Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

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21 septembre 2017



























HALIFAX, TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 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. We will commence this afternoon’s sitting at this time. Before we begin
the regular proceedings of the day, I would like to call on the honourable Leader of the Opposition who wishes
to note the passing of a former member of the House, Mr. Jim Harding.



The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I do rise with great sadness to advise the House of the
death of a former member of this House and a former Cabinet Minister, the Honourable James Harding, who
has died at Shelburne just yesterday. Mr. Harding was a friend and colleague of many and, on a personal note,
a friend and a colleague of my father.



During his time as a minister in Bob Stanfield’s government during the same time that my dad was
a member of that Cabinet, I remember - and remember fondly - many occasions when Jim Harding, along with
Mr. Stanfield and Mr. Ike Smith and many others, would be at our home and I got to know him as a very
intelligent man and a man who had a very deep sense of understanding what it was to be a legislator and a
minister. What I mean by that is that he had a very deep and abiding sense that our role and our function and
our responsibility as legislators and as ministers is to provide the very best service we can to those who send
us to this place. Any of those who would have had an opportunity to read the obituary in today’s paper will
see that commitment to people and service to people described in very graphic fashion.












6389

 

Jim Harding, Mr. Speaker, as you will know, was a lawyer by profession, and after practising law,
subsequently ran for and succeeded to political office as a Conservative MLA for the constituency of
Shelburne and served, and served with distinction, as a member for Shelburne from 1956 to 1970. In the
spring of 1965, Mr. Harding was appointed Minister in charge of the Nova Scotia Housing Commission and
as Minister of Public Welfare. He assumed the chairmanship of the Interdepartmental Committee on Human
Rights and was made responsible minister when the new Human Rights Commission was established by that
government in August 1967. As Minister of Public Welfare, he was responsible for the creation and formation
of the new social development division in the fall of 1964.



The Head Start Program, the Education Fund for Black Students and the steady growth of black
leadership were all undertaken during his direction and leadership. He was also responsible for a new deal
in respect to housing and saw the Housing Development Act become law. As I have said, the obituary goes
on at considerable length to recite and outline many other very important and creditable contributions made
by Jim Harding during his time in public life.



In 1967, while still serving as Minister of Public Welfare, Mr. Harding was given the additional
responsibility of Provincial Secretary and on July 17, 1968, he left both of those portfolios to become Minister
of Fisheries, a post which he held until the fall of 1970. Unlike some who never know when it is time to fold
them, Jim Harding decided to fold them and in 1970 did not re-offer for election. Following the election in
1970, returned to private practice and the continuation of very important community work in Shelburne
County and in other places across the province. All in all, a man who in every sense, I think, was a credit to
what it means to be both an MLA and a Minister of the Crown. It is clear that Jim Harding will be sadly
missed by his family, of course; his fellow legislators; and the legions of people to whom he was a very real
friend and benefactor.



I would like to ask for your indulgence and the indulgence of all members, Mr. Speaker, that we might
observe a moment of silence in memory of Jim Harding and that I might additionally ask that you might be
kind enough, on behalf of all members of the House, to express sincere condolences to Mrs. Harding and the
family upon Jim Harding’s passing just yesterday. He was a distinguished member and a distinguished
minister and I would appreciate it if you would convey our sentiments to the family.



MR. SPEAKER: I shall indeed do so. Before we observe a moment of silence I would like to invite
responses. The honourable member for Shelburne, which is the constituency that Mr. Harding represented,
has asked to respond and I recognize him now.



The honourable member for Shelburne.



MR. CLIFFORD HUSKILSON: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the people of Shelburne County, I would
like to echo the honourable Leader of the Opposition’s words. Mr. James Harding did work very hard for the
people of Shelburne County and he will be sadly missed. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to add to the words of condolence that
have been expressed to the family of the late James Harding. I didn’t have the opportunity of serving here in
the Legislature with Mr. Harding, but he in fact was my first boss at my first real job as a staff member with
the then Department of Social Services. I know that during that time, and subsequently, he presided over a
number of very important social welfare initiatives in this province that have stood the test of time and, I
think, have been among some of the proudest achievements of the social welfare system in this province.



I don’t know James Harding’s family well, but I do know that he has been very proud of his son who,
in fact, followed in his father’s footsteps in terms of entering public life and has served as an elected member
of the Legislature in the Yukon Territory for a number of years and has provided outstanding service as a very
able labour leader on behalf of the United Steel Workers.



So, Mr. Chairman, to all members of the Harding family, I wish to extend the sincere condolences of
myself, personally, and of the New Democratic Party caucus.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour.



HON. JAY ABBASS: Mr. Speaker, although the Premier is outside the country, I know that he would
ask that his condolences be extended on his behalf so as Acting Premier, I do so now.



MR. SPEAKER: We will now rise and observe one minute silence in honour of the late James Harding.



[One minute of silence was observed.]



MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.



Now, before we begin today, are there any introductions of guests? If not, we will advance to the daily
routine.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I wish to table a petition sponsored by the Parish Council of Our
Lady of Lourdes. This petition urges continuing government support, “. . . to ensure the Social/Drop-In Centre
in New Glasgow (provided by the Pictou Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association) remain open,
to provide service to those persons with mental illness in Pictou County.”. It is signed by 255 residents and
I have signed the petition as well.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



RESOLUTION NO. 1563



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



Whereas the Nova Scotia House of Assembly now sits at least twice each year, and in 1994 this House
sat for 94 days, more than any other Legislative Assembly in the country, and in this session 112 days so far,
thus providing ample opportunity for members to hold this government accountable for its actions; and



Whereas current Rules of the House permit every member to debate each bill for up to four hours on
second reading, four hours on third reading and without limit in the Committee of the Whole House, yet
debate on the most substantive initiative of government - the budget - is limited to 40 hours by each of two
committees; and



Whereas limits on debate at the Committee of the Whole House stage will in no way infringe on the
rights or abilities of members to fully air their views or offer legislative amendments, but will restore to the
House the ability to proceed with its business at a reasonable rate;



Therefore be it resolved that the Rules and Forms of Procedures of the House of Assembly be amended,
effective immediately, as provided in the attached Schedule.



                     

[SCHEDULE



Province of Nova Scotia



Rules and Forms of Procedure of the House of Assembly



1. Rule 57 of the Rules and Forms of Procedure of the House of Assembly is amended by:



(a) adding “(1)” immediately following the Rule number; and



(b) adding thereto the following paragraphs:



(2) After a Bill is reported by a Committee of the House, a maximum
of twenty hours is allowed for consideration of the Bill by the Committee of the
Whole House on Bills.



(3) Upon the conclusion by the Committee of the Whole House on
Bills of its consideration of a Bill, the Chair of the Committee of the Whole
House on Bills shall put the question, without amendment or debate, “Shall the
Bill carry?”, which question, when carried, shall carry every clause, the
preamble and the title of the Bill, as amended by any Committee of the House
and the Committee of the Whole House on Bills, and the Chair shall thereupon
report to the House.



2. Rule 58 of the Rules is amended by striking out “open to debate and amendment before it is
ordered for a third reading. But when a Bill is reported without amendment it is” in the fourth, fifth, sixth and
seventh lines.]



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Minister of Human Resources.



RESOLUTION NO. 1564



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



Whereas Nova Scotia Power has today announced the first recipients of the company’s employment
equity scholarships, established in June 1994; and



Whereas these awards are designed to advance the achievement of women, ethnic minorities, persons
with disabilities and aboriginal persons, and are based upon a combination of academic achievement,
leadership qualities and community involvement; and



Whereas the recipients of this year’s first employment equity scholarships from Nova Scotia Power are
- I beg leave of the House for the pronunciations of these names - Ms. Peggy Apostolides, Halifax, Ms. Julie
Angela Bailey of Tatamagouche, Ms. Mekalai Kumanan of Bedford and Ms. Suzanne Nicole Musgrave of
North Sydney;



[12:15 p.m.]



Therefore be it resolved that this House extend congratulations to these four young women on their
achievement in receiving these awards and further congratulations to Nova Scotia Power for its active
demonstration of support for the principle of employment equity.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



RESOLUTION NO. 1565



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 globe-trotting Minister of Education has finally returned from his latest junket to the Far
East; and



Whereas immediately upon his return, the Minister of Education is compelled to regale us with stories
of his excellent adventure; and



Whereas the minister is bursting with stories of wonderful employment opportunities for Nova Scotia
teachers in Viet Nam, Cambodia and other exotic locales in the Orient;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education understand that Nova Scotia teachers in Glace
Bay, Canso, Fall River, Clare and throughout the province are looking for opportunities right here in Nova
Scotia and that before embarking on another Orient Express, the minister stay for a while and work on job
opportunities for teachers in Nova Scotia.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1566



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 Atlantic Lottery Corporation is responsible to develop, organize, undertake, conduct and
manage lotteries on behalf of its shareholders, the four Atlantic provincial governments; and



Whereas this corporation’s gross revenues in 1993-94 alone exceeded $0.5 billion, with $172 million
spent on operating costs and commissions; and



Whereas the protection of Atlantic Canadians’ interests require that the corporation be subject to
independent audit and full public reporting by Auditors General, in the same manner as other agencies of
government;



Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotia’s representative on the Atlantic Lottery Corporation Board
should reflect the wish of this Legislature that the corporation be subject to an independent audit by the
Auditor General of Nova Scotia to ensure the full and proper accountability of the corporation’s transactions
on behalf of Nova Scotians.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.






