Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

Hansard -- Fri., June 12, 1998

First Session

FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 1998

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Haliburton Hills: Windsor Dr./Oxford Ct. -
Pave, Mr. W. Estabrooks 1277
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Surplus Crown Property Disposal Report, Hon. C. Huskilson 1277
Anl. Rept. of the Dept. of Natural Resources, Hon. K. MacAskill 1278
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Surplus Crown Property Disposal Report,
Hon. C. Huskilson 1278
Environ. - TRACC: Fire Marshal - Update, Hon. R. MacKinnon 1280
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 647, Calvin Ruck (Dartmouth East) - Senate (Can.): Appointment -
Congrats., Hon. J. Smith 1281
Vote - Affirmative 1282
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 648, Sports - Special Olympics (N.S.): Success - Wish,
Ms. E. O'Connell 1282
Vote - Affirmative 1283
Res. 649, Lbr. - Westray Employees (Former): Severance - Award,
Dr. J. Hamm 1283
Res. 650, Culture - Centre Bras D'Or: Summer Festival - Congrats.,
Ms. Helen MacDonald 1284
Vote - Affirmative 1284
Res. 651, Culture: Whycocomagh Summer Festival - Congrats.,
Mr. Charles MacDonald 1284
Vote - Affirmative 1285
Res. 652, Justice - Correctional Officers: Wage Parity - Recognize,
Mr. M. Scott 1285
Res. 653, Human Res. Comm'n. - Exec. Director:
Contract Non-Renewal - Condemn, Mr. Kevin Deveaux 1286
Res. 654, Fish. - Inshore: Fair Treatment - Support, Mr. J. Leefe 1286
Vote - Affirmative 1287
Res. 655, Culture - Starr Plant (Dart.): Fire Damage - Regret,
Mr. D. Chard 1287
Vote - Affirmative 1288
Res. 656, EMO - Truro Flooding: Correction - Info. (Premier) Provide,
Mr. J. Muir 1288
Res. 657, Fin.- Budget (1998-99): Seniors - Hardship Regret,
Mr. H. Epstein 1289
Res. 658, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Hfx. Internat. Airport:
All-Party Comm. - Strike, Mr. B. Taylor 1289
Res. 659, Nat. Res. - Pioneer Coal: Strip Mine -
Royalties (Stellarton) Ensure, Mr. C. Parker 1290
Res. 660, Fish. - Inshore: Quotas - Min. Lobbying Applaud,
Hon. C. Huskilson 1291
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. Kevin Deveaux 1292
Mr. J. Leefe 1296
Mr. P. Delefes 1299
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 10:30 A.M. 1301
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 2:32 P.M. 1301
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Health - Problem Gambling Help Line Annual Narrative Report,
Hon. J. Smith 1302
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., June 15th at 4:00 p.m. 1302
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 661, Nat. Res. - Kings Co. (Forest Home): Fire Contained -
Firefighters Congrats., Hon. R. Harrison 1303
Res. 662, Bus. & Cons. Serv. - Oil Pricing Unfair: Consumers -
Protect, Ms. Y. Atwell 1303
Res. 663, Nat. Res. - Islands: Public Access - Loss Stop,
Mr. W. Estabrook 1304

[Page 1277]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 1998

Fifty-seventh General Assembly

First Session

9:30 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Ronald Russell

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Donald Chard

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition for the residents of Windsor Drive and Oxford Court which are located in Haliburton Hills in the riding of Timberlea-Prospect, requesting paving of these streets. I have affixed my signature on this petition which consists of 28 names on two pages.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

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

HON. CLIFFORD HUSKILSON: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to table the Surplus Crown Property Disposal Report.

1277

[Page 1278]

I would also like to share with the members of the House just how this program benefits Nova Scotians.

MR. SPEAKER: Well, I am not too sure if you can do that. I would request that if you wish to do so, you do so under Statements by Ministers. Tabling Reports, Regulations and Other Papers is simply tabling a report.

The report is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the Annual Report for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1997 of the Department of Natural Resources.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

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

HON. CLIFFORD HUSKILSON: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to make a statement on the Surplus Crown Property Disposal Report. I would also like to share with the members of the House just how this program benefits Nova Scotias. The efficient disposal of assets that have become surplus to the needs of the Crown is accomplished in a number of ways. Assets, including property and equipment that can no longer be used by government departments are sold by auction or by tender. Through this process, we are able to raise money that by law is directly applied against the provincial debt.

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to report that from April 1, 1997 to March 31, 1998, in excess of $640,000 was collected through the sale of surplus materials and real property. (Applause) While carrying a balanced budget for the last two years, this program has been used to pay down almost $1.5 million against Nova Scotia's debt. That might seem like a drop in the bucket but I believe every drop counts.

More specifically, there are many groups which benefit from the disposal of surplus Crown items and, Mr. Speaker, I would like to mention a few. Many non-profit, non-government groups have been supplied with items ranging from office equipment to refrigerators. During this one year period, 134 non-profit groups received donations through this process.

