Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

Hansard -- Fri., May 28, 1999

First Session

FRIDAY, MAY 28, 1999

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Justice: Jail (Bedford) - Oppose, Mr. Kevin Deveaux 6381
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Anl. Rept. of Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia,
Hon. R. MacKinnon 6381
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Lbr. - WCB: Annual Report - Encouraging, Hon. R. MacKinnon 6382
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3046, Health - Care: Challenges - Tackle, Mr. R. Chisholm 6384
Res. 3047, Sports - Cabot Trail Relay Race (Victoria):
Dave Parkinson (Baddeck) & Organizers - Congrats., Dr. J. Hamm 6384
Vote - Affirmative 6385
Res. 3048, Devco - Transition Package: Mr. Peter Mancini MP -
Example (Premier) Follow, Mr. P. MacEwan 6385
Res. 3049, Transport. & Pub. Wks.: Hwy. (Bi-Centennial [Dutch Vil. &
Bayers Rds.]): New Ramps - Prioritize, Ms. E. O'Connell 6386
Res. 3050, Educ. - Teachers: Additional - Requirement Solve,
Mr. E. Fage 6386
Res. 3051, Environ. - Sydney Tar Ponds: Plan Long-Range - Urge,
Ms. Helen MacDonald 6387
Res. 3052, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Truckers: Fair Wage - Ensure,
Mr. B. Taylor 6388
Res. 3053, Culture: Festival Antigonish - Congrats., Mr. H. Fraser 6388
Vote - Affirmative 6389
Res. 3054, Culture - Highland Dancing Champs. (N.S.): Shellie Walsh
(Eastern Passage) - Success Congrats., Mr. Kevin Deveaux 6389
Vote - Affirmative 6390
Res. 3055, Fish. - Lobster: Illegal Fishing - Action, Mr. N. LeBlanc 6390
Res. 3056, NASA - Space Shuttle Discovery (27/05/99):
Ms. Julie Payette - Congrats., Ms. Y. Atwell 6390
Vote - Affirmative 6391
Res. 3057, Environ.: Significance - Recognize, Mr. J. DeWolfe 6391
Vote - Affirmative 6392
Res. 3058, Sask. NDP - Mandate (5th Yr.): Reps. (Working People) -
Belief Folly, Mr. P. MacEwan 6392
Res. 3059, RCMP: Political Independence - Congrats., Mr. F. Corbett 6393
Res. 3060, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - Min.: Question Period -
Educators (Exco) Use, Mr. G. Balser 6393
Res. 3061, Sports - Basketball (Juvenile Teams): Amanda Noble;
Shawn Charles Smith & Tyrone Fells (Yar.) - Selection Congrats.,
Mr. John Deveau 6394
Vote - Affirmative 6394
Res. 3062, Educ. - Duncan MacMillan HS: Substance Abuse Forum -
Congrats., Mr. E. Fage 6395
Vote - Affirmative 6395
Res. 3063, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Hwy. No. 103 (HRM Landfill):
Garbage Patrol - Institute, Mr. W. Estabrooks 6395
Res. 3064, Nat. Res. - Forestry: Sustainable - Legislation Implement,
Mr. M. Baker 6396
Res. 3065, Culture - Step-Dancing Festival (Port Hood): Contribution -
Recognize, Mr. Charles MacDonald 6397
Vote - Affirmative 6397
Res. 3066, Culture - Eastern Front Theatre: Festival Success - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Chard 6397
Vote - Affirmative 6398
Res. 3067, Environ. - Climate Change: Implementation Strategy
Development - Report, Mr. J. Leefe 6398
Res. 3068, Health - Care: Leadership - Required, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 6399
Res. 3069, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - Shipbuilding Policy: Support -
Indicate, Mr. J. DeWolfe 6400
Res. 3070, Fin. - Budget (N.S.)(1999-2000): Balanced (Promises
[Premier]) - Outcome Awaited, Mr. H. Epstein 6401
Tabled 6404
Res. 3071, Educ. - Cobequid Consol. Elem. Sch.: Peace Quilt -
Efforts Recognize, Mr. B. Taylor 6401
Vote - Affirmative 6402
Res. 3072, Sports - KidSport Fund (N.S.): Fund-Raising - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Pye 6402
Vote - Affirmative 6403
Res. 3073, Environ. - Award Winners (1999): Western Valley
Dev. Auth. - Congrats., Mr. G. Balser 6403
Vote - Affirmative 6403
Res. 3074, Culture - Atl. Commun. Newspaper Assoc. (1998)
General Excellence Award: The Springhill & Parrsboro Record -
Congrats., Mr. M. Scott 6404
Vote - Affirmative 6405
Res. 3075, United Way (Pictou Co.) - Fund-Raising: Success -
Congrats., Mr. C. Parker 6405
Vote - Affirmative 6405
Res. 3076, Sports - Harness Racing (Truro-18/04/99): Ivan Jamieson -
Bravery Congrats., Mr. J. Muir 6405
Vote - Affirmative 6406
Res. 3077, Educ. - Millwood HS: Awards of Excellence (G10-12) -
Winners Congrats., Ms. R. Godin 6406
Vote - Affirmative 6407
Res. 3078, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Adopt-A-Hwy. Prog.:
Mahone Bay Lions Club - Participation Congrats., Mr. M. Baker 6407
Vote - Affirmative 6408
Res. 3079, Educ. - N.S. Commun. Col.: Wider Horizons Prog. -
Commend, Mr. P. Delefes 6408
Vote - Affirmative 6408
Res. 3080, Nat. Res. - Cape Chignecto Prov. Park: Walton Rector -
Contribution Recognize, Mr. M. Scott 6409
Vote - Affirmative 6409
Res. 3081, Educ. - Brookside JHS: Trip (Quebec City & Toronto) -
Congrats., Mr. W. Estabrooks 6409
Vote - Affirmative 6410
Res. 3082, NSAC - Prof. Emeritus: Peter Sanger - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Muir 6410
Vote - Affirmative 6411
Res. 3083, Educ. - Millennium Project "Face It": Laura Jolicoeur
(Dart.) - Initiative Congrats., Ms. E. O'Connell 6411
Vote - Affirmative 6411
Res. 3084, Woodside Imperoyal United Church - Merger
(Cole Hbr. Utd. Ch.): Efforts - Recognize, Mr. Kevin Deveaux 6412
Vote - Affirmative 6412
Res. 3085, Justice - Violence Against Women (Womens Leading Action)
[WLAvaw]: Partners - Congrats., Ms. Y. Atwell 6412
Vote - Affirmative 6413
Res. 3086, Commun. Serv. - Lake City Employment Serv. Assoc.:
Work - Acknowledge, Mr. J. Pye 6413
Vote - Affirmative 6414
Res. 3087, Health - EMC (All-Terrain Ambulance): Jim Crawford &
Jerry Guthro (Pictou Co. ATV Club) - Innovation Commend,
Mr. C. Parker 6414
Vote - Affirmative 6415
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 105, Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act 6415
Hon. K. Colwell 6415
Mr. John Deveau 6417
Mr. N. LeBlanc 6418
Mr. J. Leefe 6424
Mr. G. Balser 6426
Hon. K. Colwell 6430
Vote - Affirmative 6432
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. Manning MacDonald 6433
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. Manning MacDonald 6433
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., May 31st at 7:00 p.m. 6434
NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 3088, Devco - Transition Package: Improvement Efforts (Premier) -
Appreciation Express, Mr. P. MacEwan 6435

