Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017



























HALIFAX, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1994



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Second Session



12:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mr. Gerald O’Malley






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



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I wish to table a petition from approximately 850 residents of
Pictou County who are expressing their concern over the possibility of losing the service of the Pictou County
transit system. I have signed the petition for the purpose of tabling.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



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



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, today it gives me great pleasure to table the Annual Report for
the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation.















5841

 

Mr. Speaker, the Film Development Corporation, this year, tells us the film industry in Nova Scotia
was worth in excess of $40 million. (Applause) This year it created in excess of 640 full-time job equivalents
in the industry and that our film investment credit program that we initiated last year will be used to the extent
of about $2 million, showing that tax incentives for businesses to come and locate and do business in Nova
Scotia work. We are pleased to report that. I would also like to end on the note that one of the next steps will
be to create a sound stage for the film industry in Nova Scotia and there are several proposals being actively
pursued. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



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



RESOLUTION NO. 1353



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



Whereas Jost Vineyards is a Nova Scotia company producing award-winning wines from its
Malagash winery from grapes grown on the Northumberland Strait and in the Annapolis Valley; and



Whereas Jost Vineyards is recognized for its quality wine and production techniques, local ownership
and local employment; and



Whereas Jost Vineyards most recently captured six international awards, one silver and two bronze
at the International Eastern Wine Competition in New York, and two silver and one bronze at the Atlanta
International Wine Summit Competition;



Therefore be it resolved that Jost Vineyards deserves our hearty congratulations and continued best
wishes for success.



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



NOTICES OF MOTION



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



RESOLUTION NO. 1354



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



Whereas the man who was the heart and soul of the crusade to keep Canso’s fish plant open in 1990
is being hung out to dry by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans; and



Whereas Pat Fougere is able to generate only $600 a month from unemployment insurance, insurance
that runs out in January; and



Whereas the current Mayor of Canso, former Mayor of Canso and now the member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury, as well as the Member of Parliament for Cape Breton Highlands-Canso, have all pledged
their support to Mr. Fougere in writing to assist Mr. Fougere in getting some assistance from the federal
government through The Atlantic Groundfish Strategy assistance program;



Therefore be it resolved that the member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury and Nova Scotia’s
Minister of Fisheries immediately talk with the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to see what can be
done to assist Pat Fougere from financial ruin.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1355



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 the Thorburn area are speaking out in large numbers, expressing concerns about
the environmental impact of the open pit coal mine proposed by John Chisholm for their area; and



Whereas Thorburn residents are requesting that the mine be subject to a full environmental
assessment; and



Whereas the Environment Minister has ordered a full assessment of open pit mines proposed for both
Stellarton and Springhill;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the Environment Minister to order a full environmental
assessment, including public hearings, of the open pit coal mine proposed for Thorburn, and urges further that
all such mines be subject to full public assessment.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Queens



RESOLUTION NO. 1356



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



Whereas Sir Arnold Savage, the Speaker of the House of Commons in 1401, demanded of the King
that the Commons be given plenty of time in which to consider the matters referred to them; and



Whereas the Treasury benches seem determined to press the House to approve complicated and far-reaching legislation with undue haste; and



Whereas the Premier’s namesake would be shocked and appalled by the determination of the
government to drive legislation through the House irrespective of due consideration;



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier learn from his exulted namesake and understand that unlike
Santa, all his gifts to Nova Scotians don’t have to be delivered overnight.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin.



RESOLUTION NO. 1357



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



Whereas the Maritime Selection Committee for the Rhodes Scholarship has chosen Mr. Audri
Mukhopadhyay, a student at Dalhousie University, as a Rhodes Scholar; and



Whereas Mr. Mukhopadhyay has exhibited excellence in the field of economics at Dalhousie and
intends to study economics at Oxford University, specializing in either labour or macro-economic issues; and



Whereas university educators and students throughout the province consistently exhibit a high
standard of excellence;



Therefore be it resolved that this House offer congratulations to Mr. Mukhopadhyay and Dalhousie
University for receiving the honour of a 1995 Rhodes Scholarship.



Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice of this motion.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1358



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



Whereas ITT Sheraton has been involved in the North American, Las Vegas style gambling industry
for exactly 13 months, since it bought the Desert Inn in November 1993; and



Whereas until yesterday, Sheraton’s only self-initiated North American casino was in Mississippi,
where independent analysts predict bankruptcy for many casino operators; and



Whereas it is more than ironic that this government selected an operator who has less experience in
the casino gambling business than these Liberals have experience in governing;



Therefore be it resolved that the lotteries minister should immediately table all of the independent
reports, assessments and verifications that led him and his colleagues to select ITT Sheraton on the basis of
promises to virtually double the amount that is gambled each year in this province.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1359



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



Whereas if Nova Scotians were asked to name this province’s golden age, very few would identify
the period from 1970 to 1978; and



Whereas those few are all in the present Cabinet, resurrecting the old Regan team for a last desperate
attempt to get Nova Scotians to swallow Tory policies with a Liberal label; and



Whereas at this point, any government that could get re-elected under any circumstances must look
pretty good to these lonely Liberals;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the government to seek the spirit and guidance of
Mackenzie King and Angus L. Macdonald, as a more cost-effective way to duplicate former Liberal success.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1360



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



Whereas Nova Scotians can credit the Liberal Party campaign and transition teams as the architects
of this government’s approach to power, advising on Cabinet selection, key staff and senior management; and






Whereas Bob MacKay and Heather Robertson are richly rewarded Liberal team members, with Mr.
MacKay swiftly seated as Chairman of the Board of Nova Scotia Resources Ltd., Ms. Robertson now
Chairman of the Police Commission and on the Nova Scotia Resources Board; and



Whereas Bob MacKay and Heather Robertson appear poised to take charge of their own monstrous
creation, with well-paid posts in the Premier’s Office;



Therefore be it resolved that it is only just and fitting that key Liberal Party transition team members
step forward to the front-lines now, when the fruits of that transition are so abundant.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



Is there any other business to come before the House under the heading of 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. this evening. The winner today is the honourable member for Kings North who submits a resolution
reading:



Therefore be it resolved that this government has betrayed the people of Nova Scotia when it
completely ignored all of the studies which questioned the desirability of the establishment of casino
gambling.



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



The time now being 12:14 p.m., the Oral Question Period today will run for one hour, that is until
1:14 p.m.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



PREMIER - OFFICE: DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF [N. BENNET] - TERMINATION



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. I wonder if the Premier
will confirm for us whether or not he has or is about to terminate the employment of Neale Bennet as his
Director of Communications and Deputy Chief of Staff? I understand that he retained the services of Mr.
Bennet back in the spring; he has been in the Premier’s employ for about eight or nine months. Has he in fact
terminated the employment of Mr. Bennet?



HON. JOHN SAVAGE (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I am making an announcement about personnel
changes in my office at 1:30 p.m.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I find it strange that the Premier would decide that a press conference
outside the House would be the appropriate forum for making such announcements. The announcements affect
the members of this House and all taxpayers and the tradition, I think, has been that matters of this kind are
more appropriately disclosed here.



That being the case, when the Premier makes his announcement, will he be indicating that he is
firing Mr. Bennet for just cause?



[12:15 p.m.]



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I would suggest to the Leader of the Opposition that Question Period
will be over and he will have his opportunity to come and listen to what I am going to say.



MR. DONAHOE: Perhaps the Premier might be able to answer this question, preparatory to the press
conference which he has conveniently decided to hold after Question Period is over, so as to avoid the
opportunity for us to have more immediate access to the Premier and put some questions to him, which is,
again, typical of his approach.



Might I ask the Premier whether the Mr. Bennet to whom we refer was on contract with the Province
of Nova Scotia and, if so, would the Premier tell us now, as I think he can, prior to any later press conference,
what the terms of the contract with Mr. Bennet are with respect to termination of that contract?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, these are personnel matters. They are, therefore, the subject of a
release that I will be doing at 1:30 p.m. and it will all be revealed then.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



FIN. - CASINOS: OPERATIONAL HOURS - PRINCIPLES ABANDONED



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier and it concerns the issue
of the principles governing the gambling approvals that have now been so enthusiastically announced by his
Minister of Finance and his government.



Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign, the Liberal Party gave comfort to Nova Scotians by
outlining a number of important principles that they felt should be observed in relation to any gambling
activity that they would be responsible for regulating. One of the things that they made very clear is that there
should, in fact, be restricted hours of gambling activity because, of course, the greater availability, the greater
potential for addiction, the greater potential for havoc in both family life and community life.



Mr. Speaker, it was, therefore, a shock to many Nova Scotians yesterday to hear the announcement
that the ITT Sheraton intends to operate its casinos 16 hours a day from Sunday through Thursday, and 24
hours a day on Friday and Saturday.



My question to the honourable Premier is, why did this government decide to abandon the important
principles that were outlined by his Party with respect to discouraging addictive behaviour and the destructive
results of such addictive behaviour?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, as has been my practice in this, I am going to refer this to the Minister
of Finance.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the question of hours of operation are covered by
regulation and will be covered by regulation when those regulations come forward and are passed. We have
given the undertaking, as a government, that we will make regulations public, prior to them being passed by
the Executive Council and give the public an opportunity to comment on those public regulations.



If the honourable member will look carefully at the agreement which we made available yesterday,
the Memorandum of Agreement between ourselves and the parties, ITT Sheraton and their local partner, it
contains a very specific provision and I am going to read that provision to the honourable member:



“The parties acknowledge that the proposed Gaming Control Act and Regulations
are subject to the full legislative and public consultative process and may be subject to
amendment.”.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I thought we had moved forward today in Question Period rather
than backwards, from the statements yesterday by the Chairman of the Nova Scotia Casino Project Committee
and the Minister of Finance’s statement. Because, clearly, in the report of the Nova Scotia Casino Project
Committee, it is stated by the chairman that the gambling casinos will be operating 24 hours on Friday and
Saturday and 16 hours on Sunday through Thursday, although it makes the further point that the Sheraton
would prefer to run the operations 24 hours on Sundays.



