Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

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HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1995



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Second Session



2:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mr. Gerald O’Malley






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



The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect on an introduction.



MR. BRUCE HOLLAND: Mr. Speaker, needing no introduction is Mayor Ball from Halifax County
in the gallery. I would like everyone to give him a warm round of applause. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: If there are no further introductions, we will proceed with the daily routine.



Order, please.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the residents of the
William Russell Road and area of Hilden, Colchester County. The residents are opposed to the SPCA erecting
and operating an animal shelter in the residential neighbourhood and I have affixed my name to the said
petition.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



6685

 

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, prior to reading this, I would just like to notify members of the
House that one-half hour ago Sharon Hillier and Tanya Willis and myself raised a flag to create awareness
within the Nova Scotia Heart and Stroke Foundation, and all their work.



I would like to take this opportunity to introduce Mr. Michael Savage in your gallery. He is Vice-President of the Nova Scotia Heart and Stroke Foundation and I would like to ask the members of the House
to give him a warm welcome. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.



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



Whereas approximately 75,000 . . .



MR. SPEAKER: This is a government notice of motion?



DR. SMITH: Yes.



MR. SPEAKER: No, we have not reached that point yet. We will call upon you first.



Statements by Ministers.



AN HON. MEMBER: No, you did that.



MR. SPEAKER: But did you not also have a statement?



AN HON. MEMBER: Government notice of motion.



MR. SPEAKER: I thought I saw the Minister of Education rise. (Interruptions)



The honourable Minister of Community Services.



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I certainly hope that this goes to create awareness of the good
works done by the Nova Scotia Heart and Stroke Foundation.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.



RESOLUTION NO. 1635



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



Whereas approximately 75,000 Canadians die each year from heart attacks or some other form of
cardiovascular disease, and heart disease and stroke are the number one killer in Nova Scotia, claiming nearly
3,000 lives per year; and



Whereas heart disease and stroke cause disability and prolonged stress to its victims, their families,
caregivers and society at large; and



Whereas the Heart and Stroke Foundation is the only volunteer health agency whose sole mission is
to reduce premature death and disability from cardiovascular diseases and stroke, through research, education
and the promotion of healthy lifestyles;



Therefore be it resolved that the month of February 1995, be proclaimed as Heart and Stroke
Awareness Month and that all Nova Scotians support the lifesaving mission carried out by the Heart and
Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia during Heart and Stroke Awareness Month.



Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice and passage without debate.



MR. SPEAKER: Waiver of notice requires unanimous consent.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Minister of Education.



RESOLUTION NO. 1636



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



Whereas black people in Nova Scotia, as individuals and a community, have made significant
historical, social, cultural and economic contributions to Nova Scotia; and



Whereas black Nova Scotians continue to strive to ensure the accomplishments and future of their
culture are recognized and advanced; and



Whereas education in Nova Scotia plays a vital role in increasing awareness and appreciation of these
contributions;



Therefore be it resolved that on this, the first day of Black History Month, this House salutes the black
community in Nova Scotia and encourages all Nova Scotians to celebrate and support black culture, not only
during this month, but throughout the year.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried. (Applause)



The honourable Minister of Human Resources.



RESOLUTION NO. 1637



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



Whereas February is Black History Month in Nova Scotia, a time to focus on the progress and
challenges facing black Nova Scotians; and



Whereas the provincial government recognizes those challenges, in particular, in equal opportunity
in the area of employment; and



Whereas the provincial government’s affirmative action policy promotes equal opportunity and
participation of blacks and other visible minorities in the Provincial Civil Service;



Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly support these and other efforts to ensure that the
black community in Nova Scotia has equal access and equal opportunity to jobs in this province.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Minister of Supply and Services.



RESOLUTION NO. 1638



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



Whereas February is Black History Month in Nova Scotia and a time to focus on the heritage, culture,
accomplishments and the challenges of the Nova Scotia black community; and



Whereas despite nearly 400 years in this province during which black Nova Scotians have persevered
through periods of slavery, segregation and racism, black Nova Scotians have never given up on their struggle
for economic and social justice; and



Whereas black Nova Scotians have made great contributions to their province in the fields of culture,
commerce, community service, education, sports, and many other sectors and continue making positive
contributions to the province and country, while working for the social and economic justice that has been
denied them;



Therefore be it resolved that this House supports the goals and objectives of Black History Month, to
instill self-pride and esteem in black Nova Scotians and to break down barriers and attitudes so that all Nova
Scotians, regardless of their race, can participate fully in the social and economic life of their society.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



NOTICES OF MOTION



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



RESOLUTION NO. 1639



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 president of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia said on Friday, November 5, 1993 that he
favours an automatic leadership review process being implemented to prevent the spectacle of “blood on the
floor.”; and



Whereas a rural Liberal MLA said recently that if there is no leadership review in July, “there will be
a riot down my way.”; and



Whereas the Minister of Transportation and Government House Leader said recently that, “it will be
very difficult” for the Premier to survive a leadership review;



Therefore be it resolved that despite the bitter feelings which have developed between the government
and members of the Liberal Party, the House Leader do his best to ensure the Liberal annual meeting is held
in July without any fisticuffs or riot police being dispatched to the convention floor.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1640



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



Whereas one year ago, the Education Minister promised that his massive cutbacks would not affect
the classrooms where Nova Scotia teaching and learning takes place; and



Whereas today, most school boards report that they have reduced or eliminated programs and increased
class sizes, with many eliminated or reducing services that ensure fair access to education; and



Whereas despite the minister’s single-minded preoccupation with creating very large school boards,
there is no evidence that large or administratively lean boards have coped any better with the Liberal cutbacks;



Therefore be it resolved that the Education Minister should suspend his merge sideshow, which can
only make education decision-making more remote and inaccessible and concentrate upon the crisis of
confidence among parents, teachers and students that he has unleashed.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Kings North.



[2:15 p.m.]



RESOLUTION NO. 1641



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



Whereas a professor of agricultural economics and business at the University of Guelph recently did
a survey of 1,000 Canadian farmers; and



Whereas the survey indicated that farmers in Nova Scotia see farming as a business of maximizing
production per unit of input; and



Whereas the survey also indicated that Nova Scotia farmers are among the most innovative in Canada;



Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature commend the Nova Scotia farming
community through the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture for their success and for the positive impact
agriculture is having on Nova Scotia’s economy.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.



RESOLUTION NO. 1642



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



Whereas Lloyd Redden began recycling paper by bringing half ton truck loads of cardboard to the
Minus Basin Pulp and Paper mill; and



Whereas Mr. Redden moved his business from Windsor to the Burnside Industrial Park in 1975, with
30 outlets around the Atlantic Provinces; and



Whereas today, Scotia Recycling handles 20,000 to 25,000 tons of paper recyclables, annually, most
of it trucked to mills in the Maritimes;



Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly extend congratulations to Lloyd
Redden, President of Scotia Recycling for 24 years as a successful businessman.



