Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017
























HALIFAX, TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 1995



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Second Session



12:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mr. Gerald O’Malley






MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would like to call the House to order at this time and commence
this afternoon’s proceedings. We will begin with the daily routine.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition given to the Premier, myself,
and Justice Minister Gillis by Mrs. Charlotte Gordon. Mrs. Gordon lost a daughter in a motor vehicle accident
in 1992. She has presented this petition to the House in hopes of raising awareness of the penalties imposed
on drinking drivers, especially repeat offenders. I have affixed my signature to this petition. It contains 29,107
signatures and I have also indicated, on behalf of Mrs. Gordon, that I will forward a copy of this petition to
the Solicitor General of Canada, the Honourable Herb Grey.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled. (Applause)



The honourable Premier.



HON. JOHN SAVAGE (Premier): Mr. Speaker, may I just introduce to the House Mr. and Mrs.
Gordon who have just come here today. (Applause)



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS









6229

 

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



HON. WAYNE ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the Annual Report of the Department
of Supply and Services for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1993.



MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.



Annual Reports of the Department of Supply and Services are now being distributed.



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.



RESOLUTION NO. 1495



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



Whereas Nova Scotia this past weekend demonstrated its dominance in mixed curling; and



Whereas Nova Scotia’s mixed curling champions won the Canadian Mixed Curling Championships
in Sarnia, Ontario, losing only two games in the process; and



Whereas this is Nova Scotia’s second Canadian mixed title in three years;



Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Steve Ogden’s Mayflower Rink of Mary
Mattattal, Jeff Hopkins and Heather Hopkins for their 6-5 win over Summerside and the attendant honour they
have brought to their native province.



Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried. (Applause)



The honourable Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency.



RESOLUTION NO. 1496



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



Whereas Cumberland County author, Harry Thurston, and the Cumberland County River
Enhancement Association have recently been awarded the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award in recognition of
their efforts to protect the Bay of Fundy-Gulf of Maine marine environment; and



Whereas through the work of the association, several rivers which led into the Bay of Fundy-Gulf
of Maine have been restored as fish habitats; and



Whereas this award reminds all Nova Scotians that each initiative to care for the environment, no
matter how small, does make a contribution to keeping our province the beautiful place it is for residents and
visitors;



Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Harry Thurston and all members
of the Cumberland County River Enhancement Association for receiving this prestigious award.



Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried. (Applause)



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



RESOLUTION NO. 1497



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



Whereas municipal leaders across this province are not opposed to change; and



Whereas the executive of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities have contacted the Minister of
Municipal Affairs with questions about implementation problems associated with the new municipal service
exchange; and



Whereas the UNSM executive have eight main questions they are seeking answers to;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Municipal Affairs assure the executive of the Union of
Nova Scotia Municipalities immediately that she is prepared to meet and provide them with the information
they are seeking.



Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: I hear several Noes.



The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1498



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



Whereas in the January 16th Cape Breton Post, the Finance Minister stated, “I support the use of
government services to create employment in high unemployment areas,”, making it clear that relocation and
decentralization were his goal; and



Whereas in the same article, the MLA for Cape Breton South said, “It’s hard to see the logic in that
thinking . . . because by transferring people from Halifax to Cape Breton would be no gain.”; and



Whereas these direct contradictions cast a whole new light on the concept of caucus solidarity as
practised by the Nova Scotia Liberals and in particular, on Cape Breton Issues;



Therefore be it resolved that the Government House Leader should consider a new seating plan to
illustrate how close or distant each Liberal MLA is from the current leadership’s thinking.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



RESOLUTION NO. 1499



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



Whereas the Government House Leader said this morning that the Opposition has done nothing but
“sit back and criticize virtually everything we’ve done”; and



Whereas the Government House Leader is convinced that his government is pushing forward on an
aggressive reform package and the two Opposition Parties are merely posturing to see who has spoken against
the government’s legislation the longest; and



Whereas what this Government House Leader does not seem to want to recognize now that he has
moved from the Opposition benches to government is that there have been significant changes made on behalf
of Nova Scotians in this session of the Legislature;



Therefore be it resolved that the Government House Leader start setting an example for the rest of
his caucus and recognize the value and benefit of the amendments effected by the Opposition and stop
decrying the length of this session, a direction which was set in October by his government and its heavy
legislative agenda.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Beford Basin.






RESOLUTION NO. 1500



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



Whereas a major earthquake has brought devastation to the large Japanese cities of Osaka, Kyoto,
the Port of Kobe; and



Whereas this disaster touches the entire international community as many foreign nationals,
including Canadians, are presently living in the affected regions; and



Whereas the people of Nova Scotia are not immune to such disaster and have a deep concern for
suffering inflicted upon the great nation of Japan;



Therefore be it resolved that the Members of the House of Assembly of the Province of Nova Scotia
express our sorrow for the people affected by this tragedy and send a message to the people of Japan that our
prayers are with them.



Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice and also I would ask for a moment of silence and ask
that arrangements be made for a telegram to the Government of Japan.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed that notice be waived?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The motion calls for a moment of silence.



[A minute of silence was observed.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.



RESOLUTION NO. 1501



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



Whereas Ms. Angela Covert of Dartmouth East recently topped the field of nine finalists to be named
the winner of the Canadian Equestrian Federation Junior Equestrian of the Year Award; and



Whereas the 18 year old Ms. Covert has competed regularly in equestrian competitions in the
Maritimes and Quebec for the past 12 years; and



Whereas as winner of this prestigious award, she was awarded the Gillian Wilson Trophy and $1,000
to assist in training and education goals;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Angela Covert
for her recent honour and extend best wishes for future success both academically and in upcoming equestrian
events.



Mr. Speaker, I would request 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 Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1502



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 Government House Leader has tried to arouse public opinion in support of his campaign
to end thorough legislative debate and review of unwanted, inadequate and dictatorial legislation; and



Whereas Nova Scotians are being aroused to renew their opposition to this government’s imposition
of casinos and to the Liberals’ whole top-down approach; and



Whereas in 19 short months, the Liberals have already turned into pale echoes of Donald Cameron’s
dying days in office, raving that the Legislature is just a waste of money;



Therefore be it resolved that a government that acts like Donald Cameron’s, talks like Donald
Cameron’s, and gambles like Donald Cameron’s, should reasonably expect to receive the same electoral award
that was handed by voters to Donald Cameron’s Government.



[12:15 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Kings North.



RESOLUTION NO. 1503



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



Whereas the Premier and the Minister of Human Resources suggested that the hiring of Ms. Colleen
MacDonald over qualified candidates was affirmative action at work and not blatant patronage; and



Whereas the Liberal Government’s policy on affirmative action is a policy of convenience and not
of substance; and



Whereas the government members of the Human Resources Committee obviously do not subscribe
to the government’s stated policy of affirmative action, as today they defended the appointment of 96 men and
only 35 women to government boards, agencies and commissions;



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier, the Minister of Human Resources and the Liberal members
drop the charade of fair hiring, a fair appointment process and an affirmative action policy for Nova Scotia
and tell Nova Scotians their true goal is to infuse the Civil Service, government boards and commissions with
true Grits and only true Grits.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1504



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



Whereas a prominent Nova Scotian once said that it’s just incredible that the government thinks it
will fix a problem by engaging a public relations expert; and



Whereas that same person said it would be better for the Premier to show some initiative, motivate
his Cabinet, do the job he’s paid to do, and get some results instead of hiring more spin doctors; and



Whereas he said further that to hire a public relations expert meant the government lacks confidence
in what it is doing, it doesn’t think much of its own department personnel, and has hit the panic button;



Therefore be it resolved that these earlier statements made by the Economic Renewal Minister about
a one year contract for one public relations person surely apply to any and all of the new permanent public
relations jobs that are being created by this cutback-crazed government.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



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 Government House Leader boasted, during the holiday recess, that the self-imposed
muzzles were off and, in 1995, Liberal MLAs would be telling their side of the casino story; and



Whereas at the same time the MLA for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury reported directly to his
constituents on this government’s progress, forgetting somehow to mention the casinos; and



Whereas another Liberal MLA who has written specifically to list job creation work for his
constituents, and to contradict the Cape Breton Nova Liberals, also somehow forgot casinos;



Therefore be it resolved that the Finance Minister should reflect on why his own caucus colleagues
are so reluctant to echo his claim that economic salvation is to be found in two Vegas-style casinos designed
to clean out Nova Scotians’ pockets.