My question to the Minister of Finance remains the same question that I put to the Premier, will this
government assure the people of Nova Scotia that the casinos will not be permitted to operate 24 hours a day,
on Saturdays and Sundays, and as many as 16 hours a day on the other five days that the casinos are open?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, we will give the same assurance to Nova Scotians that we have
always given them, that is, quite frankly, that the regulations will be made public, prior to their passage.
Comment will be sought and at that point, decisions will be taken by the Cabinet.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, it seems quite clear that the government has backtracked from
the commitment on restricted hours. I wonder if the minister could address the question of whether the
government has also backtracked from the clearly stated policy outlined to the electorate in May 1993, that
winners should get coupons instead of cash, to remove the instant gratification for addicts. The coupons would
be mailed to the Atlantic Lottery Corporation. Can the minister indicate whether the government has also
backtracked from that stated policy outlined to Nova Scotians that gave them comfort in this government’s
commitment to limit addictive behaviour?



MR. BOUDREAU: Well, it is hard to know exactly how to respond to the honourable member. She
quotes initially a position saying we are backtracking from some guarantee or whatever. Let me say again that
we have made the commitment to the public that they shall have their input and the regulations will be passed
only after that input is taken. No decisions have been made; no commitments have been made, quite the
contrary, the documentation specifically provided for that consultation, in spite of what the honourable
member would have the public believe.



If I may, part two of the question had to do with a statement made on VLTs and the payment for
VLTs in the corner stores and elsewhere. It has nothing to do with casinos.






MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg on a very brief introduction.



MRS. LILA O’CONNOR: Mr. Speaker, to you and all members of this House, I would like to
introduce in your gallery, John Robart, the former municipal councillor for the Municipality of Lunenburg,
and his father, Elmer Robart. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



LIBERAL PARTY (N.S.):

 

TRANSITION TEAM (PRE-ELECTION) - PAYMENT



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. My question concerns the
transition team put in place at the time when the present government took over from the previous government.
The Premier indicated in a previous Question Period that a rather considerable sum of money was paid to that
transition team. I was wondering if the Premier could indicate whether or not the transition team members
were paid for the period he said they were in place, about three months prior to the actual assumption of power
by the present government? In other words, the transition team was in place for approximately three months
before the election occurred and they were working at that time on a transition plan, as I understand it. Would
the Premier confirm or deny that they were paid for that period, in advance of the election as well as after the
election?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the transition team was, in fact, there for some five months previous.
The actual question of how much money has been paid, I don’t have the details here but I can get them for
you. I can tell you there are still some ongoing discussions about legitimate expenses that some people on that
team will have had.



MR. RUSSELL: I thank the Premier for that response. However, what I am looking for, Mr. Speaker,
from the Premier is a commitment that he will table the costs for the transition team, prior to the election, and
the costs post-election. Will he do that?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I have already indicated, I think, in the previous statement, that we
will table those but there are still some discussions ongoing, some of which relate to the period when it was
the Liberal Party.



MR. RUSSELL: I take it from what the Premier is saying that a portion of the cost of that transition
team was paid for by the Liberal Party and a portion of the cost was paid by the taxpayers of this province.



When he tables that report, would he confirm that it will show what portion was paid in each of those
two respective periods by the government, through the Liberal Party, and the portion that was paid by the
government as a taxpayer expense?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will certainly table in this House what the expense of the people of
Nova Scotia is; the question of how much the Liberal Party puts into this is, indeed, none of his business.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.






FIN. - CASINOS: REVENUES - STUDY



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Finance. Yesterday,
when he held his press conference relative to the casino announcement, the Minister of Finance announced
that some 27 per cent to 28 per cent of the revenues expected to be generated by these casinos will be
generated from gamblers from outside of Nova Scotia, and I wonder if the Minister of Finance would clarify
for me, in this House, just whose study and estimate reached that conclusion that the minister was quoting
yesterday?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the proponent in this case submitted that estimate as
part of his proposal. But all of the assumptions and projections of each of the proponents was critically
examined, not only by the Casino Project Committee and its staff, both economic development specialists and
so on, but, in fact, also the Casino Project Committee retained outside assistance to do an analysis of
projections to see whether or not assumptions could be reasonably made.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I wonder then, in light of that answer, if the Minister of Finance
would commit to this House today that he would table both the proponent’s analysis leading to their conclusion
that some 27 per cent to 28 per cent of the revenues would be generated by visitors from outside of Nova
Scotia and, as well, the analysis made by Mr. Lichter and his committee in order to assess the veracity or
accuracy of the proponent’s estimates. Would the minister be prepared to make that commitment today that
those two reviews, at least, would be tabled here in this House?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I am sure, as I know the honourable member is well aware and
always has been, that our association with this file has been at arm’s length, so I don’t know, precisely, what
approach they took and, indeed, what was generated. But I will certainly undertake to check with the Casino
Project Committee to see if there is anything useful that I can share with the honourable member.



MR. DONAHOE: With respect, Mr. Speaker, until yesterday’s press conference, things may well
have been, to some extent - and that is a moot point - at arm’s length. But yesterday, the Minister of Finance,
the minister responsible for this scam and this whole operation (Interruptions), it is the Minister of Finance
who is saying to the people of Nova Scotia that he has been informed and, by implication, he is now
announcing as gospel to the people of Nova Scotia that 27 per cent or 28 per cent of the revenues to be
generated by these casinos are going to come from visitors to Nova Scotia, people who are coming here to visit
as tourists and spending money at these casinos. I think it is, frankly, incumbent upon him now, as Minister
of Finance . . .



MR. SPEAKER: We need a question.



MR. DONAHOE: I am coming to the question. It was not the proponent who said that publicly to
the people, it was not Mr. Lichter, it was the Minister of Finance who said that. With respect, the Minister
of Finance has now left the impression with the people of Nova Scotia that he, the Minister of Finance,
believes that those will be the numbers.



I ask the Minister of Finance if he will, immediately, make inquiry of both the proponent and the
Lichter committee to ask them to deliver to him, immediately, the analysis which they used to come to the
conclusion that it will be 27 per cent or 28 per cent . . .



MR. SPEAKER: For a supplementary, this is too long.



MR. DONAHOE: I am asking the minister if he will consult with the proponent of the Lichter
committee and request that they make those reports available to him for the purpose of tabling those reports
here in this House.



[12:30 p.m.]



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I will not take the same amount of time with my response. I have
indicated that I am going to inquire. Now one of the requirements of our expertise that we brought in from
outside the province was not to ensure that he prepared something that would be suitable for the Opposition’s
purposes but, in fact, such an analysis was done. We have been assured of that by the Casino Project
Committee, whose integrity I think goes without question. In fact, I have already given the indication that I
will inquire as to what might be available to be shared with the Opposition.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



MUN. AFFS. - HALIFAX METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

DARTMOUTH DEBT - RESPONSIBILITY



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs who is
without just now so I will (Interruption) Oh, fine, thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable minister is here.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, in 1988, the then Mayor and Council of the City of Dartmouth, signed
a multimillion dollar, 65 year lease with Maplehurst Apartments for office space at Alderney Gate. The then
mayor, and now Premier, is determined upon forced amalgamation between Halifax County, Halifax City,
Bedford and the City of Dartmouth. My question to the minister is this, is the government prepared to assume
responsibility from the City of Dartmouth ratepayers for honouring debt incurred in the event the office space
is made redundant by amalgamation?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to get that question today. It will be part and
parcel of the discussions that the coordinator, who has been appointed, will have not only with the mayors
but as well with some financial people when we look at the implications of the amalgamation, when we look
at what has been set up on a number of different municipalities with office spaces that have been put in place
by tenders of some time ago. So, in actual fact, it will be something that will be discussed with the coordinator
and how it is set up under the new amalgamated city.



MR. LEEFE: I am pleased that the minister has left the door open with respect to a definitive answer
to that question. In the event that the decision should be made that the incurred debt with respect to redundant
office space will reside with the new municipal unit, is it the view of the minister that that debt should be
spread equally among the ratepayers of the four units or is it her view that it would be appropriate to have that
portion of the debt, accruing from the former City of Dartmouth, accrue specifically to the ratepayers of that
portion of the new super municipality which formerly comprised the City of Dartmouth?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, in general there has been discussion that the debts coming into the new
Halifax metro amalgamated area would, in actual fact, stay with the municipalities as they are coming in but
in all honesty, those are discussions, as well, that will have to be conducted with the coordinator and the
municipalities as well as some financial individuals.



MR. LEEFE: My final question, again to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, and I would ask the
minister to bear with me, it is a bit of a run-on sentence but I think she will understand why, as I get to the
end of the question. Is the minister prepared to enter into discussions with each of the metro municipal units
which has long-term lease obligations with a view to determining whether any of the leased office space may
be useful to the province which would result in the province assuming at least some of the financial burden
imposed on metro ratepayers by amalgamation?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, that question, I believe, presumes a fair amount of discussion that has to
be completed prior to making any decision on that basis. Certainly the coordinator is the individual who has
the authority and will have an opportunity to offer suggestions and ideas both of how the municipality can best
use the space that is leased, as well as make offers of suggestions to the province of how it might utilize it.



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



FIN. - CASINOS: STUDIES - ASSESSMENT RELEASE



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question through you, sir, to the Minister
of Finance. It was with somewhat disbelief that I heard the Minister of Finance’s response to an earlier
question saying that he is going to be checking to see if there is anything that might be available that could
be released to the members of the Opposition to assess the proposal that has been put forward. I say with
respect, through you to the Minister of Finance, Mr. Speaker, that is information that not only the Opposition
Parties deserve, it is something that all Nova Scotians deserve. My question to the minister is quite simply
this, yesterday you indicated and you therefore should be prepared, that you were going to take under
advisement, as to whether or not you would be prepared to release your own assessments and verifications on
studies on the various proposals. So far, the only thing that the government has agreed to release, are the
studies that are being done by the one proponent, the proponent that has been given the golden ring by this
government. My question to the minister is quite simply this, are you prepared to release your own
assessments and verifications of the projections that were done on all the proposals that were submitted?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, we have already dealt with the question of
information regarding other proponents. The requirements under the Freedom of Information Act and, indeed,
under some of the conditions of confidentiality under which some of that information was submitted. We will
indicate that we will release information, in fact I have said that already, with respect to the successful
proponent.