RESOLUTION NO. 1567



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



Whereas teachers, parents, students and school board officials suspect the Minister of Education is
deliberately keeping secret his school board amalgamation plans until this House recesses, so he can avoid
direct accountability and try good old-fashioned public relations; and



Whereas it has nevertheless leaked out that one idea is for a single school board to cover the area from
Cape Breton to Ecum Secum; and



Whereas accountability and democracy would be poorly served by a so-called local government which
many constituents could reach only with a day’s travel;



Therefore be it resolved that accessibility and accountability are fundamental to local political
responsibility for education decisions and should be primary considerations in any plan that is supposed to
deal only with increased administrative efficiency and effectiveness.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Kings North.



RESOLUTION NO. 1568



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



Whereas 99.9 per cent of Kentville Advertiser readers responded no casinos in a recent poll; and



Whereas the Minister of Finance promised no casinos until after a social and economic study was
completed; and



Whereas the Minister of finance promised the Sheraton a casino license;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Finance decide which is important, the promise to the
people of Nova Scotia or the promise to a multi-nation hotel/casino company.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Kings West.



RESOLUTION NO. 1569



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



Whereas the Minister of Health has told everyone about his friendship with the President and Mrs.
Hillary Clinton; and



Whereas the Minister of Health has said he was an advisor to Mrs. Clinton on the proposed United
States health reform system; and



Whereas the Clinton health reform program was rejected, just as Nova Scotians are rejecting the so-called reform of our Minister of Health;



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier accept the resignation of our Minister of Health before our
health care system disappears.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1570



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 Labour Minister has known for weeks that an independent investigation by the
Ombudsman’s Office found that the Workers’ Compensation Board is unfairly withholding compensation from
Camp Hill Hospital staff who became ill due to their working conditions; and



Whereas the minister has not even endorsed the unequivocal findings of the Ombudsman’s
investigation; and



Whereas Liberals need look no further for evidence of why so many Nova Scotians consider this to be
a dictatorial, arbitrary government;



Therefore be it resolved that the Labour Minister should immediately act upon the Ombudsman’s
recommendation that compensation be paid to all those who have become ill due to working conditions in
Camp Hill Hospital.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



RESOLUTION NO. 1571



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



Whereas northern Nova Scotia Liberals gathered in New Glasgow over the weekend to urge the Party’s
Constitutional Review Committee to proceed with a leadership review in July; and



Whereas Cabinet and members of the government caucus are twisting the arms of Liberals across the
province to prevent the Nova Scotia Liberal Party from becoming an embarrassment on the national stage this
July; and



Whereas the President of the Cumberland North Liberal Association recently remarked that the
October leadership review was postponed by the Premier and several key ministers out of desperation and that
the postponement had sent out the wrong message;



Therefore be it resolved that in their desperate bid to stop a leadership review, the Premier and
members of Cabinet and caucus not lose sight of reality and trample the constitutional rights of Nova Scotia
Liberals, in the same manner as they have trampled the rights of Nova Scotians since coming to office June
11, 1993.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



RESOLUTION NO. 1572



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



Whereas living with AIDS or HIV is onerous and dispiriting enough for an individual and their family
and loved ones; and



Whereas Karen Potts, head of the Canadian AIDS Society’s National Women With HIV Project, said
at a planning session this weekend that because of various factors, women with the AIDS virus are often more
susceptible to a feeling of isolation from their friends; and



Whereas a Nova Scotia study presented to the Health Minister last year recommended that more
services be offered to women infected with the virus, especially gender specific information for better
prevention and education;



Therefore be it resolved that the minister realize the differences encountered by women suffering from
HIV and the AIDS virus and recognize the importance of the work of this panel and the recommendations
of the study presented to him for the sake of some 300 women in Nova Scotia with HIV.



Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.



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



I hear several Noes.



The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1573



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 late May and early June, this government was demanding speedy passage of far-reaching
legislation, including the emergency health services legislation; and



Whereas more than seven months later, the reality is a deteriorating ambulance fleet, uncertainty, lack
of planning and no firm time line for implementation of that legislation; and



Whereas enthusiastic supporters of a new, adequate province-wide emergency system now ask if they
were misled into helping write a blank cheque for Liberals who have little or no commitment to such a health
care reform;



Therefore be it resolved that the confusion and inaction with which this government takes up its
legislative mandate give no reason for Nova Scotians to demand that legislation be approved even more
quickly, with even less public scrutiny and accountability.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1574



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



Whereas Antigonish Liberals have been the subject of government attention and affection, with the
Premier attending an executive meeting there in July and the Transportation Minister recently giving a guest
speech on his most beloved topic, road paving; and



Whereas Antigonish Liberals have responded to the Premier and the Government House Leader in a
manner familiar to those viewing the stalemate in this Legislature, voting by more than two-thirds in favour
of a Liberal leadership review; and



Whereas Nova Scotians must wait to see if Cabinet plans to invoke some system of closure to stop all
discussion and votes within the Liberal Party;



Therefore be it resolved that Cabinet Ministers who have sheltered their own actions behind the
Premier’s public image should use the opportunity of their boss’s 11 day trip to and from Switzerland to
demonstrate whether one man alone forces this government to ignore its constituents and its own Liberal Party
activists.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.



RESOLUTION NO. 1575



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



Whereas the New Waterford Coal Bowl Basketball Classic Committee will be putting on their 14th
tournament January 29th to February 5th; and



Whereas this very prestigious event has been considered one of the best high school basketball
tournaments in the country; and



Whereas 10 teams from across the country will be in New Waterford for this year’s event;



Therefore be it resolved that congratulations be extended to the committee and the people of New
Waterford and area for staging a very successful educational and athletic event.



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



MR. SPEAKER: It appears to be agreed.



Is it agreed?

 

 

It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried unanimously.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1576



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



Whereas few governments in the western hemisphere have actively discouraged collective agreements
or employment contracts that enable high value-added industries to attract the highly skilled work force they
need to succeed in the world economy; and



Whereas even fewer would arbitrarily intervene in collective bargaining to roll back benefits and
reduce income tax revenue, without even saving public expenditures or improving economic performance;
and



Whereas Nova Scotia industries that must compete across the continent and around the world face such
a government in this province;



Therefore be it resolved that this government should not proceed, lemming-like, to take Nova Scotia
over the brink into a Third World labour market where low wages and poor benefits make it impossible for
truly world-class industries to attract and keep the highly skilled workers who are in greatest demand.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



Is there any additional business to come before the House under the heading of the daily routine? If
not, I wish to advise the House that the Clerk has conducted a draw for the Adjournment debate at 6:00
o’clock. The winner this afternoon is the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. He has
submitted a resolution for debate as follows:



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and the Minister of Municipal Affairs start to listen to the
concerns of the mayors and councillors of metro municipalities on amalgamation.



We will hear on that matter at 6:00 o’clock this evening.



The Oral Question Period today runs for one hour. I will say that the time is now 12:29 p.m. and,
therefore, allow the Oral Question Period to run until 1:29 p.m.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



EDUC. - TEACHERS: EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVE - VIET NAM



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. As you will
know, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Education is just back from an extended trip to Malaysia and other parts.
Upon his return he has made it apparent that he has discovered there may well be - I think he described them
as - wonderful employment opportunities for Nova Scotia teachers in such places as Viet Nam, Cambodia and
other locales in the Orient.



My question to the minister is whether or not it is now his intention to embark upon a public policy
initiative which would result in having Nova Scotia teachers find employment in Viet Nam, in Cambodia and
in such other places? Is that his plan?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable Leader of the Opposition for the
question. His government, when he was in power, started an initiative in Hong Kong which we are working
on as well, to expand on and in which there are some Nova Scotia teachers who were employed in Hong
Kong. If there are opportunities for teachers from Nova Scotia, I would be very interested in exploring those,
which is something we have done.



Through you, Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell the Leader of the Opposition and all members of the
House that an hour ago, before the House opened, I met with representatives of all the universities in Nova
Scotia and they are very interested in this initiative. They have been doing things separately. We are now
working with those universities to explore all kinds of options that exist in other parts of the world.



I don’t apologize for that because I want to suggest to the honourable member, just as we provided 700
additional jobs for the teachers in Nova Scotia, by our early retirement. I would likewise look for opportunities
for people in Nova Scotia who want to take advantage of those opportunities.



[12:30 p.m.]



This government, Mr. Speaker, is not closed just inside itself. We are looking for opportunities to
create revenues, find opportunities for individuals in Nova Scotia and the universities and community colleges
in Nova Scotia outside of Nova Scotia. I don’t apologize for that. (Applause)



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my supplementary to the minister is to ask him if he might give us an
indication as to what the current plan or strategy is to attempt to find teaching employment for some many
hundreds of Nova Scotia teachers who are trying frantically to find teaching positions here in the Province
of Nova Scotia. Could he outline what efforts are being made at present to attempt to effect that result?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, if I might, I was a teacher in the schools of Nova Scotia while
the honourable member was the minister. All during that time there were fewer and fewer jobs for teachers
in Nova Scotia. The present year and the two years that follow there will be about 2,000 jobs available for
teachers in Nova Scotia, in Nova Scotia, through the early retirement. Young people, who have been looking
for jobs for 5 and 10 years, and some of them for as long as 20 years while the honourable member was
minister and his government was in charge of the education system, have a real opportunity and some of them
have a real job for the first time. So, in Nova Scotia, that initiative will continue to provide opportunities at
home but, likewise, we will be looking outside of Nova Scotia for other opportunities that educators in Nova
Scotia might like to take advantage of.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, may I then, by way of final supplementary, simply ask the Minister
of Education if he is indicating here today that he is, in effect, guaranteeing that in the next 12 to 24 months
there will be 2,000 teaching positions available for Nova Scotians here in the Province of Nova Scotia?



