the parents and families of Marine Corporals Ryan Hamilton and Ronald Augustine of Indian Brook for the safe return of both young men from the conflict in Iraq.

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 South.

RESOLUTION NO. 264

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

Whereas the Premier has said that the Nova Scotia economy will grow with or without the offshore; and

Whereas increasingly, under this government, it is looking more and more like the economy will have to grow without the help of offshore oil and gas as delays plague projects and summer drilling programs; and

Whereas when in Opposition, the Premier said he would get better deals and urge governments to distribute gas throughout Nova Scotia, even though he now believes this is not possible;

[Page 209]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize that the Sable project represented a benchmark achievement in the development of an offshore oil and gas industry, and that this government has failed to capitalize on the potential of that first project, despite four years in office.

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 Chester-St. Margaret's.

RESOLUTION NO. 265

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

Whereas the 1,200 students and staff of Sir John A. Macdonald High School in Hubley will finally be able to go back to classes at their school, just over a year after they had to vacate the building for health reasons; and

Whereas the first phase of repair on the school, including wiring upgrades, a new boiler and ventilation system, is now completed, and the changes will be completed in two years; and

Whereas the students, who have been sharing space at Sackville High School since September 2002, starting classes in the afternoons and finishing in the evenings, are very excited to get back into their normal routine at Sir John A.;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House wish the students and staff of Sir John A. Macdonald High School well in their new school and thank both the students and staff of Sir John A., as well as their hosts, for their patience and understanding during this time.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 210]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 266

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

Whereas Angie Little, the daughter of Janet and Leonard Little of Whites Lake, is on a two-year exchange with the British Army, serving in the 32nd Engineering Regiment; and

Whereas this regiment is currently serving in Iraq; and

Whereas Angie Little, the Sir John A. Macdonald High School graduate and Royal Military College graduate, has achieved much in her short life;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature extend its best wishes to the Little family, with our prayers for Angie Little's safe return from the conflict in Iraq.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

[Page 211]

RESOLUTION NO. 267

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

Whereas on Friday, March 28, 2003, the Dartmouth Book Awards Committee, in conjunction with the Halifax Regional Council, announced the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award; and

Whereas this book award will be presented annually at the Atlantic Writing Awards in recognition of an Atlantic Canadian author's first book in either the fiction or non-fiction category; and

Whereas this well-deserved honour that has been bestowed on both Dr. John and Margaret Savage recognizes their strong support of the arts, both in their public and in their private lives;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature extend their appreciation to Chairman Paul Robinson, the Dartmouth Book Awards Committee and the Halifax Regional Municipality Council for recognizing the many years of service of two very deserving individuals in the Halifax Regional Municipality, Margaret and John Savage.

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 West.

RESOLUTION NO. 268

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

[Page 212]

Whereas thanks to the imagination of Trever Miller and Herbert Graham, a new kind of floating board that will open a new dimension in the use of flotation devices was created; and

Whereas the floating board, called a guidable flotation device, is an innovative life preserver that has attracted interest from the Canadian Navy, a rapid rescue team in California, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans; and

Whereas, sadly, The Hector I didn't become a reality before Mr. Graham's passing;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Mr. Trever Miller and posthumously send our appreciation for Mr. Herbert Graham's contribution to his family for this unique Nova Scotia invention which is gaining attention from around the world.

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.

[7:30 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 269

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

Whereas March is Learning Disability Awareness Month in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas this year's theme is Assistive Technology and Learning Disabilities; and

Whereas assistive technology means any item or program that assists, maintains or improves the functional capabilities of disabled persons;

[Page 213]

Therefore be it resolved that this House celebrate March as Learning Disabilities Awareness Month and undertake to do all in its power to assist Nova Scotians living with disabilities with assistive technologies.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria.

RESOLUTION NO. 270

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

Whereas the Department of Natural Resources has always done a good job with sound management practices when it comes to the deer herd; and

Whereas even though the herd has been healthy in past years, the department must be diligent in ensuring the continued health of the herd; and

Whereas the department is allowing for more moose licences, but we still have no indication that the deer herd can sustain current hunting patterns or pressure from predators;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Natural Resources update the House as to the health of the deer population so that Nova Scotians can be assured that the herd can sustain current hunting and management practices.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There is too much noise in the Chamber. I can't hear the speaker at all. Would the honourable member please read the "Therefore be it resolved" again, please.

MR. MACASKILL: Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Natural Resources update the House as to the health of the deer population so that Nova Scotians can be assured that the herd can sustain current hunting and management practices.

[Page 214]

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 Colchester North.

RESOLUTION NO. 271

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

Whereas the Masstown Market is undergoing a $0.5 million expansion, bringing a one-stop shopping facility to the area; and

Whereas owner Eric Jennings says he hopes that his investment will draw in other business and the expansion will not only be a development for the Masstown Market but for the local economy as a whole, and that his investment will attract new business; and

Whereas visible from the Trans-Canada Highway, the market is well-known for its fresh, local produce and baking, and draws regular customers from Halifax to New Brunswick;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Eric Jennings on the expansion of the Masstown Market and wish him success in his future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 215]

The honourable member for Halifax-Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 272

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

Whereas the Halifax Regional School Board proposes to offer French immersion at two locations next year so that the new Halifax West High School will join St. Pat's in offering the program; and

Whereas this decision will require the school board to shift and hire more French immersion teachers to deliver the program, and parents fear the excellent program will be diluted because the board cannot afford the staff to deliver it properly at two locations; and

Whereas Canadian Heritage will not increase its funding to the province for French immersion, and the province has already declined requests for additional funding for other programs from the Halifax Regional School Board;

Therefore be it resolved that this House calls upon the Minister of Education, acting in league with the federal Minister responsible for Canadian Heritage, to ensure funding is in place so the current high standards of delivery for the French Immersion Program at St. Pat's High School are maintained if the program is also delivered at Halifax West High School next year.

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. 273

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

[Page 216]

Whereas on July 16, 1999, the Leader of the Tory Party said, "I believe that without respect for people it is impossible to lead"; and

Whereas on the same date the now Premier said, "It's time for a government that respects Nova Scotians - not just during elections, but all the time"; and

Whereas the Premier-in-waiting said that he would lead a government that, "lived within its means";

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier start respecting Nova Scotians by providing a government that lives within its means, instead of mortgaging the future without a plan to pay back the debt.

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 Sackville-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 274

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

Whereas Corporal Ron During, originally from Lower Sackville, along with over 100 other Canadian soldiers from the 1st Brigade Headquarters and Signals deployed from Edmonton on a peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, have recently celebrated the reopening of the Sestanovac Public School; and

Whereas the original school was bombed during the war, and the soldiers and the Edmonton Rotary Club collected over $12,000 to assist in the rebuilding, with the soldiers volunteering their time every Sunday - their only day off - to rebuild the school; and

Whereas eight-year-old Merciha thanked the soldiers for being there when they needed them the most and, more importantly, for bringing joy into their school days;

[Page 217]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend Corporal Ron During and all the members of the 1st Brigade Headquarters and Signals for their hard work and dedication to the children of Bosnia, and for furthering Canada's reputation as leaders in international peacekeeping efforts.

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. 275

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 Macdonald Consolidated School in Middleton, founded in 1903, was the first consolidated school in Canada; and

Whereas the school operated until 1979, and it was renovated and reopened in 1982 as the Annapolis Valley Macdonald Museum; and

Whereas to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the school's heritage and culture, the museum will be hosting a series of events to celebrate its founding;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join in honouring all of the hard-working staff and volunteers at Macdonald Museum in Middleton, for putting forth such a tremendous effort to help celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the first consolidated school in Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 218]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 276

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

Whereas the NDP in 1999, took out of power the progressive Liberal Government of Premier Russell MacLellan, and put in its place the doltish "Hammites" (Interruption) Yes, that means somewhat stupid; and

Whereas the NDP is now revved up to do it again by collecting every union dollar they can find in Ontario to thrust the Tories back in Nova Scotia the second time; and

Whereas Nova Scotia does not need a third political Party that cannot win the upcoming election, that exists for the sole purpose of running interference for the Conservative Party;

Therefore be it resolved that what Nova Scotia needs most in these times is an honest, responsible, progressive, sympathetic and people-oriented Liberal Government, under the leadership of Premier Danny Graham.

MR. SPEAKER: [The notice is tabled.]

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 277

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

Whereas the Saint Mary's University Huskies football team is eager to help lend a hand to the elimination of bullying in the metro schoolyards; and

Whereas the Bullies Never Win program was launched recently as a way for the 2001-02 Vanier Cup champions to thank their many fans in metro, and for the team to address a problem that some of them had encountered in school; and

[Page 219]

Whereas the Huskies will be visiting schools and community centres in the HRM to talk about the effects of bullying with students and to encourage kids to stay in school;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend the Saint Mary's Huskies football team for taking part in the Bullies Never Win program, and wish the team success with their important message as they tour metro's schools and community centres talking to students.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 278

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

Whereas the students and staff of Sir John A. Macdonald High School returned to their school in Hubley after a year of split shifts in neighbouring communities; and

Whereas the Class of 2003, led the students in keeping the Sir John A. "flame" alive; and

Whereas the community of Sackville welcomed our students during their stay;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the students of Sir John A. on returning to their home and thank the community of Sackville for its co-operation during the renovations to Sir John A. Macdonald High School.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 220]

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. 279

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

Whereas last year the Minister of Tourism and Culture removed almost $1.5 million from the Tourism marketing budget; and

Whereas this year the same minister put $1.05 million into the Tourism marketing budget and called it new money; and

Whereas under the Tory Government - with the exception of one year - the province's tourism revenues have dropped every year since the Tories came to office;

Therefore be it resolved that this government stop playing games with the tourism industry and give it the funding and resources it needs to meet its full potential.

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 Justice.

[Page 221]

RESOLUTION NO. 280

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

Whereas Louise Wallace has recently been recognized as one of Truro's leading volunteers; and

Whereas Louise Wallace has been a volunteer with the Colchester Arthritis Society for 13 years and including a term as president; and

Whereas Louise Wallace has also had leadership positions in minor hockey, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Brookfield Fire Department and her churches;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Louise Wallace for being recognized as one of Truro's leading volunteers and thank her for her commitment of time and talent for the benefit of others.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 281

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

Whereas Skip Mark Dacey, Third Bruce Lohnes, Second Rob Harris, Lead Andrew Gibson and Coach Peter Corkum did Nova Scotia proud by pushing Team Alberta to the limit in the final of the 2003 Nokia Brier; and

[Page 222]

Whereas Matthew Harris, President of the 2003 Nokia Brier Committee and his excellent team of organizers and volunteers, also did Nova Scotia proud by organizing a world-class 2003 Nokia Brier; and

Whereas the 2003 Nokia Brier was the largest event held in Eastern Canada and the fifth-best attended Brier in history;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Legislature congratulate Mark Dacey and his Mayflower Rink on their excellent performance and extend our appreciation to Matthew Harris and all of the volunteers for once again organizing a world-class event in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

RESOLUTION NO. 282

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 Town of Mahone Bay is 84 years old today, having been incorporated as a town on this date in 1919; and

Whereas Mahone Bay, without question, is one of Nova Scotia's most historic and beautiful towns and will host the 14th annual Wooden Boat Festival later this summer from July 31st to August 3rd; and

Whereas Mahone Bay was first settled in 1753 by German, Swiss and Montbeliardian Protestants;

[Page 223]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House acknowledge the vast tourism and economic benefits generated by the Town of Mahone Bay 84 years later and be encouraged to visit to truly enjoy its beauty.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria.

RESOLUTION NO. 283

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

Whereas since coming to office this government has failed to live within what it had promised in the last election; and

Whereas as pothole season is now fast upon us, it is becoming clear that they did not spend the money on roads; and

Whereas despite higher gas taxes roads are once again falling apart;

Therefore be it resolved that the government address the rural road situation with the real money it is receiving in taxes.