Transportation and Public Works has donated over 400 computers to schools through the NovaKnowledge Association, Computers for Schools programs. Every school board in the province received computers. We know this program helps our students gain valuable

[Page 1279]

computer skills they will require for their future. Communities have also benefited. For example, the Judique Fire Department received a 4x4 tanker truck while J.L. Ilsley High School received desks, bookshelves and curtains. These are just two of the many groups receiving donations through the Surplus Crown Property Disposal Program.

Mr. Speaker, there are countless other examples of people, communities, non-profit groups and charities who have benefited from this program.

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, it is with a true sense of relief that I note that we continue this important allocation to groups and volunteer organizations in our community. I am aware of the fact that the importance of that balanced budget and I notice that comment that it is a drop in the bucket, I always worry about the holes in the bucket.

Aside from that, Mr. Minister, through you, Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer congratulations to your department. In particular, I would like to point out that the allocation to computers in schools is always valuable. However, it is of some importance that there is a follow-up, particularly with guidance and assistance in those schools with regard to making sure those computers are ready and are set up in such a manner as they will be used and not sit there for a number of weeks and months as has been the case. However, I am sure that the examples of Judique and J. L. Ilsley will benefit from this and I would like to congratulate the minister on his initiative. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I want to say to the minister that I am pleased that so many organizations and non-profit groups are still able to get donations from government. Many times government has excess and the real value of selling that excess equipment is not that much money but to many of the non-profit groups, it is so important that they are able, sometimes, to obtain furniture that is not used by government anymore, be it computers. Also I would encourage the minister, I know the Ministers of Transportation and Public Works did in the past, municipalities bought, sometimes equipment used by the Departments of Transportation and Public Works or Natural Resources. This can be bought at a very reasonable price instead of it going to tender and us getting near nothing out of it, where this can be recycled, used by other levels of government or non-profit groups.

I congratulate the minister and ask the government to continue that program whereby non-profit groups can approach them and can be treated fairly. I also agree, never mind the amount that goes against the debt, but I believe that policy is actually a good policy, every bit counts, and I would congratulate the minister and ask for his continued support, especially with these non-profit groups. (Applause)

[Page 1280]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party for an introduction.

DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw the attention of the House to a guest in the gallery opposite, the Mayor of Stellarton, Mayor Art Fitt. I would ask the mayor to stand and receive the greetings of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour.

HON. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, yesterday during Question Period, the honourable member for Dartmouth South raised questions and concerns regarding TRACC in the southwestern part of the province.

I rise today to give a full report and to assure all members of the House that, as I indicated yesterday, I would provide a full detailed report on all activities, inspections, and so forth that have been conducted by the fire marshal's division of our department. In essence, Mr. Speaker, I would like to confirm and I will provide both Opposition caucuses with a full detailed outline of the report. I received them just early this morning, so for the sake of timeliness, I have not been able to prepare a full written ministerial statement.

In essence, we have conducted two off-site meetings with our staff and the board of directors and the officials from TRACC. You will find that we will be providing 25 pieces of correspondence back and forth between our department and the officials and the related professionals through that process. Also, we have conducted three full water supply inspections during that two year period, five safety inspections, and we have been given assurance, as early as 7:30 this morning, Mr. Speaker, that all the requirements of the fire marshal's office have been met by TRACC and we will be hopefully issuing a full clean bill of health to TRACC today.

Mr. Speaker, I want to emphasize that the records will show quite clearly, from the fire marshal's office, that TRACC has been an excellent corporate citizen and were making every effort to comply with a lot of the ongoing problems. Obviously, this is a new situation, this stockpiling of tires and so on. The backlog from the landfill has been dealt with and now they are moving on to the stockpile that is within the site.

Mr. Speaker, I will be only too pleased to give all honourable members, bearing in mind the sensitivity of some of the correspondence, and if they are looking for further details and they are not satisfied with this, please apprise me and I will make every effort to ensure full compliance.

[Page 1281]

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, as it was my colleague, the member for Dartmouth South that made this initial inquiry, I am going to defer the floor to my colleague from Dartmouth South.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

MR. DONALD CHARD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the honourable Minister of Labour for his cooperation in this matter. I am pleased to hear that there have been active steps taken to deal with problems at TRACC and that they are not insurmountable, although it does give me cause for concern that the fire marshal has been there as frequently as he appears to have been.

I would just raise one further point relating to the health and safety issues and environmental questions surrounding not just this site but several other sites in the province, that the minister has acknowledged to me, may be even more serious, and I would trust that we would see equal vigilance, so that we don't see in this province an occasion like the disaster we had in Quebec a number of years ago, where there were major health and environmental problems when a facility storing large quantities of tires caught fire. I would trust that we would see similar vigilance with these other sites.

[9:45 a.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg.

