Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017


Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Second Session

12:00 P.M.


Hon. Paul MacEwan


Mr. Gerald O’Malley

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would like to call this afternoon’s session of the House to order now
and get our proceedings underway for the day.

Are there any introductions of guests? If not, we will go through the daily routine.








MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.


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



Whereas in response to the Mayor of Glace Bay’s offer of $184,000 severance to two town employees,
the Municipal Affairs Minister threatened to cut an equivalent in emergency funding; and

Whereas the minister, outraged at the mayor’s action to protect long-term workers, exclaimed of the
severance, “I just couldn’t believe this, this is taxpayers’ money”; and

Whereas when the province and the Health Minister let the former Deputy Health Minister of one
year’s provincial service go, taxpayers were on the hook for $100,000;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Municipal Affairs show the same degree of concern to the
hand-outs of her government as she has with the activities of the Town of Glace Bay.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.


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

Whereas Liberals who gathered in Sydney on the weekend called for, “a change in government”, citing
concerns about social services, health and education among those causing alarm; and

Whereas while the Cape Breton Nova Liberal president urged the Premier to, “go for a walk in the
snow and get lost in a snowstorm”, others agreed with the Government House Leader that this entire
government is the problem; and

Whereas one Brian Boudreau of Cape Breton The Lakes did declare that he was not close enough to
the issues to feel capable of assessing the government’s leadership;

Therefore be it resolved that Liberal Ministers and MLAs determined to keep steamrolling their
personal political agenda should pause to consider why not even their closest associates are willing to give
this regime an enthusiastic endorsement.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.


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

Whereas Prime Minister John Chretien has no plans to expel Liberal Members of Parliament from the
federal government caucus who vote against his government’s gun control legislation; and

Whereas proposed gun control, including registration, is a highly controversial issue in rural Nova
Scotia; and

Whereas some Liberal Members of Parliament have said recently that they would prefer a free vote on
the issue of gun control so they would be able to vote according to their conscience rather than being forced
to toe the Party line;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature support Nova Scotia’s 11 Members of
Parliament, in voting for the wishes of their constituents and not for the proposed bill in its present form.

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

MR. SPEAKER: There is a request for waiver of notice but I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.


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

Whereas the Antigonish Liberal executive fully supports a review of Premier John Savage’s leadership
despite the feelings of their member, the Minister of Justice, who opposes such a review; and

Whereas one member of the Antigonish Liberal executive said recently, he doubts the member for
Antigonish will win the next election because Liberals are fed up with his actions in supporting the Premier
and the only way the Minister of Justice could save his political career would be to distance himself from
Premier Savage; and

Whereas the former Liberal member of the Legislature for Inverness South said recently that Cabinet
Ministers should, “start listening to their constituents and push for a review or resignation because instead
of just being minus a leader, we could be minus a government and a party”;

Therefore be it resolved that the 28 members of the Legislature worried about becoming or maintaining
their job as a Minister of the Crown, first look after the concerns of Nova Scotians, who are telling members
of the Liberal Party that they will not tolerate the antics of the Premier and his government any more.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants East.


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

Whereas Atlantic Aircraft Engine Limited, of Milford, the only Transport Canada certified aircraft
engine overhaul shop east of Quebec, has had its best year ever in 1994 and expects 1995 to be even better;

Whereas the close proximity of Atlantic Aircraft Engine Limited to the Halifax International Airport,
allows it to have access to speedy and efficient transport and delivery of aircraft engine parts; and

Whereas Atlantic Aircraft Engine Limited, continues to expand its Canadian and United States
markets, doubling its sales volume last year and expecting to double it again in 1995;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the revitalized Nova Scotian economic climate being
fostered by the economic initiatives of this government, which helps make companies such as Atlantic Aircraft
Engine Limited, a Nova Scotia success.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.


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

Whereas Statistics Canada has reported that women who have just left their male partners are most
likely to be victims of crime, with one-third of all female victims of violent crime being attacked by a spouse
or ex-spouse; and

Whereas this study confirms that attacks by strangers form a relatively minor part of the violent crime
inflicted on Nova Scotian women;

Whereas transition house workers have emphasized that this is crucial information for effective,
targeted crime prevention by law enforcement officials and the broader community;

Therefore be it resolved that comprehensive efforts to prevent violence be specifically targeted to the
high incidence of attacks upon women by spouses and ex-spouses.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.


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



Whereas the Minister of Natural Resources is seemingly not putting forth a strong enough effort
towards getting a new federal-provincial forestry agreement for Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Minister of Natural Resources is more interested in scoring political points for the
Member of Parliament for the South Shore than he appears to be in reaching an accord on a new agreement
for Nova Scotia; and

Whereas woodlot owners in the Maritime Provinces have presented a proposal to the federal
government without any help from Nova Scotia’s Minister of Natural Resources;

Therefore be it resolved that when the Minister of Natural Resources heads to Ottawa on February 6th,
he take with him representatives from the Nova Scotia forest industry so forestry representatives can be
guaranteed the minister has their concerns at heart, a guarantee they have been unsure of to date.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

Is there a request for waiver of notice?

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.


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

Whereas it was confirmed this week that lung cancer among women has increased 400 per cent since
the tobacco companies launched campaigns specifically directed towards girls and young women; and

Whereas the policies of this and other governments are today contributing to an even higher incidence
of tobacco addiction among Nova Scotian girls, with even more impairment and painful death awaiting them
in the future; and

Whereas a death-dealing industry which survives by entrapping the young in a lifelong addiction
demands a swift and effective public policy response;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the earliest possible steps to increase prices and
otherwise effectively deter children and teenagers from starting to smoke cigarettes.

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I might ask for waiver of notice.

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

It is agreed.

I hear no objections.

I will therefore put the question now. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary
minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Are there any further notices of motion? If not, I wish to advise the House that the Clerk has conducted
a draw for the Adjournment debate at 6:00 p.m. this evening. The winner this afternoon is the honourable
member for Halifax Atlantic, although he has indicated to me that he may wish to defer to one of his caucus
colleagues. The subject that has been submitted for debate is:

Therefore be it resolved that comprehensive efforts to prevent violence be specifically targeted to the
high incidence of attacks upon women by spouses and ex-spouses.

So we will hear debate on that subject at 6:00 p.m. this evening.

If there is no additional business to come before the House under of the heading of the daily routine.
We will now advance to the Orders of the Day. The time now being 12:13 p.m. and the Oral Question Period
lasting for an hour, it will run today until 1:13 p.m.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.


MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. The minister
will know that ITT Sheraton proposal for their casino here in Halifax suggests that casinos are geared toward
upper middle income leisure and vacation travellers with a propensity for casual gambling. The Halifax casino
will, apparently, according to recent public statements relative to the proposal for the casino will have what
it calls a Micmac Mystery Lodge where the early history of Nova Scotia is explained by Micmacs. I ask if the
minister can explain why such a proposal was approved by the government when absolutely no consultation
on this part of the proposal took place with the native people of this province?

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Well, Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member knows, the Sheraton
proposal contains some seven volumes of descriptive material. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to examine
it as closely as obviously the Leader of the Opposition. But these things will be developed as we move through
and I can assure the honourable member that no such presentation will be developed without extensive
consultation with the Micmac people of Nova Scotia.

[12:15 p.m.]

MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the First Nation’s people in our province are comforted by
the minister’s answer. This minister tells us and tells Nova Scotians that he is continuing ongoing discussions
with the native community of Nova Scotia, relative to casino issues and, in particular, vis-a-vis native
gambling and the share of revenues. Indications are that he is talking to them in terms of, perhaps, the native
community experiencing something like 40 per cent of the revenue from the gambling casinos.