First Session

FRIDAY, MAY 28, 1999

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Justice: Jail (Bedford) - Oppose, Mr. Kevin Deveaux 6381
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Anl. Rept. of Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia,
Hon. R. MacKinnon 6381
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Lbr. - WCB: Annual Report - Encouraging, Hon. R. MacKinnon 6382
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3046, Health - Care: Challenges - Tackle, Mr. R. Chisholm 6384
Res. 3047, Sports - Cabot Trail Relay Race (Victoria):
Dave Parkinson (Baddeck) & Organizers - Congrats., Dr. J. Hamm 6384
Vote - Affirmative 6385
Res. 3048, Devco - Transition Package: Mr. Peter Mancini MP -
Example (Premier) Follow, Mr. P. MacEwan 6385
Res. 3049, Transport. & Pub. Wks.: Hwy. (Bi-Centennial [Dutch Vil. &
Bayers Rds.]): New Ramps - Prioritize, Ms. E. O'Connell 6386
Res. 3050, Educ. - Teachers: Additional - Requirement Solve,
Mr. E. Fage 6386
Res. 3051, Environ. - Sydney Tar Ponds: Plan Long-Range - Urge,
Ms. Helen MacDonald 6387
Res. 3052, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Truckers: Fair Wage - Ensure,
Mr. B. Taylor 6388
Res. 3053, Culture: Festival Antigonish - Congrats., Mr. H. Fraser 6388
Vote - Affirmative 6389
Res. 3054, Culture - Highland Dancing Champs. (N.S.): Shellie Walsh
(Eastern Passage) - Success Congrats., Mr. Kevin Deveaux 6389
Vote - Affirmative 6390
Res. 3055, Fish. - Lobster: Illegal Fishing - Action, Mr. N. LeBlanc 6390
Res. 3056, NASA - Space Shuttle Discovery (27/05/99):
Ms. Julie Payette - Congrats., Ms. Y. Atwell 6390
Vote - Affirmative 6391
Res. 3057, Environ.: Significance - Recognize, Mr. J. DeWolfe 6391
Vote - Affirmative 6392
Res. 3058, Sask. NDP - Mandate (5th Yr.): Reps. (Working People) -
Belief Folly, Mr. P. MacEwan 6392
Res. 3059, RCMP: Political Independence - Congrats., Mr. F. Corbett 6393
Res. 3060, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - Min.: Question Period -
Educators (Exco) Use, Mr. G. Balser 6393
Res. 3061, Sports - Basketball (Juvenile Teams): Amanda Noble;
Shawn Charles Smith & Tyrone Fells (Yar.) - Selection Congrats.,
Mr. John Deveau 6394
Vote - Affirmative 6394
Res. 3062, Educ. - Duncan MacMillan HS: Substance Abuse Forum -
Congrats., Mr. E. Fage 6395
Vote - Affirmative 6395
Res. 3063, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Hwy. No. 103 (HRM Landfill):
Garbage Patrol - Institute, Mr. W. Estabrooks 6395
Res. 3064, Nat. Res. - Forestry: Sustainable - Legislation Implement,
Mr. M. Baker 6396
Res. 3065, Culture - Step-Dancing Festival (Port Hood): Contribution -
Recognize, Mr. Charles MacDonald 6397
Vote - Affirmative 6397
Res. 3066, Culture - Eastern Front Theatre: Festival Success - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Chard 6397
Vote - Affirmative 6398
Res. 3067, Environ. - Climate Change: Implementation Strategy
Development - Report, Mr. J. Leefe 6398
Res. 3068, Health - Care: Leadership - Required, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 6399
Res. 3069, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - Shipbuilding Policy: Support -
Indicate, Mr. J. DeWolfe 6400
Res. 3070, Fin. - Budget (N.S.)(1999-2000): Balanced (Promises
[Premier]) - Outcome Awaited, Mr. H. Epstein 6401
Tabled 6404
Res. 3071, Educ. - Cobequid Consol. Elem. Sch.: Peace Quilt -
Efforts Recognize, Mr. B. Taylor 6401
Vote - Affirmative 6402
Res. 3072, Sports - KidSport Fund (N.S.): Fund-Raising - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Pye 6402
Vote - Affirmative 6403
Res. 3073, Environ. - Award Winners (1999): Western Valley
Dev. Auth. - Congrats., Mr. G. Balser 6403
Vote - Affirmative 6403
Res. 3074, Culture - Atl. Commun. Newspaper Assoc. (1998)
General Excellence Award: The Springhill & Parrsboro Record -
Congrats., Mr. M. Scott 6404
Vote - Affirmative 6405
Res. 3075, United Way (Pictou Co.) - Fund-Raising: Success -
Congrats., Mr. C. Parker 6405
Vote - Affirmative 6405
Res. 3076, Sports - Harness Racing (Truro-18/04/99): Ivan Jamieson -
Bravery Congrats., Mr. J. Muir 6405
Vote - Affirmative 6406
Res. 3077, Educ. - Millwood HS: Awards of Excellence (G10-12) -
Winners Congrats., Ms. R. Godin 6406
Vote - Affirmative 6407
Res. 3078, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Adopt-A-Hwy. Prog.:
Mahone Bay Lions Club - Participation Congrats., Mr. M. Baker 6407
Vote - Affirmative 6408
Res. 3079, Educ. - N.S. Commun. Col.: Wider Horizons Prog. -
Commend, Mr. P. Delefes 6408
Vote - Affirmative 6408
Res. 3080, Nat. Res. - Cape Chignecto Prov. Park: Walton Rector -
Contribution Recognize, Mr. M. Scott 6409
Vote - Affirmative 6409
Res. 3081, Educ. - Brookside JHS: Trip (Quebec City & Toronto) -
Congrats., Mr. W. Estabrooks 6409
Vote - Affirmative 6410
Res. 3082, NSAC - Prof. Emeritus: Peter Sanger - Congrats.,
Mr. J. Muir 6410
Vote - Affirmative 6411
Res. 3083, Educ. - Millennium Project "Face It": Laura Jolicoeur
(Dart.) - Initiative Congrats., Ms. E. O'Connell 6411
Vote - Affirmative 6411
Res. 3084, Woodside Imperoyal United Church - Merger
(Cole Hbr. Utd. Ch.): Efforts - Recognize, Mr. Kevin Deveaux 6412
Vote - Affirmative 6412
Res. 3085, Justice - Violence Against Women (Womens Leading Action)
[WLAvaw]: Partners - Congrats., Ms. Y. Atwell 6412
Vote - Affirmative 6413
Res. 3086, Commun. Serv. - Lake City Employment Serv. Assoc.:
Work - Acknowledge, Mr. J. Pye 6413
Vote - Affirmative 6414
Res. 3087, Health - EMC (All-Terrain Ambulance): Jim Crawford &
Jerry Guthro (Pictou Co. ATV Club) - Innovation Commend,
Mr. C. Parker 6414
Vote - Affirmative 6415
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 105, Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act 6415
Hon. K. Colwell 6415
Mr. John Deveau 6417
Mr. N. LeBlanc 6418
Mr. J. Leefe 6424
Mr. G. Balser 6426
Hon. K. Colwell 6430
Vote - Affirmative 6432
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. Manning MacDonald 6433
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. Manning MacDonald 6433
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., May 31st at 7:00 p.m. 6434
NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 3088, Devco - Transition Package: Improvement Efforts (Premier) -
Appreciation Express, Mr. P. MacEwan 6435

[Page 6381]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, MAY 28, 1999

Fifty-seventh General Assembly

First Session

10:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Ronald Russell

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Donald Chard

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the residents of Bedford, 60 signatures. The operative clause is, "We the undersigned believe the proposed prison should not be located in Bedford". I have affixed my name to that petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour.

HON. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the 1998 Annual Report of the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia.

6381

[Page 6382]

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour.

HON. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, as I have just done momentarily, I am pleased to stand in my place here today and, as I have indicated, table the Workers' Compensation Board 1998 Annual Report.

Mr. Speaker, this is a very encouraging annual report and I would urge all members to give it very careful consideration. The overall performance for 1998 was encouraging for both workers and employers. There was substantial progress in terms of accident reporting and claims processing time.

Last year the Workers' Compensation Board was audited by the Auditor General's Department and received a positive review. When we read this report and see the progress made, we can appreciate his confidence even more. It is a positive sign when we see the number of workers increasing and, at the same time, fewer time-loss accidents are occurring. This tells me that our occupational health and safety people are doing their jobs and the message is getting out. Nova Scotians are becoming more safety conscious and have adopted a more proactive approach to managing workplace injuries.

In 1995, Mr. Speaker, the government agreed to contribute $23 million, payable in five equal installments of $4.6 million. This, along with an increase in the amount of workers covered and fewer time-loss accidents, has improved the Workers' Compensation Board's funded position. This is the fourth consecutive year this has happened.

The Workers' Compensation Board's funded percentage has risen from 50.2 per cent in 1997 to 55.7 per cent as of December 31, 1998. That is an increase from the low of 27 per cent when this government took over in 1993. As Murray Westgate used to say on Hockey Night in Canada, now that is certainly performance.

Sir, there are other highlights and, again, I would encourage every member of this Legislature to read this report and provide their approbation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, we have heard some rather robust figures here this morning and they mean little to the people who, today when injured in the workplace in this province get fewer and fewer dollars. If that's performance, I think members over on that side should start paying the bills for these people who cannot make a liveable amount of

[Page 6383]

money from this miserly government who introduced Bill No. 90 not too long ago. If that is how you get your figures, by making it harder for people to get what is rightfully theirs, then shame on that government. If this is how you do it, you get it on the backs of working men and women of this province, then shame on this government. For them to go and pat themselves on the back, while widows go without, while injured workers get less money, and they say, whoa, this is going down, if that is what they have to do to pat themselves on the back, well, Mr. Speaker, shame on them.

AN HON. MEMBER: The rates have not gone down.

MR. CORBETT: No, the rates have not gone down for employers either, Mr. Speaker. These are such misleading figures, they are almost shameful. Who really benefits from this? Nobody, but who gets hurt are the workers of this province and I do not think any minister should stand up and applaud these figures. I think any minister should stay well hunkered down below the trenches. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg.

MR. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, first I would like to begin by thanking the minister for providing me with a copy of his statement in advance. It would, however, have been helpful if I had received a copy of the annual report in advance because in order to properly comment on the report, one should have received it.

Clearly, in this province it is a helpful sign that the unfunded liability, which is a major liability of employers and employees in this province, is going down. That is good news. Unfortunately, the news is not all good, because when you talk to injured workers in this province, there are still a great many injured workers who have not been able to receive timely solutions to the problems which were in fact even dealt with by Bill No. 90. We are still hearing from people throughout Nova Scotia who have not been able to receive the compensation that they are entitled to under Bill No. 90 and other legislation.

I think that it is very vital that this government ensure that the Bill No. 90 changes be implemented. In point of fact, people are still getting letters from the government compensation board and the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal saying that it is going to be months and months before their claim can be adjudicated.

The other thing which I would just point out to the minister is that Bill No. 90 calls for the annual reports of the Workers Compensation Board to be prepared in three months in the future. This report is not in violation because of the date when the Act came in force, but I would just point out that the Workers Compensation Board best get on with the program here and start to implement the spirit of Bill No. 90 as well as the letter. I would certainly encourage the Workers Compensation Board to do this.

[Page 6384]

The most important and valuable statistic, however, that seems to be coming out is that in Nova Scotia today the number of workplace injuries is going down. That is good news for all Nova Scotians, because it means that fewer and fewer of our fellow citizens are being hurt on the job. It is good for the system and it is good for Nova Scotia. Thank you. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 3046

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 Finance Minister yesterday cited public opinion polling as the reason that he is calling his budget a health care budget; and

Whereas this puts to rest any doubts among citizens or health care providers about the depth of the Liberal Government's understanding and commitment to putting health care back on track; and

Whereas this government's miserable management of Nova Scotia's health care system was a major factor in the loss of 21 Liberal seats;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the Liberals to honestly tackle the challenges in health care instead of starting their seventh year in office with more false hopes of another new start in health.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 3047

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

Whereas the 12th Annual Cabot Trail Relay Race is scheduled for May 29th and May 30th; and

[Page 6385]

Whereas 55 teams from Canada, the U.S. and as far away as Ireland will be competing; and

Whereas this is considered to be a very exciting and significant event among runners, and teams return each year as a rite of spring;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Dave Parkinson of Baddeck and his helpers for organizing such a significant relay race and bringing it back annually to Cape Breton.

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 member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 3048

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 Official Opposition claim that the NDP is leading the fight for Devco in Ottawa; and

Whereas the presumed leader of this fight must be Peter Mancini, MP for Sydney-Victoria, since his constituency contains the two Devco mines; and

Whereas recent press reports locate Mr. Mancini variously in Peru, Jamaica and Texas, and spending many leisured days at the Sydney library reading books;

Therefore be it resolved that this House commends to the NDP the diligent example set by Premier Russell MacLellan as an appropriate model for Mr. Mancini to follow, if he seriously wishes to play any useful role in the fight for the Devco miners.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

[Page 6386]

[10:15 a.m.]

