Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017
























HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4, 1995



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Second Session



2:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mr. Gerald O’Malley






MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We will commence this afternoon’s sitting at this time. Are there any
introductions of visitors? If not, we will go through the daily routine.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition signed by 1,492 people. The
undersigned are opposed to the establishment of casinos in Nova Scotia and hereby oppose any legislative
change to permit casinos in Nova Scotia. I also have signed the petition for tabling.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture.



HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a reply to Written Question No. 11,
please.



MR. SPEAKER: The return is tabled.



The honourable Minister of Health.



5919

 

HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table answers to several oral questions
posed last week by the honourable member for Hants West and also the honourable member for Pictou West
as well.



MR. SPEAKER: The responses are tabled.



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise members of the House that a possible
future use for the Plymouth Mine site has been recommended by a Pictou County committee that was
appointed last August. Our government has worked very closely with the local community to help determine
its future and I am encouraged by the results of the cooperative approach.



The Plymouth Mine Site Reutilization Committee represents a wide range of community interest
groups in Pictou County. It was asked to develop and propose ideas for a possible future use of the site. The
committee has proposed that some surface facilities at the site, such as the office building, the electrical
building and, possibly, the wash plant building be used to establish a world-class industrial safety training
facility. Such a training facility would serve a broad range of industries. The committee also recommended
that the final reclamation of the site, in other words, green fielding and restoration should proceed as soon
as possible.



Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that a contract to stabilize the site for the winter was awarded
to Satellite Construction in late December. The committee has further recommended that a feasibility study
be conducted to determine the long-term viability of a world-class industrial safety training facility at the site.



Mr. Speaker, I accept the committee’s proposal and am pleased to announce that an independent
study of the proposal will be conducted. Funding for the study will be provided under the Canada-Nova Scotia
Mineral Development Agreement and a call for tenders will be issued soon. After the study is completed, there
will be no further expenditure of provincial government money on the Plymouth site.



I want to emphasize, Mr. Speaker, that if the industrial safety training facility is established, it must
be a viable, private sector enterprise with absolutely no involvement of the taxpayers’ dollars.



Mr. Speaker, I extend sincere thanks and gratitude to the members of the committee, chaired by Dr.
Ellen McLean, for their dedication and commitment to this important project. Dr. McLean and her colleagues
represent a wide range of community interest groups in Pictou County and they have served the community
exceedingly well. In my opinion, they have put forth a recommendation that has the community’s best interest
at heart. I applaud and commend Dr. McLean and the committee for the exemplary service to their
community. Thank you. (Applause)



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the statement by the Minister of Natural
Resources and, of course, he is responsible for mining and energy.



Mr. Speaker, I don’t think any of us will ever forget the tragedy, the mining disaster that happened
back on May 9, 1992. I am very encouraged by this announcement. The Pictou County committee is a highly
respected group of individuals and I am also encouraged by the fact that this minister’s department worked
with that committee. In fact, today we are hearing the results of some of the work that the two different groups
did when they got together. In fact, I would encourage all the government departments to cooperate in that
form with people in Nova Scotia.



The minister talks about a world-class industrial safety training facility and I sincerely hope that it
is not pie in the sky. The minister also talks about the Canada-Nova Scotia Mineral Development Agreement
which, again, is going to expire as is the forestry agreement at the end of March of this year, just in a couple
of months’ time.



I sure hope that the feasibility study comes up with a recommendation to, in fact, establish a world-class safety training facility at the site. I think it would certainly be a boost for the economy, a boost for that
area, and, in fact, would go a long way to restoring that site. Again, I applaud the minister for coming forward
with this statement today. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I, too, want to thank the minister for his statement. I don’t
have much to say at this point. Certainly, my understanding of the efforts of the Pictou County committee is
very positive, that the committee has worked well together, and it is, I think, an example of community efforts
and the way that communities can be brought together in working with the government to make issues move
forward. Certainly, any such training facility that would deal with the question of safety would be an asset,
not only for Pictou County, but all of Nova Scotia.



It is of interest to see that the site will be stabilized for the winter and that is certainly good news.
In terms of anything else that is contained in this statement, Mr. Speaker, I will have to check further with
Dr. McLean and her colleagues and members of the community, but, for the time being, I thank the minister
for his statement. If we have any other concerns or comments, we will certainly offer those at a later date.
Thank you.



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.



RESOLUTION NO. 1374



HON. JOHN SAVAGE (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall
move the adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas on January 14, 1994, Nova Scotia was the first province to sign the Infrastructure
Agreement, an economic initiative of all three levels of government; and



Whereas this agreement, as a result of the cooperative effort of the federal, provincial and municipal
governments in Nova Scotia, has shown great success; and



Whereas during the past year, this effort has resulted in a total of $179,697,220 being invested in the
Province of Nova Scotia by three levels of government and the creation of 4,064 jobs for Nova Scotians;
(Applause)



Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulates the federal, provincial and municipal
governments on the outstanding success of this endeavour and on their willingness to work together for the
good of all Nova Scotians.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried, unanimously. (Applause)



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



NOTICES OF MOTION



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



RESOLUTION NO. 1375



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



Whereas people are sick to death of tax increases, whether they be federal, provincial or municipal;
and



Whereas ratepayers in Halifax County have now learned they may face a 7 per cent increase in their
property tax bills this fiscal year, due to the province’s service exchange legislation; and



Whereas the whole idea behind service exchange, as well as reform, is to save taxpayers money, not
to increase costs to them;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Municipal Affairs think long and hard before bringing
forth legislation that increases tax upon Nova Scotians.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1376



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



Whereas the Premier made a New Year’s gift to his Cabinet by promising that as soon as this sitting
ends, he will shuffle them; and



Whereas this will maintain the Christmas spirit, with the Premier watching to see who will receive
a lump of coal in their February stocking and who will receive a Valentine goodie; and



Whereas the Premier has ensured that ministers, public servants and Nova Scotians cannot rely upon
any minister’s undertaking, since a new minister may soon have different ideas;



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier should consider another line of work, if threatening a
Cabinet shuffle is his only means of keeping some discipline within the Liberal caucus and some solidarity
among his self-defeated Cabinet.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Yarmouth.



RESOLUTION NO. 1377



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



Whereas a new hospital social worker specializing in adolescent care joined the team of the Regional
Health Centre in Yarmouth yesterday for the new six bed acute care teen crisis unit; and



[2:15 p.m.]



Whereas the teen crisis unit will be open in two months to provide around-the-clock care for teens
in the catchment area of Yarmouth, Digby and Shelburne Counties; and



Whereas the teen crisis unit will also provide an aggressive outreach component;



Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the staff at the Regional Health
Centre, the Department of Community Services and the Department of Health for addressing this needed
source of crisis intervention.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1378



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



Whereas the Liberal Association newsletter that cost Neale Bennet his job reports in the December
issue that “Santa dropped by a recent Caucus meeting to go over his list to see who’s been naughty and who’s
been nice!”; and



Whereas the accompanying photograph shows 29 stalwart Liberals and old St. Nick himself; and



Whereas the newsletter is silent about the 11 or 12 Liberal MLAs who wouldn’t even be
photographed with Santa Clause if other provincial government members were also in the picture;



Therefore be it resolved that Santa should use Liberal caucus photos to determine who’s smart enough
to keep out of the line of fire, not just who’s been naughty or nice.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Cape Breton West.



RESOLUTION NO. 1379



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



Whereas 1995 will mark the 275th Anniversary of the founding of the Fortress of Louisbourg and
the 250th Anniversary of the first British siege of Louisbourg; and



Whereas these historical events will be celebrated in Louisbourg this summer as part of a major
international activity involving such countries as Canada, the United States, France and Britain; and



Whereas many short and long-term economic and social benefits will be realized, particularly in
tourism, as a result of this major event;



Therefore be it resolved that in the opinion of this House the organizers of this international event,
in particular the Louisbourg 1995 Commemoration Society be supported and commended as they prepare the
undertaking of this major international milestone.



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.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1380



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



Whereas the Finance Minister and many of his Cabinet colleagues have argued that their rush into
casino gambling was in part justified by the Community Services Committee’s Report; and



Whereas the Chairperson who presented that report to Nova Scotians, the MLA for Halifax Bedford
Basin, should therefore be among the loudest and proudest supporters of casino gambling; and



Whereas in a long, exhaustive constituency report describing this government as “innovative, resolute
and bold”, that MLA didn’t even acknowledge the casino initiative, much less praise it;



Therefore be it resolved that this House recognizes the honesty which inspired the MLA for Halifax
Bedford Basin to withhold his generous kudos from the government’s casino plans, but suggests it would have
been even more honest for him and others to face the music and admit that they too were part of the Liberal
gambling team.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, I don’t know. I hesitate to encourage resolutions of that type. The honourable
Clerk may take a look at it, perhaps.



The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Cape Breton West.



RESOLUTION NO. 1381



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



Whereas Nova Scotia’s economic, social and cultural development is integrally related as part of
Canada; and



Whereas the success or failure of Nova Scotia’s political framework is often measured by the quality
of our representation;



Therefore be it resolved that in the opinion of this House, the Honourable David C. Dingwall,
Minister of Public Works and Nova Scotia’s representative in our federal Cabinet receive full approbation of
this House for his cooperative efforts in securing projects such as the Nova Scotia Infrastructure Program and
the G-7 Summit.



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



I hear several Noes.



The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Hants East.



RESOLUTION NO. 1382



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



Whereas a new native studies course has been developed at Hants East Rural High School in Milford
to give students an opportunity to learn about native people from a native perspective; and



Whereas such a course will help enhance the native students’ sense of self and pride in their history,
while encouraging a healthy dialogue between natives and non-natives on significant issues; and



Whereas the native studies course has been developed through the efforts of the high school’s
administration, residents of Indian Brook Reserve and the members of a student group at the high school, the
Mi’Kmaq Cultural Alliance;



Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud the teachers and students of Hants East Rural High
School for creating this new native studies course.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Minister of Community Services.



RESOLUTION NO. 1383



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



Whereas Prince Andrew High School in Dartmouth East will once again play host to the Sixth
Annual City of Lakes High School Hockey Tournament; and



Whereas between January 5th and January 8th, teams from Nova Scotia, Ontario, Newfoundland and
New Brunswick will be vying for the City of Lakes High School Championship; and



Whereas numerous volunteers have worked for many months to ensure that this tournament is a
success;



Therefore be it resolved that this House extends its best wishes to all volunteers, players and coaches
for a successful weekend at the Sixth Annual City of Lakes High School Hockey Tournament.



Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice on 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 Annapolis.



RESOLUTION NO. 1384



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



Whereas the Western Valley Development Authority recently completed the first in a series of
regional meetings, geared to generate public input into the Western Valley Development Authority’s economic
blueprint; and



Whereas some of the objectives of WVDA’s plan include examining and outlining the region’s
current economic and social conditions along with reviewing, evaluating and developing a statement of
strengths and weaknesses; and



Whereas the Western Valley Development Authority is the first federal, provincial and municipally-funded regional board in Nova Scotia;



Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate this government for supporting the
Western Valley Development Authority’s exploration of those economic sectors pertinent to this region’s fiscal
future.



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



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



Is it agreeable to the House?



I hear a No.



The notice is tabled.



I wish to advise the House that the Clerk has conducted a draw for the Adjournment debate at 6:00
p.m. and it was won by the honourable member for Sackville-Beaverbank. However, in view of the fact that
the water is to be shut off at 6:00 p.m. and we have been asked to try to clear the House as quickly as possible,
he has agreed to forego his submission and therefore there will be no Adjournment debate at 6:00 p.m. this
afternoon.



I also wish to advise the House that I have received a letter from Mr. Wilf Carter of Glendale,
Arizona in response to a resolution passed by this House wishing him a happy birthday. It reads, many thanks
to all the Nova Scotia Legislature for the birthday resolution. I will try to say always smile and never frown
and thank the good Lord we are still above ground. Regards, Wilf Carter.



Now the Oral Question Period today will last for 90 minutes and the time is now 2:25 p.m. so, it will
last until 3:55 p.m.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH - AMBULANCE OPERATORS ASSOC.: MIN. - MEET



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. I have a letter that
I will table from the President of the Ambulance Operators Association that was sent to the minister on
October 17th. On the top of that letter it was marked, “URGENT”. In it, the president outlines a number of
serious problems that the ambulance operators are having: he failed to get a meeting with minister or failed
to get a reply to the letter. He indicated in the letter that when a meeting he had with the minister and the
Premier last summer, that the Premier and the minister assured the ambulance operators that they would be
involved in the development of a new system for providing ambulance service in this province but, to date,
no discussions have taken place.



He says in the letter we have no idea what is happening with the present program nor if we are even
going to be a part of the new program. I would ask the minister today, when will the minister, or perhaps Ms.
Golden, offer some answers to the ambulance operators in this province so they won’t have to give notice like
Dort’s Ambulance Service did in Pictou?



HON. RONALD STEWART: We have had numerous meetings on this in preparation for the
appointment of Ms. Golden as the Director of Emergency Health Services, which we effected the appointment
several weeks ago. She has been directed to continue our intent to develop transitional plans and in fact there
has been discussion with many of the ambulance operators in terms of their specific financial needs. She will
continue on those, taking over for Mr. Dinham in the professional services insurance division and that
dialogue will continue. As late as this morning, I had a meeting with her and we planned indeed to convey,
to both Mr. Schaffner and the ambulance operators, some plans that we were considering and to share with
them some of the intent.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I am a little confused. The President of the Ambulance Operators,
Executive Director, Bob Schaffner, says there hasn’t been any meetings with the minister and yet the minister
says we have been meeting. Well the ambulance operators don’t know what is going on. I would ask the
minister, and I know the minister has said that we must make sure that the current level of services are
upgraded the best we can until we get the new system in place, I think he said that as late as yesterday, when
will the minister commit - I know he said that there will be meetings. I think a few minutes ago - that there
will be a meeting with the ambulance operators to help them in this transition period because they want to
know what is going on? I think I heard the minister say there would be a meeting. Will he tell us today how
soon that meeting will take place with the operators?



DR. STEWART: I repeat, Mr. Speaker, that we have had meetings with individual ambulance
operators concerning their specific needs; we have done that. We have committed funds to that effect. We
have indeed been very concerned about some of their particular problems and I would ensure that this concern
continues and the plan that is being developed in terms of further needs that they have may have, in particular
the ambulance operation to which the honourable gentleman referred. I have tabled a letter with the
honourable gentleman for Pictou West regarding that specific instance and I will assure him that this coming
week we will proceed along those lines to provide information and also meet.



MR. MOODY: I thank the minister because I think what the ambulance operators to this point in
time have been wanting to know is, is there going to be assistance coming from the province to help them?
The minister has indicated today that there is and I am pleased that there is because, as I understand, there
were other operators who didn’t hear in the very near future and were going to have to close down as well.
I would just ask the minister in final supplementary, and I think I heard him say that there is money
committed now to help these operators in need during this transition period until the new system takes place,
will the minister confirm that, please?



DR. STEWART: Yes, I would also confirm that funds have already been expended in this regard to
several of the operators and we will continue to apply the plans that we are making in terms of what their
needs are, determining the needs of individual operators. We would like to have a more cohesive plan to do
that in a fair way across the board. So, in essence, that is what our meetings will be from now on.



[2:30 p.m.]



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



FIN. - GAMING REGULATIONS: OVERHAUL - COMMITMENT



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question through you, sir, to the Minister
of Finance in his capacity of being in charge of gaming in the province. Last May 19th, the minister stood
in his place, proud as a peacock, and certainly got the praise of members of this House when he announced
that there had been an exhaustive review of public gaming in all its forms and that that had been completed
and that new draft regulations had been prepared, in consultation with law enforcement authorities.