I find it difficult to understand how it is and why it is that the minister would, at this stage - it seems
to me it is not unlike finding out that advertisements are taking place in Las Vegas and Atlantic City and so
on for the positions in these casinos - I am very much concerned that what I read by way of press release from
ITT Sheraton and others, that we have a very real possibility of having a totally inappropriate, condescending,
historically-inaccurate representation of the Micmac and native community in this casino. We see advertising
suggesting that we are going to have an aging tribal chieftain call forth the apparitions of Nova Scotia’s early

I am very concerned and I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that (Interruption) Yes, there is a question, I can
tell you that Dan Paul, Dan Christmas, Don Julien and Peter Christmas, none of those leaders of the native
community have been consulted. I ask the Minister of Finance when it is he proposes to have consultation
with them and other native leaders?

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I think we will get the bill passed first and then we will have
extensive discussions with respect to all sorts of topics, during the construction period and beyond. I think this
government can stand quite proud in its dealings with the Micmac people of this province and the last thing
we would want to do would be to be participating, in any way, in a presentation that they would not feel was

MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, so, perhaps, by way of final supplementary, may I ask the minister to
clarify for us, so that on a future day there is absolutely no question that if, as and when the casino is
established in Halifax and if it does, in fact, have a Micmac component as described by ITT Sheraton, is the
minister saying to us that the nature and the form and message presented, relative to the First Nations
community of Nova Scotia, as presented in the casino, will be one which will have been approved by the Nova
Scotia Government or by ITT Sheraton?

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, let me go beyond that and say that any representation of the Micmac
people presented in that casino will be a representation which only occurs after consultation with the
leadership of that community across Nova Scotia. Let me repeat, once again, this government would not want
to be a part of any representation of our First Nation’s people in this province which they felt was

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


MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask, maybe a topical question, the Minister of Justice
in his capacity as Deputy Premier. We learned today that the federal minister, in honour of the G-7 Summit
in June, would like to have a Dingwall Day. Apparently, the ministers who had taken part with the minister
in the press conference did not know anything about it, but apparently the Premier’s staff knew all about the
proposed Dingwall Day.

My question to the minister, as Deputy Premier, quite simply, is this. Could the minister indicate if
such a holiday is to be proclaimed, will that be a statutory holiday? In other words, will the workers be paid
or will they be expected to take a loss of pay for one day in honour of the Dingwall holiday?

HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I think it will be much more appropriate if we have the co-chairs of the provincial effort in this regard and I will refer the matter to the Minister of the Environment or,
failing that, the Minister of Labour.

HON. ROBERT HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, in answer to the question, I was at the press conference
yesterday and heard the minister talk about letting the cat out of the bag. I can assure you that if there is to
be some disruption - there is bound to be, as the minister indicated yesterday - as we invite the world to our
province. It is a great honour, obviously, to have been selected by the Prime Minister of this country to host
not only the G-7 but the European Economic Community and President Yeltsin, to have this city chosen as
the site for that location is a great honour, a great privilege, and there will undoubtedly be disruption.

If there is to be any kind of a holiday, so to speak, as someone suggested the other day, it would be only
after considerable discussion with the business community of Nova Scotia, in particular metro. If there is
massive disruption in a certain area of the city, then certain steps will have to be taken. But I can assure the
honourable members opposite, that whatever disruption occurs, the benefit to our province, the benefit to
Halifax and the metropolitan area will be significant. We, in due course, will be announcing whatever steps
are taken to mitigate the natural disruption that occurs when you have an event of this size and this

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I wasn’t sure, quite honestly, who to pose the question to, because it seemed
to be only the Premier’s Office that knew anything about the proposed holiday, not the ministers who should
have taken part. The minister in his answer said, there is bound to be some disruption. The minister indicated
that they would be talking to businesses. Certainly, there is no question that it is an honour for the city and
it is a tremendous opportunity for us to become even better known world-wide. So, there are a lot of

But there are questions as to who is going to pay for the costs of that disruption. My question to the
honourable minister, quite simply, is this. There will possibly be business costs, losses and also, potentially,
tremendous losses in wages to employees who can ill-afford to lose that money. Is it the government’s
intention to ask, as part of the disruptive costs, that the federal government reimburse any of the businesses
and, more importantly as well, all the workers who would lose their wages as a result of the holiday being
declared, as the government calls it a disruption?

MR. HARRISON: Again, we are being quite hypothetical here in terms of a holiday that is yet to be
planned and confirmed. Once again, the main criterion for deciding on any such activity would be the amount
of disruption occurring in a certain area. The RCMP has full responsibility for the logistics of cavalcades and
the world leaders’ visit here in terms of their security. Just as we saw with the Queen’s visit to Halifax, certain
areas of the city were cordoned off and then freed just as soon as the cavalcade or the disruption to the regular
activity of the city was changed. So, as those details become known and as people need to be informed of the
specifics of the RCMP security plan, we will, of course, be consulting with the businesses in the area, with
the people in the area, and attempting to minimize the amount of disruption.

Also, I am sure the people of Halifax - and I have heard businesses interviewed - welcome the
economic activity that will take place here. Our province welcomes the opportunity to host these world leaders
and to proclaim Nova Scotia to the world as a place to do business, a place of hospitality, a place of many
cultures. One that we are proud to have the opportunity to extend this welcome hand to world visitors, the
media and, ultimately, the leaders who will be visiting this fair city.

MR. HOLM: I thank the minister for his very informative and interesting answer, Mr. Speaker, and
I certainly don’t dispute anything the minister is saying in terms of the opportunities, and so on, that are going
to be afforded. But, quite frankly, the minister really didn’t address the key part of the question that I was
getting at. Certainly, there are going to be cavalcades and you are going to have to have security, which the
RCMP and so on are going to be in charge of. But Mr. Dingwall made it quite clear that what he wants is to
have people off work so that there would be thousands and thousands of people lined up to see the world
dignitaries come visit our great city.

So, my question to the minister is quite simply this, will the minister assure the workers who are
employed in the area that would be affected or, as the minister calls it disrupted, that he will be asking the
federal government to reimburse any employees, if they are being told to take a day off work without pay? Will
the minister provide the assurances that he will be going after the federal government to reimburse those
employees who will lose wages as a result of any holidays the government might declare?

MR. HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, when Nova Scotia and the metropolitan area has an opportunity to
showcase such an event as this, I mean, when I think of the communities throughout the world that would be
lined up for the opportunity to host a G-7 Summit here in Halifax, in the intimate surroundings of a relatively
small city for such an occasion, one that volunteers from one end of this province to the other have already
expressed an interest in assisting in any way they can, and to be talking about hypothetical disruption when
we don’t get to know many of the details that the RCMP undoubtedly are working on in terms of zoned areas
of the city, secure areas of the city, and whatever impact they may have on the residents of this area, or our
fair province for that matter, to engage in hypothetical discussions of a negative nature when we could
probably extrapolate a million possible negative conclusions is not in keeping with the spirit of this wonderful
occasion, this wonderful opportunity and the planning that must undoubtedly evolve, in consultation with the
business community, the citizens of Halifax, employees and employers.

We will be taking those steps; we are taking those steps and, as information becomes available, we will
make it known not just to the people of this House, but to the people of this province, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.


MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. When the minister
made his announcement with regard to the establishment of two casinos in Nova Scotia, one in Sydney and
one in Halifax, the indication was made - and I think it is substantiated by subsequent documentation - that
the casino in Sydney would be a charity casino and that 65 per cent of the profits of that casino would be
returned to various charities. It was not specific as to whether or not those charities are spread right across
Nova Scotia or just in Cape Breton. Would the minister clarify which of those two statements is correct?

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for that question. There
are a couple of facts that I would like to correct in the preamble. First of all, it is not the 65 per cent share of
profit, that is for the one in Halifax. Aside from a certain consideration from management, all of the profit
will be available for distribution. The distribution will be to charitable and community organizations, I think
that is the phrase we used, and specifically addressing the question of whether or not province-wide charitable
organizations are eligible, the answer is yes.