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.

[Page 224]

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 284

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

Whereas the Premier once said, "This government is dedicated to ensuring we do not risk that future or fritter it away because this province is unwilling or unable to live within its means."; and

Whereas during the last election the Premier promised he would not add one dime to the debt of the province; and

Whereas once upon a time Pinocchio made similar statements that caused his nose to grow bigger;

Therefore be it resolved that while the Premier's nose may not have grown in the last four years, the debt of this province has grown by $521 million under Tory rule.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

[7:45 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 285

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

Whereas the NDP in 1999 would not even read the Liberal budget of Finance Minister Don Downe before deciding to condemn its contents; and

[Page 225]

Whereas (Interruptions) Perhaps they want me to repeat that proposition again, Mr. Speaker. I'll move on to number two.

Whereas among the most irresponsible acts in the history of Nova Scotian politics, this surely ranks as one of the most irresponsible; and

Whereas each time that a Nova Scotian feels aggrieved with this "Hammite" crew, they should ask themselves, why did all this happen;

Therefore be it resolved that if the history of our province is studied there can be no doubt that the NDP is more to blame than anyone else for what happened in 1999 and since, and therefore must be held to blame for its actions.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

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

Whereas the government's Throne Speech indicated, "My government didn't just imagine what was possible."; and

Whereas the imagination of this government is so great that perhaps it actually imagined that it absconded with over $5 million in cash that was destined to go to provincial charities; and

Whereas Nova Scotians do not suffer from this imagination disorder as they know full well that money from the Sydney casino has gone to fatten up the coffers of the provincial Treasury so the Tories can attempt to buy the next election;

Therefore be it resolved that despite the fact that government imagines many things, one message is real - Nova Scotians are not buying what this government is selling.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Order, please. The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: I would ask if the word abscond is in order.

[Page 226]

MR. SPEAKER: I agree. I will review the resolution before we agree to it.

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 the adjourned debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne now be resumed.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to once again rise in my place and speak about the Throne Speech. As I indicated Friday past, at this time of great unease and unrest and uncertainty in the world, I am really honoured to rise here in the home of the first responsible government in the British Empire. I was extremely pleased that all members observed a moment of prayer and reflection previous to the Throne Speech and I would like to also state what members have expressed earlier and that is that we are extremely fortunate to live in a democracy where freedom and peace has been achieved through a lot of sacrifice, a lot of courage and a lot of hard work.

We do enjoy the rights of liberty, the right to be presumed innocent, the right against arbitrary detention, the right to freedom of expression, the right to bear arms, the right to counsel upon arrest or detention, equality rights, the right to property. I hear a member opposite ask a question about the right to bear arms. It has existed in English Common Law for at least 300 years, so perhaps the NDP might want to enlighten themselves a little bit.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to speak a little bit about some things that are really important to the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, like the Halifax International Airport, for example. We're very pleased that collectively there are some 400 Nova Scotia job opportunities at the Halifax International Airport and I want to take my hat off, or at least tip it, figuratively speaking, to the Halifax International Airport Authority, to Reg Milley, Bernie Miller, Peter Clarke and some of the folks in the authority who have made the Halifax International Airport truly an entity that is recognized right across North America. I think they've done an excellent job in promoting and marketing the Halifax International Airport.

[Page 227]

We've very pleased. I know the member for Hants East shares my view that folks in the Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley and Hants East ridings certainly appreciate the proximity of the airport to their residences.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak a little bit about forestry and, again, just how important it is to Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley and to this province. The forest industry in Nova Scotia provides hundreds and hundreds of job opportunities and economic benefits, and there is also, I believe, growth potential in terms of jobs and economic benefits to this province because of our employers and our employees. I know in the riding of Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley we have sawmills that are owned by Ledwidge Lumber in Enfield, Halifax County, MacTara in Upper Musquodoboit - MacTara, incidentally, employs approximately 300 people with direct jobs - Taylor Lumber - relatives of mine - in Middle Musquodoboit have a modern sawmill, Isenor Lumber in Dutch Settlement, again a smaller sawmill but certainly providing much-needed jobs and economic benefits to the people in the Dutch Settlement area.

Likewise in the Colchester part of the riding, we have sawmills in Brookfield - Julimar Lumber and we had a most unfortunate fire about a month ago, or a little more, when Brookfield Lumber burned down, and we're hoping that Ronnie Creelman and his family make a decision, and that decision is theirs. They have provided jobs and their family before them has for years and years. I'm quite optimistic that Brookfield Lumber will someday once again be an active and viable industry right in the Brookfield community.

Then there's the Irving mill in Valley, Colchester County, just beside the Salmon River. Speaking of the Salmon River, Mr. Speaker, I would like to say today that it is overflowing its banks in many places along its shoreline. Truro and Valley and some of the communities are experiencing, unfortunately, a lot of flooding. We certainly hope, and I know the Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act is monitoring the situation, and we're certainly going to work with the communities that are impacted to try to do the best we can to help those folks. I know all members in this House are very concerned about the weather that we have experienced, especially over the last 24 hours.

There has been considerable damage sustained in a number of the ridings. We certainly want to extend all the best to the folks out there who are somewhat inconvenienced and more so by the recent weather conditions. Incidentally, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Carl Shaw, the coordinator of Colchester Emergency Measures Organization has asked that citizens, motorists, where possible, stay off the roads in Colchester County, so first responders and the like can do the jobs and the tasks that they must do as a consequence of the weather.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to tip my hat, so to speak, to the MLAs who have indicated that they may not be coming back. We have some members in our caucus and I know there are some members in some of the other caucuses who have decided to do likewise. I think that our colleagues who have made that decision deserve a lot of applause

[Page 228]

from not only us as MLAs who can perhaps better appreciate the requirements and responsibilities that an MLA has, but also I think that we all come here with the same purpose and that is to serve our constituents in this province to the best of our ability. I know that my colleagues who have indicated they are not coming back have worked extremely hard and they have made a big, big sacrifice and commitment to the people in their constituencies. I am just pleased that I had the opportunity to work with two or three colleagues in this caucus who have indicated that they aren't coming back, and we sure appreciate their work and I know their constituents appreciate the good job they have done for the people in their ridings. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, we're very blessed in Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley to have a very thriving agriculture industry. We have the distinction of having the most dairy cows in all of Nova Scotia. Now, as you would know, coming from Cumberland South, agriculture is a very important industry but there are so many commodities in the agricultural sector that if you checked your own riding you would have bragging rights to having the most of some particular commodity in your riding. But not all ridings, because I know fisheries and other industries are very important. (Interruption) Well, maybe they sell the most blueberries in Halifax Needham, who knows? The blueberry is the official berry of the Province of Nova Scotia, so you could have some distinction along those lines.

Mr. Speaker, I know that a number of MLAs are chomping at the bit to have an opportunity to respond to the Throne Speech but I just want to say that in the riding of Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley since the John Hamm Government formed government, we have certainly seen the benefits of having a Progressive Conservative Government reside in Nova Scotia. I want to say that in all sincerity.

I don't say this to get the hackles up in the previous administration but, Mr. Speaker, for, I think it was, probably five or six years since the Savage Regime took office, at least, they just couldn't seem to do anything but cut the Department of Transportation and Public Works' budget. However, the Public Accounts of this province will confirm statements like that, and I am very proud and honoured and pleased to pronounce, if you will, that our government each and every year has increased the budget of the Department of Transportation and Public Works. (Applause)

As a member who has the honour of representing Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, a riding that has the most gravel and paved roads of any riding in the province, not until we formed the government has there been any significant capital projects take place on 200 Series or 300 Series roads, Mr. Speaker. That's a fact. That's the fact of the matter. Nobody opposite can stand and refute such a statement, and that's a shame. But, we have been able to do that and I think it is certainly a credit to this government and to all members of caucus who recognized the need not only to provide and increase health care and education but also to try to improve the road network in this province. It has been difficult and a struggle.

[Page 229]

Now, Mr. Speaker, we indicated that upon assuming government we would abolish the regional health authorities, as they were called, and establish district health authorities. We have done that and I want to say that we have done what we said we were going to do. We have tried to put back the responsibility, to a degree, as far as health care goes, we tried to give that back to the community, to make sure that health and health care initiatives are community driven and, by and large, when this government announced that the DHAs would know, not from year to year worry about what the funding would be, when they would know in advance, well in advance for a period, so there would be some stability. I think that was a major, major step that this government took to improving health care in the Province of Nova Scotia.

[8:00 p.m.]

Now people are going to be asking themselves, sometime down the road and I don't think it is any big secret, who has the courage and strength to stand up for Nova Scotia, and the experience and plan to grow Nova Scotia's economy? Mr. Speaker, I think people are going to be asking themselves that question - who is prepared to pay for the things that we care about, like Health, Education, and roads? I think when Nova Scotians ask themselves those questions they will say the Progressive Conservatives, that's who's prepared to do that, because we have done what we said we were going to do. (Applause)

We've indicated - and I don't want to steal any thunder from the Minister of Finance - that we are going to lower taxes and lower taxes will help all Nova Scotians, especially working families. Lower taxes will make Nova Scotia's economy stronger. Lower taxes will create jobs. Nova Scotians can spend their money better than the government can. We have all shared in the sacrifices, now I honestly believe we all can share in the gains, and that's just the type of government that we have.

Mr. Speaker, I think it's very important that we try to stick to the agenda here and make a few comments about Health, Education. I'm very pleased that the old school in Brookfield, South Colchester High School, which was assessed - and I will give credit to the former Liberal Administration, they made a commitment also that based on a needs assessment that that school had to be replaced and that school is being replaced, but it's being replaced under this government's watch. I think it's important that we say that and give credit where credit is due.

Mr. Speaker, I don't want to take too much time because I know a number of members are looking for an opportunity to get up and make some comments. I don't plan to take too much time. I do want to say that I've had an opportunity now to serve my constituents for nearly 12 years, first as a municipal councillor in Halifax County and now for nearly 10 years as a provincial MLA, and there's no greater honour and privilege than being sent to Halifax as 1 of 52 members in this Legislature. I very much look forward to

[Page 230]

seeking the nomination again. I trust that the folks, once again, will make me competitive in the upcoming election, and I can come back to my place. Thank you very much. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Just before I recognize the next speaker, the resolution that was introduced by the honourable member for Glace Bay, I'm ruling that it is unparliamentary. There was a word used in that that would suggest something unlawful, so it will not be allowed.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to have an opportunity this evening to speak in response to the Speech from the Throne. Five years ago Monday past, the people of Halifax Needham elected me to be their representative in this Legislature and 16 months later, in July 1999, they re-elected me. I want to begin tonight by taking a moment to thank them for the extraordinary experience they have given me in serving them, in serving my community and my province. I can think of no greater privilege.

As a woman, it has been all the more significant to me because, sadly, very few women in this province, in the Province of Nova Scotia, or win elections; in fact, our inclusion in this province's Legislature is much lower than in most other provinces in the country and in our federal House of Commons. This situation has been the focus of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women over the past year, and many of those members who have worked hard on this issue joined us here earlier this evening.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that hopefully when the dust settles after the next election, this Chamber will see an increase in women members on all sides of the House, and perhaps then we will see legislation that places a greater priority on expanding home care, taking pressure off family members who as caregivers are exhausted and close to burnout themselves. Perhaps we will see priorities given to a living minimum wage and prorated benefits for workers in less than full-time work and perhaps then we will see legislation passed that will ensure the ability to get credit in one's own name following a separation or a divorce. Mr. Speaker, these are just a few of the issues that tend to affect women in far greater numbers than men. For some reason, these issues never quite make it to the top of the government's agenda.

There are a few more thank you's I would like to make, Mr. Speaker. I remember how nervous I was five years ago when I first stood in my place to speak and I want to thank the honourable member for Halifax Atlantic, Robert Chisholm, for his generosity, his humour and his support in those early days, indeed all through my time here. That honourable member is one of the finest people, finest men I have ever worked with and my respect for him is immeasurable.

