Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

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HALIFAX, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1994



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Second Session



12:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mr. Gerald O’Malley






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



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, yesterday afternoon during Question
Period I asked a couple of questions of the Minister of Supply and Services with respect to the costing analysis
that was done, in particular as it related to cleaning and janitorial services to be contracted out. I indicated,
in reference to the document that I tabled, that under Salaries and Benefits for the Johnson Building, the
figure there, in fact, included salaries and benefits for all three government buildings. I also said that the
square footage that was indicated for the Johnson Building also was for three buildings.



I inadvertently, Mr. Speaker, added to the confusion by misstating that the square footage was in fact
for the Johnson Building alone. The salaries and benefits figure, even though it is attributed to the Johnson
Building, was, in fact, for all three buildings. I just wanted to clear that up.



MR. SPEAKER: Very well.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition signed by 851 residents of Kings
West - the undersigned are opposed to the establishment of casinos in Nova Scotia and oppose any legislation
that would permit casinos in Nova Scotia. I, as well, have signed that petition.



4615

 

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition which has been signed by
1,938 residents of my constituency, Halifax Citadel, who are opposed to the establishment of casinos in Nova
Scotia and they oppose any legislative change that would permit casinos in the Province of Nova Scotia. I,
too, have signed the petition agreeing to table it and agreeing with the sentiment expressed in the petition.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



The honourable member for Hants West.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition signed by 463 residents of Hants
West who are opposed to the establishment of casinos in Nova Scotia. I have signed the petition and I endorse
the sentiment.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



The honourable member for Queens.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition of 411 people from Queens County
who express their opposition to the establishment of casino gambling in Nova Scotia and their opposition to
any legislative change which permits casinos in Nova Scotia. I have duly signed the petition.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I take pleasure in tabling a petition from 1,173
constituents in Halifax Fairview in opposition to the establishment of casinos in this province. I also take
pleasure in signing that petition, indicating opposition to any change in the legislation that would permit
casinos to be operated in this province.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I also take great pleasure in having the opportunity to table a petition
signed by hundreds of residents in Sackville-Cobequid. Those who have signed the petition are certainly
opposed to the establishment of casinos in Nova Scotia and any legislative changes that would permit the
establishment of casinos in Nova Scotia. I also was delighted to have an opportunity to sign this petition and
endorse it.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.






MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of 1,190 constituents of Halifax Atlantic, I would
like to table a petition that says, the undersigned are opposed to the establishment of casinos in Nova Scotia
and hereby oppose any legislative change that would permit casinos in Nova Scotia.



Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of tabling these petitions and I have signed them accordingly.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



The honourable member for Kings North.



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I wish to table a petition from 906 residents of Kings
North. They have said they are opposed to the establishment of casinos in Nova Scotia and hereby oppose any
legislative change which would permit casinos in Nova Scotia. I have signed a copy of this.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure to table a petition on behalf of 395
residents of Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. The undersigned are opposed to the establishment of casinos
in Nova Scotia and hereby oppose any change to the legislation that would permit casinos in Nova Scotia. Mr.
Speaker, I was pleased to affix my name to that petition.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



The honourable member for Pictou West.



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to table a People
Against Casinos petition, signed by 351 residents of Pictou West. They are opposed to the establishment of
casinos in Nova Scotia and hereby oppose any change to the legislation that would permit casinos in Nova
Scotia. I have signed the petition as well and ask that it be tabled.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition on behalf of 2,119 residents of Pictou
Centre who are opposed to the establishment of casinos in Nova Scotia. I have signed the petition and endorse
its sentiment.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS






STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.



HON. JOHN SAVAGE (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address this House on a matter that
has concerned me greatly, particularly over the last few days. I am referring to the process followed by my
Minister of Municipal Affairs with respect to the selection of a commissioner for the amalgamation of the
metro area. Since returning from China, I have taken pains to familiarize myself thoroughly with the
significant facts which are contained in this issue. I have had careful and lengthy interviews with my minister,
with the Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs, and others who have been directly involved in the process.



One issue that has been of great concern to me has been the suggestion that the potential for conflict
of interest was not properly managed.



Mr. Speaker, while it is unfortunate that the deputy did not completely absent himself from the process,
I want to make it clear that I have found no indication of wrongdoing on his part, nor any indication that he
in any way acted to derive personal benefit from this situation.



This matter is before the Conflict of Interest Commissioner, and as I have said on many previous
occasions, I welcome his guidance on this very important question, as does the deputy minister. I should add
that the commissioner is away until the November 25th, on holiday.



I would also like to state publicly my concern for the way in which Grant Morash has been impugned
by remarks made by members in this House. Mr. Morash is a man of integrity. He is a respected member of
his profession with 40 years experience and I believe it is unfair that he has been subjected to the insinuations
that have been lobbed from the Opposition benches.



With respect to the manner in which my minister handled the process, there is no doubt, as I have
stated before, that some mistakes have been made. As the minister herself has acknowledged in this House,
she announced the awarding of the contract prematurely and did not follow the process that I understood was
going to be followed. Clearly, Mr. Speaker, there have been some misunderstandings during this process, but
as soon as I became aware of them I acted immediately and directed my minister to take corrective action
which addressed the process issues.



I have made my concerns known to the minister. I feel that the errors that she has made are as the
result of over-zealousness in her desire to get a difficult job underway. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I will not ask
for her resignation. (Applause)



The Minister of Municipal Affairs has begun important reforms which will lead to the amalgamation
of the metro area and the creation of a more competitive economic environment. This initiative, Mr. Speaker,
will result in a more vibrant and unified metro area and will bring benefits to all the people of this province.



I believe that we can learn from this experience. However, I feel strongly that we must keep things in
perspective and recognize the fact that there has been no wrongdoing, and where mistakes have been made,
there were checks and balances in place, as well as openness and accountability on the part of this
government. It is time now to put this matter to rest and get on with the important agenda of this government.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I am, frankly, astounded by the statement made by the
Premier today. It is clear, on the basis of the statement made here just now by the Premier, that ministers in
his government do not have to follow any rules. It is clear that when the Premier waves the tendering policy
around, as he has done here the last couple of days, and advertises it as his Bible, that the members of his
Cabinet do not have to follow that Bible.



You might as well, as far as I am concerned, throw away the tendering policy. This minister, Mr.
Speaker, and the Premier knows it and all Nova Scotians know it, has demonstrated her incompetence at every
turn. The Premier has acknowledged this minister has made mistakes. The minister, herself, has
acknowledged that she has made mistakes. I ask, how many times do Nova Scotians have to put up with the
continuation of mistake upon mistake after chaos after chaos? (Interruption)



It is clear, Mr. Speaker, that there is chaos right across the board in Municipal Affairs, in the
Department of Health with the tendering policy, in Human Resources, Supply and Services, right across this
government.



[12:15 p.m.]



In not showing any leadership in taking decisive action here today in relation to this vitally important
matter, I sincerely believe that the Premier has sadly let down the voters of the Province of Nova Scotia. This
Premier, Mr. Speaker, has assured the failure of the Minister of Municipal Affairs, as she goes forward like
a lamb to the slaughter now to engage in the municipal service exchange and municipal reform issues.



I think, frankly, we are going to see a very dismal spectacle of her stumbling through those efforts as
she has to this point. I don’t believe that there will be a municipal councillor or a municipal taxpayer in this
province who has any faith in her ability to carry through those vitally important reforms. There will be no
confidence and no hope that municipal reform is in the hands of a person who is competent, in control and
up to the task.



In the election campaign of 1993, the Premier’s slogan was, let’s move on together. It is now clear that
he was referring to his own Party and to his own Cabinet, especially those who supported his own leadership
bid. I say, Mr. Speaker, that today’s lack of leadership is one of more impetus to the taxpayers of Nova Scotia
agreeing that Dr. Savage and his government should move on together and move on to make way for those
who will provide some decisive leadership.



Mr. Speaker, I want to say that I am not surprised that the comments made about Mr. Grant Morash
are made by the Premier in his statement, because it shows once again that the Premier doesn’t listen to what
goes on in the debate in this place. At no point, did any member of this House malign or cast aspersions on
Grant Morash or his competence. (Interruptions) At no point. Grant Morash was not the issue here. The
incompetence of the Minister of Municipal Affairs was (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: The time is running out.



MR. DONAHOE: . . . at issue here. I simply say, Mr. Speaker, that it is a very sad day that we can see
the spectacle of a Minister of Municipal Affairs, any minister, commit $225,000 of the taxpayers’ money,
break every rule which the Premier says pertains and then walk away from it glibly with the smile on her face
that she is now still a member of the Executive Council of this province.



MR. SPEAKER: The time allotted has expired.



MR. DONAHOE: I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the Premier will rue the day that he has made this
decision and the voters of Nova Scotia will have long memories and long remember this decision and this day.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, this issue is not about whether the Municipal Affairs
Minister has made mistakes or has lost people’s confidence. This issue is about whether this government has
any ethical standards of conduct for its ministers and senior civil servants. This issue is about whether the
explicitly stated policies with respect to public tendering and conflict of interest are worth the paper that they
are written on.



Mr. Speaker, the Premier has stood up here and he has said, well, the minister has made mistakes and
we have to move on. I don’t know whether it is a case of egomania or whether it is just an honest admission
on the Premier’s part to say that the real problem was that the minister prematurely announced the awarding
of the contract and that he hadn’t understood it was going to be done that way.



Well, Mr. Speaker, that’s not good enough. People want to know, what in the name of Heavens is going
on within this government that a Municipal Affairs Minister, apparently, honestly believed that she had the
Premier’s authorization to publicly announce a contract that did not exist, that had not been approved through
the proper process and that broke all of the rules with respect to public tendering and conflict of interest.



The Premier, quite predictably, tries to hide behind some claims and allegations that Opposition
members have improperly impugned the reputation of Grant Morash. Let me make it very clear that there
were no insinuations about Grant Morash from this corner. What there was was disclosure of some facts, that
fact that Deloitte & Touche donated $10,000 to the Liberal Party in the last election. The fact that John
Savage received $500 from Grant Morash in the last election. The fact that Grant Morash donated $200 to
the Minister of Finance. Mr. Speaker, those are facts. The fact that the wife of the Deputy Minister of
Municipal Affairs is a managing partner of Deloitte & Touche and that quite improperly and in violation of
the conflict of interest guidelines, her husband participated in the process.



Those are facts and it is those very facts that make this such a scandalous issue because those facts are
precisely why extra care should have been taken, extra precaution should have been taken, that under no
circumstances should this have been handled in any manner other than full public tendering. Under no
circumstances should there have been any shadow of a doubt about the removal of that deputy minister from
the process.



Those were facts and the fact is that this government today has shown and this Premier has clearly
established that there are no ethical standards of conduct that count for anything with this government because
when they are violated, not once, not twice, but three times, in a given deal with a particular minister, the
existing regulations simply are not enforced.



I think it is a very sad thing. We need municipal reform in this province and it is a problem that any
confidence in this minister is shot. But it is a bigger problem that any confidence that the public might have
in this government’s ability to manage the reform agenda of this province, simply does not exist and it is going
to jeopardize what happens in this province for a very long time to come.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs.



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I also rise in my place to address the House on the matter of
the selection of an amalgamation commissioner for the metropolitan area. The Premier has carefully
considered this situation and I thank him for his cautious and thoughtful approach to a very serious matter
and I am grateful for his support.



Ultimately, managing the process of metro amalgamation and municipal reform is my responsibility.
It is one that I take very seriously. I also take seriously the urgent need to proceed with these important
reforms. I believe that the time to take advantage of the economic and fiscal benefits that can come from metro
amalgamation, is now. I am eager to begin the process of working with the metro municipalities, to cooperate
and to consult with them, on how best to achieve these benefits.



I have been, arguably, eager to a fault. In my zeal to move forward on metro amalgamation, I moved
too quickly and without a clear understanding of the process that I should be following in selecting and
announcing a commissioner. My focus was on getting the job done, but in doing so, I compromised the
process.



I regret and take responsibility for the errors and misunderstandings involved in this situation and I
sincerely apologize for any embarrassment that I have caused. I am confident, though, that through full public
tender, the proper process is now in place to select a commissioner.



Mr. Speaker, I am still eager about metro amalgamation, a little more cautious, yes, but nonetheless
still eager to bring better services, lower taxes and more economic opportunities to metro residents. And I am
very glad that we are able now to move forward towards those goals. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre, two minutes.



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for providing me a copy of her statement in
advance of her delivering it. This has been a very unhappy time, the last two weeks in this House, in which
issues of substance have been sidetracked by issues of process. This is a place where process is very important.
Proper process has been breached in two areas; the area of public tendering and the area of conflict of interest,
endangering what is a very important initiative, that is the rationalization of the delivery of local government
in this province.



In this issue and its resolution, the tradition of ministerial responsibility has been ignored. The
handling of this tender award and the response of the government has further eroded public confidence in
political process in this province and I think that is extremely unfortunate.






This is an issue that will not go away; it will continue to cloud the delivery of a proper municipal
system, in terms of government in this province. Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to deliver words of condemnation
in this place but this has been an unhappy time for the political process in this province in the last two weeks.
It is hoped that whatever the ultimate resolution of this particular process is, the government will learn from
its mistakes and will, in fact, do things and follow process that is laid down not only in terms of law but in
terms of its own policies. Thank you.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, this is not a happy day to be rising to speak. When I was asked
earlier what I thought was going to happen, I predicted that what was happening was that the Premier was
trying to get enough time so that he and the minister and his fellow Cabinet members could sing from the
same song sheet, so they could cover their backsides for the mistakes they have made.



Mr. Speaker, we have, in this province and in this country, a system of parliamentary democracy in
which ministerial accountability is crucial and fundamental. This minister, now obviously with the Premier’s
blessing, has violated the policies and principles of good, ethical government, something that this minister
promised to uphold.



Instead, what we have seen, Mr. Speaker, is that Nova Scotia unfortunately is going to be the laughing
stock of the rest of the country and that the policies - the tendering policies and the promises for high ethical
standards - are, in fact, nothing more than a joke. We hear from the Premier, a former President of the Union
of Nova Scotia Municipalities, such a weak defence. We all know that municipal reform is essential and
crucial.



I ask the Premier, by way of my statement, Mr. Speaker, how, as a former President of the Union of
Nova Scotia Municipalities, he expects that you can have any confidence in a process being able to proceed
in a rational and open fashion when the minister herself has lost the total confidence of pretty well everybody,
except the 40 or so members who are sitting on the Liberal government benches?



I ask the Minister of Municipal Affairs to reconsider her decision to stay on and to do what most Nova
Scotians would say is the proper thing, that is tender your resignation so that the government can have some
credibility restored.



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



RESOLUTION NO. 1035



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



Whereas as many as 13,000 students marched on Parliament Hill yesterday over fears that post-secondary education will soon be far out of reach for the average Canadian; and



Whereas while Nova Scotia has the highest per capita concentration of universities in the country, the
changes proposed in the Axworthy paper have many Nova Scotians wondering whether higher education will
be within their grasp; and



Whereas the need today for an educated work force has never been so crucial to the economic growth
and future of our province and for the future of its citizens;



Therefore be it resolved that the Education Minister commit to Nova Scotians that he will ensure the
federal minister does not pursue policies which will cut off Nova Scotians from access to post-secondary
education.



[12:30 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1036



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



Whereas it took one telephone call from a reporter to precipitate the Premier’s instantaneous firing of
Lucy Dobbin, for permitting her husband to attend a government meeting at her house; and



Whereas it took days of heavy thinking for the Premier to reach any conclusion about the Municipal
Affairs Minister’s subsequent, deliberate involvement of her deputy in decisions and meetings about an
untendered contract to the firm where his spouse is a managing partner; and



Whereas such a double standard can result only when personal and narrow partisan considerations
prevail;



Therefore be it resolved that senior civil servants, Cabinet Ministers and the people of Nova Scotia
deserve better than a Star Chamber System whereby the rules are changed to fit the Premier’s personal
preference whenever his fairness in government policies are broken.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



RESOLUTION NO. 1037



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 Westray explosion of May 9, 1992 resulted in a massive rescue attempt involving the
entire community; and



Whereas 194 rescuers including draegermen and bare-faced miners placed their personal safety in peril
in an attempt to save their comrades; and



Whereas on November 28, 1994 Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn will present 194 medals of bravery
to those who went underground under very dangerous conditions to search for victims of the explosion;



Therefore be it resolved that this House pay unanimous tribute to these 194 draegermen and bare-faced
miners involved in the rescue attempt at the Westray Mine and the Speaker convey this resolution to the
organizer of this ceremony to be held at the Sharon St. John United Church, Stellerton on November 28, 1994.



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



MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice which requires unanimous consent.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



Is the House ready for the question? Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary
minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



I would like to ask you if you could indicate the address to which the message should be sent. Thank
you.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



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



Whereas petitions to the House may be presented by any member during the sitting of the house; and



Whereas People Against Casinos have circulated petitions in each of the 52 constituencies of Nova
Scotia; and



Whereas the elected representatives were asked to individually present the petition from their
constituency and, on behalf of the Liberal members, the Liberal caucus chairman has refused to present the
petitions individually so that they may duly be recorded;



Therefore be it resolved that because the Liberal members will not present petitions on behalf of their
constituents, it be duly recorded that the Official Opposition and recognized Third Party have acted on behalf
of all Nova Scotians and presented the petitions individually.



HON. GUY BROWN: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. The members in this caucus, to the best of my
knowledge most of them have not had any of their constituents bring any petitions to them that they wouldn’t
present. I want to make it clear to that honourable member and to the members of this House that when our
constituents bring a petition those constituents and the petition will be dealt with under the Rules of the House
as it would for anybody else. He is not my constituent. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: I want to echo the comments of my honourable colleague the Minister of
Housing but I also want to say that if this is the game that’s being played and what was referenced in a local
newspaper this morning by an Ian Coll, who I have never met, never spoken to and if that individual who
according to the newspaper article was huddled with staff of the two Opposition Parties last night then it is
apparent what is going on here is a political game and members of this House have not refused anything their
constituents have brought forward. (Applause)



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order I would like to point out that there are
petitions out there that the individuals should have the courage to present on behalf of their constituents, Mr.
Speaker. They are on behalf of their constituents.



HON. RICHARD MANN: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Are we to believe that those staffers, last
night, dealt with petitions and that we are getting today what was sent by our constituents? Well, thank you
but no thanks.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.



MRS. FRANCENE COSMAN: On the point of order, Mr. Speaker. I think that words like have some
courage are really out of place. There is a petition in my Bedford United Church. If the minister, Reverend
David Hart, gives me the petition, I will be more than happy to present it on the behalf of Reverend David
Hart. In fact, this evening I will make sure, when I go home to my constituency, I will call him. Any other
constituent of mine who wishes to hand me a petition, I will be more than happy to review it and deal with
it. (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.



MRS. COSMAN: Mr. Speaker, there are opportunities for despicable game-playing in this House
which demeans each and every one of us. When I get a little note handed to me from someone I have never
heard of before, I am not going to jump like a trained seal to respond to this kind of note and if the rudeness
of the members on the other side of the House is such that they have to out-shout me (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order!



MRS. COSMAN: If the rudeness of the members on the other side of the House means that they have
to shout in glee, say that we have no courage and all of the other demeaning, stupid things that get said in
these silly debates, then I have to say I am not going to play their game. I will be more than happy to call the
minister of my church tonight. I will be more than happy to call the doctor, whom I happen to attend on rare
occasions with the flu, to see how his petition is coming, but I will not be sucked into this kind of a game that
these people across the way are trying to play on a very important issue.



MR. SPEAKER: I have heard sufficient opinion, I think, to gain a representative sampling of the
opinion of the House. I had never stated that the resolution was tabled. I would want to read it first before
making that statement.






It is obvious from what has happened that there is a danger to the maintenance of order in the
Assembly when members make injurious statements or engage in statements that appear to raise emotion in
this way and that is why we have rules, to try to prevent that type of thing from happening.



I want to read the motion and I will rule on its contents at a later time.



The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.



RESOLUTION NO. 1038



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



Whereas it is a truism often expressed by those in serious difficulty that if we do not all hang together,
we hang separately; and



Whereas gangs flourish on the basis of mutual protection and a code of silence that no member will
squeal on another; and



Whereas these truisms and gang rules are not legitimate considerations when Cabinet Ministers breach
or condone the breach of government rules or laws;



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier should place the public interest in fair government and open
tendering above partisan considerations and any desire to protect himself and his Cabinet from the
consequences of their own mistakes.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1039



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



Whereas the Finance Minister and his colleagues have spent three days justifying the lack of
documentation or approval for expensive sole-sourced contracts by claiming that Priorities and Planning
approval is not required; and



Whereas the same ministers have denied the clear, unambiguous requirement in the Premier’s open
tendering directive that the respective deputy minister justify in writing each sole-sourced contract; and



Whereas the rules and guidelines circulated on August 8, 1994 by this government affirm the rule that
Priorities and Planning must approve each and every sole-sourced, untendered contract;



Therefore be it resolved that this House condemns the careless, casual, ill-informed manner in which
this Cabinet is wasting taxpayers’ money on untendered contracts without even acknowledging the
straightforward rules intended to prevent such abuses and political whims.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



I am now in a position to rule on proposed Resolution No. 1038, submitted by the honourable member
for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. I am prepared to rule it out of order, the reason being that it makes a
charge against members of the House that they will not exercise a certain function, which several honourable
members have vehemently denied and, thereby, would appear to constitute a breach of order.



The resolution, therefore, is not tabled.



The honourable member for Hants West.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: I understood that the objection previously was that it was inferring lack
of courage on the part of other members of this House, those in government. Mr. Speaker, to me there is no
words used in that petition that Beauchesne would not permit.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I think the resolution truly does what you have suggested it
does. In fact, the Chairman of the Liberal caucus requested that the petitions be turned over to him. That was
refused by Mr. Coll because he wanted to attach a list of conditions to it.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, if your ruling stands with respect to ruling that
motion out of order . . .



MR. SPEAKER: I have already so ruled.



MR. LEEFE: . . . because it imputes motives or impugns the reputation of some honourable members,
then sir, very clearly, you should have ruled the Premier out of order when he made his statement and made
references impugning the reputations of certain members of this House with respect to Mr. Grant Morash.
What is sauce for the goose, Mr. Speaker, is sauce for the gander.



MR. SPEAKER: In reference to the observations just made, I would direct the attention of honourable
members in the House to the contents of Beauchesne’s Paragraph 486(1), under the heading of
Unparliamentary Language, in which the learned author states:



“It is impossible to lay down any specific rules in regard to injurious reflections uttered
in debate against particular Members, or to declare beforehand what expressions are or are not
contrary to order; much depends upon the tone and manner, and intention, of the person
speaking; sometimes upon the person to whom the words are addressed, as, whether that person
is a public officer, or a private Member not in office, or whether the words are meant to be
applied to public conduct or to private character; and sometimes upon the degree of
provocation, . . .”.



It continues along that line at some length. This is where the discretion of the Chair is exercised. It
was obvious from what happened that the words uttered provoked a state of uproar in the House. It made a
claim that Liberal members would not present petitions on behalf of their constituents and, thereby, in my
view, tended towards a breach of order. I have ruled on the matter and I consider the matter closed.






The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



RESOLUTION NO. 1040



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



Whereas all Nova Scotians recognize the need for government reform; and



Whereas the Public Service of Nova Scotia is prepared to work with this government to reduce
government expenditures in a humane way, not in a dictatorial fashion; and



Whereas the latest slap in the face to Nova Scotia’s public sector workers came with the immediate
dismissal on Tuesday of a number of Supply and Services workers;



Therefore be it resolved that this government begin making decisions which greatly impact upon
people’s lives in a humane fashion, instead of the atomic bomb mentality presently being exercised.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Eastern Shore.



RESOLUTION NO. 1041



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



Whereas I have requested that MT&T improve service along the Eastern Shore; and



Whereas our economic viability is dependent upon our ability to use information technology; and



Whereas MT&T is expanding its cellular phone coverage along the Eastern Shore to Lake Charlotte
and Meagher’s Grant, improving the business climate on the Eastern Shore and providing better service to
the residents of the Eastern Shore;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House applaud MT&T for their commitment to
improving service along the Eastern Shore.



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



MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice which requires unanimous consent.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: May I intrude on the notices of motion just long enough to make an
introduction, Mr. Speaker. I would like to introduce to you and to all members in the House, a gentleman who
served with us here some years ago with distinction, as the member for Colchester North and I refer, of course,
to Mr. Jack Coupar who is in the west gallery and I would invite you and all members to welcome back Mr.
Coupar in the usual warm fashion. (Applause)



[12:45 p.m.]



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



RESOLUTION NO. 1042



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



Whereas the National Sea Products fish plant in Louisbourg, Cape Breton has been closed since the
spring of 1992; and



Whereas National Sea Products Limited has enjoyed significant tax benefits from municipal, provincial
and federal governments over the past 15 years; and



Whereas the transferring of processing equipment in and out of the Louisbourg fish plant over the past
two years for tax advantage has become a source of irritation and frustration for laid-off employees;



Therefore be it resolved that in the opinion of this House the Minister of Fisheries convene a joint
meeting with the Town of Louisbourg officials, NatSea Products Limited representatives and the appropriate
provincial government ministries, to fully review any and all applications for a renewal of a fish processing
license at Louisbourg’s plant.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.



RESOLUTION NO. 1043



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



Whereas the report by Dr. John Cowan, an independent out-of-province expert, indicates that this
government’s reorganization of teacher education carries a probable one-time, non-capital cost of $2,236,775;
and



Whereas Dr. Cowan further reported that the annual operating costs of university-based teacher
education will increase anywhere from $250,000 to $750,000 a year; and



Whereas Dr. Cowan was not mandated to consider the multimillion dollar construction and renovation
costs of this decision;



Therefore be it resolved that the Education Minister should suspend his decision to reorganize teacher
education until he can justify to this House and taxpayers why many millions of dollars are to be spent in an
effort that will increase annual operating costs and reduce access to teacher education.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The time is 12:48 p.m., the Oral Question Period today will run for one hour to 1:48 p.m.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MUN. AFFS. - C.B. CO.: REGIONAL GOV’T. - COMMISSIONER OIC



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Yesterday in this House the Minister of Municipal Affairs said that she came to the conclusion that she could
appoint Grant Morash to this $225,000 untendered contract and that she could do it without tender and in the
fashion she did because she was using the precedent of the fact that Charlie Campbell was appointed the
Commissioner of Cape Breton, which this minister said was done by way of Order in Council.



I wonder if the minister will tell this House the date of the Order in Council which appointed Mr.
Campbell to that position?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, in actual fact I went back and the appointment with Mr.
Campbell was done by a memorandum to Priorities and Planning, and I will get that date for him.



MR. DONAHOE: So, the minister was in error, there was no Order in Council appointing Mr.
Campbell. Well, I wonder then, if that is the case, if she will tell this House when it was that she sent the
proposal to appoint Mr. Morash to be the commissioner, on what date did she send that recommendation to
Priorities and Planning?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I have been in the process of putting that material together and as you are
well aware, there was no contract awarded.



MR. DONAHOE: So, the minister is acknowledging that she did not prepare any document to be sent
to Priorities and Planning to confirm the appointment of Mr. Morash, as is required by the rules that the
Premier says apply. She didn’t do that and she stands in this House today and explains that and suggests that
everything is okay because he was not appointed.



In that event, I wonder if the minister will please tell us what she intended, as far as the message to
the taxpayers of Nova Scotia was concerned, when she issued a press release on November 4th in which she
said that Grant Morash, Regional Managing Partner for Deloitte & Touche, has been appointed coordinator
for the amalgamation of the metro area municipalities into one unit? What message was she intending to
convey to the taxpayers of Nova Scotia by that press release?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I believe I answered that question yesterday.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



MUN. AFFS. - UNTENDERED CONTRACT: PREMIER - INVOLVEMENT



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. The Municipal Affairs
Minister publicly announced a contract that did not exist, that had not been approved and broke all of the rules
with respect to conflict of interest and public tendering. She stated that she honestly believed that the Premier
had given her authorization to do that.



My question to the Premier, which yesterday he said he would address today, is what actions or
statements did he make that gave his Minister of Municipal Affairs the impression that the Premier could give
such authorization?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I confess that the issue is difficult to understand myself. It is difficult
for us to see how we could have a meeting at which two different views were drawn, but that is what
happened. The minister discussed with me the names of the three or four people who were part of it and the
inference for me was quite clear. The inference that she took from it, you will have to ask her, I am afraid.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, on the basis of a phone call, the Premier had no trouble coming
to a snap judgment to fire the Deputy Minister of Health. His words were that Mrs. Dobbin’s error in judgment
leaves me with no other course but to ask for her resignation.



My question to the minister is that if he is not prepared to say that the Minister of Municipal Affairs’
actions violated the public tendering policies and the conflict of interest policies, would he not agree that
announcing a contract that did not exist, that had not been approved and that broke all the rules was at least
a severe error in judgment?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I have already stated that mistakes were made here and I think the
courageous statement of the minister herself indicates the way in which those mistakes were made. I really
don’t believe there is any need to comment further, other than to say she has acknowledged mistakes.



I suppose I can say that judgment comes very easily when you sit on the Opposition. It didn’t come so
easily for lawyerish statements made by members of the Conservative Opposition when they were over here,
but criticism always comes easily and criticism is fair because, obviously, you need competent people.



In this case the errors that were made by this minister were judgmental, yes; they were done in haste,
yes. But I do not believe - and I am a person who forgives like others - that the public interest has been
threatened by any of her mistakes and I stand by that. (Applause)



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, in the Premier’s decision to keep the Minister of Municipal Affairs
on the front bench and in his Cabinet, has the minister considered what the effect of this decision will be on
the unjust dismissal case that Lucy Dobbin will undoubtedly file against this government and that he has
considerably strengthened by the double standards that he has stood in this House today and proclaimed?






THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, that is, of course, a hypothetical question and hypothetical questions
don’t merit answers. I do want to say one thing, that Mrs. Dobbin, the Deputy Minister of Health, was a very
valued friend of mine. She was a person who assisted us in the direction of health reform in no small way.
I valued what she gave us. I appreciated it. The whole issue pained me very much. But the issue here is totally
different. (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



MUN. AFFS. - C.B. CO.: REGIONAL GOV’T. - COMMISSIONER MEMO.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. Yesterday
in the House she said that there was an Order in Council for Charles Campbell. I am surprised she wouldn’t
have done her research before yesterday. Today she says she made a mistake, it was a memorandum. I would
ask the minister was that memorandum signed by government prior to her announcement in May, in Cape
Breton, that Charles Campbell was the commissioner?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: The memorandum was signed prior to the announcement.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I would ask the honourable member if the memorandum was signed prior
to the agreement what was the amount of the contract for Mr. Charles Campbell?



MS. JOLLY: The amount of money that was available for Mr. Campbell was up to a limit of $125,000.



MR. MOODY: Well, Mr. Speaker, I would ask in my final supplementary, how the minister sees that
that was the same. She had permission by memorandum to announce that Mr. Charles Campbell was the
commissioner. How does she say that her announcement with Grant Morash was the same when in actual fact
she had no permission to make that announcement, how can she say that they are the same?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I very clearly said yesterday that I had made a mistake in announcing Mr.
Morash’s appointment prior to having the contract signed.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



PRIOR. AND PLAN. - UNTENDERED CONTRACTS: APPROVAL - RULES



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. I wonder if the Premier will
confirm that the tendering policy requires that all untendered contracts must be approved by Priorities and
Planning?



THE PREMIER: That is not true, Mr. Speaker.



MR. DONAHOE: I wonder, by way of supplementary, if the Premier might advise this House then,
and all Nova Scotians, what untendered projects, according to his rules, are required to be reviewed and
approved by Priorities and Planning?






THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, if you have a truck that breaks down on the weekend, you obviously
have to have the opportunity. So it is under $5,000. I am surprised that the member didn’t mention it. The
issue to which he refers is contained in the government procurement policy, which I filed yesterday.



MR. DONAHOE: I wonder if the Premier would indicate to this House whether the 30-60-90
untendered contract to Lesley Southwick-Trask was approved by Priorities and Planning?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I can honestly tell you, I don’t remember. It is 18 months ago, but I am
prepared to find out.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION: CANDIDATES - CONTACT DATES



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Yesterday, the minister sent across to me the names of the people who she had contacted with regard to hiring
a commissioner for the metro amalgamation. The names were Mr. Grant Morash, Mr. John Morash, Mr. Bill
Hayward and Mr. Harold Crosby.



Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister, when did she contact Mr. Grant Morash, Mr. John
Morash and Mr. Bill Hayward, on what dates did she contact those three gentlemen? She has given me the
date for Mr. Harold Crosby only.



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, some of the individuals were contacted on the Tuesday, which
I believe, and I would have to double-check, was November 8th and some of the individuals were contacted
on November 9th.



MR. RUSSELL: That is passingly strange, Mr. Speaker, since I believe it was November 4th when she
actually let the contract, so she let the contract and then phoned the people. Already in her own mind, she had
decided who was going to be the person.



MR. SPEAKER: All right, question now, question.



MR. RUSSELL: My question, yes, Mr. Speaker. My question to the honourable minister, she has dated
her telephone call to Mr. Harold Crosby as being made on November 7th, which is made after the fact of the
awarding of the contract.



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I just was looking at my calendar here. In actual fact, the dates, according
to the sequence of the way the events had followed through, the contacts were November 1st and November
2nd.



[1:00 p.m.]



MR. RUSSELL: Well, accepting that just for the moment, Mr. Speaker, if she contacted the final
person on November 2nd and she made the announcement on the 4th of November, who was involved in the
process of selecting the successful tenderer on the 3rd of November?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I had made the decision on the successful coordinator.






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



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

CONTRACT (MR. GRANT MORASH) - PROCEDURE



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, my question, through you, sir, is to the Minister of Municipal
Affairs. I am wondering if the minister could tell us when and how it was decided to proceed by way of a
contract with Deloitte & Touche, rather than by way of a Cabinet appointment, as was done for the Cape
Breton commissioner?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think as this honourable member has noted in some of his
comments, even as of yesterday, there was no contract awarded.



MR. HOLM: I did not say when it was awarded, I said to proceed by way of. Talk about lawyerish, Mr.
Speaker. I would like to ask the minister, was Mr. Morash consulted and, if so, by whom on the details of the
contract that the minister announced was to be given to Deloitte & Touche?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think, as I have stated on a number of times in Question Period, there was
a technical briefing that was done by both myself and the deputy minister to Mr. Morash.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the minister and, for clarity’s sake, say that I am not talking
about technical details. I am talking about financial details and employment details. My question to the
minister, maybe that was all that was technical that was decided, who was it that contacted Mr. Morash, or
was Mr. Morash, I should say, consulted at all and if so, by whom, over the financial arrangements of the
contract that she intended to award to Deloitte & Touche?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think as I have stated a number of times in Question Period, as well, in
actual fact, the discussions were held with Mr. Morash, not with Deloitte & Touche.



MR. SPEAKER: Before I call another question, I would like to ask that the signs stating, she says, and,
he says, be removed from the desks of the two honourable members in the front bench.



The honourable member for Queens.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

CONTRACT (MR. GRANT MORASH) - DISCUSSIONS



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. On November
10th, the Minister of Municipal Affairs informed the House that the name of Grant Morash had been provided
to her by the Minister responsible for the Economic Renewal Agency. For sake of clarity, I will quote from
Page 4250 of Hansard:



“MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, the name of Grant Morash came up from any number of
sources and as I said one of them came from the honourable Minister of the Economic Renewal
Agency.”.



Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is this. With what other ministers, including the Premier,
did she discuss hiring Grant Morash in the days preceding her announcement of November 4, 1994?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think as the honourable member read from Hansard, I talked
with any number of individuals.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my second question to the minister, since she refuses to answer the first,
is this. In the period preceding November 4th, was the minister required by government policies to take the
Grant Morash matter to Priorities and Planning, before announcing Mr. Morash’s appointment on November
4, 1994?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think, as I have stated, I made that announcement in error and I was in
the process of putting together some material for a contract.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my final supplementary to the minister, who would not answer my first
question, is this. Did the minister get approval from Cabinet before her November 4th announcement of the
approval of the Grant Morash arrangement, as she did with the appointment of Mr. Charles Campbell which,
according to her yesterday, was done by Order in Council, but today she admits, in error, it was done through
another instrument?



MS. JOLLY: No.



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



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

CONTRACT (MR. GRANT MORASH) - NEGOTIATIONS



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to go back to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. I would
like to ask her very clearly, who was it who spoke with Mr. Morash and discussed and was negotiating the
financial compensation that would go with the contract that was to be awarded? Who, specifically, did the
discussions and negotiated the figures with Mr. Morash?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, as well, I stated on a number of occasions in Question Period
that I advised Mr. Morash of what the payment would be under this particular contract. I think I have stated
on a number of occasions that, in actual fact, we had set an upper limit which was $225,000. That was an
amount I had come up with in the department that would be available to be paid for this particular job.



MR. HOLM: Was the contract that was to be signed - yet not signed - to be signed directly with Mr.
Morash or was it the intention to sign the contract with the firm of Deloitte & Touche?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, as I have stated on a number of occasions, there was no contract, and as
the honourable member has said in a number of his responses, the planned contracts, in actual fact there is
no contract.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the minister for doing an excellent job at
stonewalling and hiding behind that red curtain of secrecy that she and her colleagues have brought down
around themselves to try to protect them from what they have done.



I want to ask the minister very specifically, see if we can get a straight answer or an answer, period,
rather than more stonewalling. I want to know from the minister, did she get any separate, independent
financial advice as to what the financial benefits would be if the payments were made directly to Mr. Morash
or to Deloitte & Touche? Could the minister advise, did she get any independent advice?



MS. JOLLY: No, Mr. Speaker, there was no contract.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



MUN. AFFS. - UNTENDERED CONTRACT: DEPUTY MIN. - INVOLVEMENT



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, again to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. Yesterday in the House
the minister said that her deputy minister did the right thing when he expressed and revealed a conflict of
interest that he would have regarding the awarding of an untendered contract to Mr. Grant Morash of Deloitte
& Touche.



My question to the minister is, when the deputy minister told his minister that he had concern over
a conflict of interest, what did the minister do and to whom did she turn for advice, in terms of this obvious
ethical problem?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think as I have stated on a number of occasions as well, the
deputy minister was not involved in the decision as to who the coordinator would be.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, in previous questioning and in the media, it has been obvious that the
deputy minister did attend and provide a technical briefing to Mr. Morash. My question to the minister is, did
the minister ask the deputy to attend and give the technical briefing?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, yes I did. As I explained yesterday, this particular contract is one that will
take a fair amount of time. There were an awful lot of reports that had already been done over the last four
years particularly but, as well, there had been reports that had been done up to the last 20 years.



One of the indications we wanted to give the individuals was an opportunity to look at what the job
would entail, the amount of time it would take, the material that was already on file within the department,
so we could have an idea of what had already been accomplished, decisions that had already been made,
directions that had been looked at. As you know, we have Mr. Hayward’s report, an interim report, which lists
very much a guideline or a blueprint of what the metro amalgamation could look like, identifying savings that
are available, identifying how departments in the various municipalities could come together and all of that
information. It was important in order for the coordinator to make a decision as to whether they wanted to
take on that job; that that type of information and the detailed, financial information in some of the reporting
sections was important for a coordinator to have an understanding of what the job would entail.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, by way of final supplementary to the minister, did the deputy provide his
concerns over his obvious conflict of interest in writing to his minister and if so, would she be prepared to
table that document in the House?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, no. In fact the concerns expressed by the deputy were expressed verbally
to me, as were the concerns expressed by Mr. Morash.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

COMMISSIONER (MR. GRANT MORASH) - APPT. NOTIFICATION



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. I
would ask the minister when it was that she wrote to Mr. Morash to advise of his appointment as
commissioner?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I did not write to Mr. Morash and advise him, as the
commissioner.



MR. DONAHOE: In what fashion then, if I may, by way of supplementary to the Minister of Municipal
Affairs, in what fashion if at all did the Minister of Municipal Affairs communicate to Mr. Morash, prior to
her press release that he was, in fact, appointed the commissioner?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I had a telephone conversation with Mr. Morash.



MR. DONAHOE: And I take it then that since we have heard this minister say so frequently and
colleagues screaming in her support of her contention, I take it she believes then that it is acceptable public
practice and carries no potential legal implication for the taxpayers of Nova Scotia that she can stand up and
say publicly to the taxpayers of Nova Scotia, that a person has been appointed to a position that is worth
$225,000, that it is calculated on the basis of $1,225 a week for a seven hour day and she can stand up and
make such a statement and not believe that there is any potential legal liability to the taxpayers of Nova
Scotia?



MR. SPEAKER: I must rule that question out of order because Beauchesne states that a question
seeking a legal opinion is out of order. A question should not require an answer involving a legal opinion.
I can recognize the member on a new question.



The honourable member for Hants West.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

COORDINATOR - APPLICANTS UNSUCCESSFUL



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. The
minister has just said that she contacted Mr. Grant Morash by phone to advise him of his successful, for want
of a better word, application. I wonder how she contacted Mr. John Morash and Mr. Bill Hayward and Mr.
Harold Crosby and advised them that they were unsuccessful? Was that also done by telephone or was that
done by letter?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think as the honourable member is aware that, in actual fact,
Mr. Crosby was not contacted on that week of November 1st but he returned a call on November 7th. Mr.
Morash was contacted by phone by myself, I had called Mr. Morash’s office and Mr. Hayward was contacted
by phone as well.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, after deciding that Mr. Grant Morash was the very unique person she
was looking for, did she contact one or all four of the metropolitan area mayors and speak to them about her
selection of Mr. Morash?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think it is well-known that on Friday, November 4th, I had a meeting with
all four of the metro mayors. We went through a number of questions and concerns about the amalgamation
that had been announced the week before. During the meeting there, I was able to inform the metro mayors
that it was my intention to have Mr. Grant Morash as the individual who would be the coordinator to assist
the department and to assist those individuals in bringing forward the metro amalgamation issue which they
were very keen on sitting down and talking about and discussing.



[1:15 p.m.]



MR. RUSSELL: My final supplementary, Mr. Speaker, and I will return to this subject again shortly.
Did the minister advise those four municipal mayors, or three - whatever the number were - on that particular
day that she had also contacted Mr. John Morash, Mr. Bill Hayward and I guess Mr. Crosby didn’t come into
this. Did she advise them of her other two choices for this particular job?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, in actual fact, no, I did not advise them of the other individuals who had
been considered for the appointment and, so, I guess they hadn’t been advised by me of the other individuals
that I had contacted. A couple of them were concerned with some rumours that had been going around the
week or two before, some individuals who might be considered for that job of which they would have preferred
not to be the individual. But, no, I just advised them of Mr. Grant Morash.



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



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

UNTENDERED CONTRACT - DEPUTY MIN.



MR. JOHN HOLM: My question is to the Premier. On November 4th our Minister of Municipal Affairs
had indicated, when asked, that she had involved her deputy in the decisions that were being made in the
appointment of the commissioner. If the Premier hasn’t seen it I am also prepared to table again a copy of the
interview that was aired on the November 5th, in which Mr. Morash states quite clearly, and I will read the
one very short sentence: I was interviewed by the minister and the deputy minister.



My question to the Premier is quite simply this, why is it that the Premier has chosen to condone the
actions of a minister, when she is involving her deputy minister in a situation that can certainly be perceived
as a conflict of interest?



THE PREMIER: I understand from speaking with the deputy minister, from speaking with Mr. Morash
and in speaking with the minister that the only contact the deputy had with Mr. Morash was on the technical
side, the length of time the contract would take, the boundary issues, et cetera. At no time - and I am satisfied
with this - was the deputy minister involved in the selection of the candidate at all and I have made that quite
clear.



MR. HOLM: So, I guess that means that Nova Scotians are now expected to believe the word of the
Premier from the private interview that he had rather than the public comments that were made by Mr.
Morash in that interview.



My second question then to the Premier is quite simply this, the Premier did not accept the resignation
of the Minister of Health because the Minister of Health was unaware of the potential conflict that involved
his deputy and his former deputy’s husband, Yet, in this situation where the Minister of Municipal Affairs
herself, knew of the conflict, directly involved the deputy minister, I would like to ask the Premier, why it is
he sees that this conflict that the Minister of Muncipal Affairs is involved with is less serious than the one that
involved the Minister of Health?



THE PREMIER: Because it was recognized from the very first - and where there is a potential conflict
of interest or perceived, people are going to make their own judgments on that - I believe that it was managed.
I believe it was managed properly by the deputy, I believe it was managed properly by the minister and I
believe it was managed properly by Mr. Morash. This is where these imputations all the time about people
are so unfair. The management of confict is the issue here. As I said in my statement, the deputy minister
should have been better advised not to participate. The only participation that he had was on the technical
side, it was never in the selection of the subsequent candidate, and that better get through to them.
(Interruption)



MR. HOLM: It would appear to many, I am sure, that the Premier does not understand what a conflict
of interest is and that the key is to manage it so that you do not get caught.



My final question to the Premier is quite simply this. If the Conflict of Interest Commissioner discovers
or rules that there is a conflict situation, will the Premier promise that he will fire the Minister of Municipal
Affairs?



MR. SPEAKER: That question is out of order because it is hypothetical.



The honourable member for Queens.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

COMMISSIONER - DISCUSSIONS (MINS.)



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. The minister
has already confirmed to the House, through Hansard, that the Minister responsible for the Economic Renewal
Agency brought Mr. Morash’s name forward in conversation with respect to the position which he, for a very
brief time, held.



My question to the minister is this. In the days leading up to November 4, 1994, did she discuss with
the Minister of Finance the possibility of appointing Mr. Grant Morash to this position or did the Minister
of Finance, in fact, discuss it with her?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I very clearly have said a couple of times - its been asked of
me today and was asked of me yesterday - that I talked to a number of individuals about a number of people
who I was going to be looking at for the coordinator.



So, Mr. Speaker, I am not sure why they keep asking the question. Certainly one of those individuals
I talked to, as the Minister of the Economic Renewal Agency had stated in the House as well last week when
we received this question, in actual fact he was one of the individuals. Mr. Morash had been in charge of the
review of that particular department and had done an extremely good job of it. The Minister for the Economic
Renewal Agency was pleased with that work and was certainly one of the individuals who thought that if Mr.
Morash was the person who was appointed to be the coordinator for the merger of the metropolitan area, that
he certainly would do a good job of it.



MR. LEEFE: Again, the minister refuses to answer which suggests to me, sir, that there is an answer
to that question and she deliberately is avoiding giving that information to the House. Again, to the Minister
of Municipal Affairs, was the minister required by government policy and/or process to take the Grant Morash
appointment to Cabinet prior to her announcement of November 4, 1994?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, as I have explained on a number of occasions, I had inappropriately, or
through mistake, had had the announcement of Mr. Morash prior to that contract going through to Priorities
and Planning.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, in the days preceding November 4, 1994, did the minister receive approval
from any Cabinet colleagues or Cabinet committees for appointment of Grant Morash?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I have conversations with my colleagues, with the ministers, and I am
involved in a number of committees. Certainly it is my understanding that the information or the discussions
that we have in those committees are confidential.



AN HON. MEMBER: The veil of secrecy.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

CONTRACT (MR. GRANT MORASH) - LEADERS (MUN.)



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. I
wonder if the Minister of Municipal Affairs could clarify for me some of the events of November 4, 1994. It
is my understanding that on that date, after the announcement of the contract with Mr. Morash, there was a
meeting involving the minister and the mayors of the four metropolitan units in Halifax-Dartmouth metro,
and that at that meeting, the Minister of Municipal Affairs announced to those municipal leaders that there
would be new legislation coming in the spring and that there would be a new set of municipal elections in
1995. Did, in fact, the minister advise the municipal leaders to that effect at that meeting?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, yes. I had a meeting with the four metro mayors on November
4th. We met in my office at the Department of Municipal Affairs. I believe it was at 9:00 a.m. We talked about
a number of issues. One of them that we talked about was the coordinator. In actual fact, yes, I did a press
release on it but, I think, in actual fact, it was the four metro mayors, when they did their press conference
with the press individuals after the meeting we had that they put out the name of Mr. Morash as the
coordinator.



We discussed a number of issues. One of them was the fact that as I had announced when I did the
briefing on Bill No. 114, that we were going to be bringing legislation forward in the spring session to actually
deal with the metro amalgamation, similar to a piece of legislation that I introduced in the spring of 1994,
into that session, on the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.



During the meeting we discussed that that was a piece of legislation that had been approved by this
House and had gone forward and we would certainly be drafting the legislation to merge the metropolitan
areas in that very same vein.



As well, Mr. Speaker, one of the items that was discussed, as the member has brought up, is the date
for elections, in order to have the new councils selected prior to the amalgamation of April 1, 1996. That was
one of the issues we talked about in order to have that council in place and for a period of time that they would
be able to put together some of the necessary rules and regulations and budgets and all those things for the
amalgamation which would have taken place April 1, 1996.



So, Mr. Speaker, in actual fact, all of those things were discussed at that meeting and the metropolitan
mayors were aware of from that discussion, some of the procedures and directions we would be going through
with the metro amalgamation.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister would tell me when she had informed the
Premier that she would be advising the municipal leaders that she would be telling them on that date that the
municipal elections would be taking place in the fall of 1995?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think, as I have suggested on a number of occasions and I believe that the
Premier has as well, in actual fact the announcement of the amalgamation was made with the Premiers and
the four mayors. He talked directly with those individuals and then that announcement was in the press.
Following that, I made the announcement in the Red Room, the actual statement confirming that in both the
Red Room and here, in the House of Assembly.



The procedure that was to follow after that was up to myself and the department to put together, as I
have done in the Cape Breton area, the nuts and bolts of how the amalgamation would go forward.



MR. DONAHOE: So, then it is the case, I take it from the Minister of Municipal Affairs, that the first
knowledge the municipal leaders received of the fact that there would be municipal elections in November
1995, just having had municipal elections here a few weeks ago, was the day that she made her public
statement. There was no prior consultation with the municipal leaders, that they would face municipal
elections 12 months hence?



MS. JOLLY: Well, Mr. Speaker, that was one of the questions that came up in the meeting I had with
the four mayors. One of the questions they had was the possibility of what the date would be to go to the polls
and that was the date I gave them.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

TENDERING - PREMIER AUTHORITY



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the honourable
Premier. The Minister of Municipal Affairs has said that she honestly believes that the Premier had given her
permission, the authority, to proceed as she did in regard to announcing the contract, untendered, to Grant
Morash. Nowhere in any of the government documentation, not the government procurement policy, not the
tendering policy, not the Priorities and Planning transaction guide, nowhere in any of the government
documentation do I see a role for the Premier to grant authority to violate those rules.



My question to the Premier is, would he explain in what instances he sees himself as having the
authority to violate the public tendering provisions set out in the government documentation that has been
fully disclosed here?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows full well that the Premier does not have
that mandate and I have never claimed it.



[1:30 p.m.]



MS. MCDONOUGH: Well, Mr. Speaker, I first listened carefully to the ministerial statement and then
I have sat here reading it very carefully and the main explanation that the Premier has offered for his
condoning of these violations of tendering policy and conflict of interest is that he understood that there was
a misunderstanding about the process. How can this Premier expect Nova Scotians to interpret that as
anything but a condoning of a decision that violated both the public tendering requirements and the conflict
of interest requirements?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I think I have made it abundantly clear that I did not condone it and
that was perfectly obvious in the remarks that I had made. What I have also said is that it was quite clear that
there was a misunderstanding in the interpretation between the two us, that two people could leave with
different interpretations. However, the important thing is, just as clearly, that this was cleared up by the
subsequent decision to go to a full tender. So, the issue is cleared up, no harm has been done and that is why,
under the circumstances I did not feel that it was a resignation issue.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, the Premier is aware that during his absence, there was also some
concern expressed about the violation of the requirements, in this case, the tendering requirements and the
requirement to disclose fully the reasons for not going to tender but sole-sourcing the contract in the instance
of Berkeley Consultants.



Is the Premier indicating that that doesn’t in any way break with the tendering requirements and by
not dealing with that issue is the Premier not actively condoning such an untendered contract?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that the Berkeley contract was given because
there was an urgency about the matter, the recent resignation of the deputy, and that fits in under the very
code that is drawn up here on Page 11.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

CONTRACT (COMMISSIONER) - SELECTION



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. The
Minister of Municipal Affairs talks at great length about the technical briefings that were carried out. I would
like to ask the minister when was the technical briefing with Mr. Grant Morash carried out? Was that before
or after November 4th?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, the technical briefing for Mr. Morash was conducted on
Wednesday, November 2nd.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister then, if she accorded Grant Morash a
technical briefing, why was that same courtesy not offered to the other people she had contacted, Mr. John
Morash and Mr. Bill Hayward?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, in actual fact Mr. John Morash as well on November 2nd had a technical
briefing and Mr. Hayward was contacted by phone at his winter residence or a residence that he has on a part-time basis. So, Mr. Hayward and Mr. Morash were both given technical briefings on November 2nd, that
Wednesday, the same day as Mr. Grant Morash. I will just clarify that Mr. Hayward, having been the
individual who had done a number of reports for the previous government on the amalgamation issue, really
a technical briefing for Mr. Hayward was limited because Mr. Hayward was well aware of the additional steps
that would have to be taken.



Mr. Hayward, for the honourable member if he recalls, had just recently done a report with the metro
mayors on the amalgamation of the police force and therefore he was well aware of the time and the
implications and the amount of work that would need to be done.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

CONTRACT (MR. GRANT MORASH) - PRIOR. AND PLAN.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question too is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. The
Minister of Municipal Affairs said that the contract for Grant Morash was turned down by Priorities and
Planning. I would ask her on what date that Priorities and Planning dealt with the issue of a contract with
Grant Morash?



MR. SPEAKER: With deference, the honourable Minister of Finance answers for Priorities and
Planning but if the minister wishes to respond, she may.



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think that is part of the difficulty that we have here. The
honourable members opposite are continually suggesting that I have stated facts or stated particular things,
in actual fact, which I have not stated. I believe what he stated was that I had been to Priorities and Planning
and had a discussion with Priorities and Planning on an actual contract there.



Mr. Speaker, what I have said all along is the fact that there has been no contract issued and I think
that is one of the points that we have to continue to be aware of, that in actual fact, a contract has not been
issued.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I know she used the word contract in a paper, but I will not use it, even
though she used it. I will ask the minister, through you then, when the proposal that was turned down by
Priorities and Planning, that she took to Priorities and Planning to get approval to proceed with Grant Morash
as the commissioner, what date was that proposal turned down by Priorities and Planning?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think, as I have answered on a number of occasions, there were a number
of discussions that had gone on. I spoke with the Priorities and Planning people on Tuesday, November 8th
and it was discussed at that time.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question to the Minister of Municipal Affairs is, was there written
documentation that went to Priorities and Planning regarding the issue of hiring Mr. Grant Morash as
commissioner for the metro area?



MS. JOLLY: Yes, Mr. Speaker, there had been work that I had done on a contract, some work that I
had done on a report, some work that I had done and I had had a discussion at Priorities and Planning on
November 8th.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West on a new question.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

PRIOR. AND PLAN. MEETING (08/11/94) - DOCUMENTS TABLE



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I would ask the honourable minister, if she is indicating if she
was at the meeting on November 8th, and if she was at the meeting of November 8th, if she would table in
this House the documentation that she prepared for that meeting on November 8th to deal with the issue of
Grant Morash?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think the honourable member is well aware that material and
discussion that goes on in the inner workings of the Cabinet are confidential.



MR. MOODY: I did not ask the honourable minister for the discussions that went on in Priorities and
Planning. I asked the honourable minister for the documentation, not the memorandum, I know the rules,
sometimes better than the House Leader. Mr. Speaker, through you, I ask the Minister of Municipal Affairs
if, in fact, there was some written documentation, not a memorandum, that went to Priorities and Planning
and if there was, would she be prepared to table that documentation?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, the memorandum, the documentation that was presented at Priorities and
Planning is confidential information.



MR. MOODY: I would ask the Minister of Municipal Affairs if she is aware if the Premier was at the
Priorities and Planning meeting?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, in actual fact, the Premier was not at the meeting on November 8th because,
if the honourable member will recall, the Premier had been out of the country for, I believe, ten days or more,
having had a very successful trip on dealing with a number of the issues that are important to this province,
such as the Sydney Steel issue. So, in actual fact, no, the Premier was not at that meeting.



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



PRIOR. AND PLAN. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

COMMISSIONER CONTRACT - SOLE-SOURCING



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I want to go to the minister responsible for Priorities and Planning.
Could the minister advise if a document, as is required whenever sole-sourcing is to be done be presented,
regardless of the amount, that is required by the Priorities and Planning, could the minister indicate if the
minister or her deputy minister provided that on November 8th or at any time prior to that to justify why they
had to go to sole-source?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the honourable member might remember that
November 8th was the date on which I made the announcement to the House of the sale of Sydney Steel and,
indeed, introduced the Gaming Control Act on that date, so I was not in attendance at that meeting and I will
certainly take the question on notice and provide information to the honourable member.



MR. HOLM: The minister wasn’t present. I wonder if the minister could indicate who would have
chaired that meeting in his absence?



MR. BOUDREAU: Yes. It is my understanding that it was chaired by the honourable House Leader.



MR. HOLM: Since the honourable House Leader is in the House but I still have to direct my questions
to the minister, will the minister promise that he will speak with his colleague, maybe get up and walk across
the House and get the information and then when he has that information, which is required to be made
public, will the minister agree that he will table that information - and it is required and if the Premier
questions it I will be happy to show him his own government’s documentation that says that it has to be made
available to the public - will the minister agree to table that information on the floor of the House this
afternoon?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I said previously I would take his question on notice and attempt to
provide him with the answer as to whether or not any information had gone and that is the extent of my
undertaking on this point.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



PRIOR. AND PLAN. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

UNTENDERED CONTRACT - MIN. INVOLVEMENT



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question also is for the Minister of Finance. I wonder if the
Minister of Finance would tell the House if, in advance of November 4, 1994, either he discussed the
possibility of appointing Mr. Morash to the position of commissioner or if in fact the Minister of Municipal
Affairs had discussed with him the possibility of appointing Mr. Morash?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member I am sure is aware, being
an experienced veteran of not only this House but of the Executive Council, any discussions which took place
on a matter of government business between Cabinet Ministers, I regard as confidential.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, knowing that information is widely available through government, I
wonder if the Minister of Finance would indicate to the House whether he was or was not aware in the days
before November 4, 1994, that the Minister of Municipal Affairs was considering appointing Grant Morash
as commissioner?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I was aware that that issue was before the honourable Minister of
Municipal Affairs, yes.



MR. LEEFE: My final question, again to the Minister of Finance in his capacity as Chairman of the
Priorities and Planning Committee. How long after the November 19, 1994, announcement by the Minister
of Municipal Affairs of the appointment of Grant Morash did he contact the Minister of Municipal Affairs
and advise her that she had seriously breached a vitally important government policy?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, let me just indicate to the honourable member, as he well knows, that
any discussions which were had with the honourable minister or any minister of this government in the
conduct of their responsibilities and, indeed, the conduct of my own responsibilities is confidential.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



FIN.: HEALTH CARE COMMISSIONER - SALARY



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: My question is also for the Minister of Finance and it is a slightly different
tack and I am sure he will be delighted about that. On a couple of occasions the member for Kings West has
asked the Minister of Health and the Minister of Human Resources for information regarding the salary paid
to the Commissioner of Health Care Reform. I was wondering if the Minister of Finance could make that
information available in view of the fact that the other two ministers will not do so?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I have sufficient difficulty running my own department
and I wouldn’t presume to enter into another minister’s responsibility.



MR. RUSSELL: Well, that is fair enough. I understand however that the Minister of Finance is
responsible for the pay cheques and all he has to do is to dash out here, phone across the road and he can get
that information in nothing flat. However, if he wishes to hide, that is fine. With regard to the Commissioner
of Health Care Reform, I would ask the Chairman of the Priorities and Planning Committee, was the contract
for this lady processed through Priorities and Planning?



MR. BOUDREAU: I think the honourable member is referring to the Priorities and Planning
Committee. I am not completely sure who he is referring to with respect to this lady. I would certainly take
the question on notice but I am not in a position to answer it at this stage.



[1:45 p.m.]



MR. RUSSELL: I am looking for the contract that was agreed to by this government with the
Commissioner of Health Care Reform, Mary Jane Hampton. I would ask the Chairman of the Priorities and
Planning Committee if he will make that contract available to the House, say, by tomorrow noon?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the contract between that individual, Ms. Hampton, is a contract
between herself and the Department of Health, I presume, and should be dealt with by that department.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



PRIOR. AND PLAN. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

UNTENDERED CONTRACT - MIN. INVOLVEMENT



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Finance. Having just now
acknowledged, as he did a moment ago, that he knew prior to November 4th that the Minister of Municipal
Affairs was contemplating the appointment of Mr. Grant Morash to this position as commissioner, I wonder
if the minister might be able to advise the House as to whether or not the Minister of Finance cautioned or
explained to the Minister of Municipal Affairs the technical and procedural requirements, by way of
paperwork having to be filed with Priorities and Planning, in light of the fact that an untendered contract was
being contemplated?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated, I was aware that this matter was
under consideration by the honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs. The details of any conversations I had
with any minister on this matter or other matters, as I have already indicated, will remain confidential.



MR. DONAHOE: I wonder if I might ask the Minister of Municipal Affairs as to whether or not prior
to November 4, 1994, she, in conversation with the Minister of Finance or with any other Cabinet colleague,
was alerted to the facts - since she obviously did not know of them herself - by any other Cabinet colleague
of the rules that she was under a requirement to file papers with Priorities and Planning, in connection with
an untendered contract for $225,000?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think I have stated on a number of occasions that on
November 8th, I went to Priorities and Planning and had a discussion. Certainly my understanding is that I
have followed that procedure to deal with Priorities and Planning on the possible contract that might have
been awarded to Mr. Morash, as the coordinator of the amalgamated area.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time allotted for the Oral Question Period has expired.



I would like to advise the House before we proceed to Government Business, that the Clerk has
conducted a draw for the Adjournment debate at 6:00 p.m., which I neglected to mention earlier. The draw
today was won by the honourable Leader of the Opposition. His submission is that a resolution be debated:



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Natural Resources put forth a position paper on behalf of
the Province of Nova Scotia, so that a serious negotiation can begin and a consensus be reached with the
federal government on a new federal Forestry Development Agreement for Nova Scotia.



We will hear on that matter at 6:00 p.m.



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: I rise on a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday the Minister for the
Economic Renewal Agency rose and took exception to some comments I made, indicating that I was trying
to mislead the House by sticking up for the way he was trying to protect the resource centre that is closed in
Amherst.



If I may, Mr. Speaker, I just have to reinforce that I do have documented proof that I will table in this
House. One quote said, let there be no mistake, Ross Bragg supports keeping the school here, not just this year
but for many years to come.



The point that the honourable minister was complaining most vigorously about was from a new item
that appeared on October 21, 1993, “Economic Development and Tourism Minister Ross Bragg says as long
as he and Guy Brown are in the provincial Cabinet, the Atlantic Provinces Resource Centre for the hearing
impaired won’t be moved from Amherst.”. That is exactly what I said to this House, Mr. Speaker. If there is
an error in that, that error certainly would not be my intention to make.



I would like to table these documents so that the minister can review exactly what he did say and the
commitment he made to the people in Amherst.



MR. SPEAKER: The documents are tabled.



GOVERNMENT BUSINESS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: 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. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 120.



Bill No. 120 - Gaming Control Act.



MR. SPEAKER: Now on Bill No. 120 the honourable member for Kings North has the floor.



The amendment under discussion was, “That the words after `that’ be deleted and the following
substituted: `in the opinion of the House, the introduction and enactment of Bill No. 120 will destroy the
essential and fundamental belief that government acts only with the consent of the governed.’”.



The honourable member had adjourned at 7:59 p.m. and had used approximately 40 minutes of time.
I will allow him 20 minutes, beginning at 1:50 p.m.



The honourable member for Kings North.



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: I appreciate the opportunity to continue this debate, particularly today
when the very thrust, the importance of this amendment, where it says the fundamental belief that government
acts only with the consent - Mr. Speaker, the fundamental of this amendment we say in action today, when
40,000 signatories to petitions were not accepted by the government members of this House. The MLAs who
represent those people refused to take those petitions and bring them into the House.



MR. SPEAKER: I have already ruled that line of argument out of order in the resolution.



MR. ARCHIBALD: I am not arguing it, Mr. Speaker, I am merely stating a fact and that is exactly
what happened.



MR. SPEAKER: It was objected to by several honourable members on the grounds that it was not true.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Well, Mr. Speaker, there are varying degrees of agreement on that. Certainly I
accepted the people and I didn’t ask for their political belief. But we will not talk about that anymore.