MR. RUSSELL: Well we know that there is approximately 100 per cent then going to be distributed
to charities. I understand that presently the minister has 40 per cent of that 100 per cent on the table with the
native community, as an offer in exchange for their foregoing any future plans to establish casinos on reserves.
Would the minister confirm that?

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated previously, the Government of Nova Scotia has been
involved in ongoing discussions, with respect to gaming and taxation, in the hopes of negotiating a
comprehensive arrangement on these two very troublesome topics over the past number of years. We think
we have made good progress, but we have not concluded any arrangements so, I think, it only prudent not to
speculate on what offers and counter-offers might have been made.

MR. RUSSELL: So the minister will not confirm whether or not there is 40 per cent on the table for
the native community. I wonder if he would confirm that the 40 per cent on the table is for all native reserves
across the province or just a specific number?

MR. BOUDREAU: Well I have not confirmed the 40 per cent figure, so I can hardly confirm whether
it is on the table for someone or another.

Let me just indicate to the member, though, we started off in our negotiations attempting to achieve
a global agreement on the topics of both gaming and taxation, one agreement, province-wide, covering all
bands and, indeed, all Micmacs in the province, as we worked our way through the process, that seems less
and less likely. So indeed, in fact we have opened negotiations with individual bands. It is a little difficult at
this time to indicate how those discussions might eventually evolve. But any agreements made with any single
band would obviously be available to all bands in the province.

[12:30 p.m.]

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


MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question directed through you would be to the Minister
of Finance. Sound forest management practices are essential to our resource if it is ever going to sustain and
I believe a frugal and wise plan now must be put in place. I can only consider it to be a prudent investment
in our future.

To date, the Minister of Natural Resources, other than saying he has been doing everything he can to
secure a new forestry agreement, has provided next to no information nor has he been willing to provide Nova
Scotians, especially those involved in the forest industry, with a status report on just how negotiations are
proceeding with the federal government. Last week, the minister said that he and a contingent of Cabinet
colleagues would be going to Ottawa early next month to talk with federal officials about new agreements,
including forestry and agriculture and so on.

I don’t need to tell you, Mr. Minister, that enough people are unemployed in Nova Scotia now and
additional job losses are something that none of us can afford. If we don’t get any new forestry agreement,
there will be additional people unemployed. My question is simply this, can the Minister of Finance provide
forestry workers across Nova Scotia today with a figure that he is permitting the Minister of Natural Resources
to take to Ottawa next week to lay on the table?

MR. SPEAKER: I believe that question to be rather unusual to say the least. The honourable Minister
of Finance.

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the honourable member’s genuine interest
and concern in this area. It is a matter of great interest and concern to all of us in Nova Scotia and I might
say especially to the Minister of Natural Resources, who has raised the issue with his Cabinet colleagues on
many, many occasions. He will be addressing the question with his federal colleagues but, as he has said in
the House, others of us have an opportunity to do that as well.

I will be meeting with the federal Minister of Finance early in February and, at the urging of the
Minister of Natural Resources, I have placed that high on the agenda of items that we wish to raise with him
and discuss. But I can assure the honourable member that the Minister of Natural Resources and all of his
Cabinet colleagues are very concerned and are pressing on all fronts for the type of agreement he refers to.

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, perhaps I could go to the Minister of Natural Resources with your
approval. I wonder if the minister has ever been able to get any answer from a member of the federal Cabinet
as to why the regional development agency in Quebec was able to secure an additional $6.5 million in funding
for a new forestry agreement for that province? I have information that indicates that the federal Cabinet was
not overly excited about extending this agreement but nonetheless, they did. So, I am curious to know what
feedback the minister has received concerning the numerous letters he has written to federal officials?

HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, in regard to the extension of a subprogram within the federal-provincial Quebec agreement, the information that I had provided to the member opposite some time ago in
letters that I had written to the Members of Parliament from Nova Scotia outlining that this is one of the areas
that we can use as an argument in regard to retaining or coming up with a program for the development of
a forestry agreement for Nova Scotia.

I concur by the fact that he is continually repeating this issue that I had brought to his attention as an
argument point that we are making on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia, that this is, in fact, a good,
legitimate argument to be using at the federal table when we are talking about treating all jurisdictions in
Canada equally. With regard to the response I have received from the members, I have not received an official
response as to the rationale, but suffice to say is that the point has been duly noted and made at the federal
level and we will be pursuing that again next week.

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, again I go to the Minister of Natural Resources. Recently, the Canadian
Federation of Woodlot Owners put forth a proposal before the Legislature’s at Standing Committee on
Resources. It is essentially a sustainable woodlot development program for the Maritimes for the years
between 1995 and the year 2000. Some changes have been made to this proposal including the initiation of
a sunset clause by the woodlot owners. I wonder is the minister supportive of this initiative that would enable
a decreasing trend for government funding to take place and demonstrate the desire of woodlot owners to
become self-sufficient and is the minister supportive of this proposal and if not, what reservations does the
minister have?

MR. SPEAKER: One question at a time, please.

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member asking this question, as he knows I have to leave
to go to a funeral and I indicated to him that I would be happy to entertain questions before 12:45 p.m. so I
can attend the passing of a friend. I want to make it very clear that the President of the Forest Group Venture
Association in the Province of Nova Scotia,  Mr. John Roblee, has been very active in pursuing at the national
level a commitment from the federal government. The former Conservative Government had said no to a new
agreement and the Liberal Government is prepared to, at least at this point in time, continually look at the
options. Mr. Roblee in his work with the Canadian Woodlot Owners Association have been pursuing that with
the support of myself. In fact, we have been communicating at different times in regard to those initiatives
that they are bringing forward. In fact, when Mr. Martin was in town dealing with pre-budget discussions,
we had a number of people representing the forestry sector meet with Mr. Martin, to point out the seriousness
and the importance of the agreement.

In regard to the issue of self-sufficiency and a self-reliant kind of organization and system in the
Province of Nova Scotia, clearly if we can find out, number one, that the federal government is prepared to
put money on the table to an agreement; and number two, if they are looking at an agreement that has a soft
landing approach or a sunset provision built into it, then obviously what we need to make sure at the same
time, and I have challenged the industry, as the member opposite would have heard in my meetings and
speeches that I have given in Truro over the last few weeks, about the fact that our industry at the same time
has to take a look at investing in the industry itself.

Obviously, if we can find a more self-reliant, and I might point out that the forestry sector generally
is a self-reliant organization and industry, but we need to take a look at building partnerships between us, as
government, the private sector and the organizations to make sure that sustainable development is the number
one priority, not only for this government, as it has been and will continue to be, but as an industry as a total.
So that we don’t have a forestry sector end up in some of the problems that the fisheries sector has in other
jurisdictions in this country. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.


MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I understand the Minister of Natural Resources has to leave
very soon so I hope his answers are a little shorter this time, because my question is going to be brief. In
March of last year . . .

MR. SPEAKER: He was facing three questions.

MR. RUSSELL: . . . the honourable Minister of Natural Resources made a number of appointments
to the Board of Nova Scotia Resources Limited and at that time he said that he was putting in place people
with experience in the oil and gas business and other business people. One of those appointed was Mr. Bob
MacKay, who is now the Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Office. I was wondering why Mr. MacKay’s
appointment to the board, as a Director and Chairman, has not been revoked?

HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I might point out that under the previous administration, the
Conservative Government, the Nova Scotia Resources Limited had a number of deputy ministers sit on the
board. The Deputy Minister, I believe, of Finance, the Deputy Minister of the Premier’s Office - no, not the
Premier’s Office - but a number of senior deputy ministers were very active as I understand it in Nova Scotia
Resources Limited. They functioned under the wisdom of then the Conservative Government of the Province
of Nova Scotia. I would assume that that rationale was logical then and I assume it is logical now. In regard
to Mr. MacKay’s position, we will be dealing with that issue in the future and until such time as a request
from him to move on, we haven’t received any.