[Page 231]

I also want to thank the honourable member for Sackville Cobequid, John Holm. His sage advice and infectious enthusiasm for the political machinations of this place, I think, are unparalleled, we would all agree, Mr. Speaker, even if we can't quite relate or understand where he's coming from sometimes on this.

Assuming the good people of Halifax Needham still want me to continue to work on their behalf after the next election, I shall miss both of these colleagues from our caucus, although, Mr. Speaker, I feel certain they will continue to play an important role in their community and in our Party. I would also, at this time, like to extend my best wishes to others from the PC and Liberal caucuses who will not be returning after the next election because they have decided not to run again.

I also want to take a moment to thank the members of my constituency association. I will not name them all individually because we could be here for quite a long time if I did that. We have quite a large and active executive, but each and every one of them gives me the kind of support and advice that ensures I never feel alone in this work which sometimes, as you know, Mr. Speaker, can be very challenging and even sometimes exhausting. There is always someone there who I can call on for help or just to lend an ear . . .

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

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: . . . when I'm feeling grouchy or discouraged or whatever. I always find the support I need from that group and I would like to thank them very much.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I owe a great debt of gratitude to my past and my present office staff: Leon Thomas, who was my constituency assistant for three years, who left in August to pursue a master's degree in public administration at Columbia University in New York; Bill Matheson, who is now ably running my constituency office since August; and Faye Breakspear, who has to be the world's most capable and faithful volunteer and friend. These people have pretty well known my every thought, movement and mood and they've kept me organized and energized and I could not do this job without their hard work and I want to thank them very much.

Mr. Speaker, I want to now turn to the job I was elected to do in this Chamber and that is representing the people of Halifax Needham as I respond to the Speech from the Throne. The previous speaker, the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, said that he has more cows in his constituency than any other constituency in the province. When I talk about Halifax Needham, I like to say that we make ships and beer in my riding so when I look at the members for Halifax Citadel and Halifax Chebucto, my colleagues here on the peninsula, I also like to say don't mess with us, we have the Navy in Halifax Needham.

[Page 232]

Mr. Speaker, in all seriousness though, I want to talk about the concerns of members of my constituency. I want to start by speaking about the concerns of people in my constituency who are retired. Halifax Needham is home to a growing population of seniors, both residing in their own homes, which they own, or in their own apartment units, usually owned and operated by the Metropolitan Housing Authority, a part of the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services.

Seniors have faced a very difficult few years under this government. Many seniors have seen their Pharmacare costs increased by this government and now on the eve of an election, this government has promised there will be no increases in Pharmacare premiums for this year. But this government is silent on what it will do after this year. Isn't that interesting, Mr. Speaker? The Premier has had no difficulty making announcements about how he will invest in the community college expansion to the tune of $120 million or more starting next year and stretching it over the next five years, but he has nothing to say about his long-term plan for seniors' Pharmacare.

The Premier has announced three year funding for district health authorities so they can plan, but the most he will say about seniors' Pharmacare is to give us a short-term plan to freeze Pharmacare premiums for one year - this year, an election year. Frankly, I am somewhat suspicious of this situation and I think seniors should also be suspicious. I have to ask why seniors shouldn't be extended the same consideration as district health authorities to be able to plan ahead, to be able to know what the long-term plans of re-electing this government would be for Pharmacare premiums in this province.

The long-term care campaign fought by the NDP has been one of the most important things we have done for seniors and their families in my time here. And, Mr. Speaker, it's not over yet - not by a long shot. There continue to be seniors and others in nursing homes in our province paying privately for health care services which everyone else receives as part of a public health care system.

The financial side of long-term care is not the only issue where this government has fallen down. This government's focus on single entry has failed miserably to improve the standards of care in long-term care. In fact, it may well have contributed to a decrease in the quality of care as a growing number of seniors are likely to be transferred more than once before they get into the nursing home of their preference, a situation which can lead to death in the frail elderly, the transferring of seniors.

This government has failed to sufficiently account for the moving of the frail elderly from unlicensed facilities, including its refusal to grant a licence to the Sisters of Charity which resulted in the mass relocation of these elderly sisters. More recently, we have witnessed the forced removal of seniors from homes around the province, the removal of seniors prior to Christmas, the separation of elderly couples, the shortness of notice, the lack of accountability of the Minister of Health for her department's actions.

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These actions do not show a government with a plan for seniors in need of caring and compassionate government policy to meet their needs. What we see is a government more inclined to worry about budgets and not about people. When people ask, who cares about seniors, their answer will not be the PC Party or the John Hamm Government. And what about seniors in housing that is owned and operated by this government? Have they fared any better? Well, sadly, no.

[8:15 p.m.]

In my own constituency, seniors in a 16-storey high-rise had to endure several days with either no or sporadic elevator service, and no plan in place to evacuate people in case of an emergency. Mr. Speaker, seniors in other high-rise complexes owned and operated by this government tell me that elevators frequently break down in their buildings as well. Where was the fire marshal then? Where were officials from this government when this was going on?

Mr. Speaker, seniors' wishes were ignored in one of these manors, in my riding, with the relocation of residents from the Cole Harbour Rehab Centre. Those seniors endured a strike, picket lines in front of their homes, horns honking. Where was this government then, in terms of ensuring that the needs and the care for seniors would be put first? Seniors' housing, owned and operated by this government, in some cases is no longer even seniors' housing.

Mr. Speaker, this government has failed with respect to home care. Home care throughout this province is rationed, it's inadequate, and we are in desperate need of a clear plan for comprehensive home care services, services that are not only needed by seniors so that they can remain in their homes, but by others as well as they come out of hospital and quite often require a fair amount of follow-up care.

What about the growing number of seniors living in their own homes which they own? What has this government done to support the realities of everyday life for this group of seniors? This winter we have witnessed the extraordinary costs, high cost of fuel and the growing cost of automobile insurance, and seniors who have no way to grow their incomes, seniors whose incomes are fixed, seniors whose investments - if they're fortunate enough to have them - have taken a real blow, have been hit every which way, with no relief in sight. Where is this government with respect to this group of seniors?

This government has failed seniors on so many different levels, Mr. Speaker, that it's not even funny. I believe that certainly the seniors in my community, they talk about themselves and they very much feel that they have been abandoned by their government - very much abandoned by their government, and they will not forget this.

[Page 234]

Mr. Speaker, seniors are not the only group that has been abandoned by this government. Many families are experiencing the impact of government that cares more about budgets than they do about people. Families with special needs in schools, they have seen a tremendous reduction in the support services they require for their children. Many parents, if they're able, are going out and purchasing private tutorial service for children. I had a mom with a son in Grade 3, a special needs son, a bit of developmental delay, unable to get the program assistance, the additional program assistance that he requires. This woman has spent $5,000 this year in tutorial services, just so that he can perform at the level to keep up with the children in his class, and at this stage she said she might as well be looking at private school.

This essentially is what happens when our government abandons adequately funding our public education system. People give up on the public education system when they can afford to give up, those who can afford to give up, and they look for private alternatives, but not everybody is in a situation where they can do that.

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday there was a forum on the future of Medicare. Dr. Bob Fredericks was there and he spoke about the need to find ways to address the very real problems that families are facing. He made the statement that the only way children at risk, children in crisis, can get mental health services in the Province of Nova Scotia is if they are suicidal. There is no intervention until the crisis has gotten to a point that children are in a state where they are about to do harm to themselves in the opinion of a medical doctor. I know, because of the casework that I deal with in my office, of the families that are in desperate need of services and interventions long before situations get to that point and they're simply unable to get the services that they require. Unfortunately, in some cases families are told to contact the Children's Aid Society when it's not a case of children being in need of care and protection, it's not a case of children being abused. It's a case of children requiring mental health services that simply are not available in our health care system and this government has a long way to go in terms of addressing that situation.

Mr. Speaker, where is the secure treatment centre? Where is the secure treatment centre that this Party campaigned on? Where is the secure treatment centre that members of that government caucus when they were here, when the Third Party was the government, raised day after day after day and pledged their commitment to dealing with? Here we are three and one-half, close to four years into this government's mandate and we do not have a secure treatment centre for children in this province. We continue to send a fair number of children out of province, even out of the country, for services that we properly should be providing here at a much reduced cost than what it is costing us to send people out of province. This is an area where this government has failed and failed miserably in terms of the need in our community and certainly in my community.

[Page 235]

Mr. Speaker, another area of great concern to my constituents is the failure of this government to implement fully the Black Learners Advisory Council report and the task force into government services that was commissioned by the former Liberal Government. The recommendations of that task force, the recommendations of the BLAC report have not been implemented fully and in the case of the BLAC report some of the recommendations have in fact been implemented. I will give the government credit for that, but the report has not been fully implemented and some of the recommendations, the important recommendations coming out of the Black Learners Advisory Committee report remain unfilled and this is a question of where this government's priorities lay.

Mr. Speaker, the Black community in this province has endured, it's well documented in the BLAC report, they have endured centuries of discrimination, racism and disadvantage. Not only in the education system, but in our province more widely. Education is the great equalizer. Education, we know, for most groups in our society is a way to give people access to opportunities.

Without the full, complete, unqualified implementation of the recommendations of the Black report, that historic discrimination and disadvantage will not be rectified, and therefore, we need to move forward with those recommendations. Here we are four years into this government's mandate and not a mention, not one mention, of this government's intentions with respect to the implementation, the full implementation of the BLAC report is contained in the Speech from the Throne. And, the Speech from the Throne is silent with respect to the Task Force on Government Services as well for the African-Nova Scotian population and community. This is an issue that's of real concern to many people in my constituency.

Rising costs of tuition is another area of great concern. I have many families in my constituency whose young people are at community college or in university or who would like to be in community college or university and are unable to attend because of these rising tuition fees. The crushing debt load that students carry is hard for me to even comprehend as someone who has spent a fair amount of time in university herself and was so privileged to have gone through at a time when tuition fees aren't anywhere like they are today. This government has failed students and failed students miserably.

The announcement that was made about the half-way loan remission program to replace the program that this government abolished, is a disgrace. It's got half the money in it of the program that was abolished, as we've seen tuition fees rise over the last four years and they will continue to rise.

Mr. Speaker, those are some of the concerns from my riding and I would like to say that there are many other issues that I could take up, but my voice is going and I think I will take my place. Thank you. (Applause)

[Page 236]

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

MR. PAUL MACEWAN: Mr. Speaker, is the honourable member for Halifax Needham through?

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, the honourable member is through. She had some difficulty enunciating, I guess to be kind.

MR. MACEWAN: I was discussing the issues of the day with the honourable member for Cape Breton South and not paying attention so I plead guilty on that one. I'm sorry.

Mr. Speaker, let me begin by saying that I am glad to see you sitting in the Chair. I remember there was a time when I was sitting in that Chair and you were down here. I think you were bad that day and about five to six and I think that was one of those times that I kicked somebody out of the House. The press gallery must have thought that you and I were terrible enemies, but just five minutes after that you were down at my office wanting to know if I wanted a lift to a hockey game that we were both playing in at 6:30. So, that goes to show you that politics is somewhat deceptive at times. It's not as - I don't know the word to use - not as dangerous, or not as vicious as sometimes the press gallery like to depict it.

[8:30 p.m.]

I found in my years in the House the members of the House generally are personal friends of one another. Despite political differences, if we meet in the hall or on the street in the members' lounge it's usually a first-name basis and people get along well. I have enjoyed my years up here very much because there was a collegial atmosphere, generally, in the House over those years.

This may be the last time I address the House in the capacity of member for Cape Breton Nova, although we don't know those things, Mr. Speaker. I have no idea when the next election will be. (Interruptions) I've said I wouldn't run in Cape Breton Nova this time, but that doesn't mean I might not some other time or somewhere else, who knows? I remember Joe Casey came back here, Dr. Mike Laffin came back here after being out for a while, it can happen. I'm not running this next time, so I will have to give some overview of the last number of years, perhaps, in my remarks here more than the other members might do.