MR. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I will reserve comment on the matter until I have had an opportunity to see the minister's statement in detail. I would mention, however that it's been customary in the past for the minister to provide a written statement prior to the opening of the House, and that would have been greatly appreciated, if he had done that in this case.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 647

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

Whereas Mr. Calvin Ruck, of Dartmouth East is a much admired and respected member of the Dartmouth community; and

[Page 1282]

Whereas Mr. Ruck was one of five new senators appointed by Prime Minister Chretien yesterday; and

Whereas a long celebrated history as an activist, historian and advocate are but a few of the stellar qualities Mr. Ruck will be taking with him to Ottawa;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly extend our gratitude to Mr. Calvin Ruck for his many contributions and wish him well as he discharges his duties with his usual compassion and thoughtfulness.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 648

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

Whereas the Provincial Special Olympics will take place beginning tonight at Saint Mary's University; and

Whereas the athletes who participate will be guided by the Special Olympics motto: Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt; and

Whereas the hard work that organizers and volunteers do for the Special Olympics will be apparent to all this weekend;

[Page 1283]

Therefore be it resolved that this House commend the athletes, organizers and volunteers of the 1998 Special Olympics, and wish them all well this weekend and throughout the year.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 649

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

Whereas six years is simply too long for the former unionized and non-unionized employees of the Westray Mine to still be blocked from receipt of the severance due them for loss of employment through no fault of their own; and

Whereas if, as the Premier has stated in a letter to the area Member of Parliament, that he has the ". . . utmost concern for the former Westray employees . . .", he would have seen fit to it that this issue was put to rest for former employees, especially after the report by Justice Peter Richard concluded that company management had been derelict in its duty to operate the mine safely; and

Whereas these employees have been waiting for six years now and while the small severance expected will never compensate the workers for the distress they have been placed under for so long, it will provide some conclusion to the ordeal;

Therefore be it resolved that this Premier and this government do the right thing now and help close the book on the terrible tragedy of Westray by cutting through the legal complications the Premier is said to be stalled by and award severance to both the former union and non-union employees.

[Page 1284]

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 650

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

Whereas Centre Bras d'Or was founded in 1985 as a non-profit society dedicated to the promotion of the arts in Cape Breton; and

Whereas over the past 13 years, the Centre Bras d'Or's summer festival has grown from a 10 day event to five weeks of performances and activities; and

Whereas the Centre Bras d'Or is now establishing a permanent headquarters in Baddeck to better promote the arts in Cape Breton;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Centre Bras d'Or for past achievements and wish the centre well as it embarks on new challenges.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 651

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

Whereas the Whycocomagh Summer Festival, an eco-cultural festival, will take place in Whycocomagh this summer from July 12th to 19th; and

[Page 1285]

Whereas the festival has as its theme, There's a Ceilidh Here Tonight in recognition of the strong Scottish traditions that exist on Cape Breton Island; and

Whereas the festival brings together in common celebration the five main language groups, English, French, Mi'kmaq, Gaelic and German that coexist in harmony in the community;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend congratulations and best wishes for a successful festival to festival chairman, Burton MacIntyre, and the members of the festival committee.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate.

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 Cumberland South.

RESOLUTION NO. 652

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

Whereas as the government was concluding negotiations with the nurses in hospitals across this province in March, the Premier said that all along he wanted nurses in the province to be treated with fairness, equality and parity; and

Whereas in the Liberal budget's document, Government By Design, it states the government's vision is a province with: fair and equal treatment of all citizens; and

Whereas the province is in the midst of negotiations with the correctional officers in its nine correctional centres on the same issue: equal pay for equal work;

[Page 1286]

Therefore be it resolved that this province respond favourably to the reasonable request by these essential employees of the Justice Department and recognize that wage parity for the correctional officers with provincial youth workers should be part of the government's vision of fair and equal treatment of all citizens.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for 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 Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 653

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

Whereas Wayne MacKay has been the Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission for the past number of years; and

Whereas the Minister of Justice has seen fit not to renew Mr. MacKay's contract as Executive Director, notwithstanding the request by most of the Human Rights Commissioners that he stay; and

Whereas the Human Rights Commission under Mr. MacKay's leadership has moved forward with many important and ground-breaking decisions;

Therefore be it resolved that this House condemn the decision of the minister for its myopic nature and for setting back the cause of human rights in Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 654

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

[Page 1287]

Whereas inshore fishermen, and most particularly handliners, continue to be devastated by bad federal Fisheries policy; and

Whereas handliners employ the most environmentally friendly method of fishing and should be encouraged rather than discouraged in pursuing their livelihood; and

Whereas in support of inshore fishermen, Ottawa must ensure that any replacement for TAGS include significant dollars for effective buyouts;

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature support Nova Scotia's inshore fishermen in their fight for fair treatment from the Government of Canada, and particularly the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

RESOLUTION NO. 655

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

Whereas early reports indicate that this morning's fire at the historic Starr manufacturing plant had suspicious origins; and

Whereas citizens of the former City of Dartmouth and the province have made enormous efforts to preserve the heritage of the Shubenacadie Canal, early economic breakthroughs like Starr skates, and waterfront areas in Dartmouth; and

Whereas damage to the Starr plant may well limit opportunities to preserve and celebrate its important heritage as a renewed attraction;

[Page 1288]

Therefore be it resolved that this House regret the damage inflicted today on the Starr manufacturing plant in Dartmouth, and affirms the value of using significant heritage sites like the Starr plant as part of an exciting, well-rooted future for our province.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver.