MR. MACEACHERN: I don’t know if the honourable member has been following the last year. We
have an agreement with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, both for the public school system and the
community college system, by which the early retirement program will, in fact, provide a number of jobs this
year and the next two years in the order of 2,000 people. In fact, that is a given, part of the agreement that
we have. So, I don’t have to guarantee him, Mr. Speaker, in fact, that is part of the agreement we have with
the Nova Scotia Teachers Union.



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



EDUC. - SCHOOL BOARDS: AMALGAMATION - DATE



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I too would like to direct questions to the Minister of Education, but
on a different topic. I would like to, I guess, get into the realm of structures in the boards across the province.
The minister, of course, will know that many school boards are extremely frustrated as a result of uncertainties
as they try to prepare, in a very responsible way, their budgets, prepare their plans and priorities and programs
for next year, and even determine staffing levels. They have this frustration and uncertainty because they
aren’t even sure whether or not they will exist as boards next year, or whether or not they will be
amalgamated.



My question to the minister is really quite simple, Mr. Speaker. The question is, is it the government’s
plan to propose that a number of the boards be amalgamated prior to next school year? In other words, is it
the government’s plan to propose amalgamations be carried out before the next school year begins?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party,
first of all, the uncertainty that the boards have is not tied to programs at all. We provided their budgets for
them in December, the first time ever that they had the budgets early enough so they could plan. Likewise,
the elected members themselves know that they are going to be sitting in their positions up until the next
elections in two years time.



Relative to the possibility of amalgamations, Mr. Speaker, I think all members of the House know that
we had a discussion paper put out last June. I travelled and visited each and every board to discuss that, and
I made it very clear to them at that time that we had some very significant problems that we wanted to look
at. The examples are, we have such small boards that financially can’t go on because of declining enrolments
and large geography. We have a francophone board question that has been put on us by the federal
government and a requirement for first language education that the entitled parents have governance over
that. Thirdly, the amalgamation of both the Sydney area and Halifax presents a problem for us in terms of the
boards. We have considered many representations that came to us in the department. It is under discussion
in Cabinet and then it will go before caucus. When, in fact, it passes through that process, I will be providing
it to all Nova Scotians and to the honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party and I will again be
travelling the province to discuss our proposals and then we will come back and make the decision after that
consultation.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am not going to pick up on some of the statements of as to whether or not
they can adequately plan and properly plan just on the budget figures from last year because there are a lot
of uncertainties as to how, and so on, those will be delivered. I am going to leave that.



I want to just touch on one aspect of the minister’s answer if I may, Mr. Speaker, and that has to do
with the consultation. It is not only a matter of efficiency that has to be guaranteed in the most cost-effective
way, but we also have to ensure that if the program delivery system, through amalgamation, is going to be
changed, it is going to make the actual community involvement and make the education process better and
in closer contact with the communities to meet their needs.



So my question to the minister is quite simply this, what specific commitments are you prepared to
make to guarantee, to ensure that the communities and the education stakeholders will be properly and fully
consulted in a meaningful way, not just simply having a one month or so on a minister travelling around?
True, proper consultation requires adequate time in order to ensure that the system meets the needs and the
wants of the various communities.



MR. SPEAKER: All right, thank you.



MR. HOLM: So I want to know what kind of specific commitments the minister is prepared to make.

 

 

MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable member, I can assure him that the consultation
which started, by the way, last June - I mean it is not something that we are starting right now - the White
Paper which we are proposing to circulate is a continuation of that. We have considered all submissions that
have been provided to us and we are going to make proposals both on roles and responsibilities and also
possible restructuring. We are going to go back, again, to all aspects: 1-800 number; we are going to set focus
groups; we are going to be talking to the boards; the teachers’ unions; the staff unions. We are going to do the
whole process that we did before again but they have been briefed and prepared because this is just building
on the discussions we have already had. I can assure the honourable member that this is directed toward
improving the quality of education and working more and more to get every dollar that we have that leaves
the coffers of the province to services for students. That is what our goal is and I can assure the honourable
member that every dollar we can rescue from sources will go toward enhancing services for students in Nova
Scotia.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, we have seen in the province what the government considers the kind of
model to follow. For example, with the amalgamations both in Cape Breton of various municipalities and that
which is being suggested here in Nova Scotia and that the province is laying down what they see the structure
is, what they see as the needs of the communities without involving the communities at all in helping to
design a structure that meets their need.



MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.



MR. HOLM: My question, which I was getting immediately to, Mr. Speaker, is quite simply this, will
the minister guarantee that the effected communities will be involved in designing the education structure
rather than simply following the model that was followed by his colleague where in municipal government
it was imposed from the province?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, maybe I am not making myself clear. In June we provided a
whole spectrum in which we went from one model to another model and everything in between and we asked
for submissions. We have had submissions, hundreds of them, literally, from individuals, from organizations
and we have reflected on those very carefully. We have even gone so far to send staff to Ontario to talk to
Michael Fullan who is a recognized expert in school restructuring and school reform enhancing quality.



We have done that and we will continue to do that. We are going to be providing options to be
considered and we will be looking for some input from all of the stakeholders. Our job is to make sure that
communities are more involved than they ever were before in the education of their children and that is what
we are trying to do with quality the watchword, Mr. Speaker, and I can assure the honourable member of that.



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the honourable Minister of Natural
Resources.  The forest industry of Nova Scotia is at a crucial and vital stage and in some ways is fighting for
its very survival.



Over the past weekend, the minister attended the Annual Meeting of the Nova Scotia Forest Group
Ventures Association, and, yes, I attended, too. Mr. Speaker, during the minister’s remarks, the minister said
to his audience that he expected that he would soon be shuffled from his current portfolio and that he hoped
his successor would take seriously the concerns of the forest industry, relating to the federal-provincial forestry
agreement.



I wonder, can the minister indicate whether the Premier advised him, prior to leaving for his holiday
and business trip, as to whether the minister would be moved to another portfolio?



MR. SPEAKER: I regret to advise that that question is out of order. Is there another question?
(Interruption) It may be a good question, but it is out of order. On a different tack, the honourable member
for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



MR. TAYLOR: On a different tack, Mr. Speaker, I also, as I indicated, had the pleasure of attending
that meeting on the weekend of the Nova Scotia Forest Group Ventures and I was very well mannered. The
minister was also there, as was the Chairperson of the Federal Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural
Resources, Central Nova Liberal MP, Roseanne Skoke.



My question for the minister today is this. Will he confirm comments of the Member of Parliament
who said, there is no money for a federal forestry agreement and that Ottawa wanted to concentrate and focus
on securing international markets. She also added that, Nova Scotia has really not had a strong enough voice
speaking up for the forest industry of this province?



SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!



MR. TAYLOR: That is what the member said.



MR. SPEAKER: I hesitate, again, to allow that question. It purports to quote a member of the federal
Parliament and then to ask our minister to comment on the truth or lack thereof of comments attributed. I
don’t believe that question to be in order. I will accept another question from another member.



The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH - TOBACCO CONTROL UNIT: FUNDING - DETAILS



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question, through you, is for the Minister of Health. Last
week, the Minister of Health announced his new Tobacco Control Unit and I think some newspapers said,
Stewart sends out the smoke cops. I would ask the Minister of Health - he indicated that he would have a
budget, I think, of $500,000, up to $0.5 million -if that is new money that will be in his department or if those
funds are being taken from another section of his department?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, the provision of this budget would be for redeployment of
some funds within the department, coming from various other sectors.



MR. MOODY: I am sure $0.5 million will be missed by a number of sections. I guess we will have to
wait for the budget to see what is missed.



I would ask the minister, I think it was in the newspaper that it indicated that the Tobacco Control Unit
would use minors to entrap store owners, in other words, hire minors, pay minors to go in and try to buy
cigarettes from store owners. Would the minister not agree that there may be a legal problem with this kind
of entrapment?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I would advise the honourable gentleman not to believe everything he
reads in the press. Certainly, this was not at all mentioned by me as a function of the Tobacco Control Unit.
I was merely referring to a study and a project funded by the honourable gentleman’s department of vintage
several years ago, in which Smoke Free Nova Scotia provided surveillance in this city and that was a function
of the Department of Health at the time that the honourable gentleman was in charge.



MR. MOODY: Well, several years ago I was not in charge. Maybe he could tell me, if he is in charge
today and is the Minister of Health saying that corner store operators are law breakers? What is his policy
regarding the legislation? Is he going to hire this unit to police corner store operators, because he is saying
they are dishonest?






[12:45 p.m.]



