Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

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HALIFAX, FRIDAY, JANUARY 27, 1995



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Second Session



8:00 A.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mr. Gerald O’Malley






MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I will call the House to order at this time.



We will commence the daily routine.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.



RESOLUTION NO. 1604



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



Whereas today marks the 50th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp in
Poland; and



Whereas people from around the world are pausing to remember the murder and atrocities committed
against Jews and other minorities in Europe at that place of shame; and



6597

 

Whereas humankind continues to show intolerance and cruelty towards groups and individuals in
all countries;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House pause to remember the victims and lessons
of Auschwitz and rededicate ourselves to the elimination of intolerance, torture and tyranny wherever they
may be found.



Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice and perhaps with your indulgence, a moment of silence
in remembrance.



MR. SPEAKER: We will first request waiver of notice.



Is it agreed that notice be waived?



It is.



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



The motion is carried.



The motion calls for the observance of one minute of silence in memory of the victims of the
Auschwitz murder camp. I would ask members of the House to stand.



[One minute of silence was observed.]



MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



RESOLUTION NO. 1605



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



Whereas a recent Cape Breton Post editorial compared January’s unemployment statistics to “the
daily body count issued during the Viet Nam War - numbing rather than enlightening”; and



Whereas the Post editorial also said, “If unemployment has a political dimension, there must be a
point at which Cape Breton politicians are at least obliged to bear public witness to the social tragedy
unfolding in every single one of their constituencies”; and



Whereas members of the Progressive Conservative caucus will never let Cape Breton Liberal MLAs
forget that they were all elected on a promise to improve the economy, not to increase the unemployment
level;



Therefore be it resolved that the silent 10 from Cape Breton come forth with their vaunted job
creation ideas that they told their constituents they would undertake if elected to this Legislature on May 25,
1993.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1606



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



Whereas on January 24, 1990, the MLA for Cape Breton East shot himself in the foot by pronouncing
the Marshall Commission’s report to be a whitewash before he even saw the report or its recommendations;
and



Whereas on January 26, 1995, that same MLA shot himself in the other foot by leading Liberals and
denying consent for a reaffirmation of the importance of implementing the Marshall recommendations; and



Whereas the application of the lessons learned from Donald Marshall, Jr.‘s ordeal are a litmus test
of commitment to ending a double standard in Nova Scotia;



Therefore be it resolved that this House rejects the reluctance of government members to even affirm
the goal of implementing the Marshall Commission recommendations, a short five years after those
recommendations were made public.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Kings West.



RESOLUTION NO. 1607



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



Whereas as the Barteaux orchard farm in Annapolis County dates back at least four generations; and



Whereas the father and son team of Robert and Dwayne Barteaux were recently recognized for their
superior work in integrated pest management by the Fruit Growers Association of Nova Scotia; and



Whereas Robert and Dwayne Barteaux were judged the best of 11 orchards which entered the contest
from the Annapolis Valley;



Therefore be it resolved that Robert and Dwayne Barteaux be recognized by members of this
Legislature for the many years of hard work and providing, like so many other apple producers in Annapolis
Valley, a quality product for Nova Scotians to enjoy.



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



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



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1608



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



Whereas in Nova Scotia, the rest of Canada and around the world, the 50th Anniversary of the
liberation of Auschwitz is being commemorated; and



Whereas we honour the millions of Jews, Poles, Gypsies, and all victims of the Nazi death camps by
keeping alive their memory and our awareness of how many people collaborated with this mass murder
because it was an act of government; and



Whereas we must remain vigilant to expose and halt genocide, ethnic hatred, and the state-sanctioned
murder and persecution of minorities and of women wherever and whenever they occur;



Therefore be it resolved that this House honour the victims of Auschwitz and the other Nazi death
camps and to rededicate ourselves to preventing and halting the hatred that gives rise to such atrocities.



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Hants West.



RESOLUTION NO. 1609



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



Whereas over 50 years ago this week, the prisoners of Auschwitz were liberated from harsh labour
and certain death; and



Whereas Auschwitz was not the only German prison camp during World War II but was the largest,
where an estimated 1.5 million people were murdered, the majority being Jews; and



Whereas one Red Army infantry division commander who helped to liberate the camps said of
Auschwitz, I am an old soldier and I have seen many things in my time, but I never thought I would witness
anything so terrible;



Therefore be it resolved that, lest we forget, neither the horrors nor the injustice of Auschwitz 50
years later have been forgotten.



Mr. Speaker, I would ask all members to stand for a moment of silence to remember those precious
lives lost as well as the many remarkable lives spared.



MR. SPEAKER: We have done that already. I would think it, however, a most appropriate resolution
to carry and will put the question to the House, if it is agreed.



Is it agreeable?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



We have already observed the minute of silence in memory of the victims but I think it bears
repetition.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1610



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 Government House Leader was in the news Thursday stating that the demand by his
own political Party for an opportunity to reject its leadership was a judgment on the entire government; and



Whereas that same minister then moved to cut off any means for Nova Scotians, Liberals, or
otherwise, to believe this House could soften the blows inflicted by an arrogant, authoritarian, or self-destructive government; and



Whereas Liberals thus gained another reason to reject this government through leadership review;



Therefore be it resolved that Cabinet Ministers who wish to inflict Party or public humiliation upon
themselves should refrain from making the rest of the province suffer with them.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled, although I couldn’t really hear it, but it is tabled anyway.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1611



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



Whereas the Finance Minister assured this House yesterday that no employee had ever or would ever
be laid off by the Liberals without first being consulted; and



Whereas the minister may be ignorant of the fact that the Supply and Services task force did not
include a single union representative, not any consideration with workers’ representatives actual costs or
alternatives; and



Whereas the minister may also not know that the department pretended union consultation had taken
place until it was forced to admit the truth;



Therefore be it resolved that the Finance Minister should apologize to the dozens of cleaners and
other low-paid employees who have been summarily fired by his government without his promised
consultation.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1612



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 first principle of parliamentary law is the protection of minorities from tyranny of the
majority; and



Whereas the most fundamental privilege of MLAs is freedom of speech and the primary duty of
Opposition is to hold the government accountable; and



Whereas Mr. Speaker’s responsibility is to defend the principles and privileges of all MLAs without
favouritism towards any political Party;



Therefore be it resolved that this House lacks confidence in a Speaker who would permit the most
Draconian possible form of closure to be imposed for the first time in the history of our House through a
tortured interpretation of 1916 authorities, without first amending the rules or even holding one meeting of
the Committee on Assembly Matters to consider the issue.



[8:15 a.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.






RESOLUTION NO. 1613



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



Whereas under unremitting Tory pressure, this government agreed to a major reduction in tobacco
prices despite the proven, deadly, addictive nature of this drug; and



Whereas smoking among Nova Scotian children and youth has, predictably, risen while the
government has also suffered a major loss of revenue; and



Whereas professionals who must deal with the horrible health consequences of years of tobacco
addiction are urging reconsideration of this catastrophic decision;



Therefore be it resolved that the Cabinet task force which pledged an all-out effort to fight tobacco
addiction while lowering prices should report forthwith on the result of its efforts, and propose how to prevent
another generation from falling victim to the grim Reapers of this obscenely profitable industry.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



Are there further notices of motion? If not, we will advance to Orders of the Day.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



GOVERNMENT BUSINESS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government
Motions.



GOVERNMENT MOTIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 1563.



Res. No. 1563, re Rules of the House (Amendment) - Rules 57 and 58 - notice given Jan. 24/95 -
(Hon. R. Mann)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic, you have approximately 22 minutes
remaining.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I will now attempt to wind up my limited participation
on the resolution before us that will arbitrarily and unilaterally change the Rules of this House for some
considerable time, undoubtedly into the future. I say that it is my limited opportunity to debate because, as
opposed to any other motion that has been brought before this House, any other bill that has been brought
before this House, any other motion that has been put to the floor for debate, we are being precluded as a result
of some creative interpretation of rules to not be able to bring amendments or to participate in any manner
whatsoever in an attempt to have some input into the resolution that is before us.



Mr. Speaker, I just want to briefly recap some of what I had to say last night to underline why we are
at this point today, why we are at the point where we are dealing with a resolution that would arbitrarily
reduce the amount of time that we are able to participate in clause by clause debate of Committee of the Whole
House.



Mr. Speaker, as I indicated again last night, this government has been under extreme pressure,
opposition from one end of this province to the other as a result of two very controversial pieces of legislation.
In particular, those are the casino bill, Bill No. 120, and the Act to amend the Workers’ Compensation Act,
Bill No. 122. These are bills that go completely against any commitments, any promises made by this
government when they were in Opposition or when they were running for government or any commitments
that have been made subsequent to injured workers or to Nova Scotians.



Mr. Speaker, we in the Opposition, certainly speaking on my own behalf as well as for those Nova
Scotians that have contacted me, are extremely concerned about the manner in which this government has
brought in these two initiatives and we are concerned about the provisions contained therein. We are
attempting and have been attempting, under the Rules of this House, with every means available to us to try
to force this government to change, to amend in ways that will improve and that will mitigate some of the
effects of this legislation.



Mr. Speaker, we have been attempting to get these kinds of changes. What else are we expected to
do in this House? What are Opposition members expected to do, other than to stand up in the face of
extraordinary legislation that we are opposed to, that many of our constituents are opposed to and that many
Nova Scotians are opposed to? What are we supposed to do, other than to rise in our places and to use
whatever means are at our disposal, to try to bring changes forward? We have attempted to do that.



In a piece in one of the local newspapers today it is interesting to note that the columnist suggested
that enough debate had gone on. But then he went on to speak specifically about the Workers’ Compensation
Act and to raise a number of the concerns that we have raised in this House, reasons why that bill, in fact,
needed to be changed, the fact that the changes being proposed in Bill No. 122 would exact a horrible price
on injured workers in the Province of Nova Scotia and that was not fair and that those changes had to be
made.



When I read that article, Mr. Speaker, I thought to myself, exactly. What am I supposed to do, as a
member of the Opposition who is deeply concerned about the effects of that legislation? Am I supposed to sit
here and when the government says to me, well sorry, MLA for Halifax Atlantic, but we are not going to make
changes. Am I supposed to say oh, okay, all right? If that is the way it is, then I will take my seat because you
have made a decision.



Mr. Speaker, that is not the way it works, that is not the way it has ever worked. That is not the way
it worked when this group were in Opposition, it is not the way it has worked for the 176 years that this
Legislature has been in effect. We have the opportunity here, in this House, we have always had the
opportunity to try to bring forward changes and to try to pressure this government into making changes.



The reason why we have this kind of resolution imposed by a vast majority of government members
is because they are completely unwilling to consider any concerns, any amendments, any changes being
proposed by other members of this Legislature. It is almost like, how dare we? As the Government House
Leader has referred to us as the rump of an Opposition Party, how dare we try to use the Rules of this House
to bring about changes to legislation that we are deeply concerned with and that we care about and that we
want to see happen? How dare we fight with every possible means, in order to try to protect and prevent bad
legislation from going through this House.



Well, I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, I don’t apologize to anyone for the time and the effort that I have put
in in this House debating these two pieces of legislation that I am deeply opposed to and that the people who
talk to me are deeply opposed to. This government can sit smugly back, as the schoolyard bully or as the
participants in a swarming might do, (Interruption) when they exact their pound of flesh, because of the fact
that a minority has not bowed to their numbers and to their will. They can sit back smugly and do that.



I tell you what, that this member, regardless of the rules imposed by this group in order to try to
silence me, that is not going to work. I am going to continue, as best I can, to argue the concerns that I have
and the concerns that Nova Scotians bring to my attention and (Interruptions) whereas this government may
not be prepared or willing to listen to the concerns that Nova Scotians bring forward, while they will stand
and have stood and said, how can you possibly rationalize speaking for some considerable hours on the title
of a bill, when we want to get on and deal with substantive changes? Well, this is the same government that
on the casino bill, as soon as we moved on clause by clause, they switched to the worker’s compensation bill.
As soon as we moved on to clause by clause on the workers’ compensation bill, they moved in a closure
motion. (Interruptions)



This is the same government that has said repeatedly, through the offices and the responsibility of
the Government House Leader, we are open to discussion; we are open to negotiation; we are willing and
eager to participate with the Opposition Parties in order to get the business of the House done, who have
refused each and every opportunity to do just that very thing.



As late as yesterday morning, the Government House Leader said on the radio, again, well, we are
willing to talk to the Opposition Parties about dealing with this matter. What happened? Let’s just talk about
the real facts and not that twisted interpretation of what actually is going on that is often presented by
members of this government outside this House and inside. (Interruptions)



I immediately faxed and it was confirmed that a letter was received by the office of the minister
(Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, order. (Interruptions) Order, please! I am saying order, please. Please
be seated. I want to ask all honourable members of the House to allow this member to complete his speech.
He has the right to address the House without interruption and heckling, and I would ask that there be silence
so that he can continue and complete his speech. Thank you.



MR. CHISHOLM: So, as late as yesterday, in response to the claim by the Government House Leader
that, we are open, willing and anxious, in fact, to discuss and negotiate, right up to the time that we deal with
this motion. I corresponded with the Government House Leader and it was confirmed that it was received in
his office, both in his departmental ministerial office and the Liberal caucus office, at 10:00 o’clock. Yet, there
was no response. As I understand from the Opposition House Leader, he phoned and spoke to the Government
House Leader about responding to that same challenge. What happened? In both cases nothing from the
Government House Leader.