I would request waiver, Mr. Speaker.



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1643



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 federal Public Works Minister has again demonstrated his commitment to freedom of
information by freely admitting that most federal-provincial economic development agreements will expire
on March 31st and not be renewed; and



Whereas this vital information was kept from our forestry, fishing, agriculture, mining, manufacturing
and other industries by provincial ministers who have pretended that new agreements were a possibility; and



Whereas all Nova Scotians should be involved in deciding key questions about the future development
of our province, and the tools for putting a bottom-up jobs strategy in place;



Therefore be it resolved that this government should place on the table - and invite wide public
participation in the debate about - plans to completely revamp the federal-provincial approach to pursuing the
goal of regional economic equality.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.



RESOLUTION NO. 1644



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



Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia does its best to create an environment for businesses to
prosper; and



Whereas the province offers an environment featuring fair taxes, low costs and a high-skilled labour
force; and



Whereas the government emphasizes strong, self-sufficient companies, private sector funding and well
managed viable local businesses;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly commend the Government of
Nova Scotia for concentrating on community economic development by establishing 12 regions around the
province providing local development offices to help small and medium sized businesses to prosper.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Needham.



RESOLUTION NO. 1645



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



Whereas the month of February is celebrated throughout Nova Scotia as Black History Month; and



Whereas Black History Month honours the unique heritage, future and spirited family life of black
communities across the Province of Nova Scotia; and






Whereas the organizers of this year’s Black History Month have developed a new black history resource
guide, which includes listings of black historical information, audiovisual resources and the names of persons
of the black community willing to speak on issues relating to their culture;



Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the significant contribution of the black community
in the history of Nova Scotia and encourage all Nova Scotians to participate fully in Black History Month.



I would ask for waiver of notice.



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Lunenburg.



RESOLUTION NO. 1646



MRS. LILA O’CONNOR: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the
adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas Mahone Bay is a great place for visitors to shop, dine and browse, with everything
concentrated into one community known for its handcrafts and specialty items; and



Whereas Mahone Bay has an international reputation with the photograph of the three churches
recognized worldwide; and



Whereas Mahone Bay is the town that attracted the second highest number of visitors after Lunenburg;



Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly praise the efforts of the Mahone Bay Business
Association and commend the support from the local residents in helping to promote their own Town of
Mahone Bay.



Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice which requires unanimous consent.



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 Shelburne.



RESOLUTION NO. 1647



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



Whereas the changing inshore fishery is causing many in the industry to seek new and innovative ways
to earn a living from the sea; and



Whereas the centre for Marine Vessel Design and Research is one organization specializing in vessel
performance to create higher speeds; and



Whereas this vessel design centre is a non-profit organization working to educate fishermen, legislators
and boat builders on the use of new materials, updated construction techniques and modern propulsion
systems;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House commend the staff at the centre for Maritime
Vessel Design and Research for their work to promote the boat building industry.



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



MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice which requires unanimous consent.



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 Sackville-Beaverbank.



RESOLUTION NO. 1648



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



Whereas the Tourist Industry Association of Nova Scotia exercises a leadership role in promoting Nova
Scotia to the world as a premier tourism destination; and



Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia, the Tourist Industry Association of Nova Scotia and other
interested parties have been most successful in working together as partners to market Nova Scotia to the
world; and



Whereas the tourism industry brings millions of dollars of revenue to the province and employs
thousands of Nova Scotians;



Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud the efforts of the Tourist Industry Association of Nova
Scotia, in partnership with this government’s tourism initiatives, in seeking to overcome all obstacles which
in any way limit the development of the full potential of the tourism industry of Nova Scotia.



Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice which requires unanimous consent.



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 Yarmouth.



RESOLUTION NO. 1649



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



Whereas two rare floral treasures can be found on Gillfillan Lake in Yarmouth County; and



Whereas this is the only known site north of the Carolinas where these species grow; and



Whereas a 26 acre plot of land containing the unique specimens is now being managed by the Tusket
River Environmental Protection Association, after being leased to the Nature Conservancy of Canada by the
Bowater Mersey Paper Company Limited;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly extend congratulations to the
Bowater Mersey Paper Company Limited, which recently celebrated its 65th Anniversary, along with the
Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Tusket River Environmental Protection Association, and recognize
them as leaders in forest management.



Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice which requires unanimous consent.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1650



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 Municipal Affairs Minister and the entire Cabinet launched this fall sitting by releasing,
without consultation or detailed information, a so-called service exchange which would financially punish
most property taxpayers; and



Whereas yesterday, before the legislation has even been approved, the Transportation Minister issued
an afternoon news release announcing changes in the planned exchange, delaying the transfer of roads until
he can sort out the tangled web of contradictory Liberal statements;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges this government in a hurry to look before it leaps rather
than denouncing MLAs for debating legislation which is too flawed to be implemented by the government
anyway.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Pictou East.



RESOLUTION NO. 1651



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



Whereas in the cyclical business of railcar manufacturing, Trenton Works is riding a boom year; and



Whereas the Trenton Works company has sales in 1994 close to $54 million, with anticipation of going
beyond $100 million this year; and



Whereas the current employment of 500 people is projected to reach 750 this spring, the highest level
in eight years;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly commend the management and
staff whose dedication and hard work are vital to the company’s success.



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



MR. SPEAKER: The request is for waiver of notice.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.



RESOLUTION NO. 1652



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



Whereas February is Black History Month and people on the Internet from around the world are invited
to celebrate and contribute information relating to African studies, African Canadians or Americans and other
information related to black culture; and



Whereas the Nova Scotia Black Cultural Centre in conjunction with the staff and students of Cole
Harbour High School are using their Internet skills for this Black History Month project; and



Whereas each time information is submitted the Internet senders’ names could be drawn at the end of
the month for prizes from the Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia;



Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly extend congratulations to the staff and students
of Cole Harbour High School for this fine initiative and encourage Internet users to participate in the creation
of addresses for data base sites for the Nova Scotia Black Cultural Centre.



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



MR. SPEAKER: The request is for waiver of notice.



Is it agreed?

 

 

It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1653



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 typical Liberal style, this government is applying its 3 per cent wage roll-back in a manner
that lets management employees of Wolfville Nursing Homes Limited receive a wage increase, while applying
the full force of wage freezes and roll-backs to the lower paid, unionized staff; and



Whereas this inequitable ruling was made despite approval by the Health Department of higher wages
for all employees of Wolfville Nursing Homes before the roll-back took effect; and



Whereas this across-the-board, anti-labour attitude is being imposed upon Nova Scotians by a
government that promised jobs;



Therefore be it resolved that the Finance Minister and his colleagues should ensure that any wage
increase negotiated during the limited grace period permitted by the roll-back legislation can take effect,
particularly those increases that had actually been approved by his own government.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.