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 3049

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 traffic congestion at the intersection of Dutch Village and Bayers Roads in Halifax is beyond manageable because of large truck traffic exiting the Bicentennial Highway; and

Whereas the Halifax Regional Municipality has indicated to the Department of Transportation that its highest priority is to create new ramps from the Bi-Hi; and

Whereas the Department of Transportation does not consider this urgent need a priority;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation rethink his priorities and immediately fund this desperately needed project.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3050

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

Whereas this Liberal Government has ignored the issue of the shortage of nurses, and now teachers, and still has presented no plan as it reaches a critical stage; and

Whereas a problem concerning a shortage of teachers is building across Nova Scotia, with concern being expressed by the Halifax Regional School Board about the need for elementary school teachers; and

Whereas the Halifax Regional School Board has tabled a list of 14 priorities for the 1999-2000 fiscal year, with the number one priority being the need for additional teachers;

[Page 6387]

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education understand the needs of the school boards, their teacher requirements, and not allow the shortage to become as critical as the present one facing hospitals across this province concerning nurses.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 3051

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

Whereas hopes are low in advance of today's latest federal-provincial tar ponds announcement; and

Whereas previous announcements have provided little more than studies of the need for studies, while medical evidence of the environmental danger zone is piling up and residents are evacuated;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the federal and provincial Environment Ministers to undertake a long-range action plan that addresses serious aspects of the tar ponds pollution, rather than leaving Sydney residents with no solution in sight to the growing list of problems created by this contamination.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin on an introduction.

MR. GERALD FOGARTY: Mr. Speaker, to you, and through you to all members of the House of Assembly, I would like to introduce 28 Grade 6 students from Waverley Memorial Elementary School. They are in the east gallery and they are here to see the House of Assembly in operation this morning. I would also like to introduce their leaders and chaperones - would you please stand when you hear your names - Ramona Joseph; Mrs. Harrison; Mrs. Stobo; Mrs. Conrad; Mrs Garland; Mrs. McEachern; Mrs. Montgomery; Ms.

[Page 6388]

Faulkiner; and the young people, 28 Grade 6 students from Waverley Memorial. Please give them the usual warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3052

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 Department of Transportation and Public Works agreed in writing to the Truckers' Association of Nova Scotia's request that haulage weight slips be marked regarding distance travelled; and

Whereas the Department of Transportation and Public Works was warned several times by the Truckers' Association of Nova Scotia that this agreement is essential to the truckers receiving appropriate pay; and

Whereas the Department of Transportation and Public Works has refused to honour this reasonable request and the Truckers' Association of Nova Scotia has gone out on strike this morning in Pictou and Lunenburg Counties;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation immediately intervene in this matter and ensure his department lives up to their commitment so the truckers can receive their fair wage.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Antigonish.

RESOLUTION NO. 3053

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

Whereas last week this House recognized a resolution of congratulations to Festival Antigonish for its promotion of the arts; and

Whereas the organizers of Festival Antigonish are inviting young people to get involved in theatre through participation in drama labs; and

Whereas these drama labs are open to young people between the ages of 6 and 18, and include classes for people with disabilities;

[Page 6389]

Therefore be it resolved that this House once again extend congratulations to Festival Antigonish for its devotion to the local artistic community, especially the performers of the future, our young people.

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 member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 3054

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Provincial Highland Dancing Championships were held on May 1, 1999; and

Whereas Shellie Walsh of Eastern Passage finished first runner-up at the Nova Scotia championships in the 15 and under category; and

Whereas Ms. Walsh has been chosen to represent Nova Scotia at the Canadian Highland Dancing Championships in Ottawa in July;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Shellie Walsh on her recent success at the Nova Scotia Highland Dancing Championships and wish her the best of luck at the national competition.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 6390]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 3055

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

Whereas it is disappointing that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture has approached the issue of illegal lobster harvesting in southwest Nova Scotia in a slow and reactive manner; and

Whereas with less than a week before the close of the lobster season, the minister has finally decided to listen to those who have repeatedly requested action to end illegal activities; and

Whereas given the minister's history of delay, it is of obvious value to continue reminding him that there is considerable work yet to be done to prevent this industry from reaching a state of collapse;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture resolve to change the slow and reactive approach he has taken with this issue and put the interests of the lobster industry first.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 3056

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

[Page 6391]

Whereas the morning of May 27th marked the successful launch of the space shuttle Discovery with crew member and Canadian astronaut, Julie Payette; and

Whereas is addition to being a mission specialist on the NASA flight, Ms. Payette is also a computer engineer, a concert pianist, a soprano soloist, speaks six languages, is a qualified deep-sea diver, a triathlete and a jet pilot; and

Whereas Ms. Payette rejected the advice of a college recruiter to become an airline hostess;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Ms. Payette on her accomplishments and on providing a positive role model for Canadian women.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for 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 member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3057

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 natural environment and its vast resources must be cared for by all of us; and

Whereas Environment Week for 1999 will be celebrated this year from Sunday, May 30th through to Saturday, June 5th; and

Whereas activities planned for this important week will work toward the generation of awareness of the importance of our environment and the role we all have in caring for our natural surroundings;

[Page 6392]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the significance of our environment and applaud the efforts of all those who work daily to ensure its protection.

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 member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 3058

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 ultimate test of any political Party is its ability to carry its message forward to the electorate with success and confidence; and

Whereas the Saskatchewan NDP's war on labour has become so serious that Premier Roy Romanow has been forced to set aside his plan to call a June provincial election; and

Whereas Premier Romanow has explained this by stating that his government's dispute with the province's nurses, and organized labour movement generally, makes an election call at this time impossible;

Therefore be it resolved that the Saskatchewan NDP's decision to go into its fifth year of their mandate, due to the political fallout of their war on labour, demonstrates the folly of viewing that Party as being the political arm or voice of working people.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

[Page 6393]

RESOLUTION NO. 3059

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

Whereas a police state is one where the government uses the police forces and police power to disrupt and defeat its political opponents; and

Whereas a police state is one where citizens are effectively denied the right to exercise freedom of speech and the freedom to make political choices; and

Whereas the Minister of Labour has made it abundantly clear what he believes to be the only way Liberal MLAs can hang onto their seats in Cape Breton and the Premier has condoned this minister's actions;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for demonstrating that they will not let politicians use the police as a political instrument to bully supporters of other Parties.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 3060

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

Whereas each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, a certain portion of the daily routine of the House of Assembly is set aside for questions to be put to ministers on behalf of the taxpayers of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism seems somewhat confused as to his responsibility in this process; and

Whereas it appears the minister needs some assistance in clarifying the process in his own mind;

Therefore be it resolved that since there are a number of former educators among his Cabinet colleagues, the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism ask for their assistance in coming to terms with the concept that it is his role during Question Period to provide the answers.

[Page 6394]

Mr. Speaker, I would seek waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 3061

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

Whereas team sports give youth an opportunity to build athletic and leadership skills; and

Whereas Amanda Noble has been selected for the Nova Scotia juvenile woman's basketball team; and

Whereas Shawn Charles Smith and Tyrone Fells, both of Yarmouth, have been selected to the Nova Scotia juvenile men's basketball team;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Amanda, Shawn Charles and Tyrone on their accomplishments and wish them success on the Nova Scotia juvenile basketball teams.

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 member for Cumberland North.

[Page 6395]

RESOLUTION NO. 3062

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

Whereas substance abuse has been identified as a serious issue facing students of junior and senior high schools; and

Whereas recently about 60 students took part in a one day event to discuss substance abuse, body image and eating disorders, as well as numerous other issues significant to teens; and

Whereas this student-organized forum was the first of its kind in the Eastern Shore-Musquodoboit Valley region;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the students of Duncan MacMillan High School for their foresight and maturity in addressing the serious issues facing students today.

Mr. Speaker, I respectfully 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. 3063

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

Whereas garbage along the roadsides in proximity to the metro landfill site continues to be a problem; and

Whereas the Department of Transportation and Public Works' staff are busy enough with many other responsibilities at this time of the year; and

[Page 6396]

Whereas the private operators of the HRM's landfill site should take some responsibility for this ongoing problem;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation take immediate steps to have this private operator assist with a daily garbage patrol on the Timberlea Connector, the St. Margaret's Bay Road and Highway No. 103 on the way to the landfill site.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 3064

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

Whereas Warden Jack Wentzell has expressed concern on behalf of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg concerning the lack of conservation measures in Nova Scotia's forests; and

Whereas the concern expressed is that the Government of Nova Scotia has not implemented sustainable growth practices for our forests; and

Whereas the Forests Act amendments passed by the Legislature have not been proclaimed;

[10:30 a.m.]

Therefore be it resolved that the Government of Nova Scotia immediately implement sustainable forest practices legislation to ensure that this vital industry is preserved for the future.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Inverness.

[Page 6397]

RESOLUTION NO. 3065

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

Whereas step-dancing has become very popular for spectators and participants in recent years; and

Whereas in Inverness County step-dancing captures the essence of many cultures, including Scottish, Irish and Acadian; and

Whereas the 16th Annual Chestico Days will be held on July 31st in Port Hood and featuring the Step-Dancing Festival, the only festival of its kind on Cape Breton Island;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the contribution step-dancing makes to our local culture, and all MLAs be encouraged to try to attend the upcoming Chestico Days in Port Hood.

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 South.

RESOLUTION NO. 3066

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

Whereas the Eastern Front Theatre has just concluded its annual Festival on the Waterfront; and

Whereas the festival has this year drawn the largest audiences ever to its productions; and

[Page 6398]

Whereas the Eastern Front Theatre is now housed in the new theatre at Alderney Landing in downtown Dartmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Eastern Front Theatre on the success of this festival and the board of the Alderney Landing theatre and market complex on the opening of this major new cultural facility.

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 member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 3067

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

Whereas in April 1998, the federal, provincial and territorial Environment Ministers agreed to develop a national implementation strategy on climate change by the end of 1999; and

Whereas a week later, on April 29, 1998, Canada signed the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, demonstrating our commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on a global level; and

Whereas these agreements are hugely significant for life on our planet as we understand it;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of the Environment make a full public report to the people of Nova Scotia respecting this province's progress in developing an implementation strategy on climate change for Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

[Page 6399]

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 Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 3068

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

Whereas the Health Minister has now made it clear that in fact he is not promising to put any additional provincial money into health care over the next five years; and

Whereas the minister has left nurses and other Nova Scotians with the clear impression that he will simply rely on the $594 million in additional federal money; and

Whereas this defines what these Liberals mean by a health care budget and a one plank health care platform;

Therefore be it resolved that waiting for a bailout by Santa Claus or Santa Chretien is not the kind of leadership that Nova Scotians want or deserve when it comes to this government's most important service: health care.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Education on an introduction.