In other words, again, as has been over the past two weeks, the offer to negotiate the supposed and
oft-stated willingness to cooperate and to resolve these matters was hollow. It had no substance because this
government has not once been committed to try to resolve these matters and try to deal with the concerns
raised by Opposition members and raised by many Nova Scotians. That is a shame. As a result, what do we
have?



Six weeks after, the Government House Leader makes a pledge here in this Chamber that no rules
should be changed by one Party, that they are a government of compromise and reform and they believe
categorically that matters in terms of rule changes should be referred to the House committee responsible for
those changes. Yet, here we have a motion to change the rules, forever and a day, that have been brought in
without consultation with the Opposition, without consideration of the rules by the Committe on Assembly
Matters, without any discussion with Opposition Party House Leaders.



So I don’t care how many ways that this government goes outside these Chambers and tries to
misrepresent the facts, Mr. Speaker, that is the way things have developed in this Chamber and that is why
we are at this stage because this government has been unwilling and ill-prepared to deal in a responsible and
constructive manner with the business of this House.



[8:30 a.m.]



Mr. Speaker, am I proud about the position we are in today? No, I can tell you, I am not. As a
member of this Legislature, I am not happy at all to be participating in a process to change the rules - rules
that have never existed in this House of Assembly - that represent the fact that members of this House, of the
government and the Opposition, have not been able to resolve problems and have not been able to reach a
compromise on the business of Nova Scotia.



I am not proud of the fact that I am a participant in that and that I have not been able, Mr. Speaker,
to try to facilitate, in any way whatsoever, and participate in achieving that kind of compromise. I do take
some responsibility for that, because as members of this House of Assembly, I think we are all obligated to
take some responsibility for the conduct of business in this House. Whereas for decades and decades, while
it is not necessarily the best way, it is not pretty, it is part of the rules and traditions of this House that the only
way that the Opposition has to try and bring about changes when there is a matter before them that is of
sufficient concern, is to participate in debate and to raise those concerns as often as we possibly can within
the confines of the Rules of this House.



That has been done before, even in my short term in this House, Mr. Speaker, and it has had some
effect. Not wholesale effect, wholesale changes have not happened to bills that have been a concern of mine
and of the Opposition, but there have been occasions when there have been changes made that have satisfied
me and that have allowed me to sit back and let a bill got through.



Under the same circumstances, here in 1994-95, we have two pieces of legislation that are among
the most extraordinary, controversial pieces of legislation that this government has brought forward in this
Legislature in its short term. I have been sufficiently committed to try and bring about changes in that
legislation, that I have exercised my right in this House to participate extensively in order to try and bring
forward those changes.



What has been the result, Mr. Speaker? Unfortunately, the government has not seen fit to respond
to my concerns or the concerns of other members of the Opposition or to the concerns of Nova Scotians that
we brought forward in this Chamber. Instead, the response has been, you, MLA from Halifax Atlantic and
your colleagues, have no right to try to force us into making changes. That is what the government is saying
through this motion.



AN HON. MEMBER: They are telling Nova Scotians to be quiet.



MR. CHISHOLM: They are telling Nova Scotians, very clearly, that you elected us in 1993 to run
this province and we are going to do that, no matter what you say, until the next time the election comes and
then you have your opportunity. That is why Nova Scotians and all Canadians, I would suggest, are so sick
and tired with the parliamentary democracy right now and are so cynical. It is because of the fact that they
don’t feel they have any opportunity to hold their governments accountable from one election to the other.
Because governments like this get elected on the basis of certain platforms and certain promises and they
come in to this House and other Legislative Assemblies across this country and they thumb their noses at the
people who voted them in.



Nova Scotians, like other Canadians, say to themselves, what is the point? We elect these guys on
the basis of one thing and they turn around and they do another. In between, we have no opportunity to hold
them accountable, Mr. Speaker. Well, in this province we have had a means to try and hold the government
accountable, as limited as it is. But it is unrestrained debate on clause by clause in Committee of the Whole
House in order to bring those kinds of concerns. But, no, that is too much because that provides an opportunity
for those concerns to come to the light of public, to come to the light of the media, which, inevitably, as it has
in this case, puts heat on this government; puts more pressure on this government to be responsible and to be
accountable. Shame on us for having done that.



So, in response, this government, Mr. Speaker, unlike any administration in the history of this
province, under this Legislature, has taken upon itself to bring about arbitrary, unilateral changes to the House
of Assembly, that, as the Government House Leader said, some six weeks ago, will have to meet the test of
time, even though they were not responsible, constructively dealt with by the committee of this House
responsible for that task.



Mr. Speaker, I agree with the headline today that it is a sad day for Nova Scotia. This government
has taken upon itself to change the Rules of this House unilaterally and that is not, as far as I am concerned,
a sign of a healthy parliamentary democracy in the Province of Nova Scotia. But we will continue, as will
other Nova Scotians, as best we can to hold this government accountable and to bring our concerns and the
concerns of Nova Scotians to this Legislature and to hold this government accountable. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member of Hants West has already had his turn when he moved
the adjournment and that motion was defeated.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I did rise to move adjournment of the debate but, however,
I did not say one single word on the motion itself.



MR. SPEAKER: The record of Hansard indicates that the honourable member rose and participated
in the debate by moving that the debate be now adjourned. He had that right and had the motion carried, then,
presumably, he could have continued. But the motion was defeated, so the member loses his turn.



MR. JOHN HOLM: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. For clarification, it was my recollection, and
I could be wrong in this, but I just seek clarification, that the member had moved that the House adjourn, not
that the debate adjourn. If that is the case, then it is two very different items. If he had moved that the House
be adjourned, then he was not actually taking part in the debate.



MR. SPEAKER: We had a whole hour yesterday afternoon of bell ringing and the matter that was
being voted on at that time was that the debate on Resolution No. 1563 be adjourned. I thought that that
matter had been canvassed very sufficiently yesterday afternoon but, perhaps, some were not aware that the
honourable member for Hants West rose, at Page 6534 of Hansard and participated in the debate on
Resolution No. 1563 as follows: “MR. RONALD RUSSELL: I move that the debate on Resolution No. 1563
be now adjourned.”, and various members called for a recorded vote.



Now, by the Rules of the House, that constitutes the participation of the honourable member in the
debate on the resolution.



Are there further speakers to the resolution?



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, is it possible, as I think perhaps it is, that by way of
unanimous consent of the House, as it is clear that the honourable member for Hants West made no
substantive contribution relative to the subject matter, that I would ask that you seek whether or not there is
unanimous consent of the House that the honourable member be permitted to have his opportunity to address
the substance of the resolution which is before us.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the honourable House Leader - oh, he has returned -
to be apprised of the situation - perhaps there might be another speaker called and the honourable House
Leader might be given an opportunity to consider the request.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, I can only say that the House can do anything it wishes by unanimous
consent.



There is not unanimous consent.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I would have preferred to follow the Leader of our Party but,
obviously I cannot. I do want to say that almost immediately upon assuming power to govern this Province
of Nova Scotia, this government started to demonstrate what laid down the road ahead for Nova Scotians,
Nova Scotians who elected this Party. From day one, we learned immediately what we could expect.



This government has hurt the very people who elected it. It has hurt the people in many ways; it has
hurt them economically and it has hurt them socially. The Minister of Community Services knows full well
that he tried to hurt Nova Scotians in a social manner when he tried to take away the shelter component of
the living allowance for the mentally and physically challenged. Yes, that minister, part of that government,
tried to take that away. That is just one of many heavy-handed efforts that this government made.



We have seen the government raise the provincial sales tax 1 per cent after promising not to do so.
Any way you cut it, any way you multiply it, that is a 10 per cent increase in the provincial sales tax of this
province. We have seen a 3 per cent tax on our power bills, a private utility; we are being taxed 3 per cent for
using a private utility. We have seen new business service taxes put on, Mr. Speaker. We have seen this
government stand up and say that this government will eliminate patronage, we have got a strong anti-patronage platform. This is a platform that is held up with four pillars and two of them are quality of life and
another one is compassion. I suggest those very pillars that are holding up this government’s platform are
cracking and are falling apart.



Mr. Speaker, there is no question about it, we do have some objections to the legislation. Many bills
that go through this House we do support, but the casino legislation and the workers’ compensation legislation
deserve conscientious objection.



Democracy is government by the people and it is an idea and an expression of freedom. This
resolution hurts, again I say, the very people who it was intended to help. Now, if you want to go back in time
just a little bit to May 1993, this government came to power, I believe, many members of this government
came to power with the idea that it was going to make Nova Scotia a better place to live. But, immediately,
this government started taking regressive steps and applied pressure upon Nova Scotians, pressure and taxes
like never seen before.



What this resolution will effectively do - nobody is arguing it - is it will stifle, it will suppress, by
force it will oppress many of us, many of us in Opposition. Mr. Speaker, when I came to this Legislature back
on November 2, 1993, I came in as an Opposition member and the people of Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley
knew that when they voted for me they were voting for Opposition. They knew they weren’t voting for the
government and they told me at many of the houses when I went to visit the people that it is time this
government had some more opposition. Already, after barely six months in power, they are out of hand, they
are wielding their heavy hand.



[8:45 a.m.]



Again, with Resolution No. 1563, we see the heavy hand again, there is no question about it, Mr.
Speaker. So this government brought in some health reform measures and are still proceeding in that direction
and most of us in this House realize that health reform is needed in this province. We tried to work with the
minister in that respect, we raised some questions. I have raised some concerns about the regional health
boards, the composition of the health boards and the member for Pictou West has also, as has the member for
Pictou Centre.



We have many concerns. We realize that education in this province has to be reformed, we are not
arguing those points. But when we come in here and make contributions to debate, such as the casino
legislation, we are expressing the views and concerns of our constituents and of all Nova Scotians. For this
government to try to suppress that, it is completely wrong. Never in the history of this province have rules and
laws been made in this manner. It has always been by unanimous consent.



So, Mr. Speaker, this session which started back on October 27th of last year, the Opposition Party
did their homework. Sometimes we meet three to four hours every day before the House sits and we represent
our constituents and Nova Scotians. Again, the views and expressions that we bring forward are what we are
hearing the people say about this government, a government that is out of control. There are many members
in government, I would suggest and submit, backbenchers and perhaps even some in the Cabinet, who realize
that the government is out of hand and it is controlled by a few, with very heavy hands.



I understand the NDP Government in Ontario used closure to limit debate on the casino legislation.
It probably was done there to appease a multinational, as the Third Party likes to call it. (Laughter) Again,
here, we are seeing it done in Nova Scotia. (Interruption) I would be pleased to take a question from the
honourable Minister of Housing.



HON. GUY BROWN: A question, Mr. Speaker. The member is so committed to his Party and
understands other Parties. I would like to know all the times that closure was brought in by the Brian
Mulroney Government, which set a record. I wonder if he can tell this House who that appeased at that time,
nationally?



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I would be pleased to answer that question the way I retort to some of
the comments that this government throws back and forth about the 15 years previously and what about the
Mulroney years and what about this and that. I will say that Jean Chretien and his government, when they
came to power, you don’t hear them whining all the time about the previous government.



They decided they would take the bull by the horns and try to do something and they will be
accountable for their actions. To answer your question, I plan on living the rest of my life in the future and
I want to be reasonably sure what that future is going to be. So if you want to live in the past, you are certainly
well within your rights to live in the past. (Interruptions)



So what is being done here with the use of closure is an attempt to appease ITT Sheraton, and there
is no way around it. Yes, you are trying to appease a multinational, no question about it, and it was done in
Ontario.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I want less catcalling and heckling, please and let the honourable
member have the floor.



MR. TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Now not so very long ago we were debating the gaming
bill. But with a small Opposition, eight members, three members in the Third Party, the Minister of Finance
needed a rest, he didn’t like what he was hearing. He didn’t like what Nova Scotians were saying and we did
bring in over 42,000 names of people who were opposed to the establishment of casinos in this province.
There are more out there. There are many more who are opposed to the establishment of casinos.



The minister and the government didn’t like what they were hearing. They were going to be out of
here on December 10th, we are coming in October 27th, we will have all this substantive, controversial
legislation shoved through and rammed down the throats of Nova Scotians. That is what we will do. But, no,
you couldn’t do it so now you are taking away the democratic right of the Opposition, and you are taking it
away without unanimous consent. Something that was never done before in the history of the oldest
responsible seat of democracy in North America. You really should be proud of yourselves. You couldn’t get
the job done so you had to bring down the heavy hand again.

 

 

I think many members in the back bench have some questions about what is going on in the front
bench of their government. You have a lot of questions, yes, and the chairman of that caucus has some
questions. I know for a fact that that member is not satisfied with the gaming bill. Probably, if he had his
choice, which he doesn’t, he would stand up and be counted, if he had his choice and knew that he wouldn’t
feel the wrath of the Premier or the House Leader. He knows full well. (Interruptions)



AN HON. MEMBER: I will take my stand.