MR. SPEAKER: I hesitate to allow that resolution. It appears to duplicate a bill listed on the order
paper for discussion in the Committee of the Whole House on Bills, namely Bill No. 120. I therefore rule the
resolution out of order.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1505



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 MLA for Cape Breton The Lakes and the federal Public Works Minister have both
endorsed the transfer of government jobs to Cape Breton as part of an economic development strategy; and



Whereas the MLA for Cape Breton South has nevertheless rushed where others fear to tread and has
become the only Cape Bretoner to endorse the Premier’s reluctance to back up his fellow Liberals on this issue;
and



Whereas the Economic Renewal Minister has meanwhile promised that this very week, despite the
lack of government policy, he will announce details of a plan to decentralize jobs;



Therefore be it resolved that a government which tries to go in both directions at once will find that
it has really gone nowhere at all.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1506



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 Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency announced - with as much fanfare as
Liberals can muster - last November, that a single agency would henceforth deal with economic development
in the Halifax-Dartmouth region; and



Whereas local municipalities have long sought a single agency to end the cannibalizing and self-defeating promotion of competing industrial parks and development projects; and



Whereas yesterday that same minister announced that he is giving his hand-picked waterfront
development board, “an expanded mandate to take a lead role in developing a waterfront promotional
strategy”, for metro;



Therefore be it resolved that this government should either submit to and cooperate with a truly
united regional economic development strategy or else stop pretending that such a unified strategy is the goal
of its hasty and ill-considered amalgamations. (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: Well, I am not going to rule another resolution out of order but I would say that I
hesitate to endorse the either/or construction. One either does one thing or the other but not both.



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. The winner this afternoon is the honourable member for Kings North. He has submitted a resolution that
reads as follows:



Therefore be it resolved that the Health Minister start offering Nova Scotians more health reform as
was promised during the election and less by way of health cuts.



So we will hear on those subjects at 6:00 p.m.



The honourable Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency.



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, I rise to make an introduction to the House this afternoon.
Sitting in the Speaker’s Gallery, we have with us today Judith Cabrita from the Tourism Industry Association
of Nova Scotia as well as Mr. Andrew Blaza who is from the World Travel and Tourism Environmental
Research Centre.



Mr. Blaza is here from Oxford, England, and has met and spoken to an eco-tourism conference that
our province is hosting at White Point Lodge this week, inviting partners from all over Atlantic Canada. The
group that he represents has partnerships and membership from all the large travel organizations - Canadian
Pacific, British Airways and so on. He came and spoke to our group this week about how to continue the
greening of our tourism industry, to participate in Green Globe as a project, and to share his wealth of
knowledge on how sustainable tourism development can happen in Nova Scotia, as it has in other areas of
the country.



So I would like them to rise and to be recognized by the House in our usual way. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: Is there any other business to come before the House under the heading of the daily
routine before we advance to Orders of the Day? If not, the time is now 12:23 p.m. The Oral Question Period
today will run for one hour, that is until 1:23 p.m.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH - MENTAL: SYSTEM - ACCESS



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I had intended my question for the Minister of Health but
unfortunately he is unable to be here so my question is to the Premier. I am sure the Premier is aware of the
very serious situation that developed on the Dalhousie University campus last Friday. Fortunately, the injuries
were not life threatening but it was a situation that is a tragedy, still, for all concerned. We know the alleged
perpetrator of this shooting attack suffers from a serious mental illness which may have led directly to this
incident occurring in the first place. We also know that this young woman sought help and tried to get
admitted to the Abbie J. Lane Hospital over the holidays because her condition was worsening. She was unable
to get admitted.



I would ask the Premier to explain to Nova Scotians why it is that a person with serious mental
illness is now experiencing difficulty accessing the health care system under this Liberal Government’s health
reform agenda.



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I was going to tell him in the beginning that the Minister of
Community Services is deputizing for the Minister of Health so under the circumstances, it would be more
appropriate for the person who is deputizing to respond to the question.



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I think the matter the member brings before the House is an
important one. It involves confidentiality, obviously, to a great extent. I have been informed and I have
reassurance that the hospital is taking this matter very seriously. It is looking into any deficiencies that may
have resulted in this particular tragedy.



However, Mr. Speaker, the member well knows that many times the whole issue of mental health
is a judgment call. It is sometimes very difficult to put people into categories or any particular classifications.
The member knows that during his time as Minister of Health, matters like these arose on occasion. If he
needs any particular instances, I am sure he can refresh his memory with them. But this is always a danger
within the whole area of mental health. The services are being streamlined into the community and the day
services, the programs and referral system, I might say, in that hospital, is quite well-established for the
proper referral and the procedures for health.



Sometimes these things don’t always work to everyone’s satisfaction, but there is no question that
most of the time the system is working.



MR. MOODY: I thank the honourable Minister of Community Services. The part of what he said
that I agree with is that this is a very serious situation. I agree that not all situations are the same and I can
perfectly understand that. But Dr. Teehan, head of psychiatry at Camp Hill Medical Centre, is saying, and
I quote, it is not me, it is him saying that, there is a greater difficulty in gaining access to psychiatric beds than
there has been in the past. The Minister of Community Services is now talking about the past.



Well, Dr. Teehan is saying what everyone else is saying and I am saying, that it is more difficult now
to gain access to beds. What assurances can the Minister of Community Services give on behalf of this
government that patients, particularly those with serious mental illnesses, will find the help they need before
other tragic incidents occur? Those patients cannot get help. What is this minister saying that will assure
Nova Scotians that patients who do need help will have access to the beds and to the medical help needed?
What assurances can he give?






DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I can give full assurance to that honourable member that the whole reform
of health care that has been so badly delayed in this province, they are behind other provinces, and the
Minister of Health and his department are currently restructuring this whole system.



It is not one individual, although every individual is important, it is how this system of referral and
the programs that are in place, the whole system of mental health is one that certainly lends itself to
community health. That is the initiative that this government is taking. Those reforms are underway. During
a time of crisis there is often - I have had these comments many times - there are no beds. So many times it
is not necessarily the availability of beds, it is the proper assessment, the proper referral pattern and the
identification of the problem at the time.



I will give that member assurances, on behalf of this government, that those people presenting with
these types of issues will be better looked at, in a more humane manner, with the reforms that are going on
within the Department of Health in this province. (Applause)



MR. MOODY: In my final supplementary I would ask, the lack of beds that are staffed for the
seriously ill in Nova Scotia is not a myth. I have had a lot of calls in the last week - it is a reality. The minister
is aware, and I am sure physicians are aware and admit, and as you talk to physicians they are frustrated
because they are advising their patients, in some cases, to say I can’t get you in. That is how the system is
supposed to work. I agree with the honourable minister, who, as a physician himself, knows that that is how
the system should work - the physicians, based on medical evidence and information, get these people access
to the system.



Doctors are now telling people to contact the government, contact MLAs, spaces are not available.
Is that the way this reform package is going to work, if and when the reform package is going to work, so that
the medical profession have access to the system and the beds needed, so the seriously ill can be treated?
When can the minister assure us that will happen?



[12:30 p.m.]



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I will address this important issue as well as I can. The issue, so often as
I mentioned earlier, is not an issue of a bed, oftentimes there are beds. It is the prioritization of those beds and
the proper assessment that evolves.



The Minister of Health, last week in this House, tabled an initiative on home care. Those are the
types of problems that are being addressed, the wide variety of home care, not the inadequate Home Care
Program that this province has been under for the last several years, that those initiatives will take place.



I think the issue of physicians telling their patients - I would caution physicians in that initiative -
I think it is done, sometimes, out of frustration and, sometimes, even anger. But I think that we must work
together to solve this. This is not a problem that has arisen overnight, Mr. Speaker, nor will it be solved
overnight. But the initiatives to the resources in the health care program will be within the proper hospital
beds, but also in the out-patient clinics, the day surgery and the community health services. Those are the
initiatives that are going to solve this problem, but not the fear-mongering and the raising of expectations.



It is unfortunate, sometimes, that in the media, it has portrayed situations that, to me, I just find,
personally, quite difficult to believe that the situations would be that serious and would go on for those long
periods of time. So, I think we have to be honest about this and up-front and try to solve this problem. This
problem did not come overnight, Mr. Speaker.



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



SUPPLY AND SERV. - SYDNEY TAR PONDS:

 

ACRES INTERNATIONAL - LIABILITY



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my questions through you, sir, to the Minister
of Supply and Services. It is on the issue of the Sydney Tar Ponds project. Contrary to what the minister told
me in December, the Anderson Report, which was commissioned and paid for by this government, identified
that there were problems with the clean-up project.



Also, Mr. Speaker, the contractual arrangements with Acres International to develop the project on
behalf of the government, required that there be a 30 day consecutive reliability testing done before the
government took over the responsibility and ownership of the project.



My question to the minister is quite simply this. Why did the minister and his government let Acres
off the hook for any financial responsibility and liability, knowing that there were problems with the project
and after only a 48 hour compliance testing?



HON. WAYNE ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, in answer to the question, I am not sure that we have let
Acres off the hook at all. As far as I can tell and determine, we have met the contractual obligations between
Acres and Sydney Tar Ponds Incorporated.