I came here on the 13th day of October in 1970. I was elected by 61 votes, after a recount, over the honourable Percy "Pinky" Gaum. Mr. Gaum was the Minister of Mines in the Government of Premier G.I. Smith. He had represented Cape Breton Nova for 14 years. It was a new seat set up in 1955 by a redistribution done that year, and Cape Breton Nova was a new seat. That's why it was called nova, because that means new in Latin. That's the

[Page 237]

foreign language I've gotten into so far tonight. Between Mr. Gaum and myself, we were the only two people who ever represented Cape Breton Nova, because he was elected in 1956, 1960, 1963 and 1967, and I was elected for the first time in 1970 and then re-elected in every election since. So there were only two representatives for this constituency so far in history.

Now there will be a new one after the next election. I can't predict who. Of course I have an idea of who I will be working for, but it's up to the people to make that decision. There will be a new member for this constituency when the House next sits, if I may be so bold as to make that prediction. Some say it will be a Liberal member. I can tell you one thing, Mr. Speaker, I don't think it's going to be a Conservative member. I don't think so, because my seat . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: How did they do in the last two elections?

MR. MACEWAN: In the last election had the lowest Conservative vote anywhere in Nova Scotia.

AN HON. MEMBER: How much?

MR. MACEWAN: Three per cent. Trois pour cent. (Interruptions) But that could be up and down, because I've seen political Parties go from high to low and back again, all of them, you win one, you lose another. That's politics.

Without going into the role of predicting the future, let me say it's been a privilege and an honour to represent Cape Breton Nova over all these years. When I was first elected in 1970, the riding was somewhat different then in terms of geography than it is today. It began at the overpass in Sydney, the bridge, I guess you could call it, that separates Sydney proper from Whitney Pier, it began there, and it headed out towards New Waterford and took in Whitney Pier and South Bar and Lingan Road and Victoria Mines, New Victoria, 12 County Road - that was named for No. 12 Colliery - and Scotchtown, River Ryan, Roaches Road, the county part of it, Maple Hill, the county part of it, and 14 County Road, which was named for Mine No. 14, and Lingan - that was the constituency I started off with.

Over the years it was sort of shifted across the map every time they did a redistribution. In 1978, I picked up three polls in Ashby - in the area around Richmond Street, Vulcan Avenue and the Ashby part of Victoria Road. That stayed that way until 1993, and then the riding was shifted across the map by quite a bit. The Scotchtown, River Ryan, Lingan end was cut off and given to Cape Breton Centre, and in place of that I picked up a large part of Ashby, most of Ashby, from Cape Breton South. Had I run again, I would have been in another riding again, because New Victoria and that area has now been taken off and given to Cape Breton Centre, and more of Cape Breton South has been put into Cape Breton Nova, while Cape Breton South is spread over into Sydney River, Coxheath, Westmount, Point Edward, Balls Creek and Rudderham Road, and Keltic Drive, we mustn't forget Keltic

[Page 238]

Drive. So I'll do all I can to help my good friend from Cape Breton South in those new parts because I know a lot of people in that neck of the woods.

Now, I was saying that the constituency has changed somewhat in geography over the years. That's another part of politics which you have to face every 10 years; it is in the law. Some politicians have been affected more adversely than I have been. John Diefenbaker had his riding taken away from him by redistribution, not once but twice in his career, and still survived. So it can be done but it can be a difficult task to adjust to.

In any event, I wish well to all who run in the next election, for all Parties - notwithstanding what I may say in a few minutes - because it takes real commitment to democracy, Mr. Speaker, to make the commitment to put your name on the ballot. A lot of people think well, there's nothing to it, but there are not too many people that I see who are doing it. Any citizen who wants to run can run. You don't have to belong to a political Party, you can run as an Independent - pay $100, get five signatures on a nomination paper, and you're on the ballot. That's all it takes to run. I did it myself, not once but twice, so I know what I'm speaking about.

AN HON. MEMBER: For what Party?

MR. MACEWAN: I did it myself running as an Independent - that's a non-Party, Independent - not once but twice and got elected, so it can be done that way if someone wants. Or you can try for a nomination for a political Party. I've seen some of those recently. It attracts large crowds, at least in the Liberal Party - I hear some of the NDP ones are kind of ill-attended, but that's neither here nor there, that's just a sign of the times, that's all that is. It takes a lot to run; those who don't make it I feel sorry for, but at least they had the commitment to offer and they put their names on the ballot and took their chance. That is a very courageous thing to do.

Those who actually make it and get elected and serve here in the House, whether they serve one term or 10 terms, it is an honour, an achievement. It is a rather exclusive club that we belong to, with only 52 members and that's all there are - there might be thousands of people who want to talk about politics and jeer and cheer, but there are only 52 who get to sit in this House at any one time. So anyone who sits in here, I'll tip my hat to them - not that I ever wear a hat, but I'll tip my hat to them - because it is certainly a major achievement in life to get to sit in this House.

We have members in this House who have a family tradition of politics. I know that the honourable member for Cape Breton South, his grandfather sat in this House as a member from 1920 to 1925, and I knew his grandfather, not when we was sitting in the House - that was before my time - I knew his grandfather as an older man and he was one of the people I got a lot of information from when I wrote my first book, Manning's

[Page 239]

grandfather. I'm supposed to call him the honourable member for Cape Breton South, but that's more of a mouthful.

I know there are other members of this House who had fathers and brothers and others who have sat in the House. I think of the Donahoe family who had the father, Richard Donahoe, followed by his sons Terry and Art - two sons in that case. It's a family tradition in a number of families, which I encourage because it takes a person who has some knowledge of politics to make a good politician.

Now, having said all that, where shall I start? I have an article here, by Mark Parent, that it is wrong to present the budget outside the legislature. I got that article from Mark Parent . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: He didn't write that.

MR. MACEWAN: He did. I agree with this article and I am not going to dwell on this in any great way, but I thought it was a good piece of writing. I told the honourable member for Kings North that I read his column in the paper every time that it appears. You might get some good ideas - you might get some bad ideas too, but I always read it with respect to see what he is saying.

Then, here again, I have an extract from the Web site of the honourable member who just spoke before me, Halifax Needham. It is only two pages here, but she has lots more if you want to plug in there and see what the views are that she wants to express. I notice that the honourable member for Preston is very active on the Web site and has all kinds of entries there for people who want to look up his point of view and I commend these members for using this new, shall I say novel technique, it's not so novel any longer, it is becoming very routine nowadays to have a Web site and to advertise in that way what you stand for and what you're doing.

The House has changed a great deal during the time I've been here. There was no such thing as Legislative Television when I first came here - that camera, this one and that one weren't there. Whether it was an improvement in the debates of the House or not to bring in the TV, I don't know because I've heard many people say I think not, even someone over there. (Interruption) Yes, but I remember when I was first elected here that Hansard was the only record there was of what was said in the House and I don't know if very many people ever read it. I know you could subscribe to Hansard, but they never had statistics of how many subscribers there were and perhaps many of those were retired former members that got it, sort of automatically, they didn't need to fill out a form or pay out money to get it, but Hansard was not the most popular reading in Nova Scotia at any time. (Interruption)

[Page 240]

Well, I think some members might read it to see if their own speeches were recorded, but I don't think it ever hit the best seller list, I don't, but that was the only record there was when I was first elected of what went on here in the House. I will tell you something else, maybe I shouldn't say this because the honourable Minister of Health is over there, but The Halifax Chronicle-Herald used to do a great deal more legislative reporting back then in 1970-71, than it does today. The Chronicle-Herald, back in 1970-71, in those years, was like a miniature Hansard. Every single resolution that got moved here in the House was reported as a news item. I don't mean a news item 10 paragraphs long, but one paragraph would be run saying that the honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank, Cobequid, or whatever it is, moved a motion saying how many sheep were shorn in Inverness County in 1956.

The House Order, we don't have House Orders out loud here today, they're just tabled with the Clerk, but back when I first came here you had to give notice that on a future day you would move, seconded by the honourable member for Victoria that an order of the House do issue showing how many sheep were shorn in Inverness County in 1956. You had to read that out and then move it as a motion, and if the House would pass it, well, you would get a return to it sometime later in time. If the House wouldn't pass it, well, that was that, that was the end.

All that stuff though was reported in a two-page insert in The Chronicle-Herald every day when the House was sitting. Now, sometime around about 1980, sometime between then and 1990, that stopped. I don't know why. I wouldn't blame any former editor, I don't think she would be involved in that. Somehow that stopped and we got a new kind of political reporting that didn't concentrate on the mechanics of what happens here in this House, but just reported - well, I don't know what, but the way you would get press nowadays is to call a press conference, you read out a prepared statement, and that usually goes in one ear and out the other of the press gallery and then they start asking you questions seeing if they can lure you into a trap. If you don't know how to explain exactly how you would implement a certain policy in 2008 - big headline: so and so doesn't know how to explain what he will do in 2008. That's the kind of political reporting you get now.

Has that been an improvement over the over standard? I don't think so, Mr. Speaker. I don't think so. When I was first elected to this House, the press gallery was full when the House sat and the reporters there all had their notebooks out and were scribbling down every word that was said in here. That's what Joseph Howe did. Joseph Howe used to report the debates of the House of Assembly in his newspaper when he printed it and he would pretty well give a word-for-word report of everything that was said in the House. (Interruption) Well, maybe Hansard back then was more popular than it became in later times, but I have noticed that the attention that was given to what took place in here by the press during the years that I have served has not improved, it has declined, it has declined.

[Page 241]

[8:45 p.m.]

Now, maybe that's because we're irrelevant. I don't think so. I think there is reason to want to be here in this House and that there is reason to what goes on here in the proceedings of the House. Is this House genuinely a decision-making body? Well, yes, it is, it is. You may say that the results are all determined in advance by the election because the government got so many seats and therefore they can do whatever they want, but that's a gross oversimplification, Mr. Speaker. A government cannot do anything that it wants, any more than you or I can do anything that we want. There are conventions, there are realities, there are budgetary considerations, there's precedent, there's public opinion - you can go on and on and on. The area in which you can actually act is relatively limited. Relatively limited. Do you have a question? (Interruptions) What I was trying to say here is the government cannot do what it wants.

Sometimes you have governments that think we'll face the torpedoes full steam ahead anyway. Example, the Bob Rae Government in Ontario. They did anything they wanted. They got the deficit of Ontario to the highest level ever, the debt to the highest level ever and it came to the point where they just couldn't go any further because the credit rating agencies and the auditors and all those kinds of people were coming down on them saying, look if you go any further your credit rating is going to drop and it will cost you 14 per cent or maybe 20 per cent to borrow money and you're just going to have to put on the brakes. They did. And they lost all their support as a result. It's almost a text book exercise of how a government can't do what it wants to do when it gets into power, the experiences of the Rae Government in Ontario.

Every government that ever held office is an example. The MacLellan Government was an example, the Hamm Government is an example. They can't do anything they want right now. I'm sure within their own caucus there are different opinions - some saying smoke, others saying don't smoke. Some saying maybe on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but not Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. That's the way it is.

I remember - well, I'm not supposed to say what happens in caucus, but I think you can say what happened in a caucus of a past government no longer in office. I remember on the issue of Sunday shopping and there was a division of opinion on the issue and there was one member that brought her Bible to the caucus and put it on the table and pounded the Bible with her fists, like this, to make her point. That's how strongly opinions can be divided on issues of the day. Unless there's a clear consensus, people really want to do something on a united basis and go out and project publicly a front of unity, you can't do whatever you want. And, if you do whatever you want, you may pay the price for that and that's another story.

I'm just making some general observations here because I don't know when I may ever be able to say these things again so I might as well say them now.

