Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017
























HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1994



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Second Session



2:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mr. Gerald O’Malley






MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We can commence this afternoon’s sitting at this time.



Before we begin the daily routine, I would like to call for introduction of guests that may be in our
midst.



The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.



MR. DENNIS RICHARDS: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure this afternoon to welcome the
Astral Drive Junior High School, Grade 9 class, along with their teacher Ms. Debbie Noonan. This class is
the French immersion class for the school. They have been here in the House for the last hour having a
complete tour and they are going to sit in the gallery and watch some of the proceedings while here.



So, Mr. Speaker, I want to introduce them to you and through you to all members and ask that they
receive our usual welcome. (Applause)



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION









5537

 

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



Bill No. 137 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 450 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The
Summary Proceedings Act. (Hon. William Gillis)



MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be read a second time on a future day.



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



RESOLUTION NO. 1237



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



Whereas it had been hoped by organizers of the fixed link, as stated only days before, that this
massive construction project would be completed without any fatalities; and



Whereas it was announced yesterday that Ernest Comeau of Meteghan had lost his life on Saturday
while working on the fixed link on his last scheduled day of work on the site; and



Whereas this loss, on such a largely anticipated infrastructure project, is a tragedy that should never
happen again;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House offer its sincere sympathies to the family of
Mr. Comeau, and ensure that the authorities within the Department of Labour fully investigate the cause of
his death before the case is concluded.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1238



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



Whereas among the fundamental duties this House fulfils on behalf of all Nova Scotians are scrutiny
of government legislation and the calling to account of the government; and



Whereas these duties are never more important than when a government tries to dictate far-reaching,
unwanted legislation which breaches its electoral mandate and betrays its own supporters; and



Whereas the Premier of this province set an inflexible deadline for this fall legislative sitting to have
concluded no later than Saturday, December 10th;






Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the Premier and any other Liberals who are unwilling
to be the subject of detailed scrutiny and accountability to Nova Scotians in this House, to seek more palatable
regimes where responsible government and multi-Party democracy have been abolished.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Kings North.



RESOLUTION NO. 1239



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



Whereas the Premier and the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency have failed to get their
words straight on the Berger press release that was correct in style but not in substance; and



Whereas the Premier is constantly looking for someone who can follow government policy on hiring;
and



Whereas the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency says that the bureaucracy has not learned
to change its ways;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency admit that the
bureaucrat he is blaming is a brand new civil servant chosen by him, and that it is he and his government who
have failed to communicate that a tendering policy, in fact, exists.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1240



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



Whereas despite generous federal guarantees for small business loans, bank loans to businesses in
Nova Scotia have not increased at all during the last year, according to the most recent Bank of Canada
Review; and



Whereas the chartered banks have been helping individuals go another year deeper into debt, with
almost $100 million more in personal loans; and



Whereas these same banks are reporting billion dollar profits as they recover from their disastrous
over-lending in central Canada and the West;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency and his colleagues
should shape development and fiscal policy with a clear understanding that the chartered banks continue to
use Nova Scotia more as a source of profits than as a place for economically beneficial investments.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Lunenburg.



RESOLUTION NO. 1241



MRS. LILA O’CONNOR: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the
adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas the Mahone Bay Founders Society upholds a 16 year tradition by presenting ornaments to
adorn the Christmas tree at Government House each year; and



Whereas dozens of people take part in the making of ornaments, from youngsters to senior citizens,
who pay particular attention to detail and to the care in making each ornament; and



Whereas selected handmade ornaments will be presented this year to the Lieutenant Governor, the
Honourable Jim Kinley and Mrs. Kinley, on Friday, December 9, 1994;



Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the residents of Mahone Bay for
their beautiful ornaments, and also commend the members of the Mahone Bay Founders Society who carry
on this Tannenbaum tradition begun by the late Elizabeth Macdonald.



Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.



MR. SPEAKER: There is 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 member for Shelburne.



RESOLUTION NO. 1242



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



Whereas principal photography for “A” The Scarlet Letter wrapped up in Shelburne last week; and



Whereas Scarlet Letter Productions estimates that some 1,500 people were involved in the production
of the film, plus 1,100 people were extras, including 300 native people, 300 people as militiamen and 500
people with other roles; and



Whereas during the height of the filming in Shelburne, residents became used to heavy traffic on the
streets, packed parking lots, blocked streets, hundreds of tourists on weekends and hundreds of extras on the
town streets;



Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the residents of Shelburne for their
understanding, their patience and support during the production of “A” The Scarlet Letter.



Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried. (Applause)



The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.



RESOLUTION NO. 1243



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



Whereas the East Guysborough County Community Futures Subcommittee hosted a workshop, on
the weekend, titled, Looking To The Future; and



Whereas the purpose of the day was to motivate and rejuvenate community members to take hold of
their economic development; and



Whereas the day included successful business people to provide inspiration, exhibitors, including
technology and financial expertise, local development agencies and students from the entrepreneur class at
the Canso High School;



Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Susan O’Hanley, Chair of the East
Guysborough County Community Futures Committee and commend all the people of Guysborough County
for realizing that it is time for small communities to take hold of their economic destinies through small
businesses and entrepreneurship.



Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver.



MR. SPEAKER: There is a request for waiver of notice.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Annapolis.



RESOLUTION NO. 1244



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



Whereas Thursday evening last saw the book launch of The Wit and Wisdom of Joe Casey; and



Whereas the evening included a fundraiser for Kings Theatre in Annapolis; and



Whereas the honourable member for Digby-Annapolis was in top-notch form with his usual humour,
for approximately one and one-half hours, without repeating one of his true or almost true jokes; (Laughter)



Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly extend congratulations to our colleague and one
of Annapolis County’s finest citizens for having launched his book, and we look forward to the next edition
of Joe Casey’s wit and wisdom.



Mr. Speaker, could I ask for waiver.



MR. SPEAKER: There is a request for waiver of notice.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried. (Applause)



The honourable member for Victoria.



[2:15 p.m.]



RESOLUTION NO. 1245



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



Whereas the Pleasant Bay Development Centre received funding to hire an engineering consultant
to provide a master development plan for its Whale Interpretation Centre; and



Whereas upon completion, the master development plan will include the site of the Whale
Interpretation Centre, site services, and environmentally friendly walkways through marshlands; and



Whereas the community of Pleasant Bay chose the Whale Interpretation and Information Centre as
a project that could take advantage of both the number of visitors going through Pleasant Bay on their way
around the Cabot Trail, while meeting the growing demand for whale watching tours; and



Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Pleasant Bay community for
taking advantage of the potential in the eco-tourism industry, through their commitment to the development
of a Whale Interpretation and Information Centre.



Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice without debate.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed that that resolution be voted on without debate?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



RESOLUTION NO. 1246



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



Whereas the Metropolitan Authority agreed last spring to exempt Sackville from being the site to
a new landfill for Halifax County; and



Whereas the redrawing of the metropolitan municipal election map will mean the end of the
Metropolitan Authority; and



Whereas the residents of Sackville have been forced to contend with the misery of a landfill site for
far too long;



Therefore be it resolved that this government, when introducing legislation this spring for the new
metropolitan municipal unit, ensure sufficient protection is put in place to ensure that any new landfill site
in Halifax County does not cause the anxiety the present one has caused the residents of Sackville.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1247



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



Whereas on Friday, December 2nd, the Premier told a Boston meeting that his government and the
Berger companies were planning an Asian investment initiative; and



Whereas the senior official accompanying the Premier prepared a news release announcing this
contract and the Premier’s other December 2nd initiatives in Boston; and



Whereas the Economic Renewal Minister has now confirmed that, contrary to the Premier’s claims,
“the Premier and I saw two draft press releases, Friday afternoon, in Boston”;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the Premier to tell the truth about what he saw, what
he knew and when he actually saw the light and decided that the Berger contract should be the subject of a
fair, unbiased tender, instead of the usual cosy arrangements.



MR. SPEAKER: I would like to ask the Clerk to check that resolution with respect to the words, that
an honourable member should be asked to tell the truth. It appears to me to be unparliamentary.



The opinion of the Clerk says that this is a request rather than an assertion or an accusation and,
therefore, the notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1248



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 Environment Minister and his Liberal colleagues have accepted a number of Opposition
amendments during Committee of the Whole House clause by clause review of the new Environment Act; and



Whereas these amendments improve composting, better mandate environmental protection,
strengthen clean air policies, clarify property rights, et cetera; and



Whereas clause by clause consideration has given, for each MLA, the opportunity to speak and vote
on such basic issues as whether Cabinet should be able, without notice or consultation, to exempt polluters
from environmental assessment;



Therefore be it resolved that this House acknowledge the hard work and dedication to the
environment demonstrated by the Environment Minister and Liberal MLAs who have persevered in the
necessary, painstaking review by this House of the new Environment Act.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried. (Applause)



The honourable Minister of Community Services.



RESOLUTION NO. 1249



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



Whereas through the coordinated efforts of six provincial departments this government has
committed additional funds to maintain the Family Violence Prevention Initiative; and



Whereas additional funding of a yearly $5,000 scholarship to a female, third year, Technical
University of Nova Scotia engineering student was announced by the Premier; and



Whereas we can all work to end family violence by promoting information and awareness of
programs and services;



Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House work to promote awareness of the Family
Violence Prevention Initiative in their home communities and throughout all of Nova Scotia.



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



HON. JAY ABBASS: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Earlier the honourable Leader of the
Opposition tabled a resolution which called upon the Department of Labour to fully investigate the cause of
Mr. Ernest Comeau’s death before the case is concluded. I want to assure the House that this government and
I, as Minister of Labour, share the member’s concern and are vitally concerned that the causes of the fatality
are found out. However, this is a matter which is under the jurisdiction of several, P.E.I., New Brunswick and
the Government of Canada, but not Nova Scotia. That having been said, given the seriousness of this the
Department of Labour of Nova Scotia will fully cooperate with any of those three jurisdictions should our help
be requested.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: I thank the honourable Minister of Labour for those observations and
I was aware that what he says is true. The hard, cold, unfortunate, tragic reality is that the person who has
died is a Nova Scotian and I simply brought the resolution forward to elicit exactly the response - and I am
delighted that he has responded in the way that he has - from the minister that not only I would hope that
would he and his officials cooperate with investigating authorities but that they would make darned good and
sure that any and all occupational health and safety or other provisions or steps or initiatives are taken to
ensure that no other person, Nova Scotian or otherwise, is injured let alone killed as we continue to participate
and have Nova Scotians work on this project. I appreciate his comments and look forward perhaps on a future
day to hearing further from him as to the results of those analyses made by the other jurisdictions.



MR. SPEAKER: Are there any other points? If not, the Clerk has conducted a draw for the
Adjournment debate at 6:00 p.m. The successful entry this afternoon is submitted by the honourable member
for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. He proposes a resolution as follows:



Therefore be it resolved that the Opposition provide constructive policy alternatives as opposed to
gimmicks aimed at political gain.



So, you will hear on that matter at 6:00 p.m.



The time now being 2:23 p.m.and the Oral Question Period today running for 90 minutes, the Oral
Question Period will run until 3:53 p.m.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



HEALTH - PHYSICIAN AFFAIRS ADVISOR:

 

POSITION - PROCESS



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: My question is for the Minister of Health. I would like to ask him, if
I may, about the Physician Affairs Advisor position and his and his department’s dealing with various
applicants for that position. Over various question days the minister has told us one time that he thought there
were three or four applicants and then he told us that there were maybe as many as a dozen applicants and
then he told us that a whole bunch of the applicants had withdrawn because, unbeknownst to them, apparently
the job was full time and when the applicants found out that it was full time, they withdrew.



He told us yesterday that I was making assumptions that were my perceptions of what the process
was and he said that my perception was flawed and there was a process of calling for a specific position,
which we have filled, that to my mind was fair and open. (Interruption) Well, it is about the fair and open
process. I want to advise him today, that a third physician has contacted me and indicated that he was an
applicant. He received communication from the Department of Health over the signature of the deputy, in
which he was told that the interview arrangements and so on, the selection process, should take a couple of
weeks, following receipt of his document and that he would be contacted at that time. That physician, to this
date, has never been contacted.



Can the minister say to me today that that is, in relation to that physician, an open affair and an
unflawed process?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, again I am assuming that the honourable gentleman has
information to which I am not privy to what he is quoting. I would say that the specific position was
advertised and request for interest and proposals were received and the successful candidate, in terms of
fulfilling all the relatively narrow issues that we stated in the advertisement, those were fulfilled by this
particular candidate.



I am satisfied that that was done. We went in a public way to list other positions we were hiring for.
We have a group within the department, headed by the deputy, doing that process and I certainly was satisfied
that we had received and accepted the candidate who was most qualified and very able.






MR. DONAHOE: Well, every time he answers, in relation to this matter, the minister makes it
absolutely clear that he is absolutely satisfied that they found the candidate who is qualified. What he really
means is they have found the candidate whom they knew in advance they were going to hire and they went
ahead and hired him.



I will send across, Mr. Speaker, and table a copy of a letter directed to Dr. Christopher M. Childs,
signed by Lucy Dobbin, dated July 26, 1994, in which Dr. Childs is thanked for his letter of June 27th,
applying for this position, and in which these words appear, “Your application will be kept on file, as we
expect it will be at least two weeks before the review process is completed. You will be contacted at that time.
Thank you for your interest in this position. Sincerely, Lucy C. Dobbin.”.



Dr. Childs has not heard from Lucy Dobbin or Ron Stewart or anybody in the Department of Health
since. I want to ask the minister if he will explain to me why that is so? Here is one for the minister.



DR. STEWART: I have the letter, Mr. Speaker. Today we hear now it is a form letter which was sent
out. Yesterday we had a guarantee of interview to every candidate - make up your mind whatever it is. I
searched, I took almost all day yesterday to look for this letter to which the honourable gentleman opposite
was referring, guaranteed interviews. There was no letter to that effect, that was absolutely wrong.



We have a form letter that we send out to candidates, that is the letter which I finally located in the
files. It made no reference to a guaranteed interview process. That was incorrect and I would hope that the
honourable member opposite recognizes that. (Applause)



MR. DONAHOE: That is all very interesting what we just heard from the Minister of Health but he
doesn’t come within light-years of answering my question. My question is, how can he say, as he did
yesterday, that there was a fair and open competition when he received an application from a physician who
got a letter from his department saying that it would be at least two weeks before the review process is
completed and you will be contacted at that time?



This doctor was never contacted. (Interruptions) You don’t know that - I know it because he told me
and I am telling you here.



MR. SPEAKER: Question, question.



MR. DONAHOE: The question is, I want to know why it is that this minister or one of his officials
did not make good on the commitment to Dr. Childs and contact him, as promised in this letter which I have
just now tabled? (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Health has the floor.



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I am trying to follow the statements by the honourable gentleman
opposite in respect to one day it is an absolute guarantee of 12 individuals and then it is an interview
guarantee and now it is that we have not followed up on a form letter. (Interruptions) The fact is, . . .



[2:30 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: We cannot hear the minister, there is an interruption.



AN HON. MEMBER: Answer the question.



DR. STEWART: The fact is, Mr. Speaker, that we had several candidates, some of whom fulfilled
some requirements and others did not. For example, the names that were referred to by the honourable
gentleman opposite did not have the qualifications in respect to the clinical practice guidelines that we set out.
There were people who were qualified and there were people who were not and we very carefully selected on
that basis. I take full responsibility for that issue.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis on an introduction.



MR. EARLE RAYFUSE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce to you and through you to all
members of the House seated in the east gallery, the new Mayor-elect for Bridgetown, Annapolis County,
accompanied by Bill Hamilton, the Town Clerk. I would like them to rise and receive the usual warm welcome
of the House. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



HEALTH: HOSPITAL BOARDS - RESIGNATIONS

 

(MESSRS. J. MOIR AND J. COWAN)



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of
Health and I would like to shift from the sorry spectacle of the physician hiring, to the sorry spectacle of the
resignation of the Jims. The minister will know that the first week in October, he and the Premier sat down
to meet with Jim Moir on behalf of the QE II board and Jim Cowan on behalf of the Halifax regional board,
to hear their concerns about the lack of clear mandate, the lack of direct clarity about lines of communication
and authority. They sought from the Premier and the Minister of Health, some clarification that would enable
them to get on with carrying out the mandates that they had agreed to perform.



My question to the honourable minister is, did he get back to Jim Moir and Jim Cowan to address
and satisfy the concerns that had been raised and did he do so in writing after that early October meeting?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I have had several meetings with the honourable
gentlemen to which the honourable member opposite refers. If there were specific concerns raised, they were
answered in the meeting. If she speaks, by the way, to the gentlemen involved, the two Jims - as she so terms
them - she will find out that these two gentlemen were very honourable in their intentions and, in fact, their
letters of resignation to me are very supportive and they are very supportive of the process. They have had
questions answered. We have been in discussion for some time and, in fact, in terms of Mr. Cowan, he has
gone on and has organized the board quite well and is continuing to advise on that. But to suggest that we had
some major differences and so on, which the innuendo of her question signifies, is absolutely incorrect.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, when the minister addressed the four regional health boards who
came together for an orientation program last Friday, he went to great lengths to stress that the regional health
boards would be taking on their new governance responsibilities for health care facilities in the province in
September 1995. Until then, the current hospital boards would continue to be responsible for the governance
of their respective facilities. We know, that there is no one currently responsible for the governance of the
Camp Hill Hospital, in fact all of those health facilities that come under the QE II.



Will the Minister of Health, today, comply with the same common sense that he has outlined with
respect to delaying the full taking over of the governance, will he do the same with respect to the QE II board,
given the reality that there is no chairman? That there is no functioning legal authority currently for those
institutions, there is no functioning board and there is no way on earth that anybody can take responsibility
for what is going on in those institutions today?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, there is a legal, constituted authority called the transitional board.
It is in place. It will meet and it will do the job that we have asked it to do in law. Thank you.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, when I raised concerns as far back as early November, on two
successive Question Periods with the minister, about the fact that the chairman of the board had indicated he
was not prepared to call a meeting until he got clarification on these terms of reference, the minister dismissed
those concerns. He said they weren’t of any concern and yet we now have the chairman appointed to that QE
II board who has given up in total frustration because the job cannot be done without the minister doing his
homework.



Can the minister give the assurance here today and to the people of Nova Scotia that that interim
board is up and functioning and, if not, will he not put it on hold and resume the functioning of the boards
that he has dissolved until there is some way for the legal responsibility to be taken by that new board?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member opposite puts words into the mouth of a very
honourable and respected man in this community, Mr. James Moir. She has indicated that he had expressed,
apparently to her, frustration and utter whatever with the process and with his position. He remains on the
board; he has been very helpful in this transition period; and he will continue to be active in the board’s
activities. His requirements in his firm are very onerous and he has explained this to me very well and
satisfactorily, and I would ask the honourable member to realize that we cannot stand here and put words into
someone’s mouth. If she has something to table that the honourable gentleman, Mr. Moir, has told her or has
written to her, I would be more than happy to consider it. It is not fair in any way to attribute the statements
that she has just made to that honourable gentleman.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH: HOSPITAL BOARDS - RESIGNATIONS

 

(MESSRS. J. MOIR AND J. COWAN)



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and I hope he is
better at tabling things than he asks people to do because he hasn’t tabled anything I have asked for this
session.



I would ask through you, Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Health. Both the chairman of
the QE II board and the chairman of the regional board have resigned. The minister said yesterday in an
interview that they would be filled within 24 hours. How long has the minister known about the resignations
of Mr. Moir and Mr. Cowan; when did he receive those resignations?






