Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

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HALIFAX, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1994



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Second Session



12:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mr. Gerald O’Malley






MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We can commence this afternoon’s sitting at this time. I would like
to call on the honourable Premier.



The honourable Premier.



HON. JOHN SAVAGE (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, it is with a sense of sadness that I rise to
mention that Angus Brown, the younger brother of the member for Cumberland South, died early this
morning. Funeral arrangements are incomplete and I am sure that the House will join me in expressing - he
is not here - our deepest sympathy to the member and perhaps we might have a moment of silence, if that is
appropriate.



MR. SPEAKER: Very well.



[One minute of silence was observed.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I would like, if I may, with your indulgence, just simply
to make a brief remark following the very sad announcement just now made by the Premier. I did not know
Guy’s younger brother but it occurs to me that he likely was the kind of jovial and concerned and
compassionate and friendly person that we have all come to know Guy to be over our years together. It is truly
a sad loss for his family and for the extended community. It is clear that nothing that any of us say here will
likely go too far to reduce Guy’s sense of loss, but I think it is important that he knows that he and his family
are in our thoughts and in our prayers.






5613



I am not sure if the Premier quite said it this way, but I would like to suggest, if it was not intended
or if you did not get the message from the comments made by the Premier, Mr. Speaker, that you would
perhaps be prepared, in a formal way, to extend condolences, on behalf of all members of the House, to Guy
and to his family on this very sad occasion.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I too would like to join with those who have spoken earlier, on
behalf of my caucus, to extend greatest and deepest sympathies to Guy and his family. I, like others, did not
know Angus, although I do know another one of Guy’s brothers. Mr. Speaker, from what I have seen, all
members of the Brown family, that I have come across, do share the same kind of human characteristics and
qualities that we have grown to know and respect in Guy. This is indeed a very sad loss for all of us. I want
to make sure that our comments are associated with those made by the Premier and by the Leader of the
Official Opposition and assure the entire Brown family, and extended family, that they are indeed in our
thoughts and our prayers today and over the next number of days, as they come to grips with this very sad loss
in their lives. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: I, will, on behalf of all members extend condolences to the family of the honourable
Minister of Housing and Consumer Affairs.



Are there any introductions of visitors in the gallery? If not, we will commence the daily routine.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



Bill No. 138 - Entitled an Act to Authorize the Town of Antigonish to Make a Grant or Gift to
St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation. (Hon. William Gillis as a private member.)



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. 1250



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



Whereas this Liberal Government stood before the people of this province, as this sitting of the
Legislature began, appealing to Nova Scotians and the Opposition to work together with the government and
“to choose co-operation over conflict”; and



Whereas after last night’s debate on offering constructive policy alternatives, it became very clear that
this Liberal Government’s idea of cooperation is that everybody is supposed to blindly agree with everything
they say; and



Whereas backbenchers and Cabinet Ministers alike believe that the Opposition is wasting
government’s time by keeping them in the Legislature while they offer sound suggestions for change to very
major pieces of legislation;



Therefore be it resolved that this government realize that some of their ideas are not absolutely
perfect and that if they would accept some constructive policy alternatives, in the spirit of cooperation, from
the Opposition and from all Nova Scotians, their policies might start to reflect what the people of our province
are actually saying.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1251



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



Whereas Liberals constantly justify their failure to consult, harsh cutbacks and overzealousness by
proclaiming that their mission of reform justifies it all; and



Whereas Liberals’ commitment to genuine reform was put to the test yesterday, on both election of
the next Speaker by secret ballot and the simple requirement that polling places be fully accessible; and



Whereas when put to the test, Liberals failed so miserably they would not even allow a Cabinet
Minister to finish speaking on the accessibility issue;



Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotians should take notice of what the self-proclaimed Liberal
reformers of Nova Scotia really do, when they are given an opportunity to advance reforms.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Pictou West.



RESOLUTION NO. 1252



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



Whereas the cruise ship season plays a significant role in the creation of business for the Port of
Halifax; and



Whereas 1994 was one of the best cruise line seasons ever for the Port of Halifax with more than
40,000 people and 39 cruise ships visiting the Port of Halifax; and



Whereas the potential for growth is unlimited for cruise ship business at the Port of Halifax;



Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature commend Marketing Manager Cheryl
Bidgood from the Port of Halifax for the port’s dedicated efforts to secure additional cruise line traffic for the
Port of Halifax.



Mr. Speaker, I wonder if we could have waiver.



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



Is it agreed?



It appears to be agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Kings North.



RESOLUTION NO. 1253



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 Minister for Nova Scotia’s Economic Renewal Agency insists on keeping municipalities
in the dark as to the status of regional development commissions across our province; and



Whereas the minister went to Bridgewater early this fall and explained that regional economic
development funding would be available by October 1st; and



Whereas today is December 7th - I was supposed to read this yesterday (Laughter) - and municipal
units are still awaiting word as to the status of regional economic development commissions;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency advise Nova Scotians
today of the status of regional economic development commissions so that preparations toward a new form
of economic development can proceed.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.






RESOLUTION NO. 1254



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



Whereas the Finance Minister has told one and all that he will save this Liberal Government from
electoral disaster by delivering quick tax cuts to induce a happy, forgetful mood among Nova Scotians; and



Whereas the Education Minister speedily returned a House Order proving that, despite extensive
contracting-out, he strictly observes open tendering rules; and



Whereas the Natural Resources and Environment Ministers have taken great care to do their
homework, consult widely and demonstrate a non-partisan interest in fulfilling their duties;



Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal Party should consider adopting a rule that leadership
campaigns are not to begin until the incumbent has agreed to vacate the position, so the Premier need not join
the Mayor of Sydney, another Liberal ghost of leadership past, appearing occasionally in the gallery of this
House.



[12:15 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Hants East.



RESOLUTION NO. 1255



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



Whereas the Economic Renewal Agency is proceeding in the development of Regional Development
Authorities; and



Whereas the four municipal units in Hants County have requested that an independent CDA be
created for Hants County; and



Whereas the minister has agreed to this request;



Therefore be it resolved that the House congratulate the leaders of the four municipal units and the
minister for their ability to work together for the benefit of all.



Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Pictou West.



RESOLUTION NO. 1256



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



Whereas a Digby County report states that a transition house for women fleeing abusive husbands
is needed, with the closest one for southwestern Nova Scotia being in Yarmouth; and



Whereas government financial support, which has now ended, did come from the victim fine
surcharge program which is funding resulting from up to a 15 per cent surcharge on fines levied in court; and



Whereas on Tuesday of this week Premier Savage supported an initiative aimed at preventing family
violence by saying, “we must all join together and say no, this will not continue.”;



Therefore be it resolved that the Ministers of Justice and Human Resources, when allocating
additional funding from the victim fine surcharge program, give the attention required to assist abused women
in Digby County until we reach the zero tolerance level of abuse against women in Nova Scotia.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1257



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



Whereas only three months ago Jim Cowan and Jim Moir both agreed to chair the Central Regional
Health Board and the proposed QE II mega-hospital board respectively; and



Whereas the QE II hospital board has yet to meet, while the regional health boards don’t even assume
administrative responsibilities until September 1995; and



Whereas the Health Minister would, nevertheless, have people believe that Jim Cowan and Jim Moir
suddenly discovered or remembered that they can’t carry out these new responsibilities after all;



Therefore be it resolved that in the opinion of this House the Health Minister is being economical
with the truth about why people are jumping overboard before his health reform ship has even left dock.






MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



RESOLUTION NO. 1258



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



Whereas the Liberal Government’s performance regarding the tendering of business contracts and
positions in this province has sent the wrong message to the business community; and



Whereas the Liberal Government, with its policy du jour approach, is also sending the absolutely
wrong message to the very people who elected its members to office; and



Whereas if this kind of performance - Berger being the latest victim - continues, this government and
our province will lose any credibility it possibly has left;



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier take the lead and address this very serious situation in which
his government has placed the reputation of the Province of Nova Scotia.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1259



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



Whereas this government has trumpeted its massive layoffs, early retirement schemes, wage roll-backs and suspension of free collective bargaining as the one sure way to reduce the deficit; and



Whereas the Education Minister has reported that in 15 short months of Liberal style downsizing,
his department awarded consulting contracts worth $909,093.76; and



Whereas this included $31,065.90 for one consultant to fill one position, money that was spent
without any consideration of the cost of using existing staff in the Human Resources Department;



Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotian taxpayers should have the true picture and bottom line
costs of this government’s attack upon public services, including the stream of expensive contracts required
by Liberal disorganization and distrust of faithful public servants.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Hants East.