MR. SPEAKER: There is 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 Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 656

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

Whereas following January's devastating flood in Colchester County, Doug and Marlene Hamilton of Bible Hill are finally able to move into new accommodations in Truro; and

Whereas the flood was so devastating to Doug and Marlene's small home, it had to be destroyed because of the water damage inflicted upon it; and

Whereas this present Liberal Government provided extremely limited assistance to a select few homeowners following the flood while ignoring numerous home and business owners who suffered severe damage;

Therefore be it resolved that since I have been provided with absolutely no information despite the Premier saying over a week ago he would take it upon himself to see what was being done to correct this flooding problem, he immediately live up to his commitment and provide me with a detailed answer as to what residents can expect before another flooding season is upon them.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 1289]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 657

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

Whereas Sunday, June 14th, marks the beginning of Senior Citizens' Week in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas seniors have been especially hard hit by cuts to health care and the imposition of the BST on necessities like home heating oil; and

Whereas the broken promises on health care and BST relief contained in last week's budget are a betrayal of all Nova Scotians, but seniors in particular;

Therefore be it resolved that this House regrets that the Liberal Government has chosen to mark Senior Citizens' Week by introducing a budget that will mean further hardship for many seniors in Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 658

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

Whereas the Premier, to date, has been far more than ineffective in dealing with the federal government concerning important issues vital to Nova Scotia's economy; and

Whereas examples of this ineffectiveness include no financial relief being negotiated with Ottawa following last summer's devastating drought and no highway strengthening agreement to assist with looking after our 100-Series Highways; and

[Page 1290]

Whereas other pertinent examples of this ineffectiveness include the passage of Bill C-9, the Canada Marine Act, through Parliament and no forestry or tourism agreements since they last expired in the early to mid-1990's;

Therefore be it resolved that since the question begs to be asked as to how Nova Scotians can feel confident about this Liberal Government's relationship with their federal cousins, the Premier strike an all-Party committee of this Legislature to see if negotiations can be enhanced through this committee to ensure Nova Scotia is not left standing on the sidelines in their dealings with Ottawa regarding the Halifax International Airport.

MR. SPEAKER: I recognize the honourable member was speaking incredibly fast, but still the notice of motion was much too long. Please keep them shorter.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 659

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

Whereas Pioneer Coal is presently operating a strip mine in the Town of Stellarton; and

Whereas the town receives little benefit from this operation in the way of property taxes and, in fact, town residents put up with considerable dust and noise; and

Whereas the town has been trying for a number of years to receive fair compensation from Pioneer Coal in the way of royalties;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and the government take every step necessary to ensure that the Town of Stellarton and other municipalities receive fair and just royalties when strip mines occur within their boundaries.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

[Page 1291]

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

RESOLUTION NO. 660

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

Whereas the inshore fishery is the backbone of the way of life in many coastal communities; and

Whereas foreign fishing within our 200-mile limit continues while our own fishermen face reduction in quotas; and

Whereas the presence of Shelburne County fishermen here yesterday demonstrates the severity of the situation caused by the reduction of quotas;

Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud and encourage the efforts of Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell in lobbying the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to improve the quota situation.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 1292]

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I rise, before we adjourn for debate on Supply, to discuss a little bit about the Human Rights Commission and the decision not to renew the contract of Mr. Wayne MacKay.

[10:00 a.m.]

I just want to start with a little history with regard to this particular issue. Mr. Wayne MacKay was hired in 1995 as Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission by the previous Liberal Administration. He came with a vast amount of experience with regard to this particular position. He is recognized throughout Canada as a constitutional law expert, he has vast experience as a private-practice lawyer and he is a long-time professor at Dalhousie Law School. Given his background, when he was announced as Executive Director, it was applauded . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There is a background chatter going on in the House. Please take your conversations out of the Chamber, thank you.

The honourable member has the floor.

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Given his background, it was applauded unanimously across Nova Scotia when that decision was made to actually appoint Mr. MacKay as Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission. It was seen as a change in the history of the Human Rights Commission, a commission that prior to Mr. MacKay's appointment had, what many would say, a history of problems. The commission, I think, prior to Mr. MacKay's appointment didn't take the lead with regard to human rights issues, was not able to deal with backlogs and was unable to move forward with key issues with regard to human rights claims.

The appointment by the previous administration set a new standard, a standard that involved non-partisan appointments with regard to the Human Rights Executive Director, and Mr. MacKay did take a non-partisan approach to human rights in this province. Through him the Human Rights Commission was able to deal with issues based on legal standards and legal tests, and interpreting the human rights code both legally and appropriately. Also, under Mr. MacKay, the case backlog was cleared within the Human Rights Commission and it was done in an effective and fair manner.

[Page 1293]

Now, after three years of his leadership, Nova Scotia is on the leading edge with regard to human rights law in many areas, Mr. Speaker, but obviously the most notable and the one that we all probably remember most recently is the decision with regard to same-sex benefits that was settled under the leadership of Mr. MacKay. That is just one example of the forward-thinking approach that the Human Rights Commission has taken in the past few years. I must say, as a Nova Scotian, I was very proud to see, on the front page of The Globe and Mail the day after that announcement was made, that Nova Scotia was the first province to recognize same-sex benefits with regard to pensions. It is very rare that Nova Scotia is able to get such positive reporting on a national level with regard to its legal and human rights record.