HON. RONALD STEWART: I can answer in terms of exactitude. I received the letter from Mr.
Cowan yesterday evening, approximately 4:30 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. The possibility of a conflict of interest, I was
discussing with Mr. Cowan, earlier on, toward the end of last week, but the letter was received yesterday
evening. Mr. Moir spoke to me last week and indicated that his added obligations in his firm were making
it very difficult for him to continue the planning and the work that he had done but that he would like to
remain on the board and be active in its activities. I was given the letter toward the end of last week.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I heard last week that both of them had resigned. I would like to know
from the minister if the letters were the first indication that he heard or did he know last week, like I knew,
that both were tendering their resignation?



DR. STEWART: No, we had some discussions as I had indicated verbally about the growing
concerns that each of them had. However, Mr. Cowan did call me on, I believe it was Monday, during the day.
I was not available and I called him back on Tuesday morning but, again, I left a message on his machine.
I later had the letter sent over to me in the evening.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I would ask the minister, Mr. Cowan who resigned as Chairman of the
Central Regional Health Board indicated he is doing so because of a possibility of a conflict of interest, that
is my understanding. I would ask the minister through you, Mr. Speaker, did he not discuss with Mr. Cowan,
prior to the appointment, any possibility of a conflict of interest and why it has taken six months to realize
there might have been, or might be in the future, a conflict of interest? Why didn’t it happen prior to six
months later?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable gentleman for that supplementary question.
Simply to say, at the time we had discussed it before the appointment, he also had meetings with his firm to
indicate his intention to join the board. At that time, it was felt as long as there was an open process and that
he did not become involved in some of the cases that might come before that particular firm, which apparently
deals in health law, then no conflict would be present.



We referred it to our legal consultants in the department. They were in agreement that this was
possible that he accept the role. However, this particular firm apparently has wider interests in health law in
this region now, and that is a growing part of their business. They felt very strongly that, in addition, they
would take on more responsibilities, perhaps, and there would be an increased possibility that conflict would
occur. It was that pressure that occasioned his resignation.



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



HEALTH - HALIFAX HOSPITALS: MERGER - DECISIONS



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, last week I had asked and I think it was said by the minister
in this House that the new QE II board had not met. I look at an Order in Council that is dated, I think,
September 27, 1994, where it strips all of the powers away from the old boards and gives the new power to
this new board.



Now that the old ones have been dismantled and there has not been a meeting of the new board, who
is actually running the four facilities at this moment? If the new board is not meeting, the old board has no
powers, who is actually making the decisions and running the four institutions, as of today?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, as I am sure the honourable gentleman opposite
recognizes, with his background, the operation and daily management of facilities occurs with the
management in place, CEOs and so on. The governance structure and the governance occurs with boards
which do not meet daily, they do not participate daily in the activities of hospitals but are, indeed, governing
the structures in terms of policy and planning and so on and that will occur as the board gets on its feet and
gets working.



MR. MOODY: Well, Mr. Speaker, I do know how the system works, a little bit. I will ask the
honourable minister, since he is saying I know, is he aware the Victoria General Hospital board has been
continuing to meet all fall? Is he aware of that and what authority and what powers do they have at their
meetings?



DR. STEWART: Again, we have encouraged current hospital boards to be participating in a
transition process, Mr. Speaker. We will continue to do that and, in fact, the original intent is to have boards
meet together with the transitional board in order to gain more experience and more input, keeping in mind,
too, that much of the current transitional board is made up of the current board members of those institutions.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, there is one person, basically, from each board. The Cancer Treatment
and Research Foundation and the Rehabilitation Centre have not met. Now the minister is telling me that they
should be meeting, so they all can meet with the new board.



I would ask the minister, why is it different that the VG board is meeting and the other boards are
not meeting? What is the difference?



DR. STEWART: Any meetings that are occurring in the particular hospitals are the choice of those
boards and those CEOs that might require some advice in continuing programs. We recognize that you cannot
just suddenly shut down particular studies or advice or committees that are ongoing with boards. So we have
encouraged that.



The honourable gentleman opposite gives the impression that suddenly one day you have one thing
happen and the next day all is different. Well, things do not happen that way and we have given every
attention to that as we transition into the new board and that is what we are trying to do in this instance.



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



HEALTH: QE II BOARD - TERMS



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Again, my question is to the Minister of Health. The minister will know
that Mr. Moir resigned as chairman, obviously, because of the work load. Even though they have not met, he
probably recognized the work load and it is unfortunate that we are losing a competent individual like Mr.
Moir, there is no question. Well, we are losing him as chairperson, as I understand it.



I wonder if the minister would table the terms of reference for that new board. Would he be prepared
to table or give to me this week, the terms of reference for that new QE II board?



HON. RONALD STEWART: The terms of reference, Mr. Speaker, are contained in the Order in
Council and are contained in the hospital’s Act. This board will assume the powers of the four boards and
bring together the institutions as one single entity.



MR. MOODY: Well, if they are going to assume the powers, which they do under the Order in
Council, the other ones have no power, but they have not met. That is what is worrying me, there is no
meeting.



[2:45 p.m.]



I would ask the minister if he would provide the potential candidate, I assume he is going to appoint
a new chairperson, as soon as possible I would hope, (Interruption) within 24 hours, I wonder if he will make
a commitment before he appoints that person that he will provide the detailed terms of reference for the board
and the job of the chair to that individual prior to appointing that individual?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, the same terms of reference that are contained in the OIC and
contained in the Hospitals Act and the direction to the boards of those four institutions apply in full to the
current transitional board and the duties of the chair are well outlined in those documents. I would ask the
honourable gentleman opposite, if he is so interested, to peruse those documents.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, we have a new situation, we now have regional
health boards that have jurisdiction over hospitals (Interruption) They do not. They do not have any control
over hospitals. Okay. I would ask the minister and that means that (Interruption) They will have control over
the hospitals. Okay. So that I have this straight so I can phrase my question to the minister, they will have
control over the hospitals. Will they have control over the new QE II hospital complex or will it report directly
to the minister?



DR. STEWART: As the honourable gentleman opposite may recollect from our debate on Bill No.
95, the regional boards can designate facilities. They cannot do so before January 1, 1995, but in all practical
senses, they will not do so until the fall of 1995 because of the lag time in terms of orientation; and in terms
of working things out with the current boards that exist, in terms of which hospitals are designated and which
come under regional boards. All facilities will be governed by regional boards including the QE II and
including all other facilities in the province.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



HEALTH: VGH BOARD - MEETINGS



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question again to the Minister
of Health. The minister, a few moments ago, offered as an explanation for why the VG board, for example,
was continuing to meet and a number of subcommittees of the VG board were continuing to meet that, of
course, in the transition you are going to expect this to happen. There are things that have to be attended to
and you can’t just shut down one process and start up the other.



I would like to raise a question about the situation at Camp Hill because as the minister knows on
September 27th those boards were effectively dissolved. It may be true that the VG board is continuing to meet
because you can’t just shut it down, but how does the minister deal with the fact that the terms of all but three
members of the Camp Hill board have expired and it is a virtual impossibility for there to be any kind of
ongoing functioning of the board or subcommittees because you couldn’t even get a legal quorum if you
wanted to, in order to attend to those transitional things that have been left in limbo?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, this is a question of governance of an institution versus
management on a day-to-day basis. The governance of institutions and incorporations occur through boards
which may meet once a year, they may meet twice a year, they may meet quarterly. It is not necessary for a
board to get involved in the daily activities, in fact, it might be said that it is not within the mandate of any
board to do that. So I would reassure the honourable member opposite that the transitional board is the legal
authority, will, in fact, be governing those facilities as in the Order in Council. We will continue on that route.
It is not necessary unless that particular board wishes to contribute to the transitional process, to meet as long
as it is understood that there is a transitional board which is legally in place.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, one of the concerns that arises in this total vacuum that exists
and surely the minister can’t consider that it is not a vacuum to have dissolved boards on September 27th, to
set up the QE II board, which has never met, surely he has to acknowledge that that is a vacuum. One of the
concerns that arises in that vacuum is whether the government is going to move in and impose the
appointment of a CEO without there being proper consultation, without there being any board that is up and
running and can be involved in a meaningful way in the process of designating a CEO. Will the minister give
an undertaking here today in the House that no CEO will be appointed to that QE II operation until that board
is up, fully functioning and there is appropriate consultation conducted around the appointment of a CEO?



DR. STEWART: Yes, I certainly give the undertaking that all issues of that magnitude will be
discussed and the board is up, it is legally constituted, we would certainly be discussing major issues with
them.



MS. MCDONOUGH: The minister still seems to slough off the concern that is being raised about
the fact that the QE II board simply does not function. It exists on a piece of paper only; it has never met; it
doesn’t have detailed terms of reference, apparently, because when the minister agreed to table them here in
the House over a month ago, he has never done so since. The concern that really arises for example is, if there
were a lawsuit today launched against the legal authority that is responsible for the operation of the facilities
under the QE II, who would be responsible, the group of people who have never even been called to a meeting
because the Minister of Health has not satisfied and addressed the terms of reference issues?



DR. STEWART: The hypothetical situation to which the honourable member opposite refers is quite
readily answered. The thing is that if the minute after a transitional board were put in place, it is the
transitional board that answers any legal challenges and that occurs whether it is one month or two months
in advance.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would like to introduce to the House a very distinguished guest in
our midst in the Speaker’s Gallery, His Worship, the Mayor of the City of Sydney, Vincent MacLean.
(Applause)



The honourable Leader of the Opposition.






HEALTH: PHYSICIAN AFFAIRS ADVISOR - QUALIFICATIONS



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to return to the Minster of Health for a
moment if I may, relative to the Physician Affairs Advisor position in his department. I wonder if the minister
would tell this House whether he is satisfied that the qualifications to handle the job being filled are more
evident in Dr. Dan Reid than they are in Dr. Christopher Childs?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I can’t comment on a given applicant for a position in
my department. There was a process put in place and the process, in fact several of the candidates referred
to, at least by innuendo or rumour, I had not even known had applied for some of these positions. I simply
cannot do that, nor will I comment on the qualifications. I can tell you that this particular candidate hired
fulfilled all those criteria and we are quite satisfied.



MR. DONAHOE: I find it astounding that a position that is going to pay $115,000 of taxpayers’
money for the work that this minister seems to think and is obviously important and he tells us - I don’t know
what number, we will come to that in a moment, he tells us one day two or three or four applicants and then
another day it is a dozen - even it if it is at a dozen, I can’t comprehend how it is such a difficult process for
him or his deputy not to conduct interviews with even a dozen or to make good on the promise made by his
department. I want to ask him one more time if he will please tell me why it is that in relation to Dr.
Christopher Childs, that the promise made to Dr. Childs in the letter dated July 26th, was not honoured. The
promise made was, you will be contacted at that time, and the time is referenced in the letter. I want to know,
from the Minister of Health, why it was that neither he nor anybody in his department kept that promise and
made the further contact with Dr. Childs?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, yesterday I spent much of my waking hours in the department looking
for guaranteed interview letters that the honourable gentleman opposite has referred to. Now he is referring
to contact or no contact made with specific candidates. I cannot stand in my place and guarantee, any more
than I could guarantee that interviews were granted or not granted or interview letters were sent out
guaranteeing that they would have same, stand in this place and say to the honourable gentleman opposite
that, yes, there was a contact made with the gentleman to whom he refers, or there was not contact made. I
would have to go back and try to find in the records the fact that, yes, a telephone call was made or a letter
was sent or whatever process was done.



I will do so again, using whatever time is necessary. I can only say that the process I have
undertaken, to openly advertise for a particular position, in fact several particular positions, opening at the
public request, we did so in an open way, in order to get candidates who could, indeed, be from the spectrum
of clinical practice around the province.



I think we looked at each, we had specific and very narrow criteria, but they were fulfilled in the
candidate who now occupies the position.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if, by way of supplementary, I could ask the minister if he
would give me and this House an undertaking that he will table the terms of reference for the job, the number
of applicants who applied, the number who were interviewed, the number who had follow-up letters to any
letters indicating they would have further contact from the department and the detail of the form of that
follow-up contact made by his department. Would he give me and this House an undertaking that he will go
back to his officials, secure that information and table it here in this House?



MR. SPEAKER: That type of question might more appropriately be placed in the form of a House
Order.



DR. STEWART: I was hoping, Mr. Speaker, that I answered some of these questions to which he
refers, as we went along in the debate over the last several days in Question Period, to try and again ferret out
what the questions were. Again I refer to the fact that some of the statements made were inaccurate and posed
a great deal of problems for my staff, looking for things that didn’t exist over in my department. I certainly
would welcome a House Order on that, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



HUM. RES. - PHYSICIAN AFFAIRS ADVISOR:

 

DR. DAN REID CONTRACT - INVOLVEMENT



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, through you I would like to ask the Minister of Human
Resources a question. My question is, if we remember yesterday, you indicated that your department played
a role in placing an ad in the newspapers, so that the Advisor on Physician Affairs could be hired, one Dr.
Dan Reid. What I would like to know is if you, as Minister of Human Resources, knew that the position was
being advertised, why did you not demand that the Department of Human Resources do the selection, the
classification, the interviewing and the hiring for that position?



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the member opposite is well aware that deputy
ministers are responsible for the administration of their departments. We placed the ad in the paper, the
applications went to the Department of Health and the Department of Health did the hiring of the person who
filled the position.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Now what I am also interested in, through you, Mr. Speaker, to the minister,
is how the minister could put out a call to assist the department when her Department of Human Resources,
from her answers yesterday, knew nothing of the classification, the interviewing, the hiring, how could your
department get involved in putting out an ad for a position when your department, according to you, knew
absolutely nothing about the position?



MRS. NORRIE: I don’t understand what he is quoting. What I said yesterday was that we were
involved with putting the ad in the paper for the position. We followed a compensation plan to put the level
of salary in and the applications went to the Department of Health.



MR. ARCHIBALD: The Minister of Human Resources has, so far, a very poor record to date, to
making sure that the fair hiring (Interruptions) . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Is there a question?



MR. ARCHIBALD: Yes, whenever you bring order to this establishment, I may speak. The minister
has had a very poor record so far of making sure that the fair hiring practice has been adhered to. Will the
minister promise today that there will be no more mistakes and that you will instruct your colleagues to begin
seriously (Interruptions) Through you, Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Human Resources, will you today make
a pledge that you will encourage your Cabinet colleagues to take their oath of office seriously and begin to
adhere to the fair hiring guidelines that your Party and your government agreed to adopt? Will you please
indicate that you, as the minister, will insist that the fair hiring practice is adhered to?



[3:00 p.m.]



MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker (Interruptions) the first thing . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Now, let the minister answer. You put the question, let her answer, please.



MRS. NORRIE: . . . I would like to clear up is that the member opposite has made some reference
to some mistakes being made, I take exception to that. The job was advertised, applications were received and
the best person for the job was hired. Thank you. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



PRIOR. & PLAN. - PHYSICIAN AFFAIRS ADVISOR:

 

APPLICATION - SUBMISSION



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance in his capacity
as the Chairman of the Priorities and Planning Committee. The minister will be aware that the government
has had some difficulty with personnel contracts over the past little while and I would like to ask the Minister
of Finance if the Minister of Health submitted a memorandum or some other document to Priorities and
Planning that would permit him to put into place a contract with a doctor who would be, I believe the position
is called, Advisor on Physicians Affairs? Anyway, it pays about $115,000, was an application made to
Priorities and Planning to put that contract in place?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I would like inform the honourable member that
personal services contracts do not necessarily come before Priorities and Planning. My own recollection is that
it was either before Priorities and Planning or before Cabinet but I can recall such a discussion.



MR. RUSSELL: Well, you have given me some difficulty because I thought that the minister had told
me in a previous Question Period, Mr. Speaker, that contracts would be going through Priorities and Planning
for approval and I guess I am mistaken.



Can I ask the minister then when he first heard from the minister of his intention to enter into a
contract with Dr. Dan Reid?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, first of all I would be happy to provide the honourable member with
the guideline for Priorities and Planning approvals of various contracts and tender processes and I will do so
within the next couple of days. With respect to this one, he asked me, when did I first become aware? I can’t
recall specifically, I can attempt to reconstruct it but I will need some time with my diaries to do that.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I would appreciate the minister providing me or tabling in the House
whatever information he has with regard to that contract. As I said, I am off on a wild goose chase here I
guess because I understood that all contracts went through Priorities and Planning.



Can I ask the minister this question then, when setting the salary for contract positions, does
Priorities and Planning lay down any guidelines with regard to a top? I always thought that, for instance, the
Premier was the highest paid person in government and then ministers and deputy ministers. We seem to be
having somebody coming into the Department of Health who will be receiving a much higher salary than
anybody else within the Civil Service?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member may have that impression but that is not
the case that the Premier is the highest paid and, in fact, hasn’t been the case for some considerable period
of time. People serving in government, there have been quite a number who have had higher salaries. But,
I can tell you that Priorities and Planning does not set wage levels, that is a matter for the Department of
Human Resources.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



ERA - BERGER GROUP: PRESS RELEASE - FACTS



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question, through you, to the
honourable Premier. There has been some considerable attention given in the past few days to the contract,
or lack thereof, with the Berger Group, $94,000 I think it was. You will remember that a press release was
issued by somebody on Friday last, when the Premier and the Minister of Economic Development were in
Boston announcing this contract as being untendered.



Mr. Speaker, in Question Period here yesterday, the Premier said and I quote directly from Page 5515
of Hansard. “I can say absolutely categorically that I have never even seen this . . .,” referring to the press
release, “. . . not even yesterday. I never saw it until I was handed it today by the Leader of the Opposition.”.



We have that, on the one hand, Mr. Speaker, and, on the other hand, the Minister of Economic
Development told Nova Scotians on an MITV broadcast yesterday, the Premier and I saw two draft press
releases, Friday afternoon, in Boston and that is when we said, wait, this can’t go out.



I guess my question to the Premier, on behalf of a lot of Nova Scotians that are somewhat concerned
about the apparent contradiction here, if he could tell us which story of what happened actually reflects the
facts of this case? Is it what he told us yesterday, or is what the Minister of the Economic Renewal Agency
told us?



HON. JOHN SAVAGE (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, the questioner will remember that I identified
a piece of paper that was very kindly sent over to me by the Leader of the Opposition. I had never seen that
release at all. What I did see, was what the minister indicated, the two draft releases that were with us in
Boston.



MR. CHISHOLM: That begs the question, Mr. Speaker, and I hate to throw myself off or be thrown
off my pre-planned course here, but maybe the Premier could give us some indication of what the difference
was between the draft press releases that he saw on Friday and the press release that he saw yesterday, which
was the actual press release that went over the wire and caused so much confusion?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, there were two separate sides of pages which were enclosed in a
binder that I had going down to Boston.



MR. CHISHOLM: Well, maybe then what really happened was that it was the Minister of the
Economic Renewal Agency who said, wait, this cannot go out.



My final question, to the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency, would be why, if there was
such a problem, and you indicated that you acknowledged that on Friday, this cannot go out because there is
some discrepancies in this release about the fact that it was untendered and so on, why didn’t you or the
Premier, or somebody from the government, issue an immediate clarification from your government to say
exactly what you have been trying to say to us ever since Monday? Why did you leave it out there hanging?
We know that you have been capable of issuing press releases on the weekend before, so perhaps the minister
could explain why there was not an immediate issuance of a clarification?



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, let’s make sure that you understand this. Late Friday afternoon,
the Premier and I became aware that there was two draft press releases, one dealing with the Berger Group,
one dealing with Millennium that we were shown. We said, it is not appropriate for those to go. At that point
we discovered, very shortly after that, that they had, in fact, been released.