Those regulations, among other things, were going to hold the bingo industry accountable. That
means help to certainly eliminate the obvious and well-known opportunities for fraud and illegal activities.
The minister promised that those regulations were to take effect July 1, 1994. Mr. Speaker, there are still no
such regulations.



My question to the minister is quite simply, why have you broken your commitment that you made
in this House close to a year ago?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for that question. The
honourable member knows that in areas such as bingo and other areas, there is a need for a revision of
regulations governing those activities in the province. Indeed, we recognized the need and made public
reference to it here.






We did, indeed, draft new regulations and brought forward a first draft copy of those regulations. At
about the same time we commissioned the Casino Project Committee to undertake the entire review of the
regulatory regime for gaming in Nova Scotia. Their mandate was not simply to review casino regulations but
to review all gaming regulations.



They have done that; they are in the process of completing that activity. The bingo regulations and
others that he refers to will be made public, with the casino regulations, in the very near future.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, well, the minister said in May that they had already completed that
exhaustive review and the minister had already announced and, in fact, appointed his gaming commission
before he made the announcement in this House.



Mr. Speaker, I would like to quite simply ask the minister this, did the minister stand and make his
announcement that responded to the very specific concerns of law enforcement agencies, knowing at the time
he was making his announcement that he had absolutely no intentions of putting those new regulations into
force?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, quite simply, it didn’t seem to make much sense bringing out a set
of bingo regulations at a point in time when you were asking the Casino Project Committee to review the
regulations and bring out their recommendations. The concerns about which the member speaks are real but
they have existed in this province for decades.



Now it seemed prudent to us, since we had asked the Casino Project Committee to review regulations,
including bingo, that we allow them to do the job and bring in one set, instead of bringing in one set, getting
everybody in line with those and then bringing out another set two or three months later.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I have to suggest to the minister that his credibility is dropping fast. I
would simply like to ask the minister one question, if it wasn’t anything more than a public relations exercise,
why did you waste the time of this House? Why did you bother to make this announcement when you had no
intention of doing it when you said, as you did in your answer, it didn’t make any sense? Why did you bother
to make the announcement?



MR. BOUDREAU: I know the honourable member is very concerned about wasting time in the
House. I can simply say as directly as I can, it simply didn’t make sense at that point, having then
commissioned (Interruptions) Mr. Speaker, I don’t think I interrupted their question. If they would like the
answer, I would like to give it to them. The answer simply is that it didn’t make sense to bring out two sets
of bingo regulations within months of one another to deal with a problem that has existed in Nova Scotia for
decades. Now that is as simple an answer as I can give on this matter.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



EDUC. - MCGILL UNIV.: STUDENTS (N.S.) - ACCEPTANCE



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. It has come to my attention
that at the present time McGill University in the Province of Quebec will no longer accept Nova Scotian
students into their faculty of medicine but that they will still accept students from P.E.I. and New Brunswick.
I was wondering if the Premier was aware of that situation?



THE PREMIER: Yes, Mr. Speaker, we are aware of it.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that Dr. Ogilvie, the President and Vice Chancellor
of Acadia, wrote the Premier on November 14th and has yet to receive a response, I wonder if the Premier
would advise the House as to what action he has taken with regard to that correspondence?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I gave a factual answer, yes. What I did was discuss it with the
Minister of Education and the Minister of Education will now take the question.



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable Premier for referring the
question. I received a letter from Dr. Ogilvie and the moment I received the letter I spoke to the honourable
Minister of the Environment and he called Dr. Ogilvie and spoke to him. We, then, contacted Bernard
Shapiro, who is the President of McGill University, and we spoke to the president about the situation. The
Government of Quebec basically made a ruling, or made a decision, that they would not be accepting medical
students from any other province in Canada except Quebec and outside the country. That is under review. It
is a decision that was made by the Quebec Government and we have asked for it to be reviewed.



In reference to the intent of the honourable member’s question, as I have indicated, we responded to
it within a matter of an hour of receiving the letter from Dr. Ogilvie. We have spoken to him through the
Minister of the Environment. I think the date was November 15th when we faxed a response to him.
(Interruption) Pardon? Well, we will make sure that a letter is sent. We have spoken to him and the
information was passed on to him.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I still do not think the Minister of Education has the facts right anyway
because he said that the Province of Quebec is not accepting any students from outside the Province of Quebec
and to the best of my knowledge that is incorrect. They are still accepting students from New Brunswick and
P.E.I.



AN HON. MEMBER: And the U.S.



MR. RUSSELL: And the United States. Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, as far as I understand it,
Dalhousie University is still accepting students from the Province of Quebec and I was wondering if the
Minister of Education is taking any action that would be quid pro quo with the Province of Quebec.



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, if I might, again, I will provide the honourable member with
a letter from Bernard Shapiro, who is the President of McGill University, but they are not accepting students
from other provinces. That was a decision of the government. We are asking that that be reviewed and I would
be acting irresponsibly if I were to act in a knee-jerk reaction to this because I am asking that it be
reconsidered and then we will take action based on what that reconsideration is.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.






HEALTH: DOCTORS (RURAL) - ROLL-BACK



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. It arises out of a letter
that was forwarded to me by the North Queens Community Health Centre Association - or a copy which was
forwarded to me, an original to the minister. The minister may not yet have had an opportunity to see it and
I will table it for the edification of the House and the more immediate edification of the minister.



As the minister and all rural members will recognize, it is very often difficult to get doctors to locate
in rural communities. This is particularly true of communities such as the Caledonia area in my own
constituency of Queens. The author of the letter, Mr. Wamboldt, writing on behalf of the association,
expresses great concern that it may be more difficult for the association to continue to have available to it the
services of Dr. Adele Belliveau and in the event that she should leave, to attract the services of a new
physician because of the impact of the 3 per cent roll-back in wages that she is experiencing as a result of the
government’s restraint program.



I wonder if the minister could explain for my constituents why it is that, considering the
circumstances surrounding rural communities, Dr. Belliveau and persons like her, would be caught up in this
3 per cent roll-back?



HON. RONALD STEWART: It is, Mr. Speaker, a broader view I would like to take of the question
than simply a 3 per cent roll-back. The issue is fee-for-service. That is the issue. It is a fee-for-service
remuneration, which is unique. There is no exception other than, perhaps, 10 per cent of physicians. As long
as we have rural physicians required to act in a volume way to produce revenue, we will have the same
problem. We need a different way of remunerating physicians in the rural area and we need to take a very
innovative approach.



I offer that, of course, to our colleagues in the Medical Society to consider. We are at the moment
considering this and I would say that the issue raised by the honourable gentleman opposite and by the letter
which he has tabled, is a very key one, key to our rural constituents and, also, I might say, key to the urban,
as well.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, again, dealing of the same matter and understanding what the minister
hopes to accomplish as a result of health reform, is the minister aware that since Dr. Belliveau began her
practice in the north Queens-south Annapolis area, that there has been a decrease in the use of emergency and
of out-patient facilities by residents living in that area, solely as the result of her being present and, therefore,
without her presence or the presence of a physician then it would put further strain on those facilities? Is the
minister aware of this?



DR. STEWART: Yes, I would assure the honourable gentleman opposite that I am quite aware of
that. I am quite aware that when a physician establishes himself or herself in a particular area and the fall in
the volume in a given hospital affects the physicians practising in that other area.



So we are, again, caught up with the problem of fee-for-service remuneration. We need a fairer, we
need a better way of providing for the proper and appropriate remuneration of physicians in the system in
Nova Scotia. I pledge myself to work toward that, as I am sure many of my colleagues in the Medical Society
and elsewhere would do.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, in view of the concerns expressed by Mr. Wamboldt in a letter to the
minister and in view of the positive aspect of the presence of this physician with respect to the demand on
services at Queens General Hospital and South Shore Regional Hospital, and with respect to the presence of
the physician in the community, with respect to helping to improve lifestyles and practising preventive
medicine, would the minister undertake to respond to this letter, personally, so that my constituents have the
benefit of his personal advice and views?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I have not had a chance to peruse the letter. I would certainly reply
to this letter. This is one of the many we receive in terms of the problems of rural physicians, particularly, and
the problems of under-serviced specialities in the province. However, I would, of course, remind this House
and the honourable gentleman opposite that my view is but one view, which must be married with the view
of the Medical Society and their negotiating team, but I would pledge to work with them towards the
correction and towards the solution of these problems, which are very properly put forward by the honourable
gentleman opposite. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



COMMUN. SERV. - SEXUAL ABUSE: VICTIMS - COMPENSATION



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services.
On December 2nd of last year, the minister released a report of the review of the Lunenburg Family and
Children’s Services Agency. In response to a number of questions at that press conference, the minister said
he would set up a committee to negotiate compensation for the victims who were sexually abused while in a
foster home, which had been provided through that agency.



I wonder if the minister will tell us, today, who comprises the committee which is intended to deal
with those matters and would he be prepared to table the mandate of that committee?



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, just a point of clarification on the issue of compensation as
opposed to implementation. There is an implementation committee that is acting on the report. This is
basically made up of senior staff. There was also a commitment made at that time, if the member would
remember, to refer matters relative to the report to the Minister’s Advisory Committee on the Children and
Family Services Act.



More specifically, on the issue of compensation, it was mentioned at that time, by myself, that I
would assume that there would be people coming forward for compensation due to the nature of the report.
That is basically the responsibility of the Family Services Agency involved, which is in Lunenburg County.
Any request for compensation would be made to their lawyer.



[2:45 p.m.]



I might say that we also have our senior staff available to that particular group and also the
Department of Justice is involved. Specifically, I don’t have a mandate before me. If there is such a thing that
has been formally drawn up, I would make it available to the House, Mr. Speaker, but I think the team is in
place, it is working. There are several people who are now undergoing counselling as a result of that. I must
say that I would like to report to the House that this process that is set in place, as we promised, is in place
and I would like to report that it is working.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I take it, I think I understand the answer correctly to be that the
group set up to work out compensation if, indeed, any such compensation will be handled, will be the lawyer
of the agency who was in the middle of this whole mess and by which or through which or, as a result of the
perhaps inappropriate conduct of some members of that agency, the difficulties occurred and were allowed
to continue. Are we now being told that the person who will handle the matter of negotiation of compensation
for victims sexually assaulted will be the lawyer representing the agency in whose care these children were
at the time they were sexually assaulted? Am I understanding the answer correctly?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I believe the honourable member is understanding correctly. I don’t know
why he would have such difficulty in having faith in members of his own profession. I don’t believe that the
lawyer himself, the particular lawyer was involved in any way. I mean he acts as counsel to this non-profit
agency. I would have the utmost faith that that would be treated in a most serious manner. This is a most
serious issue and to imply that that person would not act in a professional manner, maybe he would like to
make me aware of some information he has that maybe I should be aware of.



MR. DONAHOE: Well, I think the minister knows clearly that the lawyer involved in the situation
is retained by a client. The client is the client being called upon to negotiate compensation. I am not casting
aspersions on the integrity or the ability of the lawyer involved. However, he happens to work for the
organization that is required to provide him with advice as to how much compensation might be available.



May I ask, as a final supplementary, this question to the minister, at the press conference which this
minister held on December 2nd, the minister indicated that the negotiations for compensation would take
place over the next month. That month has now passed and I wonder if the minister can indicate whether or
not negotiations for compensation have been completed with any or all of those who have alleged sexual
assault and are entitled to compensation?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, maybe the honourable member is aware that I made that statement about
one month. I am not aware. It is my recollection that I said two to three months at least. But I must say one
month, which included the holiday season, of course, that arrangements have been made with several persons
who have come forward to their lawyer and it has been quite satisfactorily resolved, I am informed and I have
been advised that counselling is ongoing. Specifically on compensation, I cannot comment. At this time I am
awaiting any reports of ongoing discussions that would be taking place but it is certainly not the minister’s
role to be involved directly in that compensation.



I again point out that the agency within that county is really the one that is responsible, as a point
of entry to that system. I certainly will be watching it and our senior staff is currently monitoring and involved
in that, along with the Department of Justice, the agency and the Department of Community Services.
Certainly there has been progress made to date. There is not a finalization in all of the issues.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.






COMMUN. SERV. - SEXUAL ABUSE: VICTIMS - COMPENSATION



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question through you to the
Minister of Community Services on the same issue. The question of the holiday season may have slowed the
minister and his department down on this issue, but I would suggest to you that it has done nothing to ease
the pain the people that have been victimized in this whole fiasco are feeling. On December 2nd, and again
in this House on December 6th, this minister made a commitment to Debra Stevens and the other people
identified through the investigation into the activities around the event of Debra Stevens and her children and
the Baby Chayce and the activities of the Lunenburg Family and Children’s Services Agency, committed to
them that there would be compensation and that the process would commence immediately. It is my
understanding, and I want to ask this minister if he will in fact confirm for me that all requests of his
department from the victims of this disaster have been turned away?



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry but I will have to ask for clarification. That all
requests have been turned away? I don’t understand the question.



MR. CHISHOLM: I would be happy to rephrase that and try to address it in a way that the minister
can . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Could you please put it concisely without being charged a supplementary question?



MR. CHISHOLM: I put it concisely, Mr. Speaker, and I would suggest that maybe the minister
wasn’t paying attention and therefore he didn’t hear it. So, let me take a little more time and deliver it to him
in a way that he might understand. It is my understanding, and I am asking this minister to confirm whether
in fact it is the case, that requests to deal with compensation that have been directed to his department have
been turned away?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry. I grew up in a rural community in Nova Scotia and we had
some very peculiar sayings. I am not sure that I understand what being turned away means. I would like to
just say, though I will try to answer and be as fair with the member as I can, that when I referred to the
Christmas season or the holiday season slowing, I certainly did not refer, as I recall, in any way to our
department. I personally was in that department every day other than Boxing Day throughout the holiday and
many of our departmental people were working during that time and I didn’t want to imply that they weren’t.
I know there were some problems in returning phone calls to lawyers that were calling on behalf of others.



I have been advised that any requests for consideration of the broad issue of compensation,
particularly regarding counselling and other issues have been dealt with, that people that are acting on behalf
of any of the victims have been advised either by telephone or through letter on those matters. To my
knowledge, as of today, there are no outstanding requests that haven’t been acknowledged through senior
departmental officials of the Department of Community Services.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister would advise this House today who it is in his
department that is handling the question of compensation and what stage have they reached in dealing with
the whole matter of compensation with the representatives of Debra Stevens and other victims of the actions
of the Lunenburg Family and Children’s Services Agency?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I don’t want to get into a match with the honourable member today, but
he should be listening as well and maybe if he had listened to the answer to the honourable Leader of the
Official Opposition he would have understood what I said. The agency is the responsible group that the
contact is made for compensation. The Department of Community Services are a support to that, we are
working with the Department of Justice.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I will tell something to all members and especially to this minister,
I am listening as are all Nova Scotians that are concerned about this issue and what we have heard and what
we are getting confirmed here today is that this minister, on December 2nd, on behalf of this government and
particularly on behalf of his department, made another hollow promise to Debra Stevens and the other victims
of that agency. I want to ask him, in conclusion, what is he going to do to back up his commitment to initiate
a process to deal specifically with compensation for the victims of the actions of the Lunenburg Family and
Children’s Services Agency?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, that honourable member is making what I consider to be some reasonably
serious charges here, that we are not discharging our responsibility as we have promised to the victims. If he
has evidence of that, then I would ask him that he would bring it before this House and table it. I would be
prepared to respond in that way. But I am not going to respond to this type of fear-mongering and allegations
and he is really trying to cast doubt that we are responding.