Given the turnaround with regard to the Human Rights Commission, Mr. Speaker, the previous administration to this one actually decided last year to extend Mr. MacKay's contract for one year until August 31, 1998. Mr. MacKay is to work until August 31st of this year. However, five months prior to that, the Human Rights commissioners for Nova Scotia, all except one, wrote a letter to the Minister responsible for the administration of the Human Rights Act, and I would like to table that letter now.

It is dated April 15, 1998 and it is written to the Honourable James Smith, M.D., Minister responsible for the administration of the Human Rights Act, c/o the Department of Justice. It is signed by Alison Scott Butler, Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Commission; Norbert J. Comeau, Commissioner; Heather McNeill, Commissioner; B.J. Tan, Commissioner; Marlene Ruck, Commissioner; and Mukhtyar Tomar, Commissioner. Having recently looked at a list of the commissioners of the Human Rights Commission, that is all of the commissioners of this particular commission, except for notably the Chair, Ms. Mary MacLellan, who decided not to sign this letter for whatever reason.

Mr. Speaker, I don't want to read fully from the letter but I think it is important that a couple of excerpts be noted with regard to this.

"The term of office of our Executive Director, Wayne MacKay, will expire on August 31, 1998. We, the Commissioners of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, request the Government of Nova Scotia to address the extension of Mr. MacKay's term of office on an urgent basis.". I think what is most notable here is, "He is required to notify Dalhousie Law School almost immediately of his intention to return to teaching on a full time basis. We urge the Government of Nova Scotia to work quickly to negotiate a new contract with Mr. MacKay so the Human Rights Commission can continue to enjoy the benefit of his expertise. It should be noted that his actual departure will be the end of July with scheduled vacation.

[Page 1294]

The Commissioners are of the view that Mr. MacKay's performance to date has been exemplary and we support his reappointment. We wish to express our appreciation of the proactive leadership provided by Wayne MacKay in his capacity as Executive Director in moving the Commission forward. The Commission has from our perspective become more credible and effective in implementing the fundamental principles of human rights in Nova Scotia solely due to Mr. MacKay's leadership. The internal administration and the handling of cases have improved substantially during his term.

The Government of Nova Scotia can be very proud of its human rights record over the past couple of years. Nova Scotia is well ahead of other provinces in protecting its residents against discriminatory practices. We are optimistic about the future of the Commission and anticipate that the next couple of years will bring further progress in the promotion of human rights in Nova Scotia for all Nova Scotians.".

Mr. Speaker, that is from the letter of April 15, 1998 from all the commissioners of the Human Rights Commission except the chairman. It echoes the points that I was making earlier, that under Mr. MacKay there has been leadership, there has been forward thinking and the Human Rights Commission has moved to the fore in Canada with regard to its interpretation of human rights law. That is not just my opinion, it is not just the opinion of others who are concerned with the non-renewal of his contract but it is from the commissioners who work at that very commission where he is the executive director.

Mr. Speaker, that was two months ago. That was April 15, 1998 that that letter was delivered by courier to the Minister responsible for the administration of the Human Rights Act. So, at that time, two months ago, that minister was aware, if he hadn't been before, that the contract had to be renewed. He was also aware at that time, that it was important to deal with it immediately because Mr. MacKay had the issue of whether or not he would be returning to teach at Dalhousie Law School. I think that is important to note as we get a little further along here.

The minister decided not to renew, as he noted in the newspaper reports of today, that he has made a decision not to renew Mr. MacKay as the Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission. It is my understanding that Mr. MacKay met with the minister last Friday when that decision was made, based on the news reports that I have read. I think it is also important to note, Mr. Speaker, that if the minister had dealt with this in a timely manner two months ago, the issue of whether or not he had to go back to teaching could have been dealt with and he could have been renewed for contract and we wouldn't be seeing now that his return to the job of Dalhousie law professor would be an inhibitor to the renewal of his contract.

[Page 1295]

So, given the previous history of the Human Rights Commission, Mr. Speaker, given Mr. MacKay's leadership in a non-partisan manner, and given the arbitrary manner in which he was removed, I, and my caucus, have a lot of concerns with regard to the future of the Human Rights Commission. Dealing with small "p" politics, the new executive director, to start with, will face commissioners who obviously will be disappointed, reading from this letter which is a very glowing letter of Mr. MacKay, the commissioners clearly were keen on having him stay. To appoint a new executive director in the face of that kind of commitment to the former executive director will obviously lead to a lot of potential problems internally.

More importantly, on the larger political scale, Mr. Speaker, is the arbitrary nature in which this change has come about. The minister has made a decision not to renew the contract of Wayne MacKay in an arbitrary manner and it raises concerns on my behalf and on the behalf of my caucus that there will be an arbitrary manner in which the new executive director will be hired as well.