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, there was no double-dipping in this government. Anyway, Ms. Heather
Robertson, who is Chief of Staff to the Premier was also appointed at that time to the Board of Directors of
Nova Scotia Resources Limited. I notice that that appointment, also, hasn’t been revoked and I would remind
the minister that she is not a deputy minister. When will Ms. Heather Robertson’s appointment be revoked?

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I find it interesting the double-dipping issue that they brought forward.
I think if they look back, I do not believe Mr. MacKay has taken as much as a parking pass chit out of the
process so far. (Applause) I think we are very fortunate having an individual of his calibre and well-respected
in the oil and gas upstream and downstream sector of the oil and gas industry, and one who has the reputation
throughout Canada as being a very forthright, very honest, a man with a great deal of integrity and a man that
we are very honoured, on behalf of Nova Scotia, to have representing our interests.

In regard to Ms. Robertson, I doubt that anybody would argue with her qualifications as an astute,
bright, very fast learner in regard to many issues that we deal with in the offshore. Her legal background and
business background would attest that she has qualifications to sit on that board and until such time as I feel
that there is a conflict of interest, as the member opposite is somewhat alluding to, or a perception to a
problem, then I will deal with it. At this point in time, obviously, I have not had any resignations cross my
desk nor have I asked. Thank you.

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that the honourable minister is trying to put words in
my mouth. I was not indicating that either of those persons were not competent people. What I am saying to
the minister is that this is not a conflict of interest, this is simply a matter of double-dipping. I understood that
this government did not appoint people to positions that incurred double-dipping.

So, I will ask the minister, will he be suggesting - at least suggesting - to these people that in view of
their circumstances that they resign from the Nova Scotia Resources Board?

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I want to make it very clear that the issue of double-dipping, I would ask
the member opposite if he has some information to show that these people have been paid, or have even
requested to be paid for any activity that they have done with the board, if they would table that document to
myself and to members of this House.

Mr. MacKay has worked, and to my knowledge, he has not received one cent in remuneration for the
efforts that he made prior to being deputy minister or, in fact, since he has been in a deputy minister position.
These people, in my knowledge, have not requested any remuneration and obviously so the issue of double-dipping is really a moot point. In fact, I am not aware of any such double-dipping and if the member opposite
has proof of that, I would appreciate him showing it and I would certainly look into it.

In regard to the issue of whether or not they should be staying on the board, I fail to understand, if you
have qualified people, people who are doing a good job, Mr. Speaker, representing the Province of Nova
Scotia’s best interests in a very, I should say, . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Professional.

MR. DOWNE: . . . professional way, that obviously I am not in the position to ask them to leave if they
have had no reason for dismissal or if there is a conduct that is not becoming the position, I would ask the
member opposite to certainly bring that to my attention. It is not to my knowledge that there has been any
wrongdoing on behalf of any of these people representing us and the Crown on Nova Scotia Resources

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.


MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of
Health. The minister knows that during the 1993 election, the Liberal Party promised an enhanced sex
education program, specifically that more time and effort would be spent educating Nova Scotians of all ages
about sexuality and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

Mr. Speaker, in 1992 alone, 48 of every 1,000 Nova Scotia women between the ages of 15 to 19
became pregnant, the highest incidence in Canada. In 1993, approximately 2,700 recipients of family benefits
in this province were families headed by a teenaged mother. My question to the minister is, where is the
enhanced sex education program that was promised by the government and that is desperately, urgently
needed to deal with the epidemic of teen pregnancies among single women?

HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member opposite raises a significant and
an important issue, not only in respect to the education and other efforts in terms of teen sexuality and sex
education in general, but also the problems that it may reflect in terms of youth outreach programs. I would,
indeed broaden the question, if I might presume to do so, and say that the issues of youth outreach and youth
programs are really part and parcel of this question.

[12:45 p.m.]

We have increased our activity, in terms of sex education, in the health regions throughout the
province, establishing and actually increasing the activity on behalf of the nurse educator in the particular
regions and the public health regions. We have, in addition to that, begun to form partnerships with non-governmental agencies to address some of the specific problems to which the honourable member opposite
refers, Planned Parenthood and other youth resources, the Education Department and the efforts in schools.

I might say, Mr. Speaker, that this particular issue really crosses ministerial and departmental lines.
We are, in fact, meeting, at the moment, groups from the different regions of the province with the Ministers
of Health, Justice, Education and Community Services, to improve the services that we provide to youth in
general, but with specific reference to teen pregnancies and, also, sexually transmitted diseases.

MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I think extensive research indicates that if you don’t begin the sex
education prior to kids becoming sexually active and you don’t parallel it with services and, specifically, birth
control provisions, then you can waste a lot of time and effort and be belated in the process.

Mr. Speaker, the Advisory Status of Women . . .

MR. SPEAKER: I need a question here, please, question.

MS. MCDONOUGH: . . . has identified that our school system is desperately lacking in this regard.
I wonder if the minister could indicate, specifically, what kind of joint initiatives are being taken between
Health and Education to get such preventive measures under way?

DR. STEWART: We undertook, Mr. Speaker, in reference to the question, specific Cabinet initiatives
with the creation of the Human Resource Committee, in which the Ministers of Education, Community
Services, Health and others sit to discuss, in broad terms, the policy that we would be following.

In addition to this, we have funded outreach programs specific to teen problems, and we continue to
do that. We have, also, begun working with groups, specifically in Cape Breton, to identify a multi-departmental or a cross-departmental lines and those discussions are occurring and, in fact, there is one
tomorrow morning.

MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, it seems like there are a lot of vague answers, but what is
desperately needed are concrete measures. I wonder if I might ask the minister if he would be prepared to table
in this House, any documentation that exists regarding enhanced sex education programs that have been
introduced and supported by this government since it came to office in May 1993?

DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I would be happy to table both the efforts that we are making at the
present time and the efforts that we will continue to make in the future. I will ask my staff to compile
something that could be given to the honourable member opposite and to all members.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.


DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. The minister
is aware that over the last nine months, there has been a marked increase in the number of cases being
reported to his department that will require child protection. This year, compared to two years ago, there is
an increase of well over 200 per cent.

Would the minister comment on which areas of the province are experiencing the greatest increases
and could he discuss the reasons?

HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, it is an important question, it is a broad question. Certainly, the
areas that have been identified as the large case loads have been in the Dartmouth and eastern part of Halifax
County, which is a concern because part of that area, of course, is a rural community and it involves much

As far as the causes, I think, Mr. Speaker, one of the reasons is probably some real change but, also,
the fact that you are seeing the results of the Act. People are becoming more familiar with it. They are
understanding their responsibilities. So, I think while it is an alarming statistic, it also means that, I think,
people are taking more seriously their responsibilities under the Act to report abuse and bring forward
children in need of protection.

DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I agree, as the minister says, I think there is improved reporting and,
certainly, a lot of the increase would be due to that. On December 2nd, the day that the review of the
Lunenburg Family and Children’s Services Agency was released, in response to questions from the media,
the minister stated he would be hiring additional staff for protection officers in Lunenburg, Antigonish and
Dartmouth areas, to reduce the case loads of these child protection workers.

My question to the minister is, have the additional staff been hired? What is now the average case load
in those three areas?

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to say that I know in the Lunenburg agency there have been
at least two, to my understanding, and in Dartmouth there have been others as well. I would have to get the
up-to-date statistics on the change that will make. I have not been advised because they would not have been
generated and forwarded to me at this time but I will certainly make an undertaking to review that issue.

I might say, Mr. Speaker, that we have made presentations from our department to Cabinet, to acquaint
the Executive Council with the issue that we think is an important issue, that the honourable member brings
before the House today. I, as minister, certainly take this very seriously. I intend to make strong
representations and I am hopeful that in the new budget we will be able to address the issues.