MR. TAYLOR: Yes, you take your stand, you have taken your stand a lot as you sit back there and
heckle and cackle. That is all you do. Stand up. We saw in the paper the other day where some constituents
were asking for their MLAs to stand up and get up off their derrières and be counted, but no, they will not.
They will not stand up and be counted. But I think you should be speaking for your constituents.



What have you got to hide? We supported legislative reform and we brought forward papers, we
brought forward documents asking for free votes in this Legislature, asking for free votes. We agreed to limit
debate on some of the budgetary measures, by unanimous consent and that Government House Leader, the
Minister of Transportation, Mr. Speaker, he brought down his heavy hand on the . . .



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I would like to advise the member
opposite that the debate on the budget matter was limited to 80 hours before he came here and it is still limited
to 80 hours.



MR. SPEAKER: The reference is noted to the correct time allocation of the budget debate.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has the floor.



MR. TAYLOR: I appreciate that member’s contribution to this debate here this morning. Once in
a while he will stand up and be counted, I will grant him that. I am not so sure that I like what he says most
of the time, but he does stand up once in a while. I would encourage all members. We have tried time and time
again to encourage, urge, stimulate, do what we can to get members to stand up for their constituents. But no,
no, they would sooner sit back because of their fear of reprisal. They are scared. They have no courage. They
wouldn’t even table petitions. They walked by the petitions.



Now, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transportation and Communications, back in I believe, it was late
October or early October, decided to cut the salt hauling rate for the independent trucker, the small
owner/operator, private enterprise. This is a government that . . .



MR. SPEAKER: I must intervene at this point. I have two points that I want to make. First of all,
that I have had complaints from members about the effect on their ear drums of loud shouting. I just note that
for what it is worth. We don’t need to shout, we have an amplification system that carries all members’ voices.
If one could speak in a moderate tone of voice, it would be much easier on the ear drums of some of those who
have to bear the din.



The second point that I wanted to make is that we are debating a resolution relating to the rules and
forms of the House of Assembly and it has nothing to do with the matters to which the member is now
relating. I would ask the member to please speak to the motion. Thank you.



MR. TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I will try to tone down a decibel or two. I appreciate and
respect your ruling, as per usual, but I do have to say that what I am pointing out is the reason we are at the
stage we are today, I feel - this Resolution No. 1563 - is because this government could not get the job done.
I am pointing out specific examples of where this government has turned their back. Again, they are turning
their back on the very people who sent this government to power.



If I am to be sat down for saying I was extremely disappointed and shocked when this government
announced that the Nova Scotia Youth Training Centre was going to close, so be it. I will sit down, Mr.
Speaker, if you tell me. If I say that I was disappointed when I learned that the Nova Scotia Teachers College
is going to close. If I said that I wasn’t disappointed in that, I would still sit down if you should tell me to.
There are many examples.



We have seen deputy ministers fired but we found $2.5 million to appease them. Oh yes, they
received lovely packages. We saw Lucy Dobbin who came to work for how long? I don’t think it was any more
than six to nine months and this is the underlying problem with this government. That is why the Opposition
is so adamant that the legislation that is before us be scrutinized very, very carefully. We had the Premier’s
shower installed, some $28,000. Yes, these are the types of things that instigated this resolution, yes they are.



The message I get from my constituents dictates how I will react to government legislation, there is
no question about it. The public sector’s wages were rolled back (Interruptions) Well, it isn’t history because
it is still affecting them in their pocketbook today, there is no question about it. I believe in being financially
responsible. I have to be financially responsible in my home, I was always financially responsible in my
business and I would suggest that my financial statements will indicate that I have been. I believe in being
financially responsible but I also believe in being open-minded and flexible and standing up for ideals and
principles that deserve to be stood up for, there is no question.



With those very few comments, I move adjournment of debate of Resolution No. 1563.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, I gave notice yesterday that I did not intend to entertain any further motions
for adjournment, the reference being to Beauchesne; Paragraph 558 states that “(1) An old rule of Parliament
reads: `The question being once made and carried in the affirmative or negative, cannot be questioned again
but must stand as the judgment of the House.’”. Yesterday afternoon the House judged that the debate on
Resolution No. 1563 be not adjourned but proceed. Therefore, it will proceed.



The honourable member for Kings West.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, it is not really a pleasure to rise and speak on Resolution No.
1563. I have been in this House, not as long as you, but since 1978. I have always tried not to abuse the time
of the House and I doubt if you can count many times, except with the Address in Reply to the Throne Speech
that I have taken a full hour of your time and the House’s time on any issue. I always rise with the idea
hopefully of bringing to the floor of this House some ideas or views that were expressed to me by others or
ideas that I had pertaining either to legislation or a resolution. I always felt that that was a right that I
obtained on the day that the voters in Kings West elected me, a right that I know that they would want me to
fulfil in this Legislature. Unfortunately, I never thought that this government would move the way it moved.



I guess we have to ask ourselves, why do we have Resolution No. 1563? Well, I believe it is because
of the attitude of this government that we have Resolution No. 1563. As I talked to many people from one end
of this province to the other, they say that this government has an attitude of arrogance, not an attitude of
openness, not an attitude that would allow them to make their feelings known to them. I know many people
who have tried to get meetings with ministers, phone calls not returned, no meetings. Except the Minister of
Education, I have to go back and say that he is very good at meeting. I shouldn’t lump everybody together
because that is not true; there are exceptions. I am talking about the majority. You know, when people do get
meetings, they have to know that people are listening to their points of view.



[9:00 a.m.]



I am also amazed that the government brought in this resolution when the Premier was away. The
Premier has worn a lot of mistakes made by this government. So, the people of this province have rated him
lower than any other Premier in Canada. They have rated him lower because of the mistakes of this
government. I suspect many of the mistakes of this government were not made by the Premier himself. So,
I expect if the Premier had been here, we would not have had Resolution No. 1563.



It is the people from South End Halifax who are now running the government - because the Premier
said when he went away, it wasn’t the ministers in charge, it was his staff in charge - so, the South End staff
will run the government. They made a decision for this group to follow and that was to invoke closure.
Everybody in the caucus was told that is what you have to do, that is what we are going to do and you don’t
have a say because we are now making the decisions. So, with the Premier away, in comes the resolution.



As I have watched and read newspapers across the province and editorials that have been written,
there isn’t an editorial that doesn’t say, why couldn’t a compromise be reached? You know, Mr. Speaker, all
the time I was here previously, compromises were able to be reached with all Parties of the House. Sometimes
there were times when it looked like we might be at an impasse. But because the government of the day and
the two Parties, especially the government of the day, the House Leader, took the lead to work out an impasse.



I find it very strange that this government operates in a dictatorial way. In no way does it want to
work with anybody. In no way does it want input from anybody. They have their small group of individuals
who are running the government. It is not being run by 41 members, it is being run by a few. They make the
decisions and there is no discussion. There isn’t even any discussion here on the floor of the Legislature.



Yesterday, I think many of us in this Legislature were very upset. I think it was a very sad day. The
government not only changed the resolution and for the first time we saw the rules change, the new precedent
set in this House, condoned by you, Mr. Speaker, not taking into consideration the many years this House has
sat. We end up now with a resolution different from the one that was formerly introduced and we cannot even
make an amendment to even improve or try to improve the resolution.



To me, I was always proud to be a Nova Scotian and proud of the rights and privileges of this House,
and proud of the way this Legislature has been conducted. I am not proud any more. I am ashamed. I don’t
think many members who are new in here realize the traditions and how important the precedents that have
been set in this House are. They take it as a grain of salt, so our rules change overnight, precedents broken
for no reason.



If that motion was going to be introduced properly, why couldn’t it have been done that way on
Tuesday, January 24th. Again, the government is being dishonest, sneaky, not coming clean and that is the
kind of government that people have learned to hate in this province. That is why this government has the
lowest rating of any government in Canada. That is why this government is becoming very unpopular, because
it is not open. It is not upfront with people. It is not genuine, it is fake.



When this Party, this government, ran for office, they talked about democracy and they talked about
the government being responsible to people. They talked about it being open and that its activities be
scrutinized by the public and the Opposition. This government does not want to be scrutinized by anybody.
The minute you try to make any kind of suggestion, it turns them off. It is like, don’t talk to me. It is like a
big bully, big brother. Don’t talk to me. I know what is best for everybody.



Now, there are not many governments in Canada or people that are trying to play God. This
government is trying to do that. This government has always said, whatever we say is right. Don’t question
it. Don’t talk about it. Don’t tell me there are problems with it, because we know there are not.



This Liberal Government said this House should sit more. There should be two sittings and there will
be accountability. It should sit more, they said. Well, now they want to sit less. Were they not telling the truth?
Were they saying that we are going to tell everybody that we are going to have this openness but, boy, once
we get there, it is not going to happen?



You know, Mr. Speaker, we had and have a couple of controversial pieces of legislation. The casino
legislation has been very controversial. It is the only legislation in the history of this House that has had
petitions signed by over 40,000 people, the only one. You know, I have had a lot of calls. There have been a
lot of polls taken and all those polls indicate that casinos are not the way to go in Nova Scotia.



Do people have any rights? Do people have any way of coming down here? This government has now
made this like a fortress. It does not have freedom like it used to have, to get in. You cannot even reach these
people. I am sure in Russia you can reach the heads of government easier than you can reach them here. So,
how do people get their message to the government? They get their message to the government through the
Opposition. We have to carry their message. We carry their message in the form that we know best and the
form is here in the legislation. Everybody has the right to speak in this Legislature. All members have that
right to speak and that is a privilege and some members use it more than others, but that is their right, too.
If you want to sit on your hands and catcall, that is your privilege, even though that catcalling is not allowed.



AN HON. MEMBER: That is if you are a Liberal and the Speaker is in the Chair.



MR. SPEAKER: I hear a very disrespectful interjection there from the back bench and I would ask
that disrespectful references to the Speaker not be uttered.



MR. MOODY: That was not me, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: I know it wasn’t. I said it was from the back bench behind you.



MR. MOODY: I might have been thinking it, but I was not saying it.



MR. SPEAKER: However, I will also say that the honourable member is quite right that there ought
not to be catcalling and, again, I would ask that the catcalling cease.



MR. MOODY: So, I was saying that one of the avenues that the public have of expressing their
concerns about legislation of any kind, is through the Opposition. We have met, and I know the NDP have
met and I am sure that people have tried to meet with government about legislation and about amendments
and things that could be changed and all of that. It is incumbent upon the Opposition to raise all of those
issues here on the floor of the House, because in many cases, like the workers’ compensation bill, it is going
to affect a lot of injured workers. And who is going to be their voice?



I know we have to bring some sort of balance to our legislation. I recognize the fiscal restraint we
are in but there has to be a balance. We have to be able to bring a balance to the legislation that is here.



My problem with this resolution is that you could have 20 hours by one Party on the debate and the
other Party never gets to talk about the clauses. I am thinking to myself, that is not fair either. If you are going
to change the rules, then do it in a way that allows fairness straight through, so that if some Party decides it
is best to spend 20 hours on the title, how can the other Party - it might be us, it might be them - ever get in
to talk about the clauses that I feel are so important.



So, if we are going to make rule changes, let’s make them so they will work, so that we can’t spend
20 hours on the title, that we will allow time to go through the clause by clause debate. As I have always felt
and I have said this many times, that in Committee of the Whole House on Bills, we should be, and it is
important, to go through them clause by clause. No matter how good the people are who put them together,
and no matter how many times the minister may have gone over it, sometimes there is another view or another
interpretation that may make that clause better. Sometimes I have seen governments bring in amendments
when we are going through clause by clause because they have discovered that after having looked at it and
representation, they feel that some of the clauses need to be changed.



What happens, Mr. Speaker, if we spend 20 hours on the title, where do we get the clause by clause
changes? So if we are going to restrict, let’s do it in a wise way, let’s do it in a way that has meaning and
allows the democratic process to work.



I believe this resolution was not well thought out. It is attempting to solve a problem that the
government now has. I believe that if some thought had really been given to the rule changes, a change could
have been made that we all would have been happier with, that would have worked better and allowed the
process to flow. This doesn’t allow the process to flow, this allows another problem, in my mind, that could
occur. Are we then not smart enough to figure out that if problems are going to occur, we should be smart
enough to make the rules change to deal with this problems and not afterwards? So, Mr. Speaker, I would
have been much happier had we addressed the issue.



Now I know that the government made a commitment to ITT Sheraton and ITT Sheraton is probably
a little embarrassed for telling the government to get on with it, you promised that you would have this
through by the middle of January and now you don’t. What is wrong? We are from the United States, we can
count, you have 41 members, there are only 11 over there, what is your problem? I am sure that they can’t
figure out why there is a problem.



I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, a month and one-half ago I saw there was a problem. The
government didn’t move to address it in a way that could have solved the problem and had us move on. No,
they saw the problem, too, a month and one-half ago. They didn’t take any kind of leadership but they are the
government, they claim to have leadership and I can’t imagine why they didn’t try to resolve it. Instead of that,
all we were hearing in the media and all that was being shouted at us was, move on, we will threaten you,
move on or we will impose closure. Never mind trying to resolve it as grown people would resolve it by sitting
around the table. All of us know that there can be differences among us but I am willing to bet that there isn’t
any of us that couldn’t sit around the table and come to a reasonable resolve to any problem. (Interruptions)
Yes, I met with the Minister of Finance and I think I could sit with the Minister of Finance and find a
reasonable resolve.