RESOLUTION NO. 1260



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



Whereas the honourable Leader of the Opposition stated in Question Period that the Department of
Health had guaranteed interviews to certain physicians who had indicated an interest in an advertised position
with that department; and



Whereas the honourable Leader of the Opposition stated that such a guarantee was contained in a
letter written by the Deputy Minister of Health to those physicians; and



Whereas when pressed to table this letter in the House, the Leader of the Opposition had to admit
that neither guarantee nor supporting letter existed;



Therefore be it resolved that the new Official Opposition should be congratulated for ensuring that
no such letter magically appeared in support of its alleged existence. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1261



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 1993 Liberal campaign pledge of jobs and a job strategy as top priorities were most
critical to those in Cape Breton and northeastern Nova Scotia continuing to suffer the highest levels of chronic
unemployment; and



Whereas after 18 months without a Liberal job strategy, despite Dingwall dollars, official
unemployment in Cape Breton and the northeastern counties remains in the 25 per cent range, just where
it was when this Liberal Government swept into office; and



Whereas the holiday season is being heralded in Cape Breton by record high social assistance with
more than 5,000 now relying on temporary assistance and hundreds more expected this month alone;



Therefore be it resolved that Liberals who are eager to proclaim that they have created many
thousands of jobs for Nova Scotians should be equally eager to accept the consequences of economic failure
by enacting the long promised, fair and equitable, single tier social assistance system and by getting on with
implementation of a promised job strategy.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1262



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



Whereas residents of Sydney, anti-violence advocates and members of city council were outraged
when the Minister of Municipal Affairs banned the rehiring of two police officers this spring; and



Whereas those two officers have now been hired back thanks to a new letter, this time from the
Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs, stating that the rehiring was possible all along; and



Whereas one council member stated that, “when the will of the people cries out . . . we as elected
representatives have to listen”;



Therefore be it resolved that the Municipal Affairs Minister and her Liberal Cabinet colleagues
should cease and desist their dictatorial, top-down approach to local services and municipal governments to
end the mistakes and misunderstandings that inevitably result from such meddling.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



That concludes the daily routine.



I wish to advise the House that the Clerk has conducted a draw for the Adjournment debate at 6:00
p.m. The winner today is the honourable member for Kings West. He has submitted a motion stating:



Therefore be it resolved that this one and one-half year old Savage Government revisit its guarantee
to Nova Scotians that, “Liberals would listen to Nova Scotians before making decisions that affect them”.



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



The time now being 12:24 p.m., the Oral Question Period today runs for one hour to 1:24 p.m.



ORDERS OF THE DAY

 

 

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



EDUC. - SITE-BASED MANAGEMENT: MODEL - CHOICE



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. I want to
know from the Minister of Education, as does Danny Graham of Judique in Inverness County, which model
of site-based management of schools the Department of Education sees as most appropriate for Nova Scotia
schools?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable Leader of the Opposition and to
Danny Graham, in fact I wrote a letter to Danny Graham answering the question. In answer to the House, it
depends very clearly on the community involved. We have eight pilots. The model each has adopted is
consistent with what their wishes are for their community and that will be our practice as we develop other
models.



MR. DONAHOE: Well, I thank the minister for that answer. He may have, in part, anticipated my
first supplementary. Could I ask the minister if it is his intention to legislate, at some point, a particular model
of site-based management, which would have effect province wide and, if so, by what means does he intend
to arrive at that model or are we going to potentially have a patchwork quilt of site-based management
schools, community by community, across the province?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I did anticipate the answer. In fact, the communities will have
much say in the exact model. We are going to give parameters to give guidance to each of the communities
so they can work within that framework. We are going to, hopefully, prescribe the kind of membership, for
example, to ensure that there is community membership, staff membership and, in terms of a high school,
even student membership. So there are going to be parameters defined, but we are not going to step into each
community and tell them exactly how to run their model of decision making.



I will give you a tiny example. Some of the pilots that are out there are setting different tasks for
themselves. One is working on a discipline policy, another is working on a strategic plan, another one, Mr.
Speaker, is working on a dress code, that they believe that is a place to start. I am going to work with them,
as is the department and the boards, to support them as they learn how to collaboratively make decisions and
work towards solutions. I cannot see how the honourable member or anybody who has faith in the
communities out there would have a question about that. (Applause)



MR. DONAHOE: I didn’t say here, Mr. Speaker, I had a question about anything except the
questions that I put to the minister. I wonder if the minister can, perhaps, clarify. There are a considerable
number of reports circulating that have reached me that the initiative to move in the area or the direction of
site-based management schools is an initiative principally motivated in an effort to save money, as far as the
Department of Education is concerned.



I wonder if the minister could comment on that, that some critics are suggesting that that is the
motivation, as opposed to a legitimate effort to improve community input into the operation of our schools?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, interesting enough, Danny Graham himself was involved in
writing the policy that, as we were getting ready for an election, would talk about more community
involvement. But I can answer that. First of all, it will not save money. Any critic who is suggesting that we
are moving in that direction does not understand it. We have basically, with the eight pilots, given an extra
amount of money to each one of them. We have dedicated some support money to each of them, outside the
basic formulas. Also, we are developing, within our staff, an expertise outside of our normal expertise to
support that.



So, in fact, any critic who would suggest that, is not paying attention to the facts. What we are trying
to do, Mr. Speaker, is we are trying to find savings in other directions to support that community involvement.
So we are trying to make savings that are away from the schools and the classrooms, so that we can support
those kinds of initiatives.



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






HEALTH: LUCY DOBBIN (EX-DEP. MIN.) - COMPENSATION



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, through you, sir, I would like to direct a question to the Minister
of Health. The Minister of Health will know that in the contract for deputy ministers, there are provisions
whereby a deputy minister can be paid up to a year’s salary if they are fired without just cause. The minister
will also know that he and his government has reached a settlement with his former deputy minister, one Lucy
Dobbin.



Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, why has the government exercised that option? Why are
taxpayers in the Province of Nova Scotia going to be paying about $100,000 if it is not an attempt by this
government to cover up yet another one of their own mistakes?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, the contract to which the honourable
gentleman opposite refers is a fairly standard contract which contains a clause regarding termination of
employment and legal advice was followed in this case.



I would defer to the honourable Minister of Human Resources for any details, or the Premier, himself,
perhaps.



[12:30 p.m.]



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, the government has admitted in the Freedom of Information request that
they had replied, that they did not raise the issue or raise any concerns about the fact that Lucy Dobbin had
been involved in business with her husband in a health care consulting business, that was never an issue when
Lucy Dobbin was hired. It was only when it became a political problem that it became a concern and she was
fired. I will direct my question then, since the Minister of Health didn’t wish to answer it, to the Premier. I
would like to ask the Premier why is it Nova Scotians are being asked to pay approximately $100,000 for a
mistake that you and the Minister of Health made?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Dobbin was given one year’s salary, this was after considerable
legal advice. It was only on the advice of the solicitors in the department that this was decided. It was after
she had gone to a lawyer and had threatened to take legal action and it was felt that the best way to deal with
this was to be up-front, there was a clause in her contract that contained one year’s salary and that was
followed on legal advice.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt that the government received legal advice. Of course, the
need to pay the one full year’s salary is in situations where the government fires somebody without just cause.
My question to the Premier is simply, is the legal advice he and his government received that they did not
have just cause for firing Mrs. Dobbin? Because the only other conclusion one could reach is that if they did
have just cause then, in fact, Mrs. Dobbin would have had to sue this government and the government
wouldn’t have been paying out $100,000. In other words, is the legal advice that you did not have just cause
for doing that which you did?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I can only repeat what I said before, that after all of the ramifications
were taken into consideration, legal advice was sought and the advice of the legal authorities was followed.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.






HEALTH - PHYSICIAN AFFAIRS ADVISOR: POSITION - INTERVIEWS



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. I am quoting from
Hansard, the minister said, there were about 12 expressions of interest for the position of Advisor on Physician
Affairs. Of those 12 there were three or four that had their curriculum vitaes, et cetera, that were submitted
and a number of them were interviewed. I was wondering if the Minister could tell us how many of those
applicants were interviewed and who did the interviews?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned yesterday, many of the applicants were
contacted by telephone by the deputy and the people on the committee and I am relying on the file in that
regard.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know if things in government have changed radically of late
but if one is hiring a secretary at $20,000 a year, it is normal to have an interview. Surely to goodness when
you are hiring somebody for a position that is going to pay $115,000, you do a little more than conduct an
interview over the telephone. Would the minister confirm that the only person interviewed for the job was Dr.
Dan Reid?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, no I cannot confirm that. I might remind the honourable gentleman
opposite that in this regard, there were highly specialized requirements that we had. There were requirements
in terms of clinicians, in terms of the number of years of practice, in terms of experience and in terms of
agreement with the reform process that we had to have in this particular job. I rest on that. The best candidate
we could come up with has been hired.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would the minister please, at the earliest possible date within the next
couple of days, table in this House the criteria for that position? Would he also table in this House the number
of persons who were interviewed for this job in person and secondly, who did the interviews?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, I have researched this as best I can in terms of the
files. I had, myself, solicited interest from the medical community in various forms. I had spoken to people
who had been on some of our committees and the expressions of interest were very specific. Most of them
were unwilling to consider a full-time position. Those were criteria, criteria that I have outlined in Hansard.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



COMMUN. SERV.: TRANSITION HOUSE PROGRAMS - SUPPORT



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Community Services, on December 6th, the
Premier, the Minister of Human Resources and the Minister of Community Services participated in the
National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, and this event coincided with the
anniversary of the massacre at the École Polytechnique. During the discussion following there was verbal
support by all ministers of the transition house program. My question to the minister, is this minister totally
supportive of the transition house program in the province?