As was mentioned in the House the other day, the case loads have been high in certain areas. The 20
recommended by the Child Welfare League is one that we would hope to aim for but I think it is going to take
some time to get there. It is a broad initiative but one that I am looking forward to having support from the
Executive Council on.

DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, by way of final supplementary, it has come to light that there has been a
dramatic increase as well in the Truro area. The comment was made that the workers, the protection officers,
are juggling between 35 and 40 cases each.

My question to the minister is, is the minister looking at this particular situation, looking at the
caseloads that the workers there are carrying? Is he planning to appoint new officers in the Truro area?

DR. SMITH: Yes, Mr. Speaker, and part of our presentation has been an initiative of numbers of child
protection workers that would address all parts of this province. It is certainly an important issue. I think it
has been highlighted. It has gotten media attention in the Truro area but certainly there is need throughout
this province. So that is the commitment that we made. The child welfare issue is a major issue within this
province. It is one that I don’t believe has received the attention that it should over the last years and it is one
that we intend to make a priority within our Department of Community Services.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.


MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health, through you. As I
understand it, Dort’s Ambulance Service Limited in Pictou County had initially given notice they would
discontinue ambulance service at the end of January but there has been some agreement for them to continue
the service for an additional two months, as I understand it.

I would ask the minister, were there any other proposals put to the minister for operating ambulance
service in the Pictou area, other than Dort’s, in the coming months?

HON. RONALD STEWART: As I understand it from my staff, the concentration was to try and
continue the current service and, in the interim, begin to look at the long-term plan, the long-range plan. That
service accepted the challenge to continue its work.

MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I would ask the minister in extending the agreement with Dort’s for an
additional two months, was Dort’s Ambulance Service paid additional money than they would have received
previously, without this agreement?

DR. STEWART: The particular situation in terms of the financial remuneration for the ambulance
remains basically the same. There is some top-up because we have had in place for some months now a
program in which we are attempting to maintain some of the financially strapped services, particularly in view
of the fact that the demand in given areas is falling. As a result, we have had to ensure a baseline that would
allow them to continue to operate.

MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to know that the demand for the ambulance service is
falling. I would ask the minister and I assume there are special deals in different areas now but I would ask
the minister if, after two months, is the minister going to then put this out to tender? Or is the minister telling
me that they will probably continue to try to make an agreement with Dort’s Ambulance or are we going to
see these going to tender in the future? How does the minister propose to deal with the long-term type of
situation that we are going to see in two months time?

DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, again I wouldn’t want to prejudice or presume some developments here.
Suffice it to say that our intent is to maintain that service as best we can. In terms of whether or not it would
be the same operator, I would have to defer to the continued negotiations over the next two months.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.


MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. The minister
will remember the deal he made with Judge Albert Bremner, a deal which would keep Judge Bremner on a
salary of $102,000 for a 17 month period, in exchange for his resignation from the bench. The minister, at
the time the deal was made, said that Mr. Bremner would be doing a number of things; he is doing some work
on rewriting manuals, he is doing some work on the new procedures with regard to the Justices of the Peace
and he is doing some matters of research and so on. It has been nearly eight months now since Mr. Bremner
took on those new responsibilities and I wonder if the minister is prepared to table, if not today perhaps
tomorrow or the next day or two, the research and the reports and the recommendations which have been
completed to date by former Judge Bremner?

HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I am unable to table them today, I don’t have the material with
me. He has been working on certain matters and I can endeavour on a future day to make available at least
outlines on some of the material he has been working on.

MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister and I wonder if the minister, short of tabling the
documents today and I understand that, might be in a position to describe for us what new procedures are now
in place with the Justices of the Peace since Mr. Bremner began to develop them?

MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, in great detail I cannot give the honourable Leader of the Opposition the
new procedures in place but suffice it to say that the process of appointments of Justices of the Peace has been
modernized. Instead of having several hundred, some of which may not even be alive but they were still on
the rolls, this list has been brought to the active people who have been appointed. Education programs have
been worked on and Judge Bremner has been involved in preparing materials and I think in that case, in
particular, we have made much progress with the cooperation of Associate Chief Judge Kennedy working
along with it but I think we have made progress. Maybe I can table some materials that will show some
material that has been completed.

MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, by way of final supplementary, I just would ask if the minister would
confirm that it is, in fact, the case that on October 31, 1995, Mr. Bremner’s job will be completed and the
financial obligation of the taxpayer to Mr. Bremner will cease at that point, is that correct?

MR. GILLIS: Yes, the commitment to Mr. Bremner ends on October 31, 1995, there are no further
obligations to Mr. Bremner after that time.

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


MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Transportation
and Communications. The purpose of it really is to gain some clarification from the minister on a number of
items respecting his department’s service exchange with municipalities and quite frankly, it is prompted by
a letter that I received from the Municipality of the County of Halifax in which they laid out the sidewalk
priorities for the community of Sackville. In a previous question, the minister, on related matters, said that
the plans and the date of April 1st is not fixed as a firm date. My question, really, to the minister, because the
Act itself states that sidewalk cost-sharing would end April 1st, is that flexible at all or will his department
be involved in cost-sharing for new sidewalk construction in any areas during the upcoming construction

[1:00 p.m.]

HON. RICHARD MANN: No, Mr. Speaker, that particular item is not negotiable. That April 1st date
will apply on cost-shared sidewalk construction.

MR. HOLM: That was, in fact, my understanding and that is why, quite honestly, I was a little
surprised to see the priority list provided to the minister, because the province was not going to cost-share on
them in any event.

My first supplementary, if I may, to the minister, because certainly the Department of Transportation
has, within its staff, the ability to do the cost estimates and to develop a preliminary plan for such things as
sidewalks and to oversee the actual construction of new sidewalks, and my question, quite simply, is his
department prepared to continue to provide that service to municipalities that should request it for the
assistance in construction of new sidewalks and, if so, at what cost?

MR. MANN: Mr. Speaker, the member, I am sure, is aware that through our early retirement program,
the Department of Transportation has downsized considerably in conjunction with other measures within the
department and, in fact, I believe, over the four year period, we have 399 employees who are eligible for the
early retirement. If this year, the first year, was any indication, we probably, I guess, in the department,
exceeded 90 per cent take-up with an in-fill rate of, perhaps 10 per cent or so.

I think any requests to the department to engage or to assist in providing a service that was not the
responsibility of the department would have to be considered on an individual basis, and such matters as the
availability of staff and the impact on other initiatives which are our responsibility; those type of
considerations would have to be taken into account.

MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am trying to clarify this so that I will be able to answer constituents of
mine and also others across the province who could have similar concerns and those from other
municipalities. Basically then, what the minister is saying - as I do my summary as a way to seek clarification
and for the minister’s response - what the government is really saying is, one, that there will be no cost-sharing this year and, secondly, that the assistance in developing sidewalks and new sidewalk construction
will be dependent solely upon there being an excess capacity within the department to provide that service,
if the municipality requests it, but, certainly, that is not taken as a given and there is nothing built-in to
provide that service, so they are on their own?

MR. MANN: That is right, Mr. Speaker. I guess, to clarify, I would not commit to a blanket policy that
the Department of Transportation will provide services that are not our responsibility. I would point out, by
way of caution to the member, that there have been contracts awarded this fiscal year which have not been
completed, so any carry-over work into the next construction season will, of course, be under the old
arrangements and that cost-sharing will continue until those jobs are constructed because the contracts have
been awarded.

I cannot commit to a blanket policy, but the Department of Transportation will continue to be as
helpful as they can be, as they have been in the past, and will consider requests, but those requests will have
to be considered within the constraints that I referenced in earlier answers.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.


MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Community Services.
The other day - and I have been puzzled by it ever since - I received a very disturbing phone call from a 41
year old single mother and she was calling about her daughter who is 15 years old and has a 9 month old
child. She is expecting another one and, by the time she is 16 years old, she will have had two children. The
father is 15 years old and has no intention of marrying the daughter.

The reason the 41 year old mother telephoned me was that the young girl plans to move out on her own
and become a recipient of family benefits. Of course as soon as she does that, the mother, who is 41, has no
dependents so she is going to lose her family benefits, so she has to find a job after about 18 years of not

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. ARCHIBALD: It also brought to mind the very serious problem we have with teenage pregnancies
and young children who are children themselves, going out on their own and raising families. My question
to the minister is, how many teenaged mothers do we have in Nova Scotia currently in receipt of family
benefits? Do you have an estimate of how many?

HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, approximately 50 per cent of the case load in family benefits is
that of single parents. There would be 15,000 to 20,000, I believe, in that particular range but I would have
to get the figures for the honourable member. Now this would be for all age groups. I don’t have them at hand
specifically on the younger age group. This is certainly a concern.

I think the phone call that the honourable member mentions, I am not sure that those events have taken
place. I think there is an indication there would be an intention to apply there. I think that would undergo
scrutiny in several areas.

MR. ARCHIBALD: It certainly paints a very serious and heart-wrenching situation for both the mother
and the daughter and these children and their futures. I am wondering whether the Department of Community
Services, with the fact and thought in mind that there seems to be so many of these youngsters getting
pregnant and having families, are you, as a department, interested and are you planning in putting in a special
program to look into the difficulties that these people are going to face and find a solution to this epidemic?

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the confidence that the honourable member attributes to the
role of the Department of Community Services. Certainly this is a societal issue, a broad issue, a very
important issue. It is one that I take very seriously.

Earlier in Question Period, Mr. Speaker, there was discussion relative to sex education. I think that
is an important issue and one that certainly is supported within our department initiatives.

Preventive programs are a high priority within the Department of Community Services, parenting
programs and also parent resource centres and these types of programs. Planned Parenthood is supported,
particularly through education initiatives and others, by the Department of Community Services. There are
many issues.

I think the issue is an overall coordination of addressing this problem. It is an issue of -the member
also mentions an older woman with younger children for whom she will no longer receive benefits at a
particular time. I would point out to the honourable member that those benefits would, if that was her
classification and her eligibility was determined on the fact that she was a single parent, that she would, in
fact, lose that benefit in a few years as well.

So the programs like Compass and WEPSAR and other programs that we have had, trying to get
people on early intervention programs and these are certainly the initiatives.

I am happy to say that we will probably have a further announcement in the next few weeks on some
of those initiatives. It is a multi-faceted societal issue, one for which I don’t think any one group is responsible
but, collectively, as a society, we are responsible. I think we are making progress in that area and we have
further initiatives.

MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, while I appreciate all the suggestions and the concern that the
minister has, and I think from that the minister indicates his department is looking into the problem and
shortly they will be offering suggestions and solutions to this. Certainly it is expanding and it is almost at
epidemic proportions at the present time. Was my understanding of your answer correct, that your department
is looking into a new program or a new set of circumstances that will help alleviate the problem and slow
down the great number of youngsters who are having children?

DR. SMITH: Yes, Mr. Speaker, it is certainly nothing that we are waiting to bring in. We are already
actively involved in this, along with other areas. I think we have responsibility to work with parents, with
families. In no way, Mr. Speaker, would I say that we are bringing forth, in the next short period of time,
something that is going to address the particular situation that the honourable member brings. I think we can
make a difference. I think we are making more of a difference continuously. There are no one or two programs
that are going to change this particular issue. It is one that we have to work together. We are working with
Health, Education, Community Services Departments together.

I think it is an important issue. I think it deserves debate and I thank the honourable member for this
question. We are making progress. I think there are societal issues that must be addressed as well. I think
economics and many other issues, it is a very complicated issue and it is one that we take very seriously. Much
of the initiatives are within our department and we intend to do that and coordinate it with other departments
of government as well.

MR. SPEAKER: We have less than two minutes remaining.

The honourable member for Kings North on a new question.


MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Agriculture. On a couple
of other occasions in the Legislature, I have asked the minister about starting a special program to help and
assist the hog producers throughout Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Pork Council, in December, were told that
there was one in the works and there was work underway at the present time. I am just wondering whether
the minister is prepared yet to announce to the hog producers of Nova Scotia what sort of a program he has
that will help keep the hog industry alive?

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for his question. As
early as Friday and Monday, yesterday, we have been in the process of contacting hog farmers in this province
to provide them with some assistance. As I have indicated earlier to members of the House, the last quarter
of 1994, the hog producers of this province have been caused great concerns with the drop in prices. After
talking with the pork council, Pork Nova Scotia, back in November, I was advised that the industry required
$120 per hog in order to cover feed, labour and other operating costs.

Looking back at the prices, back in the last quarter, prices dropped below $100. With the safety net
that was in place for the hog industry back in 1994, that was terminated in June 1994, there was a surplus in
those funds. So our part under the surplus was $382,000. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, Mr.
Speaker, have already announced some assistance to the hog industry in those two provinces. We are pleased
to announce that the surplus under the tripartite stabilization program will be provided to the industry. So,
we are in the process of contacting hog farmers with some assistance at the present time.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The time allotted for the Oral Question Period has expired.

The honourable member for Shelburne.

MR. CLIFFORD HUSKILSON: Mr. Speaker, to you and through you to all members of the
Legislature, I would like to introduce Councillor Wendy Rees. Mrs. Rees is a Municipal Councillor for the
Municipality of the District of Shelburne. I would like to ask all members to welcome Councillor Rees, who
is seated in the Speaker’s Gallery. (Applause)


MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[1:14 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gerald O’Malley
in the Chair.]

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

MR. SPEAKER: We are dealing with the late debate, presented by the member for Halifax Atlantic.
I understand the member for Halifax Fairview will be addressing the resolution. The subject for debate tonight

Therefore be it resolved that comprehensive efforts to prevent violence be specifically targeted to the
high incidence of attacks upon women by spouses and ex-spouses.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.


MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity of launching this brief debate
during the half hour moment of interruption. It may or may not be a welcome change of pace. I must say that
it is as true of the legislation that is before us as it is so many aspects of legislation, government programs,
services, that there are, in fact, some structural discriminatory provisions in this bill that affect women in a
disproportionate way, that we have yet to hear from the minister, are going to be addressed with meaningful
amendments and we look forward to that happening.

But, Mr. Speaker, I chose to introduce, briefly, for debate this evening, a resolution which reads as

Therefore be it resolved that comprehensive efforts to prevent violence be specifically targeted to the
high incidence of attacks upon women by spouses and ex-spouses.

Mr. Speaker, I introduced that amendment for discussion today because of some very shocking
statistics that were released - Statistics Canada figures - that were widely reported in the media today. I say
shocking because although I think people have not become completely insensitive to the statistics about the
continuing high incidence of abuse, physical and emotional abuse towards women, I think there is a sense in
which the statistics seem to just roll over people.

We have, I think, kidded ourselves into believing that we have made significant progress in relation
to violence against women and when we hear the statistics, we tend to, I think, fail to recognize what they
really mean. In that Statistics Canada survey that was widely reported today, one of the things that, I think,
bears some considerable attention is the fact, and I quote directly from the facts on crime victims from a 1993
Statistics Canada survey, which points out that 1 in 3 divorced or separated women were victims of personal
crime in the period under study, personal crimes such as assault and sexual assault; 1 in 10 women were
victims of criminal violence. Half of the crime victims said that the incident was due to alcohol or drug abuse,
by themselves or someone else and, finally, that people from the lowest income group, that is below $15,000
annual income, were most likely to be personal crime victims.