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, to you and through you to all members of the House, I would like to introduce some special guests here in the east gallery. This morning we have 12 Maritime finalists, including seven finalists from Nova Scotia, for the Wendy's Classic Achiever High School Scholarship Awards. These finalists were nominated by their school principals for their achievements in academics, extracurricular activities and for their community involvement. These students certainly define the term, classic achiever.

These students are accompanied by Sharon Reid of Wendy's and their parents and I would ask them to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

[Page 6400]

Mr. Speaker, for all members of the House, I will table the list of all the Nova Scotia finalists. I am sure there are people from the members' constituencies.

MR. SPEAKER: The list is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3069

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 Irving owned Halifax Shipyards are expected to run out of work by the middle of next year while the Pictou shipyard remains closed; and

Whereas the Premier of New Brunswick was recently told by the federal Industry Minister, the Honourable John Manley, to get off the issue of a federal shipbuilding policy and to mind his business; and

Whereas if these same remarks were used with the Premier of Nova Scotia or his sidekick, the Minister of Economic Development, they are evidently working because of their profound silence on the issue;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and his Minister of Economic Development indicate their support for a shipbuilding policy that will enable shipyards, in places such as Halifax and Pictou, to begin competing for contracts internationally while providing a lifeline to this industry that without such a policy will continue to rapidly sink.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Annapolis on an introduction.

MR. LAWRENCE MONTGOMERY: Mr. Speaker, to you and through you to the members of the Legislature, I would like to point out that Greg and Jill Cox are in the east gallery. Greg and Jill are from the community of Brooklyn in Annapolis County. They are very community-minded people and we are happy to have them here. I would ask them to rise and receive the usual welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

[Page 6401]

RESOLUTION NO. 3070

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 Premier promised a balanced budget 37 times in one day, then said it was not an important issue; and

Whereas the Leader of the Third Party promised to hold the Premier to that promise, then said it was not important for either of them to keep their commitment; and

Whereas 20 years of Conservative and Liberal debt have piled the highest debt load onto Nova Scotians' backs;

Therefore be it resolved that this House will soon know if this political version of synchronized swimming is just an attempt to create some suspense about the predictable approval of a predictably dishonest budget by the Liberal-Tory coalition.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I will have a look at that notice of motion before it is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 3071

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 Chignecto Central Regional School Board recently held an awards night in Truro; and

Whereas one of the accomplishments recognized by the board was the making of a 7 foot by 11 foot Peace Quilt by the students at the Cobequid Consolidated Elementary School; and

Whereas students who played the leading role in the making of this outstanding quilt included: Alexander Burrows, Jenna Waugh, Mike Reid, Janelle Rushton and parent, Leslie Burrows, who stitched each and every square on the quilt together;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature recognize the effort put forth by these students and parents and recognize the creativity which exists with our young students today, as they go through school toward building a better and brighter future for themselves.

[Page 6402]

Mr. Speaker, I ask for 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.

On the notice of motion from the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto, I would be willing to accept that if he is willing to change the unparliamentary term that is used in the last line of that notice of motion.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3072

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

Whereas more than 44,000 kids cannot afford to participate in sport in Nova Scotia because they live below the poverty line, representing more than 24 per cent of Nova Scotia's child population; and

Whereas it is important to have kids actively involved in sports because it gives them the opportunity to grow, learn and live healthier; and

Whereas at this year's annual Nova Scotia Amateur Sport Awards Banquet, the Nova Scotia KidSport Fund raised more than $4,000 towards this worthwhile cause;

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature congratulate all those involved in the Nova Scotia KidSport Fund for a job well done.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 6403]

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

The motion is carried.

That notice of motion was much too long.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 3073

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

Whereas each year Nova Scotians of all ages and in all walks of life make valuable contributions to the preservation and enhancement of our environment; and

Whereas the Western Valley Development Authority has been named as the 1999 Digby-Annapolis Environmental Award Winner; and

Whereas this organization's ongoing commitment to sustainable economic development through the promotion of such projects is non-intrusive, environmentally sound ecotourism;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House extend congratulations and best wishes to the Western Valley Development Authority and all the other 1999 Environmental Award Winners.

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 member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, I wonder, then if I might be able to substitute the words "predictably unbelievable"? I could read it again.

[Page 6404]

MR. SPEAKER: Just one moment.

MR. EPSTEIN: So the last line would then read, ". . . an attempt to create some suspense about the predictable approval of a predictably unbelievable budget . . .".

MR. SPEAKER: Well, that is not very good (Laughter) but however I presume it will . . .

MR. EPSTEIN: I would be happy to work up some variations.

MR. SPEAKER: That is creative English.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

RESOLUTION NO. 3074

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

Whereas awards from the Atlantic Community Newspaper Association's 1998 Better Newspaper Competition were presented at a recent convention held in Liverpool; and

Whereas staff of The Springhill and Parrsboro Record, for the third year in a row, have taken first place awards in the "General Excellence" category; and

Whereas the Record was singled out for excellence in photography, advertising design, local features and production quality;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend heartfelt congratulations to the staff of The Springhill and Parrsboro Record and wish them continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I 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.

[Page 6405]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3075

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

Whereas the United Way of Pictou County raises thousands of dollars every year and allocates the funds to 18 member agencies operating in Pictou County; and

Whereas this year the United Way of Pictou County significantly increased their fund-raising goal; and

Whereas for the second year in a row the United Way of Pictou County is number one in the Maritimes for percentage increase of funds raised;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the volunteers and staff of the United Way of Pictou County for their hard work and success.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for 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 member for Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 3076

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

Whereas in the final race at the Truro Raceway on April 18, 1999, driver Ivan Jamieson risked life and limb when he jumped from a sulky onto the back of a runaway racehorse, Una Bela; and

[Page 6406]

Whereas the runaway happened when a bit broke on Una Bela's mouth just as the race was starting with the result that the horse could be steered only to the interior of the track where there was a danger of striking light standards; and

Whereas Ivan Jamieson drove Una Bela to victory when the race was restarted 15 minutes later;

Therefore be it resolved that the House thank Ivan Jamieson for this cool-headedness and brave actions which prevented possible injury to drivers and horses and congratulate him for driving Una Bela to victory when the broken equipment was replaced.

Mr. Speaker, I 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 Sackville-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 3077

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

Whereas young people should always be acknowledged and honoured when they excel; and

Whereas the communities of Middle and Upper Sackville, Lucasville and Beaver Bank are fortunate to have many students who are outstanding in a variety of ways; and

Whereas many of these students were honoured recently by Millwood High School in Sackville;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the 114 students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 at Millwood High School who received Awards of Excellence on Wednesday, May 26, 1999.

[Page 6407]

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

[10:45 a.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 3078

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

Whereas on May 15, 1999, the Mahone Bay and area Lions Club participated in the Adopt-A-Highway Program; and

Whereas the club has adopted a 5.5 kilometre section of beautiful Highway No. 3 between Keddys Bridge and the Martins River Bridge in Lunenburg County; and

Whereas the program is sponsored by the Lions, Women's Institute, Clean Nova Scotia Foundation and the Department of Transportation;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate the Mahone Bay and area Lions Club for recognizing the importance of a clean environment to Nova Scotians and thank them for promoting this through their activities.

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.

[Page 6408]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 3079

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

Whereas the Halifax campus of the Nova Scotia Community College, through a program called the Wider Horizons Program, will be training 21 young Irish students over a six week period beginning May 20, 1999, at the Nova Scotia Community College Call Centre training facility; and

Whereas this project is funded by the International Fund for Ireland and will specifically be aimed at students from socially underprivileged backgrounds, aged 18 to 28; and

Whereas these students will receive training, work experience, accommodation and extra-curricular activities planned by their Nova Scotia hosts at the Nova Scotia Community College;

Therefore be it resolved that this House commend and congratulate the Nova Scotia Community College for their involvement in the Wider Horizons Program, and recognize the significant contribution this project will make in expanding the college's reputation in call centre training internationally.

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 Cumberland South.

[Page 6409]

RESOLUTION NO. 3080

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

Whereas last Saturday, a plaque commemorating Walton Rector's contribution to the development of Cape Chignecto Provincial Park was unveiled; and

Whereas Mr. Rector, who died last October, began promoting the idea of a park at Cape Chignecto in the mid-1980's, when he was a Cumberland County councillor; and

Whereas aside from his strong belief that it would be a major tourist draw and a benefit to all of Cumberland County, Mr. Rector was the first chairman of the park's management board and oversaw its development;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the tremendous contribution in the development of Cape Chignecto Provincial Park made by Mr. Walton Rector and forward our appreciation to Mr. Rector's wife, Ula.

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. 3081

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

Whereas this past Tuesday morning, the Grade 9 students of Brookside Junior High School departed for their week-long school trip to Quebec City and Toronto; and

Whereas this trip is the culmination of much fund-raising work since September; and

[Page 6410]

Whereas student travel is an important part of the total learning experience;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Brookside's Grade 9 students for their efforts and wish them a great school trip.

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 member for Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 3082

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

Whereas Professor Peter Sanger, a 1997 winner of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, was named Professor Emeritus at the 94th Convocation Ceremony of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College; and

Whereas Professor Sanger brought to the students of the NSAC a strong abiding love of literature, expressive narrative skills and a deep respect for learning; and

Whereas in addition to teaching, Professor Sanger has published extensively, including authoring seven books, and also held significant positions on many college committees;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Professor Sanger on being named Professor Emeritus and thank him for his outstanding service to the many aspects of the community of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6411]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 3083

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 Laura Jolicoeur of Dartmouth has initiated a schools millennium project called, "Face It: Have a Self Portrait of Your School to Celebrate the New Millennium"; and

Whereas this project is a national extension of a project completed for Hawthorn School in Dartmouth, LeMarchant-St. Thomas School in Halifax and Eaglewood School in Bedford; and

Whereas the final outcome will be permanent works of art in elementary school foyers across Canada featuring students' self-portraits;

Therefore be it resolved that this House commend Laura Jolicoeur for her initiative and wish her and the 50,000 Canadian students well as they complete their millennium project, Face It.