I already informed that honourable member that there are no outstanding requests before us that I
am aware of, either the agency or our department or the Department of Justice. If he has information other
than that, would he bring it before the House? Otherwise, he should really be working to support this type of
initiative that we have promised and we are carrying out in any manner and way that we have pledged
support, that we have given it, if he has outstanding requests that are not being acknowledged, I certainly as
minister would encourage him to bring them before the House or myself.



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



NAT. RES. - ADVISORY COUNCIL: LEGISLATION - STATUS



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the honourable Minister
of Natural Resources. Legislation was passed in this Legislature in the fall of 1993, over one year ago,
concerning the establishment of a natural resources advisory council, not to be confused with a coalition of
forest interest groups. I am wondering, has Cabinet proclaimed that particular bill as of yet?



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, in fact the committee has been struck and the names are
now before the process in regard to ABCs’ appointments and hopefully they will be ratified in the very near
future.



MR. TAYLOR: I thank the minister for that response and I have got to admit I was somewhat
concerned that that too may have been a public relations exercise and I should apologize for my thought. But
I must ask the Minister of Natural Resources if a voice so to speak, a voice on that council will come from the
federation of wildlife or at least from a wildlife organization because there are different members of the
wildlife federation, the federation of wildlife, who would like to sit on that advisory council. I wonder if
consideration would be given to their request or if in fact they have already been named?



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, we have tried in this, the advisory council, to have as diverse a base of
involvement in the organization as possible. We have tried to involve the aboriginal peoples as well as even
agriculture and people that are involved with the wildlife organizations, whether they are affiliated with Ducks
Unlimited or other types of organizations. I think when the member opposite sees the make-up of the
committee that he will be reasonably impressed with the diversified base from which this committee will be
put together. Thank you.



MR. TAYLOR: I am wondering if the minister can give me an approximate date when that list, in
fact, will be going to the Human Resources Committee for ratification, rubber stamping or whatever you
would like to call it?



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, to my knowledge, the names are ready to go forward if they haven’t
already gone forward this week and they will then in turn be put through to the committee that Mrs. O’Connor
chairs and their representatives will be on that board to assess the people that we bring forward. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



NSP - COAL PURCHASE: DEVCO - NEGOTIATIONS



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: My question through you, Mr. Speaker, is to the Premier. As we all
know, Devco has been receiving subsidies from the federal government for several years and as of April 1st
this year, the subsidies will disappear. Nova Scotia Power Incorporated at the present time is negotiating a
new agreement for the pricing of coal for the next several years. Is it the government policy of this province
that all electricity will be generated using Devco’s coal?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it has been the policy of this government that it will be indigenous
coal as far as possible, yes.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Again, Mr. Speaker, through you to the Premier. The question of the roughly
$30 million subsidy that the federal government has been paying will be passed on to the purchaser, I assume,
of the coal. From the Government of Nova Scotia’s point of view, is it the consumers of electricity in Nova
Scotia who are going to be picking up the federal subsidy when it disappears or is this merely going to be
passed on to the users of the electricity from Nova Scotia Power Incorporated?



[3:00 p.m.]



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, at the instigation of members opposite, the Power Corporation was
privatized. It is the responsibility of the Power Corporation therefore. Quite simply.



MR. ARCHIBALD: However, some time ago, about a year ago, there was an opportunity for Nova
Scotia Power Incorporated to buy offshore coal and they were told, by the Premier, they could not purchase
offshore coal, they had to purchase Devco’s coal. Now, with the contract that is negotiated between Nova
Scotia Power Incorporated and Devco, will the Government of Nova Scotia insist that that arrangement goes
before the Utilities Review Board prior to it being signed and becoming a contract?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it is an existing contract. I would point out to you that last year we
did not say that they could not buy offshore coal, we said we would prefer that they didn’t buy offshore coal.
We lent whatever help we could, both to Devco and through the two ministers to deal with that issue. I am
very pleased to say that last year we were very successful due to the two bright ministers who worked on this.
In addition to that, Mr. Speaker, when the renewal of this contract comes up we will be doing all we can to
persuade Nova Scotia Power that they use indigenous coal.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION: MAYORS - INPUT



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. One cannot help but be struck
by the smoothness by which amalgamation seems to be occurring in Cape Breton County. (Applause) It is
certainly, I think, in marked contrast to the way that things have been occurring here in metro. In looking at
the press releases that are coming out, there still is that sense of antagonism that has been present since day
one of the announcement.



My specific question to the minister, what will be the specific roles for the four mayors in the metro
merger process?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: I thank the honourable member for the question, Mr. Speaker, because I
think it is an extremely important question. The mayors in the metropolitan area, similar to the mayors in the
Cape Breton area, play a very important role because they are the individuals who are responsible for the
current municipalities at this time. What I have tried to do, I have had a number of meetings with the mayors
to brief them, to update them, to get input from them with regard to the amalgamation. So those briefings and
those discussions with both myself and the coordinator will certainly be ongoing.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I make reference to a recent release that suggests rather than the four
metro mayors being involved in a direct consultative process with the metro merger coordinator that, in fact,
there has been a request for the councils to provide a citizens advisory committee. Would the minister advise
the House when these persons will be appointed and, specifically, what information they will be providing to
the metro merger coordinator?



MS. JOLLY: In the recent meeting that I had with the four metro mayors, which was just prior to
Christmas, I had asked if they would submit names to myself, actually to the coordinator, by the middle of
January so that we could have that committee up and running.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, by way of final supplementary, could the minister at this time indicate
to the House when she will be bringing forth the specific legislation dealing with the metro merger?



MS. JOLLY: I believe I made that statement a number of times, particularly since the announcement
of October 27th, that it is my intention to have legislation on the floor of the House in the spring of 1995.



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






FIN. - CASINOS: GAMING REGULATIONS - TABLE



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, when I finish I will table the statement made by the minister in
this House last May, so that the minister can refresh his memory and see what he is now calling silly, in terms
of the statements he made in the announcement.



Now, Mr. Speaker, at that time the minister said that there had been an exhaustive review.



MR. SPEAKER: Which minister?



MR. HOLM: That, of course, is the Minister of Finance, Mr. Speaker, whom I am referring back to,
who made, according to his own words, a silly announcement. Some might suggest it was more appropriately
a hoax. Anyway, he said there had been a complete and exhaustive review and that that had been completed
and that the new regulations and so on were going to be put into place last July.



My question to the minister, since we have not seen any of the other new regulations yet, is quite
simply, how does he expect that Nova Scotians are going to have any confidence or trust in this minister,
when he cannot even deliver on something as simple and straightforward - by putting into place the
regulations that he said were ready - as these regulations, which would have had the effect of limiting the
opportunities for fraud and illegal activities in gambling? I ask the minister that and I will table his statement.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: First of all, Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct an impression. I
didn’t call the statement silly in my previous response, I didn’t even call the member silly in my previous
response. I think this is a very serious question, I am sure, and a matter which stands at the top of the New
Democratic Party’s priority list, in terms of issues, so I want to address it in that vein.



We made the statement, we drafted a copy of new bingo regulations. We discussed them at the
Cabinet table. The decision at that time - it seemed to make sense to me, it didn’t seem to be a big deal - was
that instead of coming out with a set of bingo regulations at one point and then, in fact, asking the Casino
Project Committee to review them and bring in another set two months later, we would simply refer the matter
and the draft regulations that we had developed, on to them and let them bring forward the regulations on
bingo at the same time as they bring forward the regulations on casinos, at the same time as they bring
forward the regulations on other matters of gaming.



Their review of the regulatory regime of gaming in Nova Scotia is comprehensive. That report and
those regulations, bingo, casinos and all the others, will be made public, as we have committed, prior to their
passing.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker. I want the minister to know what is a top priority with Nova Scotians and
certainly with our caucus, is this minister’s credibility because the minister had already appointed the Gaming
Commission and had given them their mandate, prior to standing in this House, making his statement, trying
to hoodwink Nova Scotians into believing they were going to act. That was a soften-up blow, Mr. Speaker.



Every single commitment the minister has made to initiate tough measures, whether it be those that
he promised in the House . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Is this the question?



MR. HOLM: . . . or to the enforcement or the appointment of new enforcement officers has been
broken.



My question to the minister is quite simply, why?



MR. BOUDREAU: The question was, why? Quite simply put. Mr. Speaker, in all seriousness, the
honourable member indicates quite correctly that the mandate of the Casino Project Committee was put before
the House and it did - if the honourable member wants to read it - contain the direction to review the entire
regulatory regime of gaming in Nova Scotia, which would have included and did, in fact, include bingo
regulations. They are doing that and those regulations will come forward with the others, as I have said.



What I find astonishing is that this particular member finds that so upsetting and a matter of such
high priority, that he chooses to make it one of their most pressing concerns in the Province of Nova Scotia
today. (Applause)



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, what is extremely obvious from the minister’s statement is, what is not
a priority to this minister or to the government is to put in place those regulatory regimes that they said were
available and that they were going to put in place. In other words, the minister’s credibility and the statements
that he has made in terms of his word, are also very much at stake.



I would ask the minister one last question. It is an issue that was very important to him when he was
on this side of the House in Opposition. I ask the minister, who is Minister of Finance and, therefore, charged
with trying to get the maximum amount of revenue that he can into the coffers of Nova Scotia; secondly,
Chairman of the Priorities and Planning Committee, which are trying to reduce government spending; and
minister in charge of gaming, where they are trying to maximize and get the greatest amount of money that
you can out of gambling.



My question to the minister is, simply, does not holding all those positions put you in a position of
conflict and unable to fulfil your responsibilities?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I would like to match my credibility against the credibility of a
Party that claims to be interested in creating jobs in this province in principle and then opposes jobs in blood
fractionation, opposes a short-term job creation process this winter to put people to work, opposes 1,100 jobs
in casinos, opposes jobs in construction associated with that. Now, I will match my credibility against the
credibility of a Party that takes that position. (Applause)



I would invite the honourable member to speak to some of those unemployed construction workers
to see if they feel this question is as important as the honourable member obviously feels. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



FIN.: ATLANTIC LOTTERY CORP. - AUDIT



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance, the Minister in
charge of the Lottery Act. He is all wound up. Today, the Auditor General of New Brunswick, Ralph Black,
in his report, indicated that he and the Auditor General for Nova Scotia, Roy Salmon, had been denied access
to audit the Atlantic Lottery Corporation. I would ask the minister in charge, why those two Auditors General
have been denied access to the Atlantic Lottery Corporation?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Well, Mr. Speaker, that is a good question. I will give you my most
recent recollection of that, although I must indicate to you that this is not a matter that has been raised with
me in the latter months. I understand that they were not refused. I understand that the Atlantic Lottery
Corporation asked them to seek the permission of the local ministers in charge. I had given my indication well
in advance that I would be more than happy to grant that consent. I don’t think I have ever been asked for it.



MR. MOODY: I would then take from the minister, from what he is saying today, that he is giving
permission for the Auditor General of Nova Scotia to audit the Atlantic Lottery Corporation. Is he telling me,
with his approval that that can be done or can it be denied because New Brunswick will not cooperate?



MR. BOUDREAU: I can indicate to the honourable member that I have had discussions with the
Auditor General quite some time ago. That is why my memory is, maybe, a little faulty here. But quite some
time ago, I indicated that I had no objection to it. As a matter of fact, I thought it was a good idea. If there was
ever a request made of me, I would certainly consent and I would do so in writing. I make that commitment
now. But I don’t think that request ever came to me.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for the answer and his sincerity because I honestly
believe that the Auditors General for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick should have access to the corporation.
I would ask the minister then, if he would undertake to ensure that New Brunswick, if it is New Brunswick
that is holding us up in Nova Scotia, that he try and resolve that issue where both Auditors General can have
access, because I think it is public funds and I cannot imagine why, if New Brunswick is holding it up. But
I would ask the minister’s commitment to try to get this resolved, since it is in the Auditor General’s Report
in New Brunswick, claiming that they have both been denied access.



[3:15 p.m.]



MR. BOUDREAU: Well, Mr. Speaker, I have no difficulty at all in indicating that if the Auditor
General of Nova Scotia asks me for permission, in writing, I will give it to him. I think the audit of the
Atlantic Lottery Corporation is a good idea and I have always held that position. I will also undertake to have
discussion with my counterpart in New Brunswick to see if that is the problem; I don’t know if that is the
problem, I don’t know what the problem is. I can only tell the honourable member that I don’t think I have
received a request from our Auditor General.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

COMMISSIONER (MR. GRANT MORASH) - AUTHORITY



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. I
wonder if the Minister of Municipal Affairs could confirm that it is a fact that she arrived at the conclusion,
following the Priorities and Planning Committee meeting of November 1, 1994, that she was authorized to
offer the job of coordinator for implementing the metro municipal amalgamation to Mr. Grant Morash? Could
she confirm that she arrived at that conclusion that she did have such an authorization at that meeting and
left the meeting with that understanding?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think, as I have stated a number of times in the House of
Assembly here and under questioning pretty much the whole month of November, that it was my
understanding from leaving the meeting of the Priorities and Planning Committee on November 1st that I had
the authority to approach Mr. Grant Morash and have him act as the coordinator for the new Halifax
amalgamation.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, will the Minister of Municipal Affairs confirm that at that meeting
of November 1, 1994, from which she came away with the clear understanding in her mind that she was so
authorized that, among others at the meeting, the Premier and the Minister of Finance were present and
participants at that meeting?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think on a number of occasions it has been stated already in the House
during the questions in the month of November, that the Premier was at that meeting and that the Minister
of Finance was, in actual fact, chairing that meeting which is a role that he has as the Chairman of the
Priorities and Planning Committee.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister would confirm that immediately upon
leaving that meeting, that she, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, confirmed with her deputy, Mr. Cramm,
that she had been so authorized at that meeting and the wheels were set in motion to make contact with Mr.
Grant Morash? Is that correct?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think, again, as I have stated on a number of occasions in the month of
November under questioning, when I left that meeting, my deputy was in an outer office and I had spoken
with him and gave him that indication.



MR. SPEAKER: Now, before you begin your next question, I have allowed all these questions, but
Beauchesne clearly states that questions that have been previously answered or asked ought not to be asked
again. So, I simply throw out that caution.



The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

COMMISSIONER (MR. GRANT MORASH) - APPOINTMENT CONFIRM



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: I wonder if the minister could confirm for the House, Mr. Speaker,
that on November 1, 1994, she did, having the authority which we have just now been talking about, following
the P & P meeting, that she did, as is confirmed in Mr. Grant Morash’s statutory declaration attached to the
materials provided to Mr. Justice MacIntosh, that she did at that time call Grant Morash and offer him the
job? Would she confirm that?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I believe, as well as I have stated on a number of occasions -
and there is one thing I want to clarify here - the honourable member is suggesting that I had received the
authority from P & P, in actual fact, I think as I have clarified many times, it was my understanding, my
impression that I had that authority.