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, yes, this did come up in that particular news conference where
several positive announcements were made on initiatives for violence against women and families in general.
A simple answer to the question is obviously, yes. I think we have demonstrated that by honouring our
commitment to the enhancement of salaries, which I might say thousands of dollars were funded into
transition home programs. More specifically, I would say, just to broaden on the question a bit, I certainly see
the programs so that both the Naomi group in Antigonish and other areas that don’t actually have transition
homes will have facilities, that I see this as an all-encompassing program that we are certainly looking at
other areas of the province to extend that and to support those programs that are in place as well.



DR. HAMM: The minister made reference of expanding this kind of program. I am sure the minister
is aware of a report, a 22 page report by the Digby-based Citizens Against Spousal Abuse recommending a
temporary shelter to allow in Digby, 24 hour accommodations before a transfer to the established transition
house a number of miles away in Yarmouth. This group through this report are requesting some partial
funding by the government. My question to the minister, would the minister be prepared to provide support
in the form of partial funding for this temporary shelter in Digby?



DR. SMITH: Yes, Mr. Speaker, that has been highlighted in the media. On hearing that in the media
I immediately requested a review of any applications before our department and as of now there are no
requests before our Department of Community Services. However, not to wait and act more proactively, I have
been discussing this with other members that may be able to add support and also with the MLA from the
Digby community who has made representations on behalf of this particular group. This has received funding
in the past and certainly will be looked upon and in concert with other members. So, not only the Department
of Community Services, I think we really have to have initiatives from other departments and we have a
commitment to look at that. I would be looking forward to a formal request from that particular group to our
department.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



NSRL - BOARD RESIGNATIONS:

 

MR. R. MACKAY (CHAIRMAN) - INVOLVEMENT



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier and it has to do with Nova
Scotia Resources Limited and I am in possession of a copy of what I believe to be the latest issue of a
publication entitled the DOIG Report and if a Page might be kind enough to pass a copy of that to the Premier.
This report indicates that, “Last fall the new provincial Liberal government fired NSRL’s previous board
members and this spring nominated seven new board members. But already two of these board members have
resigned.”. It is rumoured in the DOIG Report that, “. . . at the centre of the resignations was interference
from NSRL’s chairman who happens to be an ex-employee of Petro-Canada; is now on contract with Petro-Canada for advice on Atlantic Canadian matters; and who maintains the largest office in Petro-Canada’s
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia complex.”.



I wonder if the Premier might indicate whether or not, to his knowledge, the person referred to there
is Mr. Bob Mackay, who is this government’s appointment as chairman?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I have just been handed this. I would say, it certainly looks like, I can’t
give you absolute, but it certainly looks like Mr. Mackay, yes.



MR. DONAHOE: The document which I have just handed to the Premier goes on to say, Mr.
Speaker, by way of supplementary, “It’s amazing that a provincial government would choose this person for
a supposedly part-time position that was never advertised.”. That does not amaze any Nova Scotians. “This
is not a normal business association considering the inter-relationships of the energy business on the east
coast. It is as though the provincial government, showing its benevolence, has handed Petro-Canada another
7% interest on the Scotian Shelf, free-of-charge.”.



My supplementary is, if the Premier makes inquiries and determines that the person to whom
reference is made here is Robert Mackay and that Robert Mackay, whom this Premier appointed as Chair of
NSRL, does indeed have those connections and linkages with PetroCanada, will the Premier give the
undertaking to this House that he will immediately remove Bob Mackay as Chair of NSRL?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I find some of these comments irresponsible. I find they are misplaced
and I would certainly not put any credence in most of them. I am seeing them for the first time. This is a
slanted, one-sided view of NSRL, of the board, and all I can say is that I would not undertake to do anything
like that until we had a much more balanced view than this particular piece of paper implies.



MR. DONAHOE: Well, I would be curious if the Premier could offer an explanation to me, by way
of final supplementary, and, more to the point, to Nova Scotians, how it is that he can stand there and respond
as he has, saying these words are a slanted view? I would like him to offer to us the explanation that he has
that indicates or that would cause me or any Nova Scotian to believe that there is another view. On what
understanding of what is going on at NSRL that is in the Premier’s head does he base his conclusion that the
remarks which are made in this report are, in any way, slanted?



THE PREMIER: First of all, Mr. Speaker, I would venture to say that very few people who are put
on a board like this do not have some contact or association with an oil company. That, after all, is why they
are chosen. So that is what I mean by being slanted. I think I am being drawn into a departmental issue in
which I am not, obviously, well briefed. Obviously, when the minister is away, I answer the question. I will
speak to the minister when he gets back and refer this to him.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



JUSTICE: JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS - VISIBLE MINORITIES



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of
Justice. The Justice Minister will be well aware that we have 27 provincial judges in this province, not one
of them representative of a visible minority group. The Marshall Inquiry stressed the importance of ensuring
that our judiciary include representation from visible minorities. The terms of reference of the provincial
Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee explicitly stresses the responsibility to address the non-representation of visible minorities on the provincial bench. Yet, the most recent announcement of two more
provincial judgeships once again failed to appoint a visible minority to the provincial judiciary.



My question to the Minister of Justice is simply this, why did the Cabinet choose not to appoint the
eminently qualified black Nova Scotian applicant that was reviewed and recommended to the Cabinet for
consideration in the most recent round of provincial judgeship appointments?






HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, we have an independent system with a judicial committee
that recommends judicial appointments, both to the Family Court and the Provincial Court. I think there is
some misapprehension on the honourable member’s part. We, in fact, accepted the recommendation of the
judicial committee and we appointed the persons they recommended. When the honourable member suggests
that a distinguished visible minority person, although they were recommended were not appointed is incorrect,
it is not true.



[12:45 p.m.]



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, is the Minister of Justice indicating that in this case and in all
instances, the Executive Council accepts the number one and if there are two appointments, number one and
number two recommendations that are submitted by the provincial Judicial Appointments Advisory
Committee and is it not true that there was a black Nova Scotian among the names recommended to the
Executive Council for serious consideration?



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, to answer the last question first, there was not a visible minority person
recommended to the Executive Council by that independent committee. But I also would add, to show that
this is done impartially, if the Cabinet does not accept the first recommendation of that committee they must
explain, in writing, to the independent committee which I might add includes two visible minority persons,
why the Cabinet did not accept the recommendations of that independent body.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I think the question I would like to ask is the question that a lot
of Nova Scotians are asking and that is whether there is going to be any leadership from this government and
I think one has to include in that the Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee in finally addressing the
total absence . . .



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable minister says he cannot hear the question, could you repeat it
please, perhaps louder?



MS. MCDONOUGH: Well, my question is whether this government is going to show some
leadership, and I would include in that the Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee, in finally redressing
the fact that there is not a single visible minority among the provincial judges in this province and I would
like to ask the Minister of Justice whether it has any priority with this government, given that disgraceful
situation, given the recommendations of the Marshall Inquiry and given the fact that explicitly in the terms
of reference of the provincial judicial advisory body, there is a special responsibility made explicit to ensure
that we have some visible minority representation on our provincial bench?



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, so there is no misunderstanding, there is a visible minority person on the
Family Court bench, not that that is particularly much to brag about but there happens to be and that is under
my jurisdiction as well as the Provincial Court. I think all honourable members should be aware of the present
guidelines so that there is no misunderstanding to help guide that committee and these were adopted several
years ago and re-adopted or reconfirmed by the present government, in part, on demographics.



“The provincial judiciary should be reasonably representative of the population it serves. This
requires overcoming the serious under-representation of women and minorities. It is also essential for the
provincial judiciary to reflect the bilingual nature of the Province. The Committee will recommend the
appointment of a well qualified person from an under-represented group if no one else is clearly better
qualified.”. I think that is a statement in moving in the right direction.



More than that, as Minister of Justice, with the support of my colleagues, I have been making
proposals to the committee to further strengthen that to give minorities a better chance than is indicated there
and I think there is a reasonable chance there. More than that too, so the honourable member would
understand, at the urging of the Premier and a number of my colleagues, some of my Cabinet colleagues and
myself, including the women in Cabinet and a visible minority person in Cabinet, have already requested a
meeting with the chair of the committee and several of the others involved on the committee to discuss these
very matters of gender representation and visible minorities so that we can do a better job, given the pool of
people. In fact, I want to be optimistic about this because probably 20 years ago there were very few women
in law school compared to today, and visible minorities, but give this a little time, we will get the people with
qualifications that will do the proper job and we will have the better balance for gender and visible minorities
in this province. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



ERA - ULTRAMAR OIL REFINERY: EXPROPRIATION - CONSIDERATION



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, through you to the honourable Minister for the
Economic Renewal Agency, I would like to ask him a question with your permission. My question to the
minister is regarding the Ultramar oil refinery in Eastern Passage that is capable of producing about 22,000
gallons a day and employing over 100 Nova Scotians. We all know that Ultramar has been indicating they
are willing to sell the refinery but not the tank farm nor the loading dock and, without the accessibility of
loading or storage, the refinery is not a very valuable item and, as such, they have not found a purchaser as
yet.