What the honourable member and his Party sometimes don’t realize is, that what we have here is a
question of the exercise of diligence, integrity and judgment by a committee who made a recommendation to
us after seven months of intensive work. I have confidence in their integrity, I have confidence in the job they
did. We have made the details of their selection public, we will continue to do that and we will accept the
responsibility of having made the decision based on that recommendation. (Applause)



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I say with respect through you to the Minister of Finance, it is the
integrity and the judgment of this government that is at stake, not the commission, because they are only
carrying out the requests and the mandate that was given to them by this government. I remind the minister
of the very last sentence in the commission’s report to the minister in which they said, we will be pleased to
respond to any and all of your inquiries. So, they have obviously shown the willingness to cooperate and all
the government is prepared to do is stonewall. My second question then to the minister is quite simply this,
that same commission has said that they have prepared the regulations which was part of their mandate. Will
the minister agree to table on the floor of the House today, the regulations that have been prepared by that
commission, so that Nova Scotians can actually assess what is going to be accomplished and have some input?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I have trouble with this honourable member’s questions. He
launches a two minute narrative on one issue and then asks a supplementary on an unrelated issue. So, I am
going to have to respond to both. First of all, he says he doesn’t question the integrity or the decision of the
committee. This decision was made arm’s length from government and we accepted it. In fact, it is their
integrity, it is their judgment. To hide behind some political chicanery in attempting to do otherwise, what
this member and his Party are trying to do, is questioning the integrity of the process.



Now, let’s talk about regulations. The regulations are being reviewed and in fact finalized by that
Casino Project Committee. They have not yet been submitted. They will be submitted to government and when
they are, prior to their passage by Order in Council, we have committed to make them public and to hear from
the people of Nova Scotia. We will live with that commitment. (Applause)



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am going to avoid indicating what is wrong with the minister’s non-answer. My question to the minister is going to be quite simply this, will the minister guarantee Nova
Scotians, so that they will have an opportunity to have input, that the regulations will be tabled for Nova
Scotians and members of this House to see, before this piece of legislation comes back to this House for debate
during the Committee of the Whole House? Will he guarantee that those regulations will be put on the table
before that time?



MR. SPEAKER: I feel that question to be out of order because it relates to a bill before the House.
However, the minister may respond.



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I think I indicated that we had not received those draft regulations
yet, to begin with. They are still in the hands of the Casino Project Committee. We will live with the
commitment we have made, to put those regulations before the public of Nova Scotia. We will do that before
those regulations are passed. That commitment has been made. (Interruption)



But with respect, Mr. Speaker, the insinuation that has been made by this honourable member and
his Party, with respect to the selection process, ignores the fact that without giving specific information, we
can say that the ITT Sheraton offer offered the highest level of guarantees to the people of Nova Scotia, the
best share of profits, the only company with a track record in Nova Scotia and a site that was judged to be
superior by three departments of government. They have ignored that as well. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.






FIN. - PUBLIC SECTOR ROLL-BACK:  CASUAL EMPLOYEES - EFFECT



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Finance. (Interruptions) The 3 per cent reduction
in wages for Public Service employees earning over $25,000 per year is also being applied to permanent, part-time and casual employees in the public sector who are earning over $94 a day, even though their yearly
earnings may well be below the $25,000 mark. Many of these workers have accepted this permanent part-time
and casual employment because they are unable to access a full-time public sector job.



My question to the Minister of Finance, is the minister working on a plan to exclude these casual and
part-time employees who will earn less than $25,000 a year from the 3 per cent wage roll-back?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the honourable member bringing up that
issue. If, as he says, he is aware of permanent part-time workers who earn less than $25,000 a year and are
having 3 per cent deducted, I would appreciate it if he would let me know the details of such and in fact I will
refer it on to the board in charge with administering this legislation. That is not, I repeat, that is not what the
legislation contemplates. In fact, we have said that.



Now with casual workers it is a little more complicated situation because if they are regularly
scheduled, casual, predictable employment, over a period of time, then they enjoy the exemption too. If they
are just here today gone tomorrow type of thing, then they face the 3 per cent reduction and they are not
granted the exemption.



We have attempted to clarify that. We have sent out a number of memos so that all our administrators
should be perfectly clear of that application. But if there are cases where such is not the situation, I would
appreciate the information.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I will provide the minister at a later time with a reference that I have to
that situation to which he referred. The minister certainly has agreed that casual workers are being subjected
to the 3 per cent roll-back, and for the reasons he gave.



My question to the minister, and this is a real problem because certainly in the health field there are
many casual workers who are making over $94 a day but whose yearly income is well under the $25,000
threshold. My question to the minister on these casual workers, is he prepared to look at a plan whereby they
can receive a rebate or a catch-up at the end of the year, once it has been determined what their yearly income
is, bearing in mind the fact that they have been subjected throughout the year to the roll-back?



MR. BOUDREAU: Well, Mr. Speaker, the application of the Act is being handled by the board. We
have attempted, in the case of casuals, to deal fairly with individuals with whom we have an ongoing
employment relationship. The best way I can do that is by example that perhaps it might illustrate it.



[12:45 p.m.]



If you have a situation where you are looking for somebody to fill in for a day, you call around and
find somebody. They come in, they work a day and they never come back to that employer again, they do not
enjoy the exemption; they get the rate, which has now been reduced by 3 per cent. However, those people who
we do have an ongoing employment relationship with, let’s say an individual who works every Monday and
Tuesday at the hospital, all year, has worked every Monday and Tuesday for years and years, will work for
the balance of this year every Monday and Tuesday. Regardless of how she may be classified in their payroll
department, we regard that as somebody with an employment relationship and should enjoy the exemption.



There are areas where the board may have to step in and give an interpretation but, in fact, that is
why we have these types of boards.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, by way of final supplementary, it is my understanding, the minister has
confirmed that a casual employee with an ongoing relationship will qualify. My specific question, then, to the
minister is, employees in this particular situation, to whom should they apply if, in fact, the roll-back is being
applied to them? In other words, how can they affect what the minister has, in fact, said?



MR. BOUDREAU: Let me back up a bit and say, when I talk about casuals who may have an
ongoing employment relationship, I am talking about a casual who has a regularly scheduled, ongoing
relationship. We have, for example, people in the employ of government agencies who work full time, have
worked full time for years, and are still classified down in payroll as casual. Now, those people will enjoy the
exemption, if they are under $25,000.



In areas where somebody is either unsure or believes that the administrator is not properly
interpreting the Act, if they cannot solve it within their own department, or whatever, they may contact Mr.
George Fox of the wage restraint board, in care of the Department of Human Resources here in Halifax.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



ERA - N.S. FILM DEV. CORP.: REPORT (ANNUAL) - DISTRIBUTION



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister for the Economic Renewal
Agency. Earlier today the minister tabled in the House the Annual Report of the Nova Scotia Film
Development Corporation. I wonder if the minister could tell me the number of copies and the distribution
of this report?



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, I cannot at this time because I don’t know. The distribution that
I know of today, is that the first step is it is tabled here, then it is available for general distribution. I don’t
know how many copies. I can find that information out.



MR. MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, I think this is a very nice report, but I would like to know how much
this report cost. It is very glossy, I know it is a film production, but we get these kinds of reports from various
groups across the province and I think it is a ridiculous -it even smells like money. I would like to have the
minister find out and report back to the House the cost of this report?



MR. BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the honourable members that this report was done - and I will
get the cost - of such quality and such an extent that it can be used for promotional purposes for the film
industry in Nova Scotia. The intent behind it was that this will be passed out all over the world - in
Hollywood, as an example of what we do here in Nova Scotia, promoting a film industry that is good for Nova
Scotia, creates jobs and is not harmful to our environment. (Applause)



Now, Mr. Speaker, if the members opposite would like us to do it on used grocery bags and send it
around, we would. But I think this is perfectly legitimate and it is a tool to use to promote a very important
industry in Nova Scotia. (Applause) (Interruptions)



MR. MCINNES: I said, when I asked the first question, what the distribution was of this report. I
understand it is important that we have a good report and a good-looking report, but I still say to the minister
that this report, I want to know how much it cost and the distribution of it. According to this, in 1993, the
taxpayers of Nova Scotia gave a contribution, from the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism and Culture in
1994, $1,145,950. Now I think we should have a good report but this is ridiculous.



MR. BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, we will get the cost of producing this but I will bet it was cheaper than
the toilet seats that those guys bought when they were in power.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



EDUC.: SCHOOLS - AIR QUALITY



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question today, through you, of course, is to the
honourable Minister of Education. My question deals with the air quality problems in the schools throughout
the province. There has not been any more activity or community involvement with any school than with the
parents and the teachers and students from Horton District High School in Kings County. The people in the
area served by Horton District High School were very excited on September 29th when the minister came
down and announced there was going to be a school constructed at some point in the future.



However, hope soon vanished with the parents and teachers when they found they would be waiting
for three or four or five years before anything began, and the parents who have been working so diligently over
the last few years have lost hope with this minister. I quote from a letter, “. . . of the opinion that continued
lobbying and soliciting of the depart. of education, the MLA, and the KCDSB on our behalf, is basically
wasting everyone’s time.”. In the meantime, the children continue to suffer. Will the minister offer an interim
solution to a community which has been working so diligently for a resolution of these air quality problems?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. First of all, I would ask the
honourable member to table a copy of that letter he referred to because I would suggest there may be some
ulterior motives for that particular letter.



If I might, Mr. Speaker, if it weren’t Christmas time, I would make reference to the 13 years they
have ignored the people of Horton District High School, but I won’t do that, but simply say our staff is working
with the people involved in the parents’ group at Horton, in the short run, to deal with their immediate
problems. We committed to that early on. We told the board we would work with them and we have been
doing that.



I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the new school that has been promised will be built and it will
be one that we will all be proud of. I would suggest that it may serve as a memorial to the honourable member.



AN HON. MEMBER: Table the letter.



MR. SPEAKER: There is a request to table the letter - I believe you did quote from it.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Oh I did, indeed, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: You should table it.



MR. ARCHIBALD: I will do that. The quote from the letter is from a newspaper article entitled,
“We’ve been duped.”.



AN HON. MEMBER: Duped by a dope.



MR. ARCHIBALD: No, it doesn’t say we have been duped by a dope, it just says we have been duped.
I will table that most quickly.



MR. SPEAKER: Very well, the document is tabled.



AN HON. MEMBER: Table the letter, too, we need the letter.



MR. ARCHIBALD: I didn’t quote anything from that letter. (Laughter) If I were the honourable
minister, I wouldn’t want that letter to be any more widely distributed than it is. Everything I have read is in
that newspaper copy.



MR. SPEAKER: I want anything that was quoted from to be tabled.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Now, Mr. Speaker . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: Do you know who it is from?



MR. ARCHIBALD: It is from the chairman of the committee who used to be the President of the
Kings South Liberal Association.



SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh.



MR. ARCHIBALD: I have been there, I know the politics that go on at that school. Now, Mr.
Speaker . . .