Particularly, our concerns are that the Human Rights Commission will slip back to its old ways. It raises a few questions, Mr. Speaker. Are there fine Liberals lined up to assume the executive director's job without fair competition? Will this set back the Human Rights Act and the Human Rights Commission in Nova Scotia for years to come? Those are the questions that must be asked and those are the ones that must be answered by the minister immediately. The minister must act quickly to address these concerns. He must ensure that there is an open and fair competition for the position of executive director and, in particular, it is my suggestion that an all-Party approval process be implemented with regard to the executive director, much along the lines of the Human Resources Committee that this House has, that does that for the approval of many positions of the government, or much along the line of how the Auditor General is approved.

It is that kind of level of approval that will ensure that the new executive director has the support of all Parties and that everyone feels confident that the Human Rights Commission will continue to proceed forward and not backward. Given the arbitrary removal, without an open process, those concerns will remain, unless a fully open and fully reviewable and transparent process is used to ensure the new executive director can do the job properly.

Unfortunately, the Minister responsible for the administration of the Human Rights Act has raised concerns of his own. When asked yesterday, Mr. Speaker, why he would not renew the contract of Wayne MacKay, based on my review of Hansard he basically refused to answer that question. When pushed by the media outside, he did confirm it but, basically, said that there were innocuous reasons for the non-renewal of the contract.

Well, Mr. Speaker, if it was innocuous reasons for the removal or the non-renewal of the contract, why was the minister skirting and obfuscating the issue here in the House yesterday? It makes you wonder why he would not be open and clear as to the reasons for

[Page 1296]

the non-renewal of the contract. That, again, raises the need to have an open and fair process to ensure that we do have appropriate people in place at the Human Rights Commission.

I think it is also important, Mr. Speaker, to know that there are cases that are before the Human Rights Commission now that have very heavy overtones. Obviously, the one with the same-sex benefits has been dealt with, but I also think it is important to note that there are cases currently before the commission dealing with political patronage and complaints with regard to politically motivated firings, and those politically motivated firings are before the Human Rights Commission through a complaint under the Human Rights Act. It is important I believe that we ensure that those still proceed, and that the minister come clear and make it clearly understood that in this particular case there will be an open and fair competition and that the executive director will continue to move forward in a non-partisan manner.

I know it is difficult for this minister, particularly, to handle the many portfolios that he has but it is crucial, given these circumstances, Mr. Speaker, that he does handle and he does have knowledge of what is happening at the Human Rights Commission and that he continue to ensure that what has gone on for the past three years, the forward thinking of this commission, continue and that it be done in a non-partisan manner. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a few moments to speak to the House this morning respecting the availability of natural gas from the Sable field. It is absolutely essential that this gas be seen as a resource owned by all Nova Scotians and, therefore, a resource that should be made available to all Nova Scotians.

We cannot allow a situation to develop in Nova Scotia where we have two Nova Scotias, one which has access to natural gas and one which does not. For too long we have seen in this province, two Nova Scotias: the struggling economy of, particularly, industrial Cape Breton, and the rather more buoyant economy of the mainland. Everyone in this House, irrespective of Party, has recognized that that is an economic ill which has social consequences which bear evil for all Nova Scotians but, most particularly, for those who have lived in the depressed economy of Cape Breton.

Hopefully, with the economic opportunity made available to Cape Breton through the coming onstream of Sable gas, we will see that change in Cape Breton and we will see the economic opportunity of Cape Breton grow but, at the same time, we must ensure that those of us who live in western Nova Scotia do not begin to suffer the same fate that Cape Breton has suffered for far too long, and that is to become a have-not part of Nova Scotia.

The western economy is essentially resource-based. We rely on our forests and our fishery and also on a growing tourism industry, which is very much based on our oceans and on our forests. Yet it is those resource-based industries which are struggling on a global basis,

[Page 1297]

to compete successfully for global markets. It is those industries, particularly the fishing industry which is suffering as a consequence of reduced fish stocks and lost economic opportunity for fishermen and for the people who work in fish plants, or who would like to still be working in fish plants in western Nova Scotia.

[10:15 a.m.]

We know, too, that the forestry sector is facing a crisis; a crisis with respect to the availability of wood fibre, a crisis this government has promised to begin dealing with through the Forests Act which was tabled here not too awfully long ago.

The companies that provide employment in western Nova Scotia, as I said a moment ago, very much depend on global markets. We sell our fish in the global market place, we sell our paper in the global market place, we sell our pulp in the global market place, we sell our farm produce in the global market place, and we sell our Christmas trees in the global market place.

Any of those products which require manufacturing need energy in order to be able to manufacture finished products. When those energy costs are too high, it means that we cannot compete effectively. It means we cannot compete on the global market place, but it also means that we will have difficulty in western Nova Scotia competing with other companies located in other parts of Nova Scotia, which have access to the cheaper and cleaner energy available to them by way of Sable natural gas.

So, it is absolutely essential to the economy of western Nova Scotia that we have the same benefit available to us at the same time as it is made available to other parts of Nova Scotia. It is also vital to us because we will not be able to attract new investment, either for existing business or for new business opportunities and therefore new employment opportunities, if we are not able to have gas energy at a competitive price, and that means access to natural gas.