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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 member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

[Page 6412]

RESOLUTION NO. 3084

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

Whereas the Woodside Imperoyal United Church has served the people of Woodside since 1922, with its roots dating back to 1880; and

Whereas the Woodside Imperoyal United Church has a long and honoured history of serving the people of Woodside; and

Whereas the Woodside Imperoyal United Church agreed to merge with the Cole Harbour United Church in 1998;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the efforts and commitment of the congregation of the Woodside Imperoyal United Church and wish them the best of luck on their merger with the Cole Harbour United Church.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for 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 member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 3085

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

Whereas the Women Leading Action group presented Sharing the Talk, Sharing the Work - A Community Resource, at the Westin Hotel in Halifax on May 7, 1999; and

Whereas this program specifically relates to coordinating community action on violence against women; and

[Page 6413]

Whereas this resource enables communities to develop their own coordination plans;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the partners in Women Leading Action on violence against women (WLAvaw) in Nova Scotia, namely; Women's Centres CONNECT!, Mi'kmaq Family Treatment Centres, the Women's Institute of the African United Baptist Association, Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, Transition House Association of Nova Scotia, Veith House Men's Intervention Program and the Extension Department of St. Francis Xavier University, and thank them for their effort in making this publication available to build healthier communities.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for 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 Premier.

HON. RUSSELL MACLELLAN, Q.C. (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I just want to introduce a well-known friend of the Legislature, and former member of the Legislature, Mr. Bill MacDonald. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3086

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

Whereas Lake City Employment Services Association is a non-profit vocational centre, serving people who have experienced mental health difficulties; and

Whereas the goal of the association is to assist mental health consumers in improving their quality of life by assisting them to assume responsibility and independence through work; and

[Page 6414]

Whereas Lake City Employment Services Association, in partnership with local employers in a community employment program, assisted approximately 200 individuals to find work and maintain their connection to the community;

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislative Assembly acknowledge the tremendous work done by the board of directors and staff of Lake City Employment Services Association.

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 member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3087

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

Whereas Jim Crawford and Jerry Guthro of the Pictou County ATV Club have designed an all-terrain ambulance for rescue in remote locations; and

Whereas upon presentation to the Emergency Medical Care Station in Pictou County, it was described as perhaps the first in the world; and

Whereas many members of the Pictou County ATV Club have volunteered to assist in rescues, as required;

Therefore be it resolved that Mr. Crawford and Mr. Guthro and the Pictou County ATV Club be commended for this innovative new addition to our ambulance service.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6415]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 105, the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act.

Bill No. 105 - Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, it is with both pleasure and sadness I stand today to discuss this bill and present it to the Legislature of Nova Scotia. It is with pleasure because I feel it is something that has to be done to protect the industry in Nova Scotia. It is with sadness because it is hard to believe that people in this province who make their living from the fishing industry and people who could make their living from the fishing industry, have taken such advantage of the system as to almost disrupt or possibly disrupt in the future one of most valuable resources, our lobster fishery and indeed, other parts of our fishery.

This bill today is designed to really toughen up how we can react to illegal activity in the fishery, period, in Nova Scotia. As I have said before in this Legislature, we have put a provincial and federal task force together consisting of the federal Department of Fisheries, the provincial Department of Fisheries, the RCMP, Revenue Canada, and the Justice Departments, both federally and provincially. This is the first time this has happened in the history of the Province of Nova Scotia and indeed, in the country. So we have made some very significant progress in enforcement. This bill is the next step in that enforcement regime.

[Page 6416]

We have to toughen up the regulations, we have to fill some loopholes that we have found, as we have moved forward with some prosecutions and some potential prosecutions. This bill will tend to plug most of the holes we have so far identified. As time goes on I realize that every time you plug a hole, another one appears, so this will be an ongoing, continuous process, unfortunately, that we have to go through to improve this thing. I feel this bill will address many of these concerns, the concerns of the enforcement people, and the concerns that the fishing industry has brought forward with regard to illegal fishing and illegal selling activities of fish products.

In the original bill of 1996, there was a provision for a five year review. This bill is a little bit ahead of the five year review but it is all part of the process our department put in place at that time, to ensure that we had the best possible bill to protect the fishing industry in Nova Scotia. It takes time to get prosecutions and convictions in the industry, we have already laid 28 charges in the province which is the most charges, I believe, that have ever been laid at one time. We have many more charges that are ready to go forward.

Once this bill is proclaimed, hopefully, very speedily, as it is a matter of enforcement and utmost urgency to the industry in Nova Scotia, as the honourable member for Argyle said in his resolution today, we have to move rapidly to resolve this problem. It takes time to draft and locate the difficulties in a bill and to make sure we have come forward with a bill that will truly address many of the concerns that our enforcement people have seen.

We are going to address several items in the bill like possession and definitions on possession. If a person has a certain amount of a product we can charge them with an offence, whereas in the past we couldn't do that. We are going to change some things such as if the holder of a licence fails to meet requirements, as we specify, they can also be charged and levies prescribed against them. We are making other changes in the fine levels. We are proposing a 10 time increase in the first offence and a 10 time increase in the second offence, taking the maximum fines up to $250,000 on a second offence. We are changing a lot of other areas in the bill that will really make it tougher for illegal activities to happen in Nova Scotia. That is our aim, that is what we have been working on for the last year.

[11:00 a.m.]

We found that the people that we were trying to prosecute and locate to eliminate the activities, are very sophisticated. They are very determined to make a lot of money out of this arrangement and, again, all at the expense of the small fishing communities in Nova Scotia, an expense we cannot afford and we cannot tolerate. I have said over and over again we will not tolerate illegal activities in the fishing industry of Nova Scotia if there is any way possible we can stop them.

[Page 6417]

This bill is a step in that direction. I am hopeful that the two other Parties will support us on this bill. They perhaps may have some ideas on how we can make it even tougher; we would be very interested in hearing those. As we move forward, hopefully we can help stamp out this illegal activity and move Nova Scotia to a more sustainable fishing industry without criminals actually taking the livelihood away from the people in Nova Scotia.

With those few words, Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you for the opportunity of speaking on the bill and I would move second reading of Bill No. 105.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Yarmouth.

MR. JOHN DEVEAU: Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this legislation. However, I do so with some reservations. This bill basically emphasizes accountability, as did the bill that I and my Party brought forward in the House in March, that the Liberals and Tories saw fit to crush. They said it did not have merit. As a matter of fact, the Fisheries Critic for the Third Party maintained it would not hold up to public scrutiny. However, this bill has the exact same flavour of the legislation that I and my Party attempted to have passed, but now we are discussing this in May and we could have passed it in March.

Fishers and coastal communities, fishing communities like mine, Yarmouth, who have a proud historic interest in the fishery, have been demanding, pleading for leadership and direction to address the issue of the illegal fishery. What they have been asking for is consultation. Who knows the industry any better than the fishers, buyers and processors? Mr. Speaker, that is how they feed their families, cloth their children, pay the mortgages. These are the people who know the industry. These are the people, along with their communities, who stand to lose the most if the illegal fishery is not properly addressed.

What is needed is consultation with all stakeholders involved. That process should be welcomed and encouraged by the government implementing such a process. What a positive message we would be sending to the fishing communities of Nova Scotia. However, Mr. Speaker, since the recent announcement from the Minister of Fisheries on dealing with illegal fishing, my office has been flooded with calls from buyers, processors and fishers asking what is going on, that they were not spoken to or consulted with, and there is that word again, consulted. They are concerned that their livelihood is being dictated to without their input or knowledge, and that should not be.

Mr. Speaker, I have other concerns with what is lacking in this piece of legislation, and that is a clear, decisive, direct plan that should be tabled in the House so that all Nova Scotians would be aware. How do we arrive at that plan? Well, that word again, consultation. I know in my constituency of Yarmouth, we would have loved the opportunity to give input to any legislation that would address the illegal fishery because we are that dependent on the fishery. If the fishery goes in my community, so goes my community and other communities. That is how important this issue is. The very existence, the longevity and prosperity of our

[Page 6418]

communities are threatened because of the illegal fishery. We can't let them down. We shouldn't let them down, after all, is not Nova Scotia made up of communities?

Mr. Speaker, something else I would like to discuss and be considered, this bill proposes that it will increase fines for illegal fishing, according to the minister, tenfold. First-time offenders may - and that is the key word, may - face a fine of $100,000 and repeat offenders may - that word again - be hit with penalties up to $0.25 million. Not that they will be fined those amounts but may. Not good enough. It is too broad, too much flexibility for the courts. When dealing with such criminal activity, the word may shouldn't even exist. After all, the Minister of Fisheries said this activity was like organized crime, so let's treat it as such.

The more I think about these fines that may come down on offenders, you have to ask yourself, what is the deterrent? Is it the fine or is it getting caught? I believe, if you really look at it, the deterrent is getting caught, and that is the concern and that should be the real course of action. I have read no evidence of higher fines curbing criminal activity, but that fear of getting caught is very real.

Mr. Speaker, though I think the minister is headed in the right direction, there is much more work that needs to be done, but this is a start. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

MR. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to speak on this bill that has been introduced, Bill No. 105, An Act to Amend the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act. In this bill, there are some initiatives that we have been pushing the minister for, so first of all, I would like to thank the minister for introducing it.

I will just start my comments with regard to some of the comments that the member from the socialist Party, the member for Yarmouth referred to in his comments regarding his bill. His bill, first of all I realize when I hear his comments that he doesn't understand how the House works because he says that we squashed his bill. If you look at the record of the House of Assembly, his bill never came to a vote, so when he said we squashed his bill, we destroyed his bill, he has to realize that that bill never came to a point of having a vote. His bill was a bill having discussions.

Discussions are fine. I said at the time that the bill wouldn't accomplish what it wanted to do. I wanted actions. What he reaffirmed here this morning is that he wants more discussions. I have spoken to people involved in the fishery and they don't want discussions. They like discussions, but what they want is action. You can have actions, but if there are discussions to follow those actions, then that is fine. They are tired of people talking about the problem, all they do is talk about the problem themselves. They are frustrated and they want some action.