RESOLUTION NO. 1654



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



Whereas in 1993, one of Nova Scotia’s natural wonders, the Tiverton Balancing Rock appeared on the
cover of the Nova Scotia Travel Guide, becoming an international attraction; and



Whereas in 1994, the Tiverton and Area Board of Trade, operators of the local museum and tourist
bureau, proposed to install visitor services to improve access to the balancing rock; and



Whereas recently, Tourism Nova Scotia and ACOA each granted $49,220 in funding to the Tiverton
and Area Board of Trade to develop parking, signage, boardwalks, trail development and other visitor
services;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly commend the Honourable Ross
Bragg, Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency; and the Honourable David Dingwall, Minister responsible
for ACOA; for granting funding for this project and recognizing that the balancing rock will provide
economic benefit to the Digby Neck area.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Annapolis.



RESOLUTION NO. 1655



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



Whereas Dr. Peter Mullen of Kemic Bio Research Laboratories does business with all the major brand-name drug manufacturers; and



Whereas Kemic’s main area is the study of the time-course of drugs in the human body; and



Whereas Kemic runs a very successful series of courses for scientists and physicians in government
and the pharmaceutical industry;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Peter Mullen
of Kemic Bio Research Laboratories for 14 years of success as a thriving Nova Scotia business.



[2:30 p.m.]



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: There is a request for waiver of notice on that from the honourable member for Kings
North.



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 East.



RESOLUTION NO. 1656



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



Whereas gypsum mining has been a steady industry in the province since the 1700’s, with Nova Scotia
being the largest gypsum mining region in the world; and



Whereas the National Gypsum plant in East Milford employs close to 100 people, with a sales increase
of about 30 per cent to 40 per cent over the past two years, due to world-wide increases in construction and
renovation work; and



Whereas the economic effects of National Gypsum include being the largest bulk shipper out of the
Port of Halifax, pumping $5 million to $8 million into the Nova Scotia economy in wages and salaries;



Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the importance of gypsum mining in Nova Scotia
through National Gypsum Limited, which is supported by the economic policies of this government.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Eastern Shore.



RESOLUTION NO. 1657



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



Whereas Nova Scotia has a dynamic and expanding tourism industry, which had a 7 per cent increase
in tourism dollars from 1993 to 1994; and



Whereas this government, in cooperation with the Tourism Industry Association, has developed an
aggressive marketing plan for tourism across the province, which is bearing fruit through increased tourism
revenues; and



Whereas Nova Scotia has a world-class tourism infrastructure in place which continues to be upgraded
and renewed on an ongoing basis, particularly in the growth area of eco-tourism;



Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the vital importance of the tourism industry in
generating jobs and the effective working relationship of this government and the tourism industry to promote
Nova Scotia as a unique and beautiful tourist destination.



Mr. Speaker, I would 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 Digby-Annapolis.



RESOLUTION NO. 1658



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



Whereas the new Digby Marina is under construction and should be ready for local and travelling
yacht owners by May of this year; and



Whereas Marina Development Ltd. is a non-profit organization designed to promote boating in the
Annapolis Basin; and



Whereas the commercial marina will provide full services, including diesel and gas, water and sewage
service;



Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly commend the management of Marina
Development Ltd. for attracting yacht-owning Americans from all along the Atlantic seaboard to our harbour.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



Are there any additional notices of motion or any further business to come before the House under the
heading of the daily routine? If not, I wish to advise the House that the Clerk has conducted a draw for the
Adjournment debate at 6:00 p.m. The winner this afternoon is the honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage. He has submitted a motion for debate, a resolution, reading as follows:



Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotia’s economy has turned the corner in 1994 and that our
province build upon this success as we embrace 1995.



So, we will hear on those matters at 6:00 p.m. The time now being 2:34 p.m., the Oral Question Period
today will run until 4:04 p.m., 90 minutes.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



NAT. RES. - NSRL: BOARD MEMBERS - PREMIER’S STAFF



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources.
Yesterday, the minister was asked when appointments to the board of NSRL of Mr. Bob MacKay as Chairman
and Ms. Heather Robertson as Director would be revoked. The minister indicated that they would not be
revoked. It occurs to me that there are very few who could question that the deputy minister and chief of staff
to the Premier are political staff and given that the minister made a commitment when he announced the new
board that it would, and I quote his words, now be composed of people active in the oil and gas and business
community. I wonder if the minister would agree that it is inappropriate for the political staff of the Premier
to continue to function as members of that board?



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, the deputy minister is certainly not there on the basis of
politics. The whole reality is that Mr. MacKay is certainly well known and respected not only in this
community but communities across Canada, and certainly in Europe, for his experience in the oil and gas
business and one that adds a great dimension of understanding and appreciation of the oil and gas industry
in Nova Scotia.



MR. DONAHOE: He doesn’t deny that he is political staff. I wonder, by way of supplementary, Mr.
Speaker, if the minister might address this issue. There is some question with the two people involved, being
political staff of the Premier’s Office, being paid very sizeable salaries in that regard, and as members of the
board of NSRL being entitled to honoraria and per diems and so on, I wonder if the minister can tell us
whether or not two of the highest paid staff in the Premier’s Office will, in fact, receive honoraria as a result
of being members of the board of NSRL and, in the case of Mr. MacKay, that he will, in fact, receive a $2,500
stipend as a result of his membership on that board, along with per diems and other expenses?



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I want to make it very clear that Mr. MacKay is the deputy minister, a
member of the Civil Service, he is not a political person. Secondly, in regard to salaries or honoraria or
stipends, neither Mr. MacKay nor Ms. Robertson had received any allocation of money prior to taking on the
postings that they have. They, obviously, are entitled to, if they wish to ask for it, remuneration for any work
that was done prior to becoming involved in the government. Now, in regard to after they are part of the
government, obviously the issue of double-dipping is clearly there and they are not entitled to any stipend or
honorarium in that regard.



MR. DONAHOE: I think there are some differences between that answer today and what we heard
yesterday. Perhaps one of the most significant, it is the first time that I have ever heard any Cabinet Minister
stand on the floor in this place and try to suggest, with a straight face mind you, that the Deputy Minister in
the Premier’s Office isn’t a political person.



But that aside, I wonder, by way of final supplementary, Mr. Speaker, on January 3rd, in answer to a
question from the member for Queens, the Premier indicated that he would seek the resignation of Ms.
Heather Robertson from both the Bluenose Preservation Trust and as Chair of the Nova Scotia Police
Commission. It appeared by him saying that that the Premier recognized it was inappropriate to have her in
the political position she was then appointed to, and still have these board positions. I want to ask why the
Minister of Natural Resources is so determined, it appears, to disregard the Premier’s lead on the matter of
political staff on the board of NSRL, and on what rationale does he suggest that it is appropriate for those
political people to continue to function as members of NSRL?