As minister responsible, I have looked at a lot of those terms. We have met with many of the
principals involved and I have no reason to say that they have not met their obligations. I do understand that
the test burning that did take place met all environmental standards and they were very acceptable to both the
federal and provincial governments and our Department of the Environment. Having learned that, Mr.
Speaker, we proceeded with the operation.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, indeed, it has been well documented that the problems not only existed
after, but long before the government took over the ownership of and responsibility for, the clean-up project.
The minister will also know that they were identified. He also knows that the contractual arrangements with
Acres International required a 30 day compliance reliability testing. That was not done.



My question to the minister is quite simply this. How much is this Liberal Government’s generosity
to Acres International going to cost Nova Scotians, to clean-up the problems that you knew existed and which
you took over by letting them off the hook without doing the proper testing? How much is it going to cost?



MR. ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, I think we should clear the record first and let everybody know that it
was not this Liberal Government who entered into the agreement with Acres, it was the previous government.
That notwithstanding, we have, as I have said, understood that the terms of the agreement did meet what our
expectations were. The price tag is clear. The development of that facility is in the $50 million range and that
is the final figure. So, the question of how much more it will cost is really a question that does not warrant
a response at this point.



MR HOLM: Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that the government does not have many expectations. Of
course, it was this government that is allowing Acres off the hook for the contractual arrangements that they
had entered into with the former government. Also, this minister is saying that it has met all the
environmental standards.



MR. SPEAKER: This is a question, not an assertion period.



MR. HOLM: My question to the minister is this. Since the federal Minister of the Environment wrote
to this government well over a year ago asking that the emission standards meet, as a minimum, the CCME
standards, I ask the Minister of Supply and Services why is it the government took over the ownership and
responsibility of that project without having met those minimum standards?



MR. ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware that we took over without having met those standards.
My understanding is we did meet those standards.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



JUSTICE: HFX. CO. CORRECTIONAL CENTRE - VISITOR POLICY



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Justice and it has to do
with the unfortunate incident which occurred at Dalhousie University the other day, the shooting. But from
the context of responsibilities of the Minister of Justice, I wonder if he could first of all tell us if it is the policy
of the Halifax County Correctional Centre to permit or to refuse visitors on the weekends? Just what is the
policy as he understands it at the Halifax County Correction Centre for visitors to people who are incarcerated
there?



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I really don’t know but I can undertake to get the
information. I presumably can get it before the end of Question Period.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if in the course of making that inquiry which I appreciate
him offering to do, can the minister tell us now and if not would he in that same inquiry, find out the
explanation for us please as to why it is that in these tragic circumstances the mother of a woman known to
be suffering a mental illness was refused access to her daughter in the Halifax County Correctional Centre
over the weekend? Would he be able to confirm that that is again a standard procedure or if he is not sure,
would he add that to his inquiry which he has just mentioned?



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I am sure I don’t know and certainly as I am inquiring about the visiting
policy, I will inquire about that specific case and if a request was made by the mother of the person who was
there and what transpired, I certainly will endeavour to find out.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, in regard to the same incident I wonder if the Minister of Justice
could explain why it is, as I understand it is, that this young woman’s psychiatrist was denied entry to the
institution to provide her with medication? She was on medication for her mental condition and I understand
that the psychiatrist sought access for the purposes of examining his patient and to administer medication,
if necessary and was refused. Can the minister tell us if that too is part of the policy?



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, as you would understand as a former Minister of Justice and you may
have been Solicitor General as well, I don’t have hands-on control over matters such as that but I will certainly
endeavour to find out and find out what reasons there might have been if the psychiatrist in fact requested
access and was denied it. I will undertake to do that and try to do it before the end of Question Period.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition on a new question.



JUSTICE - HFX. CO. CORRECTIONAL CENTRE: PHYSICIAN - ACCESS



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, staying on that same issue with the Minister of Justice,
the minister, I am sure, will be well aware of a task force report called Blueprint for Change, Report of the
Solicitor General’s Special Committee on Provincially Incarcerated Women and it was completed in April
1992. That task force report indicated the complete lack of access of female inmates to their personal
physicians despite the fact that many have serious physical and mental health problems. I want to ask the
Minister of Justice if he can explain to me why it is after almost two years since that problem was identified,
it appears still not to have been rectified. Today we have the situation, as I am led to believe, that did occur
on the weekend where this very seriously ill young woman was denied access to her psychiatrist. Not to drag
this on but I refer the minister to Pages 51 and 52 of this report which addressed the whole matter of medical
and health care and on Page 52, mental health and the document very specifically says that some serious
efforts have to be made to ensure that medical attention is brought to women incarcerates who are ill, either
physically or mentally. Can the minister tell us why it is that to his knowledge no action has been taken on
those recommendations during his time in the ministry?



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: I am obviously guilty of not taking action on those if, in fact, those are
some things that should have been done, that is about 19 months or so. But that report would have been very
fresh with the former government in April 1992 and I wonder why from April 1992 until June 1993 when the
government changed, that government did not move on those recommendations but I will undertake to find
out. We have plans for improved facilities for women and we are going to get on with it but I will check on
that, too, along with the other matters.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister, who is in a very helpful mood and mode
this afternoon, might be able to help in this regard as well. I wonder if the minister could indicate whether
the practice, which is also identified in this report, of putting incarcerates in solitary confinement for a period
of 24 hours upon arrival at the correctional centre, no matter what their physical or mental condition, is still
in effect because that issue of solitary confinement, regardless of physical or mental condition, was specifically
addressed in the document. Could the minister tell us whether or not it is still the practice to confine
incarcerates in solitary confinement for that 24 hour period regardless of physical or mental condition?



MR. GILLIS: Again, this is hands-on information on how the correctional centre is operated, or the
various correctional centres. Again, as part of the undertakings that I have indicated I would do, I will
certainly check that out, too. The member indicated I was in a helpful mood, I hope that is always my attitude
when I am on the Treasury benches and try to answer questions for members of this Assembly.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the minister has a number of questions to put to his
officials and I do hope he does have an opportunity to do so before we finish today. I wonder if the minister
could indicate, either from his own personal knowledge, or failing that, would he make inquiry as to whether
or not this particular young woman, whose surname is Corra, was seen by a physician, any physician, upon
her arrival at the correctional centre this past weekend?



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I will check with my officials and determine it as soon as I can,
depending on being able to reach them, whether or not that young woman was seen by a physician upon
admittance.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



JUSTICE: FAMILY VEHICLES - CLASSIFICATION



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Justice, my question is
with regard to some concerns that parents in Kings County are having with difficulty moving their school
children from school to after school activities using their family vehicles, in particular if their family vehicle
happens to be a four by four, a Jeep, a mini van, or a Bronco. Such vehicles are classed as kind of a utility
vehicle and therefore are not allowed to use them to move kids to after school activities. I am wondering
would the Minister in charge of the Motor Carrier Act undertake a review of the policy that you now have
because some of these vehicles have undergone severe safety upgrades in the last few years and would you
look into changing the regulations so that those kinds of vehicles can be used?



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member bringing this particular matter up.
I think there is a review ongoing because I know I had correspondence on this matter from another member
for Kings County, the Minister of the Environment, and I wrote a detailed response to that minister at that
time after looking into it. I will check but as far as I recall, there is a review on the type of facilities. It is a
balancing act in making sure that young people in schools travel safely but I guess it is a balance not to see
that they have to be in tanks or something to see that there is no possibility of injury. So it is a balancing. We
do not want our most precious resource to be injured and lost by death. At the same time, we want them to
take part in activities and I will check on the status of that review as well.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that. I knew the review was taking place very soon
but it does not make sense, through you, to the minister, for somebody with a 10 year old car that may be
rusted out severely and compared to somebody with a brand new van that has safety equipment and safety
standards to meet, and one is allowed and the other is not allowed to be using. So could the minister give me
some kind of a definite answer as to when this review process will be completed, so that the parents who have
been calling me and are concerned will be able to have some idea as to whether they have to buy a new vehicle
or whether they can keep the vehicle they presently own?



[12:45 p.m.]



MR. GILLIS: Part of the situation is that the Utilities and Review Board, or some branches, are
involved. It is a quasi-judicial body and this government doesn’t try to interfere with the workings of these
agencies and we don’t think we should. We are prepared to make inquiries often and ask how things are
coming but it is not our position that we should order them to do such and such.



I will certainly undertake, as I indicated, to find out what the situation is and have that information
on a future day.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



HEALTH - MENTAL: INTEGRATED APPROACH - STATUS



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of
Community Services. It also concerns the tragic events surrounding the incident of a Dalhousie student
suffering mental health problems, without apparently the appropriate response from the community and the
government that has failed her.



Mr. Speaker, mental health professionals and consumers in the community have pleaded that public
officials, and I assume that includes politicians, not make the mistake of thinking that this issue is about the
shortage of beds, per se, that it is about the lack of a multi-disciplinary approach to mental health. It is about
mental health being the orphan of the health reform process and it is about there being no coherent mental
health plan for Nova Scotia.