[9:15 a.m.]



I think that the point I am making is that, I guess there should have been more at the table than him
and I, the point I am making is that there are always resolves if the will is there. It is amazing to me, this
Legislature is 175 years old and there was always the will to resolve until now. What has changed? Are we
any different? I don’t think we are any different, I think there is just as much will in this Legislature to sit
down as there was 175 years ago. The problem is the government has got itself into a position and couldn’t
find a way out and said, we will enforce closure. Maybe this closure is for another day, maybe it is for the
spring sitting, I don’t know. I have no idea why or the rationale that the decision was made to bring in closure.



Always, the Committee to look at Rules and Forms of Procedure, always came back with unanimous
agreement to changes, no question. We understand that in 1995 things are different than in 1895 but the
process should never change. World-wide, the process never changes. Any government that will be
remembered for taking away freedom of speech won’t sit well with a lot of people in this province.



A lot of people in this province, in my constituency and I try to explain it to them, they think I sit
year round. If I am home on a Monday or Tuesday when this House isn’t sitting, they will say, why aren’t you
in the Legislature? They think that I am paid to sit here year round. Now, we all know that we don’t but a lot
of the general public think that that is true. And I say, yes, I am paid to go to the Legislature but I am paid
to go there at the call of the government. I can’t call the Legislature in, it is the government that calls the
Legislature in and I go there when they call the Legislature. (Interruptions)



Well, you see, you can’t have it both ways. First they said the Legislature didn’t sit enough and now
they are saying it sits too much. Where are you going to get a happy medium? I can’t figure this out. One time
they don’t want it to sit and now they want it to sit. I can’t figure this out. All I know is that we are going
backward as far as the Rules of this House is concerned.



This government after almost two years, and I have watched them, any time anything goes wrong
they blame somebody else. They never get up and look in the mirror and say, just maybe we are not as perfect
as we think we are. But it is hard to believe as I listen to them explain time and time again, when everything
goes wrong it is either the Opposition’s fault, the previous government’s fault, the federal government’s fault,
somebody’s fault, or it is some company’s fault or community’s fault or somebody’s fault.



I was thinking many times I have admitted it was my fault, at least and I have gotten up on the floor
of this House, as a minister, and indicated that I made a wrong decision. Every one of us can make wrong
decisions.



AN HON. MEMBER: So have we; so have we.



MR. MOODY: I have not heard you. Anytime you get up, you blame it on somebody else. It is either
a staff member that fouled up, somebody fouled up. It was not the minister. The minister never fouled up once.
It is always somebody else.



This government will be remembered, no question, for the three Cs: they brought in consultants so
they could hire and bring in their own friends, although they said there would be no patronage; they brought
in casinos; and now they are bringing in closure. That is something to be proud of. I am sure that when you
go around to your hustings and you tell your people back home, boy, we are some government; we’ve got
closure. We’ve got casinos. We’ve hired consultants to get rid of those Tories and the other people. Boy, we
are some good. It is only costing us millions of taxpayers’ dollars now. We don’t have any money but, boy, we
can spend her. Just give us the opportunity and we will spend her. (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.



MR. MOODY: Democracy does come with a price. There is absolutely no question. Are we prepared
to have democracy? We can have this place not sit at all, cost no money at all. That is not democracy.
(Interruption) See, blame it on somebody else. Talk about somebody else. Don’t talk about yourself. Don’t look
in the mirror. Just exactly what I said; that is proving my point. You always blame or talk about somebody
else. You cannot stand somebody talking about you or any decision you made.



Mr. Speaker, as you know and I know, we all speak the truth when we are up here. That is what we
have to do; that is part of our role. I find it very interesting, as I read the newspapers across this province. The
newspapers talk about how this government has gone from one of openness, who started 30-60-90, and said
we are going to consult, well, the only consulting they are doing now is how to deal with the problem they
got with the Leader and that is a pretty closed shop. That is the only consulting they are doing. What
happened to that open process, open meetings, open community meetings, allowing people to have input?
What happened to all that? I don’t know.



We talk about quality of debate. They are talking about the quality of debate on this side. I would not
know about the quality of debate on the other side, because when you don’t hear any, it is pretty hard to judge
it. How can you judge quality when it is zippo? You can only judge it if you hear it or if you get up and speak.
It is like the person said, don’t criticize somebody else until you have actually done it. I have heard many
people in this House shouting at members about the quality of debate and they have never gotten up and
debated a bill in this House yet. But, yet, they criticize other people who are trying to get up and do their job.
(Interruption)



Well, I think you know my views on the title. But I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, I have always believed
the work was more on the clauses but, sometimes, in order to get the government’s attention, you have to do
what you don’t want to do to try and get their attention. Then, when you get their attention, hey, we’ve got
some problems here. Sure, you are talking on the title and you hope that somebody is listening.



But you know, Mr. Speaker, we had a heavy package this session. I don’t ever recall having made
four major bills like we have had this session. Sure, we have had a major bill or two, but not four. Then we
have had other legislation; we have had a heavy agenda. The government says that is part of the reform. I will
accept that. But then does the government think they have the right to come into this Legislature and say, we
have a heavy package - they said that - we have a lot of reform, but you people over there in the Opposition,
you keep quiet; you are going to be able to talk only a bit on this reform and that is it. You cannot, in any way,
scrutinize the reform package that we think is so good for Nova Scotia.



Now part of our problem is, we don’t feel all this reform that the government has brought in is good
for Nova Scotia and now that creates a problem. Obviously, if you think you should not have casinos in this
province, then you are going to oppose them and obviously you are going to oppose them in every way you
can, and that is fair.



Now, you oppose them going into a session, knowing what the rules are. It is almost like a hockey
game, Mr. Speaker. You have played hockey, but you never refereed but you played.



MR. SPEAKER: Oh, sometimes I did. A few times. More fun playing, though.



MR. MOODY: Oh, you were a referee, I didn’t know that. I am sure that when you were a referee,
they gave you the rule book and you never changed the rules half way through the game because your friends
were losing, never. Nobody does. You may change them in the next game because you know they didn’t work
well, and I can understand that. But boy, there would be a riot on that bench if you changed the rules half way
through the game.



AN HON. MEMBER: Someone might even get ejected.



MR. MOODY: Some might even get ejected. (Laughter)



That is what we have here, half-way through the game, half-way through the sitting, we had a rule
change. You know, Mr. Speaker, I don’t think we were any more upset than you or any other member would
have been had you have that happen to you, and that was very disappointing. I think that is what this side and
what we are saying to this government, if you want rule changes you do it through the proper procedure and
you don’t change the rules half-way through the game. To me, that is not fair, that is not being open and that
is why we are upset.



You know, Mr. Speaker, we have had in this House, I think, a House that has accomplished many
great things. We have had a process that has worked for many years and, all of a sudden, the process doesn’t
work any more. I hate to say the government is now saying, the reason we have to invoke closure is because
it costs $6,000 a day. That’s not it. Oh, it is because we made a commitment to ITT Sheraton. That’s not it.



AN HON. MEMBER: And it’s not the G-7.



MR. MOODY: And it is not the G-7. I thought it might have been the G-7, Mr. Speaker, it is not the
G-7.



Now, is it because the backbenchers want to go home? (Interruptions) No, okay, they haven’t asked,
okay. Well, they all want to stay. Now they all want to stay and it is not the G-7, it is not that we have to get
the casino legislation through and it is not because it costs $6,000 a day. Now, I am trying to figure out what
it is that the government came up with the conclusion that on Tuesday they had to invoke closure. You see,
I thought it was one of those reasons. Instead of that, I am confused as to what the reason is, other than that
the government feels that when the House is sitting, and I can understand this, Mr. Speaker, that their
mistakes get widely publicized by the media. That is not it? Oh, I thought that was it. (Interruption) Oh, so
that’s not it.



Well, if there is no reason to have closure, Mr. Speaker, I don’t know why we are debating this. The
government does not really have a reason but I suspect that all of those reasons I gave played a part in that
decision, every one of those played a part in the decision.



[9:30 a.m.]



I believe (Interruption) not motives, facts, you have to have a reason or you don’t do something, I
would hope. So I think all of those reasons add up to closure and that is very, very unfortunate. I think the
tension, the feeling and the goodwill that has always been here, some of that was lost yesterday and I am not
sure that will ever be regained because when you lose that, you lose some respect for an institution and for
a government. That is going to be very difficult for a government to gain back.



I hope that as we move forward that in somebody’s wisdom, the rules will be changed, not by a
resolution, but will be changed by a committee of all Parties that understand what it is we are trying to do.
We are here representing people, that is what we are here for. When people call and say, I am sorry to bother
you, I say, you are not bothering me, that is my job. My job is to represent you. My job is to call you back. My
job is to express your views, that is what my job is.



I wonder if that is what everybody thinks their jobs are, is to represent people, their views and their
ideas and to listen, to stand up for the people who have no voice here? So, if we are going to make a rule
change, then the only way that I can see it happening, that I would have any respect for, is through that
committee.



As I said, the Premier went away and I think that the reason the resolution wasn’t introduced while
he was here is because he would have to answer questions. We can’t ask the Premier.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Eastern Shore has asked to make an introduction.



The honourable member for Eastern Shore.



MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, to you and through you I would like to introduce in your
gallery a very prominent citizen from Three Fathom Harbour, Mr. Gordy Heatherington. I ask the House to
afford him a warm welcome. (Applause)



MR. MOODY: Well, I welcome Mr. Heatherington to the Legislature too and I am sure that he
understands what democracy is all about and freedom of speech is all about. People will come here and it is
unfortunate that we, in this Legislature, sometimes get carried away with things. That sometimes makes me
wonder and I too, sometimes, have gotten carried away and I think we have got to come back to the way that
I used to know this Legislature, and that is a way that we can work together for the betterment of all the
people we represent and do it in a way that we can be proud of.



Obviously, I am going to have to oppose this resolution but hope that the government of the day will
see fit at some point in the very near future to allow the committee that looks at rules and privileges of this
House, will call that committee together and will allow it to examine our rules in a way that it has been done
in the past. I always find it strange that some of the people that voice their opinions and shout about the Rules
of this House are first time people of this House. I find it very strange that they arrive on the scene and they
now see what was wrong for 175 years and there is more to it than that.



The precedents of this House, a lot was right with what happened in this House and the precedents
of this House, to me, are very important. I think it was bad enough to bring the rule in, to change the rules
for our first, but to also set a precedent that there can be no amendments and break our rules that we worked
hard to get, is very sad. I will go home this weekend with a very sad feeling about an Assembly that I was
always proud to represent because it had that freedom and we did honour precedents and we followed the
rules. All of a sudden that is all changed.



So, I have to say to my constituents that I don’t know what the rules will be next week. I have no way
of knowing, I used to know, because we did honour precedents and we did stick by the rules. I can’t say that
any more. I can’t say that I can tell you this government will follow any rule, because rules mean nothing to
this government. Precedents mean nothing to this government. That is a sad day, a very sad day. Maybe some
people don’t understand history or care about history or care about how important, you know, Joe Howe fought
for the freedom of speech in this province. A very proud day. But I doubt if Joe Howe would be very happy
if he were here today, and I am sure if he were looking down on us, would say, where have these people gone
with democracy? What are these people doing?



Mr. Speaker, I am going to take my place but I hope in the future that my privileges and my rights
as a member will not again be attacked as they have been in the last couple of days. I hope in some way, that
this House can turn itself around and respect the rights and privileges of members and that the rules won’t
continue to be broken and new precedents set. If that continues to happen, I am sure many people in this
province will let this government know when it comes voting time. I would just dearly love to go on the
hustings any time, because I think that is not a problem, call an election tomorrow and I wouldn’t be upset.



Mr. Speaker, I am going to vote against Resolution No. 1563 and I hope any member of this House
who understands what it is we are doing to the precedents and the rules and privileges of this House will also
vote against this resolution. Your rights and my rights are being violated. I hope you understand that when
it comes to vote yes or no for this resolution. Thank you very much.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I rise to enter the debate on the resolution that is before
us, to restrict debate in this House at the Committee of the Whole House level when we are dealing with
legislation with very mixed feelings. I will, I am sure it won’t surprise you to know, be voting against this
particular resolution because I think that it is flawed in a number of important ways. It is flawed both in terms
of its substance and in terms of the process whereby this government has chosen to introduce this restrictive
measure.



Mr. Speaker, I must say that the events of the House in the last 24 hours have for me been without
a doubt, the low point of my 14 years in this Legislature. Not just because of the spectacle that went on here
yesterday, not just because of the disorderliness and, really, the sense of a kind of breakdown of the whole
legislative process that I think was revealed to Nova Scotians, (Interruptions) but because I think yesterday’s
events were really the culmination of a very disturbing trend that has developed in this Legislature and I think
that does not serve Nova Scotians well.