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, in regard to Ms. Robertson, it is my understanding that she has indicated
she is planning to resign. These people have just taken over their positions and, obviously, it has been very
busy dealing with the activities of government. In regard to the NSRL, there has not been a board meeting,
as such, since that time, to my knowledge. So, I indicate, this morning it was in an article in the paper, I
believe Ms. Robertson indicated that she is proposing to step away from that posting in the near future.
Obviously, we will have to wait until I receive that letter of resignation, which I have yet to receive.



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



EDUC. - FUNDING CUTS: COMMENTS (MIN.) - REVISE



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question, through you, sir, to the Minister
of Education. This morning I had an opportunity to attend the press conference that was held by the presidents
of the Nova Scotia Home and School Association, Nova Scotia School Boards Association, the Nova Scotia
Teachers Union and also the Association of Education Administrators. Despite the minister’s boastful
comments last year that the hasty and last minute funding cuts to school boards would not hurt the quality of
education in the Province of Nova Scotia, we heard example after example this morning of how programs
have been cut, class sizes increased and also that essential services for children in need have been reduced.



My question to the minister is quite simply this, is the minister now prepared to admit that his boastful
comments that he made a year ago were incorrect, or is he saying that the information that has been provided
by the key stakeholders in education is wrong?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, if I might for a moment to the honourable member, I
should suggest that he examine very carefully the survey that was introduced at the press conference today.
It was a survey of the 22 boards in which they list in detail and, as a former statistician myself, I would like
to introduce to all members of the House how the (Interruptions) Well, that’s what I used to do in my past life
for all members.



If I might, they introduced this survey with the following comments, “The choices made to meet the
expected objectives may have differed from board to board. Ultimately, these changes will have had an effect
in a variety of areas, including the delivery of programs and services, the school climate, and relations with
the community.”.



So, what was basically asked was that there was a survey put out there to the boards asking them if they
had to make changes. It is brought forward in the survey that, yes, some things had to be changed, that
happens every year. If I might for a moment for one comment for the honourable member to consider before
he gets up for his first supplementary, on Page 9 where they ask the following question, “Have you noticed
any effect on the participation of teachers in extra-curricular activities?”.



It indicates that most boards report, no, that the teachers are still involved and the summation by
whoever wrote this reads, “. . . 68 per cent of the respondents report that teacher participation in extra-curricular activity has been unaffected . . . While this rather positive report contradicts the results recorded
in question 2, which deals with teacher morale, superintendents further questioned on the subject state . . .”,
that there is two possible conditions for it. In other words, they work very hard to explain when something
positive came out but reported very clearly to the press conference anything that might be negative. So, I
would ask the honourable member to refer to that as he asks the next question.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I could get into a lengthy debate because the minister is very selective.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, this is Question Period, not lengthy debate period.



MR. HOLM: I would be happy to make available to anybody who would like to have a look at it, all
of the areas where it does indeed talk about the deterioration in the morale and the education quality. I can’t
pick up on the Education Minister’s taunt and temptation, but of course he is as he is often doing, providing
a very slanted and selective and inaccurate reflection of what went on.



My first supplementary to the minister is quite simply this, the minister is going to be releasing a
White Paper discussion on education restructuring which is going to include amalgamation. He has said that
key to that amalgamation is going to be the site-based managed pilot projects that are currently underway.
Given the fact that those site-based projects have yet to be evaluated and the minister’s own timetable has said
that that evaluation won’t be done until July of this year, will the minister agree to hold off on the discussion
of the White Paper on amalgamations until a thorough evaluation of the site-based managed schools has, in
fact, taken place?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I can’t believe it. The honourable member is asking me and the
Department of Education to stop consulting with the people of Nova Scotia. Another case of wronged again.
He read a resolution today that indicated that class sizes were growing in Nova Scotia. I would like to inform
him, through you and to all members of the House, yes, despite everything over the last year they have grown
in huge proportions. They have gone from 16.4 students per teacher to a massive 17, that is what has
happened over the last year.



SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!



MR. MACEACHERN: The largest growth in the whole province was an increase of 1.2 students per
teacher despite the fact that, yes, we had great fiscal difficulties but those are the results. To go further on their
survey I will continue, “. . . 82 per cent of the respondents . . .”, and this is the school boards that were asked,
“. . . stated that little or no change was noticed in student morale.”. It continues, Mr. Speaker, “. . . 20 of the
22 respondents registered comments on this subject.”, community relations. They indicated that a disastrous
thing has occurred because they started consulting with the communities.



[2:45 p.m.]



AN HON. MEMBER: No, not that, no.



MR. MACEACHERN: Yes they did, Mr. Speaker. Almost all of them reported that the community
stepped forth to help on the survey.



Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, “. . . 73 per cent of the respondents . . .” - these are school boards being
asked - “. . . recognized that not all outcomes from last year’s budget restraints were negative.”. Then they list
the positive ones. This is the school boards. Sometimes they and I disagree but that is the results of the school
boards.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, the minister must have been hiding in the corner because he knows exactly
what was said. I didn’t see him there and he obviously has a very different interpretation of everything that
has been said. (Interruption) I won’t be sidetracked by the minister’s attempts to sidetrack.



MR. SPEAKER: This is irrelevance, we want a question.



MR. HOLM: Yes, indeed, Mr. Speaker, and I don’t expect any more latitude than has been given to
the minister, in terms of rabbit tracks.



MR. SPEAKER: That is not the standard of Beauchesne. The question is to be direct and is to consist
of a single sentence.



MR. HOLM: And the answers, of course.



MR. SPEAKER: Beauchesne does not provide the same guidelines for answers as for questions.



MR. HOLM: My final question to the minister, given the fact that the minister is saying that site-based
managed schools will be part of and key to that amalgamation, and given the fact that there has been no
evaluation yet done, the minister’s flying road show will be as absolutely meaningless as the Minister of
Municipal Affairs’ was, unless . . .



MR. SPEAKER: I fail to detect a question here.



MR. HOLM: . . . he is going to guarantee there will be no implementation of his plan until thorough
evaluation of those site-based managed programs have been released and are included as part of that
evaluation. Will he make that guarantee?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I will tell the honourable member, in fact we have
done consultation throughout the province. There are very many people in this province who want
involvement in their schools. If the honourable member is suggesting that that should not be done, if he is
suggesting that he has some other kind of solution, I suggest that he bring it forward. I would be pleased to
meet with him.