[Page 242]

I'm not going to make any great comment about Legislative Television. It's there and whether it's been for the better or for the worse, I don't know. I know that when I was first elected here in the House there was one member of the Conservative Party - I won't mention his name, but we all know him - there's a causeway named for him in Pictou County, that member. He sat down there where my honourable friend, the member for Hants East sits and he would get up and orate with great fervor here in the House but nobody ever saw it because there wasn't any Legislative TV.

Well, it came in and it wasn't during my time, it was during the honourable Arthur Donahoe's time, but great preparation and study and planning went into this project and the cameras were so sited that they would cover every seat in the House, there wasn't anybody that could escape. It was set up so that it would work; however, it wasn't shown all across Nova Scotia. It was shown in metro Halifax and there were certain members of the NDP in metro Halifax that were very fond of the TV. I know that they would call all their supporters and say, I'll be on TV at 2:30, you tune in. They would come back into the House saying, all kinds of people called me and they saw my speech on such and such.

So, other members from other parts of the province didn't have that advantage. I remember fighting as best I could to try to get into the lineup to speak so the people would see me on TV, but I found out it's not shown down my way. It was shown on cable television and those cable television stations that subscribed to it showed it - maybe not at the time it

happened but it was on at some time. Those cable television stations that didn't, well they didn't. We had some like the ones down in Cape Breton that put on Question Period, but that was all they showed; they didn't show what we're doing now. People who watched it, therefore, got the idea that all we did here in this House was have Question Period. That was it; that's all we ever see on TV they said. Don't you ever do anything else, just all questions, all day long?

So those are some of the problems that were created by Legislative TV. I think if there was live coverage of the House on a cable channel that people wanted to watch throughout all of Nova Scotia, it would be a very telling indicator of the quality of debate that we have here, of the level of commitment that people bring to the processes here of the House, and it would be a very educational technique, a very educational means of showing people what the members can contribute to the debates of the House. But where you have a situation where I think three-quarters of the people of Nova Scotia never get to see it, because they have no opportunity to, I don't know that that's fair. I don't know what we can do about that. They always tell me that radio and television broadcasting is federal, not provincial, so what can a provincial Legislature do about it? I don't know, but that's part of the picture.

Now let me say a few words about politics in general. Politics is about people; that's what I believe in and always have during my years in politics. I was never too concerned about whether a thing was federal or provincial or municipal because, generally speaking,

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most people don't care about that. They say it's all the government, what's that that you're trying to give me? It's the government, you're in the government, go do it. That applies to whether they didn't get their old age pension cheque this month or whether there's a pothole in their road and whether the road is looked after by the municipality or by the provincial government - and nobody understands the difference where one begins and the other ends - they call their MLA, if they can get him - I was always quite "getable". So you get those things, and then you get the people who are calling you about dog control and garbage collection.

AN HON. MEMBER: Cats.

MR. MACEWAN: Oh, cats. I will tell you about cats in a minute, but let me tell you about dogs first. I had a call from a lady saying that the dogs were knocking over the garbage cans at Low Point: What was I going to do about that? I said well, I didn't get elected dogcatcher and I didn't get elected garbage collector, it's not my line of work. Well we're not going to vote for you in the next election, she said - but she never did vote for me anyway, because she was well-known to be a Tory. (Interruptions)

As for cats - let me meow here for a minute - I find that Councillor Vince Hall is very dedicated to looking after the needs of people troubled by too many cats. (Laughter) Whenever I have somebody who has a problem and calls me about cats, I call Councillor Vince Hall (Laughter) and he comes running. I don't know what he does when he arrives, I don't know if he sprays, or if he gives nice words of encouragement, or shoos the cats away with his butterfly net, I'm not sure. (Laughter) But I do hear about Councillor Vince Hall, I hear that he's seeking the NDP nomination. (Interruptions) So I'm not surprised. Maybe the cats will vote for him. That's all in jest, I don't know that Councillor Vince Hall is actually seeking the NDP nomination, I just hear those rumours - those kinds of rumours come to my ears occasionally. Now, is that enough about dogs and cats for now?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: No, more, more.

MR. MACEWAN: Somebody over there wants to hear about Bolsheviks - well that's a big change of subject. Let me say this about the upcoming election. I think it's coming pretty soon. I don't know that I can put an exact date on it, but I think it could be in late May or early June, I think so. When they call it, we'll know. But we have to be prepared for it, all Parties. Now in this election, the test of this government will be put to the test - the record of the government will be put to the test.

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, oh, here it comes.

MR. MACEWAN: Yes. Well, I thought we had kind of a good government back in 1999 - before the election, not after, before. I've served with or been with or seen many governments, and I knew Gerald Regan well - I even knew Henry Hicks, and I certainly knew

[Page 244]

Robert Stanfield and G.I. Smith, who used to sit down there where my good friend for Hants East sits, I think or behind that, maybe it was more where the member for Halifax Atlantic is. When the Conservatives formed the Opposition after the 1970 election and Mr. Smith was here in the House at that time, he was later appointed to the Senate. I certainly knew Gerald Regan well. I knew John Buchanan well. I knew Roger Bacon well, I knew Donnie Cameron well, I even played hockey with Donnie Cameron. I knew John Savage well. I knew Russell MacLellan well and I know John Hamm well.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who was the best?

MR. MACEWAN: Well, I tell you, I have ways in which I separate them. For example, I think that John Buchanan was the friendliest of all those Premiers. He was. He had a nice way to him and everybody liked him. I'm not saying they liked what his government did but as a person he was a very approachable and friendly kind of person. He was. (Interruption) Yes, (Laughter) I felt that Gerald Regan was the Premier who had the best control of government and of the House. He knew legislation inside out. He knew parliamentary procedure inside out. He didn't have a Government House Leader because he was his own Government House Leader, Regan was. I felt that his government brought a new, fresh vision to governing this province in 1970 and I feel that they did a good job. I do. I know that there were things that got out of control. There was electricity rates and that was caused by the Mideast oil crisis of 1974 and the government paid the price. I know that but I have high respect to this day for those who served in that government and I'm not only thinking of Premier Regan. (Interruption) The NDP are listening now.

I also thought very highly of Peter Nicholson, the Minister of Finance in that government, who was a fine gentleman, as fine a gentleman as you could find. The honourable Allan Sullivan, from Cape Breton, played a great role in that government. I think Allan Sullivan was the founder of the University College of Cape Breton. He did more at the governmental level to get it started than anyone else that I could name. Not only Allan Sullivan but the honourable A. Garnet Brown, my friend to this day. Garnet Brown really put his heart into trying to do things to help people. He was Minister of Highways and then the first Minister of Recreation for the Province of Nova Scotia. I know that Garnet Brown is a man who will have a high role when the history of this Legislature is written for all of the things that he had tried to do to help the people.

Now, I don't want to start naming all the members who served in that government. I knew Scott MacNutt well. I knew every member of that government quite well. (Interruption) Who did you want to hear about. (Interruption) Walter. I remember when Walter came in here and things were never quite the same. (Laughter) But I certainly like Walter Fitzgerald to this day. I'll say I saw Walter walking down the street a few weeks ago and he saw a fellow on the other side of the street, and I don't think he had any idea who he was but he said, How are you, my fine man? How are you? That's the way he is. He is outgoing, friendly and quite approachable.

[Page 245]

Now, I was going through the Regan Government, we have after that the Buchanan Government. There were many fine people in that government too. I remember like yesterday when the deep, bass voice of Rollie Thornhill would speak up from just around thataway, and he was the Government House Leader and served as second in command to Premier Buchanan. He was a fine gentleman. He came from Dartmouth, too. A fine gentleman. There were many other members of that government that I worked with over a long period of time, because they won the election in 1978, 1981, 1984, 1988 and by 1993, Premier Buchanan had gone to the Senate. So we faced Roger Bacon and then Donnie Cameron during that time.

Donnie Cameron was a great athlete. He was a great farmer and he was a great privatizer. He privatized Nova Scotia Power and I didn't agree with his government on that account but that's what happened and we've had some problems with Nova Scotia Power since and I think if it was still run by the province, as a Crown Corporation, as it was under both Tories and Liberals for many, many years, that we would have a better utility than we have now. That's my view, for what it may be worth.

Now, I served with Premier John Savage and I regret to say that both he and his wife are not in good health at the moment and I know that John Savage dedicated his life to trying to help people, in a different way, perhaps, than some of the others that I've just mentioned because he was a doctor and after he ceased to be Premier here he went over to Africa and worked there to try to help the people and certainly he has demonstrated over many, many years of medical service and service in government that he was truly interested in trying to make this a better place in which to live.

[9:00 p.m.]

I know some of the things that were done in those times were somewhat hard to understand, but he did them because he believed in doing them. He was the man who first tried to get the finances of this province under order, not a popular move, I know that, but he felt it had to be done and it was done and whatever the Minister of Finance claims to be doing now is a carry-over of the steps that John Savage initiated because prior to that time, especially in the days of Premier Buchanan, there wasn't much concern shown about where our finances were heading, the size of the public debt, the deficit and things like that. I shouldn't compare John Buchanan to C.D. Howe, but everybody knows the quote of C.D. Howe, what's a million dollars? In the Buchanan years, it was a lot more than $1 million that each year the deficit grew by.

Then we had Russell MacLellan. Now, of all the Premiers I ever knew, I felt that Russell MacLellan's heart was in the right place more so than the others. It's a hard thing, it's a subjective analysis, not objective, when you judge where somebody's heart is. I hear it's on this side, not this side, so that's a start, that his heart was in the right place. Russell MacLellan was a man who would worry about people who had personal problems, like they

[Page 246]

couldn't pay their light bill and their lights were disconnected or something like that. He would be really upset about that kind of thing. Now, maybe the others were too, but I know he was the only one that would express that openly and I felt that he was trying to get Nova Scotia where it should be. His time in government was short and if I'm ever critical of my good friends to my right, it's because his time in government was so short that I don't think he had a fair chance to show what he could do. That's my view of it. I think if he had stayed in power through 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, that we wouldn't be faced with the problems that we're faced with here today. We wouldn't.

Now, it didn't happen and we know why it didn't happen. I don't know why the NDP was so against that government. If they had read the history of their own Party in Ontario and learned how Bob Rae got to be Premier of Ontario, they would learn that it was because Bob Rae worked in co-operation with the David Peterson Liberal Government which was a minority government and the NDP kept them in power to enable them to show what they could do before they pulled the rug from underneath their feet. By doing that Bob Rae and the NDP in Ontario showed themselves to be responsible and got rid of that image of being Bolsheviks like somebody across the way wanted me to lapse into Bolshevism - no, neither Bolshevism nor Menshevism tonight. We're going to stay on the straight and narrow here in Canada, but if they had only learned what Bob Rae knew in Ontario, they might have gotten to be the government, Rae did, but instead they said this Liberal Government is terrible, we're going to have to get rid of them, pull the rug from under their feet, defeat the budget, never mind that we haven't even read it. It hadn't even been printed yet when the NDP came out with their manifesto saying we're going to vote against that budget no matter what it says.

That's how the MacLellan Government fell. It wasn't because of the Tories. Actually let me tell you the truth here, Mr. Speaker. It was the Tories that kept our government in power notwithstanding the efforts of the NDP. The NDP came to the Tories on budget number one saying this budget is no good and their Finance Critic, I think it was Neil LeBlanc, said, but we haven't even seen it yet. Never mind, it's no good said the NDP, vote against it. Well, the Tories said we're going to wait until it's printed and we've read it and then we'll see. So it was printed. It was delivered over here. It was passed out and the Tories read it and they said this government is not going to fall, we're not going to have another election when we just had one because of this budget. We're going to support this budget and they did. So that got us through the year 1998. (Interruption)

Well, what happened after that? Hinrich Bitter-Suermann was not very happy and he joined the NDP and after that they became even more radical, even more radical. So with Hinrich in their midst, to lead them on the straight and narrow path, they had to come out against the budget two months before it was printed. In fact, I hear they even came out against the budget before it had been composed, before it had laid out what it would contain. They said, we're going to vote against it.