MR. SPEAKER: I think that you should table that letter now, since you have been reading from it.



MR. ARCHIBALD: I didn’t read from the letter, Mr. Speaker. (Interruptions) Why is the minister
so interested in talking about the letter? Why does he refuse to answer the question? He was quick to deal with
the problem they had in Petit-de-Grat last year, when he found emergency capital funding to assist a school
in Petit-de-Grat. Will the minister (Interruption) Well, I quote, “We did reach into capital to make those
adjustments. Also, at the Petit-de-Grat school we had to reach into some capital to do that.”. Now that was
fine, on May 31st, to do that.



MR. SPEAKER: That will now have to be tabled.



MR. ARCHIBALD: When will the minister address the problem at Horton District High School?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, for an honourable member who was involved in government
for a very long time, he does not even know the difference between emergency capital and capital money. The
capital construction committee reviewed the situation at Isle Madame and recommended that that be built and
it came from them. Likewise, the same group looked at the Horton situation and the way it had been ignored
over a period of time and they recommended to government that we step in and act quickly to rebuild that
school, which, in acting on that direction, we did.



I would suggest to the honourable member that we have done more work in the past year at Horton
with the group there than the previous group did in the previous 12 years.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Here we have the minister, who arrived at Horton on September 29th with his
grandiose plan that nobody has seen. That is why this article in the paper indicates that we have been duped.
Mr. Speaker, he continues to avoid the question.



Why will the minister not address the problem at Horton School and go into capital fund to save the
people who are working and going to school there and suffering the effects of ill health, due to the poor quality
of the air in the school?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask when that honourable member woke up, very
clearly. They were petitioned for about 10 years to deal with the Horton situation and he slept through it all.
We have been dealing with the people at Horton. The honourable member is not aware, as well, it seems, that
it is very clearly the responsibility of the school board to deal with the maintenance of the school.



Mr. Speaker, we build schools and that is what we are doing there. We have committed to work with
the school board in Kings County and the parents’ group to deal with the problems and we are on-site working
at that. If the honourable member would pay more attention . . .



MR. ARCHIBALD: Read the press clipping.



MR. MACEACHERN: Read the press clipping? Would the member go visit and talk to these people
instead of reading one piece of paper. He has been there and bought the T-shirt. I wish he would wear it and
live up to it.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



FIN. - CASINOS: COST ACCOUNTING - BASIS



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of
Finance. Yesterday, the Finance Minister triumphantly declared that the casino selection process had not cost
Nova Scotia taxpayers one red cent, raising some concerns about his cost accounting practices and his grasp
of economic realities, I might say. Now, presumably, if the Finance Minister was able to give assurances to
this effect he has, in fact, received a detailed financial accounting of the entire casino selection process.



I wonder if the minister could indicate whether he has and whether that cost accounting includes the
calculation of literally thousands and thousands of Nova Scotia public servants’ hours engaged in this whole
process, including public servants from Finance, Transportation, Justice, legal counsel, Supply and Services
and Health, to name a few?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, from the very earliest days, the Casino Project
Committee set a budget and, in fact, we indicated here, at the very earliest times, that people would be
seconded from government in order to keep from having to make that budget any larger. That budget and,
indeed, the extension of that budget, will be met in full by the proponents who have been unsuccessful and
the one who has been successful.



MS. MCDONOUGH: So there does not seem to be an answer to the question, whether the cost
accounting includes all of the public servants’ time that has been spent in the process. Let’s try another related
question, Mr. Speaker. The minister indicated that he was not in a position, at this point, to divulge what
hours of operation the casinos would be bound by.



My question to the minister is, whether the revenue projections that this government has so
enthusiastically embraced were calculated without any knowledge of what the hours of operation would be
and, if so, how could he possibly regard those revenue projections as being reliable and valid?



MR. BOUDREAU: Well, in point of fact, Mr. Speaker, obviously the proponent has made some
assumptions with respect to hours of operation, but, quite clearly, as we have pointed out, any basis for their
projections await the final approval of the regulations after public consultation.



[1:00 p.m.]



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, for literally months this government has used the arm’s length
relationship as the excuse for not answering questions. Yesterday we saw the minister embrace the ITT
Sheraton proposal with the lust of a long lost lover and yet today, one day later, the Minister of Finance is
already spurning this new-found relationship. My question to the minister is simply this, how are we to know
whether ITT Sheraton is going to distance itself from its supposed commitments to Nova Scotians with the
same indecent haste that this Minister of Finance today tries to distance itself from the ITT Sheraton proposal?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I think I heard most of the question but I still don’t know what she
is asking. We have not avoided ITT Sheraton, we welcome them. They have proven to be an absolutely
exemplary corporate citizen in this province, we have a track record for this company in terms of affirmative
action hiring, in terms of using Nova Scotians. When we talk about abandoning positions, we have a Party
and an honourable member over there who talks about job creation and supports it in theory but we have a
project which will create over 2,500 full-time jobs, direct and spinoff and of course, they are against it. We
had a blood fractionation plant which was going to create 500 jobs, they are against that but they remain
firmly committed to job creation in principle. (Applause)



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



HEALTH - REGIONAL BOARD (CENTRAL): CHAIRMAN - NAME



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the honourable Minister of Health.
Speaking of lust and long lost lovers, when former Liberal Leadership candidate and Chairman of the Central
Regional Health Board, Mr. James Cowan resigned approximately two weeks ago, the Minister of Health
suggested that his replacement would be named within 24 hours. Last Tuesday in this House during Oral
Question Period I asked the honourable Minister of Health if he would name the new chairperson of the
Central Regional Health Board and the minister indicated at that time that the individual would be named
within a week. A week is certainly more than up now and again I ask the minister because it is a ministerial
appointment, who is the new chairperson of the Central Regional Health Board?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, to correct the impression of the honourable gentleman
opposite, I stated on the day that Mr. Cowan resigned that the process would begin within 24 hours, it was
begun. The ministerial appointment will be announced as soon as I have consulted on the nomination with
the chairs of the other regional boards.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I am very disappointed in that answer because besides being short a
chairperson on the central board, we also are short three or four board members. I am wondering when the
minister expects those positions will be filled?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, first of all the board is continuing its activities under the current chair
and the chairs of the other regional boards are meeting this week. In terms of further nominees, it is within
the power of each board to request further nominees and that will be done according to what the regional
boards wish.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, again I must convey how disappointed I am with that response because
that board particularly in rural eastern Halifax County is grossly under-represented. I am wondering who will
be making the additional appointments to that board? Will it be a ministerial appointment? Will it be the
board itself? Who will make the additional positions, who will appoint the members to the additional
positions?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I would request to the honourable member opposite that he read the
Blueprint Report and it is very clear in there that boards can add to their membership. I have certainly invited
them to do so when they feel they need particular representation and that will be forthcoming, I am sure. As
soon as those requests are received, I will act on them promptly.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH - REGIONAL HEALTH BDS.: CHAIRMEN - SALARY



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health as well - I noticed
he told my colleague to read the Blueprint Committee Report. I have not figured out whether he is following
it or not and I have read it - talking about regional health boards, it was indicated in the legislation that the
chairpersons of the regional health boards would be paid, I would ask the Minister of Health today what the
pay is for the chairpersons of the regional health boards?



HON. RONALD STEWART: There is no agreed-on payment for the regional health board chairs,
to date.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, would the minister then answer this question, is it the intention of the
government to pay the chairpersons of the regional health boards or not, because that is what was in the
legislation; are they going to be paid or not?



DR. STEWART: Again, the decision on remuneration, both for expenses and for any further duties
of the regional board chairs, will be decided by the regional boards.



MR. MOODY: Well, if I am hearing the minister right, then the boards themselves can decide what
they pay themselves. I find that very strange. It was my understanding that the board members would not be
paid; they would only be reimbursed expenses. Is that true and are the board chairmen then going to decide
themselves how much they get paid?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, it may be difficult to comprehend on the part of the members opposite,
but we have turned over decision making to regional boards and, hence, to community boards when they are
formed and those decisions will be made by those citizens.



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



FIN.: PST - ORDERS (EX-PROV.)



MR. GEORGE MOODY: My question this time is for the Minister of Finance. I will go to someone
who will give some answers. (Interruptions) I had a call from some business people who are concerned about
mail orders, telephone orders and fax orders outside of the province. These people are bidding on contracts
and they become low price, but they are not getting the business; the outside companies don’t add the sales
tax. This is becoming an increasing problem and I have had business entrepreneurs through the Valley tell
me that they have lost 30 per cent of their business, either through mail order, telephone or fax orders because
those companies do not charge the provincial sales tax. I would ask the minister, what is being done about
that very serious problem?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for that question. It
is a very serious issue and it is one that the Department of Finance has been looking at for some time, both
prior to our taking over that responsibility and subsequent. It is an area where it is very difficult to act
unilaterally in any sort of effective way. What we have attempted to do is raise the issue with some of the other
provinces. We have done that at meetings of federal-provincial Finance Ministers, with an attempt to try to
initiate an overall agreement. Within the context of the federal government’s initiative to deal with the
underground economy, we thought it was very appropriate.



It was supplanted somewhat by the discussions of the harmonized tax which, in fact, if it came in,
would eliminate that problem to a large degree. If, in fact, that initiative does not proceed productively within
the very near future, we intend, as a province, to resurrect the narrower discussion and, if necessary, even have
negotiations unilaterally or bilaterally with a couple of the provinces where we think the problem is largest.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for the seriousness of the answer and that he
recognizes it is a problem and is trying to address it because, I believe, we are not only losing millions of
dollars in revenues, we are hurting our own businesses.



I, also, would ask the minister this question. I noticed in newspaper ads where you call a toll-free
number for a computer and you are told by the person on the other end that if you buy it here, you save up to
$400 provincial tax. This is being told directly to consumers who call. I am wondering if the minister might
be looking into the larger priced items, initially, because of these kinds of things. That his department might
initially look at these larger priced items that are being ordered by toll-free numbers, to make sure that the
provincial tax is paid. Would the minister address that?



MR. BOUDREAU: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I will undertake to the honourable member that specifically,
I will inquire on that particular example and bring him information on what measures are being taken with
respect to basically, the large ticket items.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I again thank the minister. I also had a call from a business that was
underbid - the lowest bid, even competitors in other provinces, and lost the contract even though he was $100
under - because they didn’t have to pay provincial sales tax, by buying it in another province. This group that
was buying it is provincially funded.