Secondly, Mr. Speaker, part of this amalgamation thing he is referring to is an attempt to address such
things as some boards in this province, not because of funding cuts but because of declining enrolments, are
finding it impossible to meet their budgets. That is, if we had left things alone. We have to be there to help
them and we will continue to consult with them and find ways to help them. We will do that, despite the
ranting of the honourable member.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



NAT. RES. - NSRL: BOARD MEMBERS - PREMIER’S STAFF



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources.
(Interruptions) The other day the Minister of Natural Resources made mention of the fact that previous
governments had appointed deputy ministers to various boards, and that is true, but they were never paid on
top of their salary and the deputy minister, to the Premier and his Chief of Staff, were never appointed to
government boards.



I ask if this Minister of Natural Resources will confirm whether or not he has discussed with the
Premier the appropriate course of action respecting the continued participation of the Premier’s political staff
on the board of NSRL? Has he reviewed that matter with the Premier?



HON. DONALD DOWNE: No, Mr. Speaker.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, given this government’s dismal record in the area of conflict of
interest, I wonder if the minister would indicate whether he has referred the particular matter which we are
discussing, the appointment of these people to NSRL and to the Premier’s political staff, whether he has
referred that matter to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner?



MR. DOWNE: No, Mr. Speaker.



MR. DONAHOE: Well, I am not surprised with the answer, that he hasn’t referred it to the Conflict
of Interest Commissioner. So I assume that he either doesn’t think there is a conflict or he is not interested
in determining that.



Mr. Speaker, by way of final supplementary, the terms of reference for the board of NSRL are very
clear that NSRL must seek the approval of the Governor in Council for any borrowing or other exercise of any
of the powers conferred upon NSRL. I ask this minister to explain how is it possible that the Chairman of
NSRL, Mr. Bob MacKay, is not in conflict, in light of that mandate and obligation of the part of NSRL when
that same Mr. Bob MacKay is now serving as Secretary to the Executive Council as well as Deputy Minister
to the Premier. How is there no conflict there?



MR. SPEAKER: I believe that question to be asking a legal opinion by way of interpretation of a
Statute and Beauchesne states that questions should not seek a legal opinion or inquire on such matters to a
minister.



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I concur but I want to make something very clear. I have sat here for a
little while listening to this rhetoric from the opposite side of the House. When we took over the government
and I took over the responsibility of Minister of Natural Resources and as part of that responsibility, Nova
Scotia Resources Limited, that organization, that system, that Crown Corporation, that this Leader of the
Opposition is talking about conflicts and everything else, was a disaster. The Province of Nova Scotia was
carrying a debt of almost $0.5 billion under their administration.



Mr. Speaker, we have put people in place under the Crown Corporation of the Nova Scotia Resources
Limited that is trying to clean up the mess, the misuse, the abuse and the total abuse and mismanagement of
that previous administration. I would ask anybody who wants to put our records on the management of the
Nova Scotia Resources Limited and the qualified people we have on staff on that board against any of the
problems that have been in the past. We are trying to clean up the mess, something like the mess that the
Minister responsible for the Workers’ Compensation Act has to clean up and many other ministers have to
clean up.



So, Mr. Speaker, I want this member opposite to realize that the people we put on are quality people,
qualified people and they are doing a job on behalf of Nova Scotians. (Applause)



AN HON. MEMBER: Quality double-dippers. (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



HUMAN RES.: PROTOCOL OFFICER - CANDIDATE (DON ROCHEFORT)



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Through you, Mr. Speaker, may I ask a question to the honourable
Minister of Human Resources. The minister will know that recently a competition was held for the position
of Protocol Officer and this is not to be confused with the Chief of Protocol which, as you know, was the
position given to Ms. Colleen MacDonald, who placed second in the competition. This latest position, the
Protocol Officer, there was a competition and interviews were held and it was conducted in the middle of
January. A recommendation was made to the deputy minister. Will the minister confirm that Mr. Don
Rochefort was one of the candidates and he was interviewed for this position?



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, no, I will not confirm that at this time.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Will the minister confirm that Mr. Rochefort was the number one candidate
recommended in the previous competition for the position of Chief of Protocol?



MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, I believe I have answered this question several times in the past and that
information, I maintain, is confidential and I will not confirm that.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Will the minister confirm that although Mr. Rochefort was the number one
candidate in the competition for the higher level position of Chief of Protocol, he was unsuccessful in the
competition for the lower office of Protocol Officer?



MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, I believe the position that the member opposite is referring to was
advertised late in the fall, at the same time as the Chief of Protocol job was advertised. It was not filled until
the Chief of Protocol’s job was filled and once that was filled, the competition was held. To my knowledge,
that competition has not been finalized or completed. So, I cannot confirm any of the things that he has just
said.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North on a new question.



HUMAN RES. - PROTOCOL OFFICER: INTERVIEW TEAM - CHAIR



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources.
Would the minister confirm that Ms. Colleen MacDonald, who came in second to Mr. Rochefort in the
competition for Chief of Protocol but got the job anyway, was chairperson of the interview team for the
Protocol Officer’s position?



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, our Chief of Protocol now is Ms. Colleen MacDonald, as
he has said, and won the competition that was held. The position of Protocol Officer was not filled until that
position was filled so that the Chief of Protocol could be involved in the hiring process of the person that
would be serving under her.



MR. ARCHIBALD: I believe the answer was yes that, in fact, she was, I think in all that, Ms.
MacDonald was indicated. Now, would the confirm that the recommendation from the interview team was
sent to the Premier’s deputy minister to make the final decision?



MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure where the process is at the moment. But, indeed, if there
is a committee in place, a recommendation goes forward, it would go to the deputy minister responsible for
that position.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Would the minister, through you, of course, Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of
Human Resources, explain how a candidate with eight years’ protocol experience, who was a top candidate
for the Chief of Protocol position for the Province of Nova Scotia but he was not chosen as the individual with
experience enough to become the Protocol Officer? Could you explain how that came to be?



MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, I am not fully apprised of who applied for any of those positions or how
they placed in the competition, so I cannot confirm the premise of his question, so I cannot answer his
question.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



FIN. - WOLFVILLE NURSING HOMES LTD.: WAGE INCREASE - REVIEW



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of
Finance. It has come to my attention that a group of employees employed by the Wolfville Nursing Homes
Limited negotiated a salary increase over the winter of 3 per cent, that includes both the non-union as well
as the unionized employees. That amount was budgeted in the administrator’s budget that was sent to the
Department of Health and it was approved. Subsequent to that, notice was given to the Public Sector
Compensation Restraint Board for their approval that this increase would be granted to the employees and
the response to that was that, and I will table a copy of this letter, the 3 per cent could be granted to the non-unionized employees but it could not be granted to the unionized employees.