I have to say that my revulsion for the rule changes that are in the resolution that is before us and
for the, really, quite revolting spectacle that occurred here yesterday, does not have nearly as much to do with
how adverse the working conditions have become in this Chamber as my revulsion has to do with an erosion,
I think, not just of the democratic process that goes on within this Chamber but, far more seriously, an erosion
of the respect for the democratic process that is occurring in this province as a result of what is taking place
today, both in this Chamber and outside of the Chamber in the name of politics.



I don’t want, Mr. Speaker, although it is tempting to do so, but I think it would not be completely
accurate to do so, to blame all of that on the current government, because it is so easy for us to stand here and
say, this horrible mess that we are in is totally the responsibility of the Savage Government and try to leave
it at that and then think of all the sins that we can trot out to make the case.



But I think that it has to be recognized that there are rules and procedures in place in Legislatures
and Parliaments everywhere where democracy is supposed to be safeguarded and is supposed to be valued by
people. There are rules and procedures in place that absolutely must stand the test of time. I suppose, in that
sense, Mr. Speaker, you would have to say that Parliaments and Legislatures are somewhat conservative
institutions. I sort of grate at the notion of working in such a conservative institution. But something in the
nightmare that has developed in this session of this Legislature, since this government came to power, has
led me again and again to reflect upon the whole notion of what is parliamentary or legislative debate? What
are these rules and procedures?



I guess there would be some members that were in this House as far back as I was, in the early 1980’s,
that would get a chuckle at my saying so, but I have actually developed a good deal of understanding,
appreciation and respect for what some of the traditions and rules of the Legislature are really all about. The
reason I say some people will no doubt chuckle is because it is no secret to anybody that I did not have the
slightest understanding of the Rules of this House and I had very little appreciation, frankly, for a lot of the
procedures that went on, in my early years in this House. And, perhaps, admittedly, Mr. Speaker, that was
because, more often than not, the rules were used against me than was I able, in any way, to be able to use the
rules to try to do the job as I saw it, that my constituents had elected me to enter this Chamber and do on their
behalf.



Mr. Speaker, before very long, I began to take seriously the incredible love and affection and
admiration and respect that a veteran member of my Party, who still sits in the House of Commons, built up
over his very long career, that, of course, is Stanley Knowles and there won’t be anybody in this Chamber, I
am sure, who doesn’t know Stanley Knowles. There are very few Canadians who don’t know and understand
what Stanley Knowles’ contribution has been to Canada. Anybody who cares about veterans, about widows
and about the unemployed will all understand the champion that Stanley Knowles is and really a hero for all
Canadians.



[9:45 a.m.]



What is probably less known about Stanley Knowles is that he was and remains to this day, an
absolute champion, not just of democracy, not just in some broad, vague sense of the democratic process, but
a champion and an authority of the rules and procedures that govern parliamentary democracy.



Mr. Speaker, when I was preparing to enter the debate on this resolution about which I have a very
heavy heart, I was led to refer to a book on the life of Stanley Knowles, actually done by a Nova Scotian, Gerry
Harrop, entitled, Advocate of Compassion: Stanley Knowles in the Political Process. I want to quote two
sentences from that book; “Knowles’ third priority . . . “, this was a discussion of what his commitments were
throughout his entire life in political life, “Knowles’ third priority was parliamentary reform which must not
simply cut down on opposition talk. Rather, there must be provision for the parties in the House to agree on
time limits for each debate.”



Now, no doubt, Mr. Speaker, there will be some members who might want to say, ah ha, you see,
even Stanley Knowles argued that there should be appropriate time limits for debate. And, indeed he did, and
I want to make it very clear, as I have always done, as my Leader has always done, as a member of the
Assembly rules committee, as my House Leader has done again and again throughout this session, we, the
New Democratic Party, are not only in favour of bringing in appropriate rules, as they relate to the stages of
legislative debate on bills, but we have always been willing to cooperate and have, in fact, introduced
proposals for limiting debate in this House, for example, when it came to estimates.



My colleague, the member for Sackville-Cobequid, in fact, fought for rule changes, introduced
proposed rule changes to limit debate in the estimates process, and they are a matter of public record, Mr.
Speaker, so members can guffaw if they want, catcall, do whatever they want, but my colleague introduced
very specific amendments in the instance of dealing with supply; for example:



“(a) A minister introducing his/her Estimates, and in reply one Member on behalf of the Official
Opposition and one Member on behalf of each recognized Party, shall not speak longer than fifteen minutes
in Committee of the Whole on Supply.



(b) Every other Member shall not speak longer than 10 minutes during the debate of a Minister’s
Estimates.



(c) The time limits on speeches in Committee of the Whole on Supply do not apply to questions and
answers dealing with information or policy that is strictly relevant to the item under discussion.”.



Mr. Speaker, we have not been opposed to limitations. Let me say for the record as well, one of the
reasons why we were absolutely outraged yesterday at the manoeuvre in which the Government House Leader
engaged and, we believe, with far too much complicity and compliance by the Speaker himself, one of the
reasons that we were so outraged is because we had some very reasonable amendments that we intended to
bring forward, that I want to table for the record because those were amendments that were prepared to this
Resolution No. 1563 dealing with the Rules of the House.



Mr. Speaker, I have to say frankly, that we are not just in this process alone - the 52 members of this
House - but the media also play a very important role. They play the role as the watchdogs and I will fight to
the limit to protect the freedom of the press to do their important job. But when in this Chamber the
Government House Leader brings in the kind of restriction that he brought in yesterday and says, we have to
first limit the rules and do it unilaterally and then we are not going to permit any amendments having brought
in the rule changes, then that not only shows a profound disrespect for the rights and the privileges of 52
members that are elected to this House to represent their constituents, it also severely curbs the opportunities
that we have to introduce improvements.



Just as we have tried to do in this session and over the years by introducing amendments to bills, it
was our intention yesterday to introduce some very reasonable amendments to try to improve the rules. We
don’t like the process, we don’t like the way they came in but we sit here in the corner with three members and
they, with all of their might and muscle have 41 members and they can darn well do what they please, a lot
of the time appearing to be accountable to no one but themselves.



But when we have our opportunity to even introduce amendments, completely cut off, then that also
interferes with the job that members of the press have to do because then they are not in a position to report
the truth that we were not interested in dragging out procedurally the debate yesterday on these arbitrary,
unilateral rule changes but what we were interested in doing - and I will remain furious at the Government
House Leader for interfering with this - was to at least put out the truth and the truth was that we were
prepared to introduce the following amendment to this legislative rule change and we are not now even
permitted to introduce it, let alone debate it. But thank goodness there is no means to totally put the clamps
and silence Opposition members, we at least have an opportunity to participate in limited debate on this very
restrictive measure.



Mr. Speaker, I want it understood for the record that we were prepared to propose and had prepared
and were ready to circulate an amendment that said: “(c) adding to Clause 1 of the Schedule the following
two subsections: (4) A minister introducing a bill in Committee of the Whole House, and in reply one Member
on behalf of the Official Opposition and one Member on behalf of each recognized Party, shall not speak
longer than twenty minutes in Committee of the Whole House on Bills. (5) Every other Member shall not
speak longer than 15 minutes at a time during debate in Committee of the Whole House on Bills, except that
the Minister responsible for a bill may speak for five minutes after each other Member’s speech.”.



Mr. Speaker, the reason I make a reference to the role of the media is that we all bear a responsibility
to try to safeguard and protect democracy and to try to improve both the democratic process and the output,
the product, the results of the democratic process and that means we are all in this together. The government
knows that if we are permitted to engage in lengthy debates in this House, then the press will also have an
opportunity to do their job.



When this government decides in its wisdom that it is going to bring in casino legislation absolutely
contrary to what they had committed to the people of Nova Scotia that they would do on this matter, and they
then launch a complete farce of a consultative process as they did through the Committee on Community
Services, abusing some of the most important traditions of this House which is that committees are to be all-Party processes and then they decide to ignore what the public had to say on the subject and then they enter
into a deal with a foreign multinational corporation, in advance of it even being legal in this province to
operate a casino, and then they want members of this House to lie down and die in the face of this casino
legislation because we are interfering with their getting on with implementing the agreement that they have
entered into against the law, because the law does not even now permit the operation of casinos, then one has
to ask the question, who is abusing the democratic process? Who is abusing the rules of this House?



Mr. Speaker, one of our jobs is to make sure that the public have as many facts and figures as they
can have to come to a conclusion about whether the government that they elected and whether the 52 members
that they elected to this House of Assembly, to protect and represent their interests, are doing a good job on
their behalf or not doing a good job on their behalf.



One of the few ways that we have of playing our part in that process is to get information out, so let
me say, Mr. Speaker, quite clearly, I make no apologies for this, but it is not always understood by members
of the public. I have to say, that in playing their role, members of the Press Gallery do not always act totally
responsibly, either, in this regard. One of the things that we engage in in this House, for which we make no
apologies, from time to time is the tactic of delay. The rules permit it and if we abuse the rules by delaying
unreasonably, irresponsibly, then the public will make their judgment. If we delay the casino legislation
because we believe that people should know and understand what is in that ITT Sheraton agreement, and it
is going to take a lot of time to get that information out, we will use the rules of this House, always subject
to being called to order, always subject to the Speaker reining us in, always subject to points of order - which
are completely fair and within the rules, for members to stand up and state - always subject to the disapproval
of the public, if they think we have gone too far.



But, Mr. Speaker, we believe that when this government enters into a deal with ITT Sheraton and
then we are caught in a legislative conundrum in this House that forbids us in the debate on the bill to talk
about the ITT Sheraton deal, that we have to act responsibly to use whatever powers we have to find a way
to get that information out to the public and that is the sin that we have committed. We have committed the
sin of saying, within the allowable rules, we will drag out debate to get people a chance to know the truth
about something that they care deeply about and that they are strenuously opposed to, namely this government
sponsoring and promoting casino gambling, increased levels of video lottery gambling in this province, and
who knows how unregulated the bingo gambling is going to be allowed to continue.



Mr. Speaker, this is what this debate is about, because this government put in place rules that said
nobody can go and just get a copy of the ITT Sheraton agreement so they will know. Why can’t they? Because,
I guess, ITT Sheraton said let’s have some restrictions. Maybe ITT Sheraton did not even need to say that,
maybe, on behalf of this government, staff are acting in accordance with the wishes of this government and
they say there will be one copy of the ITT Sheraton agreement available to you.



If you want to sign up, make an appointment, you have a chance to come down here and copy
information. You cannot copy it on a photocopier, you have to make notes about it so you are not going to
have any authoritative information. But if you can get a peek, if you can get yourself to Halifax, if you can get
the time off work to go during office hours to have a peek at the information about the agreement, then that
is this government’s notion of freedom of information.



[10:00 a.m.]



Mr. Speaker, people should know the truth, that when we stand up in this House and say - and are
ruled out of order - is it really what Nova Scotians want, to bring in commercial casinos in this province that
are going to absolutely rape us of some of our important traditions? Is it the wish of Nova Scotians to bring
in commercial gambling in this province that is going to literally rob us of resources that we need in this
province for very important purposes? We need that money to be here, to use for health and community
services and education. Is it in the interests of Nova Scotians for them to not have access to the information
that would allow them to understand that the expenses that are being deducted from the revenues in the
operation of casinos are somewhere between 60 per cent and 65 per cent of the revenues?



Mr. Speaker, that is what this debate is about. This debate is about whether our opportunity to do our
job to get that kind of information out to people is going to be restricted or not, and our opportunity to even
stand in this place and share that kind of information is going to be permitted, so that responsible members
of the press and not just the ones in the Press Gallery but all across the province, are going to have their
opportunity to share that information with people. That is what this debate is about. (Interruption)



Mr. Speaker, this debate is not only about trying to shut down on the casino bill discussion going on
out there, it is also about workers’ compensation. We have heard over and over again government members
say, you are just wasting the time. They have taken a page out of Donald Cameron’s book because they thought
it really rang true. I would not have thought they liked the results and the verdict from Nova Scotians on it,
but Donald Cameron said it is costing $6,000 a day to operate this place.



At least Donald Cameron was not such a hypocrite that he called the Legislature in to pretend that
there was a democratic process going on. At least he had the guts to tell the truth, which is that he didn’t
believe enough in this process to even let it go on. So he didn’t call the House in, or he didn’t introduce a
Speech from the Throne, so that the wide-ranging debate on behalf of people could take place.



AN HON. MEMBER: That is not what you said at the time.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, it is the hope . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: Look at Hansard and read what you said at the time.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I am willing to be judged for every word I have ever uttered in
this House in Hansard. What I am saying is there is only one thing worse than someone who doesn’t believe
enough in the democratic process to respect the traditions of this House and yet is hypocrite enough to run
for political office, and that is someone who pretends they respect the parliamentary traditions and pretends
they respect the democratic process and we will sit here in this House, as dumb as oysters, because that is also
what this debate is about.



SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, let me use the workers’ compensation bill as an example of why
we are in this mess today. This government signalled to Nova Scotians that the workers’ compensation bill
was pretty well ready. The Minister of Labour indicated, in the spring session, he is on public record as
saying, the bill is pretty well ready. They did not introduce it in the spring session because they said there was
already an overloaded agenda.



Mr. Speaker, during the summer, the Minister of Labour, I am sure will not deny this, I pleaded with
him to get out there and engage in a good faith, public consultation, and, in particular . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: He was.