In order to enable a purchaser, and there are a few people interested in buying, would the minister
consider expropriating the facility, in order that, as the minister of the government and the Crown, in order
that the facility could be sold in total and the 100 jobs there could be protected for the future, my question is,
will the minister entertain the thought of expropriating the Ultramar refinery?



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question and the suggestion, too. I had not
thought of expropriation. I will certainly speak to my staff who are working on this file.  It sounds to me like
a pretty dramatic effort, but I am as disappointed as anybody in how Ultramar has behaved in this. I don’t
believe Ultramar has made every effort to sell the refinery and I think this may be a suggestion that is worth
looking at.



I certainly can’t promise this Legislature we are going to rush off and expropriate but let me tell the
honourable member that I will ask my staff about this matter.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Thank you very much, I appreciate the answer. I know the minister will look
into this matter as quickly as possible because those 100 people working over there - the union members and
the employees - are doing everything they can to try to ensure their jobs continue. So I do appreciate the
answer that the minister gave and I look forward to hearing more from him on an expropriation shortly.






MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH - NURSES (RNs-CNAs): PRACTICE - REPORT



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. The Minister of
Health will remember that the Certified Nursing Assistants Association and the Registered Nurses Association
were asked by this minister to identify a scope of practice for the profession, I think he remembers that. These
two groups had asked, I think, a personal care worker representative to participate, I believe. They went
through the process and, at the end, were handed a report called Continuing Community of Care. I am sure
he is familiar with that. This was prepared by another group. I would ask the minister why he would ask the
RNs and CNAs to do a report that was already being done by another group?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, the effort that I requested particularly from the CNA
group and the Registered Nurses Association, RNANS, was to look into the possibility of some joint
credentialling and some joint programs in terms of legislation that might come forward. That was the specific
request in that regard.



There were some other issues that came into discussion with those groups separately and the report
to which the honourable gentleman refers was from a separate group. That, of course, is included in some of
the discussions apart from the original request I had, which was for the CNA and the RNANS to discuss
common issues that might be contained in credentialling legislation.



MR. MOODY: I thank the minister for the explanation. I wonder, then, if the minister could tell us
whether there will be legislation coming next spring on the credentials for CNAs, who have been lobbying
very hard, that would affect them as well as RNs, I guess, whether he would be able, by spring, to bring forth
the kind of legislation that I know the CNAs have been lobbying very hard for?



DR. STEWART: Again, Mr. Speaker, I would certainly hope that some common ground and, in fact,
legislation could be made available, or at least constructed, by that timeframe. However, I am doubtful, in
terms of what is coming in the spring budget and so on, that it would be realistic to say it would be this spring
and guarantee it. However, certainly we are working toward doing it as soon as we possibly can. As the
honourable gentleman opposite suggests, certainly the CNAs have been at this for some time.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I will try to narrow it down because I appreciate that in the spring there
may not be a lot of legislation. I guess I would ask the minister then, would he kindly give us a guarantee that
we would see something introduced in the House in 1995 and if the RNs and CNAs cannot come together with
a package, that at least the CNAs could go forward with their legislation because the RNs already have theirs?
I think it is important not to let this group keep hanging out there forever.



DR. STEWART: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I agree with the honourable gentleman opposite that we must
proceed on this. It has been a while and I understand from the previous administration, they had been working
hard on this as well.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.






HEALTH - PHYSICIAN AFFAIRS ADVISOR:

 

POSITION - INTERVIEWS



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. I wonder if the
Minister of Health will tell me why it is that he refuses to tell this House how many applicants for the job -
which has been given to Dr. Dan Reid - were interviewed? Why does he refuse to tell this House how many
other applicants were interviewed?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I am not refusing to tell anything to this House. I have,
again, emphasized that I have been reconstructing the events from a group, from my previous deputy and the
work that was done in that regard and I have tried to be accurate. I have avoided making absolute guarantees
and statements which I cannot back up.



AN HON. MEMBER: Let them make light of it. The people of Nova Scotia . . .



MR. DONAHOE: Yes, they can make light of it all they want. It occurs to me, Mr. Speaker, that the
answer to the question which I seek requires one question to be put by this minister to his former deputy and
that question is, Ms. Dobbin, please tell me how many candidates for this job were interviewed? I would
expect that Ms. Dobbin would then give him, the minister, an answer and that is a 30 second conversation
and that would then put the minister in a position to come to this House and give us that answer.



I ask the minister, has this minister asked Lucy Dobbin, or any other person connected with the
interview process, the question as to how many other candidates, other than Dan Reid, were interviewed? Has
he asked that question?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I am dealing with the file as it currently is. I am not involving people
who are no longer with the department. I will take the responsibility and not foist it off on anyone else.



MR. DONAHOE: Yesterday we were advised by this minister that they interviewed approximately
two. I am not really sure what . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: Give or take one or two.



MR. DONAHOE: . . . approximately two interviews is. I just simply do not believe, and I do not
believe thoughtful Nova Scotians believe for a minute, that it is not possible for this Minister of Health to
determine the answer to that question. I ask him again, will he table in this House tomorrow, a statement in
writing indicating the number of applicants and the number of those applicants who were interviewed for this
job?



MR. SPEAKER: I believe that question has been asked already. Has it?



DR. STEWART: It reiterates what I have been saying. I have tried to be accurate and put it on the
record. I have tried in every way to research carefully what is current in the file and the people who were
dealing with the issue at that time. I have placed it on the record and I trust that that would satisfy the
honourable gentleman opposite.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.






FIN.: PUBLIC SERVICE SUPERANNUATION PLAN -

 

VALLEY REG. HEALTH (MR. P. MOSHER)



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Finance, who is responsible
for the Public Service Superannuation Plan. The minister will know that back in June, the then Chief
Executive Officer of the Valley Regional Health Association, Mr. Peter Mosher, took advantage of the
government’s early retirement package. But before people had a chance to wish him a happy retirement, we
found out that Mr. Mosher was, in fact, back in his position as Chief Executive Officer for that association,
being paid with his pension and a top up from the association.



I guess my first question, off the bat, is this what was intended, to use the superannuation fund and
that the contributors are paying for someone to supposedly retire and then come back and fill their former
duties?



[1:00 p.m.]



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable member, I am not familiar with
Mr. Mosher or that particular circumstance. But if the honourable member will share that information with
me, I will certainly take the question on notice.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I have an article here from The Advertiser, Tuesday, November 29,
1994, and I would be happy, when I am through here, to send a copy over to the minister to bring this to his
attention. But the issue here and my understanding is that in Kings County alone there are a few other
instances of senior civil servants taking advantage of the early retirement program and coming back to work
in positions that they were formerly in. My question, again, I guess, to the minister in terms of a policy issue,
is this the intention of the early retirement program, that is to provide for early retirement for some senior
civil servants so that they can come back and fill their former duties and receive a top up?



MR. BOUDREAU: Well, Mr. Speaker, it is rather difficult with oblique references to certain civil
servants. I don’t know exactly what the information the honourable member is referring to. If he is referring
to individuals involved in the health field, perhaps he might direct his final supplementary to the Minister
of Health.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I thought I was much more clear in my first supplementary to the
Minister of Finance when he suggested that he couldn’t answer the question because he doesn’t know of the
specific incident that I referred. So what I am asking is for a policy clarification here. Is it, in fact, the practice
of the government that the early retirement program that the minister is responsible for is going to be used
to provide opportunities for senior civil servants to take advantage of the package and then come up and
perform their former duties with a top up? It has been called, in the past, I think, an enriched pension plan.



MR. BOUDREAU: If the honourable member wants a general statement, the purpose of the early
retirement plan is to have people retire early from the Civil Service and to have most of those positions not
in-filled. So that we can reduce the size of the Civil Service. Now, if the honourable member has an individual
who he wants to question me about and he will give me the details on that individual, I would be more than
happy to discuss it with him.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



HEALTH - PHYSICIAN AFFAIRS ADVISOR:

 

DR. DAN REID - SALARY



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. I wonder if the
Minister of Health can confirm that he has now had access to the contract of employment with Dr. Reid in
the position of Advisor on Physician Affairs and that, in fact, Dr. Reid is to be paid $115,000 per annum. Is
that correct?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Yes, that was the figure to which the Leader of the Opposition refers
was agreed in the contract, the contract has not been sent back to my department yet; I am waiting for it.
However, that figure was mentioned in advertisement, yes.



MR. DONAHOE: By way of supplementary, I wonder if the honourable minister might be able to
tell me even if he hasn’t perhaps yet gotten it back from Human Resources, if he could tell me what is the
amount that is intended to be paid in contractual obligation terms to Mary Jane Hampton, the Health Reform
Commissioner?



DR. STEWART: Again, that is under discussion at the moment as I understand it. I would stand to
be corrected by the honourable Minister of Human Resources but I believe that is just to be finalized.



MR. DONAHOE: Well, there must be a pretty sizeable petty cash box, I guess, in the Department
of Health. I can’t believe what I am hearing.



I wonder if I could ask the Minister of Health if he could offer me an answer to this question; it is
my understanding that the Deputy Minister of Health, Mr. Armand Pinard, who is one of the most highly
regarded public officials in this province, in my experience, and certainly highly enough considered by this
Premier and this government to have recently moved to become this minister’s deputy, which is a significant
expression of confidence in him, how is it that he, Mr. Pinard, as deputy, with overall and total responsibility
for a health care budget of about $1.4 billion, is paid less than $100,000 and yet Dr. Dan Reid, the classmate
and friend of the minister, who is going to be Advisor on Physician Affairs, to do the things set out in this
agreement and this advertisement, is to be paid $115,000?