Your question is a good idea. Perhaps we should have immediately, it was 5:00 p.m. in Boston by
this time, called home and said, put out a press release saying that this was released in error. I don’t think that
changed the facts as they have been told in this Legislature and outside. The fact is a press release went out
that should not have gone out. We have covered that ground and we know and we have admitted that that
should not have gone out. It is being dealt with in my department and will be dealt with soon.



There is no great secret to this, Mr. Speaker. It went out in error, should not have gone. The project
would not have gone ahead, and I think we made that adequately clear.



Whether or not we should have gone out and done an immediate retraction on Friday afternoon at
6:00 p.m., whether it would have got covered or not. Quite frankly, I think we should still would have been
faced with the questions we were faced with Monday afternoon when we came to the Legislature. Perhaps that
would have been done. That was a judgment call that we did not do at that time.



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



HEALTH - PHYSICIAN AFFAIRS ADVISOR:

 

POSITION - APPLICANTS



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the honourable Minister of Health. When
questioned about the new lion tamer or medical fraternity liaison, the minister last Tuesday . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Lion tamer? I don’t think that turn of phrase appropriate.



MR. TAYLOR: Medical fraternity liaison?



MR. SPEAKER: I thought I heard the words “lion tamer”.



MR. TAYLOR: Well yes, I said when questioned about the new lion tamer in the medical fraternity,
Mr. Speaker, the minister last Tuesday said that he had, and I quote the minister (Interruptions) When asked
about that position, the minister said, and I quote, “. . . expressions of interest from three or four people but
when they learned that it was likely full time and that we are attempting to get full time, there were
withdrawals of two or three from that list.”.



The minister in this House yesterday said he had a total of 12 responding to that ad -not three or four
but 12. Of those 12, our caucus has had phone calls from three candidates who fit the description in the ad -
they hold a license to practice medicine in Nova Scotia. Therefore, we can only assume that they know
physician practice issues.



My question for the minister is, why did the minister tell the House and the people in question, when
he indicated that all but his former medical school buddy, Dan Reid, dropped out when they found out that
the position was full time?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I am trying to follow this, which is filled with innuendo
and subterfuge and suggestions of skulduggery and I want to put it straight, that I am trying to recount the
work of a committee that was set up at arm’s length from the minister to get this information to get these
people. That is what I am trying to recount.



I have gone through files, I have interviewed people, I have tried to get this information as diligently
as I can. I might add, different from what I understand to be the process in previous years, I might add, in
which the minister merely said, this is the person, let’s hire him on, that was it. I tried to open that process
and now what you are saying is that this was ill-conceived, there was some skulduggery involved in this.



I am telling you, Mr. Speaker, and through you to the honourable gentleman opposite, that every
effort was made to achieve the best result from this process, and it has been done.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I would never indicate the process is all wrong and nothing is all wrong
because a clock that stops ticking is right twice a day. So, Mr. Speaker, the minister was reported yesterday
as saying he agreed to find out if interviews were promised and not carried out. But even if he discovered a
little unfairness, Dan Reid still had the job. Even if there was a little bit of unfairness, the minister indicated
that Dan Reid still had the job.



Why, then, is the minister bothering, as he indicated he would try to find out the truth, why is he
bothering to find out the truth if, in fact, Dan Reid has the job?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I was acting on the advice of the honourable gentleman on the
Opposition benches who told me that guarantees were given to each candidate to have interviews. I did not
believe that was the case but I promised to go back and check it. I spent half the night over there, looking
through files to try and find it and yet nothing was found. In fact, today we find, Mr. Speaker, oh no, there
weren’t interviews guaranteed now, the honourable Leader of the Opposition made it clear. No, it was a form
letter sent out that was saying your application would be on file. There is quite a difference. Get the record
straight and get your facts straight. That will be it.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I understand from reading the newspapers, that the Minister of Health
is receiving coaching from his executive assistant respecting Question Period. If the responses we are hearing
here today are indicative of that coaching, he certainly needs to go back to the blackboard.



But, Mr. Speaker, for this second supplementary, may I go through you to the Premier. The Minister
of Human Resources was forced to put out a call for expressions of interest in the position reporting to her
deputy minister. When unfairness was purported to have played a part in her selection, why are there, once
again, two hiring standards for the various Cabinet Ministers in government?



[3:15 p.m.]



THE PREMIER: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, I did not get the question. (Interruptions)



AN HON. MEMBER: Repeat it.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, briefly, perhaps more concisely.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I am talking about the hiring practices of the Minister of Health versus
the hiring practices of the Minister of Human Resources. I am asking, once again, why are there two standards
for the various Cabinet Ministers in this government?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, there is one standard which is carried out in the vast majority of cases
by very competent ministers. (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



EXCO: PRESS RELEASES - PROCEDURE



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Yesterday the Premier
said in Question Period, and I refer to Hansard on Page 5512, he used the following words, “The Leader of
the Opposition knows full well, from 15 years of it, that press releases which indicate that one person says
something are usually checked at the Premier’s office but not for content. In other words, if the ministerial
decision is made, what we do is check the releases for style and for language but the content of them is the
responsibility of the department, that is quite clear, always has been.”.



Now, against that backdrop, I ask the Premier, is that the policy of his government in relation to press
releases, regardless of where they are crafted, which are designed in such a way as to attribute remarks to the
Premier. When these press releases, which he alleges were prepared at the Economic Renewal Agency, are
prepared, putting quotation marks around words attributing them to the Premier, that the Premier’s practice
is to check them “for style and for language but the content of them is the responsibility of the department .
. .”. Is that what we are to understand from those remarks from yesterday?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the principle is one that has not changed and that is that the content
is decided by the deputy minister and then by the minister. When they come to us, we assume, as normal
government standard, that what is in them is accurate and, therefore - sometimes they are checked stylistically
and sometimes they are checked for words. But the content of it is decided by the department. I see most of
these. I did not see this one, obviously, because I was in Boston.



MR. DONAHOE: By way of supplementary, the Premier told this House yesterday that he had met
with Michael MacDonald about five months, who is with the Aird Associates Ltd. but, apart from that, he had
no contact with Berger. Yet, publicly the Premier admits that while he was in Boston he gave a speech
wherein he said, and I quote, Berger was the kind of company we were pleased to do business with.



If the Premier has had no contact with Berger, how is it that while in Boston he tells an audience at
a public speech that he is pleased to do business with that firm?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, for the information of the Leader of the Opposition, I would point out
that the Berger companies came to Canada, chose Halifax as its base, and we were very pleased when they
did. They had indicated to us that they saw us as a place from which to operate with success, and we would
be delighted to do business with Berger as I would with any other company, providing the process is done the
right way.



We will continue to acknowledge that this is a fine company, not one that should be dragged across
the floor of this House in any way. It is a company that we would hope to do business with, no question at all,
providing that it goes through the proper channels. I can assure people who are connected with this company
that we have the highest respect for them and I will continue to say that.



MR. DONAHOE: The sense one gets from all of this saga, Mr. Speaker, is that the Premier, in the
press release which was issued, indicates that this is exactly the kind of contact that the province should make
and will make, so as to open up the business possibilities for Nova Scotian business in Japan, China, Indonesia
and various parts of the world. If it is the intention of the Premier to proceed along that course, will the
Premier tell us whether or not he has, in fact, issued instructions that a public competition for companies such
as Berger and any others in that kind of business has, in fact, been issued now by the Province of Nova Scotia,
by the Ministry of the Economic Renewal Agency?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency, I can’t recall whether
he said it in this House, he has certainly said it in public, is that there will be a call for proposals and that it
the way that we will do business.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



ERA - BERGER GROUP: PROJECT - GOV’T. (CAN.) CONTRIBUTION



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, now that we have some of the matters regarding the news
release straightened up, let’s move on to try to figure out some other facts in this whole matter involving the
Berger company. I would like to direct my question to the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency. I
would like to ask the minister, did his department seek and obtain federal funds to guarantee from the feds
to contribute to a project that the Berger company were quoted as being part of last Friday?



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, this project was early on in the development. Staff had had
discussions with Berger and were discussing the project with them. To fund our part of the project, staff had
investigated through our department and ACOA funding that could be available through our federal-provincial cooperative agreements to fund such projects. The federal government had not approved it, the
provincial government had not approved it.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, then is the minister telling us that this project was planned, the
details were worked out with the Berger company to the point where the province went to the federal
government seeking contributions, seeking funds? Yet, he would lead us to believe, as he and the Premier
suggested earlier in the week, that they did not have any contact with the Berger company with respect to this
particular project. What are the real facts here? Did they involve themselves with the Berger Group Limited
on this project or did they not?



MR. BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, let’s keep the facts straight. The Premier has said and I have said that
we have had no dealings with the Berger Group ourselves. At the staff levels, staff had had discussions with
them and they had investigated with ACOA whether or not there was federal-provincial cost-shared funding
available.



The project had not come up for approval. It was not going ahead without going for a call for
proposal. The Berger Group had come to us and said, are you interested, staff were investigating it. I will tell
you here today, as I have said yesterday, this project will not go ahead unless we go through a call for proposal
where bona fide companies can apply and offer to participate in this type of a project. It will not go ahead.
Funding had not been approved at ACOA or at our department.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I think we are all pleased to hear that in fact, this contract, this
project, will go through a proper call for proposals as is required under the government’s own guidelines. I
think the only question that we have is that will that happen to other contracts if they are not identified ahead
of time. My final supplementary is, why would the minister’s staff have gone to the federal government for
a request to participate in a funding arrangement for a proposal that was not already fleshed out?



My understanding, it was reported earlier this week that ACOA had agreed to fund up to 70 per cent
of this contract. I just want to ask the minister to clarify perhaps for us, why in fact, his department would
have gone to ACOA, gone to the federal government for their contribution for a project where the details had
not already been worked out.



MR. BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, I will tell you again, the project had not been approved by ACOA. The
honourable member opposite knows that because I was told this morning that he had contacted ACOA and
asked that very question. I think if he was truthful with the House, he would tell us that in fact (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, let the honourable minister answer the question. Order! The honourable
minister has the floor.



MR. BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, this government received an unsolicited proposal from Berger Group.
We were looking at it, we were identifying sources of funding and I will assure the members of this House,
as good a company as Berger is, I think they are a great company to do business with, they will do business
with this government after it goes through a call for proposal, not before. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



COMMUN. SERV. - DAY CARE SERV.:

 

FINANCIAL OFFICER - ELIMINATION



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Community Services. The minister has recently
removed the position of financial officer from the Day Care Services Department. Information that we have
received suggests that this position was very valued by day care providers in terms of financial management,
financial crisis intervention, board development, budget preparation and replies to questions on grant issues.
Would the minister comment on how the duties of the financial officer, which is so valued by day care
operators, will now be handled?



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, most of these changes have resulted as our response to the
management audit that we shared with the Department of Health. As the member would know, we have
collapsed head office from seven divisions into six, down to four. Part of that means that there will be different
job assignments. This will be handled, child care now follows more under a preventive program within the
Department of Community Services. So, we have had concerns expressed and I thank the honourable member
for the question. This is a valuable service that we intend to maintain but in a smaller, flatter organization
and one that will address the services to child care organizations.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his answer and I certainly appreciate the
minister’s attempts to streamline his department. By way of supplementary, if I was a day care facility
manager or operator today and I needed help today, if I had a financial crisis today, who specifically could
I call to get the kind of help that the financial officer would have provided me before that position was
eliminated?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I believe and I don’t want to misinform the member but I feel that the
lines of communication are open, they have been there for a long period of time. Mr. Greg Gammon is the
first one who comes to mind and I think if there is any problem that arises, certainly, the right person would
be available under his direction. I would hope that the system of networking is in place and that they would
know, really, who to deal with. Certainly, that is the name that I would refer to; if there is any problem,
directly call either the deputy minister or the minister.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I would certainly echo the minister’s words that I would hope that the
safety net or the internet as he referred to it was in place but that was exactly my question. By way of final
supplementary, will the minister assure the day care operators and they number in the hundreds in this
province, that if in fact the situation that I alluded to previously does occur, that by calling the deputy minister
they will be directed to someone who will provide them with the same kind of assistance as they were
receiving from the financial officer prior to his removal?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, the answer is clearly yes and I would further say that I would hope as we
move into a more flattened organization with a smaller head office, with more services in the regions, that
those services would even be more directly related to the regions and more accessible to the child care
providers, not only in the metro community of Halifax-Dartmouth adjacent to the Department of Community
Services head office, but also through the regions throughout the province.



I think it is a great example of going through periods of change when there is doubt that the services
will be available. I can assure the honourable member that services will be available. They are delivered in
a different manner, hopefully, improved and, hopefully, more adjacent to the local community.



[3:30 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, before I ask my question could I make an introduction?



MR. SPEAKER: Well, by all means.



MR. MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to introduce to you and through you, to the other
members of the Legislature, the presence in the Speaker’s gallery of the Warden for Pictou County, Hank
Dunnewold and with Hank is Councillor Gary Pentz from Stellarton. I would like the House to give them a
warm welcome, please. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



EDUC.: STUDENT LOAN PROG. - CHANGES



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Education. I want to
know, as does Mr. Roger Outhouse from Freeport and Mr. Gerry MacGuire from Pictou, why the new student
loan program was instituted with no warning or lead time for parents of students to make contingency plans.
Many families, when filling out the forms in June, thought they would be receiving some assistance. One
family has just recently been advised that they are not eligible for any assistance.



Why was there no warning about the change in program, especially after filling out the student loan
forms and, according to the example given, that some assistance could be received?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. The
student loan program has gone through a change directed by the federal government and our people were
involved. When we arrived back in September and the student loan returns started to be sent out, we
discovered that there was a glitch in the student loan program and we called the federal people in.



This applied almost entirely to Nova Scotia because of its salary distribution across our population.
The federal people came down and, over about a week, it was renegotiated and we sent back out a complete
examination of 2,000 applicants. It caused some disruption in their applications, but we think we have
addressed the problems that were there.



There is some change in terms of how we deal with debt in terms of recognizing, in previous times,
there was a debt service ratio evaluated, so we had the case of people who were very careful with their money
being penalized and people who were not careful with their money were being rewarded. So that was
addressed by the new regulations and if that is the particular problem that the honourable member and his
constituents have, we can address that separately. But the delay was because there was a re-evaluation of the
program and now, Mr. Speaker, I think that has been looked after. We have got a few other problems with
student aid, but we are dealing with those now.



MR. MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer. I wonder if the minister could
tell me how many students had to leave school, or not go to college this fall, because of the change in the
program? I know I had some.



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I have no list of that, I have no report of that. I can report to
the honourable member that there was a radio interview in which a particular person said that she quit school
because of that. We called her within five minutes of the interview. She did not register for school, nor did
she apply for a student loan. She just assumed that, in fact, she was not going to get a student loan because
she had an over-award from the previous year and so she did not go. So we don’t collect those details, nor can
I report it. But I would suggest, probably every year, there are some students who don’t go to university
because of failure to have the resources.



MR. MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, I agree that some students cannot go. Maybe, in this particular case,
the child or the student did not apply and that was too bad. But I am sure a lot of members in this House get
calls about student aid, including government members. The people call me up and they say they call and they
call and I see some of them smiling across there because I know they get those calls.



I would ask the minister to please try and review the student loan program. I know it is important
that the students fill the forms out properly. I know that is a mistake because I call up and I must say the
contact that we use is very helpful. I want to make that very clear, very helpful. But I ask the minister to please
look into this and see that for next year, hopefully, students will not be held up on whether they know if they
can go to college or not?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question because I
would like to report to him and all members of the House, through you, that the big problem has been a
processing problem. It takes between four to six weeks to get the approval of a program - and this we inherited
- if everything is in place; in fact, if it is completely filled out properly, it takes four to six weeks.



Our goal for next year, when the application comes in, is to reduce it to a matter of days. So if the
form is complete, in a matter of days they will get their form. Likewise, Mr. Speaker, if there is something
missing in the form, we are going to have it so that immediate contact is made with the student and as soon
as the form is filled out correctly, again, it will be a matter of days and not four to six weeks.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier on an introduction.



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I just want to take this opportunity to welcome a very distinguished
member of the hospitality industry from Pictou, from the motel there, Mr. Kevin Perkins in the gallery.
(Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



COMMUN. SERV. - CUMB. CO.: NURSING CARE - LEVEL CHANGES



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: My question is for the Minister of Community Services. I have had
a number of calls concerning what is described as unexplained differences in numbers coming from the
Department of Community Services, Mr. Speaker, through you to the minister, relative to funding for
residents of Level I facilities in Cumberland County. What is being said to me is this; that for 1993-94,
funding was approved for 66 residents for Level I; however, only 17 residents seemed to have been placed.
I wonder if the minister might be able to explain the difference?



HON. JAMES SMITH: Those figures are the type that I don’t have here. I wonder if there is a more
specific question or it could be phrased differently? I have no knowledge, you are saying that there are so
many applications and only so many placed? I know there are certainly, this placing, Mr. Speaker, as the
member would know, the placement is really under the jurisdiction of the municipal unit, that is my
understanding. He may have some information from the municipal units that he would like to share.



MR. DONAHOE: The concern raised with me is that - and the reason I have been asked to put the
question to the Minister of Community Services, Mr. Speaker, is that there is some concern in the community
as to just what is going on, when there is funding available for 66 placements and only 17 are made - there
is some concern, to use the words of the caller contacting me, that they want me to ask the minister whether
there is any abuse taking on, that the Level II facilities to which an individual normally moves when they
require additional nursing care, among other factors, are placing individuals who do not yet require that step
at that time. I wonder if the minister would agree to check into the Cumberland situation, to find out for us
and report back to me as to why these alleged discrepancies appear to exist?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, it is unusual that there would be any great number of people being cared
for at a higher level because, certainly, it would be a higher cost to the municipal units. They certainly have
an interest in this. I would trust they would be doing that in an appropriate manner.



There certainly are areas of care that we are concerned about, that we monitor in our standards and
we are concerned about the level of care at any level, whether it is Level I or Level II. I certainly have been
aware of some correspondence, there has been a great deal of media attention, that people have chosen to go
to the media on. I am not aware of any wrongdoing. We have checked this out and certainly, as I say, I get
back, not that we don’t have responsibility within the Department of Community Service, we certainly do for
the quality of care and the standards, but, certainly, the municipal units have a vested interest as well.



So I think if there is any evidence of wrongdoing, we will certainly share it not only with the
honourable member of the Opposition, but we will share it with the municipal units because I know they will
be very concerned about that.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, relative to the same matter and to the same minister, there was also
some concern emanating from the community of those servicing individuals requiring nursing home care,
about a comment made by an employee of the department. I don’t know that this was made, but the caller
alleges, in the contact with me, that it was and I would ask the minister if he would check it out. When asked
about the rights of the residents of the homes, those requiring nursing care, a comment such as, people have
no rights under Community Services was made. I know that comments of one kind or another can be made
under different circumstances, but we are dealing with seniors in this situation and the allegation, at least that
the comment was made, has been referred to me.



I would ask if the minister would take a serious look at that issue, as well, and determine, if possible,
whether that comment or any like comment has, indeed, been made?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I certainly will. I take that very seriously. I think there has been some
media attention to these allegations. I know that our department has checked it out. I am not quite sure of the
outcome of that. I am almost positive there was certainly a denial that that was ever said. I certainly hope that
to be true.



Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I could ask the honourable member, if he has papers or information that
he has been quoting from, if he would share them with me, it might really help that I could get back even
more quickly to him to address these particular issues. These are very serious allegations. I think if he has
some information he should share it with the House.



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



DND - MARITIME COMMAND: CUTS - GOV’T. (N.S.) STRATEGY



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my questions, through you, sir, to the
Premier. The Premier will know that the federal government had previously released a discussion paper on
defence and now the White Paper has come out. One of the recommendations, certainly, is that National
Defence reduce their layers of administration and headquarters. People in the national headquarters are telling
anybody who wants to listen that the next area to save money or to cut, is to move headquarters like the
Maritime Command to Ottawa.

 

 

Now, Maritime Command is extremely important here in Halifax and Nova Scotia. It employs
approximately 200 people and has a budget, I understand, of over $27 million. This is an important issue, Mr.
Speaker. I would just like to ask the Premier, through you, sir, what strategy your government has developed
to fight this Ottawa biased approach and to make sure that Maritime Command stays right here in Nova
Scotia where it belongs?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the motivation behind the question. Obviously, the
Department of Defence is a very important constituent of Nova Scotia. They employ about 18,000 full-time
employees and 1,400 reservists and about 7.9 per cent of the Nova Scotia GDP. So it is a significant issue.



We have struck an immediate committee with the economic people in the Department of Finance,
under the Minister of Finance and myself. We are looking at those areas where we think there is a high
probability of success in pursuing certain operations where we will, obviously in our view, have better chances
of success than we would in pursuing something unnecessary.



There are some six areas from ocean surveyance to reserves to procurement and it is not, at this
particular point, very sensible to discuss them in public because we want to go and discuss them with the
Department of Defence. Suffice it to say that we take this seriously and we will be discussing, in the light of
what I have said, these issues with the Minister of Defence.



MR. HOLM: Yes, indeed, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the Premier’s answer and the fact that the
government seems to be taking this very seriously, as they should, and trying to get on with it. It strikes me
that the National Defence in Ottawa seems to be of the view that the only place for headquarters is on the
Rideau Canal in downtown Ottawa, so that the only place that people have to go in terms of water is walking
across the canal. There is a very strong Ottawa bias.



The Premier indicated some initiatives that they are planning to take. Certainly, Mr. Speaker, I think
that the representations have to be made at the very highest of levels, not only with the Department of Defence
itself, but, indeed, with the Prime Minister and others.



My question to the Premier, so that we can have as much clout as we possibly can, is the Premier,
I know he talked about those things that he is doing with the Minister of the Economic Renewal Agency,
prepared to put together and to lead, as has been done elsewhere in provinces like Manitoba and Quebec,
where they also face concerns, is he prepared to put together and lead a broadly based coalition that would
include all political Parties, all leaders, include those who are the economic leaders, community leaders, to
go in a united voice fight to maintain Maritime Command here in Nova Scotia. So, in other words, putting
another spin on and trying to involve more people fighting in a concerted way for this particular important
issue?



[3:45 p.m.]



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am certainly prepared to consider the idea. I think the responsibility
of government, however, is quite clear. It is our responsibility to take this on but I will certainly give it
consideration.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, there is no question, that is why I asked the Premier if he was prepared
to lead. It is government’s responsibility to take this on but certainly what we should be all prepared to do is
work together on something like this that is so crucially important to the economy and to the well being of
our province. My final question to the Premier is simply this, has the Premier sat down with or had
conversations with the Premiers in Manitoba and Quebec who are also facing the possible closures of
headquarters, to try to develop a united strategy to head off this Ottawa-based biased report and program, to
make sure that we address the matter and head it off right now rather than waiting until it is too late, as was
the case with the CFB Cornwallis? Has the Premier done that?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, no, I am not so sure we would, there is competition for some of these.
I am not sure that the interests of Nova Scotia are best served. But I am certainly prepared to look at it, as I
have said before.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



HUMAN. RES. - CIVIL SERVANTS: ABSENTEEISM - ACTION



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources. Last
May I requested a House Order seeking the rate of Nova Scotian civil servant absenteeism, after the minister
had stated during Question Period last spring that Nova Scotia had the highest rate of civil servant
absenteeism anywhere in Canada. The estimated cost to the Nova Scotia taxpayer on an annual basis is an
unbelievable $21 million. I want to make it very clear that I am not criticizing all civil servants in this
province because I think there are a lot of real, hardworking, dedicated civil servants, but there are people who
abuse the system. For example, the report indicated that each individual employed within the Department of
Finance misses approximately 13 days a year for either general or short-term illness, that is two weeks of work
on top of vacation. Has the Minister of Human Resources discussed this with the Minister of Finance?



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, I have not discussed it directly with other ministers or with
their departments directly. I have not discussed it with the Minister of Finance. I think I may have with others.
It is an issue that the government is taking very seriously and are trying to address. There are nine
recommendations that came forward with that report and we are attempting to address those
recommendations. It is clearly an unacceptable level of absenteeism in the Government of Nova Scotia and
we are trying to find an effective and a fair solution to the problem.



MR. MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, the minister did say that there were nine recommendations, that was
my next question. The first recommendation said, the Government of Nova Scotia should place high priority
on reducing the level of illness related to absenteeism in all government departments and agencies. Can you
give me details today as to what has transpired since you received a copy of this from your deputy?



MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, yes, several things have happened but mainly we are now in the
process of recruiting experts in the field of Occupational Health and Safety as well as in the Employee
Assistance Program. When those jobs are filled, we will be moving forward to address this problem more
directly.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



HUMAN RES. - PHYSICIAN AFFAIRS ADVISOR: SALARY - CRITERIA



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, through you to the honourable Minister of Human
Resources. Earlier today during Question Period, the Minister for Priorities and Planning indicated that in
fact it was the Department and the Minister of Human Resources that classified Dr. Reid’s job at $115,000.
I would like to ask the minister, what criteria did she and her department use to rate the salary for Dr. Reid
at $115,000?



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: The salary range was set at the time the job was advertised; $115,000
is the top range for the job, as we would find in the pay plans and the qualifications of those people we looked
for for the position.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



HEALTH - PHYSICIAN AFFAIRS ADVISOR:

 

DR. DAN REID - CONTRACT TABLE



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that Dr. Reid, in fact, started work
today and I am told that his office is on the fifth floor over in the Joseph Howe Building and the Premier can
find him there.



AN HON. MEMBER: What’s the question? Who are you asking?



MR. DONAHOE: The question is to the Minister of Health. In light of the fact that we now appear
to have all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed and everything is all organized and Dr. Reid is working, I ask the
Minister of Health if he will today table a copy of the contract of employment for Dr. Reid?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, as soon as that contract returns to my department,
indeed, I see no reason to withhold any details. I have been open about this. The contract is still being worked
on and Dr. Reid is in trying to get accustomed to his environment.



MR. DONAHOE: I wonder if at the time the minister makes good on that commitment to table that
contract, if he would also commit that he would table a document indicating to all of us the number of
applicants for the job and the number of those applicants who were interviewed?



DR. STEWART: Again, Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated throughout Question Period, I will do my
best to estimate what was done in respect to the number of applicants - the honourable gentleman uses to the
term, “applicants” - we called for expressions of interest, and some sent in a few lines of a letter; some sent
in curricula vitae that were quite easily perused, and decisions were made on the basis of that. I will do my
best to gather that information, as I have been for the last week.



MR. SPEAKER: A short snapper, 30 seconds remain.



MR. DONAHOE: The short snapper is to ask the minister if he will provide me with an answer - if
not possible today, tomorrow - as to why it was that Dr. Childs was not contacted, as promised in the letter
directed to Dr. Childs and dated July 26, 1994?



DR. STEWART: I am trying to, again, reiterate that the letter to which he refers offers no guarantee
of an interview; however, if the physician to whom he refers in his statements perhaps had a telephone call
or a letter, I am not certain about that, but I will certainly check into it.



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



OPPOSITION MEMBERS’ BUSINESS



MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 1175.



Res. No. 1175, re Speaker of the House - Selection: Secret Ballot - Endorse - notice given Nov. 30/94
- (Ms. A. McDonough)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity call for debate of
this resolution this afternoon and I want to read the operative clause, the therefore be it resolved portion of
this motion of which we gave notice to the House on November 30th. It reads as follows:



“Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the Premier to adopt the model gaining growing
acceptance across Canada, endorse the selection by secret ballot of our Speaker and ask the Committee on
Assembly Matters to propose election procedures that can be used at the earliest possible date.”.



Mr. Speaker, we all last evening, under the umbrella of the Canadian Parliamentary Association,
gathered together as members from all three political Parties, to set aside our partisan differences and
recognize that while we are each here to represent our political Parties, we are each here to represent our
constituents. We are first and foremost here, all of us, to represent the public interest and to do so in a way
that respects parliamentary tradition and enhances, rather than detracts, from the overall respect for the
political process.



Mr. Speaker, in the spirit expressed last night by, I think it is fair to say everyone who spoke on this
topic, we have brought forward this resolution today for calm and careful consideration of all members on all
sides of the House. We do so because I think, to put it as simply and as straightforwardly as possible, the time
has come in this province today and in this Legislature today to recognize that it is incumbent upon us to do
everything within our power to ensure that the impartiality and the authority of the Speaker, is upheld and
safeguarded.



Mr. Speaker, this proposal that the Speaker of the Nova Scotia Legislature ought to be elected by
means of secret ballot is not exactly a radical or novel idea. I will admit freely that in part, our interest in
bringing forward such a resolution arises out of frustrations that have been widely felt and widely expressed
by many members of this House about what sometimes are gross inconsistencies in rulings made and certainly
the appearance of there being the less than total impartiality.



As you know, Mr. Speaker, our rules provide for us to be able to bring a substantive motion forward
to challenge the Speaker when there are such concerns. Instead, we have chosen what we feel is a more
constructive, more proactive rather than reactive initiative, that is to say that for very good reasons, in 1986,
the House of Commons set aside the long-established tradition of the Prime Minister of Canada selecting the
Speaker and provided, for the first time ever, for an open election of a Speaker through secret ballot, and an
election in which any member of any caucus in the House, other than Party Leaders, could stand as a
candidate.



Mr. Speaker, it is well established in the traditions of parliamentary democracy that it is absolutely
critical that the impartiality of the Speaker be ensured. For that reason Beauchesne goes on at some length
about the importance of that, and I quote directly from Beauchesne, as follows, “Confidence in the impartiality
of the Speaker is an indispensable condition of the successful working of procedure, and many conventions
exist which have as their object, not only to ensure the impartiality of the Speaker but also, to ensure that there
is a general recognition of the Speaker’s impartiality.”.



Mr. Speaker, Beauchesne goes on at some length about the measures that are extremely important
for the Speaker to take, in order to ensure both the impartiality of the Speaker and the appearance of
impartiality of the Speaker.



Mr. Speaker, I think it has become apparent that those measures are not sufficient. It is not only the
House of Commons that in 1986 decided to no longer have the appointment of a partisan Speaker by the Party
in power, by the Leader of the government Party in power, but there are five other provincial jurisdictions in
this country that have moved to the practice of an election of Speaker to ensure the absolute impartiality of
the Speaker and the confidence that is necessary by all members of all political stripes, in the Speaker who
is in the Chair to serve the public interest and to serve all members on an equal and even-handed basis.



I believe Ontario was the first of the Canadian Provinces to move to an elected Speaker; subsequently
Saskatchewan, Alberta and and British Columbia have done the same. The Northwest Territories has done
the same and, most recently, less than a week ago, the Province of New Brunswick chose to adopt this
progressive measure, as well.



[4:00 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, when the former Speaker, the Speaker who was serving the House of Commons in
1986, the Honourable John Bosley stepped down from his position, he made it clear that his own experience
and his own insights had led him to recognize that the time had come to move to an elected Speaker and that
by taking the step that he did, I think an honourable step, a progressive step and a selfless step, he resigned
from the Speaker’s job to help precipitate the election of a Speaker. I think that was a measure that was widely
respected.



We have not seen fit here in our resolution to call upon the Speaker to resign to help precipitate that
in a statesman-like act, although I think the reading of the events surrounding the resignation of the Speaker
in 1986 from the House of Commons really commends itself to all members. It seems to me that it is
significant that the Speaker of the day took the position, and I will quote directly from what he said about it,
“In my heart, if I thought I would have done the institution more good by staying, I would have stayed.”. He
went on to say, “. . . my reason for going . . .”, that is, resigning as Speaker, “no matter what was said or no
matter what anyone thinks was said, was that I concluded it was the right thing to do for the institution and
everybody in it.”.



Well, I do not know whether the current Speaker can see that that was a statesman-like act in 1986
or that the best interests of this institution would be served if he were prepared to engage in that kind of
statesman-like act. But we have felt that it is worthy of consideration of this House of Assembly that we do
move towards that practice to ensure the absolute impartiality of the Speaker and that the confidence of all
members of this House in the Speaker can, in fact, be sustained.



That is why we have brought in a resolution which urges that the Premier show some leadership in
regard to this matter, that he recognize that this model of electing a Speaker was brought in and adopted by
the House of Commons and now by six other provincial and territorial governments in this country for very
good reason. It is not sufficient to have a Premier of the day hand-pick someone and say, there, invested in
that Speaker shall be the total confidence of all members without members being tested and without members
having a say in the selection of their own Speaker.



We are looking to the Premier to show some leadership unless, of course, the Speaker himself should
see that it would be a statesman-like act to do what John Bosley did, which is to resign and help precipitate
that election of a Speaker. We are asking the Premier to give that signal, we are asking all members to give
support of this resolution. Contained in the resolution is the simple practical proposal that the Committee on
Assembly Matters be invited to propose the election procedures that would be used at the very earliest possible
date to carry out the election of a Speaker, to ensure the impartiality of future Speakers and to ensure the
appearance of impartiality and, most important, to ensure that the Speaker has the confidence of all members
of this House.



It is not as though there is a major task to be undertaken by Committee on Assembly Matters. There
are terms of reference that have been drawn up, rules and procedures for the election of the Speaker in the six
other jurisdictions that have already moved to that practice. It seems to me that it would be well within the
competence of this House and well within the competence of the Committee on Assembly Matters, if this
simple resolution were adopted today, to get on with that drafting exercise of the procedures and to ensure that
by the time the House reconvenes in 1995, that we, too, could start the new year afresh, that we could
commence the 1995 session of the House having taken that tradition which no longer serves us well, where
the Speaker is hand-picked by the Premier and, instead, invest in all members of this House of Assembly the
right and responsibility to elect a Speaker and to then stand behind that elected Speaker, accept the choice of
this House and, in a freely conducted and open election where all members are eligible to serve, where all
members can put forward their views about how a Speaker can best conduct herself or himself and get on with
the business of this House being conducted in a truly impartial way that inspires confidence not just of all
members and all caucuses here in the House but equally importantly, Mr. Speaker, that inspires the confidence
by Nova Scotians in this House in the conduct of its Speaker and in the conduct of all the members of this
House.



So, Mr. Speaker, not to be in any way inflammatory, not to be confrontational, not to try to generate
controversy, but rather, to try to address a problem that has reared its ugly head in many jurisdictions across
this country and certainly has reared its ugly head in this House over the last many months, we urge careful
consideration of this resolution. We ask members to consider why this is a responsible course of action. We
urge support for this simple, practical measure that I think would serve the traditions of this House well but
also move us forward to respect the independence of the Speaker that must be upheld and can best be upheld
by an open election process. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief because I don’t want to use up the time during
this important debate. I would like to draw to your attention and to that of other members of this House to two
guests in our gallery this afternoon; Dominic Candy, who is the President of the Nova Scotia Young New
Democrats and Michael Isaac, who is a member of the executive. I would like to ask them to rise and receive
the welcome of the House. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Halifax Fairview for bringing the
resolution to the House this afternoon. It is a very important resolution, it speaks to the heart of this Chamber
and to the heart of this Parliament and I think it very much speaks to the interests of the citizens of this
province of ours.



We are focusing this afternoon on an institution, the institution of the Office of the Speaker, which
was created in 1376, when Sir Peter de la Mare was appointed the first Speaker of Parliament, in what came
to be called by historians, the Good Parliament, perhaps because it was the first one which, in fact, appointed
its first Speaker.



So we have, as Canadians and as Nova Scotians, 618 years of accumulated experience with the Office
of the Speaker as it has evolved through those times. Just stop and think of it, 30 generations of experience
we have with this office.



The Speaker, in my view and I think in the view of all parliamentarians, must be the embodiment
of the rights and the privileges and the rules and the procedures of the House and, so importantly, of the
dignity of the House. In fact, I think all of us would agree, sir, that the Speaker is the physical presence of the
integrity of this central democratic institution. The Office of the Speaker, also has through all of those 30
generations, through those 618 years time and time again demonstrated itself to be, not only a bastion of
freedom but indeed, an office which has created new freedoms with respect to Parliament, new freedoms
which accrued not only to Parliament but to all of those who Parliament serves.



I think it is worthwhile for us to take a look at some of those freedoms that we take so much for
granted. I think we could start with the formula that every Speaker who has come to the Clerk’s Table in this
House before governors in 1758, when we had our first Assembly and the first Speaker elected here has read
on behalf of the assembled commons. It says, “it has now become my duty in the name of the representative
of Her Majesty’s loyal subjects, the people of this Province, respectfully demand all the accustomed rights and
privileges, and that they shall have freedom of speech in their debates, that they may be free from arrest
during the attendance in Parliament and that I, as their Speaker, may have free access to Your Honour’s
person.”.



Freedom of speech was obtained by Parliament in 1394. Freedom from arrest in 1404, in fact, by
Speaker Arnold Savage and freedom of access to the Crown has been guaranteed since 1554. So, these
freedoms which today our Speaker, and every Speaker in the Canadian parliamentary experience and probably
throughout the Commonwealth claims on behalf of the members of the Chamber is now 440 years old, it has
stood the test of time and it is one of the embodiments of the freedoms which cause us to live in a free and
democratic state.



We could look too at some others, I have mentioned free speech, I mentioned Speaker Savage. One
of the great innovations that Speaker Savage created was the assurance of due consideration by the House of
matters brought to it by the Crown before being required to respond to the Crown with respect to the decisions
taken by the House.



We also found as early as 1413, that the Speaker had to have the confidence of the House. We also
find that in 1414, Sir Walter Hungerford, the then Speaker of the House, created a very great innovation and
that was to turn the House of Commons from simply petitioning Chamber into a Legislative Chamber as well.
We have talked often in here about free speech and the importance of free speech with respect to our capacities
to do the job. Sir Thomas More, perhaps preferably known to some as St. Thomas More, I prefer the former
appellation, was one of those persons who stood up to Cardinal Wolsey as the King’s Chancellor when he
came and demanded answers of the House of Commons and Sir Thomas More, then the Speaker of the House
replied to the cardinal that an answer without unhindered debate was neither expedient nor agreeable with
the ancient liberty of free speech of the House of Commons.



By 1559, those privileges which our Speaker asks for upon his appointment in election were deemed
to be ancient privileges. Of course, the great watershed date for the assurance of freedom and the answer to
the question as to whose servant the Speaker is, that came on the 4th of January 1642, when Charles I arrived
at the House of Commons with an armed guard, fully prepared to arrest five members of the House of
Commons for opponents of his government. Upon being received by stony silence when asking if those
members were present, he drove the Speaker out of the Chair and took the Chair himself and demanded to
know of the Speaker where these five men, and Mr. Speaker, William Lenthall who took great risk in his
answer, responded in this way. May it please, Your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see, nor tongue to speak
in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here and it is from that day in 1642
to this, sir, that we know that the Speaker of the House is truly the servant of the House and not the servant
of the Crown.