My question to the minister is if he could report to the House on the current status of the
recommendation coming from the 1992 working group on mental health, that there be a pooling of all mental
health services in both the Department of Health and the Department of Community Services, as a starting
point for getting on with developing a comprehensive, integrated mental health service system in this
province?



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I think this is a very important point and one that I am pleased
to say there has been some movement on. I think the adolescent assessment crisis centres would be one
example that comes to mind initially although, as the member may know, recently there have also been
initiatives within the whole combined services within children’s mental health and between the Nova Scotia
Hospital, the IWK Hospital and those other institutions, the Atlantic Child Guidance, that are so important
in delivery of a comprehensive health care program.



There is no area, perhaps, that speaks for the need for cooperation between several departments of
government than in the area of mental health, so I think this is a most important issue. I think progress is
being made. This morning, we had a meeting in our department where this was discussed. There are ongoing
meetings now that I am aware of that were not taking place previously between the Department of Community
Services and the Department of Health, specifically dealing with services within the municipal and provincial
service exchange.



So I think it is happening in many areas. I think there is a lot of organization to do. I am not only
concerned about the lack of services in some areas but I am concerned about the duplication of services. I
think when you see families and persons in difficulties, particularly with mental health, it is not that they have
no service, it is that they may be receiving inappropriate or untimely services. I think the matter the member
refers to may also be an example of that. It is not that the person was not in care or did not have access to
services, it is how those are delivered at any one particular time.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Well, Mr. Speaker, I think the Corra case underscores the continuing crisis
in the mental health service system. The minister will know that a very specific recommendation of the
Blueprint for Health Care Reform Committee was that an overall provincial policy framework needed to be
established as an urgent matter, to guide mental health reform.



Now when the minister starts talking about his main concern being duplication of services and we
have a desperate lack of community-based services and any coherent system for how people will access those
services, he will understand why people are concerned if his attention is on the duplication of services.



My question to the minister is whether he can report to Nova Scotians on the development of that
specific overall provincial policy framework that is needed as the starting point in the reform of our
inadequate chaotic mental health services?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I can report that we are having closer relationships between our
departments. We have a human resource committee, a subcommittee of Cabinet, those issues particularly
relative to women’s issues, that certainly involve some of the broad issues. I don’t think we can look at any
one particular issue in isolation. Within the Department of Community Services we have increased the
number of parent resource centres throughout the province. The initiatives within the preventive programs
that we have. We have also and we will see more but we have brought in, I think, five child protection workers
within the services of Community Services. Those are our initiatives. I think we have to look at the more
preventive aspects and that is certainly clear within the blueprint. I think we see it within the Home Care
Program and those initiatives are underway.



I think there has been progress made and I think we have to identify where the services are, there
are gaps in the services, no question. But there are duplications, Mr. Speaker, and the member may not agree
with that. It might sound out of sync, I also admit there are gaps in the service, I think it is that coordination.
But that coordination is underway, it is happening and I would like to report that I am very impressed that
we are making progress. I think it is a very difficult issue because it involves cooperation between various
departments of government that haven’t been used, that has not been in the past but it is going to be in the
future.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my final question to the minister and I
know it is not appropriate nor will I focus on the specifics of the Corra case, for reasons of sensitivity and
confidentiality. But at the same time it is very important that this minister and this government understand
that this woman and this family have been pleading for appropriate mental health support for a considerable
period of time and as expressed by a member of Ms. Corra’s family . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.



MS. MCDONOUGH: . . . nobody would really listen until a law was broken.



Mr. Speaker, would the Minister of Community Services give the undertaking that he and the
appropriate officials in his department and the Health Department concerned with mental health will sit down
with the Corra family to hear out the concerns that went unanswered and unheeded that led up to the tragedy
that occurred in that family and for that young woman in recent days?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, on this particular matter, and the member well knows it is a very
confidential matter and one that I personally don’t like to get my information through the media but that is
all that I am able to comment on at this time. I have been advised that appropriate steps are being
(Interruption) Mr. Speaker, does the person have a further question?



MR. SPEAKER: No, the supplementaries have expired.



DR. SMITH: Yes. I have been advised that this is being taken as a very serious situation. There is
more than one victim here of course. I am sure the member would agree with that. I think we must remember
that physical injury has resulted from this particular episode. The Department of Health I know and certainly
our department is concerned as well but particularly the initiative is being led by the Department of Health,
the appropriate steps are being taken to revisit what has happened in this situation. I have been advised that
every appropriate step will be taken.



As far as a meeting, I am in no position to make that commitment. I know that people will meet with
the family. I will certainly make that commitment that the appropriate people will meet with the family.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



ERA: M & M MANUFACTURING - ASSISTANCE



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. Since this government
came to power in May 1993, they passed four Orders in Council to assist M & M Manufacturing Limited
Partnership and M & M Manufacturing Limited to provide public money assistance to those enterprises.
Without going through all the detail there are performance bond guarantees and straight commitments and
bank guarantees and a performance guarantee of $22.5 million. The total exposure of the Nova Scotia
taxpayers’ money since this government came to power, relative to this organization, is $29 million. All of
this was done with no condition being attached to that assistance, which would have insured payment, in part
or in full, of approximately $4 million to $4.5 million worth of pre-existing trade debt of M & M
Manufacturing.



I wonder if the Premier might explain how it is that the government would extend $29 million worth
of the taxpayers’ exposure to this corporation without ensuring that a plan to retire that existing debt of $4
million to local suppliers had not been arranged?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, this is a question that is best addressed by the Minister for the
Economic Renewal Agency and I would ask him if he would take it.



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, let me clarify a couple of points, first. How we treat the
relationship with government and M & M and how they deal with their creditors is no different then the
previous administration did when they were in that position. The previous administration had dealt with M
& M also.



Our agreements with M & M stipulate that they have to handle their business in a professional
business-like manner and deal with their debts accordingly. We have told M & M that we will not participate
in any further assistance with them unless they deal with their creditors in a satisfactory arrangement. To this
point, we have not, since this last, I guess I would call it media attention on M & M, further advanced any
more money to them.






I must admit, I was not aware that when we advanced any money in the past that there was $4
million in trade payables out there. I will take that up with my staff and see it, but we were not aware that
there were any trade payables at that time. My understanding is, that the amount of about $4 million that is
outstanding now is money that has been owed on the last project that they completed and that they are now
negotiating with the trade payables to come up with a satisfactory solution.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that response. He and I did have the benefit
of a brief, private chat earlier. I guess what I am really wanting him to offer here today, on behalf of a
considerable number of local businesses who are on the hook for $4.5 million, that this minister would give
an undertaking here today that he will, in fact, direct his officials in the Economic Renewal Agency to ensure
that there are immediate discussions with the principals of M & M, M & M Manufacturing, M & M
Fabricating and the partner of M & M Fabricating, that they do, in fact, work out a plan so that the local
creditors are retired in the very shortest timeframe possible, because my advice is that we are looking at a
number of organizations which are on the verge of bankruptcy. A couple are telling me, anyway, they are
going to have to reduce their employment rolls from 30 people down to as many as, perhaps, 15 or 16. We
are losing jobs and they are going bankrupt.



At the same time, the ministry is committing or continuing an exposure of the taxpayers’ money to
have them continue to function. Could the minister give an undertaking that he would make such directions
immediately to his staff and that a plan to retire that debt is worked out as immediately as possible?



MR. BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, let me give him the short answer first. Yes, we will. But let me tell him
what we have done so far. We are in discussion with M & M and their various components at this time. We
are also in discussion with a lot of the creditors who have contacted us. We have offered, as of yesterday, I
told my staff that they should talk to the creditors that call, to see if we can assist them through this crisis.



As we understand it, it is largely a cash flow problem between a project that was not successful in
profitable terms and one that is and that the problem the company has is getting from here to there and the
creditors that are, I guess I would say, along for the ride.



Yes, I will undertake that we will work with M & M and its various components and the creditors
to try to come up with some satisfactory arrangement. We don’t want to see any of the subtrades be injured
during this period, yet we don’t want to do anything that jeopardizes the successfulness of the joint venture
that M & M has with Peter Kiewit on the Hibernia Project.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I guess the minister has come pretty close to saying it, or offering
it, but I will ask it specifically and directly so that the record is clear. Is the Minister for the Economic
Renewal Agency prepared to commit that no further advance of taxpayers’ money will be made without, at
a minimum, a clear and enforceable plan being in place to retire existing debt owed to those local suppliers?



[1:00 p.m.]