Can the minister explain why the work that Dr. Reid will be doing is worth at least $20,000 more
than the work being done by the man who is deputy and responsible for the total $1.4 billion health care
budget?



DR. STEWART: Again, Mr. Speaker, as I think the Minister of Finance referred to yesterday, most
of my senior people earn more than a Cabinet Minister earns, so the differences in remuneration are evident
in whatever profession one is in. The remuneration, the salary scale offered the Advisor on Physican Affairs
was in keeping with previous medical consultations that we had to compete, as I understand.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH - CANCER TREATMENT CENTRE: ONCOLOGISTS - NUMBERS



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question, too, is for the Minister of Health. I think the
Minister of Health will agree when I say that the early detection and treatment of cancer is very important.
I would ask the minister if he knows that in this province it is recommended that we have nine radiation
oncologists on staff and I would ask the minister if he could tell me how many radiation oncologists are
presently working at the Cancer Treatment Centre?



HON. RONALD STEWART: I can’t give that exact figure today, but that is one of the specialty areas
in which we are significantly lower than recommended and we are recruiting actively at the moment for
radiation oncologists.



MR. MOODY: I thank the honourable minister. Yes, it is nine that is recommended. I can tell the
minister, so he won’t have to look it up, there are three working presently. I know the lists are growing larger
and they are getting calls daily and when people are told, or it is discovered, that they have cancer, they know
the treatment they get early is so important.



The problem in recruiting is the policy this government has had toward physicians. I would ask the
minister if he could tell us what he is going to do to attract some radiation oncologists quickly to this province,
before it becomes a greater problem than it already is, because it is a problem today?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable gentleman opposite for this question
because it hits on a very important issue, and that is recruitment and retention of professionals. There has
never been a policy or a program within the Ministry of Health or as a responsibility of the Minister of Health,
to do just that, to recruit and retain physician specialists. Over six months ago, we began discussions with the
Medical Society and with other groups to put into effect a program that would, in fact, recruit and retain
specialists and other professionals that we need in this province. That was the first effort ever made on behalf
of the Ministry of Health or the Minister of Health to do that.



I might say that it is extremely important, but we have to work with our colleagues in the Medical
Society and we have to work with other professional groups in the province. I look forward to that program
coming forward very soon.



MR. MOODY: My final supplementary is to the Minister of Health. I am pleased that he wants to
work with the Medical Society because that is the problem. I am asking the minister why it is he is not
working through the joint management committee that has been set up to work with the Medical Society and
he has hired Dan Reid to circumvent the joint medical committee that was set up to solve the problems, to
work out the problems of recruiting, so that the people of this province can get the kind of specialized care
they need today and not have the delay that this minister is causing?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, this is reprehensible in the extreme for the honourable gentleman
opposite to cast fear and aspersion on the fact that we have specialists in this province that are dedicated, that
are coming into this province and are being recruited as I speak.



The fact is that there was never an initiative in the Department of Health to go out and recruit and
retain specialists or any other kind of physician in this province. We have begun that and we will take that
forward and that is the truth, Mr. Speaker, and we will, indeed, produce results, which I am sure the
honourable gentleman opposite would stand on his feet and congratulate once we got started on this.
(Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



FIN. - BOARDS: WAGE ROLL-BACK - APPLICATIONS



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. Earlier this year,
we passed legislation in this House respecting compensation in the public sector. Section 5 of the Act that we
passed states that employees of agencies, boards and commissions will be subject to the 3 per cent roll-back,
or can be exempted, providing the government deems that that particular section or specific group be
exempted.



I was wondering if the minister could explain why this 3 per cent cut was not made straight across
the board? Why would some boards and commissions and agencies be exempted?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, let me address one in particular. In those areas where
commercial operations were involved, for example, Sydney Steel, for reasons which have been discussed
previously in the House, that was not extended. I don’t have a full answer to that, but I will certainly get any
additional information the honourable member wishes.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, the Community Services Appeal Boards, the members on those boards,
they do not meet, specifically, for very long periods of time and they get approximately $30 per meeting. They
have been hit with the 3 per cent roll-back.



I was wondering if the minister could advise me if the Electricity Regulation Review Panel, which
gets paid approximately $600 a day is faced with a 3 per cent roll-back?



MR. BOUDREAU: With respect to that particular group, that did not exist, I think, when the
legislation was passed. Those rates were negotiated subsequently, but I will direct that question, specifically,
to the board responsible for administration of the Act and return a reply to the honourable member.

 

 

MR. RUSSELL: Because here we have two boards. We have one board where they are paid
something like $30 a day, which is probably something close to minimum wage, and another board which is
paid $600 a day, which comes to some staggering figure of like $3,000 a week, $150,000 a year, and it has
not been cut-back because the minister says it was put in place after the legislation came in place.



But, however, my understanding of the legislation, Mr. Speaker, (Interruption) Well, yes, George
Unsworth would not be cut back. He is a member of that board.



MR. SPEAKER: Please, let’s not be mentioning private individuals in this House.



MR. RUSSELL: But what I am saying to the minister, the Act as I understand it, the piece of
legislation says that anybody coming into the employ of the government that is paid from the public purse
will, indeed, have their salary rolled back at the rate of 3 per cent, under the legislation that was passed.



Would the minister agree that he will take a look at this situation and advise the House what he
intends to do about it?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I think in my last answer, I indicated to the honourable member
that I would refer the matter to the board and bring back a reply as to how this particular board was going to
be treated. I did not say they were exempt. I said they came into existence after the legislation and I would
refer the matter and get the answer for the honourable member from the board.



The other off-handed suggestion, I think, is somewhat beneath the normal level of questioning of this
honourable member.



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



HUMAN RES.: LUCY DOBBIN

 

(EX. DEP. MIN. [HEALTH]) - COMPENSATION



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question, through you, sir, to the Minister
of Human Resources. We had it confirmed earlier this afternoon by the Premier that the government has
exercised the option and is providing Mrs. Dobbin, the former deputy minister, with a full year’s salary. in
other words, exercising the clause which permits the government to fire somebody without just cause. My
question to the Minister of Human Resources is simply this, was the legal advice that she and her department
received, that the government could not win a just cause dismissal case?



[1:15 p.m.]



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, at the time of termination there was discussion with legal
advisors on the contract and the termination of the person that he indicates and we followed the legal advice
of the legal advisors.



MR. SPEAKER: I would caution the House that Beauchesne requires that oral questions should not
ask a legal opinion or require an answer involving a legal opinion. Those are the direct words of Beauchesne.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I can assure you I am not asking the minister for a legal opinion, quite
to the contrary.



MR. SPEAKER: Questions shall not require an answer involving a legal opinion, that is what
Beauchesne says.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, after being helpful to me in the way I phrase my question, is it the
government’s opinion based on all of the advice that it has received that it could not have won a case against
wrongful dismissal? Is that the reason why the government made the decision to pay approximately $100,000
of taxpayer’s money?



MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, the decision was made following opinion from our legal advisors.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, will the minister table in this House the opinions that she received that
provided her to make the decision or, in fact, I might even ask if the minister has read and understands the
advice she has received?



MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, the answer is no.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.






FISH. - SEAL HARVEST: GOV’T. (CAN.) - SUPPORT



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries of Nova Scotia and, I believe, several
other provincial Ministers of Fisheries have supported the initiation of a seal cull for the seal herd, various
species of seal off the East Coast of Canada. I wonder if the minister could advise what support he and his
colleague ministers have received from Mr. Tobin with respect to a seal cull?



HON. JAMES BARKHOUSE: Mr. Speaker, certainly the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Mr.
Tobin, has given tentative support to a seal harvest and he does not talk about a cull but a managed seal
harvest, utilizing the full carcass and a lot of research is to be done yet. I think there will be a forum held in
the near future with the industry and with the various Departments of Fisheries to do a further in-depth study
on the seal harvest.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, the minister is right, there is a distinction between a cull and a harvest
and his term is the appropriate term. My second question to the minister is to ask him what scientific evidence
he employed in order to bring him to the conclusion that Nova Scotia should support a seal harvest?



MR. BARKHOUSE: Mr. Speaker, that is a very good question. The recent report of the Fisheries
Resource Council of Canada, which recently held a news conference in Halifax tabling their recommendations
to the federal minister, that was the findings of the FRCC and that conclusion was reached after many
meetings with fishermen throughout Atlantic Canada in the last year and in previous years. It has been well
documented from other research initiatives by the federal government as well and those conclusions were
reached by the FRCC.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my final supplementary, we would understand and the minister
understands full well that there is always the potential of market dislocations as the result of protest against
the initiation of a seal harvest by Canada. I wonder if the minister could advise if he has available to him and
could make available to the House any information with respect to surveys that have been done which forecast
any potential, negative impact for Nova Scotia fish products in the international market place should a seal
harvest be initiated?