Mr. Speaker, when this government sought a mandate from the people of Nova Scotia in the spring
of 1993, they made some very specific commitments about a policy of zero tolerance of violence against
women and talked about a whole variety of measures that were going to be introduced by this government,
including widespread public education programs, showing that violence against women is socially
unacceptable; long-term funding made available to transition homes; and to treatment and protection
programs for women and children in danger and those who have survived abuse.

Mr. Speaker, I suspect that this government feels that it has, in fact, delivered on those commitments.
But one of the things that I think has to be addressed is that the Liberal Party itself, during the 1993 election
campaign, recognized, correctly, I would say, that the issue of economic justice for women is absolutely
integral to finding real solutions to violence against women in its many forms.

During the election campaign the Liberal Party made a commitment that economic justice for women
would be an integral part of the Liberal Party’s economic development strategy for Nova Scotia and went on
to talk about how employment equity and equal pay for work of equal value would be policies that would be
acted upon immediately by this government. I don’t think anybody who has followed events in the last year
and one-half could possibly argue that the newly elected Liberal Government has kept faith with that
commitment, to address economic injustices for women as an absolutely integral part of a strategy to achieve
a policy of zero tolerance against women and effectively eliminate violence directed towards women.

Mr. Speaker, we heard this morning before the Human Resources Committee from representatives on
behalf of transition houses in this province. From those representatives we heard again about the extent to
which their resources are severely strained and a number of the measures which require urgent attention.
There clearly has been recognized a number of shortcomings in the present funding arrangements for
transition houses that need to be addressed by this government. There clearly are a number of policies that
need to be drafted and supported by this government in recognition of the legal nightmare that women being
subjected to violence and the threat of violence face when they enter the courts. One of the things that is
desperately needed is a system of court advocates that can support women through that legal nightmare.

I think underlying all of these concerns is the recognition that if we are ever going to make a dent in
the problem of violence against women we are going to have to seriously address at a preventive level the
problems of economic dependency of women, particularly as I mentioned earlier this afternoon during
Question Period the problem of the increasing incidence of teen pregnancies in this province that lead to a
hopeless cycle and treadmill of poverty, of dependence and, I think, in all too many cases lead into that cycle
of violence that is so widespread in our society.

During the election, Mr. Speaker, this government recognized that we have to see the problem of teen
pregnancy as crucial to attacking the dependence of women and, really, the inability for women to escape
situations of threatened violence. Yet, the commitment made to be proactive in introducing more effective sex
education programs is one that this government has shied away from, that it has talked about, but really has
yet to take any decisive measures.

In the final analysis and I know my time is up, we are going to have to see the kind of comprehensive
coordinated strategy for tackling the inferior status of women and the increased dependency of women if we
are ever going to make a dent in the problems of violence against women of all ages, but particularly against
young women and women separated from their partners. Thank you.

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

MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have a few minutes to make remarks
relative to the resolution proposed by the honourable member for Halifax Atlantic and just now so eloquently
spoken by the member for Halifax Fairview:

Therefore be it resolved that comprehensive efforts to prevent violence be specifically targeted to the
high incidence of attacks upon women by spouses and ex-spouses.

As the previous speaker did, I want to begin by making reference to some statistics. I, too, had the
opportunity, as she did, to attend this morning the meeting of the Human Resources Committee. We were
treated this morning to a presentation by Ms. Karen O’Hara, who is the Executive Director of Tearmann
House in New Glasgow and Ms. Mary DeWolfe, the Executive Director of Chrysalis House in Kentville, both
transition houses, who outlined to our committee some very real concerns which they face as transition houses
but, more to the point, some very real difficulties faced by the women and children whom they serve in those
transition houses.

Mr. Speaker and colleagues, to give you a sense of the size of the difficulty faced by transition houses,
let me share with you a couple of statistics provided to us by those who made the presentation to our
committee this morning, “From April 1, 1993 to March 31, 1994 transition houses . . .” across Nova Scotia,
excluding, I might say, Mi’Kmaq Family Treatment Centres, and the only reason they are excluded from these
statistics, we were told, was because they were not available from the Department of Community Services,
but between “. . . April 1, 1993 and March 31, 1994 transition houses . . .” across the province, “. . . admitted
1,648 women and 973 children.”.

They went on to indicate to us that they received across the system of the 11 transition houses in Nova
Scotia, 15,601 distress calls in that same period of time. Those statistics, they pointed out, do not include the
outreach services provided by the various transition houses, nor do they include the advocacy and individual
counselling that is provided to women across the province.

So you don’t have to go very much further to realize, on a statistical basis alone, that we have in this
province, our small province of 900,000 people, a very serious problem on our hands if the admissions are
1,648 women, 973 children and 15,600 distress calls.

Now in the course of that same presentation some very significant additional information was set out.
I think in the context of the very important resolution which we have before us today, some additional
information made available to us this morning bears comment and reflection and, hopefully, action by all of
us here in this place. One of the matters which the representatives of the transition houses raised with us was
what they perceive as a deficiency in the Children and Family Services Act. It has, in my view, and I don’t
profess to be an expert but I had 11 or 12 years of legal practice in the area of child abuse work and it rang
true with me; Section 22(2) of the Children and Family Services Act, they said to us this morning, a review
of that section must take place to put the onus for receiving services and treatment on the abuser.

So what they said to us in the brief was that they believe that the wording of that section should be
amended to read, and they provide the actual language, “. . . and the offending . . .”, and they underline
offending, “. . . parent or guardian fails or refuses to obtain services or treatment to remedy or alleviate the

[6:15 p.m.]

What happens so often, far too often is that women in this province, as has been so well pointed out
by the previous speaker, subject to physical, emotional, sexual abuse by partners, by spouses, by live-in
partners and the like, with children in the mix and in the environment as part of the family unit, are so
frequently beaten and treated in such a heinous way that they fear for their personal safety, indeed, fear often
for their lives.

So frequently, too frequently, their first emotion, understandably the human condition being what it
is, is self-preservation and they seek help. Too often they are compelled by the circumstances to seek help
which result in the children of the union or of the family unit being left behind with the actual or alleged

What those who spoke to us this morning said is that this section of the legislation as it now reads in
their view, “. . . perpetuates a framework of blame on the abused woman/mother.”. They say, “While the
perpetrator of the abuse escapes censure, she . . .”, the woman, “. . . becomes the focus of intervention. Being
the primary caretaker she thus becomes the primary `blame taker’. There is an inherent unjustness . . .”, say
they and I share the view, “. . . in this situation as the abuser suffers little social or legal consequence for the
damage he has inflicted on the family - while she struggles to save herself and her children.”.

They made a very important and impassioned plea to us that we take a serious look at this legislation.
What they do and what they suggest to us is really very simple. In their presentation they set out language as

“Be it resolved that Section 22(2)(i) . . .”, of the Children and Family Services Act, “. . . be amended
to read: A child is in need of protective services where

(i) the child has suffered physical or emotional harm caused by being exposed to repeated domestic
violence by or towards a parent or guardian of the child, . . .”, and here is their language, “. . . and the
offending. . .”, and they underline for emphasis, “. . . parent or guardian fails or refuses to obtain services or
treatment to remedy or alleviate the violence.”.

They say, “We therefor recommend to this committee . . .”, to our Human Resources Committee this
morning, “. . . the proposed amendment . . . putting responsibility for abuse on the offending parent.”.

Now, I know that I have drifted a tiny bit from prevent violence upon women by spouses and ex-spouses, but I think, just a tiny bit. We cannot or better said, I think it is not unreasonable to respond to the
substance of the resolution before us and at same time give consideration to the innocent victims who are so
often the tragic victims of these circumstances, the children involved.