I would like to ask the Minister of Finance if he would not agree that this is clearly a discriminatory
decision and will he agree to have that matter reviewed and corrected?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the honourable member raising this issue.
As he might expect, I am not familiar with the particular details that he raises but he certainly has attracted
my interest in the matter. I will read very carefully the material that he will be forwarding to me.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, the problem arises, as I understand, with the legislation, Bill No. 52,
and it deals in Clause 6 and Clause 7 with the whole question of a compensation plan and that window of
eligibility. It is clear that the decision in this case was made during this window of eligibility and that the only
thing that is preventing the lower paid unionized employees, from receiving the increase is the provisions
within the Act. I would like to ask the minister if he would commit to this House today to review this question
and see that if, in fact, this legislation is causing problems and discriminatory interpretations such as this, that
he will see that changes be made?



[3:00 p.m.]



MR. BOUDREAU: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I certainly assure the member that I will look into this and see
if discriminatory treatment was involved and why, apparently, some employees were caught and others were
not.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that commitment by the Minister of Finance. I would just
ask him if he could give us an indication and give the employees affected some indication of how quickly they
can expect that he will move and provide us with a response to this inquiry?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I will try and review the matter as quickly as possible. Obviously,
the duties at the House may have some impact on that as the days and weeks proceed, but I would hope to do
it as quickly as possible.



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



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. In this
morning’s newspaper, the Nova Scotia representative in the federal Cabinet, David Dingwall, said - Mr.
Dingwall, of course, is also in charge of ACOA and the extended holidays and things of that nature - that “.
. . some 69 existing co-operative agreements, in areas like agriculture, mining, forestry or fisheries, will be
replaced by pan-Atlantic initiatives or umbrella agreements . . .”. Now, I am not just sure what an umbrella
agreement is, but I hope it is a large umbrella so all of us can fit underneath it.



Now, I have been asking the minister for an update for a considerable amount of time for a status
report on his negotiations for a new forestry accord and I need not say, it has been like trying to pull a horse’s
teeth.



Well, in fact, I am quite sure that, perhaps, like Punxsutawney Phil, we may be able to get more
information out of him when he comes out of his hole. But I wonder, how long has the minister been aware
of plans by the federal government to incorporate everything under one agreement and doesn’t he think he
owed it to the forest industry in Nova Scotia that, in fact, if this information was coming forward, didn’t the
minister think, in fact, he should have provided that to the forest industry?



MR. SPEAKER: I hear two questions there. Possibly, one could be placed as the original question and
then the next one as a supplementary question.



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I think the first question was, in fact, right. That 69
agreements in all that cover, virtually, New Brunswick, P.E.I., Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, that are under
the auspices that Mr. Dingwall is referring to. I, also, ask the member opposite, who has been quoting a
number of meetings that I have been attending and I am sure that he reads the paper in regards to Mr.
Rideout, who is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister responsible for the Department of Natural Resources
in Ottawa.



Mr. Rideout, who we had visiting the Province of Nova Scotia reviewing the forestry agreements and
the importance of it, made it very clear, at the meeting I believe, of January 19th, that there will be transitional
funding, mentioned in his speech. I indicated, I believe, to the House since that time, and the question was
brought up, that this umbrella process, or whatever mechanism is there, are some of the reasons why we are
going to Ottawa to get a clarification.



I appreciate the member opposite bringing the issue forward, again. It is not clear to us exactly that
formulation of a process that they are talking about in the press release of yesterday in regard to Mr. Dingwall.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that response. I asked this minister in this
Legislature, back on Tuesday, January 24th, to be exact, as to the status of a report that was being done by ATi
Consulting Limited and the report was funded, as I understand it, by the provincial and federal governments
and it certainly sought public input for evaluation into a Canada-Nova Scotia forestry agreement.



The minister told me that as soon as he could get a copy of that report, he would make it available. I
am not sure if it has been completed, if the consultants have got their work done or not, but I wonder if the
minister is able to provide us with an update today as to the status of that report?



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I believe I indicated in the House when the question was posed, that it
is of normal customary process, under all agreements, whether it is forestry or mining or whatever,
agriculture, fisheries, one of the criteria in the agreements is to do an evaluation. The evaluation process was
brought on by Canada Forest Services, as I recall. They put the tender out. They are responsible for that part
of it and they awarded it to, the member referred to the company, I don’t have the briefing note with me here.



That company was supposed to have the report back. They have been late in getting the report back.
It has not come to my attention yet, the final report. Obviously, the committee, it is an interdepartmental
committee under Canada Forest Services, has been asking for that report for quite some time. They had
scheduled to have it completed, I believe, in September or October. They are late and they are trying to get
the final report to us. We understand it is supposed to be ready at the end of January.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, in light of the federal minister’s announcement in consolidating
provincial funding, I would surely think that that consultant’s report would have been completed because it
is extremely important to the industry. Nonetheless, in spite of and in light of, the minister’s comments that
we, as Atlantic Provinces, have to work closer together, I want to know if the minister is prepared to fight
tooth and nail in Ottawa on Monday - I believe it is Monday he is going to Ottawa - to ensure that we have
a sustainable woodlot development agreement in place?



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I think I have made it very clear to this House, I want something said here
very straightforwardly. This member better realize that in 1993, Don Mazankowski, then Minister of Finance
of the federal Conservative Government of Canada, indicated that all these agreements, whether it is fisheries
or agriculture or mining or tourism, are going to cease and they are not going to be renewed. I don’t remember
hearing too many members of the Conservative Party, who were in power at that time, stand up and fight in
this House and talk about the importance and responsibility of the federal government at that time.



Now, Mr. Speaker, I want to say one thing, that this government since taking office has brought this
issue at that time to the then minister responsible, Ms. Sparrow, and I had a meeting with her myself. I
indicated to her at that time that that was unacceptable from Nova Scotia’s position and she indicated at that
time it was a Conservative Government’s decision, no new agreements. I did not hear anybody on the opposite
side of the House - at the time it was the government of the day - fighting that issue in Ottawa, their own
Party. I did not see them stand up and fight the issue as obviously they are concerned about now. I fought the
issue, this government is fighting the issue, the Premier is fighting the issue and it is taking a Liberal
Government in Nova Scotia and Liberal Government in Ottawa to review that process and to see if we can
find a resolution to the problem.



Mr. Speaker, I will continue to do that as long as I can to represent the interests of not only the forestry
industry, the mining industry, but all the resource-based industries because in fact that is the economic
stability of the Province of Nova Scotia. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, a new question.



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is again, through you, of course, to the Minister
of Natural Resources. I hope he is over that emotional orgy he just went through.



Mr. Speaker, I have mentioned a couple of times to this minister, and he did provide some limited
information on the fact that Quebec was able to get an extension to their existing forestry accord. I am
wondering if the minister is trying to secure a similar type agreement with respect to our forestry here in Nova
Scotia or has he given up the ghost on that particular extension?