MR. BARKHOUSE: Mr. Speaker, the question is very good. That is why the federal minister has
called for a forum to be held so that more input can be brought to the fore by the international wildlife
organizations and many other groups. There is still that aspect to be discussed with the industry and with
other interested parties; industry is certainly in support of it but there are other components of our society that
do want to take part and the federal minister has called for a forum on this particular issue.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



FIN. - WAGE ROLL-BACK: CONTRACTS - APPLICATION



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: My question is for the Minister of Finance. I would like to ask the
Minister of Finance if contracts signed at the present time or since the passage through this House of the
Public Sector Compensation Act, are those contracts which are made for a certain amount, say for argument’s
sake, $50,000 a year, are those contracts then rolled back 3 per cent like for instance, Dr. Reid’s contract? It
is signed as a contract at $115,000 per annum, is Dr. Reid’s salary reduced by 3 per cent from that contract
figure?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, well, I think as the honourable member knows that
particular contract would not come before me either as Minister of Finance or Chairman of the Priorities and
Planning Committee, however, as a general measure salary levels, wherever they might be, are reduced. If
somebody comes into position subsequent to the passage of that bill in the normal Civil Service position and
assume that position at the given salary range, that salary will be reduced by 3 per cent.



MR. RUSSELL: That was a very nice response I got but it didn’t answer my question. I am not
talking about somebody coming into the Civil Service and taking over an established position, I am talking
about the government going out and bypassing the normal hiring practices, hiring somebody under a contract
and that contract is time-specific, maybe it is 5 years maybe it is 25 years, but it is for a certain amount for
the first year. During that first term of the contract, is the stated amount in the contract rolled back by 3 per
cent?



MR. BOUDREAU: Well, Mr. Speaker, that is why I avoided the question specifically on the
particular contract. I don’t know what was contained in the contract, I don’t know how it was worded, how
it was addressed. It may be that a figure has taken into account the reduction already. I can give the
honourable member the general principle, which I have attempted to do.



MR. SPEAKER: Is there a short snapper? We have half a minute left.



MR. RUSSELL: All I am asking for is what is the policy? This gentleman is the Chairman of the
Priorities and Planning Committee, surely to goodness he is the person who makes the rules for the rest of
the ministers with regard to contracts. What are the rules?



MR. BOUDREAU: The rules as the honourable member refers to them are not policy, they are law.
We passed the legislation and that is that employees have their salaries reduced by 3 per cent.



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



The honourable Minister of Justice.



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday last, the member for Pictou West asked me if
a study on spousal homicides had been completed. I just wanted to report back to that honourable member and
to all honourable members that last month a draft of the report was submitted and currently the draft is being
reviewed by a committee involving the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Transition
Houses of Nova Scotia, the Departments of Community Services and Justice, and maybe some other groups
and it is hoped that the report will be completed soon and it will eventually be available hopefully not too far
in the future.



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



MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce to you and through you to
all members of the House, former Cape Breton County Councillor and long-standing resident of Reserve
Mines, in Cape Breton County, Mr. Cotter Oliver. I would ask Mr. Oliver if he would stand and receive the
warm welcome of the House. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.



MR. ALLISTER SURETTE: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and that the
House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Bills.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



[1:26 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gerald O’Malley
in the Chair.]



[6:00 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Paul MacEwan,
resumed the Chair.]



MR. SPEAKER: We have now reached the hour of adjournment. The motion this evening has been
presented by the honourable member for Kings West. The subject for debate is:



Therefore be it resolved that this one and one-half year old Savage Government revisit its guarantee
to Nova Scotians that, “Liberals would listen to Nova Scotians before making decisions that affect them”.



ADJOURNMENT



MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



GOV’T. (N.S.) - LISTEN: GUARANTEE - REVISIT



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise tonight and this issue tonight,
be it resolved that after one and one-half years of this government, that it revisit its guarantee to Nova
Scotians that Liberals would listen to Nova Scotians before they make decisions that would affect them.



I go back through some of the ads that the Liberals ran to get elected. It said, open doors, open minds.
Can you remember when government asked for your opinion and actually took your advice? It has been too
long, let’s move on. John Savage will bring new people, new ideas. A Liberal Government will listen and
respond. We both have the same goal - jobs. Let’s move on together. Let’s make sure that the general public
have an opportunity to have input.



Another ad, throughout the campaign, I have committed that Liberals would listen to Nova Scotians
before making decisions that affect them. It goes on to say, vote for me and I will make sure that happens. Mr.
Speaker, I could go on and on about ads. But I think, as we come here in the Legislature, and I know that the
days are getting long and we all say that we should go home or we have been here long enough.



Mr. Speaker, I want to say that this government promised that we would sit two sittings a year, which
they have kept that promise. I have been thinking about how many promises they have kept, and that was
about the only one I could remember. But they sure kept that and I think I can remember that because I came
here in the spring and in the fall.



They talked about accountability and it, “. . . should not be left to the discretion of the government
of the day, but should entrench the public interest in legislation.”. I think that is what we have been doing,
entrenching public interest in legislation. They go on to say that, “Nova Scotians cannot afford to have
important public issues lost in a welter of concentrated government activity, punctuated by long periods
without real, public accountability.”.



I think, Mr. Speaker - and you have been a member of this Legislature for a long time - you and all
members, especially members like yourself that have come here a long time, agree that accountability for any
government starts in the Legislature. I think that is where the general public believes that the accountability
takes place. So, we come here to debate. We have seen, in this session, some very important pieces of
legislation that I think every member of this Legislature has some interest in, probably, also, has some opinion
on. Others, I know, have more opinions than others and I understand that.



In looking through the commitment by this Liberal Party, they said we are, “. . . committed to
delivering an annual State of the Province address between legislative sessions.”. We sat last fall and then the
new session began in the spring. Well, I don’t remember any State of the Province Address and I don’t
remember - it says, also, “At the time of the State of the Province Address, Liberal Cabinet ministers and
MLAs will hold Town Hall meetings simultaneously throughout Nova Scotia. Each meeting will be for the
purpose of reporting on . . .”, what we are doing as government, “. . . and accounting for the record of the
government.”.



Now, I have not been to any of those or heard of any of those meetings, but I know they are going
to take place because this government said it was going to take place. So I am looking forward, although as
I read this, Mr. Speaker, you would appreciate this, they said, between legislative sessions and I guess that
is between the fall and the spring. But, somehow, we get into one session that runs over from spring to fall
and sometimes there is a very little timeframe between actual sessions. So I am not sure how that commitment
is going to work.



I want to say, too, Mr. Speaker, that accountability is pretty important; no question, the public
scrutiny. It does not matter if you represent government or are in Opposition, I think you understand. That’s
why we have democracy. In democracy there is a time for accountability. Some people might say that
accountability is every four to five years, when you go to the polls and somebody decides whether or not you
get re-elected or whether you have done a good job for your constituents or whether you have not. So there
is some accountability for you, as an MLA.



But then again, you are also affected by - if you are a government member, which I was during the
last election - the performance of government because you are held partly accountable for the government you
represent.



But you know, Mr. Speaker, what I find difficult to understand, and I think the best example of
accountability in this government is one on casinos. If you look at Sydney and you know that the majority in
Sydney said no, the people in Sydney said no, the City of Sydney said no, but this government is putting a
casino in Sydney.



I read Arnie Patterson’s comments in the Daily News on Sunday but I don’t have it with me. He was
dead on when he said - and Arnie Patterson is not a friend of our caucus. I followed his writings, I am sure
you have, Mr. Speaker. He made a lot of sense in that article when he said to the government and to John
Savage, Mr. Premier, will you please listen to what is being said by the general public about casinos?






Somebody said to me, well, we are not getting a flood of calls so it must be all right to go ahead with
casinos. Well, do you think before the election we were getting a flood of calls telling us we were going to be
booted out? Of course we didn’t. Do you think we got a flood of calls because we did things wrong and people
wanted it changed? No, you can’t judge all the issues by the number of calls you get because a lot of times
people call you on certain issues because they have a particular interest in that particular issue. Many times
it is very small groups or pockets that end up calling you, as an MLA, about an issue.



I think if you really want to know what is happening, you listen and watch what is in the news, you
watch what the public are saying and you get a sense. A good example of that was when this government put
through Sunday shopping. I know that I said when we tried it, as a government, the majority of Nova Scotians
did not want Sunday shopping. Now this government put it in and, in fairness to this government, they went
back and said, let’s find out what the people want to say. Now that was after they had tried it.



What they found out after they tried it was that the consensus was that the majority of people didn’t
want Sunday shopping. My problem with casinos is; Sunday shopping was easy to close the books, it didn’t
cost anybody anything. The casino issue, once you build them and once we get tied into contracts with these
foreign companies, what is it going to cost us to close the books? Here is an issue where we should be very
sure before we make a decision.



I know that most members of the government know about the recent poll, where this government and
Nova Scotia received the lowest performance assessment of any government in Canada, lower than Ralph
Klein, lower than the Tory Government in Manitoba, lower than the NDP Government in Ontario, lower than
the NDP Government in Saskatchewan. You have to ask yourself, why did we get the lowest performance of
all the governments in Canada?