Energy costs are high in Nova Scotia. We know that they are, other than Prince Edward Island, the highest in Canada. We know that those energy costs can be reduced as a consequence of availability of natural gas, but those reduced energy costs, both for commercial and consumer use must be available right across this province.

We have in western Nova Scotia several large anchor companies and industries which certainly makes the feasibility of the provision of gas to western Nova Scotia not only possible but entirely plausible. I think, for example, in my own constituency of Bowater Mersey Paper Company Limited; or in the constituency of my friend, the Minister of Finance, Michelin; or in the constituency of my friend, the member for Lunenburg, the National Sea Plant.

[Page 1298]

One of the major goals of any company which is intending to distribute natural gas in western Nova Scotia will be to acquire, at a reasonable price, a right-of-way. Not only to acquire one at a reasonable price but to acquire one which will allow it, very quickly, to meet the environmental demands made by both federal and provincial law. And there is such a right-of-way currently available, from Halifax right through to Yarmouth, and that is the abandoned rail line, which runs along the entire South Shore and has spurs into communities like Lunenburg.

If the provincial government were prepared to use that as an asset to attract investment, to build a pipeline down the South Shore from Halifax to Yarmouth, it would be a very important element to attract a company or companies to undertake such a task. The right-of-way, I believe, is something in the order of 90 feet, so it is very wide and quite capable of carrying a natural gas line there.

We have a choice in Nova Scotia, we can either go the route that Manitoba has, with essentially one large provider providing natural gas to industrial, commercial and domestic users, but we should understand that in Manitoba, that has resulted in only something like 30 per cent of the province being covered by natural gas. We contrast that to the situation in Alberta where there are dozens and dozens and dozens of natural gas energy providers and I think something in the order of 90 per cent of Alberta is covered by natural gas.

This government has the opportunity to take the right decisions in a timely fashion. We have representing the South Shore two powerful Cabinet Ministers, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, who understands the complexity of natural gas as a consequence of having served as the Minister of Natural Resources; and also the Minister of Transportation and Public Works, who would have a very important role to play in any such initiative. I implore them to use their good offices with the support of all members of this House to encourage the development of western Nova Scotia natural gas capacity and to ensure that we in western Nova Scotia will continue to have a buoyant economy which will retain the jobs that are currently available there, which will attract new investment and create new jobs and new employment for western Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing more critical to the future of our province than the availability of natural gas province-wide; there is nothing more critical to the future of the economy of western Nova Scotia than the availability of natural gas. I look forward to working with all members of this House as we move forward to ensure that we are all benefactors of our natural gas resource coming from the Sable field. Thank you.

[Page 1299]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

MR. PETER DELEFES: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to speak briefly about the Bishop's Landing project, a large development planned for the Halifax waterfront by Southwest Properties Limited in concert with the Waterfront Development Corporation, a provincial Crown Corporation.

I made reference to this development in my response to the Speech from the Throne two weeks ago and yesterday, I directed some questions about the development to the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism as he is the minister responsible for the Waterfront Development Corporation, which is in partnership with the developer and is strongly supporting this project.

Mr. Speaker, if this were solely a matter of local development, dictated exclusively by the municipal development strategy and local planning by-laws, I would not waste the time of my colleagues by bringing this matter to their attention in the House of Assembly. I would join with other interested citizens in attending public meetings conducted by the Municipal Planning Advisory Committee and seek with my fellow citizens at the municipal level to effect whatever changes we deemed appropriate.

Mr. Speaker, I do want the members of this House to realize that many people in this city and, indeed, people outside the city, I received a letter yesterday from a gentleman in Stewiacke, many people have serious reservations about this proposed development on the Halifax waterfront. I share their concern. I do want to make it clear that these citizens are not anti-development fanatics who are determined to prevent any building development on the waterfront nor do they expect to see the waterfront area remain a giant parking lot or to be transformed into a huge landscaped park area, as attractive as the latter idea may be. They realize that in order for the waterfront area to become a vibrant, healthy and attractive area we have to build on it, that residential space, park land, open space, parking, marinas and pedestrian walkways, all these elements need to be well planned, aesthetically pleasing and, of course, in the right scale.

I should also like to make it abundantly clear that the objection of many people to the Bishop's Landing project in no way impugns the reputation of the developer, Southwest Properties Limited. This company has a solid reputation, Mr. Speaker, over many years for quality developments in the metropolitan area. Indeed, if the development reflected the criteria that I have just described, I believe we would be fortunate to have a company like Southwest Properties carry out the development.

The fly in the ointment, Mr. Speaker, is the role of the Waterfront Development Corporation in developing the Halifax Waterfront. Although its stated mandate includes the acquisition of property and the management, development and planning of the waterfront, the corporation has never sought public input into the formulation of a plan for such

[Page 1300]

development. Thus, over the past 20 years, the Waterfront Development Corporation has acquired properties and developed a large number of projects without consulting the general public. Now, I won't list them all, but I do just want to highlight a couple of the projects that the Waterfront Development Corporation has engaged in.