MR. BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, over a week ago in response to the media, I told them that the Province
of Nova Scotia would give no further assistance to this company by way of new loans or new support until a
satisfactory arrangement was arranged with the creditors outstanding at this time. Once that happens, we will
then look at their business plan and see what we can do, but we will not participate in supporting this
company any more until we have arranged for an agreement with the creditors so that they are satisfied with
repayment.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



SUPPLY AND SERV. - ARCHITECTS:

 

CONTRACTS - SCHOOLS (HEBBVILLE/TRURO [MIDDLE])



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, through you, my question would be to the Minister of
Supply and Services. On November 22nd and 23rd, I asked the Minister of Supply and Services to confirm
that an untendered contract had been awarded to two architects; one from Truro to build the $8 million
Middle School in Truro and the other to a Halifax architect to design an addition to the Hebbville School in
Lunenburg County. In response to questions from the Opposition, the minister indicated that he had ignored
the draft qualification-based election process in awarding these two contracts. My question to the minister,
have these two contracts since that time been withdrawn?



HON. WAYNE ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, to my recollection, one is on hold and the other one is
proceeding. The Truro procedure is underway in terms of the architect and his findings for the design for that
project, and the one in Hebbville that he refers to is on hold at the present time.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, in relation to the question from November, we were talking then
about the qualification selection process which was almost ready to be adopted. It is my understanding that
staff in your department have completed the guidelines and the industry representatives certainly support it.
I am wondering, when will these guidelines be proclaimed?



MR. ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, the guidelines will follow the normal procedure, going to the Priorities
and Planning Committee and then to Cabinet for ratification.



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



NAT. RES.: FORESTRY AGREEMENT (CAN.-N.S.) - STATUS



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the honourable Premier. Prime Minister
Chretien and his Cabinet are secluded away today, essentially finalizing budget preparations. I am told that
the Premier and his colleagues were essentially doing the same thing all day Sunday past. I don’t know if this
means an early budget or not and perhaps I am getting off track a little bit but, as I said, the federal Cabinet
is burrowed away, so to speak, finalizing their budget. The federal Finance Minister, the Honourable Paul
Martin, and his close personal friend, the Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, and the
western provinces Premiers have been at odds over cuts to rail shipments of grain out West. The federal
Minister of Finance, I am told, is not backing down at all and, with this in mind, I wonder if the Premier is
holding out much hope for a new federal-provincial forestry agreement?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am afraid I can’t give him much light on that. I can tell him that all
the subagreements have been discussed at the various levels, both with the Prime Minister, with Minister
Dingwall, with the Minister of Natural Resources and with others. We have been discussing these agreements
and we are indeed working hard so that Round 6 will indeed be implemented. Obviously, at this particular
time, their attentions are elsewhere.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, what I was trying to indicate was that the western Premiers have no
problem at all with standing up to the federal government. Last week in the Legislature, I suggested that the
Premier of New Brunswick has written three letters to the Prime Minister and I am quoting from Hansard
now, Mr. Premier, you suggested and said; “. . . I do not place any great significance in writing three letters.”.
I am wondering if you have told the Minister of Natural Resources about your feelings? When the Prime
Minister was in Halifax on Friday, I am wondering if you had an opportunity to raise the very important
concern, the provincial-Canada forestry agreement?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I have discussed it, we have been continuing to discuss it. Perhaps
it will be helpful if the Minister of Natural Resources was to give a comment on the efforts he has made in
this, following the government policy?



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, in regard to the issue, I have made the statements in the
House here repeatedly, in regard the efforts we have made, along with the support of the Premier, as well as
other Cabinet Ministers, of the importance of this issue. We made it very clear at the federal level that the
Round 6 Agreement is critical to true sustainability of the forests and the jobs in Nova Scotia.



We have certainly been very tenacious and very strong in letting them know that this is a critical
matter that needs to be addressed. Mr. Speaker, we will endeavour to continue the pressure at the federal level
to impress on them, and the Cabinet Ministers who are reviewing the budgetary process, that forestry in
Canada, mining in Canada, agriculture in Canada and all the resource-based industries are critical to the
economic foundation of this great province and this great country and that because of that, there is an
obligation both on behalf of the province and the federal government, to move forward to make sure we have
sustainable development and long-term jobs in this great country and this great Province of Nova Scotia.
(Applause)



MR. TAYLOR: Getting an update on this is like trying to pull teeth from a horse. Again I will go
to the Premier because he didn’t answer my question, if I may, Mr. Speaker. I am wondering, what did the
Prime Minister of Canada tell you in person and what has the federal Minister of Natural Resources told you,
in your telephone conversations? You have told this House that you had telephone conversations . . .



MR. SPEAKER: You have to address the Speaker, please. You don’t address the Premier directly,
you address the Speaker.



MR. TAYLOR: Yes, I apologize for my somewhat disjointed question, Mr. Speaker. I am just
wondering, will the Premier tell this House and Nova Scotians if he feels a deal is still possible with the
federal government, relating to the forestry agreement?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am going to say yes but if you would like a more detailed answer,
the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency, who has had the responsibility traditionally in these, might
well give you a comment that might help to elucidate as well.






HON. ROSS BRAGG: Well, Mr. Speaker, that member over there who wants to know about this,
I would be pleased to tell him what we have been doing to try to negotiate these agreements. I have had
several discussions with Minister Dingwall, the federal point minister on Nova Scotia’s federal funding on
these agreements. We have discussed the concept of trying to bring the agreements together and we are in the
process of arranging a meeting so that the ministers of the various departments on both levels of government
can come together and sit down and talk about our common interests.



We all understand the problems the federal government, and as we, have had in trying to negotiate
these agreements and the restriction on funds, but there is a commitment from both sides to try to move ahead
and find a solution to this problem. I won’t go as far as to tell the members opposite where and when we will
be meeting but I can say that we have agreed with the federal government to get together at a specific time
and place and try to come up with a solution to this problem and work on solutions. (Interruption)



No, it is not natural resources, I am disappointed with the member opposite that he only wants to talk
about natural resources. There is an agricultural agreement that needs to be negotiated, there is a fisheries
agreement but all he talks about is forestry. But, you know, that is only part of it; important as it is, it is only
part of it.



Mr. Speaker, fisheries, tourism, minerals, agriculture, we are working on coming up with a solution
that works for the Province of Nova Scotia, in working together in a cooperative approach with the federal
government. These members opposite seem to have a problem with that consultative and partnership approach
that we are trying to develop with our federal partners.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



ERA - CHER (SYDNEY): TAKEOVER - STATUS



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency had such
a good time with that question that maybe I can also direct one to him that he will also enjoy equally well.



Mr. Speaker, the question that I ask through you to the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency
has to do with CHER in Sydney, a radio station that has gone through financial difficulties, and there is an
application now before the CRTC to approve the takeover by their only competitor, Fundy Cable.



Mr. Speaker, the minister well knows the history of concern, that the banks and receivers and
liquidators place a low priority on the whole question of local ownership and maintaining local jobs, an issue
that you are well aware of that came to the fore as a result of the struggle to keep Scotia Ropes in local hands
and operational. Of course, that issue, obviously, has come to the fore again.



I would just like to ask the minister, Mr. Speaker, if he could give us an indication of whether he has
taken some initiative to discuss these concerns with the liquidator, Fundy Cable and BCA Holdings?



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, I can tell that honourable member that in my department, we
have had absolutely nothing to do with this transaction, to date. It has been a private business transaction
between receivers for the radio station and the various other bodies involved. Quite frankly, we see, at this
stage, that there is no role for us. If some interested party came forward and approached us for advice or
assistance or some other area that we could cooperate and assist with, we would consider it. But, at this time,
we have not been involved in that transaction in any way.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I must say, I find it considerably disappointing that the minister has
to wait for an invitation from somebody before he would get involved. I mean, the whole operation around
Scotia Ropes was on its way down to the States before the community stepped in and dealt with that issue.



The question here is whether or not this minister and his government will not become involved in
a concern that has been front and centre in the past and is again. Will he not, Mr. Speaker, agree here today
to get on the phone with representatives from BCA, for example, and try and determine how the province can
facilitate CHER continuing to be a local, operational radio station, contributing to the economy of industrial
Cape Breton?



MR. BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, which way do you want it? The members opposite are now telling us that
we should get involved in private transactions between receivers and potential buyers of this property. If we
get involved, then they say that the government should get their hands out of it and leave it alone and let the
business community look after itself.



Which way do they want it, Mr. Speaker? We cannot have it both ways. We are trying to develop an
economy in Nova Scotia that is based on a free enterprise system where people put good, viable business plans
together and make them survive on their own. We are there to assist when we are called on, but we are not
going to interfere in the process. I don’t think that is the role of government and, certainly, from experience
in this House, the members opposite have never supported that in the past.



MR. CHISHOLM: I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that we have taken the opportunity in the past to
criticize the government’s involvement when it has come to handing out hundreds of thousands and millions
of taxpayers’ dollars without any guarantees or without any confidence that that money will ever be returned.
But in a case like this, it is a question of the government becoming involved simply as a facilitator to try to
ensure, as is the case with Scotia Ropes, that it does not, all of a sudden, end up outside the province, the
equipment, and the jobs are gone.