If I was a Liberal and I was in government, I would have to analyze that because I will tell you, you
may or may not believe in polls but let me tell you, the reason you have the lowest, I may not know all the
reasons but one of the reasons I hear in the streets is that this government is not listening; they are not
available and they are not listening.



Now that may not be, you have to go into it a little further, and I am sure you have people in the Party
who can. But I will tell you right now, if I was a member of the government that had the lowest performance
rating in all of Canada, when I hear this government say, Bob Rae won’t get re-elected, if his performance
is rated higher than this government’s, what do you think your chances are?



You say, oh, we will turn it around. I am telling you, when you have a great big ship out in the
middle of the ocean, it is not that easy to turn around, it is not that easy to change the attitude.



So my advice to this government is, if you want to receive a better performance assessment by the
people of this province, then you have to change your attitude. Some of the things you are doing, I agree with.
But what I hear in the street, it isn’t all what you are doing, it is the attitude and that you are not taking the
time to really hear what is being said. Thank you.






MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin.



MR. GERALD FOGARTY: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to respond to
some of the comments made by the honourable member for Kings West in his resolution that Liberals
promised they would listen to Nova Scotians before making decisions that affect them. I am happy to say that
I think, for the most part, what I heard from the member for Kings West was we listened on the subject of
Sunday shopping because we brought it in as an experiment. We said it was exactly that, an experiment at
about this time last year leading up to Christmas and the end of the year. We listened when Nova Scotians
told us that they did not want Sunday shopping on a permanent basis. This government has said, fine, we
won’t give you Sunday shopping on a permanent basis. It was an experiment, it is over and done with. Did
we listen? I think we listened.



The member for Hants West also alluded to the casinos.



AN HON. MEMBER: Kings West.



MR. FOGARTY: Kings West, I am sorry. I should know that because we got to know each other very
early in my term, shortly after this government came to power because we both served on the gambling
committee that held public hearings throughout the Province of Nova Scotia. Of course, casinos was one of
the major issues, but not the only one.



Now I want to say that I would be less than candid if I said to this House and to Nova Scotians that
I don’t have concerns about this business initiative, the government moving into the casino gambling business;
I do have some concerns. I want to say that the recommendation brought in by the Community Services
Committee, which I chaired, was that the government at this time should not move into the casino gambling
business.



The number one reason - and the member for Kings West knows this because he served on the
committee - was that at this time this province is in a sordid mess vis-à-vis the regulations not only that would
oversee any form of casino gambling but with all forms of gambling in this province. We found, when we
conducted those public hearings around Nova Scotia, that it is an embarrassing situation this province is in
with its lack of regulations and rules that pertain to all forms of gambling, with the result the committee
recommended we have a gaming authority.



We are going to have two bodies that will oversee the operation of the casinos in Halifax and in
Sydney. We will have a corporation which will look after the business end of the operation. We will have a
commission that will ensure that the regulations and rules are properly enforced and there will be very, very
stiff fines that will be meted out to those who don’t follow those regulations.



So, again I want to reiterate, I am not totally comfortable with the casino initiative and this new
business that this government, of which I am a member, is going to embark upon. But I can live with it
because of the very strong rules and regulations in Bill No. 120. I think the Minister of Finance who is also
the Minister responsible for the Lottery Act, has brought in some very tough regulations that must be adhered
to.



What did that committee also recommend vis-à-vis other forms of gambling? Nova Scotians told that
committee they did not - I repeat not - want video lottery terminals returned to corner stores, laundromats and
bowling alleys. We heard, in no uncertain terms, that Nova Scotians wanted video lottery terminals kept in
licensed liquor establishments where young people could be refused entrance. That was the main concern that
Nova Scotians had, video lottery terminals should not be returned to corner stores, laundromats and bowling
alleys. That was the recommendation the committee made and that is exactly what the government followed.



The recommendation was also forwarded by the committee to government on bingo, charitable and
commercial bingos that operate in this province. We found out in that area too, there is much to be desired;
a lot of tightening up has to be done on these regulations. This government is going to proceed in that
direction and do that. I mentioned the gaming authority, which was the number one recommendation of that
committee to government, and that, too, is going to be done.



The Minister of Municipal Affairs held meetings will all 66 municipal units in this province before
embarking upon her legislation to bring about the reform of this province that Nova Scotians have been
demanding for years and years and that is we have too much duplication. We have too much overlap of
services, we need a single-tier welfare system, that is what the Minister of Municipal Affairs was told by Nova
Scotians when she met with all 66 municipal units and that is exactly how she is proceeding with this
municipal reform bill. If that is not listening to Nova Scotians, Mr. Speaker, I don’t know what better example
I could provide.



[6:15 p.m.]



The Minister of the Environment, one of his main concerns shortly after this government came to
office was the fact that Nova Scotia had something like 18 Statutes and 40 sets of regulations that acted as
some sort of, I was going to say an Act but of course, it wasn’t an Act at all because we didn’t have an
environment Act in this province. The Minister of the Environment, one of his first priorities was to put
together a new Environment Act and it has been brought before this House of Assembly and has been debated
and we saw earlier today after third reading in Committee of the Whole House and it will become law very
early in the new year. This is a very badly needed initiative that Nova Scotia is finally going to come to the
level of other provinces in the area of the environment.



Nova Scotians also told the Minister of the Environment, here in metro, in particular, they were not
comfortable and they could not agree on the subject of an incinerator to handle the disposal of waste in metro.
The Burnside incinerator and it was a very controversial and contentious issue for many years and those who
have served at the municipal level of government in metro here they know that better than I but they also
know that no decision can ever be made on this incinerator, this waste-to-energy incinerator. Some were for
it, some said we must burn some of our waste, others said that it would be a mistake. The environmentalists
and the ecologists here in metro felt that they weren’t being listened to. But when this new Minister of the
Environment bit the bullet and came in with his ruling that the Burnside incinerator issue be put aside, that
it not go ahead, it was too expensive and then again, Nova Scotians didn’t want it.



Mr. Speaker, I want to touch on a few more issues as to how this government indeed has listened and
listened intently to Nova Scotians. We have had in this province the Minister of Justice has brought in what
is called the Maintenance Enforcement Act but what it is, is very tough child support legislation. Nova
Scotians have told the government of this province for years that something had to be done about parents,
primarily fathers, who default on the child support payment, not entirely fathers, but primarily we heard in
the Law Amendments Committee just a couple of days ago, a percentage something like 98 per cent of those
who default on payments are the fathers.



Nova Scotians told us, do something about that. I had calls from my constituents who felt it was an
extremely important issue, do something about it. Those Nova Scotians who bring children into the world,
they have a responsibility to maintain the support and provide for support of those children.



Workers’ compensation is an issue over which I had many calls from my constituents in the first six
months of this government’s administration. The Minister of Labour also refused to do what the previous
administration had done for how many years, probably in the entire 15 years of their administration and that
was to throw it on the back shelf, there would be another report as to how there had to be a revision of the
laws that govern workers’ compensation, the board and the appeal board but they preferred to shove it to the
back of the shelf or to sweep it under the rug.



The Minister of Labour wanted to bring fairness to the 1,800 Nova Scotians who had not had their
appeal cases dealt with and I heard from many of them, we all do, all 52 members of this House of Assembly,
I am sure, hear from their constituents, those who are affected by the lack of fairness in this system and that
is what the Minister of Labour has embarked upon and he has brought in a new workers’ compensation bill.



If I have time I want to mention one other example if I may of how the Minister of Natural Resources
listened to the people of Nova Scotia when he was told - I know very little about hunting, I am not a
woodsman, Mr. Speaker, and I know nothing about . . .



MR. SPEAKER: You’re heading into overtime.



MR. FOGARTY: I am running into overtime, I have a few seconds left. (Laughter) But I do think
that it has to be brought to the attention of this House and Nova Scotians, the Minister of Natural Resources
listened to Nova Scotians who said they did not want a spring bear hunt. When the minister made his
decision, that is exactly how he stated it. Nova Scotians told the Minister of Natural Resources they didn’t
want a spring bear hunt, we are not going to have one, Mr. Speaker. There are many other instances of how
this government has listened to Nova Scotians, those are but a few. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Well, I see we have evidence right here in the Chamber this afternoon, Mr.
Speaker, that this government is not listening. The member who just spoke did not listen to you when you told
him his time was up. (Laughter) He did not take a seat for some seconds after that. However, it is always a
great pleasure to listen to him in the stentorian tones of that wonderful voice that we used to hear over the
airwaves and the tones that now those of us who are his colleagues in the Legislature are able to hear from
time to time when he gets up and speaks in the House.



I won’t detain the committee long and certainly probably not 10 minutes. I thought I might take an
opportunity to respond to the resolution that was brought forward by my colleague, the member for Kings
West this evening.






I was thinking of education. This is a government which, when it was in Opposition, said that it was
going to put tremendous emphasis on education. Education was something that we couldn’t afford not to
afford. Yet, what do we find? We find that the Department of Education, schools, school boards, students
across this province are facing the very same kind of across the board cuts, as other departments in
government.