Mr. Speaker, the people in Nova Scotia are very vigorously speaking to all of us. They want the
legislators, the people they had the opportunity to vote for, they want to be able to talk and communicate to
them and indicate their actual beliefs with regard to a casino.



Now I have asked many people on the government benches to tell me, personally and from this vantage
point, for one reason, one study that indicates we need a casino in Nova Scotia, one scintilla of evidence that
a casino is the type of a venture that Nova Scotia should be going down. The only indicator I have received
from any member of this Cabinet, this front bench, both from the Minister of Finance a few months ago and
the Premier from an earlier conversation, was, well, the people who want to build the casinos have told us they
are a good thing to do. And we sent a member on a trip.



Mr. Speaker, one member on a junket across Canada that lasted two days has decided the fate of
casinos for Nova Scotia. I just don’t find that to be very enhancing. The people of this province are entitled,
I think, to expect more from their elected representatives. I think the voices of the people should be heard.



What could be wrong with it, Mr. Speaker? Look at Bishop Colin Campbell from Antigonish, a great
Nova Scotian and we all agree on his credentials, he would like to be heard and I know we would like to listen
to him. The member for his area should vote the way Bishop Colin Campbell is urging him to. He is urging
him not to support casinos in Nova Scotia. Now that is the very spirit of representative government, to
represent the opinions of the people who sent you here.



I know Bishop Colin Campbell has probably supported the honourable member for Antigonish because
everybody else in Antigonish has supported him for the last 25 years, so I think we would be safe in assuming
that he has the support of the church as well. But there is a division, a wall, and suddenly the supporters are
saying, listen to us, they are begging, 40,000 strong.



The moral ground, perhaps, is disappearing because we have an amalgamation of many church groups
coming forward and saying we want to be heard. We want those governing us to listen to the governed. We
want to know, why are we having casinos? Most people in Nova Scotia, I think you will agree, are reasonable
and if the Minister of Finance, the minister of casinos and lotteries, I am sure if he was interested, he could
stand at his place and tell us, well, this study done by this austere organization has indicated that if we have
casinos it will provide employment or the group over here did another study and this group did another study.
But he cannot furnish one single study.



Even the member for Hants East, who they sent on a taxpayers’ expense paid junket across Canada,
did not file a report so he cannot even wave that at us. He told him verbally that he enjoyed the trip and he
learned how to gamble and he thought it was great. The people in Montreal liked it and he said the people
in British Columbia probably like it and he said I think that Nova Scotians would like it, too.






Mr. Speaker, why doesn’t the member for Hants East stand in the House and tell us about it? We paid
for his trip. Maybe he should give us all a report, all the taxpayers, and then we would know why we are in
the casino business because he is the authority that the Minister of Finance and the Premier have indicated
they based their (Interruption)



Mr. Speaker, the senior citizens of Nova Scotia, there is one group of people I think we all can concur
and we would all agree have experience and the calmness to sit and look objectively at an issue, and the
seniors from Cape Breton are saying no. The delegates to the Cape Breton Council of Senior Citizens and
Pensioners said we do not want anything to do with a casino in Cape Breton. That is the senior citizens. Now
that is not the senior Progressive Conservative council or the senior New Democratic Party or the senior
Liberal or the senior Labour Party, it is the Cape Breton Council of Senior Citizens, a non-partisan group.
They said we do not want anything to do with a casino in Cape Breton.



Mr. Speaker, why aren’t we listening to what the people are saying? I think that we should. I think they
deserve it. Fourteen clubs have grave concerns. Are they not those who are being governed by the
government? Are they not losing their faith in the political process? Well, I think we should have listened to
them. The people against casinos, they have questions. They deserve answers just as the rest of us do.



We have heard that we were in the casino business to help the economic development of our province.
So far, the only economic development that has happened has been with Lucky Laszlo who got $50,000 and
more to come. That is a pretty good win. There is not many people that are going to go to the casino and win
$50,000, but he did and he has not even been in it yet. So he is, indeed, fortunate.



Mr. Speaker, there were people that thought it sounded like a good idea at the time, but now they are
turning around and saying it is not a good idea. MLAs should vote their conscience is something that I am
hearing more and more about around the province. In fact, I think it would be a good idea. What is wrong
with a free vote? What would be wrong with a free vote on casinos? Now the Premier would have to authorize
it because you know what happens if you have a free vote around here without his authorization.
(Interruptions)



[2:00 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, do we have interrupters over here who would like to rise in their place? Do we have
people who would like to rise in their place? We have to look forward and we have to adopt new rules. That
is what we need for this place.



Mr. Speaker, one of the things that I find amazing - I wish I could just lay my hands on that report that
the honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin - he signed the report indicating no casinos. You see, he
has done what you call an about-face. He has changed his mind. He now says casinos are good. That is the
perfect argument for a free vote. He changed his mind. I think free votes should be held more often in this
Legislature and if the member for Halifax Bedford Basin can change his mind, why can’t anybody else?



Do you see what the problem is, Mr. Speaker? The government members are too narrow. They cannot
see anything except their own opinion and that is a real basic tragedy that we have.






So, we are drifting along, Mr. Speaker, and we are hearing from TIANS and TIANS are saying, we
want to be heard, we want to be listened to. TIANS originally said we support casinos but like the member
for Halifax Bedford Basin, they changed their mind. They have turned around and now TIANS have seen the
light and they say, look, on first blush this looked like it would be helpful to tourism but now we are seeing
it will be bad for tourism. Just like the member for Halifax Bedford Basin, he said it would be bad for tourism,
now he is saying it is good for tourism.



I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, I believe in the TIANS people when they tell me what is good and what
is not good for tourism because the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia knows a heck of a lot more
about tourism than the member for Halifax Bedford Basin. I do believe him when he tabled his report
indicating casinos would do harm to the great Province of Nova Scotia. Why he has changed his mind, why
he submitted to the pressure from some of his Cabinet colleagues and why all of the Cabinet colleagues have
submitted to pressure from a few, is beyond me. That is why we need a little bit of freedom, a little bit of
democracy within the ranks of the governing Party. There are just a few people who have a stranglehold on
what this province is doing. It is like a dictatorship. One man gets an idea and he can persuade the whole
works.



The coalition of health and church groups have formed to fight Nova Scotia’s casino gambling. Is there
one single group, Mr. Speaker, and I challenge any member of this House to find me an organized group in
the province who say they want a casino.



HON. RICHARD MANN: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. He asked for someone to indicate what
organization would be in support. Based on the comments and the corrections, I might add, made by the
Minister of Tourism of this province, TIANS is in support of this as indicated subsequent to the meeting on
the weekend in a letter from the President of TIANS. In fact, 23 members had made a decision to be against
but the majority of the TIANS members were in support. That was corrected in this House. It is on the record
of Hansard and the minister indicated he had a letter from the President of TIANS indicating that.



MR. SPEAKER: It is an enlightening response but not a point of order.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Look, I thank you for your interjection but you see, that does not really lend the
credence that he was hoping because TIANS are having a real problem with casinos. There are a few who
want casinos and the majority do not want casinos and that opinion is the one that is important.



MR. SPEAKER: The time of the honourable member has expired.



The honourable member for Kings West.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the members for Kings North had a lot more to say
on this very important issue and really on this amendment that talks about the acts of this government with
regard to what people are saying. You know, a number of us have spoken a number of times. I want to say,
last night there was a public forum, an open house in Halifax, a town hall meeting not far from here. As the
casino critic, one of the issues that came up during that meeting in the City of Halifax, was the issue of
casinos. They asked questions about this legislation and what they were amazed to find out, they asked
questions like, how come municipal leaders have no say, how come they don’t have to get a permit. One lady
went to say that she had a fence that blew down. In order for her to put that fence back up, she has to get
permission from the City of Halifax to put this back up.



This legislation allows a proponent to come in and put up a casino without any permits, without any
care to any city, without any permission whatsoever. They couldn’t believe that that in fact was in this kind
of legislation. So, they said, how are we going to reach this government of today? Because they said, of all
the issues that are in the Legislature, this is the issue that we fear the most. And we fear it the most because
of what we are hearing about the high-handed approach by this government and about the secretive way in
which casinos are being developed but yet we, as citizen Joe, don’t have any say.



In other words, there can be petitions signed by 40,000 people, there can be calls to MLAs and there
can be letters written to MLAs and the government writes back and says, we are doing this for economic and
fiscal reasons. You know, if you are doing something for fiscal and economic reasons, don’t you have to look
at the price you have to pay. Because what the people of this province are saying is, there will be a price for
casinos in this province. I can’t understand a government who will have to go back to the people at some
point, although they are governing today like they will never have to go back to the people.



What people are saying is, what avenue do we have of drawing our attention to this government that
we do not want government to proceed with casinos at the present time? We want to know more. We don’t
think, with the information we have, that casinos are good for this province. They asked me and I said, I can’t
give you all of the good things that a casino will provide and all the rationale, I can’t tell you the socio-economic benefits of a casino, I can’t. I said, maybe you could ask the government members to go to public
meetings and they could answer at public meetings some of these very good questions, very legitimate
questions by citizens of this province who have a real concern for this province.



Well, you know, I don’t have to speak to the converted, they are gone. The ones that aren’t converted
are still left because they are going to vote for this bill. I doubt very much if I will convert these people because
unless the Premier gives the word, this government isn’t changing any direction because he very clearly
indicated that he is the one in charge, there is no question. So, what I probably should have been telling these
people is do not call your local MLA, they don’t count. Call the Premier, he is the only one with the big heavy
hand that can change anything. So, maybe I did make a mistake.



I know that whether you go from Yarmouth or whether you go straight across this province, and it is
funny, at every social event or any event I go to, or whether it is on the streets of the little Town of Berwick,
from the streets of the Village of Waterville, the question comes up about casinos. They say why is this
government proceeding with casinos when it is clearly demonstrated that the majority of Nova Scotians don’t
want them? I say well, I don’t know why. This government promised during the election campaign that they
were going to be different. I am always amazed when they yell over at us and say, well you did that.
Obviously, what we did was wrong. We ended up here, so why would they copy us because they say, well you
did it, we are going to do it. I can’t imagine, I haven’t been able to rationalize in my mind, why it is so great
to follow a group that got defeated. I have yet to understand that when that is shouted by this group and by
that group. I just can’t understand that reasoning, that doesn’t make sense.



If this government is going to be different and going to next time win the support of the majority of
people in this province, then obviously don’t do the things the way that the previous government did them.
If you are not going to do the things the previous government did, then you wouldn’t proceed with this
legislation without the proper consultation, because clearly what I felt in the days leading up to our election,
that we didn’t consult enough. Clearly, the people at the polls told us that and clearly they voted against us.
So, if that was the case, I have yet to understand what is wrong. First, the House Leader said we are not in a
rush to ram this legislation through, if it is 6 months or 12 months, it is not the end of the world. I thought
that is good thinking, because by not rushing it through this process will go along better. If you don’t rush
something, you go step by step and you consult step by step, you will end up in the end with a good product.
What this government has said - even though they are not in a hurry - we will not allow any consultative
process to take place prior to the erection of casinos in this province.



Now, if you look at that, Mr. Speaker, you would say well that doesn’t make sense because this
government represents a government that wants to consult, that feels it is very important that everybody in
Nova Scotia, no matter where you live, what your profession is, or what, you have some sort of a say in the
democratic process. And we are here to listen because good government is a government that does listen and
works with the majority of people. That is good government, that is responsible government and that is not
listening to the whim or listening to a few, that is allowing a process. A process whereby Nova Scotians have
an opportunity to weigh. You know, I have to think the smartest 19 people in Nova Scotia or 18, whatever,
aren’t sitting at the Cabinet table, we have a lot of intelligent people. A lot more intelligent people probably
than the 52 sitting in here. A lot of people worked hard to make this province a good place to live in. A lot
of people who have given a lot of their free time to volunteer to make this a better province to live in.



A lot of people have given their weekends, their nights, to volunteer in this province to make this
province a better place in which to live. I ask myself, why is it we can’t allow those good people to have some
say in a process that is going to affect their lives, their families’ lives and the future of this province? I can’t
for the life of me understand, why something that is going to be here for so many years has to be built in such
a hurry. I can’t for the life of me understand that. I have given this a lot of thought and, as I have said before,
it is not my personal views on casinos that really count. What really counts is the views of Nova Scotians and
their understanding of what casinos are going to do and not do for them and for this province.



You know, Mr. Speaker, if that is too much to ask any government because casinos whether they are
built in 6 months or 12 months, aren’t going to defeat this government if they say the timeframe isn’t that
important; it isn’t going to destroy their four year fiscal plan if they do it in 6 months or 12 months. I plead
with the government, don’t listen to us in the Opposition, because you will say that we are partisan and we
are only here to always oppose.



You know, we didn’t oppose the environmental bill; I voted for the municipal reform bill; and I will
probably vote for the workers’ compensation bill because it is good legislation. But when it isn’t good
legislation and I hear the people tell me out there that it is not good legislation, then I think it is my
responsibility to stand up in this House and say so. So, here we have a case where, very clearly, I can
demonstrate that I do not stand up in this Legislature and oppose every piece of legislation this government
produces. Not true, Mr. Speaker, and I would be glad to support good legislation and this government has
brought in good legislation.



[2:15 p.m.]



Here we have legislation that is going to have far-reaching effects. This legislation allows casinos to
be built in any community in this province. The people in that community, whether it is Berwick or whether
it is Yarmouth or whether it is Bedford or Truro, they have no say. This legislation does not allow a process
whereby any citizen or groups of citizens or citizens of that community have any say whatsoever whether a
casino is built in their community.



I have to ask you, Mr. Speaker, we are 52, we don’t live in all of the communities of this province.
Some of us don’t have to live in Halifax or Sydney, where the casinos are going, obviously. So, we might sit
back and say, oh well, we live somewhere else, so we will let this go through. But by letting this go through,
that can allow this government to set up a casino in my constituency and nobody has any say. I say to myself,
is that fair? We live in a country that we are all proud to live in; we live in a province that we are all proud
to live in; and we have always had, in this province, a fair and open democratic process and we are proud of
it. Here we have an issue that we say, no matter what level of government you are at, municipal or whether
you are a village or whether you are citizen Joe, here is a case where your voice doesn’t count.



As I say, Mr. Speaker, this I cannot understand because if this government did allow people to come
forward and, after the government allowed people to speak out, then they could weigh what was being said;
they could weigh whether that information being said by individuals had merit or not. It isn’t too much to ask.
Every one of us have people come to us on an issue. We weigh that person’s presentation. Does that person
have in his or her presentation some merit or not that applies to the principles of whatever the issue or
discussion may be before this House?



Here is an opportunity, Mr. Speaker, on this bill, for this government to indicate to the public that we
don’t only talk about openness, that we don’t only talk about fairness, that we don’t only talk that we are
listening, that we don’t only talk that we share that everyone in this province counts and contributes; we don’t
even talk those words, we deliver on those words because we are going to allow some public hearings and a
public process to take place. If they are going to go ahead with the casino, and that is fine, maybe there should
be a process where some individuals have a say on where it goes, on how it is structured, on how it is run -
is it run seven days a week, is it run on Sunday - maybe people could have a little bit of say at least on how
it is operated, if you can’t have any say on whether we are going to get them.



So, Mr. Speaker, this amendment and other amendments that would have allowed this government
a process to take place whereby Nova Scotians would feel that they have a say in the future of this province,
and this government has missed those opportunities by voting against amendments and I expect the
government will vote against this amendment.



If the government wanted to make their own amendment, Mr. Speaker, that allowed an open process
and allowed the general public to participate in a fair and open process and to deal with the issue of casinos,
I would support it. I would support it and I would vote in favour with the government on such a process.



But I do not believe, in the next number of days, that this government will change its mind. That is
very unfortunate. We are going to get into a time around Christmas, Mr. Speaker, when this bill will probably
finish in this Legislature. A time when people are concerned about family and Christmas celebrations and so
the issue will sort of die until the new year. I do not know whether or not people coming forward at any level,
whether Law Amendments Committee or whatever, will have any effect on this government.






I was asked by a CBC reporter today who said, Mr. Speaker, if an independent poll was taken do you
think this government would change its mind, if the people were allowed? I said, well, it would have to be
very independent because if it wasn’t we obviously could not do it. The government would say that we
arranged the poll. If the government arranged their own poll, would they feel that was independent enough
to decide such as issue?



They might say, Mr. Speaker, we cannot govern by polls and that is fair enough. But you know, all I
am asking for them to do is try to think of a process, a process in the legislation that would allow the people
of Halifax, allow the people of Sydney, just one little bit of say in this process. I do not think any one of us
would want to be at City Hall in Halifax or Sydney and all of a sudden the government comes down with this
legislation and it says, we do not care. You were elected, but you do not count, what really counts is what this
government wants to do with casinos. Your rules and regulations that you apply to everybody else in this city
do not apply to the building of a casino.



I, for the life of me, cannot answer the question why. Why don’t the rules apply for building a casino
that would apply for building a hotel or building anything else. That, to me, makes a lot of sense. Now, you
might say, well, Mr. Speaker, and the government might say, that will be okay. The government will see to
it that everything is okay when it is being built. You know, that does not allow for local input, does not allow
for people at the local level to voice their views.



I was reading an article, Mr. Speaker, I think either yesterday or today, the article said, the addiction
of the 1990’s is going to be addiction to gaming or gambling. It is predicted by a number of people that that
is the addiction that is going to reach a high level. Probably the reason is that as more and more gaming
becomes available to people and people have access to it, obviously the numbers are going to go up. So, are
we ready to deal with those kinds of issues? If the addiction of the 1990’s is gambling, then why is it in Nova
Scotia we want to be up in front and allow and promote more opportunities for people to become addicted to
a very dreaded disease.



Because gambling addiction is no different than alcohol addiction. I know that when people are
addicted to smoking we say that we have to do all kinds of things to prevent people from having access to
cigarettes. But we are not preventing people from access to gambling, which will become a dreaded addiction
in this province. Mark my word, we will have a lot of families that are affected by this. We will have young
children affected by this because their family member will become addicted. It is not that persons fault.



But when the opportunity is there, none of us in this Legislature know what addiction we may have
to anything. None of us know whether or not we may become addicted to gambling. Unfortunately, the person
who does become addicted does not know that until they have gone to that casino, probably too many times,
ruined their lives and those of the members of their families. Then what, Mr. Speaker?



You know, health and social life could be ruined. We talk about health goals in this province, we talk
about creating an environment of healthy living and we all said in order for health reform to work, we have
to promote and we have to have an environment whereby we allow our people the opportunity not to become
ill.



Well, here we are, the government on one hand says we want health reform, we want to prevent those
things, we want to prevent gambling addiction and what do they do? They open up casinos that obviously will
promote addiction. So, I have not realized yet how this great health reform is going to work when, on one
hand, the Minister of Health is supportive of casinos. I can’t understand that.



It is going to create financial hardships and we are going to see welfare costs increase and we can’t
allow families to go without because someone in that family who is a wage-earner, spends the money. We
have to help.



You know, Mr. Speaker, we heard many cases, and I think the RCMP said this, where somebody who
becomes addicted ends up committing a crime, to get the money to continue to gamble. So, that person who
ends up committing a crime would never have committed a crime if they were not addicted to gambling. It
is like any other addiction, people try to get money to feed that addiction. So, by opening up these casinos,
we are going to create an opportunity for people who otherwise would never break the law, who have respect
for the law, end up breaking the law to feed their addiction, and we are not concerned about that.



I know that the Health Council and others have said, look, we would like more information on casinos
before this government proceeds. You know, Mr. Speaker, there are a lot of unanswered questions. I think
that the government’s success on legislation has been legislation that has the answers. I think if you look at
the environment legislation, a lot of consultative process went into that legislation . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: It is a good Act.



MR. MOODY: Yes, it is a good Act but it was done in the right way. You understand that if it is done
in the right way, you will be successful.



Here is legislation that hasn’t been done in the right way and it hasn’t been done in the same way at
all that that other legislation was done. When you shut people out from the opportunity to participate, or shut
people out from understanding the benefits of legislation, then sure, people are going to be opposed to it.



I have to tell you, if you walk down the street, I spoke to another reporter just yesterday, I think it was
an ATV reporter, who said we will get into the issue about gambling and I said you are talking to people about
casinos, are they for them or against them? Most of them are against them. Now if this government wanted
to turn that around, what is wrong with holding public sessions and answering the questions? Maybe there
is good reason, Mr. Speaker, in a public forum for the government members to get up and say, you don’t need
a building permit to build a casino in any municipality and we will tell you the reason why, because the
municipality might say no. Well I, for the life of me, can’t understand, if it is such a good deal and it is such
a good thing to have a casino, that this government doesn’t have the capability of convincing any municipality
to vote yes for casinos.



Mr. Speaker, you and I both know if you have good logic, if you have a good argument and you can
demonstrate that something is good for somebody, they will support it. If you can’t demonstrate that you have
something good for somebody and you can’t demonstrate that it is good for the community, then obviously
they won’t support it.



[2:30 p.m.]



So, here is a case where this government has the opportunity to do, if what they believe is true. But we
don’t know what is true because we don’t hear anybody on the government side standing up and saying, here
are headlines, here are people, here are municipalities that are in favour of having casinos in this province.
I haven’t heard it. Now, I may be missing something and I would be pleased to sit and listen to any member
of the government get up and talk about the areas of the province that are so supportive of these casinos.



We will have a number of people that will get rich off these casinos and they may or may not be Nova
Scotians. We do know a large amount of money of the casino operation is going to leave the province. And
you know, that money is going to come from hardworking Nova Scotians. I don’t believe for a minute that we
are going to have a lot of people from out of this country come to Nova Scotia to play at a small casino that
will be set up in Halifax and Sydney.



You know, the question keeps coming back to me, once these casinos are built and it is a proven fact
that they are not good for Nova Scotia, what happens? I don’t know what happens, I don’t know how long a
contract this government is going to sign with these proponents. I don’t know what kind of an arrangement
they have with these people, is it for 20 years, 10 years or 50 years? You know, what kind of arrangements
are going to be made? You have to understand, Mr. Speaker, we should know what kind of arrangements are
being made. Is that too much for Nova Scotians to ask on something that is going to affect them for how long
or how many years that they are not allowed to know, that this government says, this is all secret. You, as
Nova Scotians, don’t understand. We, as government, don’t have to explain to you what it is we are doing.



Yes, this government has 40 members now and the word on the street is that they are so arrogant now
they think that nothing can stop them. They are just going to roll through and they are going to roll on and
they are never going to be touched by the people of this province. I would dare you to call an election, I would
challenge anyone to call an election in this province today because I have to tell you, that would be a welcome
challenge for me, one I would dearly love. I know that that is not going to happen.



Nova Scotians have made personal appeals to the Premier of this province. They have asked the
Premier of this province to show the kind of leadership that he was elected to show. That is not a kind of
leadership that dictates, that is one that consults and listens. I am afraid that this Premier has not shown
(Interruptions) Well, you know they keep bringing up the past. Yes, Donald Cameron lost. The member for
Cape Breton South, the former mayor of Sydney, when he was mayor of Sydney he loved the government to
come and give him some assistance.



This government makes fun of the previous government and that is fair ball but when we criticize this
government it is, you are not to do that. I will tell you this, if this government is not smart enough to learn
from the previous government’s mistakes, then they are not as wise as I thought they were. Every day I sit here
and I watch the Premier, he hasn’t learned a thing.



AN HON. MEMBER: Have you learned anything?



MR. MOODY: Oh, I have learned a lot, that is why I have been around this long. Some other members
here have, too, they have learned to listen.



AN HON. MEMBER: We have lots that were here as long as you.



MR. MOODY: I learned from your members; I learned from the Minister of Housing and Consumer
Affairs. That is where I got to understand that listening to people was important.



AN HON. MEMBER: I have a cheque book here . . .



MR. MOODY: Well, I have to get back to the bill. (Laughter)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I am sure the honourable member also learned to ignore rabbit tracks.



MR. MOODY: Yes, especially when it comes to signing cheques.



I wanted to say that Nova Scotians have made a lot of personal appeals to Premier Savage about
casinos. I know, Mr. Speaker, that what they are asking the Premier is to take some time with this very
important issue. Let’s take some time to make sure that all of our homework is done and that the majority of
people in this province understand what casinos will do for them and understand why the government is going
ahead.



I guess, in summarizing, what I have had to say in support of this amendment is that I challenge the
Premier and his government to take a little time to listen, to return calls and listen to what people are saying
about casinos. If the majority of people who are calling and contacting you are for casinos, I have no difficulty
with that, not at all. But if they are calling and contacting you not in support of casinos, I just hope that you
would say to them, we will listen; we will re-evaluate our position; and we will have another look at how we
are dealing with the area of casinos.



So, Mr. Speaker, in wrapping up, I want to say that I will be supporting this amendment and hope that
this time the government will make strides to do something very simple. Just take time to listen to what
average Nova Scotians are saying about a very important issue that not only affects them, it will affect our
children and our grandchildren and the way of life in this province for a long time to come. A decision that
will not go away immediately after; it will be here and have long-lasting effects. I am worried about whether
those long-lasting effects will be really good in the long run for the way of life for the people of this province
and for the people who like to live here.



A lot of people are very proud to live in this province. I think we have a special province; I think we
have a special way of life and we have to be very careful that we don’t get on the bandwagon and try to be like
everybody else with a fast way of life because we think that is where the bucks are. I have to tell you, Mr.
Speaker, that there are more important things than dollars in life. A lot of values in life are much more
important than trying to turn a quick dollar. I have to think that we have to consider that long and hard before
we quickly say, casinos we will vote for.



So, Mr. Speaker, I thank you and all members for listening and I will be supporting the amendment.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to rise in my place this afternoon
to make a few comments on the amendment before us, dealing with the Gaming Control Act. What the
amendment, of course, says, as others who have spoken before me have indicated - and this, of course, is the
amendment that was moved by the Leader of the New Democratic Party, the member for Halifax Fairview -
would say that you are removing all of the words that appear after that, and then insert in it - and I think this
is an important principle - the words that would go in are, “in the opinion of the House, the introduction and
enactment of Bill 120 will destroy the essential and fundamental belief that government acts only with the
consent of the governed.”. That is a very important principle, that governments should be acting with the
consent of those who it is professing to govern. In other words, Mr. Speaker, in a respectful way, a way which
respects and listens to the concerns and the interests of its citizens and which respects the rights of citizens
to know information, facts, figures, data upon which government decisions are made.



It is not good enough, with respect, to government members. I am sure some government members
might inwardly be cringing at the thought that they will be forced to vote for this legislation when it finally
comes to the vote because I am sure some others must have concerns. They cannot be restricted to this and
the Opposition caucus. I am sure, Mr. Speaker, some members opposite must share some of the concerns of
those many thousands of Nova Scotians who took the time and energy to sign the petitions in opposition to
the casinos. Some of them did, indeed, go well out of their way.



I am reminded, Mr. Speaker, although this government seems bent on ignoring and destroying any
confidence that people have in it - today we saw another example of their arrogance - but I am sure that many
members remember the ad. I remind them by showing it to them and they might even, from across the floor,
and I believe this is pretty well a full sized duplicate because I remember it was a very large ad and it was red
and white. It has got a picture of a gentleman who now occupies the Premier’s chair.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member realizes that . . .



MR. HOLM: I am on the amendment, yes.



MR. SPEAKER: . . . yes, but he also realizes in the House he cannot demonstrate or use any visual aids
or any trinkets or any devices of any kind. He can read and cite from documents, but he cannot project to the
House any other form of visual aid to emphasize his point.



MR. HOLM: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker. I thought that some members, and I appreciate your ruling. All
I was trying to do is let government members refresh their memory with the information that is contained
within it. (Interruption)



Mr. Speaker, I am ignoring their request.



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



MR. HOLM: But you know, there are some key words in this advertisement that I am not allowed to
show to people.



MR. SPEAKER: You can cite.



MR. HOLM: But I can cite some key words. Do you know, one key word that government seems to
have forgotten once they got behind that red curtain was the word, together. Interesting concept, together.
Now we did not know that when the government was talking about together it meant that what they were
going to do was when they get into office, they are going to hang together to make sure that they cover each
other off and to protect each other.



What they promised was that, together we will start to climb back to prosperity. We can make Nova
Scotia work, they said. We start planning our lives together and start rebuilding our economy so that our
children will have a future here at home. Maybe the future is going to be - the high-tech jobs, maybe - jobs
repairing the one-armed bandits or greasing the roulette wheel. Maybe that is what the government is talking
about. I don’t think that is what the people of this province thought that they were talking about when they
said, let’s move on together.



Let’s move on doesn’t mean back to the future. They talked about teamwork another key word in that
advertisement. Together the Liberals were going to work together with the people of Nova Scotia and there
was going to be teamwork. Teamwork according to the ad was not implying that there is going to be a 17
member team and that that is everything. Teamwork according to the ad was implying, the way it is used, is
that the government was going to be working with the citizens of this province to move forward in the best
interests of the people of this province.



[2:45 p.m.]



They invite Nova Scotians to participate in setting goals for our future. Mr. Speaker, I have to tell you
when I saw the ad, when I read that ad, when I saw that, I, too, even though I was running on a different
Party’s ticket, was optimistic. I, too, was hopeful that when the government changed we were going to have
a change not only of players on the team but I thought that at least in the first term that the government would
be trying to honour its commitments that they wouldn’t get so arrogant in the first number of days that they
would disregard everything immediately. I believed and even though the process was seriously flawed and
even though the process showed that they didn’t have any plan when they did talk about 30-60-90 at least they
did make an attempt even though it was done by an untendered contract they did at least attempt to create the
facade if not the reality to give people an opportunity to participate in setting the goals for our future.



Well, I wonder did those who (Interruption) I thank the member for his offer but I will pass on that.
I challenge the government to ask the people to participate in setting the goals for our future and I challenge
the government to ask the people, they can do it by way of a referendum if they want, Mr. Speaker, as has
been done in other places, in Florida, in Saskatoon and elsewhere, ask them, do you see as an important part
in our future, as a step forward, the establishment of casinos in the Province of Nova Scotia? I would suggest
to you that people would tell this government loudly and clearly the answer is, no. The answer will be no and
the government is afraid, they don’t have the intestinal fortitude to put it to the test. If they were to put a
question plebiscite to the people in the metropolitan area on what the people know now I have no doubt
whatsoever that the people will say, no.



I would suggest further that if they were to ask the same question in Cape Breton where the second
casino is going to be built, from the information I have seen and received from that area I suggest that again
the people would say, no. Now, it appears that the wannabe minister who didn’t get to be today has some
different information and so afterwards I would invite the member for Cape Breton South to get to his feet
and take part in the debate and put forward his evidence, his information that would show that the people in
that community support the establishment of the casino in that area.



I know I shouldn’t be doing free advertising for the member. This is one way that he gets his name in
the Hansard so the people will know that he is here but I would invite him to take his place and to speak. You
know, when it was talking about gambling in Nova Scotia the Premier, of course that was before the election
that is when it is wink, wink, nod, nod. The government members I guess had their fingers crossed in the back
pocket, but anyway the government or political Party can’t be sued for false advertising to the best of my
knowledge otherwise, that trust fund would be gone in a hurry. There would be so many suits against this
government for breach of commitment and false advertising that those trust funds would be long since gone.



Anyway, the toll-gated money probably would be better spent if they were used to pay for the, well,
maybe they should have been used to pay for the trip for the only research that has been done by this
government so far and that was to send one member across the country to look at the casinos without giving
any report back. Anyway, I will ignore the Minister of the Environment. I will come back to him a little later
on in another matter maybe, Mr. Speaker. But anyway, the Liberal Leader, John Savage, that is before he
became Premier, then he had principles. The government had ethical values that they were going to support.
They were saying that Nova Scotians must decide whether they wish to have a gambling casino in Nova
Scotia. It wasn’t whether the Minister of Finance, the Government House Leader, the Premier, the Minister
of the Environment or anybody else personally wanted to have a casino in this province, but Nova Scotians
must decide whether they wish to have a gambling casino. That sort of goes along with the ad about how Nova
Scotians were going to be invited to participate in setting goals for our future, working together, all of this
was going to happen.