The matter here, simply, is the government, the Minister of the Economic Renewal Agency, asserting
himself and the services of his department to try to determine whether or not there is not a role that can be
played to ensure that this operation stay in local hands and stay operational? That is the question, Mr.
Speaker. It is a question of the government showing leadership in terms of the creation and maintaining of
jobs in industrial Cape Breton.



MR. BRAGG: Perhaps the member opposite is advocating that we should nationalize all the
telecommunications in this province. Can you imagine, Mr. Speaker? Every business transaction that happens
in this province, he wants us to get involved in. The next time a car dealership changes hands, the next time
a lumber mill changes hands, we should get involved and examine the local ownership or who is putting
money into it. That is not the role of government. We are trying to get out of that role so that we let business
decisions be made on the basis of a sound, viable business, one that is sustainable and will create jobs. Getting
the government involved will not help the economy of Nova Scotia in cases like this. (Applause)






[1:15 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



ERA: INDUSTRIAL TRADE STUDY (CAN. GOV’T.) - AVAILABILITY



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Premier. There was
a study done by KPMG Management Consultants of Vancouver for the Department of Foreign Affairs in
industrial trade, the federal government. This study was done and apparently, the Halifax/Dartmouth, metro
region was compared to 10 other centres and Halifax came out as number one among this group. Thus far,
this study hasn’t been available to Nova Scotians and I am wondering if you would request, on behalf of the
Province of Nova Scotia, that this study does become available so that we can use it to promote Nova Scotia?



THE PREMIER: I have done so already. We have circulated this, I have given it to at least four
companies in Toronto that I happened to be visiting and we have circulated it as far as we can. I would be very
happy - I would have thought that you would have had a copy but if you haven’t - I will take absolute pains
to make sure you get one.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



LBR. - FIREFIGHTERS SCHOOL: REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS - STATUS



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour. In the spring of
this last year, the spring of this session, the minister tabled a report which was done for the fire marshal’s
office entitled, Setting the Course. I was wondering what the next step is for the department with regards to
the disposition of the recommendations of that report?



HON. JAY ABBASS: Mr. Speaker, the next most important step is that the Auditor General will be
conducting an audit of the Firefighters School. Another important thing that has developed is that the
executive of the Firefighters School, which as you know are members of the firefighting service themselves,
long time members, they have actually found ways of economizing and actually living within their budget to
date. I am not saying that it has been easy but they have managed to live within their means, so to speak.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, there were eight major recommendations in that report. I was
wondering if it is the intention of the Department of Labour and the fire marshall’s office to adopt all or some
of those recommendations and if so, when will this be done?



MR. ABBASS: Mr. Speaker, the Fire Marshal himself, Mr. Robert Cormier, has written to all of the
departments throughout the province and actually made available to them the report which was carried out
by this commissioner from Newfoundland. He has invited comment back from the department chiefs of the
various brigades and departments and once he has that collected, the Fire Marshal himself, will report to me
and indicate what the reaction has been to this report. It might not meet with universal approval throughout
the province.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, one of the recommendations of that report was the appointment of a
full time coordinator who would be on the staff of the Department of Labour and that would be an additional
position. I was wondering if the minister could confirm in the House today, that it is his intention to seek
budgetary authority to establish that position?



MR. ABBASS: Mr. Speaker, no, I would not confirm that at this time, although having such a person
in the department to oversee all aspects of training and the placement of additional fire training grounds
throughout the province, for example, might very well be required, depending on what the reaction from the
departments themselves really is. So, I will wait until Robert Cormier responds to me or report to me and that
should be very soon. In the meantime, I am very interested in having the Auditor General do his work as he
had offered to do, well before the Newfoundland commissioner did his work and see what the Auditor General
reports back as well.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



ENVIRON.: SYDNEY TAR PONDS - PERMITS



MR. JOHN LEEFE: My question is to the Minister of the Environment. Mr. Speaker, Acres
International has been project manager for the province at the Sydney tar ponds project. The firm Superburn
is contracted to build the incinerator components of the tar ponds project. My question to the minister is did
the original contract between Superburn and the province and its agents, in fact, require a 30 day test burn
in advance of the incinerator component being assessed for an operating permit?



HON. ROBERT HARRISON: I don’t have the details of the Acres contract in front of me, I would
be more than prepared to go back to my staff and get the details but I can assure the honourable member that
Tar Ponds Inc. has a permit that was duly processed and properly administered by my department. The details
I would be pleased to provide at a later date.



MR. LEEFE: I believe that 30 day factor was part of that original agreement. Contaminated waste
conveyance system intended to carry the sludge to the incinerator failed to provide sufficient tonnages for a
30 day burn. Consequently, there were two 48 hour test burns, they were deemed to be adequate by the
contractor, that was in November 1993. I wonder if the minister could confirm whether or not the Nova Scotia
Department of the Environment was consulted in advance of that test burn taking place with respect to the
adequacy of two 48 hour test burns instead of the 30 day test burn?



MR. HARRISON: Again, Mr. Speaker, without the precise detail which I have offered to supply to
the honourable member I can only reassure him again that the department is vigilant in terms of the
permitting process and if alternatives were found that the permit was based on those alternatives and I am
quite sure that there must have been discussions proceeding the permitting that would have led to the
conclusions that he talks about but the details I would be happy to supply as soon as I can get back to my
department and get them.



MR. LEEFE: In February 1994, the minister, in fact, did issue a permit and I would ask the minister
if he would be prepared to table for the House the documentation which caused him to determine that a permit
should be given to the project?



MR. HARRISON: I would be happy, Mr. Speaker, to provide such detail.



MR. SPEAKER: The time allotted has really expired. There might be 20 seconds left.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



ENVIRON. - SACKVILLE LANDFILL: EXPANSION - ASSESSMENT



MR. JOHN HOLM: I will go to the Minister of the Environment on a short snapper. The minister
will know he has received and had an opportunity to review the suggestion put forward by Riverland for the
developments in the lands that they own next to the landfill. My question to the minister is just quite very
specific, is it still this government’s position that if there is a proposal to expand the landfill beyond into
adjacent land that that would have to undergo a full environmental assessment?



HON. ROBERT HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, despite the hypothetical nature of this question we have
confirmed many times in this House the commitment made by the previous Minister of the Environment and
sustained by this government that if there is to be an extension beyond the footprint, beyond the boundaries
of the present Sackville No. 101 site that that would be subjected to a full environmental assessment.



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



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit.



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, may I do an introduction. Mr. Speaker, through you and to
all members of the House I would like to introduce Mr. John Roblee. Mr. Roblee is the President of the 18
group ventures in Nova Scotia who are so involved, well, they are involved in a lot of things but specifically
they are involved in fine forest management practices and they employ thousands of people so I would like
the House to exclude the very fine welcome on Mr. Roblee as we normally do. Thank you. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: I have a request from the honourable Government House Leader to revert to the
order of business, Tabling Reports, Regulations and Other Papers.



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS.



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



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the Annual Report of the Nova Scotia
Business Capital Corporation for the year ended March 31, 1993.



MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.



GOVERNMENT BUSINESS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



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



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



[1:25 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gerald O’Malley
in the Chair.]



[6:00 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Acting Deputy Speaker Mr. Robert
Carruthers in the Chair.]



MR. SPEAKER: The late show resolution we have this evening is presented by the member for Kings
North. The member for Kings West will be speaking in his stead. The resolution to be debated is:



Therefore be it resolved that the Health Minister start offering Nova Scotians more health reform as
was promised during the election and less by way of health cuts.



ADJOURNMENT



MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH - REFORM: PROMISE - FULFIL



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and it is nice to see you in that upper Chair. It
would be a nice permanent place for you.



The topic tonight in the late show debate, Mr. Speaker, that I want to talk about is health reform that
is not being done and about the health cuts that are being done in this province.



You know, Mr. Speaker, this government came to office promising all kinds of health reform. There
isn’t any health professional, there isn’t any layperson in the province that wouldn’t say that health reform is
the way to go. But what we have to have before we have health cuts, we have to have reform take over.



We had a Blueprint Committee that was put together. We had a lot of studies. I would be the first
to agree it is time for action. But even the Blueprint Committee, if it was followed, would indicate that many
of the programs and ideas that it said should happen are not in place. I don’t know why, Mr. Speaker, they
are not in place. I know that our office gets daily calls from Nova Scotians, daily calls from people who are
waiting for surgery, waiting for a hospital bed, waiting for needed home care to replace the beds lost, we get
calls from doctors, we get calls from nurses, CNAs and Nova Scotians worried about the loss of their
physician, people worried about the loss of specialists in this province. That can’t be health reform.