Well, the Speakership has evolved through the years. As early as the 1720’s in the reign of George
I, Sir Spencer Compton was re-elected in successive terms as Speaker of the House, thereby for the first time
providing continuity in the Chair. As early as 1728, Mr. Speaker Arthur Onslow initiated a whole series of
reforms with respect to the way the House of Commons conducted its own business, which really turned the
Chamber into the kind of Chamber that we know today.






[4:15 p.m.]



By the time of the late 1700’s and through the first half of the 19th Century, we find that the British
House of Commons had created a Speakership which was, in fact, non-partisan and which, in fact, was a
continuing Speakership, which was not dependent upon Party. That was by 1841, even before responsible
government was introduced here in Nova Scotia.



Well, what have we found here in Nova Scotia, sir. Well, I think the Nova Scotia experience provides
us with a little different fare than we would find in looking at the United Kingdom. For example, in the years
between 1758 and 1849, between the first representative government and the implementation of responsible
government here, in those 81 years, there were four Speakers who, between them, provided 56 years of service
to the House, tremendous continuity. An interesting aspect of their Speakership is that all four were also office
holders, something that we would not accept today.



Additionally, between 1849 when responsible government came into play and contemporary times,
we had four instances where Speakers represented Parties other than the Party of the government of the day:
in William Johnston’s Premiership, William Annand’s Premiership and Edgar Rhode’s Premiership and then
Gordon Harrington’s Premiership. Since 1933, the Speakership has been held by a person who has been an
adherent of the Party of the day.



As time wore on and the last century turned into our century, the government’s hold on the Office
of the Speaker became more firm. In fact, now we know that the Premier moves the Speaker’s nomination.
Unfortunately, the office has, all too frequently, by outsiders, come to be seen as a sop to those who were
denied Cabinet preferment, or perhaps a stepping-stone to those who look for Cabinet preferment at a later
date. The Speaker’s Chair has been greatly hobbled by our inability as a Chamber to ensure that it is given,
not only the trappings of independence, but the real and substantial independence that it must have.



Other Canadian Parliaments have chosen to take a different role than we have. My colleague has
referenced them, but I think it is interesting for us to remind ourselves just what Parliaments in Canada do
have an elected Speakership. We have the House of Commons of Canada, now the Province of New
Brunswick, the Province of Saskatchewan, the Province of Ontario, the Province of Alberta and the Province
of British Columbia. So we have five Chambers in Canada which now have an elected Speakership, elected
on the basis of a secret ballot.



Mr. Speaker, I think that we should be moving that way and we should be moving that way very
quickly. In moving towards that very kind of system here, I believe we should adopt a system very similar to
that which is in British Columbia, where the first order of business for a new Parliament would be the election
of the Speaker, where the election would be by secret ballot, where no minister of the Crown or Leader of a
Party would be allowed to stand to the Office of the Speaker, where, when all the votes were counted and the
last ballots totalled, the person who was elected Speaker would have the support of half the members, plus
one. I think we can do that here. I think we should do that here. I think it is in the best interest of all that we
achieve that, sir.



In closing, Mr. Speaker, let me say that today, if we so choose, we can recreate here in Nova Scotia
and in this very Chamber, the opportunities of the past, opportunities which were once lost. Today, we can
seize the moment and achieve what several other provinces and the House of Commons of Canada have
already managed to achieve. Today, we can set in train events which will, at once, assure the independence
and the impartiality of the Speakership, provide greater assurance that the business of the people of Nova
Scotia is attended with the propriety it deserves, and rekindle, in a dramatic fashion, a faith in the integrity
of this institution of our Parliament of Nova Scotia which the people so earnestly desire and which for a good
reason or bad, they have been too often self-denied. The only question to be answered can only be answered
by us, here assembled and that is the question of our courage to do what is right and to do what is just and to
do what is in the interest of the common will which has sent us here to do their good work. I hope that this
resolution brought forward today will find the active support of all members of this Chamber. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.



MR. ALLISTER SURETTE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to debate Resolution
No. 1175, moved by the member for Halifax Fairview which urges the members of the present Legislative
Assembly to endorse the selection of the Speaker by secret ballot and to refer this matter to the Committee on
Assembly Matters.



Well, I would like to begin by saying what is happening here is not new. We only have to look at our
recent past in this House to understand where this resolution is originating. Back to March 14, 1975, Mr.
Harry How introduced a resolution of non-confidence in the Speaker of the day. It read something to the
effect, “I hereby move, seconded by the honourable member for Cumberland East (Mr. Bacon), that this House
deplores the lack of impartiality shown by the Speaker with regard to an article . . . “, and he goes on by
saying, “therefore this House censures the Speaker of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly for this action.”.



A few years following this event, Mr. Vincent MacLean asked for the resignation of the Honourable
Arthur Donahoe. A resolution which read something to the effect that, be it regretfully resolved that the
Official Opposition requests the resignation of the Honourable Arthur Donahoe, Speaker of the House of
Assembly and requests the Premier replace him with an individual that will carry out his duties both to the
Government and to the Opposition in a fair and impartial manner as was done by the previous Speaker, Mr.
Ronald Russell.



The Honourable Walter Fitzgerald on March 6, 1981, again asking for the resignation of the Speaker
of the day, in this case still the Honourable Arthur Donahoe. Our present Minister of Education on May 17,
1991, “Therefore be it resolved that this House censures Speaker Russell . . .”, and on he goes.



So, therefore, over the past few weeks and months members of the Parties opposite have been arguing
that the present day Speaker is biased, that he is partial, that he is unfair towards them. I believe that this is
what is behind this resolution. I don’t hear them complaining about the Speaker giving them . . .



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. My honourable friend imputes motives to
members of this House when he suggests that there is a subterfuge with respect to this resolution or indeed
anything which I have said in my remarks or from my very close attention to my colleague’s remarks,
anything that she has said.






MR. SPEAKER: There is a difference of point of view on the intent of what was spoken by the
honourable member for Argyle but the honourable member for Argyle must recognize that it is improper to
impute motives other than those which the member indicates are his motives.



MR. SURETTE: Yes, I do agree with your ruling. If I could continue with my debate of Resolution
No. 1175, I am just trying to explain that the members opposite complain about the unfairness and the
partiality of the Speaker. What I was about to say is that I do not hear them complaining that the Speaker, on
a number of occasions, gives them a number of warnings, due to irrelevancy.



Many times, as we all know, the Speaker allows them a wide window of discussion. Mr. Speaker,
perhaps it is us who should be doing the complaining, the members of the government. After being warned
a number of times and not asked to sit, it is perhaps unfair towards the government members. Many times,
as we do know, the Speaker, as I have mentioned, allows them to stray far and wide from the issue being
debated.



As an example in the recent past, the Leader of the Opposition, a few Fridays past, took to his feet
for an introduction. Not only did he introduce his colleagues, the Conservative Leaders from P.E.I. and New
Brunswick, but he went on at great lengths to explain the purpose of their visit. Is this not extending the Rules
of this House to its limits, or, perhaps I should say, beyond its limits?



This reminds me of my days of playing competitive baseball, softball and hockey. Players and
coaches, some, complain and argue with umpires and referees, not necessarily to overturn the initial call or
the initial decision, but to soften the umpire or the referee for the next call.



To me this is the purpose of the Opposition’s tactics in questioning every ruling that the Speaker
makes. At times they complain that you should abide by the Rules of the House, not the usage and precedents.
Of course they do this when it is convenient for the sake of their argument. At other times they argue you
should follow usage and precedents and not the rules. Mr. Speaker, I believe you cannot win.



Interpretation of the rules has become precedents. Who is to say, Mr. Speaker, that these past
interpretations are correct? This is not uncommon, if you look at the debates in these recent days in the
Committee of the Whole House on Bills, for example, where we debate the bills clause by clause. Many times
it appears that we have many interpretations.



So, Mr. Speaker, It appears to me that based on the Opposition’s arguments on this issue, that to you
it is a lose-lose situation.



I would like to conclude by saying that there are a number of matters which I believe should be
investigated by the Committee on Assembly Matters. I was pleased to see, for example, last spring where we
agreed to change the structure of the budget estimates. I would encourage all members of the House to support
reform in this House. This particular issue is not on the top of my list. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.






MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Bedford-Fall River.



MRS. FRANCENE COSMAN: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to enter into this debate on
the resolution. I think to start off, I would like to look at the clauses that are worded in the resolution. Clause
one, “. . . Assemblies in five provinces and the House of Commons elect their Speaker, breaking with the
tradition . . . ” I don’t have any knowledge of the study that went into this break with tradition and whether
or not it was a good thing to do or a bad thing to do. I would find it quite difficult to vote for something like
this without having at least some background knowledge of what went into the process in five other provinces.



Clause two talks about nomination and secret ballots, to enable members to overcome Party interests.
I think this clause suggests, to me, that the drafter of the resolution felt that the existing process does not serve
this House and I think that is not a correct assumption at all. It would make me wonder if there is a suggestion
that a motion for the Speaker’s position, which was seconded by the Leader of the Opposition, was done in
some manner to coerce the Leader of the Opposition into seconding the motion. I do not think we can assume
that the honourable Leader of the Opposition’s heart and mind were not in the right place when he stood up
to second the motion for the Speaker of this House.



[4:30 p.m.]



Clause 3 talks about influence and power, namely the Premier’s influence and power, that it is not
likely to be harmed by losing the prerogative to name the Speaker. This, too, suggests that there are motives
of power and influence in the choice of the Speaker and I, in my time in this House, have never seen such
power and influence being exerted on that position.



MR. SPEAKER: I would suggest to the honourable member, however, that the honourable member
cannot impute motives either . . .



MRS. COSMAN: That is right, sir, and I would not want to put myself in the position of imputing
motives. I have to wonder how the Conservatives feel about the suggestion embodied in that clause, as to
whether or not it indicates that the former Premiers would have used power and influence over the Speaker’s
position. I do not believe they would have.



One cannot draw any assumption about the NDP resolution with respect to this clause for they have
never been seated on the government side. This resolution cannot be dealt with in isolation as a single issue
for if we are really to reform the role of the Speaker and how that person, he or she, in the future is chosen,
then the larger question is should the very process of reform be applied to how this Legislature, itself, actually
functions.



This government, as we know, it is not afraid of reform. Indeed, we have embarked on an
unprecedented level of reform which is leading us out of the days of the doldrums of the last 15 years and into
the future. (Applause) Now, I probably believe and I think I feel quite strongly that Legislatures should look
at reform in a number of areas but, certainly, not to isolate the question of reforming how the Speaker is
chosen in itself. I think the honourable Mr. Leefe spoke about the historic model that we deal with dating from
the 1300’s and, certainly, there is much to be said for that historic model.






We have, and I will remind the honourable Opposition and the Leader of the Third Party, reformed
the budget process as the previous speaker referred to. Now that process works better for us in that we have
two committees working to deal with the estimates. Perhaps, we should deal with questions of quorum in this
House, perhaps we should look at the whole question of how we develop our rulings.



Many of our rulings, probably should be codified to make them more easily referenced and more
easily applied and usable for present-day requirements. I can’t imagine trying, for the Speaker’s sake, to keep
hundreds and hundreds of rulings that took place before the Speaker and his role in that Chair. Trying to keep
those all intact in one’s head must be a formidable challenge; therefore, I think that does speak to trying to
codify the rules. When we get down to it, the rules of the Speaker often are opinions based on that given
moment in time to the best of their abilities to come up with something that is logical and good common sense
for its application in this House.



If we are going to look at reforming how we choose a Speaker, we should look at reform based on
a whole host of questions dealing with discipline, dealing with the voting process, perhaps even dealing with
how to make the Opposition more effective than it currently is.



Reform should also look at rules for recorded votes, given the propensity of the Parties opposite to
call for the bells, or on the clause by clause debate at times. Such a practice has almost become a mindless
habit, and I think we saw evidence of that on Monday evening when there was unanimous consent to pass a
clause in this House, when it was sitting in the Committee of the Whole and, even though we had unanimous
consent at the time, the request came out, recorded vote, recorded vote, and the bells rang one more time. In
fact, the bells have rung so much in this session that they have actually worn out and we had to replace a few
bells out there.



This government has great confidence in its Speaker and this House is served well by the Speakers,
including yourself and Mr. Speaker MacEwan and, on occasion, other persons have taken the Chair as
Chairman. I think we have been very well served by all the people who have taken on this difficult task.



I want to say here that this government must not be forced into a quick response or reply to the
request to re-look at the question of how we appoint our Speakers. I think that, given the very important
history that we are guided by, that it could have negative effects to just simply go along with any suggestion
or resolution that comes into the House. I think it is important that we give much study and consideration into
this question before we jump to the conclusion that there is something inherently wrong with how our Speaker
currently is chosen. I do not support that view and I am sure my colleagues do not support that view.



I think the role of the Speaker has been performed with great respect for the traditions of the House
and great fairness to all members of the House. I don’t think that any one Party can say it has been poorly
treated or misused or abused, in terms of the rulings that have come out of the Chair.



So, Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to briefly add my comments to the record on this
resolution. Thank you. (Applause)






MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Well, Mr. Speaker, I don’t quite know what to say.



SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, Oh!



MR. CHISHOLM: It appears that some of the wisdom from Mr. Ghiz last night, that he bestowed
upon all of us, was lost by a few members of this House when he suggested there has to be a sense of less
partisanship and a little more cooperative effort brought into policy making and the passing of legislation.



I don’t see how anybody can take this resolution that we are dealing with today, about the election
of the Speaker of this House, and suggest that it has something to do with censure or to suggest that it is some
underhanded attempt or strategy to attack the government. If you look at what the member for Argyle had to
say, he began with the recitation of how, since 1975, there have been motions brought into this House to
censure the Speaker. (Interruption) That is right. I didn’t go back over that because this resolution has nothing
to do with censure.



The member for Argyle then went into a description of how, over the past weeks and months, there
have been attacks from the other side on the Speaker and that it is merely a bunch of complaining and
whining and trying to soften up the decisions of the judge or the referee or whatever and that that is, in fact,
what is leading to this.



Well, let me suggest to that honourable member, Mr. Speaker, that we have resolutions in here on
the order paper that raise serious questions about the lack of impartiality on behalf of the Speaker.
(Interruption) But do you know what? They are still there, because we wanted to deal with this matter in a
very up-front, in a very constructive and non-partisan fashion.



We are not talking about coming out of the blue here, with an issue, as the member for Bedford-Fall
River would have you believe, when she says with respect to the first clause, that “. . . Legislative Assemblies
in five provinces and the House of Commons elect their Speaker, breaking with the tradition that the Speaker
is selected by the Premier;”, and that this is something out of the blue that we have to study, you know, we
have to take a look.



Well if that member is not prepared to do her homework before she rises in this House, Mr. Speaker,
that is her problem. (Interruption) But the Speaker of the House of Commons in, I believe it was if I am not
mistaken, in 1986, resigned from his position as Speaker which tipped the balance toward this whole question
of democratically electing the Speaker of the House because he was so fed up, as a Speaker, with trying to deal
with the tensions of the House and the rancour and so on and he felt, and I would suggest to you that a number
of Houses of Assembly since have suggested in this country, that that is, in fact, the way to go.



The member for Halifax Fairview has introduced a motion that says, and let me read the resolved
just for a second, ” . . . that this House urges the Premier to adopt the model gaining growing acceptance
across Canada, endorse the selection by secret ballot of our Speaker and ask the Committee on Assembly
Matters to propose election procedures that can be used at the earliest possible date.”. (Interruption)






There have been people make presentations here, that this is a suggestion, of the member for Halifax
Fairview and one I support, that we are obligated to try to respond to some of the concerns that we have that
there is a lack of confidence question on the matter of how this House is handled. We didn’t stand up in our
places and we didn’t rant on and bring up every case and suggest why that was a problem and so on. All we
have presented here to all members of this House is a suggestion that the question of the free election of the
Speaker be referred to the Committee on Assembly Matters to take a serious look at providing the procedures
on how, in fact, that could happen.



We understand that this government has a very significant majority. So, we also know that nothing
probably is going to change. So what we have attempted to do simply, and I don’t apologize, you know, the
member for Bedford-Fall River has the nerve to stand in her place and say, what business do we have making
this kind of a recommendation when the NDP has never been in power. (Interruption) Well, excuse me, but
I have a responsibility in this House.



MRS. FRANCENE COSMAN: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I think earlier you admonished two
of us not to impute motives and I do think it might be wise of the honourable member speaking opposite to
not impute motives or to try and quote things that I did not say, if he would like to check the record. It is just
not appropriate.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I think that you would agree that as opposed to the member when
she spoke, I wasn’t imputing motive, I was talking about attitude as opposed to what she was doing which was
talking about motive. Attitude says a whole lot about the kind of respect that some members have for the
process that we follow here. Yes, there needs to be reform and we are willing to participate in reform of all
matters that are dealt with in this House. This is one of them that needs to be addressed in order to try to
restore some credibility in the institution of the House of Assembly here and the role the Speaker has in that.



It was cited by the member for Halifax Fairview in her presentation. She talked about the fact that
it is important, Beauchesne talks about it, they talked about it in the House of Commons when they came to
the decision and in those NDP Governments, NDP Provinces of Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia,
they have gone to a free election of the Speaker.



AN HON. MEMBER: It is democracy.



MR. CHISHOLM: It is not a threat, it is democracy. It is a recommendation that if we are serious,
to try to resolve some of the problems that we have had in this Chamber on the question of impartiality, that
we don’t battle each other across the floor over it but that we try to do something constructive and that is what
the member for Halifax Fairview has done by introducing this resolution and that is what I am trying to do
in rising in support of it.



[4:45 p.m.]



Let me just say, in concluding, this resolution was tabled on November 30th, and I brought the matter
to the attention of the Government House Leader and the Official Opposition House Leader on Monday that
we were going to be dealing with this matter because I was so anxious and my caucus was so anxious in
having this matter dealt with in a non-partisan way. So, lots of warning here, it is not a new idea, it is a
positive reform, it is a constructive reform and we think that all members should take the opportunity to vote
in support of it. I hope we do that at this particular time.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise and address my
colleagues in the House of Assembly on this very important matter. It is brought to us by the New Democratic
Party, the Third Party in the House, which expresses a very sincere interest no doubt in reforming one of the
elements of our rules of this democracy. In fact, in the remarks of the last speaker, he espoused his
commitment and made it public, of course, to democracy in urging us all to follow the resolution. It strikes
me as I listen to his remarks and I was listening carefully that his resolution calls for certain reform of the
Rules of the House to be directed to the Committee on Assembly Matters and he espoused his Party’s
willingness, indeed his Party’s desire, to involve themselves and to participate in rule changes.



One wonders whether or not that same Party would make a commitment to support rule changes that
were recommended by majority vote in that Committee on Assembly Matters. One wonders whether or not
they will espouse democracy to that extent because I think one of the rules in democracy is that the majority
carries the day. You vote and then the majority carries the day. One would have to ask oneself if, in fact, there
were certain reforms of the House, given over to the Committee on Assembly Matters and that committee by
majority vote, recommended a course of action to the House, one wonders whether or not the Third Party
would be committed to stand up in the House and support those rule changes even if perhaps they weren’t
exactly what the Third Party wanted, but having made this open commitment . . .



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I wonder if the honourable Minister
of Finance as he is obviously begging the question of whether or not we are going to deal with this reform,
right here in the House, right now, has he ever, in his experience, in this House, seen an occasion when this
caucus has not been prepared to participate with that committee on the question of rules? Does democracy
mean that you are not allowed to dissent when there is a majority decision.



MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order, there is a difference of opinion but no point of order.



MR. BOUDREAU: Well, that is interesting, Mr. Speaker, at least we got a rise out of the honourable
member. What he says is, they are willing to participate. No, that wasn’t what I asked. I asked if you are
committed to the principles of democracy. Are you prepared to support a decision which is made by the
majority of the very committee you are submitting it to? Or are you only prepared to support it if it is exactly
what you want and then if it isn’t exactly what you want of course, then you don’t support it? Now, that is a
pretty hollow commitment. That is a pretty shallow, cynical commitment. Oh, we have another intervention.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the member if he would entertain a brief
question? Would the member be willing to acknowledge that throughout the period of his time in this House,
that every rule change that was introduced in this House of Assembly, upon recommendation from the Rules
and Procedures Committee, was achieved by consensus and, in fact, given unanimous consent, up until his
government took office in 1993?






MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member, as her colleague before her, is avoiding
the question, avoiding the very central point after espousing democracy and espousing the reference to the
Committee on House of Assembly Matters. They do not want to accept the basic, fundamental belief of
democracy that when you have an issue, fine, if you get unanimous agreement, that is wonderful. We fully
support unanimity, wherever it might appear. But, in fact, in democracy, as you know, and all of us know,
sometimes you don’t get unanimity. When you don’t, you hold a vote and those people who have the majority
in the voting issue, that carries the day.



Now, I simply asked that Party, and now we have heard two of them intervene in the few short
moments I have had the floor, both of them have refused to answer the question, Mr. Speaker, this was
referred to the Committee on House of Assembly Matters, along with other reforms and the committee made
a majority or, indeed, a unanimous decision, but if unanimity is not possible, the committee made a majority
decision on reform, are they prepared to make a public commitment to support that reform? The answer, quite
clearly, Mr. Speaker, is no.



Mr. Speaker, this resolution is grandstanding, that is what it is. It is politics. It is theatre. It is not
substance because two of them took the floor and neither one of them was prepared to say, yes, we will
commit. If there is a majority decision on reform, we will go along with it. No chance, and you will not hear
them say that.



Mr. Speaker, I think, if I am not mistaken my time has expired and the time for the debate has
expired, but I leave that challenge open to the Third Party.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time designated for the debate of Resolution No. 1175 has
expired.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private
Members’ Public Bills for Second Reading.



PRIVATE MEMBERS’ PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 134.



Bill No. 134 - Disabled Persons Access to Voting Facilities Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, in an Assembly where imputing motives is not supposed
to be acceptable in Parliamentary terms, it certainly is amazing to hear the government impugn the motives
and accuse Opposition members as grandstanding when they bring forward a proposal for reform of the rules.



I suppose, Mr. Speaker, as we address Bill No. 134, we also will be accused of grandstanding, but
then - ‘twas ever thus. May I say, just to remind members, that this is a bill that I introduced last week in this
House, entitled, An Act to Enable Persons Suffering from a Physical Disability to More Conveniently Exercise
their Right to Vote in Provincial and Municipal Elections.



Mr. Speaker, this is a very simple, straightforward legislative initiative. It is what may appear to all
members to be a fairly minor reform measure. But let me say that the issue of access to voting booths is not
a minor issue to those Nova Scotians with disabilities, who have, year after year, in this province, suffered the
frustrations of not being able to gain access in a municipal election or in a provincial election, to the polling
station in the community in which they live and in which all of their neighbours and, in fact, in most cases,
everyone else in their household is enabled to vote.



Mr. Speaker, we have therefore brought forward the very simple amendments to the existing
legislation that would be affected by this change; simple amendments to the existing Elections Act, it governs
provincial election matters and the municipal legislation but also the Municipal Elections Act, which governs
the matter of access to polling stations in the event of municipal elections.



Mr. Speaker, we have done so for a couple of reasons. First of all, there is nothing as disconcerting
on election day as attempting to deal with the phone calls that come from voters who are discovering they
cannot gain access to their polling station. There may be some who would point out that amendments to the
Elections Act in this province, brought about after the last election, provided the requirement that there be
at least one polling station in every constituency that must be accessible. But that simply does not deal with
the barriers that exist in all the other polling stations in a given constituency or a given riding. The problem
is when voters go to the polling station to which they have been assigned and discover that because they are
mobility impaired, they are not able to gain access, they then are launched on a frustrating and sometimes
losing endeavour to try to figure out where else they can vote. In some cases that means they have to try to
find transportation which will get them to the one accessible polling station in their particular riding and that
transportation may be unavailable to them.



By definition, Mr. Speaker, for a lot of mobility impaired voters, that in itself is a difficult exercise
because we all know about the shortage of accessible public transit for the mobility impaired in this province.



Just to put this in perspective, Mr. Speaker, I have figures that are subsequently updated but the most
recent figures available would suggest that persons with disabilities comprise 13.2 per cent of the Canadian
population but in Nova Scotia, persons with disabilities account for 16.9 per cent of the provincial population.
In fact, Nova Scotia has the highest percentage of persons with a disability of any province in the country.
That figure of 16.9 per cent is 3.7 per cent higher than the national average of 13.2 per cent.

 

 

Now members would be quite right to point out that not all of the disabled persons in Nova Scotia
who have been identified, are mobility impaired, so this does not apply to all of them. That is true, Mr.
Speaker, but the figures we have, suggest that up to as many as 90,000 Nova Scotians have mobility
impairments of one kind or another, whose situation with respect to gaining access to their voting station
would be eased by bringing in these simple amendments to the Elections Act of the provincial government
and the Municipal Elections Act.






Mr. Speaker, it is ironic but a sad commentary that in 1988 in my riding the Executive Director of
the Canadian Paraplegic Association found himself unable to vote in the 1988 provincial election. It is a
further irony and a sad commentary that five years later, in the most recent municipal elections, the
subsequent, current Executive Director of the Canadian Paraplegic Association was denied access to vote in
the most recent municipal election. It is not, therefore, surprising that the Canadian Paraplegic Association
and many other advocacy groups on behalf of disabled Nova Scotians have pleaded year after year for this
problem of access barriers at voting stations to be addressed and to be eliminated.



[5:00 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, I am not just responding to the particular concerns that were raised in my former riding
of Halifax Chebucto by John Rogers, the previous Executive Director of CPA, or my colleague, the member
for Sackville-Cobequid, is not just responding to the same access barriers that the current President of CPA
Laughlin Rutt faced when he tried to vote recently in the municipal elections, we are responding to the
accumulated frustration that is felt by literally thousands and thousands of Nova Scotians who continue to be
frustrated by these access barriers.



That is why it was extremely welcome to find that in the most recent report of the Chief Electoral
Officer, based on the 1993 election campaign, that she brought forward the recommendation that this matter
finally be addressed. I quote, Mr. Speaker, from that recent report that has now been tabled, from the section
to do with voting by electors with a disability. The Chief Electoral officer had the following to say:



The time has come to recognize that all polling stations should be accessible to persons with a
physical disability. Not only are wheelchair users affected, but also voters who find climbing stairs difficult,
for a variety of reasons. The Canadian Elections Act has taken the lead in mandating that all voting sites be
accessible. The Chief Electoral Officer must approve any exemptions to this general rule.



She, therefore, goes ahead and recommends that the simple changes be introduced to the respective
Election Acts - the provincial and the municipal - that would simply require that every polling station used
in municipal and provincial elections should be accessible. The only instance in which that is not so and in
which any exemption is granted be where it has been, for whatever reason, absolutely impossible to meet that
requirement.



So, Mr. Speaker, again, we would ask that members understand the simple fairness, the justice of
this, that what it does is respect the importance of each and every person having the unencumbered
opportunity to vote, and we would urge that members be prepared to deal with this simple reform here today
in this House, recognizing that it is long overdue. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak to this Bill No. 134, introduced
by the member for Halifax Fairview, An Act to Enable Persons Suffering from a Physical Disability to More
Conveniently Exercise their Right to Vote in Provincial and Municipal Elections. I certainly rise in support
of the bill.






Those of us who have had the opportunity to participate in the Law Amendments Committee when
there were presentations from those with mobility disabilities - they were speaking to the Motor Vehicle Act -
could not help but be impressed, after listening to the presentations, of the very real desire of those with
serious mobility disabilities, to be able to enjoy all that society has to offer, in a way that those of us who do
not have that type of disability are able to enjoy what society has to offer.



The effect of the bill, first of all, is to remove the term, “infirmity”, from the Elections Act, and to
substitute a more current term, that is the word, “disability”. In terms of the operative part of Bill No. 134 that
amends Section 90(1), “A polling station shall be in premises of convenient access, . . .” and this would now
read a polling station shall be in premises that permit convenient access to the polling station and shall
contain a compartment adequately lighted where an elector may mark his ballot in secrecy.



Now, what was occurring, of course, prior to this time if, in fact, this Act is passed that each electoral
district would have one or more of the polling stations shall have premises which permit convenient access
thereto by an elector who suffers from a physical infirmity which prevents him from voting at the polling
station where his name appears on the official list of electors and who has a transfer certificate issued to him
under Section 98. There is by requirement a notice of the affirmed poll that the Returning Officer shall give
notice in the form presented by the Chief Electoral Officer of the location of the polling station or stations
established pursuant to Subsection 1, by publishing the notice not later than the 13th day before ordinary
polling day in a daily newspaper or with the consent of the Chief Electoral Officer a weekly newspaper
circulating in the electoral district or in a weekly newspaper where the Returning Officer is satisfied that it
has adequate circulation in the electoral district.



Well, that is fine and good, but certainly, I think, it should be the objective to have all voters to be
able and physically able to vote in the polling station to which they would ordinarily be designated by reason
of where they live. I think that is not unreasonable and in light of the attention, I think, that those with
disabilities are requesting that it is a very reasonable request and one that is certainly easy to support. The
same, Bill No. 134 would also result in amending Section 90(1) in which the polling station shall be in
premises not of, “convenient access”, but now that, “permit convenient access” to the polling station and will
contain a compartment adequately lighted where an elector may mark his ballot paper in secrecy. So, in other
words, this would allow access to every polling station by those with a mobility disability.



Now the figures that I have vary slightly from those provided by the member for Halifax Fairview
and the figures that I have and I will quote that Statistics Canada reports that we have the highest rate of
disability in the country at 21.3 per cent of the population. This would suggest that there would be in excess
of 190,000 persons in this province who would be classed as having a disability. The member for Halifax
Fairview stated that some 90,000 Nova Scotians have a mobility disability which would be convenienced by
having more accessibility in every polling station in the province.



So, we can put a little bit of face on the problem. I look at an article here in the metro news dated
for Friday, April 21st and this is headed, Paraplegic Blasts County Over Polling Station in Accessibility - A
paraplegic man who was unable to vote last Saturday at a Sackville polling station says Halifax election results
should be declared invalid. After arriving at the school to vote in the District 20 race, Mr. Rutt said he was
confronted with 15 steps in front of the school and no wheelchair ramp. A lack of signs didn’t even make it
clear that the school was a polling station, he said. He found a wheelchair entrance at the side of the school
but, when he got inside, he was still unclear on where the polling station was; all he found was young people
playing basketball in the gymnasium. Mr. Rutt states, I feel that, like any other citizen, I should have equal
access.



So, that brought forward another voter who was having problems because this was carried the next
day in the press, October 22, 1994. A Sackville senior with heart and hip problems has backed up a paraplegic
man’s concern about difficulties in accessing a Lesley Thomas Junior High School polling station on election
day. Geraldine Harnett of Metropolitan Avenue said Friday that voting at the school was a nightmare, even
though Halifax County’s returning officer says things went smoothly. Mr. Rutt has asked the Nova Scotia
Human Rights Commission to investigate his complaints about the polling station. He said that signs outside
didn’t clearly show which door to use and he didn’t see any inside to indicate where the vote actually was. He
also had trouble getting into the building.



So, this is not a problem in theory, but it is really a very practical problem and a very practical
problem for a very significant number of Nova Scotians, whose only request is that they have access to a
polling station within the area in which they live. That is perhaps an even more reasonable proposition when
you realize that it is not only a difficulty for them to access the polling station, but it is also a significant
difficulty for them to reach the polling station.



When we debated the bill on the motor vehicle bill recently and we had presentations in the Law
Amendments Committee, and that bill had to do with providing a higher percentage of accessible taxis, so
in order to perhaps go to the polling station that the person with a mobility disability would have easy access
to transportation by taxi. So, it is just another in the steps I think that we, as legislators, should be prepared
to make to make those with disabilities more easily able to integrate into all of those things that society has
to offer. There is nothing that society has to offer that is any more basic than the right and the ability to vote.
Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg.



MRS. LILA O’CONNOR: Mr. Speaker, is it indeed a pleasure for me to stand before this House and
respond to Bill No. 134. Personally speaking, a few years ago our family became aware of the many concerns,
issues and barriers facing physically challenged people. My mother-in-law has been confined to a wheelchair
for over five years now and this situation has greatly affected her life and the lives of those who love and care
for her. Professionally, I have fought diligently for accessibility. As a Town Councillor for Mahone Bay, I
became very aware of the needs of those persons with disabilities and, in one situation, I insisted that the new
tourist bureau be constructed to allow for wheelchair access.



Recently, as the MLA for Lunenburg, I had the privilege of attending the 5th Annual Legislative
Breakfast during National Access Awareness Week. The breakfast meeting was for members of the Legislative
Assembly to be made aware of the six key themes of National Access Awareness Week.



Almost 100 members of the Legislative Assembly and delegates representing persons with disabilities
facilitated informal discussions on the six National Access Awareness Week themes. The themes this year
included transportation, housing, employment, education, communication and recreation. I found this
opportunity for dialogue very helpful and most informative.



[5:15 p.m.]



I continue to share the goal of the National Access Awareness Week, both personally and
professionally. This government must continue to challenge people to create and support equal access for all.
Physical barriers cannot be allowed to stand between disabled Nova Scotians and the services our government
provides.



Last year, the Task Force on the Economic Integration of Women with Disabilities in Nova Scotia
recommended that our government undertake a study to determine the accessibility of provincial buildings
to persons with a physical disability.



Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to mention the efforts of the Nova Scotia League
for Equal Opportunities. This league is a cross-disability, consumer controlled organization, which advocates
on behalf of all disabled Nova Scotians. The league has been in existence since 1979 and was incorporated
in 1980. It now has nine affiliate groups throughout the Province of Nova Scotia. The league is concerned
about all types of disabilities and has worked to improve the integration of disabled individuals into our
society. In particular, the league has been concerned with accessibility for many years. The league is currently
involved with this government, regarding the study to determine the accessibility of provincial buildings to
persons with a physical disability.



The Department of Supply and Services, in consultation with the League for Equal Opportunities,
has arranged for the services of Mr. Gilbert Cooke. In fact, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Supply and Services
moved a resolution last spring congratulating Mr. Cooke on the study and the then Leader of the NDP Party
criticized the minister.



Mr. Cooke has been an accessibility consultant for the league to test the accessibility of at least 17
provincial office buildings throughout Nova Scotia. We are fortunate to have the services of Mr. Cooke, as
he had held the position of accessibility consultant with the league for several years. He has been actively
promoting and advising improvements in accessibility for all types of disabilities.



As an accessibility consultant, Mr. Cooke has had the unique opportunity to advise the owners and
the operators of many public buildings, including schools, hospitals, hotels, gas stations and churches. The
Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities is providing Mr. Cooke’s services to the province free of charge
and will be reimbursed for expenses only.



The Honourable Wayne Adams announced that this important initiative of the Department of Supply
and Services is nearing completion. I know this government will continue to champion the cause for people
with disabilities by challenging people to create and support equal access for all. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.



MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, I wish to add a few comments to the discussion on Bill No.
134, introduced by the member for Halifax Fairview. I think it is important to recognize that each person in
this province goes under the credo of one person, one vote and anything that we can do to ensure that
individuals, regardless if they have a disability or not, are entitled to that privilege of exercising that one
person, one vote, should be done.



During the last election, I had the opportunity to travel throughout my constituency and I think there
are some things that could be done almost immediately when an election is held. That is the Chief Returning
Officer should examine all the sites, because there were instances when the polling stations were not
accessible. But in the same areas, in the rural areas, there were accessible sites. So that is a very easy solution
to a difficult situation.



Mr. Speaker, I think it has been mentioned that integration of people with disabilities, not only for
voting privileges, but in our society is important. I want to mention the work of one group in our area, the Port
Hawkesbury Chamber of Commerce. They have begun a program which highlights businesses in that
community that make access one of their priorities. If we take that same approach towards providing access
to polling stations, then we can learn from their experience.



Many municipalities have also made it a priority to provide accessibility to people with disabilities.
This is a way of integrating them with the broader scope of our society. The challenge is great but I have
found the challenges may be greater in rural areas, where physical buildings don’t exist. This will be a
challenge to ensure that accessibility is a priority. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Mr. Speaker,
has encouraged municipalities throughout Canada to make accessibility for persons with disabilities a priority.



In listening to many of the comments that have been made so far, it is important that we realize that
in order for there to be equality not only in life but in the ability to exercise one’s right to vote, then the need
for accessibility is, indeed, something we should all support. We should also congratulate the various groups
and organizations that have made accessibility one of their chief causes.



So, Mr. Speaker, in reflecting on Bill No. 134, the objectives are something that I feel we should all
work towards, in ensuring that where we can provide accessibility to enable those who wish to vote the right
to vote, we should do everything we can. Thank you very much.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak this afternoon on the bill that
has been introduced by my colleague, the member for Halifax Fairview. I am pleased to have the opportunity
to do that, to rise after the comments made, for example, by the member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury
that we should be striving for this particular goal and pointing out that the, and I didn’t write down his exact
words, but that the objective of the bill, I think he said, or the principles of the bill were something that we
should all be working towards.



Well, Mr. Speaker, I certainly am one who supports that concept. I not only support that concept but
I also think that here we have an opportunity to do something very concrete. We have, this afternoon, an
opportunity to pass this bill at second reading, so it can go on to the Law Amendments Committee and then
from there, back to this House, so that it becomes law.



We have had a number of speakers this afternoon from the government benches, for example,
speaking and congratulating organizations like LEO, the League for Equal Opportunity, and others, Mr.
Speaker, congratulating the FCM for the positive, proactive position it has taken by trying to encourage
municipalities to make sure that all municipalities have polling stations that are accessible.



It is not good enough, with respect, just to congratulate and to encourage. It is our responsibility here,
as legislators in the Province of Nova Scotia, to ensure that the barriers that do exist for those who have
mobility impairments, that those barriers are removed. Failure to provide, failure to ensure that all voters with
a physical disability can get to a polling station is discrimination. It is treating them as second class citizens.
It is denying them their equal, democratic right to those of us who do not have a physical impairment, a right
that we have, Mr. Speaker.



The Canadian Paraplegic Association has been going on for a long time, has been urging and
pressuring governments to take action. We heard suggestions and we heard comments this afternoon about
figures as to the percentage of the population that are suffering from a physical mobility problem and we heard
differing figures. We heard one saying 16.9 per cent, another presenter saying over 21 per cent.



In truth, for the principle of what we are talking about, it doesn’t matter if it is 16.9 per cent or 21.3
per cent, Mr. Speaker, or if it is 10 per cent or 5 per cent or 50 per cent. If we are, in fact, talking about the
principle, a very important principle, that all individuals, all people should have a right to easy access for
voting, then the actual percentage number doesn’t matter. We have a responsibility, as legislators, to ensure
that that discrimination which results from the barrier, is removed. We have an opportunity this afternoon
to do that.