I would ask the minister if there would be some directive go out, that if provincial funds are involved
with organizations or groups, that they buy locally, if it is the lowest bid. And that if taxes apply, then they
should pay the tax. When I say it is provincially funded, it is through grants, so there is no control, they
normally do have to pay tax.



I would ask the minister if something could be done, that if grants are given to organizations, that
they not buy outside the province and not pay the sales tax, when actually they could buy it here for less
money. But when the sales tax is added, it becomes more money, which they should pay anyway. I would ask
the minister if a directive of some sort could go out regarding those issues.



MR. BOUDREAU: Well, there is somewhat of a difficulty to require companies to buy in Nova
Scotia, as opposed to Atlantic Canada, for example, under the new agreements. But that is not really the point
the honourable member was driving at. I will certainly have discussions with the Minister for the Economic
Renewal Agency. It is certainly our policy, that no company dealing with the government should attempt to
escape their responsibility to pay provincial sales tax.



In fact presently, as a matter of process, we audit companies, so that even those who may be thinking
they are getting away with something for the moment, can be subject to an audit. Then if it is found they have
not disclosed or have not paid tax on these items, they can be subject to severe penalty.



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



FIN. - CASINOS: JOB LOSSES - ASSESSMENT



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I was listening a little while ago to the Minister of Finance’s barbs
about jobs in Nova Scotia and one can’t help but conclude that the job strategy for the Government of Nova
Scotia is based on a spin of the wheel and a roll of the dice. They are taking the advice of a company that has
even less experience in gambling than this government does in governing.



My question to the minister is quite simply this - on the basis of, we have seen all these wonderful,
wild projections about how many jobs are going to be created - does the minister have an assessment as to how
many current jobs in other businesses in the Province of Nova Scotia are going to be lost as a result of the
establishment of casinos in Nova Scotia? He doesn’t need his four minutes to talk out the time, which he is
being advised by his colleagues.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I won’t take nearly as long to answer the question as
the honourable member took to ask it. Let me tell him this, there is $176 million of new investment from
outside Nova Scotia going to be generated, invested in this province. Now, among other things, that will
create 759 man years of construction employment. I wonder if the honourable member has consulted some
of his friends in the construction field, union workers without employment, and asked them what they think
about 759 man years of construction work?



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



The honourable Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency.



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, earlier in Question Period today the members opposite were
asking about this beautiful brochure for the Film Development Corporation. I am pleased to tell you that I
have gathered up the information. First, the pictures were all free, the writing was done in-house, by staff. The
only cost was printing and graphics.



Now there were 1,200 of these brochures, they will be distributed at our bookstore if people want to
come in and pick them up, throughout Nova Scotia Libraries for a library copy, to other provinces, to film
producers and developers and to deputy ministers. I find it hard to believe but this comes directly from the
chairman of the organization, the total cost of this brochure was less than $5,000. (Applause)



[1:15 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



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



The motion is carried.



[1:16 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gerald O’Malley
in the Chair.]



[3:31 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Paul MacEwan,
resumed 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 bills:



Bill No. 113 - Natural Products Act.



Bill No. 116 - House of Assembly Act.



Bill No. 117 - Innovation Corporation Act.



Bill No. 119 - Motor Vehicle Act.



Bill No. 121 - Special Places Protection Act.



Bill No. 129 - Public Highways Act.



Bill No. 112 - Trustee Act.



Bill No. 118 - Amherst Cemetery Company Act.



Bill No. 123 - Springhill Parks and Recreation Commission Act.



Bill No. 127 - Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities Act.



Bill No. 133 - Community of Sackville Landfill Compensation Act.



Bill No. 135 - Eastern Shore Recreation Commission Act.



Bill No. 136 - Yarmouth County Agricultural Society Annual Grants Act.



Bill No. 138 - St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation Assistance Act.



and the Chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House,
each without amendment.



The committee also considered the following bills:



Bill No. 114 - Municipal Reform (1994) Act.



Bill No. 109 - Tourist Accommodations Act.



Bill No. 111 - Fatality Inquires Act.



and the Chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House,
with certain amendments.



MR. SPEAKER: When shall these bills be read a third time?



SOME HON. MEMBERS: Now.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Public Bills for Third Reading.



PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING



Bill No. 29 - Power Engineers Act.



Bill No. 30 - Crane Operators Act.



Bill No. 103 - Pharmacy Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The motions are carried.



Ordered that these bills do pass. Ordered that the titles be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bills
be engrossed.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 110, and I would move third
reading.



Bill No. 110 - Peggy’s Cove Commission Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I wanted to make just a few remarks. Unfortunately, I
was away from the House when we had this bill before us on second reading and Committee of the Whole
House on Bills. There were a couple of observations that I wanted to make.



As I look at the bill now, An Act to Create a Peggy’s Cove Preservation Area and to Establish a
Peggy’s Cove Commission, I noticed in Section 3(1) that, “The Governor in Council may designate an area,
which includes Peggy’s Cove in the Municipality of the County of Halifax, as the Peggy’s Cove Preservation
Area, and while the designation is in effect the provisions relating to the erection, use, occupancy,
construction, alteration, repair, destruction or demolition of buildings contained in a by-law, municipal
planning strategy or a land-use by-law or in the Municipal Act, the Planning Act or any Act do not apply to
the Area.”. So it gives the commission pretty much a carte blanche authority to do what it will in terms of the
development of the Peggy’s Cove precinct.



The commission itself and the bill that we have before us changes responsibility for the overall
responsibility and administration from the Minister of Municipal Affairs to the Minister for the Nova Scotia
Economic Renewal Agency. It adds a representative of the Nova Scotia Economic Renewal Agency as one
of the board members and it changes four members, I think it was, in Section 4(1)(d), “not more than four
additional members appointed by the Governor in Council.”, changes that to three.



What I really wanted to address - and I am a little disappointed that the Minister for the Economic
Renewal Agency is not present and I am sure he is understandably detained elsewhere, but I would hope that
perhaps others might convey the comment that I want to make. It has been my sense that since its inception
back in about 1990 or thereabouts, the overwhelming attitude and mentality of the Peggy’s Cove Commission
has been a regulatory one. I don’t say this critically, I just simply say it as my belief of the fact that the work
of the Peggy’s Cove Commission, in the last number of years since its inception, has been more a thou shalt
not do certain things kind of approach.



You will note that the legislation which is amended by the bill that we now debate, Bill No. 110, that,
“7(1) The Commission may make by-laws, the provisions of which may be shown in plan form,” - and they
can do bylaws which do a number of things - “(a) designating districts of the Area within which it is lawful
to erect, construct, alter, reconstruct, repair or maintain designated types of buildings or to carry on designated
businesses, trades or callings; (b) designating districts of the Area within which it is unlawful to erect,
construct, alter, reconstruct, repair or maintain designated types of buildings or to carry on designated
businesses, trades or callings;”, and so on.



I guess the point I simply want to make and the message that I would hope might be conveyed to the
Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency is simply this - I may be off in terms of the statistical analysis and
I am delighted to see that the minister is back. (Interruptions) This is my lump of coal, is it - the point that
I wanted to make relative to the Peggy’s Cove Commission is simply this - and I share these remarks for the
edification of the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency who will have administrative responsibility now
for the commission and I may be in error and if I am he doesn’t have to squelch me here today on the floor
of the Legislature, he can if he wishes but if I am wrong after he takes some advice in counsel from his
officials, then on another day perhaps quietly and privately he and I could discuss the matter - the point I
wanted to make and wanted to share with the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency is that it is my sense
- and I spend a great deal of time by reason of personal connections, my parent’s summer cottage is a matter
of only a 12 minute to 15 minute drive from Peggy’s Cove, I am in that area on a fairly regular basis on the
rocks at the lighthouse in the company of family visitors and friends coming to the province and so on - of
things is that the overwhelming approach or attitude taken around the commission table to this point has been
more of a thou shalt not do this, thou shalt not do that, kind of attitude and mentality, (Interruption) perhaps
somewhat Big-Brotherish, and that is not a criticism of the men and women who have been the commissioner,
and many of them I know personally and many have worked very hard to ensure and maintain the integrity
of the precinct over which they have control.



However, having said that, with the exception of the Halifax Citadel and possibly Fortress
Louisbourg, my sense of things is that Peggy’s Cove is among the most visited tourist attractions in all this
province and, indeed, in all of eastern Canada and, may I say, in all of the country. The Halifax Citadel as
an example, I know from reading recent statistics, is, in fact, the most visited national historic site in all of
this country. I don’t know that all members in this House would understand and appreciate that. That is a
pretty significant honour and reality for a place like the Halifax Citadel.



However, here in Peggy’s Cove, I believe, and I want to say to the Minister for the Economic Renewal
Agency that I would encourage him and his colleagues, as they now embark upon administrative responsibility
for Peggy’s Cove, that they think in terms of the way in which the on-site amenities in and around the precinct
which is now controlled by the commission, can be made more attractive for the travelling public. I think, for
instance, of the establishment of a trailer and RV park somewhere in close proximity to the lighthouse and
the DeGarthe Museum and the other amenities which we do have at Peggy’s Cove.



I am not, for a minute, suggesting that this RV park is designed in such a way that it is sitting in such
proximity to the main sites and features and beauties of Peggy’s Cove, that it is an encroachment in any way.
I really believe that if we had a serviced, tent and trailer and RV park within close proximity to Peggy’s Cove,
we would be in the position to make it very much more attractive to (Interruption) Yes, indeed, an overnight
campground park, in relatively close proximity to the main sites and attractions of Peggy’s Cove itself.



I believe, too, that we have the potential, more to the point, Peggy’s Cove has the potential to - what
do I want to say - that if, for instance, the minister, through the commission, would be prepared to take a
serious look at opening up dialogue with the province’s artists and artisans, I really think that at Peggy’s Cove
we have the potential again, if done properly and tastefully, to grow a real arts and crafts and handcrafts
centre of excellence, if I may use that term.



It is internationally known. I think for instance, G-7 is upon us next summer, I have no doubt that
thousands and thousands of people connected in one way or another with G-7 will make their way to Peggy’s
Cove. What a tremendous opportunity, if we were to have the minister in touch right now with organizations
such as the Nova Scotia Designer Craftsmen, with the Visual Arts Federation of the Province of Nova Scotia,
a whole range of craft and cultural organizations, I think we could have just a phenomenal show at Peggy’s
Cove this summer. We could have them in many other places, Citadel and elsewhere as well. Maybe I am
getting carried away and maybe it is that I have spent so much time in my youth at Peggy’s Cove and on those
rocks and up and down that shore, that was before I went on the rocks totally and ended up in politics.
(Interruptions) But I believe for instance if the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency were to think in
terms of Peggy’s Cove what a magnificent site and location, again, if done with some sensitivity for open air
concerts and under the stars concerts and so on that might be attempted as pilot projects in concert with G-7,
I can just picture the visuals which will be sent around the world by all of the international press that will be
here.