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I made it clear that first of all, I was very knowledgeable about this
particular project of surveillance sponsored by the Department of Health and by the former administration
during the tenure, by the way, of the honourable gentleman opposite. I have made it clear in speaking on this
issue that that surveillance can be done by non-governmental agencies. We welcome proposals. I said we
would consider proposals and, indeed, we will be looking very closely at innovative ways to identify any
problems in the corner stores or anywhere else, in fact. (Interruption)



I have not at all backed away from that. I would say that the principle of surveillance that was proposed
and adopted by the previous administration would be one of the proposals we would probably entertain.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



SPORTS: DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS - APPOINTMENT



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources, in
her capacity as Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commision. I wonder if the
minister will confirm that recently that department whose minister is responsible for the Nova Scotia Sport
and Recreation Commission, held a competition for the job of Director of Communications at Sport and
Recreation and that the successful candidate was a Mr. Colin Craig?



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, yes, that is correct.



MR. DONAHOE: I wonder if the minister would confirm as well that a Ms. Angela Manders, who has
worked for the past five years in a communications position at Sport Nova Scotia, also competed for this
position and, in fact, was either tied with or a very close second in the competition to Mr. Craig?



MRS. NORRIE: I am not aware of all the applicants for the position that was filled by Mr. Craig. I
cannot answer that question today.



MR. DONAHOE: Well it is my information that what I have just said, by way of that first
supplementary, is accurate and, therefore, I would ask the Minister of Human Resources, in this capacity, if
she would make immediate inquiry as to whether or not that information is, in fact, the case. If it proves to
be the case, would she be in a position to come to the House tomorrow to respond to the question as to whether
or not, if that information is so, why it would be that she would have failed to apply the affirmative action
policy in relation to Ms. Manders and the position of Director of Communications for the Nova Scotia Sport
and Recreation Commission along the same lines as it as explained that that affirmative action policy was
applied when the Chief of Protocol position was filled? Would she make that undertaking to (a) make the
investigation and, (b) report on the affirmative action aspects of it?



MR. SPEAKER: A and B; I think only A. One at a time.






MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that within the Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation
Commission a competition was held. There was a committee in charge of selecting a qualified candidate. I
am satisfied that the candidate who won the competition is well qualified for the job and I appointed him to
that position.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



JUSTICE: MICMAC INTERPRETERS - POLICY



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, in order to determine to whom I should appropriately
direct this question, I wonder if I might ask who the Acting Minister of Justice is? I don’t know whether the
Minister of Labour is also the . . .



MR. SPEAKER: The Minister of Community Services indicates that he is the Acting Minister of
Justice.



MS. MCDONOUGH: . . . Acting Minister of Justice. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am sure the Minister
of Community Services, as Acting Justice Minister but as any member of this House will be aware, the
Marshall Inquiry recommended that all courts in Nova Scotia have the services of an on-call Micmac
interpreter for use at the request of Micmac witnesses or accused.



Mr. Speaker, in response to that recommendation from the Marshall Inquiry, the government of the
day, obviously the previous government in 1990, assured Nova Scotians that the Department of the Attorney
General, I quote directly from the government’s official response, “The Department of the Attorney General
currently pays for interpreters for witnesses and all accused persons who might otherwise be unable to
participate and understand their trial.”. My question to the honourable minister is, whether that policy is also
the current policy of this government?



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I have been informed that the policy is such, that it is determined
by the judge involved as to the availability and the need, in his or her opinion, of the need for interpreter
services. That is my understanding of the policy. It certainly was a strong recommendation of the Marshall
Inquiry and it is one that the department has taken very seriously.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I guess this question is perhaps just as appropriate to the Minister
of Community Services as to the Acting Minister of Justice, because the suggestion has been made that while
such services are automatically made available and on an on-call basis, in the instance of Provincial Court,
that such services are not as readily available and not nearly as easily forthcoming in the instance of Family
Court. That, of course, signals a very unfortunate message that somehow property rights and other such
matters are more important in the eyes of the government than matters affecting the family.



My question to the honourable minister is, whether he can give the assurance that, in fact, the promised
Micmac Language Interpreter Services are equally available to both parties where necessary, in the instance
of Family Court on the same basis that they are available in the Provincial Court?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I certainly will make that commitment that everything will be done within
the department and within our government to make these services available before all courts. I think the
member might be referring to a particular instance that has been reported in the media, that is certainly of
concern and it has been referred to the Chief Judge of the Family Court. Certainly, it will be dealt with and
that is the appropriate way. I would commend those people, the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, who have
referred this matter to the Chief Judge of the Family Court.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, the policy under the previous government which this minister has
indicated is also the prevailing policy, which indicates quite clearly that the Attorney General’s Department
currently pays for interpreters for both witnesses and accused persons who might require those services. Yet,
the province’s Chief Family Court Judge is quoted as saying in today’s newspaper account around the incident
that arose causing concern that, “. . . there are questions about using translators, such as who appoints and
pays them and who sets remuneration.”.



I wonder if I might ask the Minister of Community Services, if he will give the undertaking that he,
in partnership with the Minister of Justice, will in fact attend to those unanswered questions that have been
raised by the Chief Family Court Judge, himself, and report back to the House, ensuring that these questions
are not up in the air, that there are clear policies and that there will be no repetition of the incident that
recently occurred in the family court in Baddeck?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, this certainly will be an issue that I will be bringing before the Minister of
Justice when he does return. In all fairness, I am not sure that the remarks attributed to the Chief Judge are
in fact accurate. I have not been able to confirm that at this time, although it is reported in the particular
media release that I believe the member is referring to, I, personally, was not clear as to who made that
statement. But certainly, it will be a matter that the Chief Judge will be taking under consideration and
making his recommendations to those who have laid the issue before him and also the Minister of Justice, I
am sure.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



EXCO: POLICY ADVISOR - POSITION



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Acting Premier. I wonder if the Acting
Premier would confirm that an approach has been made to a Mr. Jim Henley to act as a policy advisor to this
government?



HON. JAY ABBASS: Mr. Speaker, I can’t confirm that; at least to my knowledge, there has been no
such approach.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my first supplementary is to the Minister of Finance in his capacity as
Chairman of the Priorities and Planning Committee. I wonder if the minister could inform the House as to
whether or not it is the intention of Priorities and Planning to take on a new position called political policy
advisor?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of any such plan.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I wonder, would the Minister of Finance advise the House as to whether
or not if, indeed, such a position was being considered, would it go to tender or to open competition?






MR. SPEAKER: That question is out of order, being hypothetical.



The honourable member for Kings North.



EDUC. - AVONPORT: L.E. SHAW SCHOOL - MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture. The Kings
District School Board placed the Avonport L.E. Shaw School as number one on their list for repairs and
maintenance in 1991. The independent school replacement committee agreed in March 1993 that this would
be the priority for Kings County and that was the last anybody in Kings County has heard about the L.E. Shaw
replacement and construction program. Would the minister please inform the parents and students when this
school development will begin?



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education?



AN HON. MEMBER: He asked for Agriculture.



MR. SPEAKER: But with deference, that wouldn’t come under the Agriculture Portfolio.



MR. ARCHIBALD: If I said Agriculture, it was only because it was first in my mind. I was thinking
of Education and I certainly thought I said it. Did I say Education?



MR. SPEAKER: Very well. The honourable Minister of Education.



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question and I
have no bad feelings about being mistaken for the Minister of Agriculture. I would suggest to the honourable
member that the L.E. Shaw School is in process, it is recognized by the department as one of the priorities
and they are working on it at the present time. I will provide the honourable member, as soon as the Question
Period is over, with the exact details of where it is but the school board, as far as I understand, and my staff
have been working on the repairs that are required and it is going on now.



MR. ARCHIBALD: The parents, the teachers and the students were informed that the school was
going to be on a fast-track, was going to be looked after in the 1995-96 fiscal year. The information that I have
is that there will not be even an appointment of a construction consultant for this project until February 1996.
Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Education, could you please inform the parents and students why
there has been an unnecessary delay in the commitment of the previous government and the commitment of
your government to get on with the job at L.E. Shaw School?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. First of all, I
would like to apologize for the slowness of the previous government because, as the honourable member
pointed out, they were very slow to act on this one. What I will do is I will check just after Question Period
for the exact details and I will assure the honourable member that my staff will contact the school to inform
them of the detail. I can assure the honourable member that my office has had no complaints from L.E. Shaw
School and I would suggest that whoever his contact is making the complaints, that maybe they are having
more difficulty being satisfied, but I will make sure that the school is informed as well as the parents’ group.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Education. If the minister insists he
is getting no complaints from people perhaps they cannot get hold of him because they are certainly
complaining to me. They are complaining to me about L.E. Shaw School, they are complaining about the
slowness with the commitment to Horton District High School. Would the minister please inform this House
when his government is going to get on with those two commitments that he promised because it is a year
from now before they even plan to start with a project consultant for L.E. Shaw School and the parents and
the students demand and they are entitled to better service from this minister. Would the minister please
inform the House and the people at L.E. Shaw School exactly when he will get underway with this project?



[1:00 p.m.]



MR. MACEACHERN: If I might, again, the honourable member knows that my staff is working with
the community group and I can inform him, Mr. Speaker, obviously the honourable member, whoever he is
talking to, has some kind of problem dealing with the department, the school board and the community so
he can deal with that himself. I have said twice in an answer because obviously he is not listening. I will call
my department, I will contact, if the honourable member would like, the school, the community and the board
to inform them or whoever is missing the information where this project is. Again, as I said earlier much of
the sadness of the community there is that the schools have been let go so that they are unhealthy schools and
that honourable member who represents the community so well now to this House, was he asleep for the last
15 years?