HON. DONALD DOWNE: It is interesting hearing the Opposition talk about giving up the ghost.
They have given up a lot of ghosts in Nova Scotia over the past number of years, Mr. Speaker. The reality is,
the information that he is referring to is information I provided to the colleague opposite for the purpose of
his being aware of the issues and to also lobby his counterparts in Ottawa, although there are only two in
Ottawa if I recall correctly. Nevertheless, there are other representatives across Canada, who are part of the
Conservative Party, asking them to do what they can on a provincial basis as we are trying to do across
Canada at the federal and provincial basis as well.



That issue that was brought forward is a Quebec initiative of $6.5 million, a one year extension to a
specific aspect of an agreement. Of course, Mr. Speaker, our efforts in Ottawa will be doing whatever we can
on all aspects of the agreement to secure some sort of benefit to Nova Scotia.



Now, it is very clear, Mr. Speaker, if I have to make it again to the honourable member. You know they
talk about pulling horses’ teeth, it is almost as if - it is like this guy was born with chicken teeth. The reality
is that he has to wake up and smell the roses, that his government, his federal government and his own
provincial government basically agree that no, we are not going to have an agreement in the Province of Nova
Scotia and we are doing all we can to secure one for this province and will continue to do so. (Applause)



MR. TAYLOR: Again through you, Mr. Speaker, I go to the honourable Minister of Natural Resources.
It is really too bad he wouldn’t take some of that energy to Ottawa with him, when he goes there, come
Monday. You know, he keeps talking about the past and I have said many times in this House that I hope, and
I think most of us members in this House expect to live the remainder of our lives in the present and in the
future. But this member wants to keep living in the past. It is time he took the bull by the horns and it is time
he went to Ottawa and stood up for the forestry industry in this province.



Mr. Speaker, my question is simply this, the Musquodoboit Valley Education Nursery Complex is now
funded by the federal-Nova Scotia agreement. That was agreed to by the former, previous Tory Governments.
That school enabled students right across this province, from one end to the other, to be educated in the
forestry of this province and it is extremely important.



MR. SPEAKER: Is there a question here, please?



MR. TAYLOR: Yes. My question is, Mr. Speaker, is this minister going to give me a commitment this
afternoon that the Musquodoboit Valley Nursery Education Forest Complex will stay open?



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, it is interesting when the honourable member opposite obviously has not
spent a lot of time in Ottawa. I want to assure the honourable member opposite that I have taken energies to
Ottawa many times; 40,000 individual farmers on the hill in Ottawa energy, fighting for the natural resources
of this province. (Applause)



Mr. Speaker, I think the honourable member opposite can learn from those people who have worked
in the natural resources industries of this province, who have fought very hard over many years and I am
honoured to be one of those individuals, who has fought the battle on behalf of Nova Scotians. (Applause)



Mr. Speaker, I look forward to going to Ottawa. I only wish they had gone to Ottawa and fought but,
realizing that they have left many issues unattended for this government to deal with, no matter what area of
the province it is doing, I will go to Ottawa and do all I can on behalf of the interests of the people of this
province, as I have in the past and as I shall in the present and as I will continue to do in the future, to stand
up and fight for Nova Scotia. I will tell the honourable member opposite, I would like to see what he has done
to fight for Nova Scotians, other than set rhetoric in this room and trying to paint a picture that somebody is
not trying to make an effort.



MR. SPEAKER: Now before I recognize the honourable member for a final supplementary, I want to
read one sentence from Beauchesne. It is Paragraph 417 on Page 123 and it deals with replies to oral
questions. It states; “Answers to questions should be as brief as possible, . . .”.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, on many occasions in this House I have asked that minister to table some
of the letters that he has written to . . .



MR. SPEAKER: The questions have to be as brief as possible, too.



MR. TAYLOR: My question is this, although he wants to live in the past, would he table some letters
that he has sent, since he became minister, to the federal Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Anne
McLellan? Will he, at the very least, table some of those letters? He has written so many letters, surely to
goodness he can table one of them?



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I find this is almost getting hilarious. I hope the people in this room are
finding that, for what he is saying. The reality is that I have sent letters and I believe I have sent and tabled
some letters that we have done. I would like to see the honourable member opposite, I would like to see what
he has tabled, would like to table to this House what he has done, he is so doggone hot and excited about it.
We will pass on the letters that we will bring forward in all due time.



MR. SPEAKER: A new question, the honourable member for Kings West.



FIN. - CASINO (SYDNEY): CHARITIES - DISTRIBUTION



MR. GEORGE MOODY: (Interruptions) Mr. Speaker, my question, through you, is for the Minister
of Finance. Yesterday in Question Period the Minister of Finance confirmed that profits from the casino in
Sydney would be distributed for charity and community groups. I think that is what he said. Would the
minister confirm that casinos, I think, are considered an indirect tax and would he not consider that Cape
Bretoners with that indirect tax will now be subsidizing charities in communities throughout Nova Scotia,
is that the intent?



[3:15 p.m.]



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. That
is not the first time I have had that question. As a matter of fact, I went to Sydney and met with a committee
of city council and they asked me the same question. Why are you distributing the profits from the Sydney
casino, coming out of Cape Breton, all across Nova Scotia? I said, it is very simple, the profits from the
Halifax casino will go to help provide health, education, social services and all the other government services
all across Nova Scotia not just here in Halifax. So, if it is fair on that end, it is fair on the Cape Breton end.



MR. MOODY: I am sorry I missed the answer in Cape Breton, but I am pleased the minister gave it
here and I am sure all Cape Bretoners understood that. I would ask the minister, I think he stated yesterday
in the House that his offer to individual native bands for a share of the casino profits will be extended to every
band in Nova Scotia, I believe that is what he said. Will the minister confirm whether or not the shares of the
profits that will go to the native bands, will each band in the province get the same or will there be different
shares or different profits go to different bands in the province?



MR. BOUDREAU: Well, Mr. Speaker, I don’t think I indicated that certain shares would go to certain
bands, although I have no difficulty informing the House, if I didn’t yesterday, that part of the proceeds from
the Cape Breton casino may well go in that direction. I don’t want to negotiate any specific deals with any
bands here in the House and the honourable member is aware of that and he is not looking for the details of
any proposals or counterproposals.



But what I have said to every group, to every particular band, is that the Province of Nova Scotia will
not sign an agreement, be it in gaming or taxation or whatever, that will give one band a better deal than
another. The most attractive arrangements that are available in any agreement will be available in all
agreements.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I think everybody wants us to be fair. I would ask the minister, in a final
supplementary, whether it is community groups or whether it is the native bands, will there be a formula
worked out, obviously with native bands, a formula based on the number of those in each band reservation,
will the minister indicate at some point what kind of formula will be used? I am not getting into the discussion
on who will get what share, but will there be a formula that the minister will release at some point that says,
this formula will apply either throughout the native bands or to all the community groups that apply for some
of this funding?