MR. DONAHOE: Well, I wonder, will the Minister of Municipal Affairs then confirm that the
statement made by Mr. Grant Morash in his statutory declaration to the effect that this minister did contact
him on November 1st and did in her very first telephone conversation with him on November 1st offer him
the position and confirm with him that she had the authority from the Priorities and Planning Committee, this
minister made that statement to Mr. Morash in the conversation with him as she offered him the position for
$225,000 as the metro coordinator?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, as I have stated on any number of occasions, I did have a telephone
conversation with Mr. Morash on November 1st, later in the morning after being at the Priorities and
Planning meeting. We discussed the job of the coordinator. I had asked him if he would be available and
would consider taking on that job and he said, yes he would.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I ask again if I may by way of final supplementary that this minister
delve if she would into the deep, dark recesses of her recollection and ask her to comment for me then and
recall that when Mr. Grant Morash says, as he did under oath, that he, Mr. Morash understood that he “. . .
was confirmed as the Province’s nominee in the first telephone conversation on Tuesday, November 1st by
the Minister of Municipal Affairs who was representing the authority granted her by the Priorities and
Planning Committees.”. Will the minister, in light of those words confirm, that she indicated to Mr. Grant
Morash in that first conversation with him on November 1st that she was calling, offering him the job and
that she was doing so with the authority of the Priorities and Planning Committee, as Mr. Morash attests
under oath? Would she confirm that?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think that is just exactly part of the discussion that I had in the previous
question in that in actual fact I had spoken with Mr. Morash and asked if he would be available to do the job
as the coordinator and if he would take that job on.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



PRIOR. & PLAN. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

COMMISSIONER (MR. GRANT MORASH) - NEGATION



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question through you to the
Premier. The Premier has said in this House back on November 22nd and I believe at other times that
following that infamous Priorities and Planning meeting on November 1st where there was some discussion
about hiring somebody to handle the amalgamation of the metro municipalities, that after leaving that he had
some second thoughts about it being sole-sourced and that he indicated that the following morning at I believe
6:50 a.m., he spoke to Brenda Shannon and asked her to call the minister and give her some directions about
that. I would like to ask the Premier if he would clarify, in light of additional information that we have seen,
if he would clarify that he gave Brenda Shannon very specific instructions that the decision to hire Grant
Morash was not to go forward and that they were to hire other individuals for this position?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will confirm what I have said before and that is that that telephone
call was made to Ms. Shannon and then on to the minister in order to make sure that people understood that
it was a call for proposals and that there were, in fact, other people to be interviewed as would happen in any
call for proposals.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs didn’t seem to get that
message as is reported in his sworn affidavit to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner. He states that on
November 2, 1994 and I will be happy to table this when I am through, he says in one sentence here, “Ms.
Shannon suggested the Minister contact additional candidates; however, there was no change in P & P’s
decision to appoint Grant Morash as the Co-ordinator.”. I guess my first supplementary to the Premier is, what
was it that he said to Brenda Shannon that convinced him that in fact the message was clear and what did he
do to follow it up to ensure that those directions were carried out as he had requested?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I have seen the affidavit, we have spent some time with this affidavit.
All I can tell you is that at no time was the deputy minister in Priorities and Planning meeting.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I think we understand that the deputy minister wasn’t at that
Priorities and Planning meeting. Most importantly, we understand that the Premier was at that meeting and
what we are trying to get is a true reflection of what happened and what decisions were made at that meeting
and what directions were given to carry out the instructions of the minister.



I guess my final question to the Premier is, it is apparent that Brenda Shannon did not carry out his
directions, as he indicated here he gave them to her. What has he done to discipline Brenda Shannon because
of her failure to carry out these duties, as was done in other instances?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, Ms. Shannon is a very competent, highly professional public servant
who always carries out her duties. Under those circumstances, I can tell you that Ms. Shannon did carry out
my request and discussions with her will, indeed, confirm this.



MR. SPEAKER: On a new question, the honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

COMMISSIONER (MR. GRANT MORASH) - DECISION



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. I
wonder if the minister can tell us, as I assume that it must be, that it was something said to her or some
message communicated to her, subsequent to her departure from the Priorities and Planning Committee
meeting, that caused her to come to the conclusion that perhaps she was misinformed or she had the wrong
impression of the decision taken at the P & P meeting of November 1st, is that correct?



What I am trying to have the minister confirm for the House is that there was nothing said at the P
& P meeting which caused her to think she was misapprehending the decision being taken, and her
subsequent action confirms that because she went and told her deputy and picked up the phone and called Mr.
Morash. So I wonder if the minister would confirm that it was something she was told or something that
reached her after the P & P meeting, that has, since that time, caused her to think that maybe she was
misapprehending the decision taken at P & P, is that right?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Well, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member does ask a very confusing
question. I think, as I have stated on many occasions during Question Periods previously, that during the P
& P meeting there was a discussion of a number of individuals whom I had brought forward who I thought
might be capable of doing this job. Of those individuals, Mr. Grant Morash was the person I thought would
be the most capable and I had contacted him on that basis.






MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Municipal Affairs; you, Minister of
Municipal Affairs, contacted Grant Morash on the basis of having an authority from the P & P meeting which
you attended, to leave that meeting, have the okay from the meeting, go and phone Grant Morash and offer
him the job for $225,000? That is exactly what went down, is it not?



MR. SPEAKER: I seem to have heard an awful lot of these questions previously. It is a breach of
order to ask the same question that has been asked previously.



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, as I have stated on a number of occasions, I have spent most of the month
of November answering these very same questions.



AN HON. MEMBER: Read Hansard.



MS. JOLLY: I was under the mistaken impression from the Priorities and Planning meeting that I
had the authority to appoint Mr. Morash.



MR. DONAHOE: My final supplementary is to the Premier. I wonder if the Premier can explain,
or give us his sense or impression, of how it is that Mr. Ed Cramm, whom this Premier appointed as Deputy
Minister of Municipal Affairs, would file a statutory declaration in this matter and indicate, as he did, that
after the phone call which he received from Ms. Shannon at his home between 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., that
Mr. Cramm would say under oath, “Ms. Shannon suggested the Minister contact additional candidates;
however, there was no change in P & P’s decision to appoint Grant Morash as the Co-ordinator.”. Could the
Premier give us an indication as to how it is that statement could be made by Mr. Cramm, if some other
message had been given to him by Ms. Shannon?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I can only answer with what I said previously, Mr. Cramm was never
in Planning and Priorities. (Interruptions) Just a minute. Mr. Speaker, the question took five times as long
as this, surely I am entitled to to a minute to answer it. What I am attempting to say, over the rude
interruptions of the Leader of the Opposition, is that any impression that Mr. Cramm has of that meeting was
not obtained from his presence in it. Therefore it must be an extrapolation and therefore Mr. Cramm in this
case presumably made an issue in this case of information that he had from elsewhere. He did not get it from
Priorities and Planning.



[3:30 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



EDUC. - JOHN ROBERT POWERS CAREER SCHOOL:

 

CASINO EMPLOYEES - TRAINING



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Yes, Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. When
the Minister of Finance was making the announcement with regard to the casino proposal, he indicated that
the Nova Scotia community college system would provide the extensive training program necessary to provide
employees for the two casinos and he emphasized that when he detailled the highlights of the casino program,
when he said that the only training program the operator, that is ITT Sheraton, will recognize will be offered
by Nova Scotia community colleges in Halifax and Sydney and that those courses would be funded and run
by ITT Sheraton.



On December 27th, in the Cape Breton Post there was an advertisement from John Robert Powers
Career School and it advertised that they were now accepting applications for those who wish to take casino
training courses, 26 weeks in duration. They go on to say that this training program is registered by the Nova
Scotia Department of Education. I wonder if the minister would confirm that the John Robert Powers Career
School is indeed training casino operators for the casino program in Sydney and Halifax?



MR. SPEAKER: Before I recognize the honourable minister, would you be so kind as to table
perhaps a copy of that ad after your question? Thank you.



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the honourable member that the only
training that has been approved by the committee that has been put in place by the government is the
community college. The advertisement by that particular private school, in fact, is something that they have
chosen to advertise to do and they contacted me afterwards and I suggested that they contact Mr. Lichter
because the direction to us is that we do it all and they are not to do it.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my supplementary is to the Minister of Finance. I wonder if the
Minister of Finance would confirm to the Legislature and to those in Nova Scotia who are interested in taking
casino training that the only training that will be acceptable to the operators of the casinos are those who go
through the Nova Scotia community college system. If I may, Mr. Speaker, I would just like to add to this
because of the fact that I am sure that people got from that advertisement, the feeling that they could take that
course and be accredited as employees in the casino systems which will be coming in place in Nova Scotia.
So, would the minister confirm that, please.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that, in fact, tried to do that in as
public and direct a way as I could when the announcements were being made. The parties, ITT Sheraton and
the Government of Nova Scotia, felt that both agree that it would be most appropriate to structure these
courses through the community college system in Nova Scotia. Now, simply because you go through one of
those courses doesn’t guarantee you a job but in fact that training will be a requirement, at least in this initial
flood of activity, that training is a requirement, that is a decision that was arrived at jointly. Some people may
choose to take courses of another type feeling it will give them some sort of a leg up on entry into the
community college course or at some future date. Of course, I can’t indicate that forever and a day that it will
always be this way but the direction we made was quite clear and it was done in coordination with the ITT
Sheraton and that was that in this initial rush of activity the community college system in coordination with
the operator would be the only accepted course.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, does it not behoove the minister to get that word out so that people
who are taking this course under the mistaken impression that this is the training that is necessary to obtain
a job in one of the casinos? Is it not part of his responsibility or that of the Minister of Education to advise the
school that they should cease and desist advertising under what is essentially false pretences and to make it
known to people that they are going to waste their money if they think this is the entryway into a job as a
casino operator?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I would refer this to the Minister of Education because I think he
wants to address that issue.



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable Minister of Finance. I spoke
to a representative of that school and I told them exactly that. I told them that they are not approved, that the
direction is for us to do this and that it is not going to proceed except that the students be informed.



This was the first time that this one had been advertised. There was one last year, which was done
here in Halifax, and I publicly came out in both the print media and the radio and I told the students that this
is a buyer beware because the decision had not come down. We have stated at every opportunity that, in fact,
that is the case, that the only trainer now is the community college. Last year nobody new what the decision
was.



So it was buyer beware then and I would suggest that maybe this is the proper forum to do it, that,
in fact, the community college is preparing itself to do that, to be the only trainer for this. I did inform the
private sector trainer of that and any other private sector trainers who are concerned with this should be
notified. But they are the only two that I know of and they have been both been notified.



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



URB - BUS TRAVEL (INTER-URBAN): COMM. - REPORT



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, through you to the congenial, hardworking honourable
Minister of Housing and Consumer Affairs, I want to know, as J. Pearce of Dartmouth wants to know
(Interruption) Well, he is usually quite laconic and I think he deserves a little recognition.



The Nova Scotia Utilities and Review Board held a hearing in Parrsboro in the spring of 1993.
Cabinet was represented by the Minister of Housing and Consumer Affairs, who said, at the time, that Cabinet
had formed a special committee comprising the honourable Minister of Natural Resources and, I believe, the
Minister of Fisheries. The committee was going to investigate the decline of inter-urban bus travel across
Nova Scotia. Mr. Pearce, on behalf of bus travellers across Nova Scotia, would like to know the conclusions
reached by the Cabinet committee and what remedial action, if any, has been taken to date?



HON. GUY BROWN: Mr. Speaker, I was not there representing Cabinet, I was there because I am
the elected member for that constituency, and a fine constituency it is. The member is absolutely right.



The Premier, in Cabinet one day - we were discussing the issue with regards to transportation in
Nova Scotia. He said, look, I want three or four of you ministers to get together, and he named some of us,
to do a report. We have had meetings. We have met with some people in the industry. It is under review at
this time. We have not completed our report to bring it back to the government, but we are working on it
because we have a concern with regard to bus companies in this province and the competition they are facing
from outside, especially dealing with tourism, which is the profit-making part of that business.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for that response. Mr. Pearce is quite
concerned, as are many of the bus travellers, just what has been done to this date and, obviously, there has
not been a whole lot done. I wonder if the minister can tell me, just roughly, approximately when he expects
the completed report to be released?



MR. BROWN: Mr. Speaker, the honourable Minister of Fisheries is chairperson of that committee.
We believe that we will have a report to take to government maybe sometime in the next month or so, I guess,
depending on how long this House sits so that the ministers can get together and go out and have some
meetings.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, with your approbation, perhaps I could direct my final supplementary
to the chairman of that committee. I would like to ask him if he has, possibly, a time or a date when that
completed report will be, in fact, released? I wonder if may also indicate if the committee is of the opinion
that, in fact, inter-urban bus travel is on the decline in this province?



HON. JAMES BARKHOUSE: It is under review at the present time. I do not think it was the report
that was to be tabled publicly, it was a recommendation to the Cabinet as to the policy that we should take in
that direction. We hope that as soon as the House is finished, and if the debate ensues and continues on for
two months then it will be after the two month period. If it happens within a month, we will be doing it shortly
after the House is out, maybe two weeks, you know, whenever the House adjourns.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



LIB. (PARTY-N.S.) - TRANSITION TEAM (1993):

 

EXPENSE CLAIMS - CONFLICT POTENTIAL



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the Premier. On
November 30th and again on December 20th, the Premier confirmed in this House that the government was
still wrangling over expense claims made by the Liberal Party for taxpayers to foot the bill for transition team
services commissioned several months in advance of the Liberals taking office. Heather Robertson, now Chief
of Staff and Bob MacKay, Deputy Minister of Priorities and Planning were, of course, both members of that
loyal Liberal transition team.



The potential for conflict of interest on the part of the Premier’s Chief of Staff and the new Deputy
Minister of Priorities and Planning is evident in relation to these disputed claims. My question to the
honourable Premier is this. Will he give assurances to the House today that neither his Chief of Staff nor the
Deputy Minister of Priorities and Planning will be involved in any way, directly or indirectly, in negotiations
to settle these disputed claims over the transition team services in view of the apparent conflict of interest and
the obvious potential for personal gain by those two parties?



THE PREMIER: Yes, Mr. Speaker.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I thank the Premier for that absolute assurance. My
supplementary question to the Premier would be to ask if he would advise the House who is involved in
negotiating around those transition service bills that have not yet been settled apparently or else the Premier
would have tabled, as he has promised, the full detailed financial account in the House by now?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I can give you a guarantee that those two will not be concerned with
it. There are other staff members, both in an accounting position and myself who have, in effect, been
discussing this with the person concerned. It is under consideration and I am sure it will be resolved fairly
soon.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, on a matter that the Premier has given assurances will be
resolved very soon, I wonder then if he might take the opportunity in response to my final supplementary to
advise the House of the salary levels and packages that have, in fact, been negotiated with his Chief of Staff
and the Deputy Minister of Priorities and Planning, as the Premier had indicated that these negotiations were
nearing conclusion and these people have now already been on staff for a number of weeks?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I must correct the apprehension. They have been on staff for a couple
of days. Let us not throw weeks and days into this. They have been on staff since January 1st, they will not
be paid until January 1st. On the second issue the forms have been filled out. They are now on the desk of the
Deputy Minister and the Minister of Human Resources and I am hopeful that they will be dealt with in a
couple of days.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH: PRACTITIONERS - RECOGNITION



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. At this time of
health reform, I, and as does D. Robbins of Digby, want to know if the government is giving consideration
to identifying and recognizing other health practitioners in the province?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Yes, Mr. Speaker. Certainly, we have as part of our policy, both during
the election and announced in this House several times, we will be looking at various ways of providing for
primary care delivery, particularly in respect to emergency medicine and also in respect to primary medical
care, through either nurse clinicians or community nurses. Yes.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister. I would ask him if consideration is being given
to expanding the area of practice and permitting other health practitioners to bill MSI for services to clients
which would perhaps provide the patient with more appropriate options for dealing with health related issues.
I am wondering if that is being considered by the minister so that these people can bill MSI?



[3:45 p.m.]



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member opposite restricts the question to MSI, I
assume then the question must refer to physician services and I would say that yes indeed consideration is
being given to that in the broader view of reform process and that refers specifically to practitioners other than
traditional specialists.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding the minister says we will see other health
practitioners, nurses being one I assume. I assume that this would require legislation for this to happen, it is
my understanding. I would ask the minister when will we see legislation to allow other practitioners to do MSI
billings? Could we see that possibly in 1995?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I would hesitate to speculate on the legislative agenda of this House
or this government for the next year but I would say that such changes are being considered and we will
certainly take the question under advisement.






MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



ERA: SOUTH KOREANS - ARRIVAL



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, through you I would like to ask your permission to ask
a question to the Premier, please. It is about a year now since you have made your trip to South Korea and you
have been to China and met with Mr. Castro in Cuba as well but in the March 26th edition of the Daily News
you said and I will quote and I hope this is one of your real quotes, “`Many’ wealthy South Koreans plan to
move to Nova Scotia, . . . we’ve met many people, and many of them are definitely coming to Nova Scotia,
. . . `These are people who have determination and drive and want to invest.’”. Could you indicate to us as
Nova Scotians and taxpayers today, the timetable as to when these people will start arriving and how many
have already come?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, that is indeed true, there are many people in South Korea who wish
to come here. I held numerous meetings with them particularly through the Bank of Nova Scotia. I don’t have
the exact figures here but I would be delighted to obtain them. They are contained in a release which I think
we put out but which has obviously escaped the member’s attention. There are a number under the Financial
Immigrant Program who are waiting. I know that some have arrived and I know that some, for instance, have
indicated support for such interesting projects as the Airport Hotel and others with this money. This is a
significant opportunity that we must follow up on and I thank the member for his interest and guarantee that
the answers will be forthwith.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I am looking forward to the answers because it is legitimate and
many Nova Scotians were kind of excited that we were going to have an influx of folks from Korea with a
great deal of money to invest in Nova Scotia and they were going to be creating jobs. One of the areas that
they were going to be creating jobs in was waste handling and pollution abatement equipment. Has there been
any further discussion since last March on the involvement of the Koreans in handling waste and pollution
abatement equipment since that time?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I really can’t give you any specifics of this. I can tell you and you
prompted my memory by this, that October 3rd was declared Korea Day in Nova Scotia that the member was
asked. We held it in the Chamber across the hall in an effort to indicate the support. We had close to 150
Koreans who came to the meeting, who came to the celebration and I will make sure that the same invitation
is extended to the member opposite in 1995.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that you were able to get 150 people into the Red
Room because I thought the fire marshall said we were only allowed to have 60 in there. However, I encourage
you to disregard the fire marshal in that regard because if you could entertain 150 investors. Now the federal
government (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please, the honourable member for Kings North has the floor. Order. Steady
as she goes.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much, I have enough trouble with these guys.






Now the federal Minister of Employment and Immigration has indicated he is going to be changing
the number of immigrants who want to come and invest in Nova Scotia, and of course this applies to the
Koreans. My question to the Premier, will this reduction that the federal government is imposing on
immigration of investors, will that have an implication on the Koreans you are referring to who are anxious
to come to Nova Scotia?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, to some extent. There is and was a deadline that we will be talking
about but there is still an immigrant program. It is still less money to come to Nova Scotia than it is to the so-called have provinces and we will continue to work with as many of these as we possibly can.



MR. SPEAKER: On a new question, the honourable member for Kings North.



AGRIC.: STAFF - ELIMINATION



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture. Recently
at the Federation of Agriculture meeting held in Truro the minister indicated that about 50 jobs would be
disappearing from the Department of Agriculture and Marketing. I know how vital the department is and I
know that the minister is well aware of that.



My question is, the loss of the 50 jobs will be most critical, has the minister identified the areas where
the 50 jobs in the department are going to be disappearing from?



HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated to the annual meeting of the federation,
over the span of the next three or four years our department staff will be reduced by 50 people. In the last year
alone we have been reduced by approximately 22. In the next three years some other positions will be
identified. We are in the process of making those, picking out those positions at the present time. I certainly
would provide the honourable member with the list of those positions in the first year of our four year plan.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Coupled with a reduction of employment, Mr. Speaker, through you to the
Minister of Agriculture, there is also an announcement that there will be service reduction to the farmers of
Nova Scotia. Could the minister indicate today if he has made the final decisions on what services and
programs are no longer available to the farmers of this province?



MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, as we have indicated at the federation’s annual meeting, all our
programs are under review at the present time, to determine which programs will be given priority, to
determine which programs will be cancelled and certainly to address some of the concerns coming up, to bring
the need to create new programs.



One of the needs we are presently looking at and we have certainly indicated to the pork producers
just before the holidays, with the low prices, is to address this concern that the pork producers are having with
low prices at the present time. So it is one new program that we are about to bring forth, probably in the next
couple of weeks.



MR. ARCHIBALD: I have had a call, Mr. Speaker, from some farmers in the Bayhead area in
Colchester County. Two employees at the grain centre have already been laid off, there is only one full time
employee left. Is the closure of the Bayhead grain centre part of your proposed cuts?



MR. GAUDET: At the present time, Mr. Speaker, we are looking at some options with the Bayhead
facility. Nothing has been finalized at this stage. I certainly will keep the honourable member updated on this
matter as further developments take place.



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



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Back on December 14th the Minister
of Finance, in response to a question of mine on the whole issue of people taking advantage of the public
sector superannuation fund early retirement pension package. The minister suggested that perhaps the
information I had was not quite correct. Or the information he had wasn’t quite correct or perhaps both were
correct and we needed to go back and figure it out and maybe we could come back and clarify that point.



MR. SPEAKER: This happened on December 15th?



MR. CHISHOLM: This happened on December 14th. I have gone back to the Acting Director of
Public Service Pensions, gone to an official with the Nova Scotia Association of Hospital Organizations and
confirmed, in fact, that the gentleman that we were referring to, is or did take advantage of the early
retirement package provided by the public sector superannuation fund. Mr. Speaker, let me be clear on that,
and I clarified my information, I would just like to ask the minister if he has had the opportunity to also go
back and confirm with his own officials that the information that I presented before this House was in fact
correct?



MR. SPEAKER: Well, if I might, I have already ruled that the time allotted for the Oral Question
Period is expired and I think what we have just heard is not a point of order but in fact is another question
asked after the expiry of Question Period. I would propose that that question be asked tomorrow, perhaps first
thing in Question Period.



OPPOSITION MEMBERS’ BUSINESS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Opposition House Leader.



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



PRIVATE MEMBERS’ PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 140.



Bill No. 140 - Members and Public Employees Disclosure Act.



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



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: I am pleased to have the opportunity to rise to address the issues raised
in a bill which I introduced the other day, Bill No. 140. It is a bill entitled, An Act to Amend Chapter 4 of
the Acts of 1991, the Members and Public Employees Disclosure Act. The genesis really of the issues resulting
in us concluding that we would come forward with amendments to the Members and Public Employees
Disclosure Act, have really been prompted by some relatively recent events involving the unfortunate conduct
of certain ministers and deputies and senior officials.



I couldn’t help but notice that when this present government took office - and in the election
campaign leading to their taking of office - they advertised to the electorate across Nova Scotia that they
would have a strict code of conduct and in fact, went so far as to suggest that they would have this strict code
of conduct in force in 90 days. In their Liberal propaganda they said no elected official or civil servant may
violate our strict conflict of interest guidelines. They must serve the public interest, first, last and always,
without prospect of personal gain.



Any Cabinet member, MLA or senior public official who violates the strict code of conduct which
will be in force within 90 days of forming a government, can expect to be removed from office forthwith.
Well, we are now here, this government now has had about 572 days of life, some of them better days than
others and so they are only off by 482 days or thereabouts in producing, as they promised in the election
campaign, a strict code of conduct. The fact of the matter is that they haven’t produced such a code of conduct
at all and on the basis of the wimpish kind of comments that we have heard from the Premier the last few
days, the likelihood of us having a strengthened code of conduct is pretty slim. That promise made back in
the election campaign has now been broken and the tally goes up by the day, we are now at day 482 where
this code of conduct doesn’t appear.



I think there is a level of expectation, Mr. Speaker, as I am sure you would agree, in communities
all across Nova Scotia that all government business will be conducted with as high a level of competence and
complete openness as it is humanly possible to effect. This level of expectation should be met by members and
by public servants.



[4:00 p.m.]



You might ask, how does that happen or how could that happen? Well, I think one of the
fundamental principles of public service is that public interest must be served first, ahead of any personal or
private interest of either members here in this place or of anybody in the Public Service. I think the best way
to serve and to ensure that those expectations are met is by setting out a clear and concise course of conduct.
Of course that is what the Premier and the Liberal Party, upon forming the government and campaigning in
May 1993, promised they would do and, I have just said, we are now only 450-some days late in making good
on the promise and there is no indication yet that it is coming.



The original bill, the Members and Public Employees Disclosure Act, was introduced and passed in
1991. The original legislation, Mr. Speaker, was drafted - and I will quote from it - “. . . to ensure that (a)
members and public employees perform their official responsibilities in a manner that conserves and enhances
public confidence and trust in government and prevents conflicts of interest from arising; . . .”.



So, that being the case and that being the intent and the purport of the legislation, because this
matter, and matters of that kind, should be clear and concise and easily understood by all the parties,
legislation was developed so that provisions are clear and comprehensive and, we hope, relatively easily
understood.



However, we have had some incidents in the last while and it appears - and it comes as no surprise -
that legislation introduced by the previous administration was not perfect in some regards, as I am sure as the
historians look at the legislation passed by the current government will find, or perhaps subsequent legislators
will find, that that legislation, too, is not perfect and will require amendment and refinement and
improvement, and that is why I come forward with these proposed amendments.



There have been several incidents, Mr. Speaker, of very questionable conduct by senior ministers,
deputy ministers and others. I am absolutely convinced, I believe from day one, for instance, that in relation
to this unfortunate Minister of Municipal Affairs/Grant Morash matter, I have said on the public record and
I say here on the floor of this Legislature, I believe the Minister of Municipal Affairs is being hung out to dry,
and it happened here again this afternoon. I absolutely believe that the Premier and the Minister of Finance
and Brenda Shannon and others are playing fiddly-foo with the whole state of affairs here and that set a set
of circumstances entrain that should never have been allowed to happen.



So, as a consequence of that kind of conduct, requests for an investigation into these matters have
resulted in Mr. Justice MacIntosh, who is the designated person under the legislation now, to make several
recommendations. So I introduce these amendments, Mr. Speaker, now, so we would not have to wait, as we
would if we were dependent upon the government to do something about it, another 572 days, to be amended.
I think the amendments which I do bring forward reflect the recommendations made to us by Mr. Justice
MacIntosh.



So the amendments do a couple of important things. They will address a situation where there is a
reasonable perception, which a reasonably well-informed person could properly have, that the public
employee’s ability to exercise an official power or perform an official duty or function must have been affected
by his or her private interest, and that is as per Page 4 of Mr. Justice MacIntosh’s ruling in the case of the
Deputy Minister of Health.



I should point out, Mr. Speaker, the amendments, which I have included in the bill which I have
before the House this afternoon, apply both to members of this Legislature, members of the Executive Council
- I should not have said both - to all members, members of the Executive Council and public servants.



It should be noted - or at least I think it is worthy of note - that the language suggested is provided
to all of us, those of us who took the time and trouble to read the decision rendered by Mr. Justice MacIntosh,
by him, by the judge in his decision inquiring into a possible conflict of interest with the former Deputy
Minister of Health. For those who are interested, they can find that on Page 4 of his decision. There he sets
out language which he indicates to us and is now reflected in the bill before us, to define and describe what
he refers to as an apparent conflict of interest.



I believe that it is of the utmost importance that the business of the province be conducted openly and
competently. These amendments, I honestly believe, go a long way to add much-needed clarity and strength
to one of the most important pieces of legislation which can be passed in this House.



Very quickly, knowing that my time is limited, Mr. Speaker, I would refer you and all colleagues,
all of whom are closely interested in following the debate here this afternoon I see, to the bill itself. You will
note that Clause 1 of the bill imports into the legislation, “a requirement that a member of the House of
Assembly (including a member of the Executive Council and the leader of a recognized party) withdraw from
a situation where the member has an apparent conflict of interest as a result of being in that situation; . . .”.
Then, it follows that with, “a provision defining the circumstances under which a member has an apparent
conflict of interest.”.






As I mentioned a moment ago, with the help of Judge MacIntosh’s language and with the help of the
Clerk at the Table, the Deputy Clerk, and officials at the office of the Legislative Counsel, the language is
drafted, and I think in a clear way, to establish and outline for us a definition of apparent conflict of interest.
That applies, as I have said, to members of this House, members of the Executive Council and members of
the Public Service.



I am convinced, having read Mr. Justice MacIntosh’s decisions, I am absolutely convinced that he
was screaming out and indeed he says in his decision, now that I think of it, he says in one of the two
decisions relative to either Ms. Dobbin or Minister Jolly and her deputy minister, that he had made a
representation to government that there be new language imported into the Members and Public Employees
Disclosure Act to inject into that legislation a definition of apparent conflict of interest. If this language had
been found in the bill at the time that he was looking at the Lucy Dobbin matter and at the matter relative to
the Minister of Municipal Affairs and her deputy minister, then I honestly believe the result or his decision
would have been rather different than it was in light of the constraints under which he found himself as a
consequence of the current language.



I noted with interest that in yesterday’s Chronicle-Herald, the Premier reconfirmed his election
promise to establish a new code of conduct and ethics for elected members and senior government officials,
but he said that it is taking longer than originally expected. Well, yes, it is taking 482 days longer than
expected. The truth of the matter is that the Premier, in my view, hasn’t taken 30 seconds to turn his mind
to the whole matter of a code of conduct or a code of ethics. (Interruption) Well, if he has, I am sure he would
have come forward with some meaningful amendments to this legislation or he would have insisted that
tendering and hiring policies and so on be defined, described openly and fully articulated and, most important,
be followed by himself and by all members of his government.



So, on the strength of the decisions rendered by Mr. Justice MacIntosh, responding, I hope he and
other members would consider, in a reasonable way these amendments, in my opinion, greatly strengthen the
Members and Public Employees Disclosure Act. They further ensure and provide assurance to the community
at large that the affairs and the business of government are being properly conducted and they should, I
believe, bring a greater degree of assurance to all Nova Scotian taxpayers that the business at hand is being
conducted in a way that is in the best interests of the taxpayers.



The final comment I would make is that in the bill which I have presented, you will note that in
reference to Subsection 23(2) there is a proposal to add words, “. . . `or provide such information to another
person in order for that person to obtain a personal benefit’ immediately after `benefit’ in the last line.”. That,
I might say, and she will undoubtedly recognize it is as such, is a direct steal from an earlier piece of
legislation which had been tabled here in this House by the former Leader of the New Democratic Party. It
is one which, I think, has considerable merit because it is interesting that that provision, a prohibition against
providing such information to another person in order for that person to obtain a personal benefit applies in
the present legislation to a member, but does not apply at the present time to a public employee. It certainly
is, in my opinion, obviously in the opinion of the honourable member for Fairview that it should.



With those remarks, Mr. Speaker, I would very much encourage all members to take a moment to
look seriously at the language of the bill and I would certainly hope that it would find favour in all corners
and with all members and I would move second reading of that bill.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to make some comments on Bill No. 140, an
Act to Amend Chapter 4 of the Acts of 1991, the Members and Public Employees Disclosure Act. I am going
to share my time with the distinguished Minister of Housing and Consumer Affairs. I want to indicate and
I want to confine my comments to basically Clause 1 and Clause 3 of the bill that enact provisions relating
to an apparent conflict of interest.



I do not think there is any doubt in my mind and on behalf of the members on the government side
that this matter of apparent conflict of interest should be dealt with. So, I commend the Leader of the
Opposition for bringing forward the concept of dealing with the apparent conflict of interest. As I will point
out, there is a problem because there are not exceptions provided from the private interests or a member or
a public employee.