[3:45 p.m.]



There are all kinds of things which I think might well be done and I am not going to beat the thing
to death but I did want before we conclude discussion or debate on Bill No. 110, to say that again if done with
care and sensitivity to the men and women who live there full time, to the men and women who now run
businesses there, I really believe that if the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency were to design a
number of proposals for public calls, for calls to have the private sector engaged, I am not suggesting that the
government run these facilities, I am suggesting that the proposal calls go to the private sector, I would expect
that there would be a tremendously positive response. I just have a sense that on a scale of 0 to 10 if the value
which we are getting in terms of tourist promotion and economic return out of Peggy’s Cove is now at a 5 or
a 6, pick a number, I really believe that done properly we could have that at an 8 or a 9 and still maintain the
history and the heritage and the integrity of Peggy’s Cove and of its environs. So, I wanted to share those
thoughts with the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency.



I would hope that he would, prompted by those remarks, maybe set the wheels rolling in his
department to ask some of his officials as to whether or not they could assess some of the things that I have
said. He may get a reaction back, everything that the member for Halifax Citadel said in the House is of
absolutely no value and if that is the case so be it, I don’t profess to be an expert in this field. I just believe that
the site has such an international immediate recognition factor just literally around the globe and I think with
some careful, thoughtful and sensitive development it can become so much more as an attraction and as a
generator of new wealth, particularly new wealth from tourism that some of the things and perhaps many
things that others smarter than I in the tourism industry would suggest could be taken advantage of.



So I wanted to have the opportunity as we close debate on this bill, Mr. Speaker, to throw those views
in and invite the minister, if he is at all interested, to perhaps canvass some of those with his colleagues and
with his departmental officials and see if we can maybe grow some new wealth out of a very special Nova
Scotia resource.



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



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the intervention from the Leader of the Opposition.
All of his ideas have merit. I believe that our newly empowered Peggy’s Cove Commission can maybe act on
some of these ideas.



One of the things we tried to accomplish is that by putting more local representation on the Peggy’s
Cove Commission, that they in fact can control their destiny whether it is residential, commercial or tourism
or whatever. I will take those comments that the member opposite brought forward, take them to the
commission through my staff and suggest that they look at them with the assistance of our Tourism and
Marketing staff. Some of the ideas I think are very attractive. I would be delighted to report back after we have
had an opportunity to look at them to see if there are some action items and so on. But I take the ideas in the
spirit they were given and I will pass this on to my staff and, with that, I would like to conclude debate on this
bill and move it for third reading.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 110. Would all those in
favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be
engrossed.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Public Bills for Second Reading.



PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 137.



Bill No. 137 - Summary Proceedings Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on Bill No. 137, an Act to Amend the
Summary Proceedings Act.  As all honourable members would know, the amendments contained in this bill
accomplish several things, but what I would like to do just for clarity is to take approximately 10 minutes to
explain them so we are all aware of what we propose and there are no misapprehensions about how we are
proceeding. We will go from there and, hopefully, the members of the House will agree to pass it on to the
Law Amendments Committee where any interested parties can appear on that particular bill.



First, the amendments expand the circumstances under which a judge shall find a defendant guilty
when the defendant fails to appear in court to defend a summary offence ticket; second, the amendments will
put in place a system that will enable municipalities to have the Registrar of Motor Vehicles refuse service
to an individual who owes fines for municipal parking violations and, Mr. Speaker, the bill also contains a
minor amendment to correct an oversight that occurred when the Summary Proceedings Act was last
amended.



At this time, in order to clarify matters, I would like to go through each of the items in more detail.
The first clause of this bill will effect three changes. The first of these three changes provides that a conviction
shall be entered by a judge when a person fails to appear at their trial on a summary offence ticket charge, to
which they have pleaded not guilty. I think it is important that I say the following: I should point out that the
Summary Proceedings Act already determines that a person who does not appear in court in order to enter
a plea and to obtain a trial date for summary offence charges is automatically convicted. That happens now;
it is just that the next step, a trial, we think that they should be the same, and we are simply extending this
procedure to cover those people who fail to appear at a scheduled trial date after having entered a not guilty
plea.



As most of us are aware - and, again, so there is no misapprehension - summary offence tickets are
issued for motor vehicle offences and offences found in other provincial Statutes. There are numerous
examples of these offences, but some that come to mind are offences under the Liquor Control Act and the
Lands and Forests Act. When defendants fail to appear for their trial dates, a bench warrant is usually issued
and, as a result, proceedings are delayed further.



Because Crown Prosecutors, witnesses, police officers and court staff prepare for and set schedules
around trial dates, failure to appear results in considerable cost in terms of time and money. Currently, some
defendants charged under these Statutes enter a not guilty plea either to delay a payment of a fine or to extend
the time before their trial and possible conviction. In this way, they may extend the time before they will have
to face the consequences for their actions and can continue to enjoy privileges that they would lose upon a
conviction being entered.



The proposed amendment provides that a conviction shall be entered when a person fails to appear
at their trial on a summary offence ticket charge to which they pleaded not guilty at an earlier stage. The goal
of this amendment is to reduce the situations by which a person can “play” the system. It will save court time
and expenses, Mr. Speaker. Each unnecessary trial that can be avoided will free personnel to handle other
matters. This will ease the burden on the justice system and, to some extent, reduce overall delay in the courts.



Mr. Speaker, I want to point out that this amendment does not take away the due process rights for
those individuals who actually have a good reason for failing to appear for their trial. I think this is important,
if you have a good reason, just as at the first stage when you are arraigned, if you have a good reason, there
is a way out.



We recognize, Mr. Speaker, and all honourable members would, that a person might be ill or have
other valid reasons for not attending his or her trial. We have no intention of limiting the rights of a person
such as this. Indeed, the Summary Proceedings Act already provides that where a defendant has a good reason
for having failed to appear to enter a plea, subsequently the defendant may appear before a judge of the
Provincial Court, in order to explain the reason why. If the judge is satisfied that the excuse is reasonable and
the defendant acted without unreasonable delay after learning of the conviction, may strike down the
conviction and set a new trial date.



Therefore, under the Act, these people with genuine excuses, are given a procedure in order to have
their day in court, which I think is important and all honourable members would support.



The second thing achieved in the first section of this bill is a straightforward amendment that has
been made to correct an oversight, an error that occurred when the Summary Proceedings Act was amended
in 1993. Last year we amended Section 18(2)(a) of the Act by removing the requirement that a ticket
information be sworn before a Justice of the Peace. This eliminated an often time-consuming step that a police
officer or other law enforcement officer, for example, a Department of Natural Resources conservation officer,
had to take in issuing such a ticket. However, a later section, Section 8(15)(2), still refers to the ticket being
sworn. We need to remove this reference because the 1993 amendment made it unnecessary that the ticket
be sworn.



The third thing accomplished in the first clause of this bill is to permit a notice of conviction to be
sent by ordinary mail, rather than registered mail. This will streamline the administrative processes and save
costs, not only for postage, Mr. Speaker, but also in relation to the staff required to send and keep track of
registered mail. Many times registered mail is refused. Moreover, this type of mail is slower and, as noted,
administratively more cumbersome.



Once again, and as previously noted, should a defendant have a good reason for having failed to
appear, it remains possible for a defendant to satisfy a judge that he or she has a reasonable excuse. For
example, if they could convince a judge that they have not received the advice in the mail if it were required.
If, after learning of a conviction, the person acts without delay, the judge has the authority and can strike out
the conviction, Section 8(18).



The next clause of the bill creates a new summary offence ticket procedure for parking infractions.
This amendment provides for electronic filing of documents for all summary offence ticket matters. This will
streamline the enforcement of parking ticket violations. This is part of the electronic highway, Mr. Speaker.
This change will allow enforcement agencies to take full advantage of computer technology for the processing
of parking infractions, that is from the time the infraction occurs through to the day of the court appearance.
The use of long form informations is eliminated for parking infractions and the process for service of parking
tickets is streamlined. The amendments provide that court documents are to be filed electronically.



Mr. Speaker, the third part of the bill provides a consequential amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act.
This change adds parking infraction tickets as a class of offences for which the Registrar of Motor Vehicles
may refuse services for non-payment of fines. The services provided by the registrar include such things as
renewal of drivers’ licenses or owners’ permits, transfer of vehicle ownership and vehicle registration. At
present, we intend to focus on vehicle plates as the enforcement tool.



Mr. Speaker, and I am coming towards the conclusion, as promised - the final part of the bill
provides that new parking infraction procedures, electronic filing provisions and the consequential
amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act will only come into force upon proclamation.



[4:00 p.m.]



This is to allow the Department of Transportation time to make arrangements with municipalities
that wish to utilize the system through which the Department of Transportation will take action on their
behalf. Obviously, there will be negotiations. As a result, this legislation will not be proclaimed until all the
systems are properly set up and in place.



I would like to conclude by saying that this piece of legislation accomplishes several things. It
amends the Summary Proceedings Act to correct abuses of the system by closing the door, to some extent, on
time-consuming abuses of the justice system; abuses that occur when people use not guilty pleas simply as a
delay tactic.



It modernizes, Mr. Speaker, the Summary Proceedings Act in order to allow for more efficient
processing and collection of municipal parking fines and, finally, it takes a forward-looking approach to the
use of technology to streamline parking law enforcement.



Mr. Speaker, I would like to request the support of all honourable members to send this bill on to the
Law Amendments Committee and, in so doing, I move second reading of Bill No. 137, the Summary
Proceedings Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I rise just to make very brief remarks relative to proposed
amendments to the Summary Proceedings Act, Bill No. 137. I wonder if the minister might be able to help
me a little bit. The minister has indicated that one of the first changes made by way of these amendments is
a change made to the Summary Proceedings Act whereby considerable court time would be saved where a
person charged on a summary conviction offence ticket does not appear in court for the trial.