Now, Mr. Speaker, if we go back, and the issue that we are talking about this afternoon is not new,
it is not something that requires, with respect to anybody who may be suggesting that we should be looking
at this, this isn’t something that has to be looked at any more. It has been studied for years and, if we are
refusing to pass this, if we refuse to make a commitment in legislation, all we are doing is making an excuse
to leave things the way they are, for the time being and for the foreseeable future.



Now we could say well, we don’t need to worry about this because provincial elections are a few years
away and municipal elections were just held. I would remind those who might make that suggestion that there
are to be elections this coming spring for the new regional government in Cape Breton. There are to be
elections, Mr. Speaker, I don’t know exactly when but in approximately a year’s time, in the Halifax County
area, including the City of Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and the county, if the government’s amalgamation
plan goes forward, we could have by-elections for this House or, in fact, anywhere around the province and
municipal areas.



So we cannot say that we should slough this off or set it aside for the time being because there is no
need. There is, indeed, a need and that need is here, now. If, in fact, we are prepared to tackle this problem
now by saying hey, we have studied this to death, we know what the situation is, we know it is discrimination
not to allow for voting stations and returning officer locations and so on, Mr. Speaker, that are fully
accessible, then we are not doing our job.



Mr. Speaker, I apologize, I keep wanting to call you Mr. Chairman because of the habits one builds
when you are in committee. If we take a look at reports, even here, within Nova Scotia, the report of the Chief
Electoral Officer in May of 1993, Nova Scotia’s Chief Electoral Officer, the recommendations that are made
under the heading of Voting By Electors With a Disability, and pointing out, and these are not my words, this
is not a partisan issue, this is an issue that I am sure we all have a concern about because we all know people
who have a physical disability and have difficulty getting into polling stations. That doesn’t only mean up and
down stairs, either; that means being able to get from a parking lot into the building, up over curbs and so on.
If we do something now, if we are prepared to move this bill forward, that will give those municipalities,
whether they be urban or rural, time to start to look for the appropriate facilities and/or to make modifications
to certain buildings which might include the changing of a curb to make that curb possible for wheelchairs
to get up and over it, maybe making a ramp to get into the buildings where the vote will be taking place, a
number of things. The Chief Electoral Officer said in 1993 that the time has come to recognize that all polling
stations should be accessible to persons with a physical disability, and made recommendations; that is what
our bill does.



[5:30 p.m.]



I can go back and I can look at the report of the Chief Electoral Officer from 1989 and again, Mr.
Speaker, saying that they are recommending that that be done and actually refers us back to the report from
1986 when again if you take a look at the report of 1986 it again makes the same point. It is time to get on
with it and if the government isn’t totally satisfied with all the individual words, then we have a process in
the Law Amendments Committee and in this House in Committee of the Whole where that can be changed.



The time, I would suggest, for looking at it and studying it is passed, I would say the time is to get
on with it and so I would urge that we hold a vote on this bill this afternoon so that the bill can go forward
to make sure that those who suffer from a physical disability will no longer be discriminated against on voting
days when they go to cast their democratic ballot. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Supply and Services.



HON. WAYNE ADAMS: I just want to add my comments to those of my colleagues on opposite
sides and within the caucus, for having recognized the Department of Supply and Services and their
involvement with the Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities commonly referred to as LEO, for what
they have done in terms of raising awareness and raising the attitude of accessibility in government-owned
buildings. I would like to, for the information of the House, reflect back that in June 1993 our Department of
Supply and Services and the LEO organization entered into an agreement to survey facilities within the
province that house provincial government offices. This doesn’t get to the depth of the purpose of polling
stations but I want to again commend the exercise carried out by one Mr. Gilbert Cooke and the raise in
attitude that has provided for me and my department.



We have just received the draft evaluation of the provincial government buildings and how they stand
in terms of accessibility and some of the things that we take for granted we have found that to be wanting. .
.



MR. SPEAKER: The time for the debate on Bill No. 134 has expired.



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Although we have reached the time when we
have agreed that we would go on to House Orders, if the government members and the minister are interested
or willing we would be prepared give the minister his full 10 minutes if the government is prepared to have
the vote on the bill at the end of the minister’s debate.



MR. SPEAKER: The order paper has been established for the day. I would have to have full consent
of the House. I hear some Noes. The time has expired for the debate of Bill No. 134.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, let’s be clear that we were just providing an opportunity
for the minister responsible if he wanted to make some comments, we were quite prepared to give up some
of our time and that can be done with unanimous consent of the committee and I would say that we are very
disappointed that members didn’t take the opportunity to take advantage of that.



[MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: I would like to now move on and I would like to ask the Deputy
Government House Leader, if he could give some indication as to whether the ministers who aren’t here, have
given an indication whether they would be prepared to have their House Orders come forward.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.



MR. ALLISTER SURETTE: Mr. Speaker, I believe the Minister of Finance has something to say,
as well as the Minister of Justice has left matters with me.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, just to be helpful to the honourable member, I have
discussed this with both the New Democratic Party and the Official Opposition, there are approximately 48
House Orders, which have been filed. Some passed, some are yet to pass and some have been withdrawn, but
all are dealing with the question of contracts and tenders and so on.



Mr. Speaker, there are approximately 15,000 potential contracts given out by this government since
June 11, 1993. What we have proposed to the Opposition Parties is that we will consolidate this and respond
by way of one report, tabled by the Priorities and Planning Committee. I give that undertaking in response
to those 48 House Orders and I will table with the House the framework for the response, copies of which are
already in the hands of both Opposition Parties.



[The following House Orders were included on the list: 118, 119, 110, 109, 120, 116, 121, 108, 115,
122, 114, 107, 113, 104, 106, 117, 105/ 148, 151, 152, 154, 160, 155, 161, 156, 147, 153, 159, 150, 158, 143,
149, 157/ 145, 138, 136, 140, 130, 141, 135, 131, 137, 129, 139, 128, 144, 146, 134.]



MR. SPEAKER: These are House Orders that have already been approved?



MR. BOUDREAU: Some have been agreed, some are yet to . . .



MR. SPEAKER: I would like the honourable member to deal with the House Orders that we have
here before the order paper and becomes a House Order.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: To facilitate what the minister has just indicated, there are a number
here on the order paper, No. 104 through to No. 122, which are included in that group that he referred to, Mr.
Speaker. I would just like to ask, with the agreement of the House, that we call House Order No. 104, No. 105,
No. 119, No. 120, No. 122 and that we move them en bloc.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for the movement, en bloc, of House Orders No. 104, No. 105, No.
119, No. 120 and No. 122.



The honourable Minister of Finance.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I believe they are on the list I have given to the
member and we would agree.



H.O. No. 104, re Priorities & Planning - Contracts Untendered (16/11/93 on) - notice given Nov.
4/94 - (Mr. J. Holm)



H.O. No. 105, re Transport. - Contracts (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 4/94 - (Mr. J. Holm)



H.O. No. 119, re Commun. Serv. - Contracts (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 4/94 - (Ms. A.
McDonough)



H.O. No. 120, re Fin. - Contracts (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 4/94 - (Ms. A. McDonough)



H.O. No. 122, re Justice - Contracts (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 4/94 - (Ms. A. McDonough)



[The House Orders were read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The motions are carried.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, would you call House Order No. 166, and I so move.



H.O. No. 166, re Transport.: Road Deaths (25/04/94) - Investigate - notice given Dec. 5/94 - (Mr.
J. Holm)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.



MR. ALLISTER SURETTE: Mr. Speaker, for the minister that is absent this afternoon, I will ask
that this House Order be stood.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to have House Order No. 166 stand. Would all those in favour of the
motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



House Order No. 166 stands.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, would you call House Order No. 168, and on behalf of
myself, I so move.



H.O. No. 168, re Human Res. - Development Co-ordinator: Candidates - Ratings - notice given Dec.
5/94 - (Mr. R. Chisholm)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Human Resources.



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: I would like to stand that, please.



MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved that the House Order be stood. Would all those in favour of the
motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, would you call House Order No. 169 and I would so move.



H.O. No. 169, re Human Res. - Public Serv. Sup’n. Plan: Public Service Post-Retirees - Employment
(Pub. Serv.) - notice given Dec. 5/94 - (Mr. R. Chisholm)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: It has been agreed to supply the information required by the House. Would all those
in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 170 and I so move.



H.O. No. 170, re Health - NSAHO Plan: Post-Retirees - Employment (Pub. Serv.) - notice given Dec.
5/94 - (Mr. R. Chisholm)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, this would involve request of another agency - which is
independent of government - to obtain that information. I will attempt, through letters, to obtain the
information and if I receive it I will certainly comply.



MR. SPEAKER: Whatever information can be obtained will be provided as indicated by the minister.






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



The motion is carried.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 171 and on behalf
of the member for Halifax Fairview, I so move.



H.O. No. 171, re Health: Physician Affairs Advisor - Doctors Qualified (June 1994) - notice given
Dec. 5/94 - (Ms. A. McDonough)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, may I examine that?



MR. SPEAKER: Yes.



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I am having difficulty in understanding exactly what this entails,
particularly with respect to the “. . . demonstrated record of success in changing a long-standing practice.”.
Does this refer to a medical practice or a practice in terms of process of hiring?



MR. CHISHOLM: It would be hiring process, Mr. Speaker. It would be helpful and understanding
how helpful the Minister of Health often is on these, if he would undertake to provide information as best he
can, based on his understanding of the interpretation of the House Order, I think that would satisfy the
member for Halifax Fairview.



DR. STEWART: Again, Mr. Speaker, I read that I was to estimate the number of currently licensed
medical practitioners in June 1994 with the qualifications required for the position of advisor. I have no way
of knowing that information as to who, so I cannot comply with it.



MR. SPEAKER: The information has been denied.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, as is the normal course of responding to these House Orders, if the
information is not available, it certainly is not unknown for House Order responses to say no, if information
is not available. But if the minister would undertake to respond as best he can to the House Order that is all
we can ask.



[5:45 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: There has been a vote and the House Order will now have to be resubmitted in
another format so there will be clarification.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to call House Order No. 126 and I so move.



H.O. No. 126, re Supply and Serv. - Province House: Re-Roofing (1994) - Reports - notice given Nov.
16/94 - (Mr. R. Chisholm)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Supply and Services.



HON. WAYNE ADAMS: I really did not hear the reading.



MR. SPEAKER: Would the Clerk reread it, please.



[The House Order was read again by the Clerk.]



HON. WAYNE ADAMS: Yes, I will comply.



MR. SPEAKER: It has been agreed to supply. Would all those in favour of the motion please say
Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Would you please call House Order No. 125 and I so move.



H.O. No. 125, re Lbr. - Province House: Re-Roofing (1994) - Reports - notice given Nov. 16/94 -
(Mr. R. Chisholm)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour.



HON. JAY ABBASS: I am happy to respond, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The House Order will be fulfilled. Would all those in favour of the motion please
say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 162.



H.O. No. 162, re Human Res. - Positions Filled (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 24/94 - (Mr. T.
Donahoe)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Human Resources.



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: I am not sure of the House Rules, that was stood previously and I would
like to continue to stand it, if that is appropriate.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I think we are in an adjourned debate situation here.
There is no question the matter was called earlier and it was stood, but at no point did the minister, to my
recollection, offer any legitimate, reasonable, rational, fair response as to why it would be appropriate that the
House Order be stood. It is pretty straightforward and I know it requires some work to be done in the
department and I readily understand that. I think it is pretty important information and it is information
which, I think, is of interest to all the members and of interest to a wider audience than even those of us here
in this place.



The only conclusion I can reach, if the minister says that we stand it, is there something amiss in the
department and some things are going on there procedurally or in terms of filling the positions that shouldn’t
be taking place. That is the only conclusion I will draw and frankly, invite the Nova Scotian taxpayers to draw
it unless she can tell me some reasonable, rational explanation as to why the House Order should not be
responded to.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Human Resources.



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, this would, indeed, take a great deal of the employees’ time
in the Department of Human Resources and we have already filed some House Orders that do provide this
information in the past to other members of his Party as well as of the Third Party. I felt that I did not see the
rationale behind having it filled, there is no ulterior motive or no other untoward conclusion that should be
drawn from that. I felt that it would take a great deal of time of my department and I didn’t see any valid
reason for it to come forward again for a second time because some of this information has already been
granted in an earlier House Order.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, on the debate if I may, on this, it would strike me that the minister
is actually making an argument that goes right against what she is saying. The minister is saying that she
wants this stood because it is going to take so much time for her staff to prepare it, yet the minister has also
said, Mr. Speaker, through you to members of this House, that much of that work has already been done in
preparing similar House Orders for others.



Well, if most of the work has already been done, with respect, there is very little work that has to be
done by her staff, other than to update it. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, the minister’s argument, and I don’t mean
to be unkind, but as the old saying goes, it doesn’t hold much water.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable minister has requested that the House Order be stood.



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



House Order No. 162 stands.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I missed a House Order. I would like to call House Order
No. 165. On behalf of the member for Halifax Fairview, I would so move.



H.O. No. 165, re Health - VGH: Emergency Physicians - List - notice given Nov. 30/94 - (Ms. A.
McDonough)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.



HON. RONALD STEWART: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I understand that is for the Emergency Department
only. Yes, I would be very happy to table that.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to call House Order No. 97.



H.O. No. 97, re Fin.: Priorities and Planning - Opinion Research (31/8/94-23/9/94) - notice given
Nov. 1/94 - (Mr. T. Donahoe)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I would so move.



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I have no objection to helping the NDP with their
opinion research on this one. We will certainly provide that. The final item, as to exactly who got it
(Interruption) Oh, I am sorry, this is the Official Opposition we are helping with their opinion research. We
will certainly be happy to comply with that and provide that information.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 132.



H.O. No. 132, re Fin.: Credit Cards - Issued - notice given Nov. 16/94 - (Mr. R. Russell)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: I so move, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: It has been duly moved.



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, if I might just have a second. I don’t see any difficulty
with this.



MR. SPEAKER: 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.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 163.



H.O. No. 163, re ERA: Sheet Harbour Industrial Port - Marketing Plan - notice given Nov. 29/94 -
(Mr. G. Archibald)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: On behalf of the honourable member for Kings North, I so move, Mr.
Speaker.



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency.



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, the request I find a little odd. The funding arrangement with
the stevedoring companies is the same as it was when the members opposite were in power. I don’t know
whether they want to criticize that or not.



The list of the 28 vessels that called at Sheet Harbour, I don’t know whether 28 vessels called there
in 1993 or not, Mr. Speaker. The list of the products and destinations; I wish the honourable member would
tell me why he wants this information. Perhaps we should stand it until the honourable member who put the
order forward, and then once he came back we would have an opportunity to maybe discuss exactly what he
is looking for and why he is looking for it. It is going to take quite a bit of work to do this and I don’t think
it is necessary, unless he can be more specific on what he is looking for.



I don’t know where he came up with the 28 vessels, but I would request that the House stand this and
on another day we can discuss it.



MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request that the House Order be stood.



Shall the order stand?



House Order No. 163 stands. (Interruptions)



Oh, sorry. The honourable member for Hants West.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, please, I was on my feet to respond to that. We are
agreeable to standing this one. Actually the member for Kings North put the House Order in and he had some
specific reason for putting it in that I am not aware of. So, I am just getting to my feet now and we will run
the time out. (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Well, it has been stood and it can be called again on a future date.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to, so there is no confusion, there were a
number of other House Orders on the list that the Minister of Finance referred to that were for the Official
Opposition. That is all that is left. I wondered if we could just make sure we move those.



What I moved before were the ones for us. I am talking about House Order Nos. 130 to 160. They
are out of the list that the Minister of Finance provided to us, so I would like to ask, perhaps, if they could be
moved en bloc, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Yes, as long as they are on the list, we tabled a list with the Clerk
and as long as they are on that list [see Page 5592] we agree.



[The House Orders listed below appeared on the order paper for 07/12/94.]



H.O. No. 130, re Fin. - Tenders (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 16/94 - (Mr. R. Russell)



H.O. No. 136, re Educ. - Tenders (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 16/94 - (Mr. T. Donahoe)



H.O. No. 137, re Justice - Tenders (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 16/94 - (Mr. T. Donahoe)



H.O. No. 138, re Commun. Serv. - Tenders (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 17/94 - (Dr. J. Hamm)



H.O. No. 139, re Mun. Affs. - Tenders (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 17/94) - Dr. J. Hamm)



H.O. No. 140, re Environ. - Tenders (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 17/94 - (Mr. J. Leefe)



H.O. No. 143, re Supply and Serv. - Contracts (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 18/94 - (Mr. G.
Archibald)



H.O. No. 151, re Commun. Serv. - Contracts (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 18/94 - (Dr. J.
Hamm)



H.O. No. 160, re Fin. - Contracts (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 18/94 - (Mr. R. Russell)



MR. SPEAKER: 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.



Order, please. We have now reached the moment of interruption.



The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.



MR. ALLISTER SURETTE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to advise all members of the House that we
will sit tomorrow between the hours of 12:00 noon and 8:00 p.m. The order of business following the daily
routine and Question Period, will be Committee of the Whole House on Bills, Bill No. 115.



[6:00 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The draw for the Adjournment debate was won by the member for Dartmouth-Cole
Harbour. The resolution:



Therefore be it resolved that the Opposition provide constructive policy alternatives as opposed to
gimmicks aimed at political gain.



ADJOURNMENT



MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.



OPPOSITION (N.S.): POLICY ALTERNATIVE - PROVIDE



MR. ALAN MITCHELL: Mr. Speaker, this is a matter which I think is an important matter and I
am very pleased to have the opportunity to stand tonight and discuss it.



Mr. Speaker, I was elected to represent the people of Dartmouth-Cole Harbour a little more than a
year ago. I offered for election because I was very concerned about the future of our province and the people
of this province, as well as for the generations to come. I believed that in some small way I could make a
difference, that I could make a meaningful contribution.



We all know how difficult it is to be in elected public office today, and I believe that everyone who
is here today is here not for selfish reasons. They are here because they too believe that they have something
to contribute and they also believe that by sitting in this place they can make a difference and that we,
together, can make this province a better place in which to live.



I must, however, admit, Mr. Speaker, that I sometimes get disillusioned. My position as a
backbencher on the government side has given me a unique perspective in which to view the proceedings of
this House. My observations have led me to conclude that the Opposition has failed in one of the most
important roles. They are more concerned with political gamesmanship rather than constructive criticism.



It is for this reason, Mr. Speaker, that I bring forward this resolution for debate tonight. I believe it
is an important issue.



It is the job of the government to govern. The government must advance policies and laws that
improve the well-being of our people, the environment and the prosperity of our province. I believe, Mr.
Speaker, that we are doing that. Many of the decisions we have had to make have been very difficult decisions.
Some of them have been unpopular. All of them have required courage and a vision of where we are going
and what this province can become.



It is the duty of the Opposition to criticize and to oppose and to offer themselves to the people of this
province as an alternative government. The Opposition must, however, not only criticize, it must show that
it too has a vision for Nova Scotia and that the criticism that it puts forward is constructive and advanced for
the betterment of the province and the people of this province.



It becomes all too easy to oppose without providing constructive criticism. The game becomes more
important than the purpose. The temptation to trade in principles for the opportunity to score a few political
points often becomes an irresistible temptation.



Perhaps I am naive, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps I do not understand the political structure. Perhaps I
haven’t developed what some might call, a healthy cynicism. I still believe, however, in the political process.
I believe in the British parliamentary system of democracy and that it is one of the best political systems in
the world. Representative democracy has serviced the people well, but I am afraid that apathy will overtake
us.