In contrast, this bill with the Act itself, there are exceptions for actual conflicts of interest, but when
this bill was drafted there were not any exceptions provided under the apparent conflicts of interest and this
would appear to be a flaw that must be dealt with. It is not that the idea is not a good one, I commend the
member for doing that, but, I think, in the drafting and I know this bill just came in the last couple of days
and has not been around very long, it might have been an oversight. In any event, I would point out that in
my study of the bill, that exceptions are essential to make the legislation work and that care and attention
should be given to the appropriate exceptions.



I know the honourable Leader of the Opposition would remember from his work in the past and he
may have brought forward or been involved with some of the legislation on conflict of interest, is that the
exceptions in the present Act exclude a personal benefit that is of general public application. That is
reasonable, to exclude a personal benefit, a benefit that affects a member or public employee as one of a broad
class of persons, excluded personal benefit that concerns the remuneration allowances and benefits of a
member or a public employee or excludes a personal benefit that is so remote or insignificant in its nature that
it cannot be reasonably regarded as likely to influence the member or public employee.



These exceptions are written in the present Act as the Leader of the Opposition would know. I am
told it is crucial that they be included in the amendments when we are talking about an apparent conflict of
interest. Some of my officials, I did not have the time to do it myself, but some of my officials took the time
to look up one of the other Acts in the country that is pertinent and that is the Members Conflict of Interest
Act in British Columbia which provides an apparent conflict of interest. In that Act, there is an exception in
the definition of private interests, which applies both to actual conflict of interest and apparent conflict of
interest. So, in this respect, I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the B.C. legislation is better than Bill No. 140.



[4:15 p.m.]



I know that this type of approach does not make very good debating, rhetorical flamboyance, to talk
about these things, but I am told it is important. I think that when the changes are made and I do not think
we can support this bill as it stands, but I think these changes should be made and, in that sense, I commend
the minister, but I think if they are not made, then the bill would be flawed.






I want to say that it is my understanding, and speaking as Minister of Justice who would bring the
bills forward, the government plans to make amendments to the Members and Public Employees Disclosure
Act. Just by way of background, during the year that concluded on December 31st, officials of the Department
of Justice held at least two meetings with Judge MacIntosh, the Conflict of Interest Commissioner. As
minister, I had the privilege of being present at one of the meetings with Judge MacIntosh and those
discussions included various possibilities with regard to amendments to the Act.



As I said earlier, these changes will come forward. In preparation, Mr. Speaker, for those changes,
I can tell the members of the House today that within the next three to four weeks, the Premier, as he has
promised to do, has a meeting scheduled with the Conflict of Interest Commissioner, Judge MacIntosh. I
believe it was at a time when they could both get their schedules lined up to do it. I am not sure if Judge
MacIntosh was away or Premier Savage had commitments himself, but within the next three to four weeks
there is a meeting booked. I have been asked to sit in on that meeting and I look forward to it very much,
because I have spent time, along with a great deal of assistance from my officials in the department, to try to
come up with well-reasoned amendments to this Act, which need to be brought forward.



As I say, I commend the Leader of the Opposition for bringing it forward, but, unfortunately, based
on the research that I have had done for me and with which I concur, there is a flaw because certain
exceptions are not provided.



So, Mr. Speaker, I am not going to belabour the point. My colleague from Cumberland South, the
Minister of Housing and Consumer Affairs is going to talk about this. But I just want to say again that
amendments have been studied, have been worked on. That meeting is coming up and it is our intention to
bring forward those amendments later this year, whatever the legislative timetable and the schedule for the
two sessions will permit, whether it be a spring budget session or a fall legislative session, whatever the case
may be, the intention is to bring this forward and the amendments will be made and the consultation will be
held, the follow-up consultation for myself with Judge MacIntosh, and a meeting for the Premier within three
to four weeks. Thank you, very much.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Housing and Consumer Affairs. (Applause)



HON. GUY BROWN: Mr. Speaker, I have been waiting to get on the floor for a number of days and
it had to come today when I have such a cold. I don’t know if I will make my time, but I will really try.



I want to, first of all, follow up with regard to the honourable Attorney General, who I believe has
made a commitment, not only for this legislation, but other legislation dealing with public life. The
honourable Attorney General has been in this House, sat on two governments, sat on the Opposition. He was
Leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia on two occasions, or maybe three, . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: Leader of the Opposition?



MR. BROWN: Leader of the Opposition on two occasions, maybe three, and there is no member in
this House who is more committed to conflict of interest, morals or any other type of ethics in dealing with
legislation in Nova Scotia.



I want to congratulate the honourable member for the introduction of the bill that we have before the
House today. It is an interesting bill. The honourable Attorney General already raised two or three, I think,
very important issues. Conflict of interest is for elected people, employees who are directly or indirectly
associated, whatever the conflict may be. An appointment throughout the employee’s period of employment
arranges in his or her best interest.



Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with a very serious bill and I am glad we are having this debate as I have
already mentioned, but there are some points that we must consider. First of all, the department has a conflict
of interest policy, the Department of Human Resources who is working on it, other government departments
with their legal counsel with regard to this whole issue.



The government has reviewed general conflict of interest policy, the Cabinet, and I want to tell you
the Premier has talked about it more than anybody else that I have been associated with in the House in the
location of caucus. I am not giving the details of that conversation and the Cabinet. He is committed. He has
an interest and he wants to bring this policy forward. Because the conflict of interest, you know, affects all
the employees as well. It affects the unions and we must work with the unions, as well, that are associated
with this draft, the appropriate legislation that they feel will protect their employees and protect the people
of Nova Scotia.



The Nova Scotia Government Employees Union and others are interested in protecting the people
of this province just as much as any elected member in this House. They certainly have a commitment to the
employees in Nova Scotia. We have to deal with guidelines, especially with regard to the Canadian Charter
of Rights and Freedoms. A draft of the conflict of interest guidelines is now under review, another one, with
regard to this issue, with our caucus, within Cabinet, within government and within government departments.



Nothing would make me any happier than to see the Premier or the Attorney General table the bill
today, but we have a major responsibility and members over there who sat on this side of the House for a long
period of time. I have to ask myself this question. A government that was elected in 1978 and waited until
1991 to introduce legislation. We have been elected about 18 months and I can tell you that within three years
of our election, we will have that legislation tabled and put through this House of Assembly. (Applause)



We talk about the deputy ministers, we talk about senior staff. We have to go through that whole
thing and I will have no part of any legislation, I will support it when it comes, unless we can see the
protection and I may lose that battle with regard to the union and with regard to the Nova Scotia Government
Employees Union.



So what have we done? We have been elected in this province 18 months. Yes, we have given some
things maybe a higher priority. For instance the Credit Union Act in Nova Scotia, major reform in Atlantic
Canada and we spent a lot of time, we spent two sessions on that, but we have an Act that is going to be
proclaimed next weekend at an event that will put the credit unions and to help all small communities in this
province.



Mr. Speaker, we have worked and dealt with the Workers’ Compensation Act. Now, I know a lot of
people do not like everything that is in the Workers’ Compensation Act, but I want to tell you we have a $500
million shortfall. We could have put it, I suppose, under the rug or in our desk and forgotten about it like other
people, but we have a responsibility to our children. We have a responsibility to the injured people of this
province and we have to deal with this issue and we have. It has taken a pile of time, but in the best interests
of labour and in the best interests of the workers in the long term, I think what we are doing and what the
Minister of Labour is doing on this issue is one of the best bills that ever came through this House in my 20
years. (Applause) My time?



MR. SPEAKER: We are on the second reading of this particular bill.



MR. BROWN: I know.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable minister must remember to keep his remarks specific.



MR. BROWN: I have two minutes left?



MR. SPEAKER: You have two minutes.



MR. BROWN: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition talked about the bill. We congratulated
him for introducing the bill. He was not in the House, he is here now so I will say it again, publicly. We see
some problems with this bill, as the honourable Attorney General has talked about. We were accused of not
spending time, maybe, in dealing with the right issue with regards to it.



I am trying to point out, Mr. Speaker, that we have dealt with some very important legislation and
this Cabinet and this government have spent more time in this House of Assembly since it was elected and
sworn in, in June 1993, than the previous government did in the previous five years in this House. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: We are still dealing with the principle of the bill.



MR. BROWN: I know, the principle of the bill. Mr. Speaker, any elected person today, it does not
matter what political Party they are with, supports the conflict of interest legislation, supports a bill that will
protect the employees, the elected members, I suppose, and will it protect the municipal elected officials, as
well? Do we include them in the bill?



Mr. Speaker, the employees themselves and I believe and we have found, with all the legal people
we have around and the honourable members on the opposite side worked with the same lawyers, worked with
the same people for the past 15 years, in most cases, that are now working with us and drafting this legislation
and that is the bill we have before us today.



Mr. Speaker, I realize my time is up. I just want to say, in closing, that we congratulate the
honourable Leader of the Opposition for bringing in the bill. But we say to him, very sincerely, that we will
bring in conflict of interest legislation, but we believe your bill needs a lot more work like our draft bills
needed a lot more work.



MR. SPEAKER: The time of the honourable member is up.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I certainly congratulate the Leader of the Progressive
Conservative Party for his belated conversion to the need for strengthening the conflict of interest legislation
in this province. Because in 1991, when the Conservative Government brought in this conflict of interest
legislation and the Premier bragged that this was the most stringent, the most effective, the tightest conflict
of interest legislation in the country, we knew that that was not true. We documented the fact that that was
not true and we brought forward amendments that would have specifically dealt with the issue that has come
to cause considerable embarrassment and considerable anguish and considerable public mistrust - the issue
of apparent conflict of interest and the potential for personal gain that was not dealt with in the 1991
legislation brought in with the Conservatives, despite their false claims about it being the most stringent
legislation in the country at the time.



I have to say, Mr. Speaker, that we in the NDP caucus are similarly frustrated by the stonewalling
of the new Liberal Government in regard to this matter. Why stonewalling? Because this is a government that
promised specifically during the 1993 election campaign, now over 18 months ago, that it would be a priority
matter, that they would introduce more stringent conflict of interest legislation and a code of ethical conduct
that would make this province exemplary in the country and their specific commitment was that they would
do so within 90 days.



We heard yesterday, we heard again today from the Premier, we have now heard from two Cabinet
Ministers who sat in Opposition on the Liberal benches during that 1991 debate that they have been ever so
busy for the last 575 days. Well, Mr. Speaker, if these guys opposite could not walk and chew gum at the same
time why in the name of Heaven’s . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member knows that there is an appropriate title for
all honourable members of the House. Secondly, we are dealing with the principle of the bill before us for
second reading.



[4:30 p.m.]



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I am talking directly to the principle of this bill and my point
is that we heard a litany of excuses for why this government could not complete and carry out its commitment
to bring in within 90 days more stringent conflict of interest protections for the people of this province and
nothing about what the real issue is here, the principle of this bill. Let me say . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: You guys were busy, Sandy.



MS. MCDONOUGH: I didn’t hear any women in the caucus stand up and make the kind of excuses
that I have heard from the guys who stood up and made the excuses. (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member has the floor, on the principle of the bill
before us, Bill No. 140.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Given the fact that both the Liberals and the Conservatives sat in this House
in 1991, dumb as oysters in response to the specific amendments that we introduced to deal with this matter,
let us try to refocus with the assistance of Judge MacIntosh because Judge MacIntosh has made it very clear
that the legislation is inadequate. He has very carefully and competently spelled out why we need to have
amendments to the conflict of interest legislation.



Let me quote for a moment directly from Judge MacIntosh’s decision because if the Tories and the
Liberals won’t listen to a word that the New Democrats say on this issue, maybe they will listen to what Judge
MacIntosh has said in his learned decision of December 21st. “Effective conflict of interest rules are necessary
for two basic reasons.” says Mr. Justice MacIntosh in his decision. “Firstly, such rules reassure the public that
its interest will come first, ahead of the private interests of our politicians or public employees. Secondly,
conflict of interest rules will serve as a first line of defence in the protection of the integrity and reputation
of public office holders from false accusations. Without such a system it would be most difficult for public
officials to defend themselves from unfounded allegations.”. I think that that point is all too often overlooked
when it comes to this whole issue of conflict of interest.



We have heard two Cabinet Ministers in a row, stand up here today in the wake of their Premier’s
stalling action on this bill and these necessary amendments, give us a whole song and dance about the
sincerity and the depth of their commitment to deal with this. At the same time the Minister of Justice has
now made it clear that having promised this action within 90 days that we are not going to see any such action
for at least two years after this government took office. Clearly, the government is not prepared, in good faith,
to allow this bill to go through second reading and go to the Law Amendments Committee, where the
amendments needed could be introduced.



We have heard from the Minister of Housing and Consumer Affairs that, gee, after all, some of their
bills needed improvement and that process went on here. Why is the government not prepared to say that what
is good for the goose is good for the gander and this is a bill that can also go to the Law Amendments
Committee where the public can make their submissions, where members can give more detailed and careful
scrutiny and where the appropriate amendments, if further amendments are needed, can be drafted as they
always are at the Law Amendments Committee and brought back to this House? Mr. Speaker, if the
government is not prepared to have this bill go on to the Law Amendments Committee for that kind of
treatment, then this government’s supposed sincerity in relation to improving conflict of interest protections
in this province is not worth the wringing of the hands and the expressions of great concern that we keep
hearing from members opposite.



No wonder the public becomes frustrated and cynical with respect to the snail’s pace of legislative
reform that is going on in this province while we also hear from the Premier that he thinks the public wants
the government to slow down. Surely it is irresponsible in the extreme for the government to be making up
more excuses to slow down the reform of conflict of interest protections in this province, even more than it
has already slowed them down, given the fact that this was a specific commitment made that this matter would
be addressed within 90 days of the government taking office. (Interruption)



We have here, Mr. Speaker, in the two decisions of Justice MacIntosh, in relation to the Dobbin
complaint and in relation to the Cramm complaint of conflicts of interest, very clear examples of where an
ounce of prevention would have been worth a pound of cure. There is no question about that. But we also have
in Justice MacIntosh’s decision, I think, a very straightforward and honest indication that he has had
recommendations before this government for a considerable period of time about how this matter should be
dealt with.



If there is any sincerity at all to the government’s claims that they want this matter dealt with and
they want the broadest possible consultation, which is what we heard from the Government House Leader a
few moments ago, that it is more consultation that is needed, (Interruptions) surely the absolute bare minimal
step that this government could take, if it is serious about improving conflict of interest legislation in this
province, (Interruptions) is to table . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.



MS. MCDONOUGH: . . . the recommendations that have been made in the numerous submissions
concerning the Conflict of Interest Act that Justice MacIntosh himself said in his December 21st decision that
he had made to government officials and that he trusted were being given serious consideration.



What possible reason, Mr. Speaker, if the government is sincere about this, would there be for the
Premier having refused to table the recommendations made by Justice MacIntosh? What possible reason, if
this government is sincere about cleaning up its act with respect to conflict of interest, would there be for this
refusal not to allow this bill introduced - belatedly, for sure, but I think sincerely - by the Leader of the Official
Opposition for it to go on to the Law Amendments Committee where it could be further considered?



Mr. Speaker, it continues to be true that there is a crisis of public confidence in governments, in
political office holders and in senior public officials. That crisis of confidence desperately needs to be
addressed because the amount of cynicism that it breeds is very unhealthy in a democratic society.



I, again, would implore the government to recognize that this is something that the Opposition are
united in their willingness to deal with. This is not some untrodden ground. This is not some mysterious
challenge that we have to go out and do a whole lot of original research to figure out how to address. For
Heaven’s sake, the basic concept of apparent conflict of interest and potential for personal gain has been
written into the federal conflict of interest legislation in this country for 21 years. In 1973, Mr. Speaker, that
legislation was introduced federally that addresses the issue of apparent conflict of interest, and 21 years later,
over 575 days after taking office, this government cannot figure out how to deliver on its 90 day commitment
to improve the conflict of interest legislation in this province.