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



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I would like to try another question to the honourable Minister
of Natural Resources. Way back last spring ATi Consulting Corporation put out an ad seeking invitation for
public input in the evaluation of the Canada-Nova Scotia Cooperation Agreement respecting forestry and ATi
consulting was asked by the federal and provincial governments last summer to do this and as I understand
it we haven’t seen a copy of that report. I wonder if the minister is able to table a copy of this evaluation in
the Legislature before the end of today’s session?



HON. DONALD DOWNE: The review of the subagreements is normal in all jurisdictions and as soon
as I can get a copy of the report I would be very happy to table it to this Legislative Assembly.



MR. TAYLOR: Well, yes, I am just wondering what the status of that evaluation report is today. When
does the minister expect that it will be released? Surely to goodness the minister should know by now, the
advertisement appeared way back in early June of last year.

 

MR. DOWNE: The status to my knowledge is that the report has either been completed or is just on
the verge of being completed and I will endeavour to get back to the House as soon as today to inform the
member the specific status of the report and I would be happy to table it as soon as I receive it.






MR. TAYLOR: My final supplementary again is to the honourable Minister of Natural Resources and
I only believe that I am being thorough. I wonder if the evaluation report on the forestry agreement was
tendered out and how many companies submitted proposals to carry out the evaluation?



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I would be happy to present all that information to the member opposite
and to the Legislative Assembly whenever I receive that information of exactly who it was tendered to and
how many and all the information that is required, that issue was done back in June and maybe his recall is
better than most but we do a lot of bidding on contracts in the department. I will be happy to give the
information that is there.



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



CULTURE - INTERNAT. GATHERING OF THE CLANS: ACTIVITIES - FUNDING



MR. JOHN HOLM: I would like to direct my question through you to the Minister responsible for
Tourism and Culture. The International Gathering of the Clans has been trying to get some assistance from
the province in putting on the activities of the International Gathering of the Clans and I am told that they
have for many months had their proposition, a proposal into the minister’s department and, in fact, that they
had a number of meetings set up with the minister and went to attend those meetings but ended up having to
sit in the outer chambers, only eventually to have the meeting cancelled. So, my question to the minister is
quite simply, has his department yet made a decision on whether or not it is going to be providing any
assistance in the International Gathering of the Clans?



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is only about a year out of date. Culture is
not part of my portfolio any more. It was switched, when we reorganized, to the Department of Education.
I, quite frankly, do not remember ever talking to the International Gathering of the Clans people about their
organization. I would be delighted to talk to them. I do not recall ever standing them, or anybody else, up for
a meeting as they sat in my lobby but if he would like to provide me with the names, I would certainly
accommodate them.



MR. SPEAKER: Now I should also call on the honourable Minister of Education. Do you wish to
respond to this?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, they have not been in touch with me. My understanding
is that the funding that was provided to the Culture section has not changed. In fact, we enhanced it by
$300,000 in the last budget so that we could expand programming. So, any assistance that was provided in
the past, I am sure, is being provided. This year we have had no representations by the International Gathering
of the Clans or by anyone on their behalf but I would be pleased to talk to them.



MR. SPEAKER: Now before we have a supplementary, I would like to ask the honourable member to
direct it to one minister and not to two.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I will, then, direct it to the Minister of Education. Certainly the letter and
the correspondence which I have, dated January 14, 1995, indicates quite clearly that it was the Minister for
the Economic Renewal Agency, the Honourable Ross Bragg who the meetings had been with. I will provide
the minister with the names afterwards so that he can make the contact.



My question to the Minister of Education, quite simply then, could the minister please contact his
office to find out if, in fact, the financial assistance, because my information that I have been given in this
letter could in fact be wrong, has the minister’s department been in consultation with the organizers of the
International Gathering of the Clans and if so, what kinds of commitments have been made to it?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, through you, I give the honourable member the assurance that
as soon as Question Period is over, I will check with the department and provide him with the answer to that
question.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



EDUC. - HOME AND SCHOOL ASSOCIATIONS: FUNDING - PROVIDE



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. The Nova
Scotia Federation of Home and School Associations, according to my information, is still awaiting a grant
promised to them by the minister and by the province for the amount of $10,000. They were expecting it last
summer and I wonder if the minister can explain why it is that the association has partly been cut off by the
department?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: That is not true, Mr. Speaker. In fact, the $10,000 was provided, minus
the 3 per cent, like everybody else. I think the problem, if the honourable Leader of the Opposition would
check it, is they are very concerned that that 3 per cent was removed and not a question of the $10,000.



I can also assure through you, Mr. Speaker, to the honourable Leader of the Opposition and all
members, that we have also provided them since last year, offices at the Truro Teachers College and
secretarial help so that they could expand their program. So they have not been cut off, it is just the ordinary
reduction of 3 per cent that was experienced by everybody we are involved with.



MR. DONAHOE: My information from the association, just very recently, Mr. Speaker, through you
to the minister, is that a department official informed the association that if they wrote to the department
requesting the grant they would receive it. The president sent a letter, but even before she was told that, the
letter sent last fall was ignored. The minister guaranteed the association would receive the 97 per cent - the
3 per cent he is right on - in the coming year of what they received last year. The problem with the association
is, they say to me, Mr. Donahoe, 97 per cent of zero is still zero. We do not have our money. I ask the
minister, notwithstanding his answer to my main question, will he make immediate inquiry to determine
whether or not perhaps he is in error and that in fact the promised $10,000 commitment, less the 3 per cent,
has in fact not gone from his department to the association. Would he give me that undertaking to make that
inquiry?



MR. MACEACHERN: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I will give that undertaking but I am a bit puzzled by this
whole process. If the chairperson of the home and school association has a concern, I do not know why she
did not contact my office because no contact was made. I spoke to her, by the way, at a school board meeting
and it was my understanding that the 3 per cent was the complaint. She has not contacted me since then but
I will take the honourable member at his word and I will check that. I will assure that the 97 per cent is
provided, Mr. Speaker, as I stated.






MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH - VGH: CASUAL NURSES - ROLL-BACK



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Last night I attended
a meeting of over 100 casual nurses at the Victoria General Hospital along with the Leader of our Party and
others. This is what they were saying, “Amid the upheaval in the province’s health care system, many nurses
classified as `casual’ say they have slipped to the lowest rung on the hospital ladder. `We are way down there.
We have no rights and we have no protection,’”. That is what they were saying. They had Dr. Badley write
the Minister of Health, I think in December, about the 3 per cent roll-back that applied to casual nurses. I
would ask the Minister of Health what he is proposing to do about that?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I had communication from Dr. Badley, this was in respect
to the 3 per cent roll-back in terms of casuals. This was a matter for the Department of Finance, I consulted
and have referred it on to the Department of Finance, where it should be.



MR. MOODY: Well, I hope when he referred it to the Minister of Finance that he told the Minister
of Finance he supported the nurses. My first supplementary, Mr. Speaker, is to the Minister of Finance. Dr.
Badley pointed out that these casual nurses are the same as, “. . . a part-time or temporary employee who is
excluded from the salary reduction . . .” and they work side by side, in other words, there is a group that are
temporary or part-time that make the same rate of pay as these casual nurses who are not deducted the 3 per
cent but the casual nurses are. I would ask the Minister of Finance will he take another look at this issue of
casual nurses versus part-time and temporary employees who work side by side, one group losing 3 per cent
and the other not?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I will indicate to the honourable member that certainly
representations were made by the Minister of Health expressing very well and very eloquently the concern by
the unscheduled part-time nurses. As I understand it, having done a brief review, under the legislation there
is the opportunity to submit issues dealing with coverage - who is covered by the legislation and who is not -
to the Public Sector Compensation Restraint Board, which is a board set up under the Act and in which
neither the Minister of Health nor myself has any direct involvement. I understand that case was put to them
and they indicated that under the circumstances, that casual, unscheduled nurses were not covered by the
exemption.



MR. MOODY: My final supplementary. I believe last spring, the Minister of Health told us all that
anyone who earned less than $25,000 would not be affected by this legislation. I would ask the minister if
these nurses at the end of each year turned in their T4 slips and their earnings were less than $25,000 will
they be given the 3 per cent that was deducted as promised by this Minister of Health, will he guarantee those
people will be given the 3 per cent?



MR. SPEAKER: To whom is the question addressed?



MR. MOODY: The Minister of Finance, I am sorry, Mr. Speaker.



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the issue of unscheduled, casual employees and the impact of the
wage restraint legislation on them has been discussed in the House previously and, in fact, in information
given to all members. Those casual employees who are regularly, predictably employed by an employer have
an opportunity to receive the exemption of the 3 per cent application if they earn less than $25,000 a year.
That was made perfectly clear. On those workers who come in on a totally casual basis, unscheduled, maybe
today they work, they may not work for the balance of the year, those people are not covered by the exemption
of the $25,000.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



NAT. RES. - URANIUM MORATORIUM: EXTENSION - STATUS



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. There
was a meeting out in Windsor Forks in my constituency about the middle of last week, a well attended
meeting, approximately 100 people there. They were discussing the present moratorium on uranium mining.
As has been said in this House many times, that moratorium expires on January 31st. One of the questions
that was raised, was why the Premier, who had been adamantly opposed to uranium mining back in 1990, was
now sort of iffy on whether or not uranium mining was acceptable.