In the 1970's, the harbour walkways were begun. In the 1980's, Nathan Green Square on the Halifax side, and the Dartmouth streetscapes were undertaken, along with some large projects like the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, McKelvie's restaurant, Mother Tucker's restaurant, the Sheraton Hotel and the Dartmouth Admiralty Place residential development. In 1989, the Halifax Sackville Landing project was completed.

A large number of other projects were undertaken in the Halifax and Dartmouth area, including the Dartmouth parking facility and the development of the Nova Scotian Crystal store outlet. Now each of these projects evolved as a separate entity, without a vision of how they might interrelate or how the entire waterfront might look. There was no master plan; rather, the emphasis was on piecemeal development, one project at a time. This is the source of the problem we now face with the Bishop's Landing project.

Some of the projects have been successful. Most would agree that the restoration of the Keith's Brewery building, which houses The Farmer's Market, was a first-rate undertaking, as was the Maritime Museum and the waterfront walkways that skirt the harbour's edge.

Now along comes the Bishop's Landing project; this is the first large residential development proposed for the Halifax waterfront. It is with this proposed development that we can see how the Waterfront Development Corporation's planning strategy is totally out of sync with that of the people in the community. Had the public been consulted in the formulation of a plan, this proposal would not have come off the drawing board. What people have found most objectional about the proposed development, is its scale and its appearance.

It is a large, two-building residential development covering 4.75 acres, and is comprised of 248 apartment units. It is, in the estimation of many, an overpowering, monolithic structure. One section of the development will be seven stories high; the building will occupy most of the land area between Upper Water Street and the water's edge, and there will be a minimum of use for the public. The five storey section along Lower Water Street will cut off the view of the harbour from Water Street, and possibly create a wind-tunnel effect along the street. In fact, the proposed development contravenes a number of the sections of the municipal development strategy.

The proposal now goes before the Halifax Regional Council for approval on June 30th. The intent of my question to the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, yesterday, was to make the point that a provincially-owned corporation, the Waterfront Development Corporation, should be responsive to the wishes of the public. The Waterfront Development

[Page 1301]

Corporation is charged with developing a very precious and unique piece of waterfront property, property which the citizens of this city believe belongs to them. They want to ensure that this last remaining bit of waterfront landscape is developed in their interest, and for their enjoyment and for that of their children.

Once buildings are erected on that property, they will be there for a very long time. We've got to do it right the first time; there is no second chance. One of the serious shortcomings of the previous Liberal Government was that it lacked a consultative approach in its decision-making process. It chose to dictate rather than dialogue; to demand rather than discuss; to tell rather than to listen.

On March 24th, they suffered the consequence of this heavy-handed approach and for taking people for granted. It's my fervent hope that this government has learned its lesson, and now realizes that the people of this province want and expect their government to be sensitive to their concerns, and to seek their participation in making decisions which affect them. We hear the word partnership used a lot these days. For governments, the most innervating and rewarding kind of partnerships should be with the people that they serve. I hope the Waterfront Development Corporation is listening. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[10:30 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Donald Chard in the Chair.]

[2:32 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Ronald Russell, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please revert to the order of business, Tabling Reports, Regulations and Other Papers.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

[Page 1302]

It is agreed.

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a report called Problem Gambling Help Line Annual Narrative Report, accompanied by an Annual Statistical Report.

MR. SPEAKER: The reports are tabled.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the business of the day having been completed, I move that we do now adjourn to sit again Monday from the hours of 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Following the daily routine we will be back into Supply.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn.

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

The motion is carried.

[The House rose at 2:33 p.m.]

[Page 1303]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 661

By: Hon. Robert Harrison (Minister of Education and Culture)

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

Whereas yesterday a potentially devastating forest fire broke out in the Forest Home area of Kings County destroying six hectares of woodland; and

Whereas staff of the Department of Natural Resources from Kings and Annapolis Counties, supported by three aircraft and volunteer firefighters from throughout Kings County, worked all night to contain the fire; and

Whereas the firefighters continue to remain on site to contain hot spots and secure the scene;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House express gratitude and appreciation to the staff of the Department of Natural Resources and the volunteer firefighters who have worked to save the forest from further destruction.

RESOLUTION NO. 662

By: Ms. Yvonne Atwell (Preston)

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

Whereas a Parliamentary Committee has reported that Canadian and Nova Scotian motorists are paying millions of dollars extra every year because oil companies are not required to sell gas on a temperature-corrected basis; and

Whereas such oil company ripoffs are not permitted in the U.S. where most states require that gas must be sold on a corrected basis when temperatures vary from 15 degrees Celsius; and

Whereas Nova Scotia consumers need and deserve similar legislative protection;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the government to bring forward measures to protect Nova Scotia consumers from unfair oil company pricing practices.

[Page 1304]

RESOLUTION NO. 663

By: Mr. William Estabrooks (Timberlea-Prospect)

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

Whereas the many islands along our scenic coastline are a valued treasure in our province; and

Whereas these islands have for years been available for public use; and

Whereas these islands are gradually being permitted to slip into private, non-resident hands;

Therefore be it resolved that this government take immediate steps to stop this loss of public access to our Nova Scotian islands.