But then what do we get? We get a different reality, despite the fact that many thousands of dollars
have been wasted by governments appointing commissions. Remember, Mr. Speaker, we all know and might
have had disagreements I certainly did on many occasions, with Mr. Morris. But, certainly some would
question Mr. Morris’ ability, whether or not we agreed with some of the philosophies and so on that he had
expressed when he was a member of government. But I certainly would never question for a moment his
ability. I am also not going to question those who worked on the Kimball Report. Many of them are members
of this government today. They were in Opposition at the time and you will know, that because of the dispute
between Mr. Kimball and the former Premier, Mr. Kimball ended up sitting as an independent. The
Conservative members of that committee pretty well withdrew but there were enough members for the
committee to continue. That was, therefore, a largely Liberal, and certainly Liberal-dominated report.



Mr. Speaker, we had the report most recently done by the member, that was chaired by the member
for Halifax Bedford Basin, commonly referred to as the Fogarty Report. Now it is amazing, here we have, and
I am not holding this up as a prop for the members to see, but in that ad - I am not allowed to show it to
members, it is not show and tell. It may be tell and it may be trying to show the truth but it is not show and
tell. But despite the fact that the government said they want to work together with the people, that they were
going to be involved in team work and that they were going to invite Nova Scotians to participate in setting
our goals; despite the fact that the Premier has also said that Nova Scotians must decide if they want gambling
casinos in Nova Scotia; despite the fact that many thousands of dollars - I don’t know if anybody has figured
it out but it would probably be $200,000, at least, have been spent on the reports done by the committees, the
Morris Report, the Kimball Report and the Fogarty Report; all of which were opposed to what this government
is doing; all of which had public hearings where the public was invited. In other words, they were attempts
to involve Nova Scotians in setting goals in our future and the majority of those who appeared before the
committee were opposed.



Why else would the member for Halifax Bedford Basin, I don’t question his integrity at all, and I am
sure he would not have placed his signature on that report as chairman had he felt that what he was saying
in recommending that casinos not go forward did not represent the wishes of the majority of those who
presented for the committee. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I am sure there are many, I don’t know if that particular
member is, I cannot speak for him, I certainly would not attempt to, but I am sure that there are a number of
people who inwardly are feeling very uncomfortable about what this government is doing. But I am sure that
they are also afraid, or they may have reason to be afraid, to express their opinions publicly because then, too,
they may find themselves sitting as an independent member of this House. So maybe the heavy hand has come
down.



You know, Mr. Speaker, we are told to have confidence in the commission and the chairman of the
casino project that they will be setting the proper framework and standards and that the proponents who want
to build the casinos will be judged, in part, upon what kind of measures and steps that they would be putting
in place to try to eliminate or reduce the problems that are often associated with gambling. Of course, we still
do not have a clue what the social impacts in total are going to be because this government has not had the
courage to do a social impact study. Nor do we have any idea what the financial complications or implications
will be because this government has not had the integrity to do a financial impact study. Instead, we are being
told that we don’t want any academic studies, we are going to wait until they are built and then we will assess
it.



Mr. Speaker, I want to assure you that I would not take a baseball bat and intentionally hit myself over
the top of the head to see if it hurts so I can assess it afterwards, not as an academic exercise, but to see what
the reality is. I am sure the Minister of Finance is not going to suggest what he should do is ask somebody to
hit him over the head with a hammer to see if it will hurt, to find out what the impact will be. I think he would
probably take some more rational approaches than that, rather than having that kind of action done because
it makes a little bit more sense. According to the minister’s logic, if you don’t get hit over the head, it is an
academic argument.



[3:00 p.m.]



Well, the Chairperson of the Nova Scotia Casino Project Committee , Mr. Lichter, is quoted by the
editorial writer of the Cape Breton Post on October 17, 1994 as stating, it is “`nothing more than guesswork’
to try to weigh the social costs of legalizing casinos against their economic benefits.”, it is nothing but
guesswork. Supposedly there is no question that casino gambling is a complex issue, but surely that should
not deter us from carefully analysing costs and benefits.



If one takes a look under the request for proposals, one of the mandated requirements is that specific
sites are to be proposed by the proponents in sufficient detail for the committee to be able to assess the
economic, social and overall impact on the host communities. Well, according to the Minister of Finance, if
he says doing that is sort of a waste of time because that would be an academic exercise and according to the
chairperson, doing that would be nothing but guesswork.



I would suggest that the citizens of this province, based on what we have seen and what we have heard
not only from those in this province who have concerns, but those who are knowledgeable in other areas,
would dictate that before this government would play Russian roulette with the future of Nova Scotia, that they
would do the social and economic impact studies that are required, to find out what the long-term costs are
going to be, before they rush down this road.



I want to refer because according to the minister, there really is no information available and according
to the minister, there are all kinds of studies in other places, for example, in the United States. In his opening
remarks, the minister said that while they haven’t been done here, there are all kinds of other things from
other provinces and a lot from south of the border. Well, I want to refer to somebody who is in the know,
somebody who probably in many ways would espouse the same kind of principles that the Minister of Health
does and that is that we should be promoting healthy lifestyles and that we should be trying to avoid creating
new health problems. Health problems can be both of a physical and a psychological nature as you, I am sure
know, and the Minister of Health would know, as would many others.



I want to refer to a statement by a Valerie Lorenz which was made before the Senate House of the
Small Business Committee. Valerie Lorenz is the Executive Director of the Compulsive Gambling Centre,
so she is somebody who is knowledgeable and would have done a great deal of research.



Now, the Minister of Finance, said of course that we have been involved so far in a one-sided debate,
that all we have done is heard the negatives and that what we have to wait for is the other side of the debate
where the positives are going to come forward and that now, when those who are proponents of the casinos,
are able to speak, which they now can, the other side is going to come out and, as predicted, they said exactly,
the one who had the press conference the other day that was pretty well closed to anybody but those who they
wanted to try to get the propaganda across to, they said pretty well exactly what was expected, that oh no, of
course, Mr. Speaker, the problems associated, the social problems, are not very severe, that we control and
we will be able to control the problem gamblers and of course it is going to be attracting thousands of new
tourists to Nova Scotia and encouraging them to stay longer, which, of course, is totally contrary to what has
been the experience everywhere else where those casinos have been established. Anyway, (Interruptions)



I wonder, Mr. Speaker, since the Minister of Education - I know he taught physics but I wonder if he
would know if there is any difference between the population of Nova Scotia, where it is approximately
900,000, and the location where the casino is being built in Ontario, where the population in the immediate
vicinity is well over 18 million. (Interruptions) Well, maybe the way they do some of their finances and their
accountability, they don’t notice those minor differences.



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



MR. HOLM: Yes, we are talking about problem gamblers, aren’t we, Mr. Speaker, we are not talking
about problems in the House, so I will try to ignore the problems in the House.



Now, Mr. Speaker, Valerie Lorenz, the Executive Director of the Compulsive Gambling Centre, says
when she appeared before the committee, and this was on September 21, 1994, so it is recent, that the number
of compulsive gamblers has been increasing at an alarming rate in the past 20 years, ever since the spread of
casinos and state lotteries, which have turned this country into a nation of gamblers.






Well, of course, this government likes to take the American model on a lot of things, apparently, Mr.
Speaker, because they are interested in having the number of compulsive gamblers here increasing by an
alarming rate. That is their goal, I guess. Also pointed out, that those gamblers spend many billions of dollars,
money that was not spent in local shopping centres, pizza parlours or corner groceries, monies that in seven
years could have paid off the national debt. That is the amount of money that was spent on gaming in the
United States in seven years, enough to have paid off the national debt.



Now, Mr. Speaker, this government is modelling itself after the American model. They are interested
in having all these people become compulsive gamblers, to put their dollars into the casino machines, instead
of putting it into small businesses within this community and other communities, instead of them spending
it in restaurants and bowling alleys and movie theatres, at the theatre, in shopping centres for buying clothing
and groceries and other things, they want the money to go to the casinos so that about 20 per cent of the
profits can come to the province, an amount that is calculated at about $16 million.



That means that 80 per cent of those profits, a percentage of the shares, of course, of all these
companies appear to be in the hands of some friends of government, but most of the profit, is going to be
siphoned out of the province. So, maybe this is what you might call a transfer payment. The Province of Nova
Scotia is interested in establishing a transfer program, a transfer of funds from Nova Scotia to the United
States or to Australia or Austria or wherever.



The same person, the director of the Compulsive Gambling Centre said, that the profile of today’s
compulsive gambler is truly democratic. One thing about gambling is that the profile of those who gamble
is democratic, all ages, races, religious persuasions, socio-economic levels and education. In other words, Mr.
Speaker, it is not selective. It does not discriminate. You can be hooked as a compulsive gambler, regardless
of your race or colour, your religion, (Interruption) your height the Minister of Education throws in to help
out, your education, it does not matter.



It was interesting that the same person, which I am sure that the Minister of Education who is
concerned about the well-being of young people would want to know, he is the gentleman, of course, that is
reforming the education system in such a way that, of course, the quality of education is not being hurt and
that is why Primary programs are going half-day, that is why the Halifax County-Bedford District School
Board is having to look for ways to eliminate $4 million more worth of programs. Anyway, that is off the
topic.



On the topic that we are on, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission regularly reports that 25,000
or more teenagers are being stopped at the door or ejected from the floor of the Atlantic City casino. In other
words, Mr. Speaker, the casinos are very much an attraction and the students are enticed to them. We hear,
you know, isn’t this great. They are stopped at the door. They are not allowed in. But you know, even some
of us, I will admit that when I was younger, under the age of 21 (Interruption) - this may come back to haunt
me, the drinking age in the province was 21 - occasionally, I, slightly under that age, was able to and did enter
a premise that I should not have been in. (Interruption) On the odd occasion . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member’s youthful indiscretions are not part of the
matter of the question on the floor.






HON. DONALD DOWNE: On a point of order. Just for clarification for the record. The honourable
member indicated that he illegally drank before his age of 21 when the legal drinking age of the province was
21. I just wanted to clarify that the honourable member, Mr. Holm, in fact indicated that he was illegally
consuming alcoholic beverages before the proper age. (Interruptions)



MR. HOLM: I had two pieces of help, Mr. Speaker. I had one piece of information that said that I
didn’t swallow and the other one that no, it wasn’t my fault. It was just that the government was slow lowering
the drinking age to 19 when I would have been legal, as they have done before. (Interruption)



I am trying to make things germane here. I want to make it germane. (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: . . . governing the procedure of debate. So, would the honourable member please stay
within the context of the bill and the amendment as related to the bill.



MR. HOLM: The point and you are right, it is indeed a very serious matter and sometimes we have
to maybe relieve the tensions a little bit with some humour. But the point is, and I was trying to use myself
as an example, that sometimes people did things under age and got caught as I had. Sometimes they did it and
did not get caught. So, if 25,000 were thrown out, did not get into these casinos, the question, Mr. Speaker,
is how many did get in and were not thrown out? Obviously they are a major attraction to those who are under
age.



Today’s research, not according to me, but according to the Executive Director of the Compulsive
Gambling Centre, as she spoke before the U.S. House Small Business Committee. According to her, and this
was September 1994, “Today, research indicates that as many as 7%  of teenagers may be addicted to
gambling.”, and members wonder why so many Nova Scotians signed petitions opposing the establishment
of casinos in Nova Scotia, 40,000-odd, 41,000, 42,000 - I can’t remember the exact number of Nova Scotians -
thousands.



[3:15 p.m.]



Gambling addiction for adults has increased from less than 1 per cent, in fact just a little over 0.75 per
cent of the adult population in 1975 to as much as 11 per cent in some states in 1993. I would suggest that
government bears a large part of the responsibility for that because government has said that gambling is fine
and they have said that by licensing it without having proper controls or even knowing what they are doing.
American Governments, some of them, like the Minister of Finance have the visions of massive numbers of
dollar bills bouncing through their head. They have this vision about massive numbers of dollars coming to
them. They’re sugar plums that they are looking for without having first had the common sense to look at what
the consequences are and what is going to be needed in the Province of Nova Scotia to counter what they are
doing.



But, oh no, we are told by government members we don’t need to worry, all we have to do is look at
the Americans, the American model. Availability leads to more gamblers which leads to more compulsive
gamblers; casino gambling now in 21 states is particularly onerous because of the allure of escaping into
fantasy, the fast action, the emphasis on quick money, all of which are basic factors in gambling addiction.






Well, I would suggest that this government is living in a fantasy world. They aren’t facing reality,
living up to their responsibilities. They have shown that again today in the Premier’s decision, that it is a
fantasy world where they think that they can say something isn’t so and then, of course, it isn’t so. They think
that they can somehow after the fact go back and rewrite history. They live in a fantasy and they are hooked,
I would suggest, on the quick money that they see for themselves coming from casinos. In other words, this
government has become addicted to the revenues of gambling.



Gambling addiction increases social and economic costs far greater than any amount of revenue
generated for the government by the gambling industry. It is not me saying this, I am referring again to the
same article which is a verbatim transcript from somebody who knows. Talking about the American situation
where the Minister of Finance said we have all kinds of good examples to look at.



It talks about in here that the total cumulative indebtedness of Maryland’s - that is one state -
compulsive gamblers is $4 billion. Which, of course, means that many of the small businesses and also large
businesses are not getting paid because the money that is being owed to them is instead going into slot
machines and one-armed bandits and the roulette wheel and on the card table. But is the government worried
about those small businesses or the families? If they were, they would have looked at the Nova Scotia situation
and they would have looked at asking the people, what are you interested in, are you prepared to accept this.
But the answer from this government is a stone wall; it is like around the Municipal Affair’s issue, the red
curtain has dropped, secrecy is maintained, this government will not give any answers on anything.



What’s wrong with treating people with respect by saying, what we are going to do is pull back from
our bill. We are not going to withdraw it, we are just going to leave it sitting there on the table and we are
going to put the regulations - the Minister of Finance had indicated, I believe, it was in December they are
supposed to be ready - we will put the regulations on the table too and we will put those both out to the people,
to the community. Let them have a look at it, let them evaluate, let’s have some public meetings. Here is a
chance for the Minister of Finance and the Premier to increase their profile and to appear as if they are truly
consulting. They can go out and have public forums, hear what the people have to say.



If they do that and the people endorse what it is this government is proposing, once they have the
information, certainly we in our caucus, and I will speak for myself, would not be trying to be obstructive. But
I do firmly believe that something as fundamental as establishing casinos in the Province of Nova Scotia,
which has tremendous potential for negative harm, I should say that the government has a responsibility to
air all of that information and not just to be depending upon what the proponents, who want to come in and
set up and manage the casinos here, so they can take our money somewhere else, have to say.



The issue of crime alone, virtually all compulsive gamblers sooner or later resort to illegal activity to
support their gambling addiction. Money is a substance of their addiction and when legal access to money is
no longer available, these addicts will commit crimes. That means that not only are those who are going to
be the direct victims of the crime going to have to pay a cost, whether that be from a violent crime, whether
it be from fraud, but so, too, will the businesses where that money may be taken, so, too, will the taxpayers
because if they are arrested for crimes because of their addiction, then the court system and the correctional
services will bear costs as they make their way through the courts and into the correctional centres and
prisons. So, too, will the social service agencies who then have to provide more financial assistance to the
families of those who are no longer being productive in the work force, Mr. Speaker.



The cost can be tremendous and we have absolutely nothing to show that this government has looked
at any of these things. The people of this province are not unreasonable, the people of this province are
prepared, I believe, to give this an open and honest viewing. They want facts, figures, honest projections on
the table, not airy fairy dream pie type of material.



I don’t mean to be unkind but you know this government doesn’t have one heck of a lot of credibility
. . .



AN HON. MEMBER: Especially not after today.



MR. HOLM: Even before today, but now, Mr. Speaker, they are very heavily in debt on that end. So
I don’t think the government can go to the well and say, hey, Nova Scotians, you know you can trust us, you
know we are going to make only the best decisions that we possibly can for you, we have a plan.



Mr. Speaker, I would suggest, if somebody wanted to sit down and write a soap opera, that they could
not write a more bizarre plot for a program, maybe we could call it As Your Stomach Turns, than that which
would be based on what this government has done over the last 18 months. (Interruption) I have had another
suggestion, instead of calling them As Your Stomach Turns, maybe it could be As They Twist and Turn.



Well, Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that what this government is doing is actually hanging Nova
Scotians out to dry because they are not prepared to do those things which are responsible, before they rush
on this headlong race to establish casinos, with record speed, in the Province of Nova Scotia.



Near the end of her comments Ms. Valerie Lorenz, the Executive Director of the Compulsive
Gambling Centre, said, in short, “. . . the greed of the gambling industry is matched only by its lack of concern
for its customers or the community in which it operates. That is not good business.”. It is interesting, Mr.
Speaker, pretty heavy words. But, of course, in Nova Scotia it is going to be different. We know it is going
to be different because the Minister of Finance said so; the Premier said so; and I guess 40 other members said
so. Forty members of the Liberal caucus said so. It is not going to be a problem here, trust us. We don’t need
to do our research; we don’t need to do our homework; we don’t need to answer the questions and the concerns
that are put forward by those thousands and thousands of Nova Scotians who expressed their opposition. We
don’t need to do that because we are perfect, or almost, we make the occasional mistake. We heard about a
mistake being admitted today. I suggest that is only but one mistake; only but one.



[3:30 p.m.]



This is another serious mistake. Once this province is casinoed - if I might use that term - it is going
to be pretty hard to un-casino. Once somebody gets hooked and addicted on something, it is pretty hard to get
over your addiction. This government should, I would suggest, get in touch with Drug Dependency; maybe
they can get some help for their addiction to gambling because this government is in need of treatment. They
are in need of treatment. The Provincial Health Council, responsible, credible, and competent people, in the
letter signed by the chairperson, Mr. Bauld who is concerned about the well-being, not taking a moralist view,
taking a position and asking questions as they properly should, expressing concerns for the well-being of the
people in this province.



In dealing with this, and this was a letter to the Minister of Finance so I am sure he will remember this
because it is quite recent, it was only October 3rd, and it has been referred to a number of times and while he
may not remember about certain things from Priorities and Planning, I am hoping that he will remember
about this, probably.



AN HON. MEMBER: A dirty shot.



MR. HOLM: The Minister of Transportation says that was a dirty shot. He is probably right, so I will
apologize to the Minister of Transportation. But, I don’t know if anybody has apologized yet to Mr. Bauld
because in his letter he wrote that in spite of the numerous enquiries we have made on their behalf and the
assurances from you and the Premier that the benefits of casinos outweigh the negatives, we have yet to
receive any supporting data, which shows of course that there is one thing that this government is doing and
that is treating everybody equally - equally shabbily - because they as well have not provided to the Provincial
Health Council any data that would show that casinos outweigh the negative consequences, that the benefits
outweigh the negatives.



In other words, Mr. Speaker, the government doesn’t have it because there isn’t any doubt in my mind
that the Minister of Finance, the Premier or any other members of this government caucus would sit there day
after day being beat up on by not only ourselves, but by the general public in Nova Scotia, if they had any
proof that the benefits outweigh the negative impacts . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: We are not beating up; we’re trying to inform and educate.



MR. HOLM: I challenge them, put it on the table.



They asked, release all studies, reports and analysis conducted to date that show how the benefits of
casinos outweigh the costs. Responsible, reasonable question. Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the
health and social impacts of casinos if more information is required. I would have thought that the Minister
of Community Services and the Minister of Health would both be prepared to put their jobs on the line, if that
wasn’t done. (Interruption)



Psychologists have come out expressing their very real concern. The Psychologists Association of Nova
Scotia, in fact, suggests - Mr. Bauld, the Chairperson of the Provincial Health Council did - the government
should encourage the public to review and comment on the short list of casino proposals and the draft
enabling legislation for casino gambling. Has that been done, Mr. Speaker? No. Does the government plan
to do that? No.



He went on to say that Mr. Laszlo Lichter of the Nova Scotia Casino Project Committee told us in his
letter of August 15, 1994, that the casino project is not responsible for assuring the public that the benefits
of casinos outweigh the costs, so it is not his responsibility. This statement contradicts those made public by
you - that is to Mr. Boudreau, the Minister of Finance, and the Premier, who indicated that the casino project
is, indeed, responsible for all aspects of the casino operation, including socio-economic impact studies and
mitigating potential social costs.






You know, Mr. Speaker, I remember hearing them say that, too. But no, according to Mr. Lichter, it
can’t be in his terms of reference, it is not his responsibility. Then whose responsibility is it? Maybe the
minister is hoping that Santa Claus will come along on the 24th and drop something down his chimney or
that Tinkerbell or somebody else is going to come up with some story that they will be able to use to sell to
the public.



Nova Scotians should know more about these plans and about the percentage of people whose lives will
be negatively affected by the introduction of casinos. Mr. Speaker, I can go on, but I can’t, (Laughter) because
as you are indicating, I have less than a minute left. But I want to assure you that I will take the opportunity
at another stage in the debate to enter in the second reading process and hopefully, some members of the
government will actually listen to their head and to their heart, instead of to the Premier and the Minister of
Finance, unless they are your head and your heart, and to be willing to stand up and demand, as thousands
of Nova Scotians are, that the government act responsibly before it continues on its mad rush to establish
casinos.



Tell your colleagues who are pushing this to get some treatment, so they can get over their addiction
to gambling and to start being more concerned about the best interests of the Province of Nova Scotia. Thank
you, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: I wonder if the honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid has tabled the documents,
particularly the one from the American Society on Gambling Addiction, has that been tabled?



MR. HOLM: I am not sure it was before, Mr. Speaker, but it has been.



MR. SPEAKER: If it has been tabled, that is fine.



The honourable member for Queens.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased this afternoon to rise in support of the amendment that
is before the House, an amendment moved by my colleague, the member for Halifax Fairview, an amendment
which speaks to good governance and, by virtue of speaking to good governance, raises the kinds of questions
that should be answered with respect to the implementation of casino gambling in Nova Scotia and speaks
to the absence of public participation to date in Nova Scotia, with respect to the decision as to whether or not
casino gambling should be introduced in this province.



Mr. Speaker, we know that casino gambling has been introduced or is being introduced in various
forms in a number of cities and other locations across North America. We know, for example, that the City
of Winnipeg now has a gambling casino, as do the Cities of Windsor and Montreal. We also know that the
City of Vancouver has taken the opportunity, among other cities, to consult with the population of that city
with respect to whether or not gambling casinos are appropriate to that locale and, indeed, a very deep seated
discussion it was.



Why is that a government which is countenancing the implementation and introduction of casino
gambling into a province should listen to the people, give the people an opportunity to take part in informed
discussion on the impacts, the relative merits and demerits of introducing casino gambling in the province?
Well, Mr. Speaker, there are very deep seated community values in Nova Scotia which I believe, if tested,
would come to the fore and would provide the government with an opportunity and, indeed, one would hope
that the government, through a transparent process, give the people of Nova Scotia an opportunity to
understand exactly how the people of this province feel and what their aspirations and their concerns are with
respect to casino gambling.



There are all kinds of opportunities for the testing of public opinion. There is public opinion polling.
We don’t know if the government has done that. It would be very interesting for all members and for all Nova
Scotians to know, if they have conducted polling, what the results of those polls are. It also might be very
interesting to know who conducted those polls.



Community meetings, Mr. Speaker, there have been community meetings around the province as a
result of the deliberations of the Community Services Committee, the Kimball Committee, both committees
of this House, and also as a result of consideration by the Morris Commission. We also have the opportunity
to work telephone hot lines. Now the Premier has a 1-800 number, which I suppose one might deem to be a
hot line. I suspect it is a little hotter these days than it used to be. But what has been the result of calls coming
into that hot line? We have not had any definition by the government with respect to the calls that have been
coming into the Premier’s 1-800 number.



Mr. Speaker, we have, in this day of modern telecommunications, the opportunity to test a very
significant portion of the public opinion through freenets and, of course, also there is the opportunity, if the
government so chooses, to invite Nova Scotians and indeed perhaps other interested and knowledgeable
parties, to make written submission, written submissions which certainly it is in the public interest to make
part of the public file with respect to casino gambling.



Basic social and community values are absolutely essential to bring to this discussion. To date, virtually
all of the argument put forward by the government and by the minister who is promoting casino gambling in
Nova Scotia, the Minister of Finance, has been on the economic side. Again, I believe that the minister has
stated that the net revenues which will accrue to Nova Scotia as the result of the introduction of casino
gambling here will be somewhere in the vicinity of between $40 million and $75 million.



I will talk a little bit more about that later on because that is on the revenue side and I want to talk a
little later on about the cost side. Because any cost-benefits analysis must take into consideration not only the
profits to be realized, but the expenditures that must be made with respect to the whole business, the whole
regulatory regime, the whole idea of policing, the whole idea of dealing with the cost side of casino gambling
here in Nova Scotia.



[3:45 p.m.]



Just yesterday I was speaking with a constituent on a matter entirely unrelated to casino gambling and
the constituent brought forward to me his great concern that the introduction of casino gambling in Nova
Scotia will have a very detrimental image on this province. This province has always prided itself on being
Canada’s Ocean Playground. This province has prided itself on providing a great natural experience to
visitors. That is not a new phenomenon, Mr. Speaker, you are familiar with the history of this province.
Indeed as we grow older, we are more and more part and parcel or part of the warp and woof of the history
of this province. Our memories should cause us to reflect on the past not only as we have experienced but the
past that has been told us by our parents and our grandparents.






Nova Scotia, back in the 1800’s was widely known literally as a Valhalla for those who wanted to enjoy
an outdoor experience. Certainly, around the turn of the century, the Nova Scotia Government spent
significant sums of money, invested significant sums of money and successfully too, in attracting what we
called American sports to this province, for fishing, for hunting. Now, in these days where people enjoy the
out of doors for non-consumptive reasons, we attract them here to enjoy our pristine environment, an
environment that the Minister of the Environment is hoping to further protect with Bill No. 115 which is
currently before the House.



So, the province’s image is very important to Nova Scotians, it has an intrinsic value but it also has
a very important market value which has been stressed, underscored, and bold-faced typed by the Department
of Tourism, now part of the Economic Renewal Agency in efforts to attract people to Nova Scotia. They are
casting now a broader net than was so in previous days because we are looking very much at the European
market and particularly to the German and perhaps to a slightly lesser extent, the Swiss markets to draw
people to this province.



One can’t help but wonder why Germans and Swiss and indeed even Americans, could be lured here
to a relatively small casino operation when, in fact, in the United States and in Europe there are very large
and very well-known casino operations. I do have to suggest to members that in likelihood, the casinos along
the French Riviera, probably will be more likely to attract a well-heeled clientele than will casinos in Sydney
and in Halifax. So, that is a very important factor insofar as Nova Scotians are concerned.



We also do have to address the question of what the potential economic impact of a casino would be
on these two cities. Well, there is no doubt that there will be some economic impact. That economic impact,
in part, will be realized in the flow of dollars into the coffers of the Department of Finance. The Minister of
Finance has suggested some ways that he is going to use that money to smooth the feathers of his clientele
who happen to be the voters of this province.



Also, it is very clear that casino gambling will result in the creation of some jobs. I think it is very
important that we understand that the vast majority of the jobs, 85 per cent to 90 per cent will be low-paying
jobs in the service sector. It strikes me that the people who are most likely to be scrambling for these jobs are
the young people between the ages of 18 and 30, the people who have come to be dubbed as Generation X.
Those are the young Nova Scotians who have invested significantly in their own education to complete
community college, complete technical college, to complete university degrees. Today we find, one need not
walk more than a couple of blocks from this building, people working in the same kind of service sector which
will be further enhanced by the creation of casinos. Young men and young women with degrees in education,
engineering, science, psychology, and people with graduate degrees, indeed, people with post-graduate
degrees who are unable to find employment in their fields.



If ever there was a need for investment by government it is not an investment in casino gambling, it
is an investment in those young people who have so much to offer and who are being given so little
opportunity to exercise what should, in fact, be a right of purchase because of the tremendous investment they
themselves have taken in accruing debt as a result of pursuing educational goals that are not only in their own
best interests, but in the best interests of the province as well.



There will be some positive sides to the introduction of casino gambling, yes, and that will result in
certain revenues and in certain jobs being created. That is probably the easier side to compute, and I have
every reason to believe that it is probably for that reason, among others, that the Minister of Finance has
chosen when he has talked about the impact of the commencement of casino gambling here, to talk about the
revenues that will flow and the benefits that will accrue to the province with respect to job creation and so on.
There is a downside to casinos as well and that must become part of the equation so that we understand
entirely what it means for us before we get into an arrangement with two foreign-owned casinos, and they will
be foreign-owned whichever two they are, and locked in for a very long time indeed. Consideration must be
given to the social costs, many of which are difficult to measure in dollar terms. The impacts that have been
identified include the social costs related to these kinds of problems.



The effects on adjacent communities. All the impact that a casino opening in Halifax has on
Dartmouth, on Bedford - they will both, of course, be part of Halifax, being bludgeoned into the new city in
the next not so many months - what will the impact be on the areas of the South Shore, on the Eastern Shore,
the Annapolis Valley, and up towards Truro, all of which are within the general area which will be affected
by casino gambling? What will the impacts be, not just in industrial Cape Breton but, indeed, beyond
industrial Cape Breton, places like Richmond County and Victoria County and Inverness County?



Will there be social costs that will accrue to those areas even though they will not benefit directly from
any of the positive flow out of casino gambling? What will be the impact on charitable gaming? We know that
there are a wide number of charities in Nova Scotia which are dependent on bingo for example, and I think
of the fire departments in my own constituency. Were it not for the opportunity to earn some money through
bingo - and this is true of the Kinsmen Club in my constituency as well - they would be hard-pressed to raise
the dollars that go into our community and in the case of the fire department, to pay for new fire equipment,
to help to underwrite the cost of training and retraining for new firefighters and firefighters who have been
of long-time service in the department.



In the case of clubs like the Kinsmen Club putting hard-earned dollars through charitable gaming to
work in the community, one of the things, for example, that the Kinsmen Club does in our community is to
assist people who are in need of economic assistance to purchase eyeglasses. What will the impact be on
charitable gaming? What will the influence be on families and on young people? What will the influence be
with respect to any increase in compulsive gambling? What about victimization? What will the impact be with
respect to those who become victims of casino gambling?



We know, to a greater or lesser extent, that casino gambling will draw into the orbit of the
communities in which it is offered certain undesirable elements. That will have an impact on our
communities. It certainly will have an impact on the image of our communities and I spoke to that just a few
moments ago. Money laundering, profit skimming, prostitution, car theft, loan sharking, book-making. The
list goes on and on. These are all social costs that accrue to casino gambling. It is true, sir, that to an extent
they can be controlled and apparently the Winnipeg experience tells us that in that instance at least the
controls have worked very well. However, that has not been the experience in every community, nor I suggest,
sir, in the majority of communities which now offer casino gambling opportunities to people both resident in
the community and visitors to the community.






Mr. Speaker, those kinds of illegal activities have a cost accruing with them. Not solely the social costs,
but a hard economic cost and that is the cost of policing. We do not know with precision what additional
monies will be put into the hands of the municipal units where additional policing will be required to deal
with the undesirable impacts of casino gambling.



Is the province simply going to tell the new municipality of Halifax that policing is your responsibility?
You pick up the tab, if you are going to hire any more policemen in order to enforce the law. Are they going
to tell the new super municipality in Cape Breton that it is going to be responsible for paying for the municipal
costs of policing associated with any increase in crime coming from casino gambling? Everybody who
exercises any degree of common sense whatsoever understands that there are going to be additional policing
costs. We do not know where those costs are going to be met, how they are going to be met. Are they going
to be met by the province? Is the province going to pass the burden off to the municipal units?



Mr. Speaker, one of the things that every city which has the potential to have casino gambling sited
in it seems to say to its provincial government that it wants to exercise some degree of control over casino
gambling. It wants to exercise a degree of control over the siting of casino gambling facilities with respect to
planning and zoning. It wants to exercise a degree of jurisdiction over casino gambling facilities with respect
to Building Codes, with respect to applying for building permits.



It seems to me, sir, and I am sure it will to you and indeed to all Nova Scotians, absolutely ludicrous
that given the blessing of the Minister of Finance, I could go out without even so much as purchasing a
building permit and build a multimillion dollar casino. But if I build a deck on the back of my house, I am
in breach of municipal law and not only can be fined, but can be forced to rip the deck off my house and
absorb all of the costs of that. Surely, Mr. Speaker, there is something wrong in a system which does not
require at least a building permit before a casino be commenced in the construction end of it.



Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment, as mentioned, has introduced a very significant bill with
respect to environmental control. Yet, while the minister has brought a bill before the House which he hopes
to employ to enhance the environment, we have the Minister of Finance bringing a bill into the House which
in fact allows any casino gambling facility to circumvent the environmental assessment process. Surely, that
is the wrong message. Surely, that does not convey the message the Minister of the Environment is trying to
convey to Nova Scotians and indeed to members of this House, that there is a direct and indissoluble link
between the environment and the economy. The Minister of the Environment may see that link. If that link
was intended to be there when the casino gambling bill was introduced, it was very clearly shattered by the
Minister of Finance.