The statistics are really quite amazing, but what was also said, and which was said by the previous
speaker, and I know I only have a few seconds, is, and I say for the edification of those members on the
government benches who are still present who might carry this message. In the Department of Justice, as
members will know, there is what is called Victim Services Project Funding and the minister across the way
has knowledge of that. Round figures it is about $400,000 annually and I know my time is up.

My final comment is, the advocates of the transition houses have said to us, please see if we can get
the Minister of Justice to consider some application or the application of some amounts of that money to the
transition houses for them to be able to meet some of their special needs which include among other things
some advocacy and court advocacy available or which is so much required for women to be able to respond
in a courtroom context in these desperate circumstances in which they find themselves.

I would compliment the proposer of the resolution and would sincerely hope that if those few words
have been helpful at all that it maybe possible to ask the Minister of Justice to have a look at that whole
question. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MRS. FRANCENE COSMAN: Mr. Speaker, I hope that in the midst of these brief remarks, I will not
end up with a major sneezing attack, but I will certainly try to do my best.

I am pleased to enter this debate this evening on the resolution:

Therefore be it resolved that comprehensive efforts to prevent violence be specifically targeted to the
high incidence of attacks on women by spouses and ex-spouses.

Actually, calling this a debate is a bit of misnomer because I don’t think there is anyone in this
Chamber who would disagree with the fact that we have major problems in our country and in other countries
dealing with spousal abuse and it goes beyond debating that fact to trying to look at where are we going in
this area and what are we trying to do to meet this endemic problem that we face in society.

I guess, when I look back to my own involvement on these issues, back to 1982, with the Advisory
Council on the Status of Women and then later on, as a freelance writer, and in preparing numerous briefs
to different levels of government, I almost have the feeling of déjà vu, as though we have said all this before
and we have said it repeatedly and we continue to see the emergence of worsening statistics dealing with the
whole area of family violence.

Once in awhile, we tend to forget that we are not just talking about violence directed at women, we are
also talking about violence directed at children. We are talking about violence directed at seniors and, in lesser
ways, we are talking about violence directed at men. So, in a sense, we are really watching a very huge decline
in the social fabric, the social structure of our civilization, at least in North America, and I am not going to
comment on other countries, if I can, but we are certainly seeing a decline in the value systems and the
restraints on human behaviour that used to impose some kind of a discipline on people when they lost their
temper or they struck out at other people with lesser strength to fight back.

There has already been mention made tonight of the statistics dealing with family violence and,
certainly, those statistics are staggering. A recent Statistics Canada survey found that, “One-half of all
Canadian women can expect to be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime.”, and “More than 1 in 4 . .
. married women are physically and/or sexually assaulted by their partners. In 4 out of 10 . . . of these
marriages, children witness the violence, leaving boys three times more likely to become perpetrators and girls
two times as likely to become victims.”.

The statistics themselves are very frightening and upsetting when we start to look at them and,
certainly, since my timeframe with the Status of Women, when we had one transition house in Nova Scotia,
we have seen the need for transition houses and the growth in the number of houses going from 1 to 11 in the
province and including two Mi’Kmaq Family Treatment Centres in Nova Scotia. So, we have built more
shelters. We have tried to respond, and I say a collective we, but it still does not seem to stem the tide of
violence that is eroding the very foundation of our democratic society.

I would like to talk about the next generation of women, particularly that age group from 18 to 24. I
think that was mentioned earlier, as well, by the honourable Leader of the Opposition. We know that young
women aged 18 years to 24 years are four times as likely as women overall to have reported experiencing
spousal abuse in the year before this survey was done. A similar proportion of women, whose partners were
under the age of 25, reported being assaulted during that time.

We, also, have heard today the problems that occur with women who just recently are separated from
their spouses. There is a high incidence of women in that category who are subjected as well to acts of
violence against them.

So, statistically, we are drawing a picture here of a number of categories of women, in particular, who
are being abused both physically and emotionally. This seems to go across a wide spectrum of Canadian
society. One of the things we do not ask ourselves very often is, what is the root cause of violence in our
society today. Certainly, I think, if anyone happens to thumb through a selection of television programs,
flicking the button randomly late at night - not even late at night now but quite often during family viewing
hours - you will see, I think, one of the major causes in the breakdown of behaviour and it is the influence of
the media on people’s behaviour.

You can go on any schoolyard today, elementary schools, and see children playing in an imitative way
that you would not have seen 15 years or 20 years ago and more and more often you see young children doing
sort of Kung Fu kicks and resorting to their fists to solve differences that years ago you would never have seen
on a schoolground. I think that is a reflection of the fact that we are becoming increasingly desensitized to
the acts of violence around us. We are becoming increasingly less able to communicate through conflict,
rather resorting to a violent response or a response with fists and feet.

So we have to, in any discussion about family violence, we have to discuss the root cause of violence
in our society. Of course, this raises a lot of hackles on people because they say, you know, you cannot censor
the violent stuff of the TV set or you cannot censor the violence in print media and you cannot censor things
that talk about abusing children. Yet any sensible minded person would know that if you see enough of this
and get exposed to enough of it day in, day out, that it is going to have an effect on your ability to respond in
a positive manner and it is going to create that climate of desensitization.

So, I guess from all the years that I have worked in this area in the past 15 years,  I am particularly
concerned about the changing climate out there and the changing behaviours that we are seeing in all ages
and how they deal with conflict and how they deal with stress. Yes, there are major economic issues. I am
convinced of that, that when people are suffering economically, there is probably a higher incidence of violent
response under conflict. It is one more stressor on a person’s life when they are in tough economic times so
that certainly governments have to look at issues surrounding economic issues for men and women who are
trying to make a living and support a family. I think that it is easy to say no government ever does enough.

As my previous job was President of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, back in the 1980’s,
I was quick to criticize that I did not think the government of the day was doing enough and I know people
will criticize and say our government today is not doing enough because it is the easiest thing in the world
just to take on that role of saying nobody does enough.

Before the time runs out, I do want to talk about the family violence prevention initiative that was put
in place and developed to engage the Departments of Health, Education, Community Services, Justice,
Housing and Consumer Affairs, as well as the Women’s Directorate of Nova Scotia. The family violence
prevention initiative looked at a number of areas and really has the task of trying to enable all of the partners
to respond more consistently and effectively to the issues about violence against women, children and the
elderly. This is the third year for the family violence initiative and it has a specific mission. It is committed
to ending family violence in Nova Scotia and it believes that that is a responsibility that does not just rest with
government. It is a responsibility that rests with each and every one of us in the province. The initiative
promotes prevention through a coordinated approach to public awareness and it looks at a number of things
like building trust and participation. It looks at improving services, increasing skills and special events to raise
public awareness.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I could probably go on for another one-half hour on this topic but I see you have
signalled that the time has run out and I hope on another day we will carry on this discussion. I would also
urge our other colleagues to engage themselves in this debate. I thank you very much. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: That concludes the late debate this evening. We will resolve back into Committee of
the Whole House on Bills.

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

[7:45 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 and begs leave to sit again.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

The honourable Opposition House Leader.

MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, the order of business tomorrow, we will be calling Resolution
No. 1543 and Resolution No. 1556. With time remaining we will deal with House Orders.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I move we adjourn until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

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

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

[The House rose at 7:46 p.m.]



By: Mr. Robert Chisholm (Halifax Atlantic)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Sydney Mines Council member and Canadian Auto Workers activist Archie MacKinnon is
helping unemployed Cape Bretoners form an unemployed workers’ association to help press for a jobs strategy
and to help each other maintain and create sustainable jobs; and

Whereas the favourable response to this initiative reflects the extent to which the talents, skills and
views of the unemployed are rarely considered by government decision-makers; and

Whereas Cape Bretoners need every effective means of helping themselves and making their concerns

Therefore be it resolved that this House extends best wishes to the Cape Bretoners who are joining
together to form an unemployed workers’ association and affirms that the voices of the unemployed are crucial
in tackling the jobs crisis in Cape Breton.