[Page 247]

Well, when that budget came out, it had a rather controversial feature, the borrowing of $600 million to fix our health care system, and the NDP said, we're certainly against that, led by Dr. Bitter-Suermann. He was against more money for health. We will have to vote against that. Well, they somehow convinced the Conservatives to join with them, and it happened, right here on the floor of this House. That was the end of the Russell MacLellan Government, and then we went to the polls.

Now did the people vote the NDP in for all that they had done? No. In fact, the NDP took a terrible beating in the last election. I hate to mention these unpleasant things, but they had 19 members here in the House and now I think they only have - what is it - 10, (Interruption) 11. What happened to the other eight? They used to have five female members in this House, they've only got one. What happened to the other four? They didn't get supported by the public for what they had done in pulling down the MacLellan Government, they got halved. That's what happened to them, they got halved. So maybe if they get halved again - well, we could encourage them on their way.

But the fact is that the MacLellan Government came to that sorry end - yes, it came to an end. I just said it came to an end. (Interruptions) Well, Mr. Speaker, I won't get into that. If the people had had a chance to see what the Russell MacLellan Government could have done with a normal four-year term in office, then the election could have been held and then the MacLellan Government would have been re-elected. (Interruptions)

Anyway, because of all that we now have the Hammites. I call them the Hammites - Russell MacLellan liked that term, so I used it. The Hammites. Well, they've had their chance, which Russell MacLellan didn't have. They've had four years, which MacLellan was denied due to the NDP. So, the NDP hasn't stopped them from governing because they didn't have the clout or the muscle or the number of members up here in the House to, so they can't blame the NDP for the mistakes they've made. We can blame the NDP that they're in office though, and they've made all kinds of mistakes.

I know they're now gearing up for an election, and I have a list in my office of all the scheduled nominating conventions the PC Party has scheduled, and they run over the next month and a half, covering most of Nova Scotia, some here and some there, and there are some ridings where they haven't somebody to run for them in yet, I know that. They're trying though.

AN HON. MEMBER: Maybe you'll have to run another ad, like you did back a few years ago.

MR. MACEWAN: Well, I'm not going to run for the Tories if they can't find a candidate in Cape Breton Nova. (Laughter) They will have to get somebody else. (Interruptions)

[Page 248]

Mr. Speaker, this government - I was re-elected nine times in a row, that's my comment to that. If anybody else can match that, let them put up their hand. Now, this next election will face three Parties seeking office. The CROP organization conducts polls, we all know that. The CROP polls consistently show the Liberals and the Conservatives to be in the lead, and the NDP in third place. In spite of all their billboards and all their slick brochures and all their being for the family, and being for the old and the young and everybody else all at the same time, and all that, they can't get up out of third place. They're spinning their wheels there; spinning their wheels in third place. (Interruptions)

The NDP - let me get on with the NDP and I will come to the Liberal Party - yes, has a bastion of strength in metro Halifax, no question. I wouldn't want to run against the honourable member . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Dartmouth North.

MR. MACEWAN: Dartmouth North. (Interruptions) Well, I shouldn't say that, I'm only saying that facetiously. My legs are perhaps not long enough to run in Dartmouth North. Yes, the current sitting members that they have, some of them, I grant you, will be re-elected, no question. But do they have any seats anywhere else in the province that they can say, well, we think we can win here, here and here and we have a good shot here, here and here? Do they have any seats that could translate into the 27 that you need to form a government in Nova Scotia?

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: What about Halifax Citadel? How well are you going to do there? Is your Leader going to win a seat?

MR. MACEWAN: The honourable member for Glace Bay will enlighten my honourable friend for Halifax Fairview on that subject. He's right next door to him and so is the member for Richmond.

It's mathematically impossible for a Party that's in third position in public opinion, holds 11 seats in the Legislature, has no opportunity of gaining any that I know of, and may lose some of what they now have in the upcoming election, to form the government. That's the proposition I'm trying to make - they don't have it. Therefore, voting for the NDP under those circumstances is to vote against the Liberal Party which could form the government and thereby voting for the Hammites. That's how you work it out.

I would urge all Nova Scotians who want a change in government to vote for the Liberal Party because, number one, the Liberal Party is consistently shown by public opinion polls to be at or ahead of the Tories. Every one that was taken by CROP. You may say the poll is wrong, they called the wrong people. It's agreed that there is, I think, a margin of error of 4 or 5 per cent on those polls. So if they say that the Conservatives have 35 per cent, they might have 35, they might have 31. It could be somewhere in that range. But if they all will

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say that the NDP is down around 25 per cent, it means that the NDP is down around 25 per cent, Mr. Speaker. You can't do it that way, you don't win elections that way. You win elections by getting a majority of the votes, by getting one more than any other person running. That's how you win elections.

If our friends in the NDP would recognize that, they might then be prepared to, I don't know what, but to do something about that situation. As long as they keep beating their chests and saying, we can form the government, vote for us, when they know it's not so, I think they're not giving the public the facts. They're deceiving the public. I don't say that about any honourable member of the House, I say it about that Party as a collective entity, which is outside the House.

I think we've said enough about the general picture here. There are three Parties involved, two can win, one cannot win. Such being the case, I would expect that the election will gradually focus, as the campaign progresses, down to that choice. Which will it be, those that are in or those that would be able to replace them? One or the other. Now they have all kinds of delusions. They remind me in some ways of the Bloc Québécois, who think that by running candidates in one province they can thereby form the federal government. (Applause) Well, the Bloc Québécois has tried for many years now and they haven't formed the federal government yet. I'll tell you more, Mr. Speaker, I don't think that they're going to. I'm sorry for them.

I could comment, in-depth, on the Speech from the Throne. I have notes here, I haven't referred to them for one word yet. It starts off, health care. In 1999, John Hamm said that $1.5 billion was enough to deliver high quality health care in Nova Scotia to all Nova Scotians. Today the Health budget stands at $2 billion and is growing, while Nova Scotians lie on stretchers outside crowded emergency rooms. That's sentence number one and it goes on for quite a few pages.

There will be opportunities to deliver those thoughts on a future occasion. We will have debate on the budget, I understand they want to actually pass the budget before we go out to the hustings. So if that's the case, we will have the debates on the budget. They may not be recorded in Hansard, but they will still be on Legislative TV for all those who want to watch it in metro. There will be other opportunities. Before you leave the Chair, Mr. Speaker, on the motion to go into Supply, I have a few thoughts that I want to bring to the attention of the House. That can go for 15 minutes at a time, and there will be other opportunities as well.

[9:15 p.m.]

I don't want to hold up the debate on the Throne Speech, because I know there are many members who want to participate. I think perhaps having said that, there's 45 minutes left tonight, is there another speaker ready to go? (Interruptions) Jon, are you ready to go?

[Page 250]

Well, I will say this about the honourable member for Hants East, before I sit down. (Laughter) I want to pay tribute to the honourable member for Hants East, he's another true gentleman in my opinion, and I think all members of my Party (Applause)

Well, we were courting him - we were supporting him for the leadership, Mr. Speaker. The problem was that the other members of the NDP wouldn't let him get up on the floor. (Interruptions) So, we said we'll take some of our time, but he wouldn't go for that. Showing again that he's a true gentleman. I do appreciate his approach to politics, and I think we all do. I want to wish him every success - I may not say in the next election, but in the speech he's about to deliver.

Having said those few profound thoughts, Mr. Speaker, I want to wish you well. I see that you're now back in the chair. I think the high point of my legislative career was when I served in your Chair. (Interruptions) Yes. I tried to be as objective and as fair and impartial as I possibly could be. (Interruptions) Some members of the Conservative Party and some members of the NDP tended on occasion to be bad, but I did the best I could to keep them in order and to keep them good. (Interruptions)

What really happened? Well, I will tell you, if I had the whole thing to do again - I learned something after I stepped down from the chair from the Ontario Speaker at that time, I believe his name was Mr. Stockwell, he said, when the House gets bad, I mean really bad, I don't kick anybody else out, I kick myself out. This is what's done in Ontario and in Quebec, when the House gets uproariously bad, the Speaker just steps down, goes out and says, when you've quieted down, I will come back. If it takes you 15 minutes, whatever, I will be back when you're quiet. It works. As a result, there are no martyrs created. I think we've had enough martyrs in Nova Scotia. (Laughter)

Having said that, I did enjoy serving the House in all the capacities I served. It was a great experience, the greatest experience of my life. Whether I ever do it again or not, only time will tell, but I look forward to seeing the House continue, no matter what Party is in power, in all the years to come. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. JON CAREY: Mr. Speaker, I'm honoured to speak about my constituency, Kings West, and to highlight some of the government's accomplishments which are appreciated in Kings West. We're seeing improvements now in this province's health system, the second-highest doctor-to-patient ratio in Canada, 250 more nurses working at patients' bedsides, nurse practitioners now serving in eight rural communities, multi-year funding to the district health authority, a very important issue, more diagnostic equipment in our hospitals, more nurses graduating and staying at home, and a plan of action to recruit more health care providers, doctors, nurses, as well as the medical lab technologists that are in such need, and now a plan of action to shorten the waiting list.

[Page 251]

Mr. Speaker, the health system is improving. These are better days, better than when this government was formed in 1999. The future is brighter than it's been in a long time. Across Kings West, communities are growing, and you can see the developments clearly. Consider the Village of Greenwood, home of 14 Wing Greenwood, the largest air base on the eastern coast, the third-largest air base in Canada, and truly a major part of Kings West. It's home to the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum and with many volunteers under the guidance of Bryan Nelson it continues to flourish and attract tourists and locals alike. Its exhibits reflect the history of the units once based at Greenwood.

We could look at Kingston, surrounded by the beautiful farming area, the orchards, the rich farms, a village that boasts many service clubs. Most Nova Scotians are known for their desire to contribute to their communities. In Kingston, no exception, we have the fire department, the Lions, the Legion and other groups that work continuously to improve their community. The beauty and charm of the area is well known across this province and visitors from abroad come to this wonderful area during their vacation time. It's certainly a testament to the area that many of the military who were stationed at Greenwood returned there to retire after they finished their careers and we certainly have a large population of ex-military people and they contribute greatly to our culture and to our economy.

Mr. Speaker, Kingston's Visitor Information Centre is rated as one of the top centres in the province consistently year after year. Let's consider the development of Main Street in Kingston - a new Superstore, a Sears, a Cash and Carry, as well as Foster Insurance - signs of a growing population and a stronger economy. Kingston has had more growth in the last few months than I have seen in that area in the last 50 years, certainly an indication of good times and a good economy.

Then there's Berwick located between the North and South Mountains. At the perimeters of the town are the food processing plants which serve the Valley farms - Cobi Foods under the capable leadership of Allie Craswell continues to look after the needs of the community and is a major employer. We have Grandview Manor that is noted as a long-term care facility that is one of the best for seniors and in the past year a project has been underway where we have 30 new units being built there that are setting the standard for Canada in their construction. They are ready for occupancy and it will be happening soon. So we're looking forward to the opening of that new facility. Longstanding Valley businesses are growing too. Larsen's have recently made an agreement with the community college, the local one in Kentville, to train meat cutters and as soon as this project is completed 50 new jobs will be taking place in that area and bringing the workforce to 450. (Applause)

We have the Apple Dome project. The Apple Dome project, to those of you who are not familiar with it, will be a major $9 million arena with other facilities involved that will look after youth and seniors and provide a year-round facility. Under the fundraising of Bob Best and other people in the community, a great group of people in the community working together, we've had one of the better companies in the area, a leader in the industry, Kings

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Mutual donate $1 million to that project. We also have Bill and Phil Easson who have contributed 15 acres of prime land so that this facility will be in the proper location. We have Berwick Building Supplies. The owner, John Nichols, and one of the companies that provides him with product have just recently donated $100,000 and we have a multitude of people who have given $25,000, $1,000 or whatever they can give. In less than two years this project is well on its way. It has already taken in well over $2 million.