I think I heard the Minister of Justice saying that the conviction would be entered against the
accused, in the event that the accused did not appear for his or her trial, this being a case or a situation where,
by definition, presumably, there had been an earlier court appearance, at which time the date for trial had been
set and whether or not the accused was present on that occasion is academic, I think, for our purposes.
(Interruption)



Well, the court probably would have proceeded in their absence in the first instance, had they not
shown. Now, what I missed, though, when the minister was describing the entry of a conviction against an
accused who fails to appear at his or her trial, was remarks which I think he made relative to the possibility
that there might still be provisions or processes whereby somebody could miss the date of the trial and still
be able to satisfy a court that there was a legitimate reason for missing - illness.



I wonder if the minister could refer me to the section or sections in the Summary Proceedings Act.
I asked one of the Pages - and Troy has found it - to find the Summary Proceedings Act for me and I wanted
to, with the minister’s help, perhaps, find the clause, if we could, that indicates that if I am the accused, a date
for my trial has been set, I don’t show up at the date for my trial and the reason I don’t is because I suffered
serious illness the night before or the day before I was to appear in court, can the minister help me find a
provision which enables me to be satisfied that there (Interruption)



AN HON. MEMBER: Clause 8(18).



MR. DONAHOE: Clause 8(18) “Where the defendant has a reasonable excuse for failing to appear,
the defendant may appear before a judge of the provincial court and the judge, upon being satisfied that



(a) the defendant’s excuse is reasonable; and



(b) the defendant acted without unreasonable delay after learning of his conviction,



shall strike out the conviction and give the person appearing and the prosecutor a notice of trial.”.



That is it, okay. So it is, therefore, possible for the defendant, in those circumstances, to be given the
reprieve, if they act expeditiously and if they have a legitimate, as opposed to a specious, explanation as to
why they were (Interruption) Okay, that helps me a little bit.



Could I ask the minister to help me get a fix on Clause 1(2) a little bit better. Clause 1(2) provides
that a notice of conviction will now be sent by ordinary mail, rather than registered mail. I heard the minister
say that that would be on the basis that it would be administratively easier, it would be less expensive, that
there are occasions when registered mail is sent to a person who has been accused and convicted of an offence.
We run into situations where they fail or refuse to accept service or take delivery of the registered mail, but
I think I can conceive of a whole host of other problems.



I think, in terms of offences, say relative to motor vehicle legislation and the loss of points and the
notice of conviction going and people coming back into the courts arguing, well, I did not know that I lost four
points or eight points or had no points left on my license. I did not get any mail telling me that I was convicted
of such and such an offence. I did not pick up any personal mail. Whereas at least with the registered mail
process, it is possible for the prosecuting authority and the administrators in the justice system, to at least
verify, by way of the records of the registered mail, that the communication was sent. It puts a heavier onus
on the accused. I dealt with that kind of law long enough to know that there are, on many occasions, those
accused who want to try to make the case that they did not have any idea at all that the notice of conviction
was sent, even under the older regime, where it was sent by registered mail because they themselves or
somebody else simply refused to accept service.



I wonder if the minister could simply tell me whether or not he has had a chance to discuss with his
officials whether we are not opening up the possibility of a whole lot of accused, people having been
convicted, coming back later with an argument or a complaint that would, potentially, consume the time of
the prosecutorial authorities and the courts in trying to respond to this question of whether or not they, in fact,
did receive this ordinary mail, rather than registered mail.

 

 

I don’t know a lot about it, but my understanding is that there is a new - there always seems to be
something new in the world of mail - process and a new kind of mail called certified mail. I don’t presume
to be an expert, it is akin, I think, to registered mail. I am just curious if the minister has had a chance to
review that whole matter with his officials and, if so, if he is satisfied that removing the requirement to send
by registered mail will not open up a Pandora’s Box if we move to ordinary mail. Perhaps the minister might
be able to help in that regard. (Interruption) Okay.



That having been said, I want to say that I approve, I am sure there are many who will not, mostly
those of us who are prone to rack up parking tickets, who will approve but I approve very much of the
provisions which are contained in this bill that make it possible for the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to refuse
services for non-payment of parking infraction fines. That, I think, is a reasonable and a fair approach. If I
park at a parking meter out on the street outside here and I get a parking ticket and I fail or refuse to pay that
parking ticket, why should the City of Halifax in this case or whichever municipal unit it happens to be that
has the parking meters out, why should they simply allow me or why should I be able to thumb my nose at
that authority and say, the heck with you, I am not paying the parking ticket, rack up 10, 20, 30 and 40
parking tickets and never pay any of them and suffer no penalty.



The city, in this case, and my example, has gone to tremendous expense to put up the meters to have
the men and women check the meters to ensure they function properly and to write out the tickets in
appropriate cases and so on and then if I walk away or anybody who has gathered up a considerable number
of such violations and I thumb my nose at the municipal authority that has done that, then that is just simply
not fair. It is another element, another example, another manifestation of the way in which too many in our
community flaunt the legal authority. So, I support in principle, the process whereby certain sanctions can
be taken against me as an owner-operator of a motor vehicle if I fail or refuse to respond to the traffic tickets
and other traffic violations.



However, having said that, what I don’t see here and I want, if the minister will help me with some
clarification when he closes, I see that after setting out all of the provisions of subclause 2 in this we have
Clause 3 which says, “Subsection 269(1) of Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Motor Vehicle Act,
is amended by adding immediately after clause (a) the following clause: (aa) an offence under a municipal
by-law involving the unlawful parking, standing or stopping of a motor vehicle;”. I think I know what the
minister will tell me but I would very much appreciate his confirmation that it is so, that by making this
amendment to Section 269(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act we are adding to a whole list of offences in response
to which the Registrar of Motor Vehicles has certain, if I may refer to them this way, disciplinary powers. We
are adding to the list that enables the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to undertake certain powers an item which
says that one area in which he or she can take such powers is if he has evidence of “(aa) an offence under a
municipal by-law involving unlawful parking, standing or stopping of a motor vehicle;”.



What I would like to have the minister help me with, if he would, I don’t have the Motor Vehicle Act
in front of me and I wonder if the minister when he closes could give me and give other members a sense of
the authority that is available to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles in the event, as an example, that I fail to pay
my parking ticket and the notice of that makes its way to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, what authority does
the Registrar of Motor Vehicles have under Section 269(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act?



I repeat, I think there is merit in this proposal. I might say that a few years ago, when I was Attorney
General, the proposition was put to me that I come forward with legislation of this kind and, for various and
sundry reasons, I did not. I recall some interesting debate around the caucus table and wasn’t able to have the
matter come forward and, frankly, I had a personal conviction that it was probably the right thing to do and
I applaud this minister that he is now doing it; I think it is the right thing to do. But if he could help me as
he closes, with the reference to the Motor Vehicle Act Section 269(1), I would very much appreciate that.



With those few comments and in the hope that the minister could help me a little bit with those few
observations I made, I will take my place and certainly indicate that I will be supporting the legislation. Thank
you, Mr. Speaker.



[4:15 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to indicate at the outset that we, too, will
be supporting the bill that is before us, Bill No. 137, an Act to Amend Chapter 450 of the Revised Statutes
of 1989, the Summary Proceedings Act. We will be supporting this bill to go forward to the Law Amendments
Committee and so my comments will be considerably briefer than the comments made by the Leader of the
Official Opposition.



The fact of the matter is that the Leader of the Official Opposition is irrefutably more learned in the
details of the law than I and, for that, he has earned the label from time to time of being somewhat lawyerish,
but I would have no problem deferring to his more direct experience in the courts as a legal practitioner with
respect to a couple of the concerns that he has raised. More to the point, he looks very nervous now and I just
did that to get his attention as he went by; he was so suspicious of my paying him a compliment that he
decided to stick around in case I turned around and took it away with the other hand, and I am not about to
do that.



I want to say that the question that the Leader of the Official Opposition has raised with respect to
Clause 3, Subsection 269(1) in the bill is one to which I will be interested in as well to hear the answer. The
Minister of Justice may or may not be in a position to give a clear answer at this point but, I am sure, in his
usual conscientious, diligent way, he will give the undertaking to give it further consideration and, if
necessary, be open to any possible minor amendments that may be needed to achieve the stated purposes, in
the same conscientious way that he responded to the concern for some strengthening of the Fatality Inquiries
Act that we dealt with earlier this afternoon. So, I will be eager to hear the comments of the minister on that
particular point but we would not, at this point, be inclined to hold up the bill at this stage of second reading
debate but would rather see it go on to the Law Amendments Committee.



There may, in fact, be some concerns about the possible compromising of due process, that those who
are far more expert and experienced in these legal matters could bring forward and address at the Law
Amendments Committee and we would be open to hearing any such concerns. I have to say that in general
as the Justice Critic for the New Democratic Party that it seems by and large to be a pretty common-sense
initiative on the part of the minister. I would think that it has to be, certainly, an endorsement to have the
previous Minister of Justice in the previous government say that this was a measure that he favoured, that he
would liked to have gotten his caucus’s support for but had not succeeded in doing so and that was certainly
a praise that I would think more fulsome than just faint praise.



So, I have no trouble indicating that we are supportive of the stated objective of the changes. I think
it is fair to say that one of the amendments actually to Clause 1(1)(b) is really merely housekeeping in that
it clears up a minor anomaly left in the legislation when previous amendments were made in 1993. I think
that although the other amendments are relatively straightforward and represent a lot of common sense, the
importance of them should not be underestimated. The fact of the matter is that it is a very serious concern
these days that our courts are very clogged, are over-stressed. I think, Mr. Speaker, that it is not always so
apparent to people how much of a delay is involved in getting a court date in the first place, unless people
have some reason, themselves, to come into contact with the court system and it is a shock to people to
discover how often there can be undue delays.



The consequences of that, of course, are very serious and the minister has outlined a number of those
consequences. It is not only costly to have court hearings set and people not appear and then to have to
reschedule further court hearings and so on. I think it is not an unreasonable measure to try to deal with this
backlog and over-burdening of the courts to establish what, hopefully, can be a fair-minded and reasonable
procedure, that if someone fails to appear for a court hearing, fails to put before the courts a reasonable
excuse, an acceptable reason for their failure to appear, that they would face a conviction, in the instance of
summary proceedings. I think that is a measure that, frankly, has become necessary because of the kind of log-jam that we see in our courts and the consequences of that. There are extra costs associated with that.