MS. MCDONOUGH: He was not participating in a good faith public consultation, I beg to differ with
my colleague, the member for Kings North. The Minister of Labour said to me in the summer months that
the bill was ready and that it would be dealt with as soon as we got into the fall session. You know what this
government did, Mr. Speaker? In a crass, cynical exercise to create the appearance of consultation, to create
the appearance of openness, after the legislation was already drafted, they put out a discussion paper. Did the
discussion paper contain what this bill ended up containing? No. You know what? It was an abuse of the
democratic process to pretend that that discussion paper was an accurate reflection of what the government
intended to do.



When this government brought in this bill, it knew perfectly well it was going to be bringing it in
the spring and in the summer months, when it was continuing to use the excuse that we did not have the new
bill for not dealing with almost 2,000 claimants awaiting their rightful appeals, this government brought in
a bill that bore no relationship to either what they indicated to Nova Scotians they were going to do, nor any
relationship to what the workers in this province, through many different voices, indicated that they were
desperately in need of this government doing.



So, we get into debate, Mr. Speaker. It is very clear that this government is not prepared to entertain
any reasonable amendments. That was very clear. We tried every single means that we could - and I make no
apologies for this, I don’t even like the word - but we were willing to make a deal with this government to say,
if you will address some of the most repugnant aspects of this bill, if you will recognize that there are some
very fundamental flaws in this bill that have to be addressed, then we will agree to limit our debate on many
of the other aspects of the bill that we don’t like, that the rules allow us to debate, ad nauseam, because that
is what it is like, as well, to be on your feet during all those speeches. It is not just you that are bored by our
tedious arguments, we get kind of bored by them, too. But we said, we will make a deal.



That is the reality of what goes on in a Legislature, if there is responsibility being taken on both sides
to try to resolve these problems. We did not get one tiny, little millimetre of a concession from this
Government House Leader on behalf of this government to introduce one, single reasonable amendment. You
know what, Mr. Speaker, what this government counted upon was that the people of Nova Scotia would never
really understand much of anything about this workers’ compensation so-called reform, but one thing;
actually, they were hoping that people would understand two things. One, that we have a very serious and
mounting unfunded liability that is going to jeopardize that fund; it is going to jeopardize workers’
compensation. They hoped that that would be just about the only thing, and do you know what they counted
on? They counted on an irresponsible Press Gallery and they counted on media people across this province,
I am talking about the crass cynicism of this government that doesn’t respect the democratic process enough
to even permit a free press to do their job properly.



This government felt sure that if they could curb the debate and limit how much we got to talk about
the ill-considered measures in this bill, that their apologists out there in the media, the ones that write the
supposed news, you know the Arnie Pattersons and the Pat Connellys would just keep screaming and yelling
about the unfunded liability. They also counted, cynically and wrongly, on the press to keep saying, do you
know that the Opposition debated for 40 hours and they would have debated until hell froze over about one
thing, about whether or not the title of the workers’ compensation bill should be an Act to Reform Workers’
Compensation in Nova Scotia or whether the title, instead, should be Workers’ Compensation Act? They
actually believed - that is how much disrespect they have for the legislative process and the free press - that
that is all Nova Scotians would understand about what is going on in this place.



Mr. Speaker, make no mistake about it, when we use the tactic of legislative delay, that we are always
subject to a backlash from the public who will quite correctly say this may be costing, this is costing a lot of
money and maybe the government hopes people will think of a third thing every time this debate comes to
mind: it costs $6,000 a day for the New Democratic Party to be holding the government to ransom. Now, just
think about it, how pathetic it is. How pathetic it is that a 41 member government, a government with a
massive majority can go whining and wincing to the public to say that those nasty New Democrats, all three
of them, have been holding this government to ransom and preventing the government from doing its
business.



There are only three people in here. The words that came out of the member for Cape Breton South’s
mouth when I stood on my feet is - this should be good, well, we let the fringe Party say something once in
a while - in his usual helpful way . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: . . . the extinct Party . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Order. Order, let’s keep one at a time. Order.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Let me say clearly that when you are an Opposition Party in a Legislature with
a whopping majority, you always fear that backlash; you have to take into account how it will be used for or
against what you are trying to achieve. Let me say . . .



MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I would like to ask the Speaker
if the member would quote the remark that she made, a supposed remark that I made some time ago this
morning, I guess. Is that in Hansard or is she just taking these remarks off the top of her head? I don’t recall
making that remark but it sounds like a perfectly reasonable remark to make, but I don’t recall making it and
I want to know under what precedent is she citing that I made that remark?



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton South has noted that he does not recall
making the remark attributed to him and that is entered into the record.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, let me say, if I can regain my composure a little bit - and I am
having trouble doing that - let me say how helpful the intervention of the member for Cape Breton South is
in having at least had the guts to stand in his place, stand up on his feet so that for once his remarks could
be in Hansard. The reason I thank the member for his helpful introduction is, he has helped remind me of an
exceedingly important point about one of the rotten things going on in this Legislature day in and day out and
has been going on ever since this new government was elected.



[10:15 a.m.]



Now, let me say that it didn’t just start with this new government, it was . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: The last government, too.



MS. MCDONOUGH: . . . Mr. Speaker, a decision of the previous government and a decision that
the previous Speaker made, unilaterally, without any input in any rule changes, that changed forever the
record of what goes on in this House. There is not a full Hansard written record any more, of what is said in
this House. If the member for Cape Breton South had not been yelling from his seat back there, without ever
putting his words on Hansard by standing on his feet, then the words, “We let the fringe Party talk once in
a while.”, would not go on the record. Why, Mr. Speaker? Because the previous Speaker arbitrarily made the
decision, with the government loving every minute of it. The Tory Government of the day, that said, let’s
eliminate those comments that come from the backbenches, let’s not have them in Hansard any more.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader on a point of order.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, let’s clearly, so that the members who were not here then,
so they know why those rabbit tracks are no longer included, was because we had a Premier in this province
who chose to bark and the barking noises were put in Hansard and the embarrassment to the province and,
I think, to the government of the day, with no help from this Party, is why it was removed.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, I want to respond to the point of order. The matter being raised is the matter
of the editor and the edition of Hansard prepared by the Hansard division that comes under my office. The
Editor of Hansard, Mr. Caley, is in the gallery and I think he does his job in a very thorough way. (Applause)



There are some asides that are entered into the record but it is a matter of editorial discretion. Not
every catcall and certainly not every interjection, such as woof, woof, is entered into the record any longer.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview has the floor.



MS. MCDONOUGH: I can say in all honesty, I don’t want to spend my remaining 15 minutes on
this point but let me say that it helps to illustrate very well how much the Rules and Forms of Procedure that
go on in this House affect our ability to do our jobs and, most importantly, the ability of Nova Scotians to
know what is going on in here on their behalf. The fact of the matter is, it has nothing to do with what the
Chief of Hansard does or does not do. The last thing I am saying, and I want to be very clear about this for
the record, is that somehow Rodney Caley is not properly recording those points, Mr. Speaker.



What I am saying is (Interruption) Yes - what do you do? You don’t; you ignore him. The point is
that those comments are now censored out of the record, by electronic means, period. That is a subject for
another day, which I think bears some discussion.



Let me finish my point, now that the member for Cape Breton South has tried to distract me and met
with more success than I should have allowed him. It is, indeed, a fragile exercise that we are involved in
here. But I take considerable satisfaction, Mr. Speaker, that a good many of the conscientious members of the
press have taken the time that has now been allowed and taken the opportunity to analyze the substance of
the workers’ compensation bill and write the kind of responsible exposé of what is in this bill that you read
in this morning’s Halifax Chronicle-Herald, in an article by Jim Meek. Let me say, I don’t love the fact that
Jim Meek has attacked Opposition members for dragging out the debate.



But you know what, Mr. Speaker? It is not going to matter a wit to the future of the workers’
compensation program in this province, whether people are mad at Robert Chisholm, mad at the member for
Halifax Atlantic, or mad at the member for Sackville-Cobequid, or absolutely furious at me because I have
dragged out debate. But what is going to matter is whether we were permitted to do our job on behalf of the
workers in this province who will become injured or diseased in the work place and have to depend upon a
piece of legislation that either goes forward unamended, as this government has continued to indicate is their
intention, or whether the workers of Nova Scotia are able to depend upon a piece of legislation that has some
of its most Draconian measures amended, as they must be if there is to be any justice or fairness in the so-called reforms that this government has committed itself to.



Mr. Speaker, that is why Stanley Knowles, in talking about the reform process, has made the point
that when it is the duty, and I quote from the House of Commons debate in 1961, some 34 years ago when
Stanley Knowles was fighting then for the very same kind of rights that we are here, on this floor today,
fighting for, when he said, “There are times, Mr. Speaker, when it is the duty of the opposition to talk and
to do its best to prevent certain things from getting through. It is the duty of the opposition to do this in the
name of the people.”.



Mr. Speaker, when I sought election to this Legislature, it was because I considered that what politics
was about in a democracy was to do what I thought was right in the name of the people who elected me. Let
me say, when we fight against the provisions that are in this resolution today, we do so, again, because of what
we believe to be in the interests of the people of this province, not just today, not just as it relates to a
particular bill, as important as it is, the casino bill, not just in relation to the workers who will be affected
under the workers’ compensation bill, as important as it is, but we have opposed this resolution because there
will be incredible numbers of Nova Scotians, over a very long period of time, who will not be as well served
as they deserve to be by this Legislative Assembly and the members whom they elect, because of two things.



One is because of the arbitrary restrictions that this government has chosen to impose that will affect
all legislation in the future, instead of their being prepared to take their responsibility - which they are elected
to do - to show leadership in bringing in the reforms that are needed to gaming activity in this province and
the accountability that needs to attach to it and instead of bringing in the reforms to the workers’
compensation bill that will serve people over time.



Mr. Speaker, I stress the word leadership.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Let’s have just a little less undercurrent here, please. Carry on.



MS. MCDONOUGH: One of the things, Mr. Speaker - and I think I was distracted and did not make
this point earlier when I started to and I want to come back to it - that is an incredible contribution to the
quagmire that has developed in this is the abdication of the leadership of this government in taking its
legislation and selling it to the people of Nova Scotia.



It is not surprising that they are going to have some difficulty in selling it to members of this
Opposition Party, I won’t try to speak for any other, because we are fundamentally opposed to the principle
of that casino bill which is to legalize casinos and increase the level of gambling activity. And so we, of
course, are going to use every legislative means at our disposal to fight that.



It is not surprising, I am sure, to anybody that we are resisting the vicious attack on the rights of
injured and diseased workers in this province because we are a Party that is to the very quick and the core of
our being founded in, rooted in and devoted to fighting for the improved rights and benefits of working
people. So, it is not surprising that this government cannot gain our support for their legislation imposed upon
us and that won’t surprise anybody.



What is absolutely surprising and accounts more than any other measure, in my view, for why this
Legislature has deteriorated into a virtual combat zone and that is because this government steadfastly refuses
to take its responsibility and assume some leadership in addressing what is in the bill, in addressing what our
legitimate concerns and questions and issues that workers are asking about their future, (Interruption) that
Nova Scotians are asking about what the future implications of casinos are going to be on their lives, on their
quality of life, on the revenues of the province, on the economic consequences for the rest of the province.



This government, with 41 members, keeps pretending that the Opposition has somehow prevented
them from selling Nova Scotians on these two pieces of legislation. Every single member of this government,
and I want to stress this, under the rules of this House had both the right and the responsibility to stand up
and deal with the issues that we have raised again and again. Yes, by delaying at the level of Committee of
the Whole House on Bills debate on the title because that is the debate that is not about the three words or the
eight words in the title, as the government keeps hoping the press will report to the public, it is about both
the principles contained within these bills and the details of the bills.



Every single time that I have risen on my feet or my Leader for Sackville-Cobequid or my House
Leader for Halifax Atlantic have stood on our feet and said, we are opposing this bill because we think it is
fundamentally wrong, it is wrong in principle, and the details stink when it come to dismantling the right for
an independent external review, it was the responsibility of this minister and if he couldn’t do the job, if he
wasn’t up to the job, if he was so distracted trying to save the hide of the Premier, he should have called for
help from his colleagues to say, you are wrong, or here is why we are doing what we are doing, or here is how
you are misrepresenting it.



Stony silence is one of the biggest contributing factors in why this Legislature has deteriorated and
diminished, not just in the eyes of Nova Scotians but has diminished its own effectiveness because this is
supposed to be the arena where we debate these points of view. This is supposed to be the arena where the
government puts forward its arguments and we put forward our arguments and we battle it out and sometimes,
maybe we can persuade them and most of the time we probably can’t. But one of the responsibilities of being
a government, other than using your raw, electoral muscle to outvote 41 to 11, if you can get there as quickly
as possible, one of the responsibilities of being a government is to explain to the people of this province, here
is what we are doing, here is why we are doing it. We may be right or we may be wrong but at least we are
accountable for what we are doing.



[10:30 a.m.]