In Waterville we have the Michelin Plant. The Michelin Plant is not in my constituency but a large number of my constituents work at that plant and there are plans for an expansion there as well. We also have in the more rural area on the Bay of Fundy, the Harbourville growth and investment project. This is where a group formed the Harbourville Restoration Society and have just worked continuously in the last number of years to bring this little fishing community on the Bay of Fundy back to the prominence that it once shared many years ago. It used to be a very active little community. It is now being restored, the project is underway, the funding is in place, the wharves are being built and repaired. We have the new restaurant, we have Greg Hamilton's new lobster pound, we have the craft shop in the area, and in the last few years we had world-renowned artist, Horst Guilhauman move into the area. Things are happening in that little community and we now have eight or nine fishing vessels working out of there and it will continue to grow. It's an indication there where we have the local community working with the Aboriginals and the funding has worked for everyone's good and it's a community that is growing.

Kings West is growing. There are more prosperous times across the whole province too. We have more people working in this province than ever before - 26,000 new jobs since 1999. This government's balanced budget - the first in over 40 years - is paying off. Now the second consecutive balanced budget will soon be delivered. These actions are cornerstones of a stronger, more confident economy where people want to invest, where people are finding employment. People are choosing Nova Scotia.

Working families are finally about to receive a deserved reduction in their personal income tax. (Applause) It's time, Mr. Speaker. This government is making this province more competitive and is putting money back in the pockets of hard-working Nova Scotians.

I'm optimistic about the education system too. Important improvements are making it better now and making changes for the future. Capital investments, such as major renovations to schools in Kings West, École Rose des Vents in Greenwood - $3 million. A facility where we can have our military and people who are interested in industry come in and have their children trained in French, certainly a major contributor to our culture and to our area. West Kings High School waited for so many years, but under this government $9.5 million has been given and as we speak, phase 1 of that project on the new gymnasium will be opened for use as of September, so we're looking forward to that. Central Kings, although not in my constituency, I have a number of constituents who go there, and another $9 million has been put into that for renovations that were desperately needed.

[Page 253]

This government's plan, Learning for Life, is a back-to-basics plan, a plan focused on the classroom, Mr. Speaker. It has put more than 700,000 books in the hands of students; established new programs for reading, math, grammar, and Canadian history; reduced the student-to-teacher ratio and has plans to reduce it further, particularly at the elementary level. It is returning more adult learners to the class and now the government is taking action to address the student debt for students with Nova Scotia student loans - a major accomplishment. Education has been put on the right track.

Educating our children will give them the basis for a prosperous and a certain future. The government understands the link between good education and a healthier, more prosperous society. That's why I'm proud to address the government's recent announcement, expansion of Nova Scotia Community College. The single largest investment that government has made, a $123-million expansion that will add 2,500 more students into Nova Scotia Community College classrooms. (Applause)

This expansion includes a new metro campus and major renovations and upgrades to 13 other units - campuses across the province, including the one that many of my constituents attend, the Kentville campus. We're looking forward to these plans as they roll out over the next few weeks. Skilled workers are the key to Nova Scotia's prosperity. The Nova Scotia Community College has a critical role in preparing the job-ready workforce. This expansion will ensure that Nova Scotians are ready for the jobs of the future. This investment is part of the province's Skills Nova Scotia initiative which involves training, skills upgrading, and form basic literacy to the use of the most sophisticated technologies.

This government has shown that it understands that the conditions of our roads and highways affect the quality of life in this province - after today, we're probably going to have some tough decisions to make, but government cannot be held responsible for the weather, I hope - especially rural Nova Scotia needs good highways.

[9:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, our roads and highways were neglected for far too many years by all governments. This government has proven it is committed to making improvements. That's why this government reversed the trend of cutting funding for Transportation with increased funding on capital spending on highways each year since 1999. All revenues from a 2 cent per litre increase in gasoline tax to be dedicated to improving Nova Scotia's highways, bridges and roads. The rural impact mitigation fund is directing monies at secondary and gravel roads which is making a positive impact on rural life.

We can see benefits of these investments in Kings West. The Victoria Harbour Road that takes over 100,000 tourists to the Oaklawn Zoo, one of the larger and better zoos in Eastern Canada; we've seen recapping from the No. 1 Highway to Morden, the Bay of Fundy, where we get a number of tourists. We see work in Berwick, we see work in

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Aylesford on the highways, recapping, along the No. 1 Highway from Berwick to Waterville was accomplished last year, a major work on a highway that's used extensively. The tender is now out for the road to be paved on the No. 1 Highway from Auburn to Kingston, that will be happening this year. We need roads so that people can travel to work, to school and so that goods can be transported efficiently. That's what this government understands. That's what this government is doing. That's important to the constituents of Kings West.

After serving 31 years as a volunteer firefighter, I took much pleasure in this government's legislation in an Act to recognize volunteer firefighters and to protect volunteer fire departments. (Applause) (Interruption) Well, after you're there 31, you've been through quite a number of members. (Interruptions) This is great legislation, and no other government brought it in. (Interruptions) An Act to recognize volunteer firefighters and protect volunteer fire departments, which recognizes the many contributions of volunteer firefighters. It has designated one day in each October as Volunteer Fire Service Recognition Day. It provides families with an accidental death benefit payment should a volunteer firefighter be killed in the line of duty. It protects volunteer fire departments in claims for damages from seizure of material or financial assets. It waives volunteer firefighters' vehicle registration fees and provides special licence plates. Mr. Speaker, volunteer firefighters deserve this show of respect. (Applause)

So much so, Mr. Speaker, that our government wants to ensure that all our firefighters have the best possible insurance and health coverage available. It wants to ensure that their families are taken care of. Why? Because firefighters who willingly risk their own lives to protect the lives of others are sometimes exposed to toxins and chemicals during fires. This new bill in the House is about providing better workers' compensation coverage to both paid and volunteer firefighters. This is the right thing to do.

Mr. Speaker, it's an honour to represent the constituency of Kings West and to be part of the government. As we work to bring prosperity to Nova Scotia, I'm proud to support the motion moving the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise and take a few minutes to speak. I want to thank the honourable member for Cape Breton Nova for his gracious comments. I really appreciate them. I want to say that my five years in the House have been an educational five years, and I have appreciated the manner in which members from both other Parties and sometimes from my own caucus have been quite kind and helpful. I want to say that I've come to learn a few things in this job, and one of the things I've learned is that I like it. I think that this is peoples' work. If you don't like people, then you have no business being here.

[Page 255]

I want to say that I am, I think, particularly blessed to represent the people of Hants East. One of the things that I found most surprising since I have taken on the job as the MLA there is the fact that the people who call me are quite reasonable. I think that what my constituents ask for are common sense, logical, doable, looking for solutions to problems that I actually think politicians can solve. I want to say that I envy the members of the other two Parties, certainly because they've formed governments, and whether I'm here long enough to see that happen with the New Democratic Party or not, time will tell. I take with a grain of salt, usually, the comments from the honourable member for Cape Breton Nova, but the fact that he raises the New Democratic Party on occasion in his speeches only indicates to me that we are a force to be reckoned with and that the members on both sides of the House have come to recognize that.

What Party forms a government, that will be the choice of the people of Nova Scotia. I know that I can be overtly critical if I want to be, but I think that all you can really do is take a message to the people and let them decide. Quite often when I'm out and about in my constituency, people will say to me, how's it going? And I will say I don't know. I can only say that election day will say what the people of Hants East have thought or felt about the performance of their MLA.

I do believe that government should be of the people, for the people, by the people. I think that anybody who walks the streets, the byways of this province has the capability to be an MLA, to represent the people in their area. It takes no particularly special talent and one of the things I fear is that the Legislature will become a place that will be void of the common touch. One item I've noticed in previous governments and in this government, I suppose to a degree, is how much it is that what I perceive to be ordinary people seem to think themselves extraordinary once they get on that side of the House. I think that as Nova Scotians regard politics and politicians, it's incumbent on us all that we actually make them believe that government can really work for them.

Why it is that people seem to not regard politicians particularly highly is because there's always a difference, or quite often a difference, between what it is the politicians say and what it is the politicians do. I think that, to me, is the greatest danger of the political method that we form governments and that the people really see themselves more and more distant from the halls of power, and government itself has no other function than to look after its people. What it is is a collection of individuals sent here by their people who are to carry out their roles that people have no time to do. They're trying to run businesses and take care of their families, they cannot provide their own health care and education, et cetera, on their own, so they put a body in place to govern their interests in the hopes that they will deliver those services to them in some equitable manner.

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Well, I think we all know enough about the history of politics in Nova Scotia to know that it is traditionally partisan. Politics in Nova Scotia has a history of being particularly partisan. The Party that's in power would mean that their constituencies would get quite a bit and those of the other Parties or Party would get very little. In the next election when the tide has turned, then the winners, in that case, their constituents, would get quite a bit and the other Party would get very little, and trying to send a message to their constituents, that because you didn't vote for our Party, therefore you're not going to get anything - well, pretty rough way to educate the public, I think.

I think the political system should be set up - and I think as the honourable member for Cape Breton Nova had indicated that people are not really interested in whether it's provincial, municipal or federal. They recognize the MLA as part of the government, even when you're in Opposition you're not part of the government, but they're not concerned about that. They have a problem, they want somebody to address it and that's why they show up at your door.

I've been very fortunate in my office to have a constituency assistant by the name of Randy Leighton, from Nine Mile River. The reason I looked for someone - the role for which Randy has filled - I have a rural constituency, I needed someone who had a lot of skills in a variety of areas and he fit the bill. He has an agrarian background. At the time that I hired him, his brother and he were also contractors in the woods and he runs a campground in Nine Mile River. He has excellent secretarial skills, he is a good writer, a good thinker and all of this I needed in someone that if a variety of rural issues came through my office I wanted someone who could address those, and that's what I found. I consider my office to be run by two people, that we're a team. Quite often I'm not there, obviously, because of the work that I do, but I need to know that there's somebody capable addressing the concerns of the people in Hants East. Those issues that have to go even further, I take care of those. A lot of the work that's done, a lot of calls that come into my office, are handled right then and there by my constituency assistant. Then there are people who actually want to speak to the MLA and not an assistant and I certainly deal with those.

One of the jokes in my office is that once upon a time I got a call, I actually picked up the phone and a woman on the other end of the line said, Randy? I said, no, this is John MacDonell, the MLA. She said, I'll call back when Randy's there. A humbling experience, but certainly it showed the capability of my assistant and I was really pleased that this person felt confident enough that he had started to handle her issue and she was very comfortable with that and wanted him to continue to do that. It kind of caught me off my guard to think that she really wasn't so concerned to speak to the MLA, but it showed that she thought she was getting good service.

AN HON. MEMBER: She knew she was.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: She knew she was.

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I want to acknowledge all the members in the House that have chosen not to re-offer in the next election, whenever that comes. I certainly believe that for anybody and probably realize it more now than I ever did before I ever ran the dedication and commitment it takes to try to do a good job as an MLA and certainly how that impacts on the people closest to you. For all of those who have made a decision not to offer again, I certainly want them to know that what they did I'm sure is well appreciated by their constituents. I certainly want to acknowledge the Leader of the New Democratic Party that I came in under in 1998, Mr. Robert Chisholm. I think Robert is someone whose talent the people never really got to see. I found him to be a very genuine, gracious individual and a very approachable individual. I want to say that just three or four months after I was first elected in 1998 our caucus went on a retreat in the Valley. Ledgehill was the place we went and some advice that the honourable member for Halifax Atlantic gave me was that the phone will always be ringing and so you have to take some time for yourself and your family and if you were to lose your family over this job, what would you have gained? I've always remembered those words of advice and I would say if they mean anything to any member in the House, that when I drive into the driveway at the end of the day, my kids don't say the MLA is here, they say dad is home and you still have to walk in your house and look everybody in the eye and make them know that you feel good about what you did that day and I think that applies to all of us.