Let us at least see the recommendations from Justice MacIntosh. Surely the Conflict of Interest
Commissioner is there to serve all members, to serve this House across Party lines because it is there to serve
the public interest and the people of Nova Scotia. That is what conflict of interest is all about, Mr. Speaker,
to be sure that we, the elected members, that the government members, that the senior government officials
are serving the public interest and not serving their own interests.



Mr. Speaker, I simply, again, reiterate the plea to the government, don’t further delay on this, don’t
further stonewall, don’t start trying to make up further excuses for why you have been busy. Of course, the
government has been busy. But get busy with delivering on the commitment to improve the conflict of interest
legislation so we won’t end up spending weeks and weeks in this House, trying to track down the Lucy
Dobbins and the Ed Cramms and the Minister of Municipal Affairs’ and the Minister of Health’s antics and
actions in relation to the public interest not being served. Surely the government can see that is a preventive
measure and, if nothing else, could prevent further embarrassment to the government if it doesn’t give a darn
about how the public interest would be better served if it gets on with cleaning up their act.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.



MR. BRUCE HOLLAND: Mr. Speaker, just so I can gauge my comments, I wonder if you could
advise me of the time left in the debate.



MR. SPEAKER: You have one minute and 10 seconds.



MR. HOLLAND: Well then, I guess my comments will be brief, Mr. Speaker. It is my pleasure today
to rise on this bill introduced by the Leader of the Opposition, An Act to Amend Chapter 4 of the Acts of
1991, the Members and Public Employees Disclosure Act.



I think I will focus my initial comments on a few of the remarks by the member for Halifax Fairview.
I find it - I am looking for the word, I want to use hypocritical, Mr. Speaker, but I know that is not allowed
so I won’t use that. When I see the way that these members of the NDP come into this House and twist the
truth, to try to get a scandal out of the honest ministers on our benches, and then when they can’t get that
scandal, they rant and rave. It is no wonder that the public has no confidence in the weak antics of the
Opposition member. (Interruptions)



So here we go now, they are going to start the rabbit tracks because they know it is the truth, Mr.
Speaker. I only wish I had more time to voice my opinions on this matter and I thank you very much for your
time. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I can’t hear.



The honourable Opposition House Leader.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: I can’t hear either, Mr. Speaker. Would you please call the order of
business, Motions Other Than Government Motions.



MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Opposition House Leader.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 979.



Res. No. 979, re Justice - Violent Crime: Position - Enunciate - notice given Nov. 10/94 (Mr. T.
Donahoe)



MR. SPEAKER: Resolution No. 979, as I have it, was debated on November 23, 1994, with the
honourable Leader of the Official Opposition, the honourable Minister of Justice and the honourable member
for Halifax Fairview all participating in the debate. This is a continuation of that debate.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, the debate at that time was time-expired.



MR. SPEAKER: That is correct but this is a single resolution. Three members have spoken on it,
they are not entitled to speak again. Who is going to speak on this?



The honourable member for Kings North.



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I wanted to speak on this resolution today for a very
specific purpose. The resolution, in the words that are so important to us all; “Therefore be it resolved that
this government, through the Minister of Justice, clearly enunciate its position on violent crime so that all
Nova Scotians will know the position being presented to the federal government as it introduces stiffer
legislation dealing with sentencing this fall.”.



Now that was the operative phrase contained in the resolution. You know, as you suggested a
moment ago, Mr. Speaker, this resolution was debated some time ago. It is very important for us to realize
the words of the Chief Justice, the minister in charge of justice for Nova Scotia, at that time he doesn’t view
law and order and violence as seriously as do most people. According to him, people are misinformed and
don’t understand.



The recently released Statistics Canada Report shows a clear gap between perception and reality.
Almost half the national sample taken by Statistics Canada felt crime had increased since 1988, in reality
Canadians are at no greater risk of crime, such as robbery, assault, theft, sexual assault, than they were five
years ago. Well, that is the attitude of this minister, that is what he told us. You tell the people of Nova Scotia
that there is not any danger and it is just a perception. As we move into casinos and we have been warned and
foretold by so many people who have experienced casinos in their area and their cities, violence follows the
gambling casinos. This minister said, don’t worry, it is just a perception.



[4:45 p.m.]



Well, it is not just a perception, Mr. Speaker, it is reality. We were all disturbed, I think, I certainly
was from a personal nature, the other day when Denis Lortie, a former Army corporal who killed three people
in 1984 and he wounded 13 others, he is now out on a pass. He had the Christmas holiday off and I think that
is jolly. But you know, what are the three people he killed and their families, they did not have a great
Christmas since 1984 and yet this scoundrel, who mercifully murdered three people with an automatic
machine gun in the legislative building in Quebec, is now eligible to become a free man and walk the streets.
The only restriction will be, do not go back to the National Assembly.



Well, goodness gracious, does that give you a feeling of comfort? Perhaps living in Nova Scotia it
might. But anybody in the Province of Quebec should be in fear of that man. The reason he is eligible is
because of the little clause that they have, after you have been in for a certain period of time you can apply
to get out. His psychiatrist said that he did not feel that he was a danger, he was mentally ill during his
episode in the Assembly and he was scarred psychologically during childhood by an abusive father.



Well, you know, that is not good enough. He committed the most heinous crime that a person can
commit and after 10 years he is a free person. He may be remorseful, he may be sorry he did it, maybe he
wishes he had stayed home that day. That does not do the victims and their families one bit of good and my
heart and my sympathy goes for the victims of violent crime, not the perpetrator, 10 years is not long enough
for a person like that.



Look at Clifford Olsen, murdered 11 children in the 1980’s. He pleaded guilty after he was paid
$100,000. He is going to be able to get out of jail in August 1996 and he has also suggested he may have killed
more that he has not gone on trial for. Colin Thatcher, he can apply for a release in May of 1999, after he
hacked his wife to death with a big knife. Allan Legere in New Brunswick, he will be eligible in 2005.



When these people who commit vicious crimes are sent to prison for 25 years or for life and then,
within 10 years to 15 years, they are eligible to speak to the Parole Board and say, look, I am sorry, I was
abused by my father or I was abused by my mother, I had an unhappy childhood and I will not do it again,
let me out. Then they are allowed to go free. What of the victims?



When the death penalty was done away with in Canada we brought in, as Canadians, the term for
capital punishment of 25 years in jail. But the sentence no longer means 25 years. If you are good in jail, you
might only get a brief punishment and that is not fair. We are hearing from people across the province with
increasing regularity about the concern they have for sentencing and the meaning of the word life in prison.
We are not satisfied with a sentence of 25 years and then the person is out on the street in 15 years.



Last March, John Nunziata introduced Bill C-226. Our Members of Parliament for Nova Scotia
support this bill. We, as members of this Legislature, must communicate with our federal Party and our federal
members and tell them we also support the bill.



It used to be killers were seeking early release, but to a 25 year life sentence, 15 years is not good
enough. Each member of this House should lobby his MP to make sure that they do support the bill that will
make life imprisonment mean life.



Because, since August 1994, the Western Report told us that 73 per cent of people who applied for
early release received it. Also, in the next 15 years, 655 killers will be eligible for this early release program.
This is not fair, not to the victims, not to Canada.



There are other options that we should be recommending. In the United States they have a system
of consecutive sentencing. Why don’t we do that here? So, when you have a perpetrator of a crime he can be
sentenced to more than one life term and society will not have to worry about him again. Because simply
having the psychiatrist and the prison warden tell us that Mr. Lortie is not a problem any more, well, then
those people should be able to stop crime everywhere because just by looking they should be able to decide
who will and who will not commit a crime. We all know that nobody can do that, but once you have the hard
evidence and a person has been convicted you know for certain, you do not have to stand back and wonder.



Thousands of Nova Scotians are supporting the families of the victims from the Sydney Mines
McDonald’s shooting and their petition to get the death penalty reinstated. However, all of us, I think, could
support another position that makes 25 years mean 25 years and do not succumb to early parole for these
perpetrators and include with that consecutive sentencing so that people that kill more than one, two and three
are sentenced for three or four life terms and society will never see them out of a prison again. That may be
hard, but what could be harder than taking the life of a loved one.



We have to have the sympathy. We have to have the concern for the victims and their families. We
do not have to have the same degree of concern for the perpetrator. My sympathy goes for the family of the
victim. They have to be able to rest assured that the perpetrator will not be coming back to haunt them again.
We must take a stand.



We now have an opportunity to support a Private Member’s Bill in Ottawa and we can support that
bill by urging all federal MPs and the Minister of Justice of Canada to support that bill. We are entitled to do
everything in our power to make sure that the streets in Canada remain safe and that is not too much to ask
of the justice system and it is not too much to ask of the federal politicians. The loophole absolutely must be
closed.



Our MP, Ron MacDonald in Dartmouth; Geoff Regan; Harry Vernon, they all supported John
Nunziata’s bill in Parliament and they should be congratulated for that. I hope that others will also support
that bill because it is so important (Interruption) Well, I know, Mr. Speaker, we are hearing some members
opposite saying, well, why didn’t you do it. We hear that all the time. Why didn’t you do this? Why didn’t you
do that? That is not a reason and it is not an excuse. We have an opportunity right now to support a bill that
will help keep Canada and our streets safer than they were before.



This is a very serious matter and I don’t appreciate, and I know Canadians don’t appreciate members
taking it lightly. If they want to speak on this matter, I urge them to stand on their feet and support the
lengthening of sentences. It is a very difficult situation that we are in at the present time because this
amendment that was placed before us several years ago, so that life no longer meant life and you are eligible
after serving 10 years, it must be changed. It has to be changed for the betterment of all Canadians. It may
seem harsh, but all of us should have a greater concern for those who are the victims and their families. I
think by keeping known, hardened criminals, convicted murderers behind bars for their full 25 years and not
one minute and not one day sooner and don’t be giving them Christmas passes, be firm. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.



MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for bringing this matter
to the floor once again because it is a timely issue. It is a matter that we are all concerned about and I think
I particularly enjoy speaking to this matter because I feel that in my other life - I have served as a Crown
Prosecutor and as a defence counsel - I have a view perhaps from both sides of the fence. I would like to
approach the problem of violence in our province from perhaps a bit of a different angle than it has
traditionally been approached because I think it is important to point out, as the minister did when he
addressed this matter some time ago, that there are some misconceptions present in the public’s perception
of increasing violence, especially in Nova Scotia.



The member that spoke previous on this matter asked us in this House to perhaps view the minister
critically when he had made comments that Statistics Canada had come forward indicating that those in Nova
Scotia have not seen an increase in the danger of being assaulted, other types of violent crimes on the streets
and in our homes than they had five years ago. The member previously, he takes exception to that. He stands
in face of the statistics and says that is not true, I know the reality. I know the reality; I am the member that
knows the truth, not Statistics Canada, not the Minister of Justice, not the Commissioners of the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police, but this member knows the reality.



He then goes on to tell you, as he pulls forward stories from newspapers about horrendous crimes that
have happened throughout this nation and in other nations and he says beware. Now, is that the way we
approach a problem? Let’s get everyone upset, blame the Minister of Justice and sit down and say what a good
boy am I. I am not going to approach this problem in that vein at all. I want to come forward and see if we
can do something on the plus side. What is it that we can do as legislators in Nova Scotia about this very
serious problem? We are not the federal government and, in case some members opposite don’t understand,
the question of criminal law comes under the jurisdiction of the federal government. We learned that quite
some time ago. I believe it started in the British North America Act. Therefore, we have to approach it in a
somewhat different angle than by standing up and saying, off with their heads. That is not the way we handle
it.



[5:00 p.m.]



It is for the federal legislators to decide on how to increase sentencing to make it more appropriate
and I applaud them for doing so and I applaud our federal Justice Minister, Allan Rock, for taking the bull
by the horns right after he got into office. It did not take him a whole lot of time, not nine years like the
previous federal government did, to ignore it. He took the bull by the horns and there is a great deal of
criticism coming. Some of it comes from, lo and behold, the Progressive Conservative Party. I cannot believe
that. Isn’t that strange after we have just heard words in this House, that there are criticisms of our federal
Minister of Justice when he tries to tackle the question of sentencing, when he tries to tackle the question of
the Young Offenders Act. Our minister here, we have applauded him, we have supported him. The minister
said that the last time he addressed this, so I am not going to repeat all that. Read Hansard, I don’t have to
repeat all those things.



But I think it is important to note, once again, what our Minister of Justice stated the last time and
I am going to state it again. I will put the record of our Minister of Justice in the last 18 months up against
the Ministers of Justice for the last 15 years in this House anytime, any place. There is no question about that.
(Applause)



There has been some particular types of violence that have increased in this province. One of them
is domestic violence. It was reported by Assistant Commissioner Burchill in front of one of the committees
appearing as a result of a request from the House. He is the Assistant Commissioner of the RCMP and he has
noted an increase in this area.



I know, from my own business of dealing in the criminal law field, there seems to be a type of
vindictiveness, a wanton recklessness, needless violence, that did not seem to be as prevalent 5 or 10 years
ago. The type of violence, that when you look for a true motive or some gain to the accused, you don’t find
it. It just seems to be a bit of a nastiness, an evilness.



How does this happen? Does it go poof and then it happens? No, that is not how it happened. It
comes as a result of a cyclical disease that we have in this country and that disease is poverty. It is chronically
unemployed people. It is people that have come up through a system continually, where there does not seem
to be a chance to get ahead.



Let me tell you, if you come up as a very young child in a family where violence occurs, if you grow
up in a family where there is no money, where it seems that all the other kids in school have things that you
do not have, when you seem to be picked on because of your race or your religion, what you are wearing, what
your father does, the fact that your mother is an unwed mother. When you grow up in that and then have your
children’s children grow up in that, you have found the seeds of violence. That is what causes these people
to be vindictive.



Now, perhaps I sound like a bleeding heart Liberal type. Well, let me tell you this. We will find out
how you sentence people in the courts and through the federal criminal law, but the legislators in this room,
we are not empowered to legislate those areas. We are empowered to do things that can help society not
sentence or punish, but prevent these types of violent crimes from happening. That is how we must do it.
(Applause)



Dysfuntionality at home, ultimately, will cause a breakdown, not just at the family level and the
social level, it will cause violence, it will cause irrational violence. That is the type of thing we are seeing
more of. Now, what can we do? Well, what have we done? One bill that we put forward and I realize, Mr.
Speaker, that I am not to speak about bills that are before the House, but I would just wish to mention that at
a hypothetical level . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Unacceptable.



MR. CARRUTHERS: Well, it would be important for a government of a province to bring in
legislation that would enforce maintenance support for single mothers, for unwed mothers, for parents who
have separated or divorced, so that young people are not brought up with this - I can’t get ahead, why am I
different, what is wrong with me. That is a step. Let’s redistribute some of the dollars around here. That is
what government is about, you know, we’re to take the resources the province has and put them out there
where they do the most good. Governments can do that with their money but individuals out there have to do
it, too. You can’t get away without supporting your family and that is important because if that can be stopped,
if people could live on a more even basis then we are going to go a lot farther than increasing sentences and
building more jails, I can tell you that. You can put them in there, you know, but they are going to get out.
Maybe you put them in a little longer, but they are going to get out.



If you have to operate on a person who has cancer, then you have to, but wouldn’t it be nice to find
a way to prevent the person from getting cancer in the first place? Isn’t that what we are supposed to strive
for? That is what we are supposed to strive for, at our level.