[4:00 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, we have to talk, in speaking of casino gambling, of where casino gambling facilities will
be built with respect to the communities immediately adjacent to them. Are they going to be put in downtown
areas? What will the impact be there? What is the impact going to be on parking? What is the impact going
to be on traffic? What is the impact going to be on the provision of rooms for persons visiting the province?
If we have a booming casino here in Halifax, is there not the likelihood that the rooms in Halifax will almost
always be reserved for those who are involved in casino gambling, thereby creating difficulties for persons
who might otherwise have come to the province.



What about those who simply do not want to be associated with casino gambling? They may decide
that they are not going to come to visit Halifax any more. It is no longer a destination area for them because
they are not gamblers and they decide to go somewhere else.



Mr. Speaker, one of the greatest concerns I think that we all have with respect to casino gambling is
the question of just how widespread is gambling as a problem? Most studies, as I understand it, say that the
prevalent rate of problem gambling is between 3 per cent and 6 per cent of the adult population. There was
a 1994 study in Alberta by the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commissioner and Alberta Lotteries and
Gaming and they found that 5.4 per cent of the adult population in Alberta can be classed as current problem
gamblers. It was suggested in that study that Alberta rates are similar to those found in New Brunswick and
Manitoba.



Well, if there are similar rates found in New Brunswick, then we may assume that New Brunswickers
and Nova Scotians, not being tremendously dissimilar, I myself being born and brought up in New Brunswick,
that the rate here must be roughly the same. That is about three times the rate that I have used in trying to
determine the impact of problem gambling and pathological gambling on Nova Scotia and I will be speaking
to that shortly.



Who are the people that are most at risk, Mr. Speaker, with respect to problem gambling? Well, the
member for Sackville-Cobequid has already pointed out to us that at least one member of this House has fallen
prey to pathological gambling and that is the Minister of Finance himself because he is already hooked on the
revenues that he says he is going to realize and he is dragging the whole Liberal family down with him. Some
of the rest of us who, from time to time, might be friends of the family and other times might not be friends
of the family, I am afraid, are going to be sucked into the vortex as well.



Mr. Speaker, studies tell us that a relatively consistent picture of pathological gamblers has emerged
from all the research which has been done across North America. The majority of pathological gamblers are
between the ages of 20 and 50, the average being around 30 years of age. I suppose, sir, you and I could take
some comfort in the fact that we don’t fall within that 30 to 50 grouping. At any rate, the proportion of males
to females is estimated at 3 to 1, but as the role of women in society changes and as women have more
disposable income, more and more of them are attracted to casino gambling and, therefore, more women
undoubtedly will become pathological gamblers in the future than will be the case right now.



Pathological gamblers are almost twice as likely to be high school dropouts, three times as likely to
be unemployed and to have household incomes under $25,000. They are also more prone to psychological
distress and to harmful use of alcohol. Now that is the profile of the pathological gambler, Mr. Speaker, and
there is no reason why we should assume anything other than that profile will fit Nova Scotians as neatly as
it does people in any other jurisdiction in North America. I mentioned a few moments ago about the impact
of casino gambling on younger people with respect to employment and that there may be some lower-value
jobs available to young people who belong to Generation X and can’t put their university degrees and their
post-secondary training to work. And who have to throw themselves on this low-level service work, that will
be available once the government has its way and creates casino gambling in the province.



What about the younger people, the children of compulsive gamblers? Statistically, it has been shown
that they are more likely to have a gambling problem just as the children of alcoholics are more likely to have
problems with alcohol, as they go through their lives. They are also more likely to experience other problems
including running away from home and from abusive drugs and from depression. This is all part of the social
cost that accrues to casino gambling anywhere where it has been instituted and Nova Scotia unfortunately,
will be no exception to the rule. What do we know about the social costs of problem gambling? Social costs
are as I have said, extremely difficult to calculate, but that is not to say that we should not endeavour in a
reasonable way, to calculate those costs. Some research suggests that each pathological gambler affects
between 10 and 17 individuals, other than himself or herself.



The spouse of the individual, the children of the individual, the extended family, the mother, the father,
the mother-in-law, the father-in-law, brothers and sisters and I have seen this myself with respect to drug
abuse. Substance abuse where, and I am thinking particularly of one young woman in my community who
has worked hard and who has dug into her pocket, time and time again, to help her brother who is a victim
of substance abuse and who also is a compulsive gambler. She is the kind of person who will be directly
affected in this very adverse way, by increasing opportunities for gambling in Nova Scotia, particularly
through casino gambling.



The employer of the person, the other employees, the co-workers of that person, because the
psychological pressures, because of the fixation on gambling that the pathological gambler faces, that has an
overflow and an impact on that pathological gambler’s co-workers in every work place. If the pathological
gambler is a person providing a service, their personality will be affected to the extent that they will be able
to provide a lesser service to their clients. Consumers are affected, creditors are affected. Why are creditors
affected? It should be obvious, sir, because those who are pathological gamblers spend every penny they can
on gambling and that means that the bills go unpaid. That of course very much affects each and every family,
because when the bills go unpaid liens are slapped on houses, people lose their houses, they lose their
furniture, they lose all of their goods and chattels which are part and parcel of family life.



Insurance agencies, another example. The cost of gamblers entering treatment is excessive as well.
There have been many studies done on pathological gambling in North America. Those in the United States
suggest that the cost of pathological gambling nationally in the U.S.A. is about $30,000 per pathological
gambler, per year. That is a 1988 figure. Mr. Speaker, let us extrapolate those figures and let us apply them
to Nova Scotia. And I am not going to apply them to the 5 per cent to 5.5 per cent that the Alberta study
found, I am going to use a very much more conservative percentage. I am going to use the percentage that was
used in British Columbia with respect to the number of people in the greater Vancouver area, the Fraser Delta
area, with respect to those who are pathological gamblers, at 1.5 per cent of the total adult population and we
will take that to be the population of 19 years of age and over in Nova Scotia.



Now, the total adult population of Nova Scotia is about 670,000 people, over age 19 population. That
means that probably we have in Nova Scotia somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 persons who are addicted
or have the potential to be addicted to gambling to the extent where they have already become or are likely
to become pathological gamblers.



We already know that there are between 10 and 17 other individuals who are going to be directly
affected by that one pathological gambler. So, 10,000 times that 10 or 17 people means that there are going
to be another 100,000 to 170,000 Nova Scotians who are going to be directly impacted as a result of the hook
on which the pathological gamblers have been affixed.



The cost in the United States per annum for coping with each pathological gambler is deemed to be
$30,000 U.S. At today’s exchange rate, that would seem to mean that the cost for each person here in Nova
Scotia is going to be what, about $40,000 Canadian today. Now, if we take those $40,000 Canadian per year
and we multiply it by the 10,000 pathological gamblers, we find that the cost which accrues to pathological
gambling in the Province of Nova Scotia is going to be somewhere in the vicinity of $400 million. It is worth
repeating, the social cost of pathological gambling on the basis of 10,000 gamblers in this province is $400
million. That is a cost and I invite every member of this House, every Nova Scotian to compare that, indeed
to contrast it, with the profits of casino gambling that the Minister of Finance has said he will be able to
realize of between $40 million and $75 million.



If he is correct on the lower end, that means that his profits will be exceeded by the costs accruing to
pathological gambling in this province by 10 times. If he is right on the upper end, then the costs will exceed
the profits by something in the order of five times. Those are costs which the minister has not addressed.
Those are costs which the government has not addressed. Those are costs which should be addressed as a
result of a clear, concise, arm’s length study and those studies have not been done or at least if they have been
done the government has not provided them to the people of this province to review in order that the people
be able to determine where they want to go and where they want their government to go with respect to casino
gambling and its introduction here in Nova Scotia.



Organized crime, is organized crime a risk with casino gambling? The answer is yes. Gaming, money
laundering, profit skimming, loan sharking, extortion, are very real risks. Illegal drug sales are another
example. In Colorado, the Police Association there did a study on the impact of casino gambling on crime and
they very clearly came to the conclusion that the introduction of gambling means that police generally are
much more busy than normal. It means a rise in crime due to the transient type of population that gambling
attracts. It results in more burglary, more drunken driving and more crime in general.



[4:15 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, the Windsor Police Force, Windsor again being the site of a major casino gambling
palace in Ontario, say that when discussing gambling, it is very important to note that the visitor population
expected as a result of the casino is not comparable to the same proportion of resident population. This is
because the visitor population is far more active. They are transient and, by that very nature, represent more
of a target for robberies, assaults, et cetera.



Mr. Speaker, how is Nova Scotia going to cope with these problems? The Minister of Finance and the
government to date have failed to give us any assurance that the government is going to be able to provide
this level of protection in the event that this level of crime increases or, even better, that it is going to be able
to put in place sufficient prevention that we will not face this increase in crime and resultant in a cost to the
municipal and provincial taxpayer.



Mr. Speaker, this is all about governance. That is what this decision is about. It is about governance.
We are all aware, as legislators, that public sector governance is under stress. There is nobody who can tell
us more about that today, I am sure, than the Minister of Municipal Affairs, unless perhaps it happens to be
the Premier. There is, sir, a perceived ineffectiveness which has induced a lack of confidence in our major
institutions. The institution of Parliament, whether we are talking about the national Parliament in Ottawa
or the Parliaments in any of the provinces are no exceptions.



Technology, as all of us know, is evolving very quickly and there are new risks and new uncertainties
which accrue to the people of this province and, indeed, the global population as a result of those new risks
and those new uncertainties. The continuance of improvements in governance is absolutely essential to
recapture and to sustain the support of the stakeholders in society, the people of Nova Scotia in this respect,
and to ensure that investments made by the government and the accountability of the government will
optimize any opportunity for economic and social progress. After all, is that not why the minister argues that
he is bringing this enabling legislation into play, to improve the economic prospects of the province. He has
not yet, as we all know, in any way, shape or form, demonstrated that it is going to lend itself to improving
social progress or creating social progress in the province.



Mr. Speaker, what are the hallmarks of an effective governing body. Certainly they have to include
the achievement in practice, sir, of certain fundamental characteristics. What are some of these
characteristics? These are characteristics which should accrue to any government and certainly should accrue
to this government and to the Cabinet which is the heart of the government, if indeed this government has
any heart at all.



What are some of the principles associated with effective governance? Well, one of those principles
being composed is that the governing body, in this case the Cabinet, should be composed of people with the
necessary knowledge, the ability and the commitment to fulfil their responsibilities. Well, very clearly, this
is a group which deems itself to be knowledgeable, which deems itself to have ability, and which deems itself
to be committed.



The questions are, how narrow is the knowledge, how thin is the ability and how self-centered and
narrow and shallow is the commitment and is it a commitment to themselves or is it a commitment to the
people of this province, the people who gave them the opportunity to govern? Another mark of good
governance by this Cabinet or any Cabinet should be understanding their purposes and whose interests they
represent.



Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance very clearly has stated on any number of occasions that his
interest as Minister of Finance is to increase his revenues. In representing himself, I suppose one could say
that he has very much fulfilled that responsibility. But surely his responsibility is wider than that. His
responsibility is to represent the interests of the people of Nova Scotia and he has failed, thus far in debating
this legislation, to do that in even the most modest way. He has not dealt with anything other than the dollar
signs that light up his eyes every time somebody mentions the commencement of casino gambling here in this
province.



Another element of good governance is understanding the objectives and the strategies of the
organization they govern, in other words, understanding the objectives of the people of this province. I do not
recall at any time in my 16 years in public life having the people in my constituency come to me and say that
good governance means beginning casino gambling in Nova Scotia. I do not remember any of those people
coming to me and saying good governance means commencing casino gambling and adding to the coffers of
the Minister of Finance, but accruing the expenses associated with the downside of casino gambling to the
municipalities or to the health system or to the educational system or to the community services system. I do
not recall any of my constituents ever saying that to me nor, in the opportunities I have had to visit other parts
of this province, do I recall any person anywhere at any time in those 16 years coming to me and saying that
that is an objective that the government should pursue.



Mr. Speaker, also, another aspect of good governance is knowing and obtaining the information
required in order to exercise responsibilities. This is a government which steadfastly has refused to undertake
any studies with respect to the potential impact of casino gambling in this province and, if it has undertaken
any and has not told us, then it has a responsibility to make all of those studies available to the people of this
province.

 

 

I understand that at a committee meeting, not too many days ago, there was a witness who said that,
gosh, you cannot study the impact of casino gambling in Nova Scotia until after we have casinos. After we
have the casinos licensed and up and running and they are operating on licenses that have been granted to
these foreign owners - for goodness knows how many years, because the minister has not told us what kind
of generous terms he is going to be offering them with respect to their leaseholds and their business here - so,
this person says, you cannot understand in any way, shape or form what the impact of casino gambling is
going to be before we have casinos operating here.



I think it was my colleague, the member for Pictou Centre, who pointed out, that is a little like saying,
you cannot conceptualize and plan and build an airplane until after you have seen it fly. We all know that all
of those things were done before the airplane flew. In exactly the same way and for exactly the same rationale,
this government should undertake all of those studies which are necessary before the casino airplane flies to
make sure we understand that on its maiden flight or somewhere during the course of its flight, it is not going
to crash and not going to go down to the ground with all of the best interests of Nova Scotians attached to it.
Mr. Speaker, good government demands that once informed good government was prepared to act and to
ensure that the province’s objectives are met and that the performance is satisfactory.



Mr. Speaker, there has been a great deal of talk of confidence in this House. As of late, we have talked
about the lack of confidence that the Opposition, and I think many Nova Scotians now have in the judgment
of the Minister of Municipal Affairs. I say that somewhat painfully because I know that she has worked hard
at her job, and I think it is so unfortunate that her poor judgment and the matter of handling the matter of not
applying the basic and vitally important government policy has caused that competence to be shaken. I think
shaken beyond repair.



Mr. Speaker, confidence in any organization’s performance, and government is no exception, will
likely require that governing become more transparent to improve the voters. To ensure to the stakeholders,
in this case to the voters and indeed all those people who are not old enough to vote yet in Nova Scotia, that
what they are doing is the right thing. Ultimately, this means that external reporting, not internal reporting,
the government talking to itself - mirror, mirror on the wall - but external reporting by organizations, in this
case the government, will have to include a much wider range of information than it has made available to
itself, particularly, with respect to the implementation and the introduction of casino gambling here in Nova
Scotia.



Mr. Speaker, there are many dynamics at play here in the public sector. The public sector in which we
work, the public sector which is suppose to work in the interest of the public of this province, the men and
the women and the children of this province. There are many dynamics at play. Those dynamics will affect
how governing bodies such as this government use the information they receive in order to implement
appropriate management.






How much of it they are willing to include in their accountability to stakeholders is very much at
question. The bottom line is that the extent to which a governing body itself wants to be informed will
determine how wisely the governing body is able to act. Let us think about that, Mr. Speaker. The first issue
at stake is the extent to which a governing body itself wants to be informed. That should cause us all to draw
back and ask ourselves, and it should cause every Nova Scotian to ask himself or herself, why is it that this
government, according to the answers given to questions in this House and elsewhere, has steadfastly refused
to gather together the kinds of information, to have it gathered together at arm’s length which will cause it
to be able to make decisions in the best interest of Nova Scotians?



Is it because they do not have the money to undertake those studies? Surely not. We know that they
have almost $.25 million to do the kinds of studies that are necessary to pull together the four municipalities
from the metro region and hammer them into one government whether the people want it or not. We know
they have money available for studies in Health. They have many dollars available for studies with respect
to the Economic Renewal Agency and so on and so forth.



Why is it then that no money is being available insofar as we and the public know, with respect to
pulling together the very best information that can be made available to government before it takes the final
plunge over the edge and becomes absolutely hooked on the proceeds of gambling in this province?



[4:30 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, if those studies have not been done, and we have no reason to believe they have, and if
they are not going to be done, and we have no reason to believe that the minister is going to relent and have
them done, again, at arm’s length - and arm’s length doesn’t mean in a short-sleeved shirt - then what we have
is a government which has not asked the questions because it is afraid of the answers it will receive. That is
very bad governance, indeed.



It strikes me, sir, that the very sterling professional career that the Minister of Finance practised, prior
to coming to this House, might well have suited him with respect to choosing this line of action, or rather, this
line of inaction. I believe, from what little I know of the law, that a lawyer who is defending somebody,
especially if it is somebody who probably committed the dreadful deed, will not ask certain questions because
he does not want those questions answered.



I have every suspicion, after listening to the Minister of Finance and those in the government who try
to defend the introduction of casino gambling in this province, that those studies have not been commissioned
because the government does not want the answers that those studies will give. If that is the case, Mr. Speaker,
as it certainly appears to be from everything we have heard in this House, and outside, and from reading the
papers and watching television and listening to radio, then this government has abrogated one of the most
important principles of governance. That principle, again, the very first issue, is determining the extent to
which the government itself wants to be informed.



Mr. Speaker, the government will have its way with respect to not consulting Nova Scotians; the
government will have its way with respect to riding roughshod over those municipal units in which casino
gambling houses are going to be established; and the government will have its way, it seems, in sloughing
off the social costs of gambling onto the municipal units and to the families of this province. The government
will have its way doing all those things, because it has chosen to make decisions not out of knowledge but out
of ignorance, self-imposed ignorance. Ignorance which has been created and relied upon because this
government is so determined to try to pick up the few dollars it will from casino gambling, without any
consideration whatsoever being given to the tremendous social costs that will accrue to casino gambling from
one end of this province to the other.



Mr. Speaker, this amendment is all about good governance and every member in this House should
support this amendment. Thank you, sir.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, I rise this afternoon to speak on the amendment to Bill No.
120, the Gaming Control Act. I guess the amendment has probably been read a number of times, but I will
read it again. “That the words after `that’ be deleted and the following be substituted: `in the opinion of the
House, the introduction and enactment of Bill 120 will destroy the essential and fundamental belief that
government acts only with the consent of the governed.”.



To me, that means that the government should listen to the people. This afternoon there were many
petitions tabled. My colleague the member for Pictou Centre. I think there was over 2,000 names, 2,112 names
on his petition. There was a petition from my own riding with, I think it was almost 400 names on it. As I
have said before, the petition was laying in the town office in Pictou and I had asked the gals that worked in
the office if they were having a hard job to get people to sign the petition and they said to me, look, anybody
that comes in here and sees the petition that says People Against Casinos, they immediately want to sign the
petition. I think that that really tells you something, that people are volunteering to sign the petitions.



I was at a meeting last night with my colleague, the Leader of the Opposition, and there was not one
person there that was in favour of casinos in this province, not one. We have had all kinds of groups around
that have said that they are not interested in casinos. What did the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities say?
They said, no. They said they were not in favour of casinos in this province. Who do they represent? They
represent 66 municipal units across this province, which will be down to 59 a little later on. The Union of
Nova Scotia Municipalities is on record as opposing casinos.



I am sure when the Law Amendments Committee meets, all kinds of groups will be coming out against
the casinos. I believe there were quite a number of church groups of all denominations, Protestants, Catholics
have spoken out against casinos. I know in Pictou County we have had letters and petitions from the church
groups in that area. I know that they have been directed to many of the government members. Are the
government members listening? I don’t know. (Interruption)



Mr. Speaker, I hope they are listening because if they do not listen, when the time comes, there will
be an election in two or three years, or whatever time it is, and if they have not been listening to the people,
they will have a difficult job in getting back to their roles in the government.



The member for Antigonish, the member for Cumberland South, the member for Digby-Annapolis,
all honourable gentlemen, have been in this Legislature for a long time. Why are they back here? The Speaker
himself, he has been representing his constituency of Cape Breton Nova for a long time. Why is he
representing his constituency? Because the people like him, because they listen to him. I want to tell you and
I don’t know if I had this opportunity or not, but I was down to your constituency during the last election and
I never saw so many signs in my life in any constituency that I ever was in during the last 16 years.



MR. SPEAKER: There weren’t enough, actually.



MR. MCINNES: You had massive support. But the point I am trying to make is you were re-elected
because you dealt with your people and you listened to your people and that is why the member for
Cumberland South and Antigonish and Digby-Annapolis and the member for Richmond, that is how they get
back in this House, by listening to the people.



You know we have a lot of members here that have represented their municipal councils in their
various districts for many years. Now, because they did a good job, they ran for election to this House of
Assembly. But the point that I want to make again is that I haven’t heard from those members, I don’t know
what they think. I am not sure whether they are for casinos or against them.



My understanding is that there are many people who have, as I say - the Union of Nova Scotia
Municipalities, the church groups, the Cumberland County Councillors - have spoken against casinos; the
people of Yarmouth and the City of Sydney. Now, I think that is where one of the casinos is supposed to go,
down in Sydney. The city fathers of the City of Sydney have passed a motion against casinos. The Provincial
Health Council has spoken out against casinos and the Medical Society. And why have they spoken out
against them? Well, they have and they have come out very strongly against them.



Now, Saskatoon is a nice city, on the Prairie Provinces, on the flat prairies of Canada, nice farming
country. They had a plebiscite and what did they have a plebescite on? Casinos; they asked the people. The
people resoundingly turned that down.



Where are the regulations for these casinos? Have we seen the regulations? When will they come out?
This is a massive bill that gives tremendous power to the appointments. Who is making the appointments to
this commission and corporation? The Cabinet are going to appoint three to five people. Who are they going
to appoint? I would imagine they will appoint some of their friends. Who does the corporation report to? It
reports to the minister. Is that going to be at arm’s length? I don’t know, that bothers me. I thought this thing
was all supposed to be at arm’s length.



The Laszlo Lichter group that are reviewing the applications for casinos have narrowed it down to
three applications. They were announced. And who supports those groups? Some very well-known people in
the City of Halifax support each one of those different applications. So, when the final decision is made it will
be interesting to see which one wins the draw. The Cabinet is going to make that final decision, isn’t that
correct? That is my understanding.



The bill also talks about the Planning Act. Now, you know what it says? It says the Planning Act does
not apply. They can do whatever they like, no building permit for renovations or even to repair, they don’t
need a building permit. This takes away authority from the Cities of Halifax and Sydney. Why don’t they let
them look at it and review them. I think that is pretty heavy-handed, I do not think that is giving the people
an opportunity and that is what this amendment says, that we will destroy the essential and fundamental belief
that government acts only within the consent of the government. I do not know, Mr. Speaker, I think that is
very heavy-handed.



[4:45 p.m.]



How much money are we going to get from these casinos? Have there been any studies done in Nova
Scotia about casinos? Our Leader has asked on numerous occasions to see the studies. The honourable
minister, for whom I have great respect, the Minister of Finance who is in charge of gaming in Nova Scotia,
has not produced. I have not seen them tabled. We have asked for them. I know we need revenue, I cannot
deny that, it would be nice to have more revenue, to lower our debt.



When we have so many people in this province that are calling, that are signing petitions, the figure
mentioned is 40,000 people, that is a lot of people to sign petitions. They just do not do that lightheartedly.
They see this as a beautiful province in which we live, 900,000 plus people, a very scenic, beautiful province.
They talk about the studies, maybe, that were done in Windsor, Ontario and Montreal. Where is Windsor,
Ontario located? What city is it next to?



AN HON. MEMBER: Detroit.



MR. MCINNES: Detroit, I wonder how many people in Detroit? I really do not know the population
of Detroit City. How many million?



AN HON. MEMBER: About 2 million.



MR. MCINNES: Two million, whatever. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. How many people in Nova Scotia?
Over 900,000. How many in the Halifax area? Roughly 300,000 or is it 250,000? I do not think we have the
population for the casino, that is what I am trying to say. Casinos have to have people coming in and spending
their money and if they do not spend their money, well, the government or the people of Nova Scotia are not
only to get any return from them.



They say in Montreal, as I understand it, and I may be off a few percentage points in this figure, that
96 per cent of the people who go to the casino in Montreal are from Montreal. They are not bringing in
tourists, they are not attracting people from outside to come to the casino. (Interruption) And I say Windsor,
Ontario, next to a city of 2 million people, I am told who are very close by and they certainly, have the
opportunity to go to that casino and spend their money and that is fine.



We do not have the population and what do we want? We want people to come here and stay in Nova
Scotia. We want them to come here and see our beautiful country, beautiful Cape Breton. Cape Breton is a
beautiful island. We were down in the fall with the Resources Committee, thanks to the chairman, . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: Great trip.



MR. MCINNES: It was a good trip, the member for Halifax Atlantic was with us and they had an
excellent trip. We saw a lot of aquaculture.



AN HON. MEMBER: Saw a lot of little fish.



MR. MCINNES: We saw a lot of little fish and it was a good experience and one that was very
worthwhile. The people down there were talking to us when we were down there about being against
gambling. They were against gambling.



AN HON. MEMBER: Certainly against gambling with fish.



MR. MCINNES: Exactly. This is the Cape Breton Post, dated October 29th: Major Study Casts Doubt
On Economic Benefit of Casinos; I quote from this: A number of people, including public officials have
pointed out that the determination of costs and benefits of casino gambling is so difficult that nothing very
useful would come from the exercise. Laszlo Lichter, who is the chairman of the Nova Scotia casino project
and the former Mayor of Halifax County - who was a good mayor and warden until they changed the name -
is quoted by the writer of the Cape Breton Post: Nothing more than guess work, he says. Surely, we have not
come to a stage in public policing formation that as the Post indicates, what is regarded as important in
government today is to have a plan, an action, and stick to it whether it is the right plan or the best one hardly
seems important.



Well, I say we need and the minister has said $40 million to $60 million. It would be nice to have an
extra $40 million or $60 million for our revenue in this province. What does liquor bring in sales from the
Liquor Commission, I believe it is in the $80 million range and the Atlantic Lottery Corporation I believe
brings in $60 million to $80 million revenue and that is very helpful. We have no study to show where that
money will come from. What policing requirements are going to be necessary when these casinos are here?
They tell us that it is going to cost a lot of money. Who is going to pay for that? This commission I guess is
going to give funds to that commission to help offset the costs of extra policing.



I don’t want to repeat too many things I said before but I did mention about several members of this
House were former municipal councillors and I am disappointed that they are not taking the opportunity to
get up and speak on this bill. A very controversial bill. The amendment says you have to listen and I just really
feel strongly that this government is going ahead, forging ahead and having these casinos put in the two major
cities in our province, our lovely Cities of Halifax and Sydney, where the City Council of Sydney is against
it. They are against it. I find that very difficult and hard to understand.



Government is ignoring the wishes of the people. Is the government in the dark? I don’t think so, I
think there are a lot of intelligent members on that side of the House and sitting beside us and some over here
too, some good members, all good members. You had to be a pretty decent person to get elected, in most cases.
It really bothers me when so many people are against it that you as a government are not listening. Are you
not concerned what your people think? If somebody calls me up I try to call them back. I try to call them back
and I try to help them. If I can’t help them I will call them back and tell them that too because people like that,
at least you tried, they said you tried Donnie and you couldn’t help, fine.



Churches, I don’t think I mentioned TIANS when I talked about the various groups that were against
casinos, the Tourist Industry Association of Nova Scotia. Who do they represent? They represent the hotels,
motels, little bed and breakfasts across this province and they also have representatives of course in each area
and their thinking is, they passed the resolution and I read the resolution into Hansard the other day, and I
am not going to read it again for you, you heard it, you know what it is. It said that 60 per cent of the people
at the TIANS annual meeting voted against it. Nova Scotians do not want casino gambling. We don’t know
what the social implications are. Where is the social impact study?



Mr. Speaker, I find it very difficult that these members are not listening and are not up to speaking on
it one way or the other. If they are for it, let’s get up and tell us why they are for it. Are they for it because they
think it is going to raise a lot of money? Maybe that is a good reason to be for it. And where is the money
going to come from? I am suggesting to you that we are not going to get a lot of tourism dollars from people
who come to Halifax or Sydney to go to casinos. I know there are people who go to Las Vegas and I talked
about that the other day, too. People go to Las Vegas to gamble, all kinds of casinos, the city is full of them
down there.



This is not Las Vegas. People want to come to Nova Scotia to see our beautiful landscape and our
beautiful harbours and the countryside, to see our beautiful trees in the fall, the beautiful colours. They don’t
want to come here for a casino.



Well, Mr. Speaker, I am not going to say too much more about this bill. We will likely have an
opportunity again to speak on it, before the Legislature closes, before next spring. It will eventually pass
second reading here and then it will go to the Law Amendments Committee. There will be many groups,
church groups and all kinds of groups of people into the Law Amendments Committee and that is a great
opportunity for people. I guess we are one of the few provinces that now has a Law Amendments Committee
that gives people an opportunity (Interruption) The only one, I was quite sure of that, but it is the only one
where people have a right to come in and express their feelings.



Well, Mr. Speaker, that is what I am asking you people to do, to think about this bill. If this bill passes,
and it will, you are going to have casinos in this province forever; once they get in, they will be here. And if
they are here, and if it is the government’s wish to pass the bill and they have them, I just hope that it can
make a lot of money for us. My concern is that the money they make is going to be coming from the poor
people of Nova Scotia. It is not going to be outside money. (Interruption)



Well, unfortunately, some people get the fever, just like the VLTs. We put the VLTs in the corner
stores, we made a conscious decision to do that. I was part of the Cabinet that said, yes, we are going to put
them in the corner stores. And do you know what happened? The people spoke; the churches, the
municipalities, it was crazy. People wanted them out of those corner stores. We listened to the people, we took
them out. I am trying to tell you, to tie this down, you have to listen to the people. We took them out and your
government and your minister went along with that and stood up in the House and said, no, they should not
be in the corner stores and I salute you for that, I think that was the right move. (Interruption) And you
studied this, well, I didn’t see that study yet, to the Minister of Transportation.



Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I am very concerned about this. People want you to listen to them. Once we
decided to take them out of the corner stores the only people who were upset were the small corner stores
themselves. They were disappointed, but the majority of the 900,000 people of Nova Scotia wanted them out.
The majority of people are saying today, we do not want casinos in Nova Scotia, 900,000 plus (Interruption)
40,000, we think, is the number. I do not want to be quoted on that, but (Interruption) I tabled my petition
earlier today, and I am sure the Clerk would be glad to give a copy to anybody that wanted it or staff would
be more than pleased to give you a copy. (Interruption)



[5:00 p.m.]



AN HON. MEMBER: So, why don’t you put it to a plebiscite then, if you figure 40,000 is not
representing the population. Put it to a plebiscite. (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Pictou West has the floor.



MR. MCINNES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I know the members are getting restless. They are going
to be restless before this bill is passed, I know that too. Anyway, I think this bill needs time for the regulations
to be drafted. I think we need that social and economic study. We should have public hearings, my gosh, we
did have public hearings did we not? Did we have public hearings? We had the Morris Commission. We had
Derrick Kimball, a member for Kings South and then we had (Interruption) Yes, and I will tell you why in
a minute. Then we had the member for Halifax Bedford Basin who was a good member and was a good
chairman and they went around the province and they had the hearings and they brought in the report. I
believe a number of those members signed that report. Some of our members signed that report. Do you know
what the report said? What did that report say? Nobody will talk about the Kimball Report. (Interruption)



Mr. Speaker, if they want the floor, I would be very pleased to sit down and let them speak. Do you
want to speak? Well, I will not sit down yet then. What did those reports say? They said, no casinos in this
province at this time. I am glad you people are wanting to talk. I really am glad. I would be so happy to see
those members stand up and express their concerns to the Legislature here. I really would love to hear what
they think.



Well, what happened to us on May 25th? We are over here and you are over there. (Interruption) That
was what the people said and when the people - I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, I am supposed to address you. The
people said, you fellows are out. You got tired of listening, you are old, you are 16 years at it or 15 years at
it. We want a new group and these fellows are getting to it quicker. (Interruption) I do not think they will be
around for 15 years if they do not start listening to the people of this province.



People want to see the regulations. We want to see the social and economic studies. We would like to
have some public hearings again.



AN HON. MEMBER: Some more public hearings?



MR. MCINNES: Sure, I think that would be a good idea so people could go and express their, and we
will see the public in at this Law Amendments Committee when this bill gets through, Mr. Speaker. We will
have the people there. (Interruption)



Mr. Russell has expressed himself before and Mr. Russell has the right and he will express himself
again on this bill. He will have that opportunity and if that member wants to get up and have his say, the
chairman of the government caucus, I would be glad to yield the floor to him because I would like to hear
what he thinks about casinos.