[9:45 p.m.]

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid has been an inspiration. He actually wouldn't have known that until now, but I had certainly watched the member on television on a lot of occasions in the years before I ever thought about running and I suppose it was partly because he was a teacher and I was as well. I often thought that he put a good face on the New Democratic Party and I wasn't a New Democrat at that time. So we all come here by different roads I think and probably for one event or another have picked a particular political Party. I think that the time that I've spent has shown, probably one of the most interesting things are the solutions I think that there are for the Province of Nova Scotia, the competent and professional people I think that approach all three Parties and try to get their ear to try to recommend solutions for a variety of problems. I think that has been the most refreshing thing, is that there actually are solutions and to convince the people of Nova Scotia that they're doable and credible is probably the biggest job that we have.

I want to acknowledge the member for Shelburne who I think is someone, and I will use the same words that the honourable member for Cape Breton Nova used in describing me, who has been a gentleman and a gracious individual in the House. I think his constituents were well represented and I think it takes a lot to stand up and vote against your Party on any issue, but to stand up and represent your people on an issue that's important, that was a good education for me to see someone do that. I'm not sure if he ever got the credit that I thought he deserved, but I want him to know my personal view on the record for what he did and I think that the House will be not as well rounded for him not being here.

[Page 258]

Mr. Speaker, I come from a very diverse constituency, I would say, and actually looking at the boundary redistribution that was carried out earlier, my constituency has the largest population for one member to represent. In 1998 I bought a new Subaru Legacy and I just turned 250,000 kilometres on it the other day, to give you some idea of the miles of road that I travel, or the kilometres. The honourable member for the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley indicated that his constituency had the greatest length in roads and I noticed the former Minister of Transportation and Public Works kind of looking like he didn't right off the cuff believe him and I'm not sure if I did either. I don't think I have a number to indicate what the kilometres are in my constituency, but I know there are a lot.

It's an area that is quite interesting because it's so diverse. I will challenge the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley when he says he has more cows than any other constituency. (Interruptions) Well, I think he has milked the system more than I have, but Hants East has the distinction of producing 30 per cent - 30 per cent of all the milk produced in this province is produced in that constituency. I would think that that either means that we have more cows or we have better-producing cows than the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

It also has one of the largest or one of the most rapidly-growing suburban areas, from Enfield to Lantz for sure and it would probably encompass Shubenacadie. It actually has caused some good and bad things to happen, I suppose. People live close enough to work in the HRM, which is great for them, they can leave the city and enjoy the comforts and amenities of what they appreciate in rural Nova Scotia. I'm only 40 minutes, actually, from my driveway to the driveway of Province House. I consider myself to be one of the lucky members in the sense that I get my children off to school in the morning when the House sits, I don't have to be away a week at a time, and I think that's a very good thing for me and for them, they're still quite young.

Then I have a very expansive rural area in my constituency, very large. Agriculture and forestry would make up the majority of the jobs for a lot of my constituents. I see sustainability of both of those industrial sectors to be key to the well-being and livelihoods of people in Hants East. I know that the wealth that's generated there, a lot of it finds its way into metro. A lot of wealth that's generated in lots of places in this province seems to find its way to metro. I don't think that's always considered enough when policy is being made in regard to what's the best thing for rural Nova Scotia.

Certainly I see agriculture as a key component. I'm always worried about what it is that we may possibly lose when it comes to negotiations around WTO or NAFTA or GATT and what that will impact on our ability to set policy for that sector. It seems that not only do we have our own governments to deal with, but then we have governments of other countries, and we're not always working on the same playing field when it comes to the conditions that we work under when it comes to agriculture. Since we know climate has a big role to play in that, when you're in the northern hemisphere it's pretty hard to think

[Page 259]

you're on a level playing field with the United States or South America or even the U.K. or Europe. Definitely, agriculture in a northern hemisphere means that you have conditions to fight against that other people do not.

The forest sector, I think I heard the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley talking about some of the mills in his area. I tried to count and I think I got to 11 and I thought I had them all named, but within a radius of 40 kilometres from my house, I've identified 11 mills anyway. Those mills are major employers. Actually my youngest brother is a contractor for one of those mills. So sustainability in the forest sector is a key component for him and his family. We certainly want to ensure that the jobs that there are in the forest sector - and they're getting to be fewer - can be maintained.

Mr. Speaker, I see the time is starting to run on. I would be willing to adjourn and start again tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The motion is to adjourn debate.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader on tomorrow's business.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move the House do now rise to meet again on the morrow at the hour of 2:00 p.m. The House will sit from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The order of business following Question Period will be a resumption of the debate on the Throne Speech.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn until tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

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

[The House rose at 9:55 p.m.]

[Page 260]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 286

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the Town of Springhill turned 114 years old yesterday, having been incorporated as a town on March 30, 1889; and

Whereas Springhill was first settled in 1790 and received its name from one of the earliest settlers who called the place Spring Hill because of the number of springs on the hillside; and

Whereas the Springhill Heritage Group, concerned with the lack of local published history and the loss of the town's civic and school records to large-scale fires in 1957 and 1975, formed in 1989 and continues to hold bimonthly meetings ten months of the year;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize both the historical and economical significance of Springhill and be encouraged to visit the town's many tourist attractions.

RESOLUTION NO. 287

By: Ms. Maureen MacDonald (Halifax Needham)

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

Whereas Doreen Paris, a member of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women since 1994, was elected as the new chair for the council; and

Whereas Doreen Paris, who hails from Gibsons Woods, Kings Country and now resides in New Glasgow, has been a voice for women in the community for many years, working tirelessly to empower women to escape the traps of poverty, violence and racism; and

Whereas Ms. Paris, as chair, will lead the organization in its efforts to advance equality, fairness and dignity for women throughout the Province of Nova Scotia;

[Page 261]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Doreen Paris on her recent election to the important position of Chair of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women and wish her well in promoting the well-being of women in our Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 288

By: Hon. Ronald Russell (Environment and Labour)

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

Whereas the Windsor Curling Club just completed its 95th consecutive year of providing an excellent winter recreation opportunity for both competitive and social curlers; and

Whereas the Windsor Curling Club, first established in 1908, was the proud host of the Nova Scotia Curling Association Women's Masters Tournament again this year, a tournament in which Windsor women curlers have been highly competitive in recent years; and

Whereas in the men's division, Skip Richard Barker and his team played exceptionally well and proudly represented Windsor in the provincial zone men's playoffs;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs acknowledge the tireless efforts put forth by the Windsor Curling Club executive and club members for yet another great season and wish the membership many more years of continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 289

By: Mr. Frank Corbett (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas last Friday New Brunswick's Conservative Government announced its plan to deal with rising auto insurance rates; and

Whereas a big part of the solution of New Brunswick Tories is to cap claims for injuries, thus granting the fondest wish of insurance companies; and

[Page 262]

Whereas Bernard Lord's Tories will take no action, however, to help consumers by rolling back even partially huge rate increases that have made it impossible for many New Brunswickers to drive legally;

Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotia should come up with solutions that will lower auto insurance premiums, instead of following New Brunswick's decision to keep high rates and limit the benefits these rate provide.

RESOLUTION NO. 290

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Oxford Regional High School Grade 10 student Steve Christie won the Mount Saint Vincent Nova Scotia Badminton Tournament in Halifax in December 2002; and

Whereas Steve was playing in his first adult tournament of the season and was competing in the "B" Division, winning all three of his matches in his round robin pool; and

Whereas Steve played against his father in the championship game and won in a long, hard-fought battle with a final score of 21 to 19 in Steve's favour;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Steve Christie for winning the Mount Saint Vincent Nova Scotia Badminton Tournament, and we wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 291

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the Oxford Regional High School hosted its annual science fair on March 5, 2003; and

Whereas the senior team of Megan Fahey and Meghan Bragg placed first in the experiment category of the annual science fair; and

Whereas Megan Fahey and Meghan Bragg will therefore represent ORHS at the Regional Science Fair in Stellarton on March 19, 2003;

[Page 263]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Megan Fahey and Meghan Bragg on this accomplishment, and we wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 292

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the Oxford Regional High School hosted its annual science fair on March 5, 2003; and

Whereas the intermediate team of Christie McClelland and Courtney Bragg placed first in the study category of the annual science fair; and

Whereas Christie and Courtney will advance on to represent ORHS at the Regional Science Fair in Stellarton on March 19, 2003;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Christie McClelland and Courtney Bragg on this accomplishment, and we wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 293

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Jill Burden of Springhill, Nova Scotia was chosen to represent her class in the Winter Carnival festivities in Springhill in March 2003; and

Whereas Jill was chosen as Miss Congeniality in the Springhill High School Winter Carnival Royal Court; and

Whereas Jill's friends and family congratulate her on this honour of being crowned Miss Congeniality of the Winter Carnival;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Jill Burden on being crowned Miss Congeniality of the Springhill High School Winter Carnival, and we wish her the best of luck in the future.

[Page 264]

RESOLUTION NO. 294

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Mr. Allan Canning of Springhill, Nova Scotia was honoured in January for his 15 years of service with the Springhill Fire Department; and

Whereas Allan Canning was honoured to be recognized as the town and department presented him with his 15-year service pin; and

Whereas Allan Canning was thanked by the town and fire department for his dedication and service for the years that he has given to the department;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Allan Canning on receiving his 15-year service bar, and thank him for his years of service. We wish him all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 295

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Ashley Gilbert of Springhill, Nova Scotia was chosen to represent her class in the Winter Carnival festivities in Springhill in March 2003; and

Whereas Ashley was chosen as Queen in the Springhill High School Winter Carnival Royal Court; and

Whereas Ashley's friends and family congratulate her on this honour of being crowned Queen of the Winter Carnival;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Ashley Gilbert on being crowned Queen of the Springhill High School Winter Carnival, and we wish her the best of luck in the future.

[Page 265]

RESOLUTION NO. 296

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the Advocate Lady Coyotes ended another successful basketball season in March 2003, bringing home silver medals from the Division IV Provincial Championships; and

Whereas the Advocate Lady Coyotes had an undefeated regular season, three exhibition tournament wins and a second straight Northumberland regional championship; and

Whereas Katie Spicer was the leading scorer in the final game with 20 points, followed by Melinda Ells with 10, Lesley Ross with eight and Mallory Ross with six;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Advocate Lady Coyotes on an outstanding year and their silver medal victory in the Division IV Provincial Championships and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 297

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Anne Bushen of Oxford, Nova Scotia, is one of 14 Cumberland County students who have been named to the University of New Brunswick Dean's List; and

Whereas Anne Bushen is one of five students who received the designation in the faculty of education; and

Whereas Anne Bushen earned the distinction by maintaining a grade point average of 3.7 or above which equates to an A;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Anne Bushen on being named to the University of New Brunswick Dean's List and we wish her continued success in the future.

[Page 266]

RESOLUTION NO. 298

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas the Advocate Lady Coyotes captured their second straight Northumberland regional basketball championship advancing them directly to the Division IV Provincial Championships in Halifax; and

Whereas the Advocate Lady Coyotes were undefeated in the weekend tournament; and

Whereas the team's top-quality defence and some timely shooting gave the school its fourth banner of the season;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Advocate Lady Coyotes basketball team and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 299

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Alfred King of Oxford has been awarded the Commemorative Golden Jubilee Medal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - part of the Canadian Honours System established in 1967 - and was awarded this medal on January 22, 2003; and

Whereas medals are being awarded to Canadians who have made a significant contribution to their fellow citizens, their communities, or to their country; and

Whereas the Governor General gave a fitting tribute to earlier recipients saying the medal recipients ". . . reflect the complexity and diversity which is Canada in 2002 and they have helped contribute to the Canada we know, the Canada we have made and the Canada that we will be in the future";

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate and commend Alfred King on being awarded the Golden Jubilee Medal for exceptional service to community and country.