[1:15 p.m.]



I was wondering if the Minister of Natural Resources could inform the Legislature and the people of
Nova Scotia and, in particular, those in that area, as to whether or not the present moratorium on uranium
mining will indeed be extended before January 31st comes along?



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. I want to make it very clear, as did
the Premier in this Legislative Assembly just last week. He stated that, in his view, he wanted it to be proven
as to whether or not the moratorium should change. I don’t think the Premier is wishy-washy one bit. I think
the Premier has made it very clear that he wants to see the facts, as probably he stated earlier when a number
of doctors met with the review committee with regard to the issue of uranium mining.



Now, I think I made it very clear in this House last week when members brought legitimate concerns
forward on the issue of uranium mining, that until Cabinet makes a decision to change the status of the
moratorium, the moratorium, in effect, stays in place. Whether it is six months past January 31, 1995, six
years or 600 years past that time, that moratorium stays in place until we, as a Cabinet and a government,
decide to change it.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, that is absolute nonsense. The moratorium expires on January 31st and
there is no doubt whatsoever about that. It was a five year moratorium that began on January 31, 1990 and
expires on January 31st of this year. So, if indeed the Minister of Natural Resources is saying that he wants
the moratorium to continue, why doesn’t he, by regulation, extend that period until the year 2000 or 2001?



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I think it was made very clear that there would have to be changes in the
overall process if, in fact, a decision was changed to lift the moratorium. I have made it very clear here and
I believe that the member opposite, who was part of the government of the day that put that in place, realizes
all too well that nothing is going to change until we, as a government, decide to change the status of uranium
mining in the Province of Nova Scotia.



They are the ones that set the process in motion. They are ones that realize the legislative changes that
need to be done. They are the ones that understand, all too well, the safeguards on behalf of the people of the
Province of Nova Scotia, that the government of the day has to make a determination whether they want to
lift it or not with regard to future mining in the Province of Nova Scotia.



I think it is very important, Mr. Speaker, that people understand that we are very sensitive to the
concern about uranimum mining in this province. At the same time, we have made it very clear that we have
not made that determination and when we are prepared to make that determination or the decision is changed
in that process, we will certainly advise Nova Scotians.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, it is very surprising the U-turn that this government has made, not only
the Premier, but I understand that the Minister of the Environment wrote to the Minister of Fisheries back
on December 14th and said that his department had no objection to uranium mining.



My question to the minister is, if a promoter comes along tomorrow and wants to open up a uranium
mine, what steps will this minister take at that stage? Will he grant approval?



MR. SPEAKER: Well, again, this appears hypothetical.



MR. DOWNE: If my grandmother had wheels, she would be a bus. I mean, what if, what if. Let’s be
realistic. I want to make it very clear, Mr. Speaker, in this House, that the present pricing structure for
uranium is less than $10 a pound. It would need, somewhere in the vicinity, to make it economically viable
(Interruption). It is the lunacy of the “what if” type of scenario type here.



The reality is that if you want to talk about the issue on an economic basis, the present pricing structure
of uranium in Canada now less than $10. (Interruption) Do you want an answer or not? It would be less than
$10 a pound. We would need, as I understand it from our department, a pricing structure of in excess of $50
to $70 a pound to even make it economically viable.



Number two, the quality of uranium in the Province of Nova Scotia is not the best quality in all of
Canada. In fact, Western (Interruption) Just a minute, now, let me finish. Western Canada has a higher grade
and larger volumes of uranium to make it economically viable. I mean, people are not lining up at my door,
asking about uranium mining potentials in the Province of Nova Scotia, this is a moot point.



Mr. Speaker, the reality is, as I have indicated to this House and to concerned Nova Scotians out there,
we, as a government are very cognizant of realizing their concern that we have made it very clear there are
no changes as of January 31, 1995 and that in fact, the moratorium stays in place until we decide to change
it.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



COMMUN. SERV. - CHILDREN’S TRAINING CENTRES REPORT:

 

ROEHER INST. - REQUEST



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct another question to the Minister of
Community Services. The question concerns the report of the Review of the Children’s Training Centres. The
minister knows that when he announced that the highly respected Roeher Institute, the research wing of the
Canadian Association of Community Living, had been engaged as part of the team reviewing the Children’s
Training Centres. He received many commendations for that decision.



Therefore, it came as a surprise, Mr. Speaker, that when the report of the Review of the Children’s
Training Centre was released, it included a scathing critique of the background report done by the Roeher
Institute as part of that review and containing, according to the Roeher Institute Executive Director, a number
of inaccuracies and misrepresentations, to which the Roeher Institute was given no opportunity to officially
respond.



The minister will know that on November 16th, the Roeher Institute Executive Director wrote to the
minister asking that the offending pages in the review report be removed before it was distributed any further
or, failing that, that there be a letter included in that report when it is sent out to any further members of the
public requesting it, which would allow the Roeher Institute to defend their integrity.



MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.



MS. MCDONOUGH: My question to the minister is, whether that request from the Roeher Institute
has, in fact, been granted?



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, the report was received. Dr. Peter Camfield’s report was received.
It included representations and was made up of information gathered by both the Roeher Institute and
members of the committee, Dr. Camfield and two other persons.



There were many good recommendations and information in that report from all the people who had
input. As Minister of Community Services, I received the report. I took it for information and we are using
it within our department.



When I first received the report, Mr. Speaker, it was complete and it did not lend itself to additions
and deletions at that time. I think it was a matter of a difference of philosophy or some opinions between the
Roeher Institute and those doing the report. I received it as such, Mr. Speaker, and I have no intentions of
abridging the report as it was given to me.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Well, Mr. Speaker, that was very interesting but my question didn’t have to do
with what the minister is doing with the report. My question is, what response has the minister given to the
November 16th request, an appropriate and reasonable request by the Roeher Institute, that the attack on their
competence and integrity that is contained within the CTC’s review report, that they have an opportunity to
have their concerns addressed?



Mr. Speaker, there was a very specific request to the minister’s department that they be given an
opportunity to have their point of view aired.



MR. SPEAKER: The question has already been asked and this is an editorial comment following the
question. The honourable minister, to respond to the question.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, it is not, I am trying to direct the minister’s attention back to my
question and . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please, the question has been asked. Order!



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, as I attempted to answer the question earlier, I received the report. There
were indications that there were disagreements between those parties involved. I thought in some ways it may
even have enriched the report, that it showed there was a free and open difference of opinions on that matter.
We have addressed issues; I think a letter was received and the person was communicated with. They were
out of the country at the time on behalf of the Roeher Institute and our department has addressed that
particular issue.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Chairman, the minister will know that the recommendation that probably
concerns families in this province trying to support mentally handicapped children in their own homes and
in the community is the need for an adequate respite care program. My question to the minister is, when can
such families, who desperately need the benefits of such a respite program, look forward to some kind of
initiative coming from his department in that regard?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, this is a most important issue. It is one that is a priority within our
Department of Community Service, respite care, not only that it is available in the traditional sense of
institutions, but that it is also available in homes and there is flexibility. I think that was very important and
relayed to us from the minister’s advisory committee. We are addressing these matters. There is also a request
for a case manager which we have announced to the House within the last few days, a person appointed that
would be coordinating these services and the case management and part of respite care will be within that case
management structure. It is important that we tailor the needs of the children and the families and we will
do that; that is a priority as resources within our department allow us to do that.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



NSLC - SURVEY (HFX.)



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, a quick question to the Minister of Finance in his capacity
as Minister responsible for the Liquor Commission. Is the honourable minister aware that over the Christmas
period there was a survey conducted in the majority of liquor stores, certainly in the City of Halifax and close
to Halifax, and I wonder if he could tell us the reason for that survey?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I will certainly take that question on notice and produce
the response for the honourable member.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister could tell me why it was that a firm from Prince
Edward Island was chosen to conduct the survey? It seems that all the surveys that we do in this province,
whether it is by the Minister of Finance who hired a firm from Great Britain and, as the Minister in charge
of the Liquor Commission, he hires a firm from Prince Edward Island; is there nobody capable in this
province of carrying out those kinds of surveys?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I am certain that there are firms in Nova Scotia capable of carrying
out such surveys, even though I am not sure exactly what the survey entailed. However, we have agreements
now with our Maritime Province partners, indeed, our Atlantic Province partners, having to do with making
contracts for services and goods available to people in their provinces, as we expect them to make similarly
available to us. So, I will try and get the full report for the honourable member on that issue and perhaps even
have it for him tomorrow.



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



The honourable Minister of Education.



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. In answer to a question from the
Leader of the Opposition relative to the Home and School Grant. It had been budgeted for, however, it has
not been paid because we did not get a letter asking for it. We budgeted, they knew that it was budgeted but,
obviously, there was a request made of the Leader of the Opposition but none of our department. So, I would
suggest maybe that the Home and School Association make an official request and we will provide it, but no
such request has been received by our department.



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 on the Whole House on Bills.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



[1:30 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: Order, please. Tonight our late debate revolves around the resolution presented by
the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. He has submitted for debate the following resolution:



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and the Minister of Municipal Affairs start to listen to the
concerns of the mayors and councillors of metro municipalities on amalgamation.



ADJOURNMENT



MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)



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



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

 

COUNCILS CONCERN - LISTEN



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Welcome, Mr. Speaker. Without mentioning the whereases in the
resolution:



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and the Minister of Municipal Affairs start to listen to the
concerns of the mayors and councillors of metro municipalities on amalgamation.