[Page 6419]

Today, when this bill is introduced here by the Minister of Fisheries, I am pleased that there are some specific initiatives that are in here, especially in regard to reporting by fish buyers and fish processors and also increments in the fines, which are things that we as a caucus, the Progressive Conservative caucus, were asking for. Those are specific initiatives that have been brought forward that I am very appreciative of.

I want to go and talk about the problem itself first of all. It is serious. I have said it in this House many times, about the magnitude of the problem. I think for most people who aren't involved in the fishery, you don't appreciate, when we talk about the illegal harvesting going on, how frustrating it is. You have many people during the summer months, and I say the summer months because the bulk of the illegal fishing that we are talking about, the reason for this bill, let's be honest about it, it is the illegal lobster harvesting that is going on in southwestern Nova Scotia.

Our fishery goes from the last Monday in November until May 31st. We are fishing some of the harshest weather in Nova Scotia, January, February and March, and December isn't always easygoing. We have a few months in the spring, May and so forth, but once it comes into June, our fishery has been shut down. The reason that has been is that we have a lot of our breeders, and so forth, that come into the coastal waters, the inshore waters, the warmer waters, and we have always made a decision that to maintain a lobster fishery that those months would be closed in our area. We have been successful.

My family has been in the lobster-buying sector for 60 years or 70 years. My great-grandfather, my grandfather, my father and myself, also, have been involved in it. We have a lot of history and my father always used to tell me that lobstering went up and it went down and when it went down, the consequences to our communities were felt throughout the very fabric of it. When we are concerned about it being a viable fishery, the reason that we are bringing these points to the House of Assembly, is that we never want to see those downs come again.

The last 15 years or 18 years, Mr. Speaker, the lobster fishery has been very stable and very productive. Many people are of the opinion it is because of the decline of the groundfish fishery as to why it has been so successful. For those of you who aren't aware of it, large cod, cusk, catfish, these are all predators of lobsters. A lot of times when you catch a fish and you fillet them, and you open them up, you would be amazed how many small lobsters would be in its belly. I think a lot of the changes that have taken place in the groundfish fishery have had a major impact on the lobster fishery. What we want to do is be able to maintain that.

So in the last three years or four years, Mr. Speaker, there has always been some illegal harvesting going on, poachers and so forth. The last four years or five years, there have been much bigger questions going on. There are a lot of people who are involved in the Native fishery who have been having a big input into this, saying that they have the right to fish and there are a lot of questions, which I will get on later on in my discussion. They have been

[Page 6420]

selling a lot of their catch to legal lobster buyers and they have been selling them through their normal channels and they have the channels because during most of the year, they buy and sell all the time. They always have product on hand. They have the ability to sort of push all this product through and our sources are telling me that they are buying it for $2.00 or $3.00 a pound and during the summer they might be selling it for $6.00 or $7.00 a pound. But they are buying thousands of pounds a day and we have fishermen coming into the Yarmouth wharf with 20 to 30 crates sometimes. That is 2,000 to 3,000 pounds. That is one fisherman. So if you multiply that by the amount of people who are participating, you are talking about thousands and thousands of pounds every week that are being landed.

A lot of people are becoming alarmed. When I say alarmed, Mr. Speaker, it is growing every year. As more and more people see that the people are getting away with it, they are saying, I must be an idiot to stay at home and not do it also. We have a lot of people who are involved in the fishery who have sold their lobster rigs who now have no consequences if they get caught - they won't lose their legal licence - that are getting involved in the illegal harvesting of lobster. People in our area are concerned of the future consequences if we don't take action.

So we have been asking for different things by government, one of which was the accountability of the buyers to show their records and to show where they received their product and where they sold it. So this bill allows the government to enact regulations to have their staff go into legal establishments, legal fish buyers, whatever, and make inquiries as to where their source of product came from and where it has gone. That will make them accountable and it will make a lot of these buyers, I will say the word is nervous.

I will tell you one thing, Mr. Speaker, the people who are operating within the law have nothing to fear. If you don't want to have any problems, don't get involved in this. If you don't get involved in buying illegal lobsters, you have nothing to worry about. I am prepared to stand here today, as someone who has been involved in the buying sector of it, and say that I support these initiatives. They might be paperwork, they might be bureaucratic, they might be a pain, whatever you want to say, but I believe that if you want to bring about some semblance of order and not have anarchy in the lobster buying sector, that we have to have rules.

So I agree with the different regulations that are talked about in the bill and I am sure at the Law Amendments Committee we will have a chance to go over them in a little more detail and see whether or not they can be more effective and not get too bureaucratic. I want them to work. At the same time, there are a lot of people out there who are honest people in the processing and the buying sense of it, that I don't want them to have so much red tape that it makes their jobs difficult. I also want all people to be accountable so when the Department of Fisheries gets a complaint, they can go into an establishment and those people have to show them their records, they have to be made accountable whereby you can get the information and then you can begin an investigation.

[Page 6421]

So when I talk about the investigation, one thing that I found as a failing, and I mentioned this to the minister the other day and I also mentioned it to the press, is that the minister is saying we will deputize 104 Department of Fisheries and Oceans enforcement officers and that is DFO, that is federal enforcement officers. Mr. Speaker, to say that those people have the time to dedicate to this type of work, I think is a fallacy. They are overstretched today to do the work that they are trying to do to work on the harvesting side.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans does not work on the fish buyer side of it and on the fish processor side of it, they work on the fishermen's side, the harvesting of it. That is where their priorities are. As a province, our priorities are in the licensing of the fish plants and the licensing of the fish buyers. That is why I have said, always, this minister had the power to act in this regard on the fish buyers' side of it if he so chose. My colleague, the member for Digby-Annapolis, and myself have pushed this minister to bring about some changes in this regard. So, today, after about 14 months there are some changes. I am happy to see that they are here today. I would have liked to have seen them earlier.

[11:15 a.m.]

I will say in regard to the fish buying that this a positive step. The penalties have been increased to $100,000 maximum for the first offence and $250,000 for the second offence. I, myself, have introduced a bill in this House that mirrored the fines that were put in place by the federal government, which were $100,000 maximum for the first offence and $500,000 maximum for the second offence.

Most people said, well, that's ridiculous, that's a lot of money. Members of the House, I would like to tell you when people buy thousands and thousands of pounds a week and they are making anywhere from $3.00 to $4.00 to $5.00 a pound, it doesn't take a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist to figure out that in the course of a summer people can make huge amounts of money. If you want to get into this thing in a big way, you can make a lot of money. There are people who are brazen enough and who have gotten away with it in the past who are willing to do it again. So I think that the penalties have to be severe and I think they have to be to the point where big business will think very seriously before they ever try to do it. So, I agree with that.

There has been some talk as to whether or not there should be - and I think the member for Yarmouth said that it should be $100,000 and it should be $500,000 or whatever, that it shouldn't be up to the judge. Well, as much as I want us to be hard on the people who are doing these illegal activities, I think that for a $100,000 suspension, if someone has caught 20 pounds off the end of the wharf and is selling them, I think to have a $100,000 penalty on a family would be unfair. So, I have to agree that the judge has to have some leeway in doing it.

[Page 6422]

We have had some talks about some minimum fines, but the problem with a minimum fine is that oftentimes judges like to use the minimum fine. If you look at the practice of the judiciary, a lot of times if the minimum fine is $10,000, it doesn't matter what the infraction is, they will go to $10,000 rather than the $100,000. So I would like to see how this plays out in our courts and if the judiciary isn't following the wills and the wishes of the elected members of this House in the spirit that we want this Act to work, then I would like to see us, in the future maybe, come back and look at whether or not we should have minimums.

I have these types of questions and I don't profess to have all the answers, but maybe when we go to the Law Amendments Committee, if we have some presenters there who would have some suggestions, I know that our caucus would be more than open as to what types of procedures or what types of wording we can use in this regard of the fines that would perhaps be the most deterrent to people wanting to get into this illegal activity and try to keep them out of it.

I want to make mention about the enforcement officers, just one thing which I think is very important. When I made my comments the other day that we don't have enforcement officers within the department - and we don't. (Interruption) Well, the minister indicates he has five. We have a $1.5 billion industry in this province and this department, I think, has a budget of $3.5 million or somewhere like that (Interruption) Okay, $5 million to $6 million. So, I always ask the question, how much support should the province be giving to this resource industry, this fishery? If we are giving $5 million to $6 million for an industry which generates business to the tune of $1.5 billion in this province, if you think that is reasonable, then I know people in my riding don't believe that.

When we talk about enforcement and we say we have five people in enforcement, well, most of those are in the office. A lot of them work on the fish buyers' side of it, the registrations and so forth, but you are going to need more enforcement officers to make this work. Whether you hire those on contract and whether you deal with the problem as the need comes on, if you are getting more reports, you hire more people to do more investigation, I think that that is in the best interests of the province.

I made this comment the other day and I am going to repeat it here today. When you have millions of dollars and I mean millions of dollars of lobsters being sold every year and you realize the income tax that this province is not receiving, plus the fact of the matter of the negative effect on the fishery, you could pay to have 40, 50 or 60 enforcement officers and you would break even.

This is an example of not seeing the forest for the trees. I mean you are looking at your budget in isolation instead of looking at the return to the province. I pay my income tax and I think most Nova Scotians pay their income tax. When people are selling lobsters, they are not getting a T-4 or a T-5 for this. This is all cash business, this is all under the table. So these people are getting away with it. They are not paying taxes. They are not contributing to

[Page 6423]

society and I think the department owes it to the fishermen of this province to have some enforcement level that is reasonable.

You know where the problem is today and I heard in your comments the other day, Mr. Minister, where you mentioned that you welcome the Opposition to give you leads, and I said at that time, leads, you have got more leads than you know what to do with because people tell me they call all the time, but nothing ever happens. You have got enough leads to keep enforcement guys busy for years. That is the challenge for you as a minister and what you have to do is to convince your Cabinet colleagues that this is in the best interests of the finances of your provincial budget and it is in the best interests of the fishery. It is also in the best interests of this province that we make these changes and we bring about some enforcement level that is reasonable and it is going to be directed mostly in southwestern Nova Scotia because that is where the problem is.

I will tell you one thing, if you are minister, you are there to lead. The answers are in front of you and whether you choose to implement them or not is up to you, but I tell you that people in my riding and people in southwestern Nova Scotia are asking for action, not words. They are asking for action. This is the start of it, but the action that you need is to also have those enforcement officers hired.