I have another minute or two here. I had a piece of paper which I cannot locate. Where is my bill? Mr.
Speaker, this bill, Bill No. 120, is 38 pages, laying down the law, not giving the municipalities the right for
any planning. They are just going to go ahead and build their casinos any way they like.



Mr. Speaker, I am going to be voting for this amendment. When the main bill gets to second reading,
I will voting against the bill because that is what I am told the people of my area, and I hope the people in
your area, want. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.






MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to the
amendment which is now proposed to Bill No. 120. The amendment, I think, is very important in the context
of what it is all 52 of us are supposed to do in this place. The amendment says that, “. . . in the opinion of the
House, the introduction and enactment of Bill No. 120 will destroy the essential and fundamental belief that
government acts only with the consent of the governed.”.



I think there is considerable merit to that amendment because if we have a government, any
government, that attempts to govern without the support of those who are governed, we have anarchy and we
have dictatorship and we have, frankly, what we have in this bill. We have a piece of public policy being
stuffed down the throat of a majority of the residents who are governed who simply do not want the legislative
change or the public policy change to be made.



The amendment says “. . . belief that government acts only with the consent of the governed.”. Well,
the word or the will or the opinion of the governed in relation to this issue has, in fact, been canvassed and
in those cases when the will of the people was canvassed and that will was made public, lo and behold, Mr.
Speaker, as I know you well know, the expression of that will, as determined by those consultations and those
studies, was a negative one. The will expressed by the people of Nova Scotia relative to casino gaming was,
we do not believe that it is appropriate to have casino gaming in the Province of Nova Scotia at the present
time.



There are, as I have said before, a number of members of this Legislature, among them members of
the governing Party, who are signatories to the documents which report to this Legislature and to the Province
of Nova Scotia that the people of Nova Scotia do not want casino gaming in Nova Scotia at the present time.



You know, Mr. Speaker, there are many elements of concern that surround this whole issue of casino
gambling and casino gaming. It is, I think, important to note that this provincial government, acting in what
I consider to be an uninformed and arrogant way, is in the process of foisting upon the people of Nova Scotia
a significant public policy initiative, a process or an initiative which has the potential to change - I say
potential - the fabric and the lifestyle and the socio-economic reality of our province, without ever having even
had the decency to undertake a socio-economic impact study to make some judgment or determination as to
what the long-term impact of casino gaming in this province will be.



You know, my colleague, the member for Queens, made reference to the fact, a little earlier when he
spoke, that certain experts have offered opinion in regard to this whole matter and one of them, when asked
about the possibility of doing a socio-economic impact study in regard to casino gaming, got off what I
thought was just an absolutely glorious line. The line was something to the effect that, well, you know you
can’t really do an effective socio-impact study until you have the casinos up and running and we see what
happens and give them two or three years and then maybe after a three year study, we experts, said he, will
be able to tell you what the socio-economic impact is of having casinos in the Province of Nova Scotia.



Well, in some arcane, theoretical, academic kind of debate, that kind of line might go down and some
people might say, gee, that makes sense, you have something going and you let it go for three years and then
you check it out and you see what it is doing, good, bad, or indifferent. But I can’t help but think as has
already been said that if that were the attitude taken in regard to a whole range of initiatives of public policy,
we would be in one state of affairs. That is akin, as has already been said, to well, we can’t really do a study
to determine what the impact is, as but one example, of airplane flight so we will send a piece of machinery
up, not worry much about how the configuration and the engines and the wings and so on and then we will
study after the fact how it gets along. That is about the logic employed, in my humble opinion, by those who
say, no, you cannot do a socio-economic impact study.



Well, if that is the case, if that perhaps is the theory to which this government subscribes, I can’t help
but believe that it begs the question and it just begs for the government to answer, how is it and on what
information and on what analysis and on what study, has the government been able to make any conclusion
to do anything except guess that the establishment of casinos will generate any money whatsoever? I am going
to put the proposition that they will make zero dollars. Why is that proposition any less valid than the
uninformed and unsubstantiated suggestions from the Minister of Finance that there is the potential that there
are millions of dollars of revenue? How does he know? He certainly doesn’t know on the basis of anything that
he has been prepared to share with this House or with the taxpayers of Nova Scotia. He hasn’t shared any
study. He hasn’t shared with the people who are governed, background or information or detail as to how he
has come to that conclusion.



The government has done no credible research whatsoever that shows that casinos will create any
positive, let alone any net positive social or economic benefit for the Province of Nova Scotia. And I say that
with no cost benefit analysis to support its claims that there will be benefit to the people of Nova Scotia, the
government is doing nothing more than merely idly insisting that net revenues and employment levels will
increase and they don’t have one scintilla, not one iota or information of professional study to verify that, at
least none that they have been prepared to disclose here in this place.



You know, there have been some studies done in relation to casino gaming. Admittedly and as I
indicated in discussion on this bill on earlier days, they have been done relative to other places. But they have
been done and the only thing that we can do as an Opposition Party in the face of the government which
simply says, we are doing this and we don’t particularly care one way or the other what the Opposition says,
we don’t particularly care one way or the other what thousands of people and it may be as many as 40,000 to
50,000 people who signed petitions saying we don’t want this. The government simply snubs their nose at
those who signed the petitions and simply have no care and no interest in those who signed those petitions.
But some studies have been done and, admittedly, I acknowledge they have been done in other places, so if
they are suspect for that reason, then I acknowledge that. But all we can do is offer in this debate and in this
discussion some indication and some information that in places where casino gaming has taken place, some
analysis of the results and the effects has been undertaken.



[5:15 p.m.]



I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, to consider the case of Atlantic City. There has been a great deal of talk,
although again no documentation and no analysis to support it, that there is the likelihood of economic benefit
and jobs to be gained as a result of having casino gaming in the Province of Nova Scotia. Well, “. . . consider
the case of Atlantic City, New Jersey. In 1977, before the city’s first casino opened there were 243 eating and
drinking establishments. After ten years, there were only 146, and the survivors reported a 10% drop in sales,
after inflation. Arnold Hewes, of the Minnesota Restaurant Association, says that in the three years since the
introduction of casinos in that state, restaurants within a 25-30 mile radius of any major casino are reporting
a 20-50% loss in business.”.



Well, with respect, Mr. Speaker, that is a scary proposition for indigenous, existing, current, local
Nova Scotia business. Is that the fate of Nova Scotia business, if casino gaming and gambling is in place here?



My understanding, and I may be wrong because the thing is shrouded in such secrecy that I think I
would have easier access to the Kremlin than I would to the information relative to what this government and
the proponents propose relative to these casinos, but in general terms, my understanding is that these will be
Las Vegas-like places. Well, my understanding of places of that kind is that they will provide or have
relationships with particular hotel accommodation, that they will provide considerable entertainment
opportunity for the patrons, aside from the casinos and the tables and the machines themselves.



They will, of course, have all those gaming tables and the slot machines and the like. They will have
restaurants, coffee shops, and undoubtedly little mall areas with craft shops and the whole deal. What kind
of impact is that going to have on the men and women who are now running hotels and restaurants and
entertainers in Nova Scotia and craft shops and the like? I don’t hear any mention at all from the Minister of
Finance that they will have a positive impact. I don’t hear any mention from the Minister of Tourism and
Culture that the men and women who are world-class craftspersons in Nova Scotia are going to be
advantaged, as a result of having an opportunity to sell their wares in these gambling emporiums which are
proposed.



If that information was available and if, in fact, studies were done which showed that that was the case,
then I would be prone to change my tune radically. But I can’t understand that it is incumbent upon those of
us who, in my opinion, are the only ones in this House, namely the Opposition members, who are attempting
to represent the best interests of the people of Nova Scotia, we simply have no information and, by
extrapolation, the taxpayers of Nova Scotia have no information that the establishment of casino gaming in
the Province of Nova Scotia is likely to be of any value or benefit to them at all.



There have been the studies to which reference has already been made. Members of this House, Mr.
Speaker, went out and talked to the public and asked advice and opinion on the question of whether or not
Nova Scotians thought casino gaming was the right thing for this province. The answer came back, in each
case the opinion was no, we Nova Scotians do not believe that casino gaming is in the best interest of the
Province of Nova Scotia at the present time.



Where is the study that the Minister of Finance or the Premier or the Minister of Tourism and Culture,
the Minister of Economic Renewal, any minister on the Treasury benches opposite, where is the study that
any of them have or has, that indicates that those earlier reports were all wrong, that there were going to be
considerable benefits from the establishment of casino gaming?



You know, it has been said that the establishment of casinos in this province will be good for tourism
in Nova Scotia. Well, I am just simply not so sure that is the case, in fact, I have very serious reasons to doubt
that that will be the case at all. It is the case that when we get into a discussion about what the impact on
tourism in Nova Scotia will be, if we have casino gaming, the provincial government’s own Standing
Committee on Community Services, which is one of the reports to which I referred earlier, agrees and says
this, “. . .there is little substantiated evidence, as shown by other casino gaming operations in Canada, that
casinos will significantly improve the levels of tourist traffic.”. In fact, tourism could be hurt by casino
gambling. A study conducted by the University of New Orleans regarding casinos in that city made the
following statement that the tourist industry, as a whole, is a net loser due to gambling, however, the casino
is a net winner. I say, therefore, based on no hard evidence, on no hard evidence at least that this government
has been prepared to share with anybody. The provincial government has bought into the myth that casinos
will, in fact, attract more tourists. Furthermore, in my view, the provincial government has not considered
the negative impact that legalized casino gambling could have on our traditional tourism sector.



I remember the Minister of Tourism on an earlier day, I think, in the last session of the House getting
up and talking about - this was long before the announcement by the Premier that there would be casino
gaming in this province - and he was applauding his department and he was lauding, patting himself on the
back. He was talking about the wonderful year that tourism was having and he spent some time - if my
memory is correct - talking about the tremendous potential of eco-tourism here in the Province of Nova Scotia.



While I came, in my very short time as Minister of Tourism, to learn a little bit about eco-tourism and,
I frankly, believe that what the current minister was saying is absolutely right. There is an overwhelming
potential for tourism growth here in the Province of Nova Scotia, in the field of eco-tourism. I do not know
what impact, what adverse impact, if any, the establishment of casinos is going to have on that. But I make
this prediction, it will certainly not add one tourist in the eco-tourism field, because you are not going to have
those who are coming for eco-tourism coming for the casino gambling. I do not believe . . .



AN HOH. MEMBER: Is that ego-tourism?



MR. DONAHOE: . . . yes, eco-tourism. Well, there is more ego-tourism on the government benches
than perhaps anything else in regard to all of this.



There are many people who have taken a look at what might happen here. It is my contention which,
I suggest, is just as valid as the contention of the Minister of Finance or anybody else on this issue. He offers
no studies, no reports and no analysis. I believe, frankly, that tourism and culture are not the only businesses
which will be hurt in this province by the casino industry. Nova Scotians, and tourists have a limited amount
of disposable income and every dollar that is spent on casino gaming is a dollar that is not spent somewhere
else.



There was a study done by the University of South Dakota which showed that the arrival of new
gambling ventures produced a significant decline in sales of certain non-gambling industries. Those industries
included clothing stores, recreation services, business services, auto dealers and service stations. Sales of
alcohol, however, continued in an upward direction. Well, I again ask, and I plead with the government to
share with Nova Scotians the studies or the analyses of the details, which they have, which indicate that
casinos will, in fact, be good for the Province of Nova Scotia and will not be the harm, to a whole range of
existing and indigenous business here in the Province of Nova Scotia.



I said on an earlier day and it has been said by others and I am very much struck by the fact that it has
been said by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. The Tourism Industry Association of Nova
Scotia, at an annual meeting in Halifax, as recently as November 6th - today is what, the 16th - that is only
11 days ago they had their meeting and 60 per cent of the delegates to the TIANS meeting supported seeking
more information before deciding whether to back casinos.



Well, those are the men and women, Mr. Speaker, who run the tourism industry of this province. They
are the men and women who run the hotels and the motels and the bed and breakfasts. They run the craft
shops and they run all of those facilities and all of the infrastructure which is Nova Scotia tourism. They are
saying that this issue needs study. They, TIANS, the tourism industry . . .



MRS. LILA O’CONNOR: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I have heard the members over here
mention TIANS many times and the fact about the annual meeting. I would like to say that I have had a memo
from Judith Cabrita, who is the Executive Director of TIANS, saying that they called both the New
Democratic Party and the Progressive Conservative caucus to advise them of the motion and that TIANS
supports gaming on the premise that gaming would increase tourism. They have not changed their position
and I think it is time that they realized that they were called. Thank you. (Applause)



SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, Oh!



MR. SPEAKER: I would like to rule on the point of order that has been raised, if I may. It has been
ruled by many Speakers over the years that a dispute between honourable members as to facts does not
constitute a point of order. This is a matter of an interpretation of the position of a private organization. It
would be, I would suggest, between the honourable member and that organization as to what the stance of the
organization is on some given issue.



I would think, for example, that if a member were to claim that the Nova Scotia Teachers Union was
against education that that would not be a point of order. It would be a matter between that member and the
Nova Scotia Teachers Union. So I would feel in the same way in this instance, that this is a matter between
TIANS and the various members of the House. I do not feel it is a point of order.



MRS. O’CONNOR: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the information I have saying where they have
been contacted.



MR. SPEAKER: I have no objection whatever to any legitimate material being tabled. It is always in
order to table documents. The documents are tabled.



MR. DONAHOE: Before the Page takes it, could I perhaps have a look. (Interruption) Well, all I can
say is that I would like to see the resolution which was passed because the official record of the Tourism
Industry Association of Nova Scotia is not that letter, but it is in fact the document which I now have and I
will now read and will table.



It is, that the annual general meeting of TIANS took place this morning, November 6, 1994 at 9:30
a.m. At this meeting, a motion was introduced by Adrian Blanchette and seconded by Bruce Anderson to the
effect that, and I quote, TIANS asks the Government of Nova Scotia to form an all-Party committee to appoint
a recognized authority who would identify the possible benefits to our industry, as well as the possible harm
which could result from the introduction of casinos to our province so that we may properly prepare ourselves
for this eventuality, close quote.



The motion was passed by the general membership with 60 per cent of the delegates voting in favour
of the motion. Information on this vote may be obtained from myself at the above address and the phone
numbers and so on and that detail. (Interruption) I am prepared to table the document.



[5:30 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The document is tabled.



MR. DONAHOE: That is the official record as I see it of the Tourism Industry Association of Nova
Scotia. The honourable members opposite are wailing away and they are saying, well, how many voted? It
is clear that this government does not particularly care much about how many others outside of their caucus
vote on anything or have any opinion on anything because they are certainly not prepared to share any
information with TIANS, with this caucus, with anybody. (Interruption)



Well, if the Minister of Education is so smart perhaps the Minister of Education can stand now and
table in this House the studies which he or his colleagues have done to show that casinos gambling will be
good for the people of Nova Scotia. (Interruption) Yes, good answer and if the honourable member had been
listening to my remarks he would have realized that I have been citing and quoting from study after study
which reflects and indicates clearly, Mr. Speaker, that there are many potential problems.



The introduction of casino gaming into the Province of Nova Scotia carries with it, Mr. Speaker, the
potential that we will be sealing the fate of thousands and thousands of Nova Scotians as gambling addicts
as a consequence of the presence in our province of casino gaming. Yes, thousands and thousands. Because,
in fact, in Canada there have been some surveys done and surveys have shown that pathological gamblers
comprise from 1.2 per cent to as much as 5.4 per cent of the total population. Surveys from American
jurisdictions show similar rates of gambling addiction. If we assume the provincial population is, I think it
is pretty accurate here in Nova Scotia, some 900,000 people, there are potentially between 9,000 and 45,000
Nova Scotians who could become addicted and problem gamblers here in the Province of Nova Scotia.



Public health research has demonstrated conclusively that increased exposure to gambling activities
leads to an increase in the number of pathological gamblers. With that in mind, I suggest it is very likely that
the introduction of casinos will push the percentage of problem gamblers in Nova Scotia toward the higher
end of these estimates.



HON. ROSS BRAGG: A short question, Mr. Speaker. If, and I am just curious about this because it
just dawned on me, the member opposite is so concerned about the moral wrongs of casinos as he calls it and
all the problems and so on, could he tell me why his government put video poker machines in corner stores
and then into bars and lounges? There is something wrong with his position now and if he could explain why
maybe I would understand his position better. The government that put video lottery terminals in convenience
stores all over this province and then put them in bars and not just a few, but just went wild with them a few
years ago has now become the evangelist of anti-casino in this Legislature. Could he explain why he and his
government did that then and he is taking this position now?



MR. DONAHOE: The honourable member (Interruption) No, I am not born again. (Interruption) Yes,
like Dizzy Dean, he was originally born in Chicago. I was part of a government, as the honourable indicates
that took a decision to have video lottery terminals in the corner grocery stores and bars and we came to the
conclusion, and we think rightly so, that we were perpetrating a very real problem upon the people of Nova
Scotia to allow them to continue to function in the corner grocery stores. So, we made the decision to take
them out of the corner grocery stores. They were left in the bars on the recommendation of expert advice and
opinion which was made available, and a study (Interruption) The members laugh. If you will check, the
honourable members might like to jest but if the honourable members who have access to Cabinet documents
go back and do a little research themselves and go back and take a look at the advice that (Interruption) This
isn’t a distance trick. The problem with these arrogant know-it-all so and so’s across the way is that all they
know is that they are infallible.



It is unbelievable that the government to a person has adopted one ethic and the one ethic is don’t
confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up. I ask any one of these members, well I will ignore the rabbit
tracks from the lady who had the saddest day, the saddest person in Nova Scotia today, thought she had a seat
on the front benches and it didn’t happen, saddest lady in Nova Scotia.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Let’s speak to the resolution, please.



MR. DONAHOE: I will speak to the resolution and I will answer. I am trying to answer the question
from the distinguished Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency and I will tell him we made a mistake to
have them in the corner grocery stores. We made a mistake, we admitted it and we corrected it and we stopped
that. Why are the video lottery terminals in the licensed establishments? Because the government of which
I was a member conducted a study, sought expert advice and opinion and had a recommendation that that was
an appropriate public policy course, okay?



Yes, indeed we mentioned the social impact and I ask honourable members opposite, the study is not
in my possession but I daresay it is in the possession of the present Treasury bench members because the study
was made available to us and it was on the advice of professional opinion that those decisions were taken.
Maybe they were the wrong decisions. Maybe, John, maybe Minister of Education? Right? Maybe they were
wrong. But, do you know the difference between what we did and what you and your bunch are doing, we did
them on the basis of seeking professional advice and counsel and guidance. I have seen no evidence at all that
this government has undertaken the same public policy course.



If this government has, it owes it to the people in Nova Scotia to table in this place the studies on
which they base this decision. The Minister of Finance was so sure I presume he had some economic or
financial studies, he was so sure that casino gaming in Nova Scotia was going to be such a financial bonanza
for him and his department’s bank account that he was even getting off lines a few months ago about maybe
being able to lower taxes. Now I notice he is backing away from that. (Interruptions) Not at all? So, he has
made a commitment today that he is going to lower taxes, okay. (Interruptions) Well, we are reading the
whole thing.



What the taxpayers of Nova Scotia would like to read is the study and the socio-economic impact study
that lets them make their judgment as to whether or not this is a reasonable or appropriate public policy
position for the people of Nova Scotia. The truth of the matter is and these honourable members opposite
know it, there is very real potential that, if we engage in casino gambling in this province, we will run the risk
of subjecting somewhere from 9,000 to 45,000 people to a life of gambling addiction and that is the case.
Studies in other places have indicated that that is the reality, that is what happens.



I see no indication or evidence at all that this particular government has the slightest concern about
that; a government led by a doctor; a government with a doctor as a Minister of Health who they tell us today
in resolutions is so famous that he is going to get some big international award for emergency medicine; a
doctor who is the Minister of Community Services. With all the medical opinion, I think the taxpayers of
Nova Scotia have every reason to look askance at the lack of concern that this government indicates at the
possibility that we are going to be subjecting thousands of Nova Scotians to a life of addiction as a result.



The amendment asks or suggests that we are, by passing this bill if we do, destroying “. . . the essential
and fundamental belief that government acts only with the consent of the governed.”. This piece of legislation
has provisions in it as I know you know, Mr. Speaker, which completely and totally run roughshod over, to
use the words of the amendment, the consent of the governed. It runs roughshod over the citizens of the city,
a part of which I have the honour to represent and over the citizens represented by a number of members in
this House, including members of the Executive Council.



I wonder what the Minister of Labour has to say to his constituents when he realizes, as I do, that
Halifax City Council has passed a resolution against the establishment of a casino in its city. Add to that that
this legislation has some of the most unbelievable provisions in it, as to what the province can do to simply
strip and rip away legitimate municipal rights.



The City of Halifax and I have heard this kind of expression used by members opposite in the past, the
City of Halifax is the crown jewel of Atlantic Canada. One of the reasons that it is is it has the magnificent
Halifax Citadel, after which my constituency has the honour to be named. One of the things that the City
Fathers in this city have done and to their credit and over many years have been diligent to ensure they
continue to protect and that is view planes legislation from the historic Halifax Citadel. The Halifax Citadel
is the most visited national historic location or site in all of this country. My City Fathers, the City Fathers
of the capital city of our province, have worked hard over many years to protect the viewplanes from the City
of Halifax. This legislation (Interruption) Yes, Gerald O’Malley, the honourable member for Halifax
Needham, was a part of that city council and it escapes me as to why he is not raising objection and concern
at least to part of this legislation.



Potentially, the impact of this legislation, speaking in terms in the context of the amendment,
governing with the consent of the governed, the governed in this case, the residents of the City of Halifax,
have City Fathers who have passed viewplanes legislation. This bill would afford this provincial government,
through the committee and the commission, to be able to establish a casino anywhere it pleases within the City
of Halifax, with no regard whatsoever to the zoning or the planning rules and by-laws of the City of Halifax,
and the Planning Act. Completely ignore another piece of provincial legislation, but also including a capacity
for this government, through the structures established in the bill, to completely ignore the viewplanes
legislation of the City of Halifax.



[5:45 p.m.]



I can’t believe that any one of the 52 members of this Legislature, understanding the importance of the
Halifax Citadel, understanding the importance for future generations of the viewplanes legislation which our
enlightened City Fathers for the past many years have instituted, could allow a piece of legislation to be passed
so that somebody from Las Vegas or somebody from God knows where, can come into our province and build
a casino and put it up so as to destroy the viewplanes legislation of the City of Halifax. It can happen.
(Interruption)



I hear honourable members, oh, it is not up yet. No, it is not up yet and if we took some time and some
care to seek the advice and the counsel and the opinion of those who have the concerns and many concerns
about this particular legislation, perhaps we could make some very significant changes. Perhaps we could have
some consultation with the City of Halifax, which has never taken place. I don’t think it has taken place with
the City of Sydney. We could potentially have many of the concerns absolutely overcome. But the most
fundamental concern is, what is the long-term impact to the social fabric and the life of the Province of Nova
Scotia, in the event we have casino gaming.



You know honourable members opposite sort of snickered when I talked about the possibility of
gaming addiction and gambling addiction and so on. Well, it is a very significant disease and it is a disease.
If we pass this legislation, we are about to embark on putting in place a regime which has the potential to
result in as many as 50,000 of our fellow citizens having a disease and, in many cases, perhaps a pre-existing
disease, flower into a serious illness. I think that is exceedingly important and sufficiently important that we
should be prepared to put this matter behind us and simply not go forward with it at all.



I would like to ask, in the context of the amendment which we debate, Mr. Speaker, the amendment
says that if we pass this bill it will destroy the essential and fundamental belief that government acts only with
the consent of the governed. Well, some might not believe that is a fundamental belief. I have some reason
to think, on the basis of their performance over the past weeks particularly, that many opposite perhaps don’t
share that belief, a fundamental belief that government act only with the consent of the governed. So maybe
there are some over there who don’t particularly care what the will or the opinion, the hopes, the aspirations
and the fears of the governed really are.



I don’t understand why that need be the case. This is a government which only 18 months ago went
to the people of Nova Scotia and was sent to this place with a resounding 41, 42 seat majority. What possible
fear could there be that this government would afford those they govern the opportunity to make their views
known? They have already had three chances, three studies done and they have expressed an opinion.



So what is going on here? What is the problem? The problem is, I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the three
studies already done indicate that those Nova Scotians who express their opinion on the question of casino
gaming said, we do not believe it to be in the best interests of Nova Scotia. This government is, for some
particular reason, and I suspect it is nothing more than greed, and greed in the sense that they have a belief,
they have this ill-conceived, in my opinion, belief that the establishment of casino gaming in this province
is going to be an absolute financial bonanza for the Minster of Finance. They are so struck with the idea and
the sight of sugar plums dancing before their heads, that there will be millions of dollars in the Minister of
Finance’s account that is not there now, that they do not particularly care what the view and the opinion of
the governed actually is.



You know, I cannot get over the arrogance of this government. They simply do not care what the
people of Nova Scotia say. They simply do not care what the people of this province say about casino gaming.
They certainly seem not to care what the tourism industry of Nova Scotia says. They certainly do not seem
to care about what the Medical Society of this province has said and if I could find the right notes, they seem
not to care at all about what has been said about the Anglican, Baptist, Evangelical, Lutheran, Presbyterian,
Roman Catholic and United Churches, all of whom have spoken out against casinos. Cumberland County
councillors, there are two Cabinet Ministers, including the Minister of the Economic Renewal Agency from
Cumberland and the county councillors there have spoken out against casinos. The Union of Nova Scotia
Municipalities have spoken out against casinos. The Medical Society, I repeat, the Medical Society is men
and women in this province who know . . . (Interruption)



I guess the honourable Minister of the Economic Renewal Agency is perhaps phoning the Cumberland
County councillors who have spoken out about casino gaming to see if perhaps they have changed their mind.
(Interruption) Perhaps he is phoning the people of Yarmouth because the people of Yarmouth have also
expressed an opinion against gaming. (Interruption)



If he knows what is good for him, he will be calling for help because I think he and his colleagues need
a great deal of help in connection with this matter, Mr. Speaker.



We watched the American elections recently on television and seven states in the United States turned
down resolutions calling for the establishment of casino gaming. What is the unseemly haste here? What is
going on here? We have had three studies that say, no. Yet this government is hell-bent-for-leather to have
casino gaming in the Province of Nova Scotia.



Did this government go to the people, Mr. Speaker, in April and May of 1993 and say vote for us and
we are going to pass laws that allow casino gaming? They sure did not. They went to the people of Nova
Scotia in 1993 and they said, vote for us and we are going to lower taxes and they have done the opposite.
They went to the people in May of 1993 and they said, vote for us and we are going to put 63,000 people back
to work and that has not happened. (Interruption)



It was not 57,000 at all. It was 63,000 people. Then they had 30-60-90. Mr. Speaker, we are going
shortly to debate legislation introduced by the Minister of the Environment. Legislation I am sure he will tell
us, is intended to be a framework and the legislated cradle within which the environment of the Province of
Nova Scotia will be sustained and protected.



Well, isn’t it interesting that a few rows down the line on the Treasury bench, we have a minister who
introduces a piece of legislation which says the Environment Act does not apply here. We can build any kind
of a casino anywhere we want and we do not have to worry about the local planning or zoning by-laws, we
do not have to worry even about the Planning Act itself. We do not have to worry about the Minister of the
Environment’s Environment Act. Well, it is true, and if I am wrong, then perhaps the Minister of the
Environment could disabuse me of my understanding, but I know I am not wrong and so does he.



Here is a piece of legislation that says that we are going to go do whatever we want to do with casinos
and we don’t have to worry about the province’s planning laws; we don’t have to worry about the province’s
environment laws; we don’t have to worry about the municipality zoning laws; we don’t have to worry about
the City of Halifax’s viewplanes by-laws; we don’t have to worry about the sewer and water. In fact, Mr.
Deputy Speaker, and you particularly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, coming at your present responsibilities as you do
with an extensive experience on Halifax City Council, you know that this legislation also does not provide,
anywhere at all, for any obligation on the part of the provincial authority to compensate, in any way, shape
or form, the municipalities in the event that any additional cost is to be borne by the municipalities in terms
of sewer and water, of police protection, in terms of all of those other things which may well attend the
implementation of casino gaming in the Province of Nova Scotia.



I just really do not understand why this government is so absolutely intent that it go forward with this
legislation at this time with such haste. I wonder if the government has any idea what the opinion of those
they govern really is? Do they have any idea what the opinion of those whom they govern really is? I doubt
that they do at all. I have seen no evidence or none of them have taken their feet here in this House, none of
them have stood up and said that they have conducted any survey or analysis in their constituency and they
have concluded that their constituents support the establishment of casino gaming in this province.



We had the spectacle here today that they were not even prepared to table petitions which were signed
by people who are their constituents. Are they afraid to see those, to read those, to look at those names?



AN HON. MEMBER: There aren’t too many Tories left . . .



MR. DONAHOE: Well, I hear my distinguished friend say there are not too many Tories out there.
Well, I will tell you, there are not too many Liberals out there any longer on the strength of the people that
I have had contact with over the last couple of months. (Interruptions) We will see when the time comes how
many Tories, how many Liberals and how many NDP.



In the meantime, what we are seeing is more of the high-handed, do not confuse me with the facts, my
mind is made up, kind of approach. We are going ahead with casinos, we do not particularly care what the
Opposition says. We do not particular care what those who signed the petition say. We do not particularly care
what the churches of the province say. We do not care what TIANS say. We do not care what the Medical
Society say. We do not care what the community in Yarmouth says. We do not care what the councillors in
Cumberland say. They simply do not care. They simply have decided, for some reason which they will not
share with the taxpayers of Nova Scotia, for some reason this government will not share the surveys, analysis,
the debate which they have done . . .



MR. SPEAKER: We have now reached the motion of interruption. The honourable member has six
minutes remaining after the Adjournment debate.



[6:00 p.m.]



I understand that the debate was won by the honourable Leader of the Opposition. The resolution reads:



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Natural Resources put forth a position paper on behalf of
the Province of Nova Scotia so that serious negotiations can begin and a consensus reached with the federal
government on a new federal Forestry Development Agreement for Nova Scotia.



ADJOURNMENT



MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



NAT. RES. - FORESTRY DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to turn over, as I think I am permitted by
the rules, the carriage of the debate on this resolution to my distinguished colleague for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening in the Legislature, and I want to thank my
colleague for Halifax Citadel, the Leader of our great Party for passing this debate along to me this evening.



Mr. Speaker, I rise in the Legislature this evening for the late show debate to discuss a very important
issue with thousands and thousands of Nova Scotians, an issue that the Minister of Natural Resources has said
he has done a lot of work on but yet we are not seeing the end result, that of course being a new federal-provincial forestry agreement.



Mr. Speaker, time is running out. If no new forestry agreement is signed, the consequences for Nova
Scotia will be absolutely catastrophic. Approximately 30,000 direct and indirect jobs relate to the forest or
forest related industries. Nearly one out of every four dollars that is generated in the manufacturing sector is
attributed to forestry.



To begin with, we are looking, without any exaggeration, at the possible loss of 30,000 direct and
indirect jobs. There may be no more 24 hour saw or pulp mills. Mr. Speaker, I do not make that statement
to fear monger, that is a very real, very distinct possibility. The honourable minister might be doing
something, but I will tell you right now there is tremendous concern, as I am sure the minister is aware, right
across Nova Scotia in the forest industry that the minister or his Cabinet colleagues are accomplishing very
much. There is a lot of concern across this province.



I will tell you why that perception could be there. For example, in the Legislature yesterday, I asked
the minister for a list of names of the Cabinet committee which he said had been formed to go to Ottawa and
fight for all resource based industries here in Nova Scotia. Mr. Speaker, he clearly stated there was such a
committee in this Legislature during debate on November 2nd, but yesterday when I asked him for a list of
Cabinet committee members, his best reply and I mean his best response to me was that he is talking with the
federal Minister of Natural Resources. He then said he understood I was asking for a list of every meeting that
had taken place between provincial Cabinet Ministers and their federal counterparts.



Mr. Speaker, that is not what I asked. What I wanted from the honourable minister, and still do, if such
a committee exists, and I suggest that it does exist . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Order now, please. With all due deference to the honourable member, we are debating
a resolution. We are not in Question Period. We are not a follow-up to the Question Period. I am not trying
to restrict you, you have a latitude here, but we are debating a resolution which you have before you.



MR. TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am still looking for the names of the Cabinet Ministers who
are sitting on the committee formed to fight for all resources based in this province. I simply wanted their
names and a list of the meetings that they have held since the committee was formed.