Those cuts will, invariably, have an impact on the classroom. It may take a little more time than one
might at first have anticipated, but mark my words, sir, by the end of the four year period when the full cut
is in place, we are going to see some rather significant and negative impact in the classrooms of Nova Scotia.
That is going to be compounded by the then impact of the now very popular early retirement program for
teachers. I venture to say that that is an impact that although not measured now by the public it will be
measured by the public when that time comes.



Another aspect of education which was promised by this government those many months ago, now,
when they were seeking the approbation of the people of Nova Scotia was the need to employ our community
college system to put in place an apprenticeship program. Yet, here 18 months later, we see no evidence of
such a program being put in place. I think that that is not only most unfortunate with respect to the credibility
of the government but I think it is also very unfortunate with respect to the young men and women who are
involving themselves in our technical colleges and in our community colleges, who very much need that kind
of practical, on the job educational experience. That is an area that we certainly would be pleased to support
the government in doing. However, like most Nova Scotians, we continue to be disappointed as we wait for
government to take action in that area.



We have before the House a bill with respect to municipal reform. Yet, I say, sir, in looking through
that bill, which one might call the dog and cat bill, because there is as much in it about controlling dogs
throughout Nova Scotia as there is in municipal reform, that we will find that while there may be some change
resulting from that bill, the change will not necessarily be measured with respect to reform.



One of the great disservices of the way in which this government is approaching municipal exchange
and the rearrangement of who pays for what, arises out of the fact that it is not being equally applied across
the province. That inequity, I think, is going to stand this government in very ill stead when it goes out to the
people again seeking their support at the polls, whenever that time should come.



I don’t think that there has been any better example, or perhaps any worse example, might be a more
appropriate way to express it, than the - not the reluctance but the entire failure - abject failure of this
government to deal face to face and head to head with the people of Nova Scotia respecting the
implementation of casino gaming in Nova Scotia.



I was one of those who was probably, I would say, somewhat ambivalent with respect to casino
gaming when the concept was first brought forward, excepting that I understood clearly that there were many
of my constituents who were greatly disturbed by the concept, and knowing that that strong sense was with
my constituents, I felt I had an obligation to support them.



But as we have gone on and learned more about what it is the government intends to do, and as we
have learned that the government has not undertaken the studies, has not listened to Nova Scotians, I have
become convinced that my constituents were absolutely correct, and I am so pleased that I followed their good
advice in the position that I have taken with respect to casino gambling. The government has not listened at
all with respect to that.



Last year the government went through an abortive effort to begin Sunday shopping here in Nova
Scotia; again, without consulting the people but, finally, they did listen to the people in retrospect and that,
I suspect, is probably why we don’t have Sunday shopping this year.



So many communities around Nova Scotia are concerned about the future of health in their
communities and their health care institutions, yet we have a Minister of Health who has refused to go
anywhere in Nova Scotia to meet with Nova Scotians. He wants to do everything either through his office
across the street in the Joseph Howe Building or here in the Chamber or via television, by interview out in
the foyer.



People have tried to meet with the minister; he has refused to listen to them. This government has
refused to listen to them, the people of Nova Scotia, with respect to health reform and they will pay the price,
not the people, but the government. Unfortunately, the people may be hit with the ricochet, but they will heal,
the government will not.



We have a government which promised jobs. We have had a turnaround in the economy. The
turnaround has been substantial; so substantial, in fact, that the Minister of Finance tells us know that he may
be $100 million ahead with respect to the revenues that are coming in. (Applause)



I hear the applause in the Chamber and I know that that applause is for those other provinces which,
through transfer payments, have made that $100 million, or much of it, flow into the Minister of Finance’s
coffers. We should applaud the other provinces in Canada which are doing better than Nova Scotia and, which
as a result of Confederation, are prepared to share their wealth with us. But if we were doing so well in Nova
Scotia, why would it be that the unemployment rate in Cape Breton, in fact, has gone up and not gone down?
I think it is an interesting question and one which behooves a government, which promised jobs, to answer.



We have heard the government talk - and I think I saw something in their campaign literature - about
legislative reform and, yet, we have not seen significant reform in this Chamber and I hope, indeed, that we
will. Reform does not consist of a majority of two-thirds from the government side ramming through what
they want to see happen, and curtailing the opportunities for the Opposition to question government in a
legitimate manner. Reform consists of all legislators sitting down and, by consensus, finding ways to do the
people’s business better in this Chamber.



One of the areas that I hope we will see reform engendered in this place is through the election of
the Speaker by secret ballot, whenever you should decide, sir, that you are prepared to step down and that is
a decision which is yours to take and I do not suggest for a moment that by encouraging the election of the
Speaker that I am, in any way, intending to hasten your departure from the Chair.



I think it is high time we had the Party Whips off on a lot of our legislation, so that Party members,
in fact, are not obliged to vote with the Party line. Time and time again we have heard the Government House
Leader say that, for his caucus, every vote is a free vote, every member of his caucus has the right to make up
their own mind. But one did and we saw what happened to him. He is now sitting somewhere in no man’s
land, somewhere in limbo. That hardly strikes me as being reform.



Just before I finish, sir, I want to touch on the final remarks of the member for Halifax Bedford
Basin, who seems to think the current Minister of the Environment invented environmental reform. I can tell
him that while the current minister did, indeed, bring the bill into the House, that was a process which began
a few years ago and I had the pleasure and the honour to be part of that process. I think we should remember
that no single person deserves all of the credit for the good things that Legislatures deal with. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time allotted for the Adjournment debate has expired. The House
will now revert into a Committee of the Whole House on Bills.



[6:30 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gerald O’Malley
in the Chair.]



[7:52 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gerald O’Malley
in the Chair.]



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



THE CLERK: That the committee has met and considered the following bill:



Bill No. 115 - Environment Act.



and the chairman has been instructed to recommend this bill to the favourable consideration of the House,
with certain amendments.



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



The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.



MR. ALLISTER SURETTE: Mr. Speaker, would you please revert to the order of business,
Presenting Reports of Committees.



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.



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



Bill No. 120 - Gaming Control Act.



Bill No. 124 - Maintenance Enforcement Act.



Bill No. 128 - Farm Registration Act.



and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain
amendments.



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



The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.



MR. ALLISTER SURETTE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the members of the House that
tomorrow we will sit between the hours of 8:00 a.m. until to 4:00 p.m. The order of business following the
daily routine will be Committee of the Whole House on Bills and Bill No. 114.



I move that we adjourn until 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion for adjournment has been made and carried.



The House will now rise to sit again tomorrow at the hour of 8:00 a.m.



[The House rose at 7:54 p.m.]



NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)



HOUSE ORDER NO. 173



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Halifax Citadel)



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 Health and the position of Advisor on Physician Services:



(1) Names, addresses and resumes of each applicant;



(2) Date on which each application was received by the department;



(3) Terms of reference for the job;



(4) Names of individuals interviewed by telephone, date of telephone interview and names of
departmental staff/ministers who participated in the telephone interview;



(5) Names of individuals interviewed in person, date of interview and names of departmental
staff/ministers who participated in the personal interview;



(6) All correspondence between each applicant and the Department of Health in relation to this
position, including details of follow-up phone calls and/or letters; and



(7) Names of individuals involved in the departmental selection committee.



NOTICE OF QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWERS

 

Given on December 7, 1994

 

(Pursuant to Rule 30)



QUESTION NO. 43



By: Mr. Brooke Taylor (Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)

 

To: Hon. Donald Downe (Minister of Natural Resources)



(1) I want to know, as does Mr. D. Ward of Halifax, about the depletion of Nova Scotia forest
land. Mr. Ward is concerned about companies such as Stora and Scott Paper Ltd. and the work being done
by these companies in Nova Scotia’s forests. Mr. Ward wants to know if the minister will stop these companies
from doing any additional work in our forests because Mr. Ward believes these companies will be gone in the
near future when their money runs out and our forests are depleted?



QUESTION NO. 44



By: Mr. Brooke Taylor (Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)

 

To: Hon. Donald Downe (Minister of Natural Resources)



(1) I want to know, as does Mr. R. Crossman of Amherst, that if gas prices remain at their
current level and government cutbacks continue, if government will assist residents with lower taxes. Mr.
Crossman wants to know why prices cannot be lowered considering the fact that the price for a barrel of crude
oil is nearly as low as it was before the energy crisis in the early 1970’s?



QUESTION NO. 45



By: Mr. George Archibald (Kings North)

 

To: Hon. Ross Bragg (Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency)



(1) I want to know, as does Tina Turple of Halifax County, what action the provincial
government is taking in response to the federal government’s plan to cut unemployment insurance benefits
for seasonal workers over the next five years? A great number of people living on the Eastern Shore are
seasonal workers, many of whom work for the provincial government. I will appreciate receiving, as would
Ms. Turple, any communications between the province and the federal government with regard to the impact
of the social security reform proposals on seasonal jobs and the overall maintenance of the seasonal work
force.



QUESTION NO. 46



By: Mr. George Archibald (Kings North)

 

To: Hon. Ross Bragg (Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency)



(1) I want to know, as does Bradford Oickle of Blockhouse, Nova Scotia, how the Liberal
Government can justify giving $800,000 to Sears for 300 part time jobs when the President of Sears said that
they would have probably created the jobs without the hand-out. We have health and education that is being
eroded while our tax dollars are being wasted on things such as this.