When you ask the minister who is responsible for all of the hospitals, for everything that is going to
happen he says, the new regional health boards. The new regional health boards, they haven’t officially met.
They are just beginning to plan. They are not even going to take office and do anything until next September,
then we are not sure what they are going to do or what they are going to run or how they are going to do it,
who is being paid and who isn’t being paid, what they are going to provide, what they are not going to
provide. Questions, Mr. Speaker, is all we are getting and we are getting no answers.



I had a call last weekend from a lady whose husband had a heart attack on December 27th, from
Betty Taylor, her husband Clayton had a very major heart attack, doesn’t live very far from where I live. Went
into the hospital in Kentville, within the week had three other major heart attacks. The doctor had applied
to get him transferred to Halifax. Couldn’t make arrangements. Told her she would have to call her MLA, call
the Minister of Health, call somebody, no matter how much the doctor tried, couldn’t find a bed. Finally the
doctor said, I am going to put him in an ambulance, because if I keep him here any longer, he is going to die.
Whether they take him or not or find a bed when he gets there, I have got no choice.



That’s an awful thing for a family to have to deal with. These people are seriously ill. It is not
somebody who has a fracture or a small problem, I am talking about people with major problems. Doctors will
tell you that in the past they have not had that difficulty of getting somebody in urgent need into one of our
hospitals in this province. Why, all of a sudden, are we now having major problems? Well, I get a note that
says, band-aid solutions. You know, maybe that is what is happening.



I know last week when a Nova Scotian accused the minister’s executive assistant, the one that got
her into the Victoria General. Before that, her daily living was a nightmare. The Health Minister said it was
a coincidence, Susan Peel said that her specialist couldn’t get her in, she knows it wasn’t a coincidence.



We had a call, in our office, and I can go on and on, from a woman who called yesterday. She went
to the VG in October 1993, the latter part, obviously, of October. She was admitted through Emergency for
a blood clot. The cardiologist tried the next day to clear it, it was unsuccessful. This woman waited in hospital
20 days before she could have the by-pass, 20 days at $800 a day. If the by-pass could have taken place the
next day, it would have been 20 days less $800. Now that is not saving money, that is not health reform.
Doctors will tell you the problem is that the operating room time is not available. Why isn’t the OR time
available? Because of the cuts that this government has made. They are not staffing the OR, they are not
staffing the beds. Yes, the beds are still in the hospital and yes, people will tell you they occupy a bed but they
wait for a procedure. To me if you want to save money, you get them to have the procedure so they can get
home and someone else can either use the system or they save the money on the bed. Just occupying a bed can
be costly and we have to cut down on those kinds of procedures. Keeping somebody in a bed 20 days because
they can’t get into the OR is not saving money.



You know, we continually get calls from people who say it is not how it used to be when the doctor
could make a decision based on medical information and the need, they got in to see the specialist. I had
someone who told me just yesterday that they have to wait four to five months to see a specialist and they have
a major problem and they can’t get to see a specialist. Some of our specialists have left; they left because of
the approach this government has taken with physicians and this is known across the country. So, who is
coming to Nova Scotia? Do you know of any new specialists coming? Well, I can tell you a lot who are leaving
and we have other good physicians who are leaving.



When someone says we have too many doctors, that is not true. We may have too many general
practitioners in our urban areas, that may be true, the rest of it is not true. We don’t have too many doctors
in some of our rural areas, we don’t have any doctors in some rural areas. When they leave we can’t get them
now, why not? We had a physicians task force that reported in about June 1993, I know it well, I was part of
the process that set it up. It made recommendations that dealt with the physician supply in this province. It
is an issue that has to be dealt with but the way this government is dealing with it is not the way to solve the
problem. We have to encourage good doctors to stay. We have to encourage specialists to stay and specialists
to come.



We still don’t have enough orthopaedic surgeons in this province. Some good ones have left, we were
always short and if we have car accidents and things of that nature, who is going to deal with those bones that
are broken and sometimes in a very serious way. We don’t have them, you can’t expect one or two orthopaedic
surgeons to handle all the province. We don’t have enough and we are not getting any more.



So that is not health reform. Health reform is when we talk about home care which is part of a
program that will help keep people out of hospital beds and in their home. I had a call today about an other
gentleman who had an operation in the Amherst hospital. Three days after the operation for the broken hip
or broken bone of some nature, the hospital says you have to leave the bed because we have an urgent need
for someone else to take that bed. If that gentleman could go home and have home care he would be fine but
there is no home care where he lives. So, what are they going to do, the doctor says we may have to put him
in a Level II care facility where he is only going to get physiotherapy once a week, he needs physiotherapy
every day. That is not health reform.



If we are going to have health reform let’s get on with it. Let’s do what we say we are going to do and
all Nova Scotians would support it. Thus far, we have all kinds of questions, we have rhetoric but no action
is being taken.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to have some further
discussion on the concerns that Nova Scotians have about the crisis in the health reform process in this
province. I had very much hoped, as I am sure my colleague, the member for Kings West had, that there
would be a government spokesperson who would be preparing to respond to some of the issues raised by the
member for Kings West, the Opposition Health Critic. I guess I still live in hope that that will be the case.



Earlier this afternoon, as you know, Mr. Speaker, during Question Period we on the Opposition side
had an opportunity to raise some concerns about mental health care reform, as a case in point. I have to say
that I think the events of the last few days that were brought to public attention in the instance of a very sick
young woman, resorting to violence, and another Dalhousie female student being the victim of that violence,
that what that incident has done is once again make it painfully clear that mental health remains very much
a low priority of this government and, to some extent, the kind of abandoned child of the health reform
process.



It has always been true, Mr. Speaker, that mental health services have tended to be stigmatized in
the same manner that mental illness has been stigmatized in our society. I think when you see how little
progress is being made and apparently how little priority mental health reform appears to have with this
government, then you can appreciate that what has long been a serious problem is becoming a greater crisis
than ever.



It is a dilemma for members of the public, as it is for members of the Opposition, that it seems almost
impossible to engage the government in a meaningful dialogue around what actual, concrete measures are
needed to bring about the necessary reforms. As a result of that, Mr. Speaker, it seems as though the only way
you can get any pressure on this government to force them to really respond to these continuing crises is to
bring to public view the tragedies and the traumas and the hardships of individual patients, individual victims,
individual families in the province, which is a very distressing situation to say the least. Every time we raise
with the Minister of Health or the Minister of Community Services, both of whom share responsibilities in
relation to many of these issues, what we get back is a lot of hand wringing, a lot of sighs about how they are
doing their best. There is a lot of discussion happening, there is a lot of planning taking place.



Yet, Mr. Speaker, when it comes down to the actual process of managing change, which is really
what health reform is, what community services reform really is, this government continues to be very short
on details.



Mr. Speaker, I don’t want, in any way, shape or form, to violate the confidentiality of a patient or her
family. But when the government this afternoon, in the form of the Minister of Community Services, stands
here and says that this government is very concerned about the incident that happened just off the Dalhousie
campus, in the Dalhousie community last week, and says that they are extremely concerned and everybody
is looking at what needs to be done and so on, something gets lost in that process.



[6:15 p.m.]



I talked to a member of the family of that young woman this afternoon and he advised me that, to
this moment, he, as the father of that young woman, has never even been contacted by anyone in the broad
human services network of this government, not the Department of Health, not the Department of Community
Services, not the Department of Justice.



Mr. Speaker, this is not only a woman who is severely mentally ill, by her own pleadings, by her
family’s own description, but this is a family that is in deep crisis as a result of the events that have happened.
This is a government that talks about prevention. This is a government that talks about early intervention.
This is a government that says we are reforming the system because we know that services need to be more
accessible and, yet, a crisis happening before their very eyes and nobody in this government is responding in
anything that you could remotely describe as an appropriate, let alone timely, fashion.



Every bit of emphasis on the health reform blueprint document was on the need for prevention, was
on the need to recognize that primary care is where we have to be really dealing with these health care issues.
Yet, Mr. Speaker, we see absolutely no progress by this government in relation to such things as ensuring that
physiotherapy services or nurse practitioner services are more available to people in their communities, in
their own homes.



We hear talk about great advances in home care and we see a supposed implementation plan for
home care that is an embarrassment. Mr. Speaker, there is nothing wrong with the principles stated in that
document, but what is wrong is that a full 10 years after those principles were clearly articulated by a broad
cross-section of consumers and providers in the health and community services field, we have a government
that is still stuck at first base while simltaneously the home care system remains severely underdeveloped. We
have a government that is engaging in a process of deinstitutionalization, of shutting down hospital beds, of
cutting back on institutionally-based services, which is the right direction to go, but in an absolute defiance
of the clearest recommendations of the Blueprint Committee on health reform, cutting back on those hospital-based services prior to putting those community-based services in place.