Now, it is with a great deal of pleasure, Mr. Speaker, that I am able to debate this particular resolution
this evening. Last Wednesday morning, the mayors and most councillors from the four municipal units in
Halifax County gathered across the hall in the Red Room to discuss metro amalgamation. I was there along
with my colleagues, the Leader of the Opposition and our caucus Critic for Municipal Affairs, the member
to my right, Dr. John Hamm. Members of the NDP caucus were also there but you know what, no one from
the government caucus bothered to attend.



The guy who the Premier decided to expel, Mr. Speaker, from caucus a few months ago was there, the
member for Cape Breton West. But absolutely no member from the government caucus was there and I find
that so difficult to understand.



The people that came to that meeting, Mr. Speaker, the councillors, the aldermen, the mayors, they
came simply for this reason; they came looking for details. Details such as: will metro amalgamation mean
the newly elected council will be full-time councillors, similar to what is going to transpire in the new
municipality of Cape Breton. I think that is a very legitimate reason for going to a meeting. The councillors
were there for many reasons but that was one of the reasons they came.



They came because they were concerned about what would happen to areas in Halifax County, areas
such as Chezzetcook and Hubbards. The people of Hubbards, we learned some time ago, have started
negotiations and talk with the Municipality of the County of Lunenburg. They wondered if they will be
permitted to continue to do this. What about the Musquodoboit Valley and the Elmsdale area of Halifax
County and Lantz and Dutch Settlement areas. Will these areas remain part of the new super municipal unit?
Mr. Speaker, these are important questions and should not be left until the legislation is introduced.



Mr. Speaker, there are some 3,000 people employed with the Municipality of Halifax County. What
will happen to these people once the new super municipal unit is formed? Will these people be out of work?
Obviously, some will be because we understand, and I support the government’s contention and rationale to
eliminate duplication and in some cases, perhaps it is triplication, and I am not sure in fact if that is even a
word but I think you understand what I am trying to say.



There are presently some 36 fire departments in Halifax County alone. What about the volunteer fire
departments? The minister recently attended a meeting of the Halifax County Firefighters Association but I
really don’t know why - I am grateful, in fact, I appreciate the fact that the minister went and attended that
meeting - according to the newspaper story the next morning, the firefighters were as confused after she left
as they were before she went. They had many, many questions and they came away with very, very few
answers, if any.



The tax rate. Will there be a rural rate and will there be an urban rate? Residents of Halifax County
want to know. Will people in the rural areas and in the urban areas pay the same rate or will there be possibly
three different rates? Will there be four rates? Who knows, Mr. Speaker. This is very basic information and
these people deserve to know that. I might add, I feel that they have a definite right to know that. They should
not be kept in the dark until moments before the legislation is introduced.



Everyone remembers the Premier’s 12 minute conversation with his former colleagues and I would
certainly hope that the minister will treat the taxpayers of Halifax County and the employees with a great deal
more respect than the Premier did with his former council and municipal colleagues. You know, Mr. Speaker,
on that note, some folks have said that a proper name for this new city, if this government does not slow down
and start delivering some answers to the questions they have, may well be the Savage City.



There is concern over the election date. Will it be November 1995? Will it be December 1995, January
1996 and so on? The Premier and the minister had quite an argument over this. The right hand was not sure
what the left hand was doing a while ago. I wonder, has it ever been straightened out? The citizens and the
councillors and the aldermen and the mayors want to know, will a new council be in place by April 1, 1996?



What about community councils? What role will they play in this new super municipality? That was
a question that we heard over at the Red Room last Wednesday. I would hope that the minister will consult
more with metro municipal councils than she did with municipal units across Nova Scotia, prior to
introducing the service exchange legislation.

 

 

Mr. Speaker, I had a letter from the Mayor of Stewiacke very recently and the Stewiacke Town Council
objects very strongly to the clause giving the province the right to acquire a court-house owned by a
municipality without any form of consultation or compensation. Granted, there will now be some negotiation,
but it all boils down to consultation and the lack thereof coming from this Liberal Government on metro
amalgamation.



Yesterday, on the radio, CKCL station of Truro, the member for Truro-Bible Hill, the Minister of
Human Resources, was on the radio station, the lead story at 8:00 p.m. and the lead story at 9:00 p.m. and the
lead story at 10:00 p.m. I did not hear the newscasts after that, Mr. Speaker, I had to make my way down this
way. But the Minister of Human Resources said that the province would not assume control of the court-house
in Truro. That is fine. That sounds great.



That is admirable to say, but, according to the legislation and there have not been any amendments
to my knowledge that have taken that provision away, that right to steal, out of that bill. So, in my own
opinion, talk is extremely cheap and, also, the Warden for Colchester County, Tom Donaldson, on the 10:00
a.m. broadcast suggested, unless the legislation is changed, what’s to say that somebody won’t come along at
a later date and assume control and take responsibility of that court-house and take it away from the county
which owns it and the county’s administrative offices are also in that same building.



Residents in Bedford are concerned about fire service in the town. They are seeking a new station. The
town council has put that in budget deliberations for this year. But what happens with the new super
municipality? Will Bedford still be in the running for a new fire station or will this be placed on the back
burner.



The Municipality of East Hants is concerned that they do not have the budget to take over the
responsibility for local roads. There are so many questions, Mr. Speaker, that need to be answered and I hope
the minister will be able to directly answer them. I was hoping she would be able to do that this evening. I
know the minister is extremely busy.



Mr. Speaker, I only have a short time, I understand, but I did receive a letter today from one of the
ratepayers in Upper Musquodoboit and he is essentially saying that Upper Musquodoboit and Hammonds
Plains appear to be unique in that they have legislated associations. They are concerned about their assets and
how they will be affected, their holdings. So I thank you for your indulgence and I will certainly be listening
very intently to the government’s contribution to this debate. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.



MR. DENNIS RICHARDS: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great delight to address the House this evening
on this particular resolution. I might say at the outset that what I am going to try to do is to speak to the
resolution. I am not going to confuse the resolution that reads, ” . . . be it resolved that the Premier and the
Minister of Municipal Affairs start to listen to the concerns of the mayors and councillors of metro
municipalities on amalgamation.”, that is what the resolution reads. I am not going to confuse that with
municipal service exchange reform as the honourable member who spoke just before me seemed to have some
difficulty understanding his own resolution.



I want to talk about amalgamation. I want to talk about where we are today in terms of the resolution
that is before us. You know, the question of amalgamation is certainly not a new one, it is a question that has
been studied in the metropolitan area alone, alongside of all of Nova Scotia for years and years. In fact, I think
it was the honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect who earlier in the House in a previous speech quoted
study after study that has been done with regard to amalgamation. Each and every one of those studies says
that we must move ahead with this plan. Each and every one of those studies indicated that the merging of
the metropolitan area makes good economic sense. I wonder why they are saying that?



Mr. Speaker, over the last many years, those of us who have been involved in one form or another of
government in the metropolitan area have watched with sometimes very difficult, trying conditions, watching
the metropolitan area govern itself. We have watched our municipal units in this area compete vigorously for
a business at the expense of the taxpayer. They have used the property taxpayer’s money to lobby a business
to one side of the harbour or the other.



Let me give you a few examples. The question of the Price Club, we all remember that business that
wanted to come to the metropolitan area. The Price Club was an operation that was going to come to metro
because they could see there was value in serving the metropolitan area. Immediately though, the various
industrial commissions representing the municipal units got into a lobbying condition, one trying to out-bid
the other. At whose expense? The people who pay property tax, that is whose expense.



Let me tell you of another example, Mr. Speaker. For the last year and a half there has been heavy
negotiation going on all across Canada for an institution called the blood fractionation plant. Through our
government, we encouraged the industrial commissions and the municipal units in this area to act as one voice
and with that one voice we were successful in attracting that business which is going to produce in excess of
500 jobs, high paying, well respected jobs for the metropolitan area.



When you act as a unit, when you speak with one voice, when you merge your services together success
follows. Unity is what we are talking about here, unity of services that will make good economic sense for the
business community and we know when the business community prospers we all prosper.



Recently, about a year and a half ago there was an economic summit conducted here in the
metropolitan area, it was put on by the business community. The business community said, we should be
looking at ourselves as a single unit and we will take the bold step of forming a single Chamber of Commerce
merging together the now Halifax Board of Trade, the Dartmouth Chamber of Commerce, the Sackville
Chamber of Commerce, et cetera. We will come together because we want to show to the community at large
that this will make sense. When we speak then with one economic voice for the business community, it will
be good for all of us.



[6:15 p.m.]



We followed that example, Mr. Speaker, and, as we now know, as of October of this year, our
government took the step of saying, yes, it is time to move forward.



Let’s talk, Mr. Speaker, if we can, on this question of consultation. One of the initial and most critical
processes to follow here is to say, let’s speak together, let’s move ahead - not to look backwards but to move
ahead. So what do we do? We appointed a commissioner, a coordinator, a man who has tremendous success
in many areas of this, Mr. Hayward. We gave Mr. Hayward a mandate to speak to the municipal units but,
more importantly, we said to him, don’t stop just with the municipal leaders, as valuable as that part is, we
want you to go out and speak to the general public. One of the first things we want you to do is to work with
the municipal unit to form a Citizens’ Action Committee. We all know the various municipal units are now
starting to come together, make appointments to this committee. This committee will speak, bring issues
forward, consult and then forge ahead.