Now, keep in mind, Mr. Speaker, the minister has said that the committee did exist. When we last
debated the issue which was back on November 2nd, I wanted to know now if the committee exists or does
not exist. I think it is very important that the minister answer that question tonight during his response to this
debate. We are talking about the future livelihood of 30,000 Nova Scotians.



Also back on November 2nd, the honourable minister rose and stated in this Legislature that the
Member of Parliament for the South Shore, Derek Wells, had taken up the lead on behalf of Nova Scotia in
regard to fighting for a new federal-provincial agreement. The honourable minister might have simply been
trying to promote the South Shore MP in any fashion possible, but I feel it must be pointed out, Mr. Speaker,
that the MP for Central Nova is actually on the Parliament’s Natural Resources Committee. If anyone, Mr.
Speaker, should know and be playing a leading role, I would suggest it would be that member. So am I to take
from the minister that he has no faith in Roseanne Skoke? (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I have to draw the honourable member’s attention to the fact that he
is straying very seriously from the essence of the resolution before us. The essence, in my view, is contained
in the first two lines, that the Minister of Natural Resources put forth a position paper on behalf of the
Province of Nova Scotia. Now that is the basis upon which the debate should be carried out; why it is
necessary to do so, how it should be done, when it should be done. The allusions to a number of other
parliamentarians who are not here to speak or defend themselves, I think it is somewhat out of order. I would
ask for a greater degree of specificity to the resolution before us. I am taking the time of the honourable
member but I have to do that.



MR. TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will certainly try to comply more closely. I think it is
important that I do mention the federal parliamentary committee because that all leads up, hopefully, to a new
federal-provincial Forestry Development Agreement. Mr. Speaker, very shortly I am going to get to the
proposal that we are talking about here tonight.



Mr. Speaker, the honourable minister, and again I have to refer to yesterday because we have had an
ongoing debate and it has been a very congenial debate about the Nova Scotia-Canada Forestry Agreement,
I referred to a meeting he held with the federal Cabinet Minister responsible for Nova Scotia, Mr. Dingwall,
in early June. At that time he said he did not know what I meant when I used the word proposal.



Now, Mr. Speaker, this was just yesterday. I wanted to know if he was referring to a blueprint - I don’t
see a whole lot of difference between a blueprint and a proposal - unless someone is playing with words here.
What I would like to know from the minister this evening is, would he be able to table in this Legislature,
within the next 18 to 24 hours, a copy of any proposal or proposed blueprint or blueprint proposal, whatever
you want to call it, I want to know if he would put that forward?



I don’t always confess to be right, and I could very well be wrong on this matter, Mr. Speaker, but my
very reliable sources indicate that Nova Scotia has put nothing on the bargaining table for the feds to even
look at. I know there has been dialogue, I know there has been discussion, but if they have something to put
on the table I wonder if the minister would share that with me within 18 to 24 hours, I would like to have a
peek at that proposal or blueprint, just a peek at it. This way we all will know for sure that serious negotiations
are underway. Right now all we know is that there is a lot of correspondence that has exchanged hands.



My intention, Mr. Speaker, is not to give the minister a hard time, and I don’t believe I have done so,
but it is a very important matter. Nova Scotians want to know and they want to understand what is being done
and they want to have a very clear understanding. They want to know whether this government is going to
the wall, in an attempt to save the 30,000 jobs, or will they simply say on March 1st, whoops, sorry folks, you
are going to lose your jobs. I am sure the minister doesn’t want to say that, or anybody on the government
benches or anybody who is a member of that government doesn’t want to have to say that but this week we
saw what happened in the provincial Department of Supply and Services. The day before yesterday all Nova
Scotians understand that times are tough, that governments everywhere must be accountable and they must
pay their bills.



Maybe we can’t put anywhere near as much money into a new agreement as the previous provincial
and federal governments did, back in 1991, when they signed a $98 million forestry agreement. So, Mr.
Speaker, I beg pardon for being a little partisan there but I did want to mention that the previous governments
did sign a $98 million . . .



MR. SPEAKER: The time of the honourable member has expired.



MR. TAYLOR: Okay, thank you, Mr. Speaker, I will be listening very intently to what the minister
has to say.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate very much the opportunity to address what I
consider to be a very serious issue as well, that is dealing with the Forestry Development Agreement for Nova
Scotia, Round 6. In fact Round 6 for not only Nova Scotia but for all of Canada. As the member opposite
pointed out very clearly, this is very important to the social and economic well-being of this province. Thirty
thousand jobs will be gone tomorrow if we don’t have an agreement; I question that figure but I am not here
to debate numbers that the member opposite brought forward. I am here to debate the resolution and he says
here, “Resolved the Minister of Natural Recources put forth a position paper on behalf of the Province of Nova
Scotia, so that a serious negotiation can begin . . .”.



Now let me make it very clear to the member opposite that negotiations for our new agreement are not
on the table yet. The federal government has not agreed to even negotiate a new agreement for Round 6 for
Nova Scotia, in fact, for every province in Canada. It was under the Conservative Government in 1993, Mr.
Mazankowski, had stated then in the federal budget, no more agreements for forestry and other sectors of the
economy. It has been our pursuit, through the leadership of the Premier, Ministers of this Cabinet, ministers
of every province in Canada, to reinstate the government’s commitment or to ask the government to make a
new commitment toward the importance of these agreements to the sustainable development of not only our
forests but many of our resource sectors.



I want to say to the member opposite that we have been pursuing that issue as tenaciously as possible,
with all the appropriate ministers, through correspondence and through personal meetings that I have had and
others have had to try to get the federal government to come forward to state that they will sit down and
negotiate a package. We are prepared at any point in time on any day to sit down and negotiate a package,
we have made that abundantly clear to them, they have not agreed as of yet that they are prepared to move
forward on a new agreement.



So, the question is not whether or not we are prepared to put a proposal forward to start serious
negotiations, the federal government has not indicated it is willing to negotiate Round 6 of a forestry
agreement. So, I can sit down and talk to myself about it and have all the answers. The problem is in these
agreements, it takes two partners to make sure this package can go forward. The federal government’s
commitment to enter into negotiations, the province is committed to be willing and able to sit down at any
point in time to start those negotiations.



Mr. Speaker, the member has asked a question - it is almost like Question Period - in regard to the
committee. The committee is a member of the Economic Committee of Cabinet. A number of those ministers
on that Economic Committee, I being one of them, have talked for a number of months about the importance
of these agreements and we are pursuing to go forward, in fact, under the leadership of the Honourable Ross
Bragg, Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency. They are now in the process of trying to organize
meetings with the appropriate ministers in Ottawa. The ministers that would probably be in attendance, would
be those ministers that are directly affected by the fact that their next agreements will not be signed and in
fact we do not have a commitment by the federal government to even enter a negotiating process or that they
are willing to negotiate a new round of an agreement.



I obviously will be one going forward to the federal government. Minister Gaudet would probably be
another one representing Agriculture, I being Forestry and Energy. Mr. Barkhouse would probably be
involved with it, Mr. Bragg would probably be involved with it, any other minister that has an agreement that
is running due and we will be going forward to Ottawa to present the position, a position that Nova Scotia
wants to come to the table to negotiate and you, the federal government, we want you to commit to the future
fundings of these programs. That is what we are trying to establish at this point in time, not the fact that we
are putting a proposal out to negotiate, they don’t want to negotiate and we have to get a commitment out of
the federal government that they are going to pursue Round 6 of the negotiations.



So, I hope that the honourable member opposite understands the serious of this issue and understands
clearly the position of this government and the governments right across this country whether it is Prince
Edward Island, British Columbia, Quebec or Ontario. Every other province in Canada has been doing the
same thing, working with the federal government to try to convince them of the importance of these
agreements to our area. The minister alluded the other day to the meetings I have had. I just want to inform
them that I have had seven meetings with the federal Minister of Natural Resources dealing specifically with
this issue, seven separate meetings with her. I have had two meetings with the Honourable David Dingwall
on this matter and I have had one with Mr. Manley discussing the issue of the importance of these
agreements.



[6:15 p.m.]



The Premier of this province, the Honourable John Savage, has discussed this matter with the Prime
Minister of Canada. Honourable Ross Bragg has discussed this matter with Mr. Dingwall and other
appropriate ministers of the importance of this, asking them to please give a commitment that they are
prepared to sit down and negotiate. We want to negotiate. As I said earlier, we will be going to Ottawa
pushing that issue even further. I was as of this week in Ottawa asking the federal government to move
forward on this particular issue.



With regard to the resolution, the problem is not that we are not willing to participate. In fact, we want
to, we are willing and we are asking for it. This is not a matter of a position paper. The problem is the federal
government has not committed because Honourable Don Mazankowski’s 1993 budget said no more federal
agreements. This new government has not made a firm decision yes or no, on whether or not they are going
to enter into those negotiations. We have been as tenacious as possible with them, indicating to them it is
vitally critical to our industry to have this agreement signed, to have an agreement, to sit down and negotiate
an agreement.



I would ask the member opposite and members opposite that I would encourage them to go to their
appropriate Parties in other provinces of Canada to ask them to put pressure on the federal government as
well. We need everybody working together on having these agreements reinstated to be able to sit down and
negotiate. I would encourage them not to put the pressure this way because there is no problem here. We are
on-side. We want it to happen. We are prepared to go to the table. We want to negotiate. We want to negotiate
a future for the forestry sector of this province. I encourage them to do the same with their counterparts in
other jurisdictions within Canada to make it very clear this is a vital issue to our province.

 

 

I tried to answer some of the questions. He made a few derogatory comments about Derek Wells,
Member of Parliament for the South Shore and so on and so forth. I have in fact written every Member of
Parliament in Nova Scotia. In fact, I have had discussions with Ms. Skoke with regard to her position on the
Natural Resource Committee of Parliament. She is very much aware of the concern that we have in this
province and she has indicated to me personally that she will be bringing this issue forward and pursuing it
as hard as she can.



Earlier this year in the summer we had the honourable George Rideout, Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister responsible for the Department of Natural Resources from New Brunswick. We spent a day with him
touring him throughout Nova Scotia, some areas very close to the constituency of the honourable member
opposite, showing him the importance of the forestry agreement, what it means in Nova Scotia. We have given
him the statistics, we have given him the employment factors, we have given him the issue of sustainable
development and we have talked to him about the future of the forestry sector to Nova Scotia. He is very much
aware of how critical this is to Nova Scotia’s position. He has gone forward to the federal minister with that
concern.



We have done all we can at this point in time and we will continue to do even more to put pressure on
the federal government to seriously take a look at reinstating the ability for us to sit down and negotiate a new
agreement for forestry. It is critical to us. We are prepared to do all we can. We are prepared to go to the table,
we want to go to the table, we are prepared to sit down and negotiate a package for the Nova Scotia Forestry
sector but we need two to negotiate. It is no good going to the table by ourselves. We need the federal
government’s commitment to say, yes, sit down at that table and put some money on the table and let’s develop
a program that is vitally important to our sector. I encourage members opposite to write on behalf of the
Province of Nova Scotia in support of the minister’s efforts, in support of this minister’s efforts and this
government’s efforts to have that established. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, it has been an interesting debate so far on quite an
important question, the renewal of the forestry agreements with the federal government. I must say it is quite
alarming to listen to the minister talk about the kind of reluctance, almost complete rejection from the federal
government to even sit down and talk about these agreements and the possibility of rejecting them.



I guess what I find myself doing when I hear that is asking a number of questions, and maybe that is
part of what I will do when I address my comments to this question. It appears that - if I understand the
minister correctly then - it was under the former administration that these agreements or that the decision was
made that the federal government would not renew the forestry agreements in the future. I guess the question
then that must be asked is, have we gotten any confirmation from the new administration whether or not they
support that decision? It appears that maybe they do, or they haven’t provided an answer.



So now that we are dealing with that information then, I guess the question is, how do we apply the
appropriate pressure, either as a province or as provincial governments or provinces, as industries across the
country, that are directly affected by these agreements, how do we apply the kind of pressure that is going to
be necessary, it appears, on the federal government in order to get them to acknowledge the fact that these
agreements exist, there is some valid reason for them to continue and that the provinces are prepared to sit
down with them and discuss the terms of those particular agreements? How are we going to do that?



I remember back to the GATT negotiations, Mr. Speaker, and how this minister, when he was then
involved with the Federation of Agriculture for the Province of Nova Scotia, initiated on behalf of Nova
Scotia, an all-Party, all-sector, I think, agreement to send letters of support and to try to get the federal
government to respond to the concerns supporting supply management in the Province of Nova Scotia and
in the Atlantic Provinces and took a number of steps to try to bring together common interests across the
country, in order to try to bring that position to bear on the negotiating team representing the federal
government in the GATT negotiations. I wonder if maybe it is those kinds of alliances that are needed in order
to try to further the interests that are at stake under the reluctance of the federal government to discuss the
renewal of these forestry agreements.



You know, we have 11 federal government members in the Parliament from Nova Scotia. In terms of
Parties, we all represent or are represented across the province, in terms of provincial governments, and
maybe we do have to work at trying to coordinate better, and I know from my point of view and from the point
of view of our caucus, if I can be of any help whatsoever, in terms of assisting this government’s initiative at
trying to push the federal government and trying to open negotiations of some kind, or at least an
acknowledgement that there is a need to negotiate the re-establishment of these forestry agreements, then I
would certainly be prepared to do what I can.



It is difficult from my point of view, not knowing what the positions are of the various provincial
governments. I indicated to the minister when this issue was brought up in the House last week or a couple
of weeks ago, that I would certainly be interested in receiving that information. Again, I indicate to him that
if he thinks that I or our caucus could be of any assistance on this issue, I certainly offer to him again my
assistance, understanding, of course, that he is one minister and there are a number of other ministers in the
Government Cabinet who are strong and united on the need to reinstate not only the forestry agreements but
the agreements in other sectors. Surely that is a pretty sound, significant level of clout. Whether or not it
would do any good to have the support from the Third Party in the House, who knows.



Again, I think maybe the question is, how can we build alliances across this country, in order to figure
out how the appropriate pressure can be applied to the ministers responsible? Obviously, the process of writing
letters does not appear to be having a whole lot of effect.



It would be interesting, I guess, to know what the minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada
Opportunities Agency for Nova Scotia, representing the federal government, the Honourable David Dingwall
has to say about the possibility of these agreements being renegotiated. I do not think there is any question
that that minister holds a fair bit of sway in the federal Cabinet. So it will certainly be interesting to hear what
he has to say. If there is any way that we can apply pressure or encouragement to that minister or any of the
other members here in Nova Scotia in order to try and get this work done, then I think that is important.



One final comment would be, in response, specifically, to the question that was raised in this resolution
in terms of a position paper. To me the effectiveness of that particular proposal would be, what would be the
minister’s position. What would be the government’s position in terms of these negotiations? Maybe it would
be helpful to set down some principles upon which all of the industry, as well as the three caucuses can agree
that these are the principles on which the negotiations should take place.



Maybe the minister has already done that, I don’t know. Certainly when I saw the resolution that was
brought forward by the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, that is what I was thinking about. I
think it would be helpful for the industry here in Nova Scotia to know what the government would be prepared
to establish in terms of its principles of negotiating these particular agreements if, in fact, we get to that stage.
Then maybe we can put together some kind of a concerted alliance in order to further back up what the
government is already doing and try to make it that much more effective.



Mr. Speaker, this is an important topic and a concern of many Nova Scotians that these forestry
agreements and the possibility of re-establishing these forestry agreements is not getting very far. I think the
member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, not to speak for him, but from his perspective and his caucus,
as with ours, we want to see these agreements, and the government minister has already said that, re-established. We will do what we can to assist this government, assist this minister in trying to get the federal
government and the federal minister to the table.



So with those few comments, again I say to the minister that mainly my comments have been
questions, but I hope he understands that all I am doing is offering, as I have done before, any assistance or
any ideas that I can possibly bring to try to solve this problem.



MR. SPEAKER: The time for the debate of the Adjournment motion has now expired. We return to
the debate of the amendment on Bill No. 120. The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition has six
minutes remaining.



AN HON. MEMBER: I don’t think they have a quorum, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, you are right. No, we do not have quorum.



AN HON. MEMBER: It is not quite 6:30 p.m.



MR. SPEAKER: No it is not quite 6:30 p.m., we have a quorum.



HON. RICHARD MANN: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I was wondering, and I could just check
the Rule Book to find out for sure. The quorum, does that include the Speaker?



MR. SPEAKER: Yes, it does. It is after the Speaker has concluded his counting. I have concluded the
counting. We now have a quorum including the Speaker.






[PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING]



Bill No. 120 - Gaming Control Act. [Debate resumed.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition has six minutes remaining.



[6:30 p.m.]



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: I certainly would not want to, Mr. Speaker, have (Interruption) the
important comments that I will make in relation to the amendment to Bill No. 120 spoken to a House that
does not contain a quorum and I am absolutely delighted that members from all sides of the House were able
to come and hear the last six minutes of my contribution to the debate on this amendment.



Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance who is the sponsor of this bill has suggested that there is big
money in it for him and for the provincial government, for the coffers, the Treasury of the Province of Nova
Scotia. I wonder, without seeing any documentation at all from the Minister of Finance or from any official
in the Department of Finance, from anybody on the Treasury benches, how that conclusion is reached.



When I read a newspaper report which is a major interview, a special report actually, The Casino
Gamble, and it features the Minister of Finance and it has to do, of course, with the pros and cons of casino
gaming in Nova Scotia. The Minister of Finance, who would have Nova Scotia taxpayers believe that we are
on the eve of a bonanza as a result of casino gaming in the Province of Nova Scotia, he, the Minister of
Finance, makes a couple of very interesting observations.



Referring to the Minister of Finance, the article says, he, the Minister of Finance, “makes no bones
about where he expects the majority of patrons to be drawn from and it’s not from the United States or even
the other Atlantic provinces. `Based on info from other areas, the casinos will not be supported primarily by
people from outside Nova Scotia.’ Boudreau is conceding, on the basis of the Manitoba and Quebec
experience, that the vast majority of revenue from casinos will come from the pockets of Nova Scotians.”.



Well, I have really got to wonder what this Minister of Finance is all about. He is acknowledging, as
far as I am concerned, in those words, Mr. Speaker, that he is not at all interested in the creation of new
wealth, but all he is doing is playing games with stirring up a pot of either stagnant or shrinking Nova Scotia
resources and wealth. The article to which I refer goes on to make reference to the fact it is in fact, Nova
Scotians or patrons of middle to lower middle incomes who are the likely patrons of this or any other casino
facility. That reality is borne out in a number of other places and is the subject and has been the subject of
study in other places.



In fact, a study was done by Mr. Robert Goodman of the University of Massachusetts and his study was
entitled, Legalized Gambling as a Strategy for Economic Development. Imagine basing your economic
development strategy on legalized gambling, and that report’s purpose as outlined by the author was to “. .
. help people and their government leaders better understand the connections between gambling and economic
development in their communities.”, and “. . . help them make more reasoned choices”.



The report goes on and Professor Goodman goes on to make it clear that, although the controversy over
legalizing gambling often centres on issues of morality, and I make no comment at all on the moral issues,
“. . . the goal of this study was not to explore whether or not people should gamble. The morality of gambling
is indeed worthy of serious debate. But our primary concern . . .”, referring to his own report, “. . . was to
assess the economic, social and legal consequences that occur when governments try to use gambling as a way
to improve their economies.”.



There was some very key findings of the report from Professor Goodman and among them very
quickly, knowing I only have a moment or two left. There is no popularly based movement for the expansion
of legalized gambling and the people of Nova Scotia have said that in large numbers.



There is a lack of objective knowledge and research about the real economic and social costs and
benefits of legalized gambling. The research used by public officials to evaluate projects is often done by the
gambling industry itself and I am prepared to bet dollars to doughnuts, speaking of betting, I will bet you
dollars to doughnuts that the reports and analyses that the minister (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member’s time has now expired.



MR. DONAHOE: That is six minutes? Well, I will close, Mr. Speaker, having been told that my time
has concluded, that it is my intention to vote for the amendment which is before us now, that the passage of,
“. . . Bill No. 120 will destroy the essential and fundamental belief that government acts only with the consent
of the governed.”. I look forward to some intervention from government members who will provide me with
detail that indicates that, perhaps some of my suggestions are ill-founded and erroneous. I believe them not
to be.



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise this evening in support of the amendment.
The amendment speaks about good government and the amendment also speaks about the absence of public
participation. It states that, “. . . the introduction and enactment of Bill No. 120 will destroy the essential and
fundamental belief that government acts only with the consent of the governed.”.



There has been much talk that we have not had a study that indicates we need casinos in Nova Scotia.
Goodness, that seems like a very fundamental request that there is a very real need for a study that indicates
we need casinos in Nova Scotia. We have had different studies from different governments indicating that
casinos should not be established at this time in Nova Scotia.



I have attended some meetings recently. On Monday night I was at a meeting up in Middle
Musquodoboit in the Musquodoboit Valley fire hall. This meeting was put on by the Musquodoboit Valley
tourism committee, not to be confused with the Musquodoboit Valley-Eastern Shore tourism committee. At
that meeting, before I could get in the door, I was broached with the subject, what do you think about this
government? What are they trying to do? What impact are these casinos going to have on our tourism
industry? That is just a very small community in Middle Musquodoboit. It has a population of approximately
500 people, but the people in that community are no different than in any other community in this beautiful
province. They are concerned about the establishment of casinos (Interruption) don’t you start. The people in
that community are extremely concerned about the impact casinos are going to have on the social, the
economic and, yes, the moral being the moral fabric of our society.



We had a very well attended meeting. The room was filled to capacity and we discussed very
interesting subjects that night but one that received a lot of discussion, one that received a lot of attention was
the discussion on this government’s intention, this government’s introduction of a bill that will enable them
to establish casinos in Nova Scotia.



I had the very real privilege of being in the lovely Town of Liverpool this week on Tuesday night and
the residents of Liverpool, at the parish hall, at another very well attended, extremely well attended meeting,
were very concerned, too about this government’s intention to establish casinos in this beautiful province.



Mr. Speaker, in one of the questions they asked us, they said, what can you do for us in Opposition,
what can you do for us? I am telling you one of things we can do is support this amendment. We told the
people in Liverpool - again, I state that the people in Liverpool are no different than anywhere else in this
province, they are very concerned about this government’s intention to establish casinos in Nova Scotia - we
will try to make this government see the reasons why they should go back and have a socio-economic study.
We said we will try to get the government members and when we are outside in the halls or out in the
lunchroom, we will talk to different members about casinos. I have mentioned it off-the-cuff to different
members just to see what they think and from talking to some of the backbenchers, I have to be completely
candid and honest, they do have reservations about the government’s intention to establish these casinos.



There is a saying that goes something like this, they who accept evil without protesting against it really
are cooperating with it. Now, I think my interpretation for the purpose of this debate, is that they who accept
evil without protesting against it are really cooperating with it. We saw an incident today where People
Against Casinos in Nova Scotia, they are a separate entity, they are not representing any of the MLAs in here.
They are not represented. There were accusations that they were tied in with the Progressive Conservative
Party, they certainly are not. They are certainly not tied in, to my knowledge, with the Third Party and I don’t
believe they are tied in with the Liberal Party. They are speaking on behalf of Nova Scotians right across this
beautiful province. They had well over 40,000 names on that petition from constituencies like Hants East,
Eastern Shore, Bedford-Fall River, Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage, it doesn’t matter where. But the people who
signed those petitions are expecting the members of this House to get up and table the petitions on behalf of
them.



People Against Casinos in Nova Scotia is a separate entity; they are not tied in with any political Party.
But this amendment will allow a process to take place that will enable Nova Scotians to become involved
again. This government owes it to Nova Scotians to go back to them with this very questionable legislation
that they are proposing now.



There is some talk that the casinos will have games such as blackjack, roulette and so on and so forth.
I understand there will be no dice throwing, apparently that was prohibited some time ago. Now, I want to
suggest that the government is playing Russian roulette. Thousands of Nova Scotians, the majority, I would
suggest and submit here tonight, are opposed to the establishment of casinos at this time.






There is no question that people do become addicted. The government perhaps, perhaps the casino
minister, the Finance Minister, perhaps he may be addicted. He may be addicted to this legislation but this
amendment, he should stand up and speak in favour of this amendment. It will give us the opportunity
(Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order please. The din is overwhelming. The honourable member has the floor.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, after some of the events that have gone on in here, especially during the
last 48 hours or so, I think it is time that an amendment such as this was supported and supported by the
government. What an opportunity this government will have to go back to the people, it is an opportunity to
save face, just a little bit. It will put some credibility in a government that is losing credibility very fast.



[6:45 p.m.]



You know first of all, we had a MLA, a member of this government, Mr. Speaker. He was a member
of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly and he still is, but he was expelled from his caucus because he stood
up for his constituents. By way of this amendment I am encouraging all members to stand up, support the
amendment and you will be doing your constituents a favour and you will be doing your government a . . .



MR. SPEAKER: I would like to bring the honourable member’s attention to the fact that he may be
in error, he made a judgment concerning an act of another Party in the House and he may or may not be in
error regarding that matter but I would ask him to be very careful about making such assertions until he is
absolutely assured that he is correct.



Now it is not my point to correct him but I have the authority to bring forth a point of order from the
Chair and I have brought forth a point of order from the Chair.



MR. TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I respect and appreciate, as I always do, your rulings and
I will try not to get on that subject at any great length, but I emphasize the word “try”.



The government doesn’t have one iota of information to indicate to Nova Scotians that they have the
support of Nova Scotians respecting this legislation. Nova Scotians have a right to know what the cost benefits
are going to be and they also have a right to know what the burdens of this particular legislation are going
to be.



You know, Mr. Speaker, it is a questionable proposition. Some of the questions and comments I have
heard people make are along the lines that casinos are pernicious, they are wicked things. Now a lot of people,
and I have brought it up before in here, we have a lot of good Christians in this House but a lot of people are
morally opposed to the establishment of casinos in Nova Scotia and people don’t like you to impose or impinge
your morality on them. But it goes without saying that we are hearing it from people and from our churches
and later on I will mention some of the churches that have spoken. I can name some of the churches that have
spoken against the establishment of casinos.



People are telling us, Mr. Speaker, and I would submit again and suggest that they are telling all
members of this House that there will be a rise in prostitution if casinos are established here in Nova Scotia.
With all the goings on in the last year or so, especially in the last year, respecting prostitution, I know that
nobody in this House wants that to happen and I am not suggesting that they do. But go back to the people,
go back and have some meaningful consultation. That is one of the points you will hear, is that there could
possibly be a rise in prostitution.



There are also suggestions that there will be a rise in white collar crime. We can’t just dismiss those
suggestions, Mr. Speaker, I believe there is something to that, there is something valid there. We are hearing
it from other locations. We are hearing it from New Jersey, where there are casinos; we are hearing it from
Atlantic City, we are hearing it from Nevada, we are hearing it from Reno, Nevada, the biggest little city in
the world. We are hearing it from Las Vegas. Everywhere that there is a casino we are hearing these concerns.



Mr. Speaker, it is something that should be seriously considered. There have been no studies, there just
have not been social and no socio-economic study. That is all we are asking for. Is that asking so much? What
is the hurry? What is the motive? The government has predicted they are going to come under the estimate,
in terms of the deficit this year, so why the hurry? Why is the government trying to ram this down our throats?
They projected already that we are going to see an appreciable reduction in the deficit this year so why the
hurry? Let’s go back to the people. It is going to show that you are credible, it is going to show that you are
trying to save face a little bit.



Even though we are in Opposition, we think all Nova Scotians want to see better from their politicians.
This is an opportunity, yes, I would submit everywhere, even down in Cape Breton they want to see more, they
want to see better, they want to see openness, they want to see you come in and talk to everyday people. They
want to see you talk to the housewives. They want to see you talk to the nurses. They want to see you talk to
the secretaries. They want to see you talk to, Heaven forbid, the truck drivers. They might even like to talk
to somebody again about the establishment of casinos, the welders, the pipefitters, the people that work at
Stora, the local politicians. The local politicians can’t be all wrong. They would like this government to go
back to their constituents, go back and listen.



It is no good to have consultation, unless you have meaningful consultation. But what an opportunity.
Here is a government that is on the decline. Here is a government, there is no question, that is going down
and is going down fast. (Interruptions)



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



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, there are all kinds of sayings, but one saying that does stick out in my
mind is the saying that nothing that is morally wrong can ever be politically right - not politically correct,
politically right - I have used that a couple of times and I think it is very important. Just because we are
politicians, we cannot divorce ourselves from the morality of this issue, prostitution and white collar crime
is very important. A lot of people are religiously opposed to the establishment of casinos in Nova Scotia.
Nothing is wrong with that. There are people right in here tonight that are opposed to them because of the
religious reasons that it entails.



Mr. Speaker, I tried to earlier, and I thank you for helping me say the word catastrophic, but if these
casinos are established in Nova Scotia, the results may be catastrophic. I got through it twice, I am not going
to try it again.



We all saw the ultimate insult today. We saw government members refuse to table petitions from
people in their own constituency who are opposed to the establishment of casinos in their constituencies. I
don’t need to tell everybody that we have 52 constituencies. We have constituencies in Yarmouth
(Interruption) Nobody is going to run out and jump it up and stick it in your face. All you had to do is go to
the steps like the Conservatives, go to the steps like the Third Party did, be gracious enough to go stand up
for your constituents. Mr. Speaker, we were looking for them. They knew where the petitions were.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Either I have order or I will (Interruptions) The honourable Leader
of the Opposition, order, please. The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has the floor
and I would ask that some decorum be maintained in this House. I refer to the honourable Leader of the
Official Opposition to set the example for others. (Applause)



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, it is not my intention to say things that inflame the government. That
is not my intention at all. Every time somebody mentions TIANS, the Tourist Industry Association of Nova
Scotia, members of the government seem to take exception when you are speaking about TIANS, but TIANS
want a study of casino risks.



The Tourist Industry Association of Nova Scotia’s support for casino gambling is no longer a sure
thing. This is not the resolution that the honourable Leader of the Opposition read just a while ago, Mr.
Speaker. This is coming out of The Daily News, Monday, November 7, 1994. “At its annual general meeting
in Halifax yesterday, 60 per cent of TIAN’s voting delegates supported seeking more information before
deciding whether to back casinos.”.



Mr. Speaker, The Daily News is saying it, the Chronicle-Herald is saying it and the resolution clearly
says it. On Friday, the Innkeepers’ Guild of Nova Scotia passed a similar motion and I know you would forbid
me from reading that resolution again, but I would like to read it into the record again with your approbation.
Would you let me?



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Has the honourable member already read the resolution?



MR. TAYLOR: Not on this amendment, no I haven’t.



MR. SPEAKER: Then you have the right to read it.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, thank you for your approval, your permission and your approbation. The
letterhead on this document has the Salmon River House Country Inn, Musquodoboit Harbour, Salmon River
Bridge, R.R. #2, Head of Jeddore, Nova Scotia, Canada BOJ 1PO, FAX No. (902) 889-3653.



MR. SPEAKER: Order. I am going to rule that most of the material that the honourable member has
put forward to this point in time, has been irrelevant to the debate and I will rule the member out of order on
irrelevance and if he continues the irrelevance I will remove him from the floor.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, as per usual, I always respect your rulings and I certainly do, but you did
give me approval to read this resolution.



MR. SPEAKER: Yes, the resolution.



MR. TAYLOR: The resolution, “The annual General Meeting of TIANS took place this morning . .
.”, at the World Trade and Convention Centre. TIANS asked, and I am quoting the resolution, “TIANS ask
the government of Nova Scotia to form an all-party committee to appoint a recognized authority who would
identify the possible benefits to our industry . . .”, that of course being the tourism industry, ” . . . as well as
the possible harm which could result from the introduction of Casinos to our Province so that we may properly
prepare ourselves for this eventuality”. I thank you, Mr. Speaker and that is the first time I read that into the
record on this amendment.



We have gotten along in Nova Scotia for hundreds of years without casinos but . . .



MRS. LILA O’CONNOR: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Would you mind asking the member and
I hate to ask you to do that, but only because . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: I would hope you would hate to ask him because he hasn’t any right to do it.



MR. SPEAKER: Order.



MRS. O’CONNOR: You are right, he doesn’t.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Lunenburg has the floor on a point of
order.



MRS. O’CONNOR: Would you ask him to reread the motion that he has, because I don’t believe that
if he is reading it from the paper, it is exactly the motion that I received from TIANS. There are a few words;
I don’t read the word hurt in this motion at all.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member, first of all (Interruptions) Well, we are either going to have
decorum in the House or I am going to adjourn the House, one or the other. There is going to be decorum or
it is going to be adjourned.