Recent municipal elections in the province may serve as a wake-up call for us all. People stayed away
in droves. In Dartmouth, a paltry 25 per cent of the voters bothered to show up at the polls. In Bridgetown,
I believe it was, no one offered for the position of mayor. When people feel disenchantment, they drop out of
the political process. An Opposition that feeds on the negative only fuels that disenchantment.



I mentioned that it takes courage to govern and to do what is right in difficult times. I suggest, Mr.
Speaker, that it also takes courage to be a constructive and effective Opposition, an Opposition that is working
for the people of Nova Scotia and not for their own short-term political gains. The Opposition’s job is to
oppose. To oppose without a plan, however, is lazy.



The Opposition must give Nova Scotia a sense that they are looking out for the people. Part of this
is to demonstrate the maturity required to take over the reins of government and called upon to do so. Maturity
requires pointing out the successes as well as the failures. I know, Mr. Speaker, that the Opposition takes
strong issue with some of the legislation that we have brought forward. I respect that. I expect them to oppose
and criticize this legislation with all the weapons available to them and I respect that as well, that is their job.



There are, however, tactics which the Opposition has used in this session which I do not understand
which I can only interpret as political gamesmanship, designed to obstruct the business of this House. Mr.
Speaker, take for example the debate on the recent environment bill which is before the House. I do not intend
to speak on the principle of the bill nor on its contents but I would like to make a few references to the tactics
the Opposition has been using during this debate.






This is a very important piece of legislation that is long overdue. The bill has come before the public
of Nova Scotia for extensive consultation. The minister has been lauded for this initiative and for the
consultative process that he has put the bill through. To the best of my knowledge, both Opposition Parties
support the bill. So, Mr. Speaker, why are the Opposition Parties filibustering this bill?



They say they only want to make the bill better. I can accept that, I think that is a noble objective and
that is their job. But, the tactics on this bill go way beyond that and I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that they are
obstructive. Perhaps I should not be too critical. I do remember on several occasions when the Opposition did
put forward several reasoned amendments, the minister listened very carefully and on several of these
occasions the minister accepted these amendments into the bill which I think is something which has not
happened that often in the past.



However, the problem is that this has happened perhaps 10 per cent of the time, the other 90 per cent
of the time the debate, in my opinion, was made up of illogical, meaningless amendments which were debated
by all members of the Opposition for days on end. I remember one instance, Mr. Speaker, when one
honourable member of the Opposition took exception to the response of the minister and declared, “that just
bought you another amendment”. He then proceeded to move an amendment which to me was obviously
nonsensical and all members of the Opposition, a little sheepishly I thought, stood up in turn and spoke on
the amendment, at great length and then they called for a recorded vote.



Mr. Speaker, as you well know in most cases the vote is called and those in favour say Aye, and those
opposed say Nay and the Speaker can very easily determine in this particular House whether the Ayes or the
Nays have it. There is a procedure in which the members then call for a recorded vote, if they want to make
sure that every body’s vote is recorded. I think in many cases this right has been abused and there have been
a number of cases where the recorded vote has been called and for situations where I question the necessity.
When the vote is called the bells ring, the House has to recess, the Whips then go out to find the members,
all members they can and collect them into the House. The duration of this may last maybe five minutes but
we all know that there have been a couple of occasions when it has lasted up to an hour when the government
members have been sitting here waiting while the Opposition members rounded up their members to come
in and vote.



I remember one particular incident, Mr. Speaker, which I really could not understand at all. This was
a situation where I believe the Opposition moved an amendment to the environment bill and the minister
stood up and indicated, yes, he agreed to that and then they called for a recorded vote. I did not know why.
Again, the bells ring, the Whips go out, the House recesses, all members come back and I watched the vote
as it proceeded through the government ranks, all government members voted in favour of it, it moved over
to the Official Opposition and all members of the Official Opposition voted in favour of it, it then moved on
to the Third Party and all members of the Third Party voted in favour of it. Why would they require a recorded
vote in this situation?



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I am listening with a great deal of both
amusement and interest to what the member is saying. I am wondering if he might have somehow a selective
memory or a memory that is slightly off kilter, inadvertently. I wonder if the member would please refer to
the specifics because although I was in the House all of the times, or most of the time when all these votes
were taking place I am not familiar with the incident the member is referring to.



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



MR. MITCHELL: I guess my time has expired, that is as I recall it and I thank you, Mr. Speaker,
for the opportunity to address this point.



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



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have 10 minutes to respond to the matter
raised by the member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. I must confess that I am not really sure I know quite
where to start. The fact of the matter is that the very issue to which the honourable member makes reference
is a perfect example, and will be seen in retrospect to be a perfect example, of why it is important to have an
informed and aggressive and able and persistent Opposition.



The fact of the matter is that the environmental legislation which has come forward is one in which,
as the member rightly points out, both Opposition Parties have stood and said publicly, we support, in
principle. But, it also is a piece of complex legislation in which is contained a whole range of specific
proposals with which we take serious exception. We take serious exception, not because we want to be
obstructionist, but because we honestly believe that the taxpayers of the Province of Nova Scotia will not be
well served if the piece of legislation passes in the form as introduced.



This honourable member, who introduces this resolution, will be aware that when the bill came back
from the Law Amendments Committee, his colleague, the Minister of the Environment, to the credit of the
Minister of the Environment, brought the bill back before Committee of the Whole stage with a series of
amendments. My memory may fail me, but round figures, from recollection, there was something in the range
of 42 to 46, 47 perhaps, amendments which came back into this place as a consequence of the Law
Amendments Committee.



Our caucus and the other Opposition caucus, indeed, the government caucus, were members of the
Law Amendments Committee and we supported the process which resulted in a very substantial redesign and
amendment of that piece of legislation. The bill to which he refers, the environmental legislation, comes back
in here for consideration of Committee of the Whole and, again with credit to the Minister of the
Environment, there has been something, again from memory, in the order of 20 significant amendments made
to that legislation as a result of the debate and the dialogue and the backing-and-forthing here in the
Committee of the Whole House.



Well, if this particular member wants to characterize that, Mr. Speaker, as obstructionism then, of
course, that is his right. I am, obviously, not of that view and I honestly believe that when those outside of this
place come to understand the differences between the bill as introduced and the bill as passed - as it soon will
be - that they will understand that the role and the function and the importance of an informed and an
aggressive Opposition has been well used in regard to that particular legislation.



This honourable member suggests that it is incumbent upon the Opposition, rather than just simply
being critical and obstructionist as he calls it, to exhibit some vision and I say back to him, without any
hesitation or embarrassment, that in relation to the environmental legislation, the municipal reform service
exchange legislation, the workers’ compensation legislation and, may I say, perhaps most particularly, the
casino legislation, that is, in fact, what the Opposition and all Opposition members have brought to the floor
of this House, some vision.



How is it possible that a 41 seat majority government can introduce legislation in this place which,
if it passes, will have the effect of having this province move into legalized casino gambling when every study
done by members of this Legislature, of which the Minister of Finance is aware, have mitigated against that
and recommended against it? How can we be accused of having a lack of vision when we know that all those
studies say it is wrong for the Province of Nova Scotia to move in that direction?



The Minister of Finance, the sponsor of that bill, rises in his place and when asked and asked
frequently, to show us the studies, Mr. Minister of Finance, on which you base your conclusion and your
government’s conclusion and your government’s conclusion that the establishment of casino gaming in this
province is good for the Province of Nova Scotia and he sneers and scoffs at us. If he has such studies he
certainly doesn’t deign to share them with me or with any other member of the Legislature or, more
importantly, with any Nova Scotia taxpayer. Because our vision, I suggest to this honourable member who
introduces this resolution this afternoon, our vision is clearer on that issue than is that of the Minister of
Finance and the Premier and all members of this government.



[6:15 p.m.]



We happen to believe, on the basis of the studies and information available to us, that the right and
clear vision for the Province of Nova Scotia relative to legalized casino gaming is that at this stage in the
history of the Province of Nova Scotia, the clear and right vision is to see that it is not the thing to be doing
at this point. That may change. I suggest without any embarrassment or hesitation in response to this
honourable member, that our vision is a clearer and sounder one than is his government’s in relation to that
issue.



He says that the role of the Opposition is not to oppose but to look out for the people. Well, I say
again, the very issues which this Opposition caucus and I include the Third Party Opposition caucus as well,
the Opposition members of this House have been as diligent and as aggressive and as forceful as we possibly
can be with limited research capacity, overmatched in terms of numbers of members, overmatched by the
resources available to the ministers in terms of research. We, I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, and not the
government, we the Opposition members are those who are attempting to look out for the people of Nova
Scotia.



How can this member bring in this resolution suggesting that we are being obstructionist and just
getting in the way when all we have is an unending litany of absolute gross incompetence, absolute foolishness
on the part of this government, particularly in the area of the expenditure of hundreds and hundreds of
thousands of dollars of the taxpayers’ money, and when we put the tape measure to it, undoubtedly some many
millions.



These stories about announcements of untendered contracts, the stories about the ministers and the
Premier doing their best to look after their friends. It is clear that virtually every high profile, untendered
contract that we have talked about in here in the last little while has been one which has involved a friend or
a buddy or a classmate or a political ally of the Premier or the minister involved.






We asked the Minister of Health if he will give us the terms of reference and the detail on the hiring
of a person who he proposes to pay $115,000 of the taxpayers’ money annually, $0.5 million over the next five
years on a five year contract, and he hasn’t even got the courtesy - not to me but to the taxpayers of Nova
Scotia - to lay on the Table here in the Legislature the terms of reference and the honest detail about how the
selection process was done. The fix was in and the government and this minister, aided and abetted by the
Premier and his Cabinet colleagues, decided that they knew in advance who they wanted for that job, they are
making the job available to him and they are now stonewalling me and anybody else who asks any questions
about how that process was undertaken.



If this honourable member wants to call that obstructionist, then that is his right. If he wants to go
back to the people of Cole Harbour and use that example, then I give him this challenge. Invite me over to
the same meeting where he makes that speech and afford me the opportunity to make my speech to the people
of Cole Harbour in relation to that and we will see who is considered to be obstructionist.



I have learned a lot of things since having been knocked in the teeth in May of 1993, electorally. One
of the things that I have learned, and believe me I have learned it, is that accountability and openness and
transparency, the very things about which this government talked, are really what are fundamental.



The reason that we have been aggressive and the reason that we have consumed as much time as we
have in debate and efforts to seek clarification, not only of legislative initiatives but all of these other matters,
is that this government, since being here in May of 1993, notwithstanding all its rhetoric, has been the most
closed, unaccountable, inaccessible and opaque government that this province has had in a long time and
frankly, Mr. Speaker, thousands of Nova Scotians are beginning to wonder whether any comment that comes
from the government benches can be believed at all. That is why we have been aggressive. Thank you, Mr.
Speaker.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to say a few words this evening on the
resolution introduced by the member for the First Party. I have to say that I agree with almost everything that
has been said by the Leader of the Second Party. However, Mr. Speaker, I want to say at the start that maybe
I can understand something about why the member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour says what he does and feels
what he does. I can understand his frustration because what is the role of a back bench member of this Liberal
Government? Quite frankly, from what we see, it appears to be to keep the quorum in the House. Very rarely
do they have an opportunity to take part in debates, certainly not on the issues of importance that we are
facing each and every day in this House. So I can understand maybe why they are frustrated and why they
would like to get out of here.

 

 

However, I would say to the member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, who I am sure is speaking for
many members in the back benches of the Liberal Party, that maybe what he ought to do is open up his eyes
and actually look at what is going on and what has gone on.



I would ask the member if he was present today and how he voted on the resolution that was
introduced and approved unanimously in this House, that recognized the need and congratulated all of those
who have taken part in the debate during the Committee of the Whole process, Mr. Speaker, on the
environment bill, pointing out the necessary, painstaking review, which is something that now the member
is criticizing that that is going on, but he voted for it then. It was fine when he was being congratulated but
it is not fine now that he has decided that certainly not for petty, partisan reasons, he would be rising in his
place this afternoon.



I understand his frustration, no question about that, but, Mr. Speaker, we do live in a democracy, as
the resolution said this afternoon that the member would have voted for, we have a responsibility, we have
an obligation to make sure that the legislation that comes before this Chamber is the very best legislation it
can be. The fact that that environment bill was not the best that it could be is demonstrated by the fact that
we, in the Opposition, raised amendments and yes, indeed, some of those amendments were adopted.



So, Mr. Speaker, as a result of our time and energy spent in this Chamber, that bill is going to be
better when it leaves here than it was when it came in. If that is a waste of time, if that is being obstructionist,
then I am going to be obstructionist, I am going to waste time because it is my job, as an elected
representative, to make sure that those kinds of things are, in fact, done. If that is gamesmanship, well, we
have different definitions of gamesmanship.



The member was talking about the role of the Opposition, talking about democracy. It appears as if
the government members were saying, it is democratic if it fits in with our agenda. Any amendment put
forward, any recommendation that they are not automatically going to accept, to them is a waste of time. It
is a tactic. Well, we live in a democracy, we learn, if we work together when we share ideas, we can make
things better.



The member is upset about the issues and so on that we raise. But I want to tell the member, through
you, Mr. Speaker, that if we had a credible, good government, if we had a government that was, in fact,
responsive, that did listen, that did consult, that did bring forward good legislation, then the role of the
Opposition would be greatly reduced and our voices would be muted. So even if, as he suggests, we were
playing political games, it would not be to our advantage if, in fact, the government was governing in a
credible way and in accordance with those wishes of the people of the Province of Nova Scotia.



We talked about, and others have already raised, the issue of casinos. Well, let me tell you, Mr.
Speaker, you are going to hear an awful lot more about those casinos on the floor of this House, if the
government persists in proceeding with that legislation.



But I tell you, that bill would not have had the time in this House, nor the time in the Law
Amendments Committee, had the government come forward with a responsible piece of legislation and, yes,
there are, in fact, pieces in that bill that are supportable, dealing with improved, tightened regulations, but
not the casino portion, especially when the government has not even got the courage to put on the Table
reports on social and economic studies, which, according to the Minister of Finance, they do not have, but,
according to press releases that I have read or press reports from the Minister of Transportation speaking in
his riding, they do have.



Well, if they exist, Mr. Speaker, if there are some reports that we do not have, put them on the Table.
If you have something, the best defence for a government is an offence. Provide the information that mutes
our calls.



Mr. Speaker, it is not us. We would not be raising questions in this House about contracts, about the
untendered contract for over $200,000 planned to be given to friends of the government for the municipal
amalgamation. We would not be raising questions about the Berkeley contract had that not been awarded
untendered, or any of the others before or after, if the government had obeyed the fair, proper tendering
practices that they themselves say they endorse.



The member calls that gamesmanship. I call it holding the government to account. What is the job
of an Opposition Party? Mr. Speaker, one of the things that they say is that a government will be a better
government if you have a strong, aggressive Opposition. Do we want anything less? Does the member want
anything less? Is he more concerned about going home than he is about having legislation and issues that are
important to the province addressed in this Chamber? Is that what he is saying?



He has spent an awful long time talking about the environment bill. But that member should know,
and, if he doesn’t, I am sure that other members of his caucus can tell him that when the former government
tried and did privatize Nova Scotia Power, that bill was in the committee stage for well over 100 hours. Do
I hear members of the Liberal Government who were in Opposition at the time, saying that that was a waste
of time, Mr. Speaker? It is a way to get changes and even in that bill there were some changes made. It was
not killed, but it was improved. You do not have to be opposed to something in the way of legislation, the
principle of it, to still want to get some improvements to it.



As a result of amendments that were introduced from the Opposition benches, we have had
improvements in the way it deals with composting, better mandated environmental protection, strengthening
the clean air policies, clarifying property rights, et cetera. There have been a lot of issues dealt with. Was that
a waste of time? Is that being obstructionist? Are those tactics that are unbefitting the Opposition? He did not
think so when he voted in favour of the amendment, patting himself and his colleagues on the back that we,
in our caucus, introduced in this House today.



Where was he when he said we don’t do anything constructive. Where was he this afternoon on the
debate that would have seen guarantees that will provide to the disabled community that they will have access
for voting days and, Mr. Speaker, for the full election of the Speaker. Progressive ideas do come forward all
the time from the Opposition, a progressive government would open their ears and listen to some of those.
Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The time allotted for the Adjournment debate has now expired. The Adjournment
motion has been made and carried. The House will now rise to meet tomorrow at the hour of 12:00 noon.



[The House adjourned at 6:30 p.m.]






NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)



HOUSE ORDER NO. 172



By: Mr. George Archibald (Kings North)



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 Supply and Services:



(1) The list of schools approved for new construction and/or an addition in 1994;



(2) The names of architectural/design firms selected to do work on each school;



(3) The estimated cost of each project;



(4) The professional fee which each architectural/design firm will receive with respect to each
school; and



(5) The process used by the Department of Supply and Services to select the architectural/design
firm for each school.



NOTICE OF QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWERS

 

Given on December 5, 1994

 

(Pursuant to Rule 30)



QUESTION NO. 38



By: Mr. George Moody (Kings West)

 

To: Hon. Ronald Stewart (Minister of Health)



(1) I want to know, as do Mr. and Mrs. P. MacIsaac of Lunenburg, who are senior citizens who
live in Lunenburg, how does the government expect seniors to get the services we need when the services will
be in Bridgewater? This couple, as is the case with many other Nova Scotians, can no longer drive and this
means great hardship for them. We were promised no decrease in service and quality yet that is exactly what
we get. What does the government intend to do for seniors affected by this ill thought out move and obvious
bias towards the people of Bridgewater?



QUESTION NO. 39



By: Mr. Donald McInnes (Pictou West)

 

To: Hon. Guy Brown (Minister of Housing and Consumer Affairs)



(1) I want to know, as does D. Hirtle of Truro, why can’t she have her cat in a seniors
residence?



QUESTION NO. 40



By: Mr. John Leefe (Queens)

 

To: Hon. James Barkhouse (Minister of Fisheries)



(1) I want to know, as does Margaret Harton of Truro, what opportunities has the provincial
government identified for Nova Scotia fishermen with respect to exporting our fishing technology to
developing countries in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean? What action has government taken to assist
Nova Scotia fishermen in assessing such opportunities? Has the government established any programs,
especially through the Fisheries Loan Board, to assist vessel owners to sell surplus vessels to foreign fisheries?



QUESTION NO. 41



By: Mr. John Leefe (Queens)

 

To: Hon. James Barkhouse (Minister of Fisheries)



(1) I would like to know, as would Lindsay Gouthro of North Sydney, what agreements are in
place which allow foreigners to fish inside Canada’s 200-mile economic zone and what is the expiry date of
each such agreement? How many foreign vessels fished inside Canada’s 200-mile economic zone in 1994 (to
date)? What species and tonnages of fish were targeted for foreigners, what by-catch was permitted, and what
areas did the fish come from? What is the provincial government doing to convince the Government of
Canada to Canadianize the fishery fully?









QUESTION NO. 42



By: Mr. John Leefe (Queens)

 

To: Hon. James Barkhouse (Minister of Fisheries)



(1) I would like to know, as would Teddy Hape of Ecum Secum, Guysborough County, and
Wayland Allbright of Freeport, Digby County, what policies and programs does the government have in place
to promote hook and line fisheries? What technological research has government undertaken to learn how to
reduce the impact of dragging? What scientific research has government undertaken to provide a sound
understanding of the impact of dragger fishing on fish stocks and the ocean bottom? What is the government’s
position with respect to reducing the presence of draggers in the fisheries?