In my closing remarks I will say that what you have dealt here today is within your purview, within your responsibilities as Minister of Fisheries, and this is a good step. We will see how it comes out in practice. The other side of it, I talked about before, there are issues which the federal government itself can only answer and that is in regard to what is a reasonable amount of lobsters that Natives can catch, who qualifies to go fishing, how many traps they can fish. All these questions have not been answered. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has got its head in the sand. People in our area, who have been law-abiding for the most part - and there were always some exceptions, but the majority of them are law-abiding citizens - are saying, why should we follow the law when other people do not have to?

Until the Department of Fisheries and Oceans gets serious and comes down with some sort of rules - and people want rules, they do not want anarchy, and right now in the summer we have anarchy in our area. You are going to make law-abiding people of this province give up their faith in government, give up their faith in mankind, and I think those are the things that you have a responsibility to do, and that is to be in Ottawa and to lobby the federal government to make some decisions.

I think up until now, maybe they think that Nova Scotia does not count, that we are just a small province and they do not want to rock the boat, but I tell you, people in my area want them to do more than rock the boat. If they do not make some decisions, I am really afraid that some consequences will come out of it and people will get hurt. I do not want that. I do not think anybody in this House wants it to ever come to that point. You have a

[Page 6424]

responsibility. I know that you do not control what the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Ottawa does but, you, as the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, have a responsibility to be the spokesperson for this province and for that industry. So it is up to you. If you are not going to be vocal about it and if you are not going to be adamant about it, then the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will just sit on their butts like they have in the past and not make a decision on this because it is controversial, but being an elected official is sometimes having to make decisions and accepting the consequences that come out of that.

Mr. Speaker, I will be voting for this bill to go on to the Law Amendments Committee. I have indicated that we will be asking for amendments, especially with regard to the fines which I would like to see in line with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. We will be listening to any advice that the presenters may bring forward in this Act to make it better. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, at the outset I want to thank the minister for bringing this bill to the House. I think I can say without fear of contradiction that we all support it in its intention. I also want to underscore for any whom might not have noticed, that this bill is very much in response to demands that have been made by my seatmate, the member for Digby-Annapolis, and my long-time friend, the member for Argyle, who have been out in the forefront of fighting for this kind of action to be taken by this government and by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. So while it should have happened before, it could have happened before, it is not too late and we welcome the introduction of this legislation by the government.

I think it is very important that we see what is intended by this bill in the greater context of the Atlantic fishery. All of us have been witness to the downturn in the groundfish fishery, which in some significant measure came as a consequence of poor management controls by DFO, years of high-grading, discarding, illegal transfers, DFO not listening to the people in the fishing industry, most particularly those in the harvesting sector, but rather annually going on what has often been called the DFO lecture circuit, whereby DFO told the people in the industry what was in their best interests without really listening to the very good and sound advice that constantly was forthcoming from the people in both the harvesting and the processing sectors. We want to make absolutely sure that we don't go the same route with the lobster fishery, the one lucrative fishery which is available to the inshore fishermen in this province, that has been followed by the groundfish fishery.

I think it was some four years ago, perhaps even five now, that the Progressive Conservative caucus staked out our territory with respect to this problem and said that the illegal fishery in lobster had to stop, that it was in the best interests of all Nova Scotians, that conservation had to be first and foremost in everybody's minds. Finally today we find that the government has listened to the advice of not only politicians but people across this province,

[Page 6425]

both inside the industry and out. Again, we very much welcome it, however close we may be to the eleventh hour.

My colleague, the member for Argyle, made reference to an initiative taken by the member for Yarmouth, who seems to want to move forward on this matter through talk rather than action. The time for talk is long over, the time for action is long overdue. The people in the fishery want action to be taken, they want it to be visible, they want it to be fair, and they want it to be clearly evident in their communities so that the vast majority of people in this lobster fishery who are honest men and women, will no longer have to face the abuse and the competition from those few who are dishonest and who participate in this fishery.

This bill extends significant authority but authority with limited resources, in fact, limit the very authority which this bill would cause to be effected in Nova Scotia. The minister has said in response to a question raised by my colleague, the member for Argyle, that there are five full-time dedicated inspection, enforcement staff involved with the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries. Well, for years we have heard this government say that it can do more with less. Here we have a minister who is saying that they can do more with the same.

[11:30 a.m.]

The fact is that you can't do more with less; on a very good day you might be able to do the same with less, but if this initiative is going to be successful, as it must be, then the minister must be prepared to dedicate more human resources to his enforcement staff so that it is able to get out there and work with the enforcement staff of DFO and resolve this very serious problem facing the lobster fishery in Nova Scotia.

I concur fully with the observation by both of my colleagues, the member for Argyle and the member for Digby-Annapolis, that we could very easily double the number of people available for enforcement in the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries to help ensure that this bill is effected and effected in full measure. There almost assuredly will be people who are caught, and the fines which will be levied will certainly more than pay for the additional enforcement staff.

We will be looking very carefully at the minister's budget when it is brought down next week to see if, in fact, he has focused on the need to provide those extra human resources for enforcement in his department and if in fact the dollars are there to make that extra enforcement available.

This is not a political problem, this is a Nova Scotian problem, and it is a problem which demands action, not talk but action. The government, however belatedly, is acting. I fully support them in this action and I hope that all members will. What we must do now is to make sure that the government's feet are held to the fire with respect to putting the resources behind the legislation which they have brought in to make sure for all of the communities

[Page 6426]

which are so dependent on the lobster fishery as the one really strong fishery left for in-shore communities, and will be able to look to the law for protection so that abusers are caught and are dealt with to the full extent of the law.

I thank the minister for introducing the legislation. The bill will certainly have my support, and I again thank those in my caucus, particularly the member for Argyle and the member for Digby-Annapolis, for taking such a strong initiative and for prompting the minister to the action which is evident in this legislation. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

MR. GORDON BALSER: Mr. Speaker, it is truly a pleasure to rise today to speak to the second reading of this particular piece of legislation. For over a year my colleague, the member for Argyle, and I have been pressing the Minister of Fisheries provincially and his counterpart federally to introduce legislation to take action that would address this very serious issue. The issue of illegal fishing in this province needs to be addressed. Finally the minister has seen fit to bring in legislation that will be an important first step, and let me emphasize first step, toward addressing this problem.

There is an old saying that action is good, but oftentimes arrives a day late and a dollar short. It is unfortunate that it may well be the case this time too. The illegal fishery has been growing rapidly over the last few years. As with any illegal operation, it is the opportunity to make some easy, quick money that draws participants. One need only look at the illegal lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia to see that the opportunity for profits is literally astronomical. Conservative estimates were that over 20,000 pounds of lobster were being landed each day. Even at a price of $5.00 a pound, that represents over $100,000 each day, and every dollar of that is tax free.

There are stories of people working in the illegal fishery making as much as $30,000 to $40,000 for the summer weeks, all of that again tax free, with no benefit to the province, no benefit to the Government of Nova Scotia, no benefit to the taxpayers; this was happening. At the same time that we were raising the issue with the provincial and federal ministers. The people of southwestern Nova Scotia were crying out for help. That plea was falling on the deaf ears of this provincial government and of the federal government. No action was taken.

You can't really blame the participants. Anybody that is familiar with the history of Nova Scotia will recall this province's long association with privateers and smuggling and piracy. The opportunity is there. The risk is minimal and the penalties non-existent - why not get involved? - but the reality is that this frontier mentality hurts everyone. Seasons, size limits and restrictions were put in place over time to protect stocks, to ensure that there would not be a collapse.

[Page 6427]

All one need do is look at the collapse of the groundfish fishery to recognize the potential disaster that waits around the corner when action is not taken, when over-exploitation is allowed to go on and on. The freebooters involved in this illegal fishery are investing only in the short term; they are looking for an immediate return. They do not have any commitment whatsoever to the communities, and they have no commitment to the people who are involved in a legal fishery. Their motive is simply profit. They are there for today, and they do not worry about tomorrow.

The illegal fishery is based on a very simple, fundamental principle of economics; that is, the law of supply and demand. People have an insatiable appetite for fish products. The demand is there; the question is how to access the supply. Buyers are very anxious to meet that demand and meet it in any way they can. For some buyers, the attractive profit margins make it impossible not to become involved in illegal activity. The problem is, the fact that the buyers are willing to go down this road means that a black market can grow and flourish, but in any enterprise there is risk associated. The risk has to be weighed, and the profit margin weighed against the risk factor.

Those who are the people directly involved in harvesting illegal fish really have minimal risk. They use outdated, obsolete equipment, second-hand, borrowed, begged or stolen, so their investment is non-existent. The threat of forfeiture in the result of a seizure means little if you own nothing, and the threat of taking away a licence to a person who is fishing illegally, who does not have a fishing licence to begin with, is no threat at all.

On the other hand, the weak link in this whole chain is the licensed buyer, the buyer who is simply trying to get product to meet the demand that exists, a buyer who weighs the risk as he would in any business decision, who looks at the penalties that had existed prior to this proposed legislation and simply said the cost, the risk associated is just a cost of doing business. He will go for the short-term benefit and if he does happen to be charged under the Act, he can use the profits that he gained illegally to hire lawyers to fight the case and, ultimately, to pay off the small fine, in the same manner that you would pay property taxes or the light bill. They have nothing really to lose either because of the chance for easy and generous profits.

As I said, the fines were small and the legal fees not much more than a nuisance. The problem is we needed legislation. The fines being suggested in this legislation will, in fact, up the ante substantially and that is needed. If we are going to address the problem, the place to begin is by attacking the buyers. If we remove the willingness of the buyers to be involved in this process, then, in fact, the harvesters have no ready market, and with no ready market, the reality is they do not have in place any mechanism to get rid of those lobsters. Most of them are fragmented and they do not really have the necessary infrastructure to ensure that their lobsters, once harvested, will have a market. So this would work but, on the other hand, will it truly address the problem?

[Page 6428]

At the risk of sounding somewhat cynical, it is an awful long way from a second reading piece of legislation to the actual laying of charges under an Act. Let's say for a minute that this bill will pass second reading - and well it should - if it passes second reading, then it goes to the Law Amendments Committee, and at that point there is the opportunity for public input. More than one piece of legislation has languished in legislative purgatory, that is the Legislative Review Committee. It is critical that this bill get through that process. It is critical that the concerns around the bill be addressed and that it be brought back to the floor of this Legislature to be voted on so that it can be, in fact, passed into law, but there is a question.