Look at what we have come forward with. We put that committee together with regard to abuse in
the family. We supported it, funded it, it has moved forward, it is accomplishing great things. The minister
spoke on it before, that is a direct act that this government put in place.



We have legislation coming forward. We have supported the federal government in their initiatives.
We are trying to be balanced here, let’s not run off the deep end and say, all those nasty teenagers, they are
terrible people. Look, we were once all teenagers. I don’t know that teenagers are any worse today than they
were when I was growing up. I’m sorry, I haven’t been convinced of that. Sure, you have a few wing nuts but
there were some wing nuts in my day, too, I can tell you. Some of them are very close friends of mine.



Mr. Speaker, I think it is important to view this with a balance, just to run out and fearmonger is not
the answer. We must approach this as a societal evil, that is how it is to be approached. Ask the police who
are out there on the streets, they will tell you that we have to stop it before it starts, they are outnumbering us,
we don’t have enough resources. I believe that, I know it to be true. What kind of penalties, for instance, at
the lower level of violence, we are talking about the murders and all this, it is the other type, the wanton and
reckless violence that people don’t seem to grasp. Why does somebody who is going to steal something from
the back of your car have to break everything? Did you ever wonder that? If they are trying to steal something,
what is the purpose of breaking it? There is something missing here.



I think we have to take the steps to find out what is missing here, where is the gap? I would like to
hear some more members speak on this but you know there is one common thing about this subject, and once
again I want to thank the member who raised it, it is an opportunity for all Party members to put their heads
together. You have some experienced people here on the Opposition benches. All Parties, three levels of
government, it is a place to put your heads together, it is a net gain scenario. Let’s use the assets that are there,
let’s approach this by putting some social legislation together that is going to prevent and deter - deterrence
is a very important ingredient - prevent and deter, as opposed to just punish.



I agree that the federal government is on the right track when they say we are going to have to review
this parole policy. I have to tell you, I have represented a number of people who have been through the system
a number of times and they will say, look, what do you think I am going to get for this? Well, maybe as low
as one year, you might get 18 months, maybe as high as two years. He says, get the two years. Why? Because
two years will put you into a federal institution. Once you get into a federal institution, your chances of getting
parole real quick are way better than they are in a provincial institution. Do you realize you will spend more
time in jail for an 18 month sentence than you will for a two year, one month sentence? Sure, this thing has
to be tackled and I applaud the minister.



I am not going to leave before mentioning one thing. I listened to the federal Minister of Justice and
he was speaking about the new bill, about special legislation with regard to hate crimes. I don’t want to get
into that orientation question that everybody is about, I am more concerned with this. When people in our
society take particular delight in picking on people in a weaker status, be they spouses, be they children, the
aged - can you believe that, crimes against the aged, elder abuse in the home - when people are taking
pleasure from picking on people of a specific religion, of a specific race or gender, when they are deliberately
doing that, well, I have a problem with that. No adult society can tolerate the abuse of its weak. It is the sign
of every great society, that it protects its weak.



I applaud this Minister of Justice, I applaud the federal Minister of Justice and I applaud the member
who brought this matter up today so I could address it. (Applause)



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I too welcome the opportunity to speak today on this very topical
topic that has been brought before the House again. I don’t always agree with the member for Hants East when
he is speaking, but I found myself, and I want to say quite clearly that I did find myself today, in large part,
in agreement with most of what the member was saying. I think he was speaking not only from experience,
his knowledge of the bench from his practise of law, but also from a sense of reason and understanding the
causes of crime.



Mr. Speaker, I say at the outset, however, that certainly I must admit that I share, as I am sure most
people do, the revulsion with certain kinds of crimes that are going on and I have very little sympathy on
many occasions with individuals who have committed certain types of crimes. I often feel that the
punishments being meted out, certainly are not adequate to compensate for that which has been done. But I
think we have to be very careful that we are not misguided and confused by stories that we sometimes hear
dramatized in the media about major crimes, and so on, that occur in the United States and in other areas, and
we need to take a look at what really are the fundamental causes of an awful lot of the crime and see what we
can do to try to prevent that.



It is certainly encouraging to know that in our part of Canada the crime rate, particularly for violent
crimes, is considerably less than it is in western parts of this country and certainly less than it is south of the
border. It is also encouraging to know that violent crimes, especially murder, although those are the ones that
get the greatest amount of attention, are actually dropping.



I am not going to spend a great deal of time talking about costs and so on, because we are talking
about something here that is not just dollars and cents. We are talking about people, people’s lives and lost
opportunities and devastation to them and their families. I think what we should do, because if we are only
talking about the increased sentences that we are going to impose, I think that we should look at how much
it is costing to keep people incarcerated in prisons. I am also mindful of what the member for Hants East said,
and that is that one of government’s jobs is to distribute the money around where the money can do the most
good.



[5:15 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, what I am getting at here when I talk about some of these figures, which I obtained
today, I am not begrudging, you know, or saying that the money is not well spent that we do not need to spend
the money by keeping people incarcerated. When you take a look at the horrendous fiscal costs, I wonder how
much more sense it would have been to have distributed some of that money at the preventive end, at the front
end, to provide those programs and services that would have prevented people from turning to a life of crime.



For example, Mr. Speaker, on average, the cost for incarcerating a man in a federal institution is
$51,814. In maximum security it is $69,288, for medium security $43,356 and for minimum it is $39,801.
Somebody asked how about incarceration for a woman. In a federal institution the cost is $83,242 for a year.



There are over 14,000 people currently in a federal institution. So if you do some math and want to
multiply that out, you can get a pretty good idea of how many millions upon millions of dollars we are talking
about. At the provincial level it is about $43,800 to $45,600 a year to place somebody in an institution.



Mr. Speaker, I am not saying by reciting those figures that we do not need to have federal institutions
or provincial institutions and that they should be shut down. What I am saying is what seems to be the most
cost-effective, to say nothing of the most humane, is to make sure that those people who need the programs
and services before they get into a life of crime receive that early intervention and will be able to go on to lead
a productive life, contributing to society rather than being devastating.



Even the Federal Minister when he tabled his amendments to the Young Offenders Act and I will
quote just one short portion of the press release. He said, I want to emphasize that legislation is only one part
of the answer to violence amongst young people, said the minister. Poverty, alcoholism, family violence,
racism, illiteracy and many other factors may lead to criminal acts by young people and adults alike and must
be tackled as a whole.



When I say, with respect to the mover of the resolution and to all members of this House, that no,
indeed, we do not and we cannot determine, because it is federal legislation, the length of sentences that those
who commit offences will serve, that is under the federal mandate. What we can do, here in this House, is try
to put in place programs and services that will assist young people and others to make sure that we do not
have them going down the road in a destructive way and entering into a life of crime.



We have to get to the roots of it, and I suggest that some of these things that we should be looking
at in Nova Scotia and as provincial legislators are some of the issues that have been identified and
recommendations made by the Children and Youth at Risk Task Force that came out in September 1994.



Mr. Speaker, how many future crimes would have been prevented? How many future lives would not
have been destroyed and disrupted and therefore how many dollars would have been saved in the future by
not having to incarcerate people if, for example, some of the recommendations that were made to this
government are put into effect and the recommendations are outlined on Page 36. Restore funding for all
programs for child welfare agencies to 1993-94 levels, not even asking for an increase but just bring back the
level of funding for those who work in programs in the child welfare agencies back to what the level of
funding was they had a year ago.



Instead of making it easier for child welfare agencies to work with those who are at risk, the
government has made it harder by reducing the level of funding. Increase funding for family support benefits
to accommodate more services for medium and low income families that are at risk to extend the duration of
services to those in the high-risk families. Mr. Speaker, we all know in this House that this falls under
provincial jurisdiction and that it is often those who are from high risk families who are going to be the ones,
who themselves become at risk of becoming involved in a life of crime.



They talk about creating a secure treatment facility in an existing building for adolescents and
implementing Sections 54 through 60 of the Act which still have not been proclaimed, creates several small
regional secure treatment facilities. Here we are, talking about treatment and again, even those who are sent
to penitentiaries, to correctional facilities, the judges may be suggesting that they receive treatment, they may
recommend it. But many of those who are incarcerated do not receive the treatment that they require so that
when they come out they will not return to the life of crime that they had been involved in before.



There are many things that we can do, that we as a provincial Legislature have a responsibility to
do to try to assist those who are at risk in this province, of getting involved in a life of crime or an act of
crime. Now, that is not to say for one minute that we are going to be successful in all cases; that is not to say
for one minute that there is not going to be a continued need for prisons in this country.



But, the answer alone is not just to build more prisons because if we just simply build more prisons
we are only warehousing the problems and those problems will eventually be released unless they receive the
assistance that they need. If we don’t build more prisons then we just give longer sentences, people are going
to have to be paroled earlier as has been shown to be the case in the United States and elsewhere because the
facilities just are not large enough to house them. We have to look at prevention. That is not to say we don’t
also have to make sure that we have a large stick for those who have committed heinous crimes and who it
is not safe to leave out in the public.



If we take a look at some of the kinds of reasons that lead people into lives of crime whether it be
racism, gender or age stereotyping, irrelevant education, inadequate recreational or social facilities, or
unemployment and certainly we all know that when you have periods of economic downturn when there is
increased unemployment when those who are unemployed don’t have the educational skills or the means to
be able to find employment, then indeed crime goes up.



We know drug and alcohol abuse, that those are other major causes of crime, so we have to be
tackling these problems. We have to have the resources in place to prevent, to help those who have these
problems. We also know from studies and it has been quoted in this House and I can’t help bringing it up here,
it was quoted by Valerie C. Lorenz, the Executive Director of the Compulsive Gambling Center Inc. in the
United States, that the majority, virtually all she said of those who have compulsive gambling addictions will
eventually turn to crime to help support their habit and, of course, here in the Province of Nova Scotia we are
trying to increase the opportunities for that.



Poverty, and I think that you are starting to indicate or at least I thought you were, . . .



MR. SPEAKER: No, I was just indicating that you are discussing another matter before the House.



MR. HOLM: Well, I certainly am just talking around the whole issue of crime prevention and that
which we have to be very cognizant of.



MR. SPEAKER: It is a matter under debate in the House and it is out of order.



MR. HOLM: Yes, I appreciate that, Mr. Speaker. We can, of course, go on and on. I know from
speaking to a number of residents within my community, and constituents who have called me trying to get
assistance for their children who, whether it be a learning disability that has led to a behavioural problem and
that behavioural problem was manageable to an extent when those children were young and could be
physically controlled but, as those children grew older, they became more aggressive towards their family and
their schools and to their school-mates and to the community as a whole. What that really is and what much
of what we see from young people really is a cry for help. They are acting out; their behaviour is very often
an acting out as a way to cry, whether knowingly or not, for assistance.



The Minister of Community Services, the Minister of Health and all members of this House have a
responsibility. We are very quick to simply say it is the family’s responsibility and that the family has the sole
responsibility to ensure that their children are brought up properly. But we, as a society, have a responsibility
to make sure that those services and resources are there that are crucial to help those who are at risk to get
that help so that they do not turn to a life of crime. If we don’t provide that help, we cannot possibly build
enough prisons, to hold everybody, that we would need. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The time designated for the debate of Resolution No. 979 has expired.



The honourable Opposition House Leader.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 145 and on behalf
of the member for Kings West, I so move.



H.O. 145, re Agric. - Tenders (11/06/93 on) - notice given Nov. 18/94 - (Mr. G. Archibald)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Opposition House Leader.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call House Order No. 174 and on behalf
of the Leader of the Opposition, I so move.



H.O. 174, re Gov’t. (N.S.): Proactive Consultants - Contracts (11/06/93 to date) - notice given Dec.
13/94 - (Mr. T. Donahoe)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



[5:30 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The request for the House Order has been made to a number of departments. I
would have to have the minister of each of those departments respond on behalf of his own department and
supply the information that his department may or may not supply.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, the difficulty with such a House Order request is that I may
stand up and, as the Minister of Transportation, agree to do that, but I certainly cannot speak for the Minister
of Supply and Services. I don’t think, maybe they do, maybe they want every minister to stand in their place,
one after another, until we get them all and indicate. I think that, perhaps, we can try to coordinate that and
I will take the responsibility for doing that as best I can. But given, perhaps, the unnatural form that the House
Order has taken, they have to be a little understanding, I guess, on what they get back.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, notwithstanding the fact, there has been a motion made. It is an abnormal
format as far as my knowledge is concerned, but the motion has been made. If the honourable Government
House Leader is willing to do what he can do to satisfy the requirements, or if he chooses to do what he can
do and that satisfies the mover of the motion, then we can vote on the motion one way or the other, or if it is
declined, we can do that.



The honourable Opposition House Leader.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, in fairness, the reason for putting this House Order in this
format is that, originally, there was a House Order in requesting information regarding Proactive Consultants
and was placed, I believe, before the Minister of Human Resources. That minister said that there were no
contracts within her department and then, I believe, we tried through the Minister of Finance and we got the
same reply. But we do know that there are, indeed, contracts out there that have been made with this
organization and we are just trying to track them down.



MR. SPEAKER: I will recognize the honourable Government House Leader. He has offered to do
what he can.



HON. RICHARD MANN: That is obviously, Mr. Speaker, the best we can, because no member can
invade the . . .



MR. SPEAKER: The Chair would agree with that.



MR. MANN:  . . . responsibilities of another minister of the government and have no intention of
doing that. We will attempt to coordinate as best we can, at least cast a line out here and try to catch anything
that might be out there. Obviously, it is, I think, a lazy way to do it, rather than identifying a department
where a contract might be and going through them. They have decided to try a catch-all approach and we will
attempt to accommodate them, but I am not going to go and visit every minister and break our necks to that.
We will try and accommodate them.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: I don’t know if I heard the reading correctly when it was given.



MR. SPEAKER: Would you like it re-read?



MR. BOUDREAU: Yes, did it refer to contracts under $5,000?



THE CLERK: Yes, all contracts and if it was less than $5,000, the names of other companies which
submitted bids. So it appears to be all contracts.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, does it say under $5,000?



THE CLERK: No, it includes all contracts, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: There is no record of under $5,000 as a public tender.



MR. BOUDREAU: Speaking just for my own responsibilities, I would not undertake to provide that
because, as a routine matter, contracts under $5,000 are not tendered.



MR. SPEAKER: I agree.



MR. BOUDREAU: I think it would be an incredible task to see if anybody had written in at some
point. So, I can say for my responsibilities that I would not undertake to fulfil that particular section of the
House Order.



MR. SPEAKER: It is a very abnormal motion. While I accepted the motion and did not rule the
motion out of order because of its format and there is provision for ruling a motion out of order that is not
rational or reasonable or coherent in its resolution, the honourable Government House Leader has indicated
and the honourable member has agreed to accept what is able to be provided.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Opposition House Leader.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Yes, Mr. Speaker, the only other House Order I wish to call would be
House Order No. 175 but, in the absence of the minister, I presume that (Interruption)



HON. RICHARD MANN: The Minister of Education has indicated to me that he tabled the return
to that House Order, which had never been issued by this House, yesterday.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: That is very good, I will certainly cross that off my list, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: It already has been fulfilled and tabled.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, that completes the Opposition Members’ Business for this
Wednesday and I am sure that the Government House Leader would now be pleased to adjourn the House.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, we would adjourn at this time. I can indicate to members
of the House that we will be sitting tomorrow from the hours of 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m. and, following the
daily routine and Question Period, it is our intention to move to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills
and we will resume debate on the Gaming Control Act.



I move that we adjourn until 12:00 noon tomorrow.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion for adjournment has been made and carried. The House will now rise,
to sit again tomorrow at the hour of 12:00 noon.



[The House rose at 5:36 p.m.]