I listened intently while the member across was speaking. He said such things as, what is going to
happen and why can’t we get some answers? I wonder if we had come forward, Mr. Speaker, and said point
blank, this is it, done deal, case closed. This is how the whole thing will look, no further talk. I am sure that
honourable member would have stood up and screamed quite ferociously, as he might say, and said, my gosh,
can’t we have any input into this?



But no, that is not the action we took, Mr. Speaker. We said only one thing, that amalgamation will
take place, that amalgamation on a unitary government will take place and from there on we will negotiate
how it will look, how it will come together. When we talk about the tax rates, yes, we will talk about that, in
the same way as they did in the Cape Breton regional government. They didn’t come out and say there will
be three tax rates at the beginning. After they talked to the communities at large, that is when they decided
there will be three different tax rates.



What did they do about volunteer fire departments? After they went out and talked to the various units,
they came forward with an action plan and that action plan is now what will take place. When they talked
about the election date, that wasn’t a fixed date, that was discussed as part of the process. That is the way it
should be and that is the way it will be because we believe that when we talk with the various parties, the
various groups that are involved, Mr. Speaker, that action plan will come together, it will be what the people
want and they will have an opportunity.



Mr. Speaker, I want to tell you, last Thursday evening, as an example, my colleague, the honourable
member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, and I attended the Community Council in Cole Harbour-Westphal.
They put together a public meeting from not only their own community council area but including most of
the area that I represent at the provincial level, they came forward and had a great meeting. If we had allowed
the people at large to speak a little more often, I think we would have had an even better meeting. But
nevertheless, we had an opportunity to get into some dialogue. What we agreed to do and other members of
this House have agreed to do is to go out into the communities and speak, along with our coordinator, Mr.
Hayward, to receive their concerns and then Mr. Hayward will come forward with his report.



That is valuable consultation. That is consultation that will have great value for the community at large
because the people will have a voice in this process, not just the politicians, whether it be at the provincial or
municipal level but the general population. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that is what a good consultation process
is all about and I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak, quite short, here this evening because I think
there is so much to say on this very important topic. Thank you very much.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: I was also very interested not only in hearing the first speaker but I was also
interested in hearing the second speaker who was, I believe, at the time when the last government was in
office, when the Donald Cameron Government brought forward the discussion papers and where Mr. Hayward
brought forward his proposal, the member who just spoke, I believe was the deputy mayor for Halifax County.
I believe his signature is affixed to the document where the county councillors were expressing their
opposition and objection to that system that was going to happen. (Interruption) But times do change and what
we now have, I should say, is the Liberal Government saying, after the fact, that they now endorse
wholeheartedly the Donald Cameron agenda for metro amalgamation.



We are told - and I will forget about all the promises that they made and all the things that they said
that were wrong with the Cameron style - that this is going to be open and broad-based consultation. I am
certainly interested in hearing the mayors and the councillors but I am also very much interested and more
interested in having the citizens who live in the metropolitan area whether they live in my community of
Sackville, or other parts of Halifax County, Dartmouth, Bedford or the City of Halifax, I am more interested
in them having a meaningful part in designing the system of government that they will have and casting a
vote on whether or not they feel it is going to meet their needs.



The previous speaker spent a great deal of time talking about unitary service delivery, talking about
we have to have a unitary voice as necessary for economic development. The area that is beating the pants off
metro in terms of economic development is Moncton where they have, in the greater Moncton area, developed
a common economic strategy and industrial development strategy. But, you know Mr. Speaker, they did that
without amalgamating the municipal governments together.



They got together, yes, indeed, for a common purpose and goal but they allowed the system of
independent government, local municipal governments to remain so that citizens would have a closer access
to their politicians over community issues and concerns. The government says that they are interested in
consulting but you know, we have already been told, unitary government, one level of government,
consultation after, on what we have decided we are doing, yes we will consult you, didn’t say that they will
listen, they haven’t agreed that if during the consultation process, during the fact finding that goes on, there
is absolutely zero commitment from this government that if their assumptions are wrong that they will back
off. In fact, it is to the contrary because they have decreed that this is the way it is going to be. We know best.
Citizens be darned, you can supposedly have bogus consultations but not one iota of commitment from this
government to act on any issues or concern or to lay any facts and figures and data on the table and then to
give the citizens a right to vote on that through a plebiscite, Mr. Speaker, zip in the way of commitment.



We are told that it is all open but, you know, we have also been told that the report that was done by
Mr. Hayward is the basis upon which he is proceeding. I didn’t see one single solitary government member,
not one, last Wednesday in the Red Chamber when Mr. Hayward appeared before the municipal councillors
collectively and mayors from the local municipalities and 100 per cent of our caucus was there. (Interruption)
Well, the member says all three of us and yes indeed but you know, we only had three people in our caucus
but all three of us were able to find the time or to juggle our agendas on our Opposition Day where we had
a great deal of work to prepare to be there because we felt it was important to hear the concerns, but not one
single government member was interested enough to be present, not one.



We are also told that it is open by the previous speaker, but you know, Mr. Speaker, we are told that
it is a Cape Breton model that is to be followed. I suggest, and I firmly believe, that the legislation is to all
intents and purposes, already drafted. I think that the same person is doing the two. All they will have to do,
in essence, is to run a computer model on that bill and to subtract names like Louisburg and Sydney and so
on and to insert the metro ones. That is not true consultation.



If there was true consultation being done, this government, before it announced its plans for the single
unitary system, would have said and I say this without any hesitation, we support municipal reform and we
have said that from day one, but a respectful way would be to go to the citizens and lay some information on
the table and then say, what form of government do you feel best meets your needs?



But that, of course, would be democratic. We have seen that this government, not only through this
process, but for everything that they have done and I am not confusing service exchange with amalgamation,
but I am going to state, Mr. Speaker, with no confusion whatsoever, that the province broke its word to the
municipalities and did not consult before it brought the legislation in on the service exchange. Because they
had not even seen the legislation and it was not, I suggest, the legislation that was promised by the
Government of Nova Scotia and upon which municipalities were involved in. This, of course, by the
government and I am sure the member who spoke previously who was a deputy mayor was truly committed
to what he said prior to the election, as deputy mayor, and truly believed that the Liberal Government was
going to bring forward the municipal charter that they promised. That is what they promised.



There are many questions to be asked. Right now if we are talking about fire, police services or a whole
range of things, we are hearing that the local concerns are going to be addressed and there will still be the
opportunities with community councils. Well, Mr. Speaker, in order to have a community council, you will
have to have at least three councillors on it as a minimum. Bedford, right now with its population base on the
projected number of councillors, does not have a population large enough to have one councillor. Lower
Sackville, because of its population, we are probably large enough to have about one and one-half, based on
the population base.



So if we take Bedford and Lower Sackville we are up to two. Now we can add in, Mr. Speaker,
Beaverbank, Middle and Upper Sackville, we can probably throw in the Lucasville area, the Hammonds Plains
area and maybe a little bit more and we will be up to an area that will be large enough for three municipal
councillors. We are taking in many different communities and the government is saying, we will have
community councils and so community concerns at the local level will be able to be addressed. That is bogus
and it just will not work, as this government is proposing.



Yet, Mr. Speaker, my heart is gladdened because I am told that there is going to be massive
consultation. But if, in fact, the consultation that is going to take place is in any way, shape or form
reminiscent of what this government has done so far, it is none. The government, if they are truly committed,
will ensure, before it has locked into stone the procedures that it is going to follow and the form of government
it is going to place, it will provide for true, honest, up-front negotiation where the citizens will have an
opportunity to have a say as to the form of government they not only want, but need and nothing less is going
to pass. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: We have reached 6:30 p.m. We will go back into Committee of the Whole House on
Bills.



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



[8:00 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gerald O’Malley
in the Chair.]



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



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



Tomorrow is Opposition Day.



The honourable Opposition House Leader.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will be calling Resolution No. 1420 and
Resolution No. 1559 and then we will be calling House Orders.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, we will be sitting tomorrow from the hours of 2:00 p.m. until
6:00 p.m.



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



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



The House will now rise to meet again tomorrow at the hour of 2:00 p.m.



[The House rose at 8:01 p.m.]






NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)



HOUSE ORDER NO. 186



By: Mr. George Moody (Kings West)



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 Finance:



(1) List of newspapers in which ITT Sheraton placed help wanted ads for Halifax and Sydney based
casinos; and



(2) Number of and cost of ads placed by ITT Sheraton in newspapers both locally and
internationally.



NOTICE OF QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWERS

 

Given on January 23, 1995

 

(Pursuant to Rule 30)



QUESTION NO. 139



By: Mr. George Moody (Kings West)

 

To: Hon. Bernard Boudreau (Minister of Finance)



I want to know, as does Gertude Gillis of New Waterford, why the government is putting a casino in
Cape Breton when even the Liberals do not want it?



QUESTION NO. 140



By: Mr. George Moody (Kings West)

 

To: Hon. Bernard Boudreau (Minister of Finance)



I want to know, as does A. Brown of Annapolis Royal, who is going to pay to take care of people who
lose everything because of gambling casinos? Who will look after the children of parents who lose their home,
cars and jobs as a result of casinos?