If it is passed - and, as I say, well it should be - what happens then? Well, if it passes and comes to the floor here, will it be debated and discussed and debated again and talked out at length for hour upon endless hour? Perhaps not, perhaps the will of the Legislature is to move forward on this. As I say, well it should be. Then it would be voted on. But the next question is, if it is voted on and passed, will it be proclaimed? Again, more than one piece of legislation which has navigated the shoals of the Legislature has died because there has not been the will to have the bill proclaimed. That is essential.

We have a number of ifs: if it passes second reading, if it gets through the Law Amendments Committee, if it gets brought back to the floor of the Legislature, if it gets voted on, if it passes, if it is proclaimed; that is an awful lot of ifs, ifs that could derail this and ruin it. Small wonder that the average Nova Scotian looks at politicians and the legislative process with a truly jaundiced eye; they have come to expect very little.

The real question is, will this bill really make a difference? A few years ago there was a movie and the buzz phrase in that movie was, show me the money. The point of that was that people had come to believe that empty words and rhetoric are only that. If you want me to truly believe, then show me something I can believe in. That has been the problem here.

For the last year, we repeatedly raised this issue with the minister and his federal counterpart, repeatedly raised it in the media, as did most of the fishermen in southwest Nova Scotia. They spoke loud and long and eloquent.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I was wondering if the honourable member would entertain a brief question. I just want to say that I was listening intently to the member's comments and one of the points that I certainly agree with is the issue that often bills are not proclaimed or that there is not a set date whereby a bill has to be proclaimed. We can address that issue certainly by working together, by agreeing that we would support an amendment that would put in a date by which the bill must be proclaimed.

I am just wondering if your caucus would either support us or we support you, I guess, whichever way it would happen to be if an amendment was put forward to say that the bill had to be proclaimed by such and such a date, so that we could be ensured that it wouldn't actually die on the order paper or die by not being proclaimed?

[Page 6429]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Economic Development and Tourism.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as Government House Leader, I can assure this House that as soon as this bill clears third reading, it will be proclaimed as quickly as possible.

MR. SPEAKER: We are having a very interesting debate here, however, the honourable member for Digby-Annapolis has the floor. (Interruptions)

MR. BALSER: Perhaps now we could talk about the Forests Act and move that along. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. BALSER: Obviously you were listening so attentively, you know that I was laying the groundwork for that very amendment. It is our anticipation to bring forward an amendment that would address that very problem, but in light of the Government House Leader's comment, perhaps it is not necessary. But thank you for that suggestion.

In any event, let me get back to the point of the discussion and that simply is that at this point, people have watched politicians waxing philosophically about what is good and what is right and what is just, and we have heard talks of joint operations between federal fisheries and provincial fisheries. We have heard talk of sting operations, and we have heard talk of charges laid, and we have heard talk of the big stick.

The reality is, when you talk to the people on the wharves in southwestern Nova Scotia, they can't really point to anything concrete. They can't say yes, did you hear about so and so who was charged, and did you hear about the fine. All they say is more politicians are talking in circles. No real proof of a change, and that is what this is about. Prove to the people of Nova Scotia that you mean business. People are fed up with the lack of action. The legal fishermen in this province watch their livelihood going south, watch their livelihood leaving under the hands of an illegal operation, an operation that has been going on far too long.

As I say, there is a real problem here, and mark my words, as my colleague for Argyle said, the time for vacillation is passed. The people involved in legal fishery in this province are fed up, and I truly do believe that if there is no action taken by this government and by the federal government to address this problem, there will be acts of violence and there will be acts of willful damage. And the blame and the responsibility for that should rest clearly on the hands of the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and his provincial counterpart. Their inaction has brought this to a crisis.

[Page 6430]

This legislation is needed and I don't want to belabour the point. The only thing I am saying is that I am not convinced that this legislation, in and of itself, is enough. It is a start but prove the commitment by seeing that it gets through the House, by seeing that it is proclaimed, and by seeing that charges are laid and that prosecutions are levelled, and that fines of significant amounts are laid so that the message gets out that the Province of Nova Scotia will no longer tolerate illegal fishing. On that note, Mr. Speaker, I will take my place. Thank you.

[11:45 a.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the honourable minister it will be to close the debate.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to thank the two Parties opposite for their support of this bill. It is a very important bill that must go forward as quickly as possible. With their permission, I am willing to move third reading today and that would definitely move it forward very quickly.

I just want to make a couple of comments. The NDP members indicated they want more consultation on the bill. I agree with the Third Party that it is time for action, not time for consultation. This is an enforcement issue, not a consultation issue and we have to move forward as quickly as possible. I would also like to ask the member for the Official Opposition, he said all kinds of people have called his office looking for information on what is going on with this. I would ask him to give me the list of the people and I will have my staff call them back directly, to make sure that if there are any difficulties they don't understand, we will look after that immediately for them.

The Official Opposition also mentioned the bill that they brought forward and we discussed that in some detail before. Fortunately, most of the issues in that bill had already been addressed by our department before the bill was brought forward so it really wouldn't have served any purpose to bring that bill any further than it has done but I invite them to bring it forward if they like.

The member for Argyle indicated that no income tax is being paid on these things. One element that may be missed here is that part of our task force is Revenue Canada Taxation. Revenue Canada Taxation is extremely interested in this file. They have the ability to do net worth audits and for anybody who doesn't know what a net worth audit is, basically it is an audit that anyone who has ever been audited this way will tell you is worse than going to jail. Revenue Canada comes in, assesses what they think you should have made in income, they give you a bill for your income tax and you have to prove they are wrong. I can tell you, trying to get the information to prove they are wrong is almost impossible and the bill never

[Page 6431]

goes away, it is there forever. That is one of the very positive things we have had with Revenue Canada Taxation.

It was also brought forward that we are not pushing DFO hard enough. Well, I can tell you I personally met with the federal minister in my office in Halifax, which has been one of the first times that has happened in many, many years, and because of that meeting we have the federal-provincial task force in place today and we are moving forward with that regard. The DFO has offered to come forward to work with us on this very important enforcement issue and made their people and their resources available to us and to our staff as a joint effort to make these things work.

There was discussion from the Third Party on amendments to the level of fines. If they have some idea how they would like to change those, we would encourage them to bring them forward and we would support them as long as they were within reason and really toughened up our legislation. The idea of this legislation is to ensure that we nail the people who are operating illegally in the Province of Nova Scotia. So all the Parties are invited to bring anything forward to make the bill tougher and make it tougher, quicker, to make these things happen.

We have also heard from the member for Queens who indicates this is a Nova Scotia problem. He is absolutely right. This is a Nova Scotia problem and is a crime against the people of Nova Scotia. It is not a political issue, it is an issue that we have to take forward and ensure that we get convictions on people and get them out of this business so we can move forward immediately.

We have seen illegal buying and it was indicated by the Opposition Parties that this is a new phenomenon. It is not a new phenomenon. Illegal buying and selling fish and fish products in Nova Scotia has been going on for centuries. It is only now that we are taking action because the problem is getting totally out of hand.

Typically, in the past people would think of someone going out and using a one-hand pot and getting 5 or 10 pounds of lobsters and coming back and giving them to their neighbour for lunch. That is not what we are talking about. We are talking about people who are catching, harvesting, selling, marketing and distributing millions of dollars worth of product, not only lobster, but there are other activities, too, in the crab fishery and even in the groundfishery today. We intend to identify these things as we move forward.

We talk about resources in my department. I can tell you from the limited number of staff we have, we are getting tremendous results. We have got people who are very dedicated, who know the industry and have really made a difference in the operation and in the way it is going to operate. I have asked before for all-Party support and I am glad to see, today, we are getting that support. It is nice to see a united front on this, a united front against the criminals that are taking the livelihood away from so many rural Nova Scotians and Nova

[Page 6432]

Scotians who are having a hard enough time as it is to just barely make a living in the fishing industry. It is time to see this stopped and time to make sure if there is any money to be made from the industry, it is made by legal activities, not illegal activities.

The other thing that was brought forward was proclamation of this Act. I can tell the members opposite, the day that we can proclaim this Act, that is the date it will be proclaimed. The faster we get the Act proclaimed, the faster we can lay new charges and get new convictions and new penalties levied against people in Nova Scotia who are acting illegally and stealing from the legal fishing industry.

Again, I thank all the members for their comments today. I look forward to the input from the Law Amendments Committee and, as I say, any time that the Opposition Members would agree to unanimous consent, I would move this bill for third reading so we can get on with the fact of enforcing the law and making it tougher for illegal people in Nova Scotia. I move second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 105. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Law Amendments.

Before I recognize the honourable Government House Leader, just a very quick comment. Yesterday, the honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid rose on a point of order regarding a resolution brought to the House by the honourable member for Cape Breton Nova. The resolution was Resolution No. 3014. I said that I would take a look at that and although the tenor of the resolution is not what I think is probably the best, however, I find no reason to rule it out of order.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 6433]

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 92 - Applied Science Technology Act.

and the committee recommends this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 100 - Commercial Arbitration Act.

and the committee recommends this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, without amendment.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, that completes the government's business for today. The House will meet Monday from the hours of 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.; 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., Tuesday. You have the schedule. Following the daily routine, we will be calling Bill No. 107, the Tobacco Access Act.

I move that we do now adjourn until 7:00 p.m. Monday evening.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 6434]

We stand adjourned until 7:00 p.m. on Monday.

[The House rose at 11:55 a.m.]

[Page 6435]

NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 3088

By: Mr. Paul MacEwan (Cape Breton Nova)

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

Whereas the NDP exhorts Premier MacLellan to do more in terms of his efforts for the Cape Breton coal industry; and

Whereas it appears that the NDP has a serious problem with Member of Parliament Peter Mancini who leads the fight for Devco with many travels to foreign lands; and

Whereas it appears that when Mr. Mancini is not busy with overseas travel, he spends much time in the reading room reminiscent of how Karl Marx spent much of his life in the reading room at the British Museum;

Therefore be it resolved that this House express appreciation that Premier MacLellan does not follow the slothful example set by the NDP but rather gives the coal miner and all Nova Scotians a 100 per cent effort.