We know what is happening as a result, people are falling through the cracks. People are being sent
home from hospitals without having appropriate follow-up care. Costs are getting shifted away from the
hospital budget, no question about that. You can see, when you look at the budgets for existing hospitals, that
as a result of bed closures, as a result, in some cases, of day surgery and so on, as a result of same day
admissions, all of those positive initiatives that hospital costs are coming down and coming down fairly
dramatically. But the other side of that coin, Mr. Speaker, is that patients are being cast out into the
community without there being any pick-up of the much reduced costs associated with that home-based care.



Mr. Speaker, that is why in the debate on casinos, as well as in the debate on health reform, we talk
about let’s have realistic net figures. Let’s have realistic evaluations of what are the real costs and benefits of
this and who is paying the price. At the moment, Nova Scotians are paying the price with inadequate services
while the costs continue to be heaped on their backs. Thank you.



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



MRS. FRANCENE COSMAN: It gives me great pleasure to involve myself on this debate tonight,
that the Health Minister start offering Nova Scotians more health reform as was promised during the election
and less in the way of health cuts. It intrigued me a few minutes ago to watch the honourable member for
Kings West and his last closing sentence that was dramatically given, if we are having health reform let’s get
on with it. Mea culpa, mea culpa, 50 reports - I will table this afterwards - 50 reports all pointing the arrow
of direction to health reform in the last 20 years, 50 reports not acted on. I say it intrigues me to watch the
former Health Minister make this statement because he knows what health reform needs.



He knows what his government did not deliver and he knows we are delivering. Yet, he takes on the
appropriate role as a member of the Opposition benches to stand up and say, woe is me, get on with reform.
I will table this computerized print out of the 50 different reports representing millions of dollars spent on
studying the issues and not carrying through with action.



I listened to the honourable member for Halifax Fairview and in the last few days she has tried to
make the claim that the very tragic incident at the Dalhousie campus essentially could be blamed or faulted
on the Government of Nova Scotia. I have to say she, too, plays her role well in Opposition. Clearly she must,
if she is fair-minded at all, recognize the very simple fact that that type of incident could occur any time, any
day, any night, no matter how many millions of dollars we put into reform. It is a tragic circumstance and no
one should try to play games with those circumstances and say, it is your fault as a government because you
aren’t getting on with reform fast enough. I think that really is pushing the point very sadly.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, let me say very seriously, that the
record will show that in my questions earlier today and in any comments that I have made on that tragic
incident, what I have said, is that the mental health system failed this young woman and failed her family.



MR. SPEAKER: I don’t believe that there is a difference on the interpretation of facts, it is not a point
of order . . .



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Chairman, the point of order is that there has been misrepresentation of
the position that I have articulated in that regard.



MR. SPEAKER: I am going to rule the matter is not a point of order.



MRS. COSMAN: I think no matter how you try and squirm around the rhetoric of the last few days
on this issue it simply begs for clarifying the fact that that kind of tragic incident can happen at any time in
our society. It does and it will, sadly.



Now, I have heard a lot in the last 20 minutes about, oh, woe is me, we have done absolutely nothing,
we have made absolutely nothing, we have made absolutely no progress. So, I think for the purposes of
communicating to the people of Nova Scotia tonight, I would like to talk about some of the points of progress
that we as a government have made. Taking a look at those 20 years and 50 reports, we have dealt
significantly on the work of the past and we have responded to the Blueprint Committee and the result is our
actions speak louder than all the words that are spoken in this place.



We now have a Pharmacare working group, it received its report last spring and we are implementing
its recommendations. For those of us in here who work with senior citizens, I think all of us are aware of the
fact that seniors are admitted to hospitals with problems, because of their medications and inappropriate use
of their drug management they have multiple admissions to hospitals with that as the cause. Certainly, the
Pharmacare working group is trying to grapple with that issue.



We have divided the province now into four health care regions and we have set up the regional
health boards. Those health boards are being empowered with the ability to respond to the health care needs
of the individual communities and that is what Nova Scotians have been asking for. They don’t want a made
in Halifax solution. Individual communities want to describe their needs and know that a responsive health
board will answer.



We have begun the process of shifting the focus in health care from institutionalized services down
into the home, into the community and I think every one of us who has done any reading on the issue of health
care would recognize that people, when they are ill, heal faster and better in their own home environment,
rather than in the strangeness of an institutionalized setting. That is a very fundamental shift in the kind of
delivery of care that we give in this province.



We have appointed the coordinator for emergency health services, we have appointed the
commissioner for health reform, we have appointed a ministerial advisor on AIDS and we have appointed a
physician advisor among others.



The conceptual plan for home care has been frameworked and completed and there are
implementation projects underway many of which, if we had two hours tonight, we could talk about. But
certainly, we are setting up the pilot on palliative care in Wolfville, we are setting up self-managed care in
Halifax, hospital in the home in Antigonish, similar to the New Brunswick model of hospitals without walls.
We are looking at putting in replacement palliative care for the dying, paediatric projects for severely disabled
young people under the age of 16, rehabilitation programs for convalescents who have rehabilitation potential
and so on. There are approximately six that I have heard of in the last several months of the projects that we
are doing around the home care model.



Essentially what we are working toward is a seamless continuum and we have heard those words in
here before as well, in terms of our ability to deliver health care across the province in the home, in the
community and not in the institution.






I guess one of the things I, as an MLA, have heard about quite frequently is the question from my
constituents, what are you doing on this or what are you doing on that? That really points the way clear to all
of us that we have to communicate the message more clearly about what we are doing, we have to
communicate it in a comprehensive way and we have to involve the media and community relations to help
us to do that. We have to get the materials to the health professionals as well so they know what their
government is doing.



How are the hospitals responding to changes? Well, the first instinct with change is to be frightened,
it is to reject it, it is to back away from it, it is to express concerns that you can’t grow with a new program.
But, I think we can speak with great pride with our hospitals in this province because they are responding to
change with the full professionalism that we expect and know of them.



Certainly, the Western Kings Memorial Hospital in Berwick will be changing its role in March from
an in-patient focus to a focus on primary health and long-term care. The Sutherland-Harris Memorial Hospital
in Pictou is also focusing on an expanded home care service and the Annapolis General has a new role in
focusing on emergency and home care service. This I think is productive and it shows that there is a
commitment to effective change and to make the health reform work in Nova Scotia.



So, we look at issues around home care, hospitals in the home, reform on the areas of insured
services, Pharmacare reform, the emergency health services reform, that is a major point of delivering on our
promises. We want to know when we have to call an ambulance that there are standards that are consistent
across Nova Scotia, that there are standards for the personnel, that there are standards for the equipment, that
there are standards for the vehicles.



Our citizens in this fine province have a right to expect a standard of excellence in the emergency
and the ambulance care services. These changes do not happen overnight. We have watched 15 years of talk
about health reform and if anybody in the Opposition thinks you can rub a little magic on a bottle and out pops
a genie and everything is done overnight, forget it, that is not going to happen that way. We would be very
remiss to take on health reform in a slow, uncaring, unthoughtful manner. It demands excellence, it demands
that time be given to it and certainly that is what we are attempting to deliver.



So, I think we can certainly point with a great deal of pride to the health care reforms that we have
conducted in Nova Scotia. It started back last year with those universal health cards that people carry around
in their wallets and it will continue as we continue to work on the issues. The future in our health care is
prevention-based and its outcome is wellness. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: We have reached the end of the Adjournment debate, it is 6:30 p.m. We will now
return to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.



[6:30 p.m. The House resolved into a CWH on Bills with Acting Deputy Speaker Robert Carruthers
in the Chair.]



[7:58 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Acting Deputy Speaker Mr. Robert
Carruthers in the Chair.]



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



THE CLERK: That the committee has met and made some progress and begs leave to sit again.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow being an NDP Opposition Day, we would
propose to deal with two bills, Bill No. 134 and Bill No. 139 and Resolution No. 1491. The order will be
determined depending on the time that we have. We will nail that down once the timing has been set when
Question Period has been established.



MR. SPEAKER: Could you just repeat the bill numbers, please.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 134 and Bill No. 139 and Resolution No. 1491. At this
point we are talking about dealing with Bill No. 139 and Resolution No. 1491 but we may well have time to
deal with Bill No. 134. We will provide the government and the Official Opposition with that information
once the Question Period time has been set.



Mr. Speaker, if there is any time left at all, then we have a couple of House Orders that we might do.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader, on the time we will be meeting
tomorrow.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, we will be meeting tomorrow from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.



I move that we adjourn until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.



MR. SPEAKER: It has been so moved.



The House will sit again at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.



[The House rose at 8:00 p.m.]



NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)



HOUSE ORDER NO. 184



By: Mr. John Leefe (Queens)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Department of the Environment:



(1) A list of all companies in Nova Scotia that have been charged under the Criminal Code with
environmental infractions between June 11, 1993 and December 31, 1994; and



(2) A copy of charges and penalties levied against the companies.