Mr. Speaker, I have to say, and let me make it perfectly clear, that I was just as strenuously opposed
to the right wing measures being foisted on Nova Scotians from the previous government. But let me say that
I had a healthy respect for the fact that if I stood up and put forward an amendment or I put forward a
strenuous argument for why I opposed what the government was doing, I had to be ready to take not just the
rhetoric but also the defence that was going to be put out there by the Cabinet Minister who was responsible
for the bill he was sponsoring.



Mr. Speaker, this government is so pathetic in its inability or its incapacity or just its downright
refusal to accept its responsibility for leadership that it took the Opposition, it was left to the NDP Opposition
to introduce an amendment to this resolution to provide for the minister to have a chance to stand up and
speak, in response to every single amendment we put forward.



AN HON. MEMBER: Horsefeathers.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, let me just say that if there is any member who can actually
dismiss what I am saying so lightly as horsefeathers, let them show me where, in the resolution that this
government has arbitrarily introduced without the benefit of all-Party consideration, without respecting the
long-standing, time-worn traditions of all members of this House having an opportunity to collaborate on its
changes in the Rules and Forms of Procedure, if this member who calls it horsefeathers, or any other, can
show me where this amendment that we are now being asked to vote in support of, provides for both the right
and the responsibility of the minister to enter the debate, then let them stand up and show me.



You know what the irony is, Mr. Speaker? The irony is that the amendment that I have tabled - if
I haven’t, it will be tabled when I finish - not only (Interruption) supercilious socialism, says the member for
Bedford-Fall River, that is a usual helpful interjection, that is for sure. Mr. Speaker, she has discovered
alliteration. Not only did the amendment that we wish to introduce here curb the opportunity dramatically for
Opposition members to debate and engage in the delay that, frankly, I think we have used to pretty good effect
over the last couple of weeks, in terms of what our objective is, our objective being for Nova Scotians to be
able to know what is being done on their behalf. (Interruption) God forbid, they don’t know because of
anything the government stood up and said in the debate.



Mr. Speaker, the irony is that the proposed amendments that we are disallowed, under the procedure
that the House Leader yesterday very cleverly and cynically and calculated in, that amendment also provided
for the minister responsible for the bill to speak for five minutes after every other member’s speech. Isn’t it
a sad commentary, and yet it speaks volumes about the leadership vacuum that exists in this province today
and in this House today. Isn’t it amazing that the Opposition had to propose that a minister should actually
have the right to stand up and speak for five minutes, after every interjection?



Do you know what is even more pathetic, Mr. Speaker? Even having that right now, we have yet to
see either of the ministers who have sponsored the casino bill and the workers’ compensation bill, avail
themselves of the exact same rights to speak on behalf of whoever’s interest it is they say they represent, as
we, in the Opposition, have to avail ourselves of the right to stand up and speak on behalf of those interests
that we say we clearly represent and for which we are prepared to be accountable, to be accountable on the
public record, to be accountable in what is supposed to be the cut and thrust of the debate that goes on here.



Now, Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot of catcalls from the back benches, taunting from the front
benches, about wasting the time of the House. I have to say that I don’t give a hoot what those members think
about how we have tried to responsibly discharge our use of our time in this House within the rules. But I care
a lot, not because I think what I have to say is so important, but because I care about the democratic traditions
and processes that are being violated; not just by this rule change alone, but by the total abdication of
leadership of this government, in relation to these bills and all other matters. And it doesn’t have a thing to
do with John Savage, the Leader of the day, who may get deposed. It has everything to do with the cynical
manipulation, the cynical approach to politics of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia. (Applause)



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



HON. GUY BROWN: Mr. Speaker, I want to say a few words in this debate because earlier today
I was out in the lounge and I said, you know, the honourable member for Kings West didn’t get off to a bad
start and the honourable member for Halifax Fairview, but I said that is likely going to change.



Mr. Speaker, as a member of this House for over 20 years, I cannot sit in my seat and allow what is
happening here, today, in some of the statements that have been made. You know, the honourable member
for Halifax Fairview said, well, they have 41 members and the three of us in a corner. Well, I have been in
this House and we had less on that side of the House in opposition than they have today and I had no sense
of fear of the big majority over here, the 47 members holding me down. Because in this great Assembly here -
and I will get to the resolution in a moment, I will get to the point in a minute, with regard to the resolution
here - that you use your time appropriately and in the best interests of democracy and of the history of this
House of Assembly. And you don’t try to make a mockery out of debate in this House, 60 hours on the title
of a bill, which is ridiculous, uncalled for and not allowed anywhere else in Canada. (Applause)



Mr. Speaker, to accuse the press of delivering our message, is something a politician should never
do. In all my time, I would never accuse the press, they have a job to do; let them do it and let the politicians
stay out of it.



You talk about abusing the rules. The honourable member for Halifax Fairview said this morning
in her debate, she is prepared to take the flack and the voters will decide who is right and who is wrong. Well,
if that same principle applies to her and her Party, then I want to tell you that the same principle applies to
us here on this side of the House and the Tories, or the other side. We happen to believe that what we are
doing in legislation is right. We happen to believe, for the first time, that this province has real leadership,
strong leadership that deals with the issues that must be dealt with in this province. (Applause)



Mr. Speaker, we came into office with a compensation fund that has an unfunded liability of $500
million, 26 per cent or 28 per cent, the lowest in all of Canada. Now, we could have continued and put it
under the rug, but what are we doing for the workers of this province? The workers have not elected me to
put things under the rug. They have elected me to deal with the issues so they and their children will have
protection in 10 or 20 years time in this province. (Applause)



The rules of this House are here to protect democracy. Changes in the rules, which we will deal with
in a few moments, protect democracy, they do not take away from it. I believe the things that Premier Savage
and this Liberal Government have done is truly liberalism. I believe that we have lowered income tax, which
is right. I believe that we have brought in the home incentive, which is right. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that we
have done things and tried to protect the seniors with regard to the prescription drug program. I believe that
we are looking after the compensation so that workers, in 10 and 20 years time, will have that protection.



I believe that our agenda is one of liberalism and it is one that is needed in this province, more than
anything else, and I, personally, believe, under health care or whatever issues, that people will be saying in
five or seven years time, that government made the right decisions, the proper decisions to protect the people
in this day and age. (Applause)



Mr. Speaker, I want to tell you about the Minister of Labour, who I have a lot of time for and a lot
of respect for. That Minister of Labour has listened to people and how politicians can get up in this House and
say that this minister has not talked to people is beyond me. I can tell you that the United Mine Workers of
this province, who I have a great deal of respect for, that this minister has met with them. They may not have
got everything they wanted and we, maybe, never got everything we wanted, but thanks to that group that has
shown leadership in Springhill, has shown leadership in Pictou, and has shown leadership across this
province, even when my father worked in the mines in Springhill, we do have reforms.



I stand here, publicly, and thank the minister. He is not hiding anything. He is doing nothing in the
back room. He has opened it up and, thank God, we have a Minister of Labour that is trying to protect the
workers that come after we leave here. (Applause)



For the honourable member for Halifax Fairview to say that we had a vicious attack on workers, Mr.
Speaker, I am debating in this House and you don’t debate to the gallery and you should know that better than
anybody else. (Applause) It is sad, but that is one of the changes that I have seen take place in this House, that
we now have members that used to come here, Jeremy Akerman, NDP, Tories and Liberals, that came here
and debated with each other for the public, to bring their point forward. But now we seem to have some
members here that will wait until certain people are in the gallery and then they want to get up and debate.
(Applause) That is not what this House is about and those tactics destroy democracy, they do not preserve it
and we are preserving democracy within this House.



[10:45 a.m.]



I want to tell you, the ministers can speak, they get up here every day. Why don’t the ministers get
up and speak? Well, I will tell you, when I sat on that side of the House as an Opposition member, where I
sat for 15 years and at one time there were only 6 of us, I will tell you, we didn’t look across here and get
scared and think anybody was taking anything away from us. We used the Rules of the House and we used
them to our advantage in the best interests but we did not play games with them. We never did debate 50 or
60 hours on the title of a bill because that is not in the spirit of this House. That is not the spirit of the rules
of this House. Then we hear today from the honourable member . . .



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Would the honourable minister entertain a question?



MR. BROWN: Yes, I will entertain all you have.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, the workers’ compensation bill that is before us prohibits many workers
from receiving hard won and negotiated top-up payments from their employers. I wonder if that member could
explain for the benefit of this House how that is going to affect the unfunded liability?



MR. BROWN: Mr. Speaker, the honourable Minister of Labour has already indicated he has about
10 amendments to make to that bill. There may be some things that people won’t totally agree with, the same
as when workers’ compensation bills went through this House before. But I want to tell you, the members of
the Opposition in those days and the members of the government in those days, used the debates to best
deliver their message, not to tie up and debate the title of the bill and use this House all day. (Applause)



We are moving to preserve democracy in this province so the Minister of Labour, who has indicated
over and over that he is prepared to make amendments, he has indicated that here in this House, we will now
get on with the debate maybe so we can see the amendments and so other amendments can be put forward that
we can look at. (Interruptions) I know they don’t want to see them.



We are governing in the best interests of this province. I will tell you, I am proud of the leadership
of this government because I truly believe with all my heart and soul that if this government had not been
elected that this province would not even be controlling its own destiny, that the bond markets in New York,
that people outside of this province that are lenders that we owe so much money to, that every Nova Scotian
should be ashamed; Nova Scotia was the leader here when I was elected in the 1970’s. We were the leader in
Atlantic Canada. Where have we fallen to? Do you think I am proud of that for my children? But I want to
tell you, under the direction of this government we will become number one again in Atlantic Canada.
(Applause)



You know this great House that I love so much and I believe in so much and, Mr. Speaker, you know
that I don’t like some of the things that go on here and I have talked to you and I have talked to other members
of the House. It is not just the government, it is the whole 52 members of this House so everybody can take
their fair share of blame in what is happening in this Assembly over the past number of years. This great
House and this great place of democracy that I have been so proud to serve in now for over 20 years and what
an honour for me and my family and what an honour it should be for every member of the House to come in
here to look at the rules, to look at the regulations and debate like gentlemen in a fair manner and not become
personally involved in personal beliefs.



I know that some people get up and say, everything that is done here by the former government and
this government is right wing, that is not true. There was some legislation done by the former government
which I supported. There is legislation by this government which I believe adds protection and protects all
residents of this province in the long term. It may hurt, but I want to tell you, I would sooner have a little bit
of pain today and wake up a year or two years from now and look my children in the eye and say that we saved
your compensation program in this province, we saved your credit in this province, we saved these things in
this province and that is what I am here for and those are the sorts of things that make me feel very good, Mr.
Speaker, as a member of this House.



You know, each time the rules have changed, the rules were changed to preserve democracy, not to
destroy it or to set it back. How that question keeps coming up is beyond me. I am going to give a few
examples.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, would the honourable minister entertain a brief
question? The minister has expressed his surprise that the question keeps coming up about the process
whereby rule changes take place. I would like to ask the minister if he is in favour of rule changes taking
place, as they are in this instance, through the unilateral imposition by the Government House Leader and this
government rather than by the time-honoured, all-Party process of rule reform that has been observed and
practised in this session, certainly during all of the years that both he and I have been here as members?



MR. BROWN: A very good question and a very fair question, which I am prepared to deal with.
Everybody likes to do things by negotiations, that is the way you do things in your life. But I want to tell you,
when the people on the other side of the Table will spend 50 and 60 hours debating a title and want to pull
democracy down and don’t want to debate in a fair and in the true spirit of this House of Assembly, Mr.
Speaker, we as a government have no other choice but to preserve democracy, to move forward. This is what
we have done (Interruptions) and I totally support it. (Applause)



Mr. Speaker, I am not . . .



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, would the minister mind another question?



MR. BROWN: I don’t want to take an hour but go ahead because, I will tell you, I am not going to
let anybody leave here and say I wouldn’t take a question, so I will take them all.



MS. MCDONOUGH: I am just wanting to ask the minister, in that valiant struggle to preserve
democracy against the imposition of a too dragged-out debate by the NDP caucus, did the minister use what
was available to him as a member, which is to invite the Speaker to convene a meeting of the House rules
committee, or did he ask the Government House Leader if he would please seek out the opportunity to seek
consensus on a rule change in his valiant struggle to preserve democracy in this House?



MR. BROWN: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member for Halifax Fairview, her Party and others have
asked the House Leader in this House questions over the last two or three days. Those questions were
answered honestly, up-front and I believe she has had her answer, I don’t know how many times, so there is
no point in me taking my time of debate again and going through the same thing that is recorded in Hansard
and in Question Period.



Mr. Speaker, I want to tell you that in this great place of debate, which I would like to see return with
the real cause and the real issues in this House, every time there has been a change it was done to protect
democracy, not to tear it down. I was a member of this Assembly when Question Period went on - as you were
Mr. Speaker - we would come in here on Question Period Day and the questions would start and it would go
until the House recessed or adjourned that evening. Do you know why? People learned to try to destroy the
principle of Question Period, both government and Opposition. I have seen ministers take 5, 8 or 10 minutes
to answer a question which is (Interruptions) No, I am talking about our government in power, so I will deal
with this.