The honourable member has brought forth a matter on a point of order. There is no point of order. The
matter read by the honourable member is in Hansard for the official record and she may refer to that if she
wishes and she may bring it forth at a later date if she wishes to contest it. But I have now given final warning
that either we are going to have decorum in the House or I will adjourn it. The honourable member for
Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has the floor.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, just for the information of the House this resolution is tabled with the
House. I oft-times wonder how the government can say that the establishment of casinos in this beautiful
province will be in the public interest. We have had many examples that people do not want casinos in Nova
Scotia.



[7:00 p.m.]



Representatives of the many churches, Anglican, Baptist, Evangelist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Roman
Catholic and United Churches have spoken against casinos. Salvation Army probably has spoken against
casinos. (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: I would ask the honourable member, if he would, to help retain decorum in the House
by reducing the interchanges between those who would speak to him from around the House, to direct his
remarks to and from the Chair. He would help the Chair and the House with maintaining the appropriate
decorum.



MR. TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I will certainly try to. We have had many examples that
people do not want casinos in Nova Scotia. The churches have spoken out. Cumberland County councillors
have spoken out. Cumberland County Council is a very highly respected municipal unit, as are the other 66
municipal units in Nova Scotia, but Cumberland County took the time and effort. Cumberland County
councillors are unanimous. They have spoken out against them.



The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, a very highly respected union, and I know this government
perhaps does not respect unions as highly as some other previous governments have. The Union of Nova
Scotia Municipalities has gone on record as opposing the establishment of casinos, Mr. Speaker.



The Medical Society has spoken out against them. The Medical Society, another highly respected
professional organization. The Provincial Health Council has questioned this move and the motive behind
the government, Mr. Speaker. The good people of Yarmouth have spoken out by way of a plebiscite.
(Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable member please address his remarks to the Chair. (Interruption)



HON. ROBERT HARRISON: On a point of order and in the interest of decorum, sir, perhaps when
you are on approbation you are used to approaching the bench. Could that be his motive?



MR. TAYLOR: I think it was Victor Hugo that said, laughter is the sunshine that drives the winter
from the human face. (Applause) Mr. Speaker, you will have to forgive me for a moment. I am just trying to
find out where I was and gather my composure.



Mr. Speaker, the information I have here indicates that British Columbia turned down commercial
casinos. Saskatoon held a plebiscite and Saskatoon resoundingly turned down the establishment of casinos.
Yes, recently, in Florida in fact they turned down casinos. So those other locations have had an opportunity
though. It is an opportunity we should afford everyday Nova Scotians.



I noticed the casino minister, the Minister of Finance is not with us this evening. I do not see him, Mr.
Speaker. There are some relatively easy questions that have not even been answered. Questions like we want
to know if liquor will be served in the casinos. We want to know if food will be served. We want to know if
the casinos will be open on Sunday, Mr. Speaker. What will the hours be? Will casinos be open 24 hours? Is
there anybody that can tell us? Maybe lucky Laszlo Lichter can tell us, but the answers have not come forward,
Mr. Speaker.



So when people comment to our caucus, and I am sure they comment to the New Democratic Party,
I would not be surprised if they even comment to the government, you seem to be somewhat dictatorial with
this legislation, Mr. Speaker. That is the message that we are hearing. Why are we not given an opportunity?



The Community Services Committee, I know it has been mentioned several times, but, Mr. Speaker,
I have not mentioned it regarding this amendment. The Community Services Committee came back with a
report that recommended against the establishment of casinos in Nova Scotia at this time.



Now Clause 37(1)(a) of the bill and, I know we are not talking about the bill, we are talking about the
amendment, but “. . . the Nova Scotia Environmental Assessment Board shall not hold a public hearing in
respect of a casino or proposed casino.”. They cannot even hold a public hearing. Why was that waived? The
Planning Act does not apply. The Leader of the Opposition raised the question and a concern he has about
Citadel Hill, but the Planning Act does not even apply. (Interruption) I understand that, yes, Mr. Speaker
would be very concerned about that and no building permit is even required. The Planning Act has been
waived and the Nova Scotia Environmental Assessment Act has been waived. Why are all these things
waived, Mr. Speaker?



So, the whole section, and that goes back to Clause 37 in the bill, the whole section invalidates
municipal authority. That is amazing, that is incredible. There are different draconian provisions, Clause 57
and Clause 59, also leads us to many, many questions. Clause 57(1), provides that when the disposition of a
matter is in question, the commission may hold a hearing and make a decision and Clause 57(2), “A decision
of the Commission pursuant to subsection (1) is final and is not open to question in any court.”. It is not open
to question in any court, absolutely amazing. This provision, it is not just found once, but it is found twice in
the Act. It is found in Clause 99, also.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. As the honourable member is aware, we are not debating the bill clause
by clause. We are debating the principle of the bill, plus the amendment that has been put forward as a
reasoned amendment on the principle of the bill. Please refrain from debating the bill clause by clause.



MR. TAYLOR: Well, Mr. Speaker, I want to talk now about the opportunity that this government will
have. They are going to have an opportunity if they support this amendment. If this project is so good for
churches, for the municipalities and everybody in Nova Scotia, we want to hear about it. We want to see some
cold, hard facts. For example, where has the Minister of Finance, the casino minister, where has he come up
with his estimate of $40 million to $60 million or $40 million to $75 million that is going to be going into
the government’s Treasury. Where does he come up with that figure? I sure would like to know.



Many people out there have legitimate, very rational concerns as to why casinos should not be
established at this time. These are people of all different backgrounds, of all different social status and they
are people that live all over this beautiful province. People come here to enjoy our scenery, our beauty and our
friendly people. They like our way of life and, I would suggest, a lot of tourists like to get away from casinos.
Perhaps, they like the fact that Nova Scotia is casino free.



I have an article here, also, from the Nova Scotia Lottery Commission. You would be interested in
some of the comments they have and one of the questions is whether or not casinos should be introduced into
Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Lottery Commission says, it was made clear, however from the 607 respondents
that 58 per cent were opposed to the introduction of casinos, 58 per cent of 607 respondents were opposed.
I would suggest that those 607 respondents would be overwhelmingly happy to support an amendment like
this, if only given the opportunity. Why not formulate, perhaps even an all-Party committee, a socio-economic
study? Why not go back to the people and come back with the real cold, hard facts?



The Progressive Conservative caucus was disappointed a few weeks ago with the quick dismissal by
the Premier and the Government House Leader of our proposal for a free vote. We wanted a free vote on this
whole issue. This would lay a lot of questions to rest. At least it would lay to rest this amendment. We
probably would not be debating it if it had been allowed to go to a free vote. I think that was one of the things
that we included, Mr. Speaker, that we wouldn’t be trying to force the government to support amendments,
if only we could have had free votes. But neither the Premier nor Mr. Mann, the House Leader, and I
apologize for using an individual’s name - the House Leader - but neither the Premier . . .



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation, the Government House Leader.



MR. TAYLOR: Yes, Mr. Speaker, the honourable Minister of Transportation and Communications,
Mr. Speaker, discussed the proposal with their caucus colleagues - this is what they told us - and given the
fact that there are many Liberal members who wish to represent the views of their constituents, it is our view
that the issue should have received serious review by the entire Liberal caucus.



But, Mr. Speaker, the Premier and the Minister of Transportation and Communications spoke for all
members of the government, they spoke for all 41 members. I will bet you that if the Premier or the
Government House Leader, the honourable Minister of Transportation and Communications, had the
wherewithal to go to the government caucus at a full caucus meeting and put that on the table and really give
the members of government an opportunity to say whether or not they want free votes - not a free vote that
is perceived by the Minister of Transportation and Communications. His version of free votes is certainly a
lot different than our version and, I would submit, it is a lot different than the NDP’s version of what a free
vote is and, I would suggest, it is a lot different than the member for Cape Breton West’s version of a free vote
is, Mr. Speaker.



HON. RICHARD MANN: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Would it be safe to assume that their
version of a free vote would be that as demonstrated in the past 15 years when they were in government?



MR. SPEAKER: Well, it is not a point of order.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, from time to time, I think it is very important that we do talk a little bit
because in the past 15 years there was never legislation that came forward that would even remotely suggest
that casinos be established in Nova Scotia.



So in reference to the free vote that the Minister of Transportation and Communications talks about,
the past cannot be changed but the future, for the time being, and I emphasize for the time being, the future
is in the hands of the government. There is no need to tell us. This government has been in power now for
almost two years, so we want to hear what they are going to do. We are tired, Mr. Speaker, 18 months.
(Interruption) She is trying to mislead the House. I have been trying to stay away from the rabbit tracks.



Mr. Speaker, here is what the Leaders - the Liberal Leader, John Savage, the NDP Leader, Alexa
McDonough - had to say back on May 19, 1993. Liberal Leader John Savage said, Nova Scotians must decide
whether they wish to have a gambling casino in Nova Scotia. He said Nova Scotians must decide. He didn’t
say that the Finance Minister must decide, he said Nova Scotians must decide. He said, that is why public
hearings, like those of the Kimball Committee, are so important. We believe caution is necessary and will
accept no proposal without extensive public consultation.



Mr. Speaker, this is what the Premier of the Province had to say. I hope the government members are
listening, I hope all MLAs are listening to what the Premier had to say then and, in fact, what is happening
today. We believe caution is necessary, the Premier said, and we will accept no proposal without extensive
public consultation. The Liberal Party is very concerned about strictly controlling gambling, treating gambling
addiction.



I have to stop right there, Mr. Speaker, on treating gambling addiction. There is nothing in Bill No.
120 that talks about gambling addiction and educating gamblers. The Premier suggests we have to educate
gamblers and the public about the risks of gambling. I agree with what the Premier said back on May 19,
1993. Sometimes I do agree with the Premier, Mr. Speaker.



Now the New Democratic Party Leader, Mr. Speaker, I know you will believe this comment. She said,
it is appalling that any government would put major emphasis on gambling as a source of revenue when there
are corporations and wealthy individuals who are paying no taxes whatsoever. That is what the Leader of the
Third Party had to say, she was appalled.



Furthermore, the study of the question of gambling in this province should not be left in the hands of
a patronage appointee. That is another comment she made and I think I will stop right there in reading her
comments.



[7:15 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, we should not forget that, they who accept evil without protesting against it really are
cooperating with it. I could table this document. (Interruption) Somebody is talking about Victor. I am not
sure if that is Vic or not. It certainly was somebody who had their act together.



MR. SPEAKER: It is repetitious.



MR. TAYLOR: I apologize, Mr. Speaker.



AN HON. MEMBER: Did you find something else to read, Brooke?



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, People Against Casinos in Nova Scotia, I am going to read a few lines,
make a few comments on what they have to say. I think this document is tabled. In fact, I am sure all members
of this House have copies of this document. People Against Casinos, remember that organization, Mr.
Speaker? They were in here today with something like over 40,000 signatures on petitions and they will be
back tomorrow and the rest of the week.



They state that the government has long stated its commitment to reducing the provincial deficit. This
is an objective that almost every Nova Scotian has come to agree with. Certainly those of us in the business
community understand that the future of our economy depends on reducing the provincial deficit. Nobody will
argue with that. I certainly will never argue with that. In fact, I support that. Then, under revenues, estimated
at between $40 million to $60 million and we have heard since that it is between $40 million and $75 million.
I am not sure if that is based on information that the member for Hants East has provided to the Finance
Minister. We are still all waiting for his report to be tabled. (Interruption)



They have concerns about the incremental increases in the costs of services. Increased policing costs,
increasing court costs, increases in incarsenation, unemployment insurance, problem gamblers. A problem
gambler is not a very good employee.



SOME HON. MEMBERS: Mr. Malaprop. It’s incarceration, not incarsenation. (Laughter)



MR. TAYLOR: Incarceration, Mr. Speaker. Welfare payments, social assistance to affected families,
health care costs, erosion of the tax base, these are some of the concerns that the People Against Casinos in
Nova Scotia have. The people who signed those petitions, a good number of them, they have the same
concerns. Over 40,000 Nova Scotians took the time, took the effort.



Costs as an employer of problem gamblers, Mr. Speaker, costs as a retailer, People Against Casinos
in Nova Scotia say that Nova Scotia businesses stand to lose $149 million. “Industry material clearly states
that casinos compete with other entertainment/tourism business, such as restaurants, bars, movies, plays and
concerts. The Tourism Industry Association . . .”.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member is well aware that in debate he has the freedom to quote or
cite documents with minor extractions, but not to do extensive readings from documents. His capacity in the
House and his responsibility is to formulate his own debate and not to read extensively from papers. I would
suggest that the honourable member has read extensively from that particular document and if he wishes to
do further, then he should do it outside the Chamber and not as part of the debate. I would ask that the
honourable member take the matter seriously because decorum is the responsibility of all of us in the House.



AN HON. MEMBER: Including these who are back here talking about comic books?



MR. SPEAKER: Including all of them, including yourself. (Interruption)



AN HON. MEMBER: Perhaps you could give them a couple of colouring books. (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. It is the Chair and I am trying to establish decorum in the House. It
is a privilege of all members of the House. It is a privilege of the population of Nova Scotia and we intend to
observe it. I have stated that. I don’t want to take unnecessary measures, but I indeed will, regardless of who
is out of order, regardless. I give the honourable member the floor.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I do apologize for digressing sometimes and sometimes reading from
documents. But tonight I have tried to stay away from documents at any great length. I would like to mention
if I may, last night I have the very real privilege, pleasure and honour of being in the Community of West
Gore in the beautiful constituency of Hants East and the fire hall was packed right to the gunnels. Again, I
hardly got through the door and the people, said, what can you do for us? The government . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Is this repetitious of the story you told us a few moments ago?






MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I would be pleased to answer that . . . (Interruptions) I know it has been
somewhat noisy in here and what I had said earlier was that I was at a very well attended meeting in Liverpool
on Tuesday night. It will be in Hansard on record. Last night I was in West Gore and Monday night I was in
Middle Musquodoboit.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member realizes that there is an onus of responsibility
upon him just as there is upon every other member of the House to preserve decorum in this House. He has
an obligation to do so, it is a formal obligation and I would ask him to take it seriously.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I am doing my best to keep decorum in here but may I tell you, people
are concerned about the establishment of casinos in Nova Scotia. Monday night I was in Middle
Musquodoboit, Tuesday night was in the beautiful community of Liverpool at the parish hall and again the
place was pretty well packed, there was a good crowd. The people, whether in West Gore or whether you are
in Lunenburg or whether you are in the beautiful Town of Antigonish, the people are very concerned that
casinos will be established in this beautiful province, a province where the people, the tourists especially come
here for our beauty, they come here for our scenery, they come here for our culture, they come here for our
tradition and they come here because we have friendly people, we have genuine people, that is why people
come to this province.



I am just going to read a couple of lines from this with your approbation and I promise not to stay on
it too long. (Interruption) Yes, it says somebody had the audacity to suggest that the Tories are playing a
waiting game respecting the casino issue. I want to tell you this government has put forward some legislation
that this caucus has supported. We are hoping to support changes to the workers’ compensation legislation.
We are not going to say that we are not going to raise some questions, we are not going to say that we are not
going to go to the Law Amendments Committee, we are not going to say that we won’t perhaps try to put
forward some amendments but in principle we are going to support workers’ compensation legislation.



MR. SPEAKER: It is irrelevant, we are not debating the Workers’ Compensation Act. If the honourable
member isn’t aware, we are debating Bill No. 120.



MR. TAYLOR: Yes, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: And an amendment thereto. Please and I have indicated on multitudes of occasions
you have been irrelevant. I have tried to be very tolerant of that but I ask you to (Interruption)



MR. TAYLOR: It is estimated that 90 per cent of the money spent at casinos will come out of local
taxpayers’ pockets. We don’t know, I don’t know . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.



MR. TAYLOR: I don’t know what the province (Interruption) What I am trying to say, what I am
suggesting is that once the province gets its yet to be determined tax share the rest of the money could possibly
leave the province. Mr. Speaker, just a brief quote, he also makes no bones about where he expects
(Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.



MR. TAYLOR: What we are wondering, Mr. Speaker, is, what is the potential, Mr. Speaker, for a
socio-economic study. Based on the information from other areas, Mr. Speaker, the casinos will not be
supported primarily by people from outside the province, they will be supported by the local people, Mr.
Speaker.



Psychologists in Nova Scotia are the latest group to come out against casino gambling in the province.
Psychologists see problems associated with gambling addiction. So, Mr. Speaker, I would submit that the
psychologists would be very proud if this government would support this New Democratic Party, this Third
Party, amendment, Mr. Speaker. I am going to support this amendment, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the
Council of Priests condemns casinos, Mr. Speaker, councillors are against casinos, Mr. Speaker.



Now, there is a lot of talk about county council and municipalities and things of that nature but
councillors are every day people. Mr. Speaker, some councils are made up of housewives, Mr. Speaker. Some
councils are made up of secretaries, nurses, Mr. Speaker, hospital workers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, farmers,
woodsmen, Mr. Speaker and Mr. Speaker, councils are made up of . . .



MRS. FRANCENE COSMAN: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I think that two days ago it was
raised in this House by Mr. Speaker, Paul MacEwan that the repetitive use of the words, Mr. Speaker, wasn’t
necessary in a speech or an offering by a member. We are down to 10, 12 and 14, Mr. Speakers, per minute
here in this past 10 minutes. I wonder if it would be possible to refresh the memories of all of us in here on
the ruling by Mr. Speaker, Paul MacEwan?



MR. SPEAKER: Well, I heard the ruling of the Speaker. I don’t think he made it a firm ruling that it
was the delay of the time of the House by excessive use of the term, Mr. Speaker. He admonished the House
that any unnecessary use of the term, Mr. Speaker, was an infringement upon the privilege upon the House.
He admonished those who did it intentionally and I would do exactly the same thing. It is unnecessary as you
are so well aware but more necessary is the obligation of each member to participate in the full decorum of
the House.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: On that same point of order, Mr. Speaker, I listened to what the Speaker
had to say about that the other night and I believe it was more an editorialization than it was a direction given.
But let me say that unfortunately and I would put myself in this category, some of us are not as articulate as
others when we get up to speak and we try to make our points as best we possibly can and the use of the term,
Mr. Speaker, I think is an appropriate and a deferential reference in order to keep ourselves as focused as we
possibly can, in order to make our point. I would suggest that (Interruptions) And some would suggest it is
a term of respect for the Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member has no point of order but he, in fact, repeated exactly what
I had just said. (Applause)



MR. TAYLOR: My colleague, the member for Pictou Centre suggested that the term, Mr. Speaker,
is somewhat of a phonetic punctuation, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: Is this relevant to the motion, relative to the bill?



You are not speaking on the point of order. (Interruptions) The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley on the question before us.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have stood here tonight for a few moments to speak
about the amendment and I do support the amendment. I support it because of some of the reasons I have
stated during debate. And you know, one reason that is very important is that churches have responded to .
. .



MR. SPEAKER: You have already indicated that, I think, at least four times and that is repetition and
I am going to rule that repetition out of order and I ask the member to take his seat.



The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



[7:30 p.m.]



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to continue the debate on the amendment
to Bill No. 120. The amendment before me read, “That the words after `that’ be deleted and the following be
substituted: `in the opinion of the House, the introduction and enactment of Bill No. 120 will destroy the
essential and fundamental belief that government acts only with the consent of the governed.’”.



It is very difficult when a very limited topic has been on the floor of the House for some period of time
to get up and try to present some new light on the subject. But, nevertheless, I think the task is important
enough that one should make an attempt. I think it is rather unfortunate that in this piece of legislation, unlike
others before this House at this time, that when the minister introduced his bill, he did not suggest to the
House that he was prepared to look and listen to debate and then follow his bill when it eventually gets to the
Law Amendments Committee and, in fact, to perhaps be swayed and influenced and directed by what the
debate and public opinion seem to be saying.



It is very difficult to rise in your place to discuss the issue of casinos because the volume of material
being provided is so voluminous that, in fact, it is hard to get it all in your desk. It is interesting that despite
the accumulation of a very large amount of literature on casinos, there is not a single page that would allow
one to come to the conclusion that the introduction of casinos is in the best interests of the people of Nova
Scotia.



Today we had an interesting phenomenon; we had the introduction of a very large number of petitions
representing the opinion of a great number of Nova Scotians, in terms of and expressing their opposition to
the introduction of casinos. But, you know, a very strange statistical anomaly has presented itself, in terms
of those petitions. If you would believe what the government side is saying, is that the same political
determination that decided that members in eight of the constituencies in this province would return
Progressive Conservatives and three more would return members of the New Democratic Party, that, in fact,
all of the opposition in this province to the establishment of casinos in this province occurs in those 11
constituencies.



The other 41 constituencies, we are being led to believe by the government, are solidly in favour and
that the members there are not like the members on this side of the House. They are being encouraged by their
constituents to allow casinos to be established in this province. That is a very strange statistical anomaly.
(Interruption)



It was suggested earlier in the day by members that nobody has approached them. Well, I might
suggest to you that perhaps they realize the futility of approaching a government member. (Applause) I would
suggest to you that a recent decision made in this House by the Premier to suspend a member who had the
audacity to vote against a government motion in this House, only because that bill would create considerable
financial hardship for his constituents, in the form of a 20 per cent tax increase.



If we look back and try to put the casino issue into perspective, the casino issue has nothing to do with
being Liberal or Progressive Conservative or a member of the New Democratic Party. I would suggest to you
that the anti-casino movement, in my area, has attracted as much attention and as much support from
members of the Liberal Party as it has from people who support the Party which I represent. This is not a
politically aligned movement in terms of trying to prevent casinos from coming into this province.



Now the members on the government side have persisted in suggesting that they are not being
approached by constituents, they have not been asked to present petitions. The members on the government
side, I would suggest to you, are being placed in a very difficult position. I would suggest to you that the lobby
that they are experiencing at home is sufficiently strong to suggest to them that I should be looking at this in
terms of what the people who sent me to Halifax, or sent me to this place, are really thinking. What do they
really think about casinos? Do they think that the price to be paid for having casinos in our province is worth
the financial reward that we are being told by the Minister of Finance will occur to the Treasury of the
province?



The action of the Premier the other day makes each and every member on the government side realize
that regardless of what is being said back home, regardless of what their personal view on the introduction
of casinos is, regardless of all that, they are going to have to vote on the casino bill in the affirmative or they
will be excluded from their own caucus.



I think it behooves us all to look at this issue perhaps in the broader perspective. It was just a few weeks
ago when the suggestion came forward from our caucus for a free vote on the casino issue and, quicker than
the eye can blink, the Government House Leader went and suggested to the press that there was not going to
be any free vote. That decision, Mr. Speaker, could not have been made with the consent of his caucus,
because time did not allow it. So in other words, the morality of the situation was determined in the twinkling
of an eye for the Government House Leader. Well, Mr. Speaker, I really am not sure what the people of
Richmond County are saying to their member about casinos because it well may be some time before there
will be a casino in Richmond County. I would not care to speculate on that.



I think the point is that when we get back to the amendment, the amendment states that the
government acts only with the consent of the governed; well, there are certainly 11 constituencies in this
province in which the government does not have the consent of the governed.



AN HON. MEMBER: Right, and there are going to be more if they ever call another election.



DR. HAMM: Is it not rather too bad that the Government House Leader had not come up with a
different decision just a few short weeks ago, perhaps had met with his caucus and said, behind closed doors,
because we do not get a lot of information about what happens at the government caucus meetings, and that
is probably just as well because, I am sure, if we were privy to what went on at the government caucus
meetings, it would not be a confidence builder for either us or the rest of the province.



I do not serve on the side of the House that governs this province; I serve on the side of the House that
is charged with the task of keeping the government accountable. That has turned out to be quite an enormous
task, indeed. In terms of looking at what it was the government was saying before we started hearing about
casinos, and I refer back to the Liberal Party policy prior to the election, the reference to gaming consists of
four lines: video gambling addicts will receive support and treatment under a Liberal Government, as will
individuals desiring help for other gambling compulsions and addictions.



I think that is a very laudable plank and platform because gambling addiction is a very, very serious
disease and there is a great deal of experience in terms of the statistical occurrence of gambling addiction
within a given population. That was the Liberal Party platform in terms of gaming prior to the election.



A great many speakers before myself have made reference to the reply of the now Premier of Nova
Scotia, when he was the Liberal Leader of Nova Scotia and running to be Premier, his position at that time
and it is the position, I presume, that we can assume was endorsed by the people of Nova Scotia in the election
of May 25, 1993, that Nova Scotians must decide whether they wish to have a gambling casino in Nova
Scotia. Nova Scotians must decide. This does not say the Minister of Finance must decide. It does not say that
the Premier must decide. It does not say that the Government House Leader must decide. It does not say that
the members of the Liberal caucus must decide. It says Nova Scotians must decide. That is why public
hearings like those of the Kimball Committee are so important.



[7:45 p.m.]



The Premier continues, we believe caution is necessary and will accept no proposal without extensive
public consultation. That was the Premier speaking, the now Premier, and then the Liberal Leader running
for office.



Then he goes on and he makes a statement about the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party is very concerned
about strictly controlling gambling, treating gambling addiction and educating gamblers and the public about
the risks of gambling. Well, that is very laudable and I would ascribe to that position and I could support that
position, but when I look at what has happened since May 25th, when I look at what has happened in this
House with a tabling of a casino bill, there is an awful lot in what the Premier was saying then that is not in
any way, shape or form addressed in what the government has decided to do. The government action
completely ignores the proclamation of the Liberal Party prior to the election.



Well, Mr. Speaker, getting back to the amendment, the fundamental belief that government acts only
with the consent of the governed. It is not happening. There is going to be, according to the legislation, a
casino in Sydney. All of us in this House, regardless of persuasion are aware that there is a groundswell of
resistance to the introduction of a casino in industrial Cape Breton and in Sydney, in particular.



One of the chronic problems in industrial Cape Breton, of course, with the difficulties with the coal
industry, with a downsizing over the years of the Sydney steel plant has been the creation of jobs and the
creation of wealth in industrial Cape Breton and it is a very serious problem.



With that background, then the key findings in the report that has been issued by the Industrial Cape
Breton Board of Trade would suggest that in their wisdom and in their analysis of their portion of the
province, industrial Cape Breton, that they are not in favour of a casino in their city. The key findings of the
report of the industrial commission are very clear cut. Their first finding is there is no popularly based
movement for the expansion of legalized gambling.



I have had opportunity to speak with some people in industrial Cape Breton who have chosen to
contact me about the casino issue. Certainly they are telling me the same thing. They do not feel there will
be any job creation of significance in industrial Cape Breton with the introduction of a casino. Certainly any
small benefits will be far outweighed by the social and economic problems for Cape Bretoners, either on the
social side or on the economic side, by other employers.



This report goes on and says that there is a lack of objective knowledge and research about the real
economic and social costs and benefits of legalized gambling. Well, let’s go. Does the government have any
research about the economic and social costs and any benefits that will accrue to Sydney if, in fact, there is
a casino built in Sydney? Is there any objective evidence, hard facts? The Industrial Cape Breton Board of
Trade says there is no hard and fast information.



They go on to say, and bearing in mind that they are representing the business community in the
Sydney area, while gambling has led to increases in some forms of employment and tax revenues, the shifting
of large amounts of consumer spending to government sponsored gambling also has negative effects on other
local businesses. In addition, there are other expenditures, such as those for problem gambling behaviour,
regulation, criminal justice and public infrastructure.



They go on to say that it was found that claims of economic benefits were exaggerated while costs were
understated. Well, if you take those last two statements, Mr. Speaker, the business community sees no
economic benefit from the introduction of a casino into their area.



So what is the opinion of the Industrial Cape Breton Board of Trade regarding the social effects of a
casino and increased gambling activity in their city? Government gambling revenues come disproportionately
from lower income residents. Problem gambling behaviours are highest among the poor. Well, Mr. Speaker,
we will have an opportunity later to discuss some specific studies out West that really confirm what the
Industrial Cape Breton Board of Trade in Sydney is saying because the studies indicate exactly what they are
saying.



They go on, in the future, if governments do not find better ways to raise public revenues, they will
continue to promote more gambling, which will tend to result in increased cannibalization of non-gambling
businesses and increase public costs of dealing with the social and economic consequences.



There are jobs needed in industrial Cape Breton but these are not the kinds of jobs they require. They
require jobs that will not extract such a tremendous penalty from the people of industrial Cape Breton. They
need real jobs in industrial Cape Breton, they do not need the kinds of jobs that will disadvantage existing
businesses in the Sydney area and put undue social pressures on many of the people in industrial Cape Breton.



A few moments ago I mentioned that there were studies available, in terms of problems created by
increased gambling activity. I think this is an opportunity to go back to what the Minister of Finance said the
other day in this House when he said that we are only encouraging an activity that already exists in the
province. He was quite prepared to justify the government promoting gambling activity in this province simply
because gambling already exists. Mr. Speaker, we may have a little play on words here but if building two
casinos in Nova Scotia does not encourage gambling then somewhere along the line I am missing the point.
(Interruptions) There has been in British Columbia a study done and a research paper put out entitled, Social
Gaming and Problem Gambling in British Columbia. Since we don’t have any proper study which relates
either to the Sydney area or the Halifax area then I think it is only fair that we should look at studies that have
been done elsewhere in the country.



One of the important findings which I think will ultimately prove to have great relevance in Nova
Scotia that the survey responses indicate that 7.8 per cent of British Columbians have experienced a gambling
problem during their lifetime. Six per cent can be classified as problem gamblers; while 1.8 per cent score
high enough to be classified as probable, pathological gamblers. Information provided by People Against
Casinos have used these figures to try and extrapolate what the effect might be on Nova Scotians. There are
certainly many studies that would suggest that 5 per cent of any given population has the potential to become
problem gamblers. Five per cent of 923,000 people is slightly in excess of 46,000 people and a few. That is
a significant number of Nova Scotians. That is a very great number of Nova Scotians to put at risk, a great
number.



We talk about the spinoff effects, of a created job creating two more jobs, creating 2.5 more jobs, well
the spinoff effects of creating 46,000 problem or pathological gamblers in this province is astronomical. The
studies also point out that within our population, within the demographics of our population that the most
susceptible are the young and those in lower economic brackets. In other words, not only are we putting
46,000 Nova Scotians at risk, we are putting 46,000 young and/or lower economic status Nova Scotians.



I will adjourn the debate until the following day, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion of adjournment has been made and carried.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, as I advised all members today earlier by memo the hours
tomorrow will be 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Following the daily routine we will be resuming debate on Bill
No. 120.



I move we adjourn until 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



We stand adjourned until 8:00 a.m. on Friday.



[The House rose at 8:00 p.m.]






NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)



HOUSE ORDER NO. 138



By: Dr. John Hamm (Pictou Centre)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Department of Community Services:



(1) The list of all tenders let by the Department of Community Services since June 11, 1993;



(2) The list of bidders for each tender;



(3) The list of those individual(s) or companies to whom the tenders were awarded as well as the
value of each contract; and



(4) Details of the nature of the work for which the tender was awarded.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 139



By: Dr. John Hamm (Pictou Centre)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Department of Municipal Affairs:



(1) The list of all tenders let by the Department of Municipal Affairs since June 11, 1993;



(2) The list of bidders for each tender;



(3) The list of those individual(s) or companies to whom the tenders were awarded as well as the
value of each contract; and



(4) Details of the nature of the work for which the tender was awarded.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 140



By: Mr. John Leefe (Queens)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Department of the Environment:



(1) The list of all tenders let by the Department of the Environment since June 11, 1993;



(2) The list of bidders for each tender;



(3) The list of those individual(s) or companies to whom the tenders were awarded as well as the
value of each contract; and



(4) Details of the nature of the work for which the tender was awarded.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 141



By: Mr. John Leefe (Queens)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Department of Fisheries:



(1) The list of all tenders let by the Department of Fisheries since June 11, 1993;



(2) The list of bidders for each tender;



(3) The list of those individual(s) or companies to whom the tenders were awarded as well as the
value of each contract; and



(4) Details of the nature of the work for which the tender was awarded.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 142



By: Mr. John Leefe (Queens)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Economic Renewal Agency:



(1) A copy of all memoranda, correspondence, agreements, list of contacts and any other legal
instrument with respect to arrangements between the ERA and:



(a) Bluenose II Preservation Trust;



(b) Bluenose III Foundation; and



(c) Bluenose Pride Inc. since June 11, 1993 to date of this return.