I think what is to be welcomed is that the Minister of Justice here has shown the kind of respect for
Crown Prosecutors who are very overworked and overburdened and, I might say, underpaid and
undersupported in many respects as well, struggling to do a job under those difficult circumstances. What they
don’t need is a lot of people who either are so kind of casual about not appearing in court or, in some cases,
as the minister himself has said, actually play the system somewhat. There is just no room for that to be
tolerated in the situation that is far too serious to allow that kind of thing to continue.



Also, I think, it appropriately acknowledges that, frankly, time translates into costs. I might say, Mr.
Speaker, that it is reassuring to have the minister stand up today and say look, the time spent by civil servants
or by Crown Prosecutors or, for that matter, lawyers who may actually be inconvenienced in the process
because of the fact that the courts are so clogged and so on, that that all translates into wasted resources.



One of the things that has truly amazed people is to have the Minister of Finance, who should be the
most sensitive of all to the fact that time of public servants translates into lost resources if it is not well spent,
with respect to the incredible amounts of time that large numbers of public servants in this province have
expended in backup to the casino proposal process, the casino selection process. So it is welcome to have the
Minister of Justice recognizing this. I hope he will have a word with the Minister of Finance there, to make
sure he takes the same careful consideration and ensures that the same kind of detailed calculation is made
of the real costs of the time of public servants spent in the casino proposal selection process and that that
becomes a standard that prevails across the front bench and throughout this government.



Meanwhile, I think it is welcomed that the Minister of Justice has shown respect for the time of those
whose time can be wasted in this kind of merry-go-round, whose time is needed to get on with the dispensing
of justice in a timely fashion.



So I think that this is an eminently supportable measure. It seems to me that it is also appropriate
to bring in the amendment again that notices go out by regular mail, by ordinary mail, rather than registered
mail; if there is a cost saving in the actual mailing costs, so much the better. But I think the other important
point that the minister has made, again, is that there is time spent by staff in that process of making special
mailing arrangements. In order to try to find areas of savings where they can be found, without jeopardizing
due process, without, in any way, causing problems in the administration of justice, then they have to be
welcomed and applauded.



So, Mr. Speaker, with those comments, as I say, we will remain open to any concerns that could be
brought forward in the Law Amendments Committee. That is the point of the Law Amendments Committee
process, particularly by those who are most directly affected and most frequently are coming in contact with
our court system and may know of some implications or ramifications of these changes that we may not be
as sensitive to here in this Chamber as we might need to be. Subject to that and not anticipating that there are
any major concerns that are likely to be brought forward, our preliminary research on this would lead us to
support this initiative and, certainly, as I have already indicated, support that it go forward to the Law
Amendments Committee stage at this point. Thank you.



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



The honourable Minister of Justice.



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: I want to thank the members who participated in the debate and I think
I can touch on and try to answer the questions that did come up. The matter of the consequences of delay, one
does not want to overplay that, but it is a concern that there are delays in the court, people are waiting too
long. You even get people having their cases thrown out of court because too much time has elapsed under
the Charter of Rights. It is a cliche, but it is true that justice delayed is justice denied. Whether you are
innocent or guilty, you deserve your day in court in a reasonable time.



The other point that should be made is that in the summary offence tickets, some of these matters
are important, but they are not nearly as important as sexual assaults and many of the crimes that are delayed,
and are not dealt with by the courts. I think what we are doing here, in a small way, is to try to reduce some
of the slow-down and make things move a little faster, yet, at the same time, respecting people’s right to due
process and I think that is important, too.



But, as I tried to explain, and I think, on reading the bill, it would become clear that under the
present Summary Proceedings Act, if you do not show up to have your trial date set, sort of the so-called
arraignment, you are found guilty. But there is also a provision there that if you don’t show up and you can
then convince the judge that you had a good excuse, then the matter is overturned. It is the same at the trial
level. If you have a trial and you don’t show up, you are found guilty, but the conviction can be overturned if
you have a good reason. That provision is there to ensure due process and I think that is important. So, I think
we are trying to respect avoiding delays on the one hand and due process on the other and I think we are doing
that.



I had a question raised by both honourable members about Clause 3, Subsection 269 of Chapter 293
of the Motor Vehicle Act. What this has provided for on Page 2 and Page 3 in the bill, Clause 3, Subsection
269(1), what is provided under the Motor Vehicle Act is, “Where a person is in default of payment of all or
part of a fine and costs imposed upon conviction for (a) an offence under this Act or the regulations;”.



We are adding an (aa) in there, which will deal with parking, “Subsection (a)(a) an offence under
a municipal by-law involving unlawful parking, standing or stopping of a motor vehicle;”, so that we are
adding that. Then you go down, the powers of the Registrar, and that was the question and it is clearly
outlined in the bill. This will also be used, I might add, in the Maintenance Enforcement Act, when there are
certain violations, certain powers are given. Under Section 269(2) of the Motor Vehicle Act, “Where a person
is in default of payment pursuant to subsection (1), the Registrar may refuse to renew a driver’s license or
owner’s permit or transfer or register a vehicle of such person . . .”, and it continues. In other words, the
powers are clearly there when a person doesn’t pay their fine, just as the Director of Maintenance
Enforcement, in another way, will have the power to request that certain privileges be revoked by the Registry
of Motor Vehicles if certain payments ordered by the courts are not made. So, it is clear that that is provided
for.



[4:30 p.m.]



The only other matter I wanted to raise, and it was raised by both, and I think it was fair but
particularly the Leader of the Opposition raised this one, about the registered mail versus ordinary mail. I
think the member for Halifax Fairview felt that the ordinary mail is probably a sensible thing, it saves costs
initially but also important staff costs, where people take a lot of time and care to see that this is done. In
general, the regular mail will do the trick.



Mr. Speaker, there is provision under the Motor Vehicle Act that if you don’t show a change of
address, you are in violation of the Act. So it really isn’t an excuse to go to the court and say, well, I didn’t get
my regular mail because I am at a new address because you are required, under the Act, to make that change.
In any event, if somebody has not moved, has been at the same address and, for some reason, they don’t get
their regular mail, they can raise this with the court. But I did take the time to check, and I say this
particularly for all honourable members, but the Leader of the Opposition, in both Saskatchewan and in
Toronto, especially in Toronto, with large volumes, it is done by regular mail and they find that it works.
Saskatchewan follows the same procedure and it seems to work well.



So I commend the bill to all honourable members and if there is anybody who wants to come along
to the Law Amendments Committee, I think it would be a chance to make any suggestions and, if possible,
as Chairman of the Law Amendments Committee and as the minister responsible, I am certainly open to
improvements in the bill. Thank you very much and I move second reading.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 137. Would all those
in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



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



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I could ask the permission of the House to call
for third reading some of the bills that were dealt with in the Committee of the Whole House this afternoon?



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for
Third Reading.



PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 109 and I would move third
reading.






Bill No. 109 - Tourist Accommodations Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 109.



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



The motion is carried.



Ordered that the bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be
engrossed.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 111.



Bill No. 111 - Fatality Inquiries Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: I think it is only fair, for the record, since we all know that the
Committee of the Whole House doesn’t appear on the record, that I think appreciation should be expressed
to the minister that he responded to concerns raised at second reading level and again today, when we tried
to come to some cooperation about moving forward with this. We had a concern, frankly, about the fact that
the government’s stated intention was not necessarily going to be achieved by the bill in its presented form.
What is desirable is to require that there be special pathologist’s training required of the chief medical
examiner and rather than leave it to chance and leave it to regulations, it seemed to us that it was very much
in order and consistent with the government-stated objective that that provision be contained in the bill itself.



So I want to say that I think the minister himself is to be commended for coming forward with this
amendment today, making it possible to not only move ahead from the Committee of the Whole House but,
I think, to deal with it on third reading we don’t just automatically waive notice to go to third reading without
there being that kind of cooperation back and forth across the floor and, I think, it is important for the record
to show that where there is that kind of collaboration, that kind of consultation, that we can move speedily
to deal with these things, and we have no hesitation about indicating our support for third reading under those
circumstances at this time. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 111. Would all those in favour of the
motion please Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that the bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered
that the bill be engrossed.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to move en bloc:



Bill No. 112 - Trustee Act.



Bill No. 113 - Natural Products Act.



Bill No. 116 - House of Assembly Act.



Bill No. 117 - Innovation Corporation Act.



Bill No. 119 - Motor Vehicle Act.



Bill No. 121 - Special Places Protection Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of these bills. Would all those in favour of the
motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motions are carried.



Ordered that these bills do pass. Ordered that the titles be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bills
be engrossed.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 128.



Bill No. 128 - Farm Registration Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, I just want to say a few words on this bill, I have no
intentions of holding up the House. I congratulate the minister for bringing this bill forward. I think it is
important to the farm organizations of Nova Scotia that this bill is duly passed and will be very beneficial to
all farmers across the province.



I would also thank the minister for making some amendments to the bill, especially about the refund
for anybody that would not want to be part of it, that they could get their money back and I am very pleased
that the minister did put that in the bill so that it is there, it is entrenched. Again, I say I certainly will be
voting for the bill here in third reading.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 128. Would all those in favour of the
motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



Ordered that the bill as a whole do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that
the bill be engrossed.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 129.



Bill No. 129 - Public Highways Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation.



HON. RICHARD MANN: I move that Bill No. 129 be now read a third time.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 129. Would all those in favour of the
motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



Ordered that the bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be
engrossed.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Private and Local Bills for Third
Reading.



PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to move en bloc:



Bill No. 118 - Amherst Cemetery Company Act.



Bill No. 123 - Springhill Parks and Recreation Commission Act.



Bill No. 127 - Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities Act.



Bill No. 133 - Community of Sackville Landfill Compensation Act.



Bill No. 135 - Eastern Shore Recreation Commission Act.



Bill No. 136 - Yarmouth County Agricultural Society Financial Assistance Act.



Bill No. 138 - St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation Assistance Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for the third reading of these bills. Would all those in favour of the
motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motions are carried.



Ordered that these bills do pass. Ordered that the titles be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bills
be engrossed.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government’s business for today. I would
advise members of the House that we will sit again on January 3, 1995 from the hours of 12:00 noon until
8:00 p.m. and we will be convening with Committee of the Whole House, on Bill No. 120, the Gaming
Control Act.



Mr. Speaker, I would move that we adjourn until January 3, 1995 at 12:00 noon and I would like to
wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, I would certainly like to echo the sentiments expressed by the Government
House Leader and to wish you all a most Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year.



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



The motion is carried.



The House stands adjourned until January 3, 1995 at 12:00 noon.



[The House rose at 4:43 p.m.]