I have seen ministers take too much time and I have seen members take too much time, so the House
almost destroyed the principle of Question Period. So what did we have to do or what did the former
government have to do? I think it was the former government that made the changes. They had to come in
so we had to put some time limit on it. Because if we hadn’t, it would have destroyed the principle of Question
Period in the House of Assembly for Nova Scotians. (Applause)



I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, the budget debate, that used to be a circus in this House. The budget
debate was called when I first came here and it could go on for months. There was no time limit. It could go
on for months and be debated. So you know what that was doing, it was destroying the whole principle of a
decent budget debate on behalf of Nova Scotians and on behalf of the Opposition Parties, as well as the
government.



All of these changes were not made under a Liberal Government, but I think it is important that
people understand a little bit of history about rule changes. (Interruption) Mr. Speaker, you know, they are
jumping up and down over there. They have had all their time in the world. They have had hours upon hours.
They have debated. (Interruption) I did not want to speak for a whole hour.



AN HON. MEMBER: . . . we are just helping you.



MR. BROWN: Well, you are not helping me. I can handle myself on the floor of this House.
(Applause)



Mr. Speaker, I could deal with other issues, but I don’t want to take the time of this House to deal
with all of those today. But, believe me, I feel very proud and I think all of these things that have happened
by former governments in this House and there was not always total agreement, but people had to do what was
right. You see there was that spirit in those days in this Assembly. There was that willingness. People did not
get tied up on a personal issue and get all excited, they did what was in the best interests of democracy in this
House of Assembly and that is why they did those things, where today we have a totally different approach
in this House of Assembly. (Interruption)



AN HON. MEMBER: . . . had rules in those days.



MR. BROWN: Mr. Speaker, we still have rules and I would like to carry on. The changes protect the
House. The changes protect free speech. What are we really dealing with in the resolution that we are debating
here today, Resolution No. 1563, “Whereas current Rules of the House permit every member to debate each
bill for up to four hours on second reading. . .”.



I have been reading reports and I have been hearing people talk, saying we are cutting debate to 20
hours. That is not true. There is not one minute taken off the debate in the second reading of these bills. It is
still there for every member for four hours. If you have 20 members on the Opposition, then you get 80 or 90
hours of debate in second reading. We have not touched the debate at all on the principle of the bill. It is still
wide open, as it has always been in this province and we have not laid one little finger on it. (Applause)



I want to tell you, then the bill goes to the Law Amendments Committee, if it is a government bill.
I will tell you that people can come in and appear before that committee. The NDP are on that committee and
the Tories are on the Committee, plus government members. They can then bring resolutions or amendments
before that committee, once again, and they have a debate. But the most important thing at that committee,
in my opinion, it is truly open for people in this province where it is not in many other provinces. The people
have the right to come before us and speak, which, in most provinces, the people do not have the opportunity.
We have not touched that one little bit. (Applause)



Now we get back here into the Committee of the Whole House on Bills. What has really happened?
We can disagree with each other and they can think they are right on the Opposition and we can think we are
right in government, and that is why you have different Parties, and I am not here to debate that issue, but I
am telling you, what really happened. We have sat in this House and we listened to people debate the title of
a bill for 60 hours in this House.



Now, if anybody in this province thinks that is what democracy is about. If they think that is the spirit
of the Rules of the House, then, Mr. Speaker, I have been here a long time, people might spend an hour on
the title of a bill but to get up and deliberately delay the actions so the Minister of Labour can get up and
introduce his amendments to the workers’ compensation bill and debate the workers’ compensation bill, is
totally wrong and that is not what democracy is all about. You tell me one other place under the British
Parliamentary system that you could do that. None. That is why it must be changed.



[11:00 a.m.]



Do you know why we are changing it? Not because we are frustrated, I am not frustrated with regard
to it. But I will tell you, the calls that I get, the public are getting a little bit fed up, not only with the
government but with the Opposition Parties, both of them. They have a concern. But we are making this
change so we can protect democracy, so we can protect a debate in this House of Assembly. Then, after we
have finished that, the bill goes on to third reading. We have not made a change.



In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, this is so far from closure that it is not even funny. When we get 20
hours, that is not closure, the bill goes on to the third reading where people can debate it and amendment it
all over. The bill is not stopped. (Applause)



AN HON. MEMBER: Well, it should be.



MR. BROWN: Now he says it should be. Well that is not what the Rules of the House are for.



AN HON. MEMBER: That proves the point.



MR. BROWN: You know that is the whole point, they are staying what they personally believe in
their own minds, some of them, and they have made legislation a personal debate and they made this House
of Assembly a personal debate.



Mr. Speaker, this House of Assembly is about democracy, where people have the right to be heard.
That bill does not stop. That is not closure, like it is in other provinces, it is not stopped. When we get finished
with it in that reading, it goes on to third reading where every member of the Opposition will have a chance
and we have not taken one minute of time.



AN HON. MEMBER: Yet.



MR. BROWN: Now he says “yet”. I mean, what are we talking about here? (Interruptions) Mr.
Speaker, never have elected individuals, and not all of them in the Opposition, but never have a few in this
House tried to destroy the rules and the intent of debate in my 20 years in this Assembly. They are designed
to be fair. The debates in these Rules of the House of Assembly are designed to be fair. If we wanted to really
do closure, we would have done it maybe on second reading or third reading or whatever.



We have not done that. We have only said the bills are staying too long in committee and let’s move
them on so that the MLAs on the Opposition, so that Nova Scotians can see the bill debated in third reading
in this great Assembly. That is what we have done. (Applause)



Mr. Speaker, people are tired. I agree, I am a member of this House, I am not trying to hide that. But
I want to tell you something, they are not just tired of government, they are tired of Opposition because they
feel the House is not producing. We have people who are waiting for bills to go through this House of
Assembly. They are getting fed up. We are not the ones who are holding up the total debate. The Opposition
are in it as much as we are and we are trying to speed that up.



By the way, Mr. Speaker, that is our role. That is our job, as government. It is our job to put the
agenda forward in a fair and just manner. I want to tell you, this is fair, this is just, it does not hurt the debate
on third reading, in committee or in second reading. That is why I don’t know of anybody in this caucus,
contrary to what some of the members have been saying, who are opposed to this. I don’t know of one Cabinet
Minister and I don’t know of one caucus member because the caucus members know what we were doing.
They were met with by the House Leader and some Cabinet Ministers and, to the best of my knowledge,
nobody has told me that they were opposed to this resolution. So everybody has had input into it.



The Opposition can be part of this debate, they have to be. Without Opposition, Mr. Speaker, there
is no true democracy or debate, although some people in New Brunswick . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: That’s what we are saying; that’s what we’re trying to say.



MR. BROWN: No, you are not trying to say that at all. (Interruption) No, I am not taking any more
questions from them.



Mr. Speaker, the Opposition is part of that, it is not just government. (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.



MR. BROWN: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member for Halifax Fairview said, they will do the
things their way and let the people decide. They believe they are right; we believe we are right. The people
at election time will have an opportunity to then say, thank you or we don’t want anything else to do with you,
they will have that. That is what this Assembly is all about and that is what it has been about six times for me
going before the people. I will tell you, I feel better going this time because I think we are restoring confidence
in Nova Scotia and I think once again, that we are turning this great province back to where it belongs and
that is the truth. (Applause)



Mr. Speaker, you just can’t pick up the Rule Book and say it says this and be it black and white, there
has to be a spirit. If this House is to survive, there has to be a spirit in this House that we are all here for the
same job and we are all here working together and we are all flexible with regard to everything. This has not
happened in this session. For the first time some Opposition members want to break away from a spirit that
has been here for over 20 years for personal gains (Interruptions). Maybe we should have looked at other rules
because they can never keep quiet. So, we as a government must preserve democracy and must do what we
think is in the best interests of all Nova Scotians, so that people will look at us in a way that will encourage
them to return to this province and look at us in a serious way.



Second reading, I have gone through that, the committee, none of those changes have taken place.
We have not taken one minute of time from you people on second reading, on the Law Amendments
Committee, on the third reading in this House, not one minute and you still want more time? Let’s get on with
the real issues, of jobs for Nova Scotians, let’s get on with the issues on the economy, let’s get on with
protection for people, that is our role as a government. Let me tell you and all Nova Scotians that we are going
to do our job but we are tired of these games that some people are trying to play in holding it up. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: Are there any further speakers to the resolution? The question is called. There will
be a recorded vote.



We can ring the bells and call in the members.



[11:10 a.m.]



[The division bells were rung.]



MR. SPEAKER: “Therefore be it resolved that the Rules and Forms of Procedure of the House of
Assembly be amended, effective immediately, as provided in the attached Schedule” to the notice of motion
and that the question be now put.



The voting will take place, a recorded vote, conducted by the Clerk. Vote Aye, if in support of the
resolution; Nay, if opposed.



[The Clerk calls the roll.]



[11:33 a.m.]



YEAS NAYS



Mr. Barkhouse Mr. Moody

 

Mrs. Norrie Mr. Donahoe

 

Mr. Downe Mr. Russell

 

Dr. Smith Mr. Holm

 

Mr. Boudreau Mr. Chisholm

 

Mr. Gillis Ms. McDonough

 

Mr. Bragg Mr. Archibald

 

Ms. Jolly Mr. Taylor

 

Mr. MacEachern Dr. Hamm

 

Mr. Mann

 

Mr. Casey

 

Mr. Gaudet

 

Dr. Stewart

 

Mr. Harrison

 

Mr. Abbass

 

Mr. Adams

 

Mr. Brown

 

Mr. Lorraine

 

Mrs. Cosman

 

Mr. MacAskill

 

Mr. MacNeil

 

Mr. Rayfuse

 

Mr. Richards

 

Mr. Surette

 

Mr. White

 

Mrs. O’Connor

 

Mr. Mitchell

 

Mr. M. MacDonald

 

Mr. Fogarty

 

Mr. Hubbard

 

Mr. W. MacDonald

 

Mr. Colwell

 

Mr. Huskilson

 

Mr. Carruthers



THE CLERK: For, 34. Against, 9.



MR. SPEAKER: I declare the motion carried.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. I rise to contend to you that the
privileges of all members of this House have been abrogated by the process used here in the last day or two,
relative to the resolution just passed. I argue not so much the substance of the resolution but the process.



I ask you, Mr. Speaker, as you have authority to do, to strike down the result as a breach of the
privileges of the members, as you are, as you well know, under the Rules of the House, the protector of the
rights and privileges of all the members and have the authority to do so. I refer specifically to Rule No. 8 of
the Rules and Forms of Procedures of the House of Assembly. I would ask you to strike the matter down on
a procedural basis.



MR. SPEAKER: The Clerk has reported to me that a majority of members voted for the resolution.
Would the Clerk please give me the numbers again?



THE CLERK: Thirty-four in favour, Mr. Speaker, nine opposed.



MR. SPEAKER: Thirty-four members voted for the resolution and nine voted against. Certainly the
rights of the majority must prevail over the rights of minority. Therefore, I do not find there are any
procedural or other grounds for ruling, other than that I have already ruled that the motion is carried.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: On a point of order. I wonder if you could clarify the nature of the vote
that was just held, Mr. Speaker. It is my understanding, in reference to Beauchesne, Paragraph 521, especially
Paragraph 521(2), where it says “If the previous question be carried, the Speaker will immediately put the
question without further debate.” In other words, the process to deal with the previous question is first, to vote
on the previous question and then to vote on the main motion before this House.



I think the fact that we have voted in the manner which we just did is out of order and I think what
it does is it illustrates the problems created yesterday by the improper combining of those two motions. Mr.
Speaker, therefore, I believe that that vote and this process is out of order, consistent with Beauchesne’s
discussion of how a previous question is to be handled.



MR. SPEAKER: I would submit that the time to have raised that point of order would have been
prior to the taking of the vote. The vote has already been taken and the matter is closed.



Rule No. 9 of the House, Duties of the Speaker, states, 9(1) “Mr. Speaker shall preserve order and
decorum, and shall decide questions of order; . . .” and I have already decided the matter.



The honourable Government House Leader.



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

 

 

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



[11:40 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gerald
O’Malley in the Chair.]



[4:00 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 considerable progress in consideration of Bill
No. 122 and begs leave to sit again.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



Before I call upon the honourable Government House Leader to adjourn for the day, it is appropriate,
I think, to announce from the Chair that tomorrow is the birthday of the honourable Government House
Leader. I guess from the last two days and the last 48 hours he didn’t gain one year but maybe 10. I am not
sure what his current age is, but Happy Birthday to the honourable Government House Leader. (Applause)



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would advise members of the House that we
will be sitting on Monday from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. We will resume debate in Committee of the Whole
House on Bill No. 122.



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



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



The House will now rise to sit again at 2:00 p.m. on Monday next.



[The House rose at 4:02 p.m.]






NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)



HOUSE ORDER NO. 187



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



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 Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission:



(1) A detailed breakdown of the 42 recommendations made in the management audit of the Nova
Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission which have been accepted by the Government of Nova Scotia; and



(2) Number of employees and a list of their job titles in the Department of Sport and Recreation in
September 1994 and a list of employees and their job titles in the Department of Sport and Recreation in
January 1995.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 188



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 Health:



(1) A copy of the paper on Population Health given to Canadian Ministers of Health late last summer;
and



(2) Detailed breakdown of the approach taken to date by Nova Scotia Health officials concerning the
paper on Population Health.