MR. BOUDREAU: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I can indicate that to the member, that there will be a very, we
think, transparent formula so that people can be assured that requests are fairly dealt with. I think on the
examination of that formula, when it is finally put in place, I think the member will be satisfied.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



FIN.: CASINOS - OPERATING EXPENSES



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, my question, too, is for the Minister of Finance. This
government is trying to sell Nova Scotians on its very unpopular pro gambling policies on the basis that the
gambling revenues would generate much-needed dollars that were necessary to deal with the financial
nightmare and the horrendous debt inherited from the previous government. Yet, careful analysis of the
approved Sheraton casino deal reveals that expenses for operating the two proposed casinos will be in the
unbelievable range of 61 per cent to 64 per cent of revenue.



My question to the Finance Minister, supposedly concerned to maximize revenues, is why he has
chosen a model for gambling where the expenses would eat up so much of the revenues that would be
generated, leaving us a very small net gain to the public purse?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, first of all I take it the honourable member is not
objecting to the $30 million in wages that the casinos will be paying out? I take it that part of the expenses
she has no problem with. She may want to clear that up on her first supplementary. But yes, there are
expenses involved in a world-class operation. I think it is very important and the people of Nova Scotia
wanted to be assured that these two casinos would be run at world-class standards, not some fly-by-night
operation. In fact, the profits which will come to the taxpayers of this province will be substantial.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that the model this government has chosen requires,
actually demands, very high levels of gambling in order to generate the revenues that would even provide for
minimal return to the public purse. I am wondering if the minister gave careful consideration to the model
used in the case of Manitoba where instead of in the 61 to 64 per cent range the actual ratio of expenses to
revenue are in the 21 to 35 per cent range. Unless this government is committed to enticing Nova Scotians
into gambling for the sheer sake of gambling, why did this minister not opt for a model that would at least
maximize the revenues to Nova Scotians knowing especially how hostile the public is to this whole gambling
initiative in the first place?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member talks about the fact that there will be minimal
revenue. One would begin to believe from that that at the end of the day there will be almost no benefit to the
province in terms of tax and other revenue. Our partners, the ITT Sheraton, are so confident that they
guaranteed a minimum level of $25 million. Now, I don’t know if that amounts to anything in the honourable
member’s view but I think it will be a very substantial amount and will go a long way toward preserving the
services that this government has so long provided for its citizens.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, it is not surprising that ITT Sheraton is well pleased with this
Finance Minister and this government. This is a government that is prepared to have close to two-thirds of
the gambling revenues eaten up in expenses with the surprising result that less than one-third of those
revenues will even in any indirect way benefit the financial coffers of the Province of Nova Scotia. Could the
minister indicate why the choice was made to reject that model, if this government was going to drag us into
casino gambling, why the decision was made to reject that model that would at least have had the benefit of
maximizing the return to the Nova Scotia public coffers instead of paying big management fees and profits
to a foreign multinational?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, the model we used was the New Democratic Party Government’s
model in Ontario except we got a better deal. That is the reality of it. We could have run this casino out of a
used construction trailer and kept the costs down. What we are trying to do is operate a world-class facility
to attract people from outside the province, among other things. In doing that I would remind the honourable
member that at the end of the day of this 20 year term those facilities which will be world-class, which will
see a capital investment of $176 million will revert to the Province of Nova Scotia for the price of $1.00.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



FIN. - CASINO (SYDNEY): FIRST NATIONS - POLICY



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is as well to the Minister of Finance and it
has to do with the casinos issue.



Yesterday, the Minister of Finance confirmed that he is in active negotiations with individual native
bands across the province with respect to an amount of money that would be given to those bands from the
profits of the Sydney casino. Our information is that that might up to 40 per cent of the profits but that is,
perhaps, unclear at the moment. Outside of this House, the minister said that one of the reasons that this was
being negotiated was because of the rampant poverty of native peoples in Nova Scotia. At least those are
remarks or sentiments which I understand were attributed to the minister.



My question to the minister is essentially this. Does the minister’s rationale, as expressed in those
words by him, does that mean that the Province of Nova Scotia has now embarked upon a policy of
subsidizing the federal government which has the constitutional and financial responsibility for First Nations
people? If so, would he expect that that subsidy or support would perhaps escalate year over year?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: No, Mr. Speaker, and the honourable Leader of the Opposition makes
a good point. At no time are we discussing, or will we discuss, attempting to replace the federal government,
to have a fiduciary responsibility with respect to the native peoples all across Canada.



The comment I think I made was in a press scrum outside. It was asked of me, well, why should this
particular group be treated any differently? Are they any different? They represent just 1 per cent of the
population of Nova Scotia. In responding to that question, I said, they are different for example, for two
reasons. One, they are our nation’s first people. Secondly, the rate of unemployment in those communities
across Nova Scotia is without parallel in the rest of the province.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the Minister of Finance would confirm whether or not the
Province of Nova Scotia has the jurisdictional power to prevent native people from building and operating
casinos on reserves in Nova Scotia?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, we believe we do and we have taken that position.



MR. DONAHOE: By way of final supplementary, can the minister confirm that the attempts to offer
native bands in Nova Scotia money from the Sydney casino is, in any way, part of a contractual arrangement
that he and the government have made with ITT Sheraton, to ensure that the native community of Nova Scotia
would be prevented from establishing casinos in the Province of Nova Scotia?



MR. BOUDREAU: No, Mr. Speaker, there is no such connection. I have made a public statement, I
think, well in advance of any arrangements with ITT Sheraton, indicating what the position of the government
in Nova Scotia was. That was that we would issue no licenses and do whatever was necessary to prevent the
establishment of a casino on a reserve.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



COMMUN. SERV. - LUNENBURG FAMILY AND CHILDREN’S SERVICES AGENCY:

 

ABUSE VICTIMS - NEGOTIATIONS



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Community Services. The review of the
Lunenburg Family and Children’s Services agency established, in fact, that there was agency failure. For that
reason, the province does have a responsibility in terms of compensation to the victims.



Will the minister tell us who is doing the negotiating on behalf of the agency and are those negotiations
complete?



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I have not had an update in the last few days, but the lawyer for
the agency, as I have informed the House, has involved the Department of Justice, as well as members of our
own staff, including legal staff attached to the Community Services Department.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, the minister’s answer indicates that the lawyer for the agency is handling
negotiations on behalf of the government. Would the minister indicate who is handling the negotiations on
behalf of the victims?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, it is my information from letters I have received on behalf of the victims
relative to compensation, have been on letterhead from lawyers in the particular area. The answer, I believe,
would be lawyers within the Province of Nova Scotia, practising within the province and that would be the
legal representation that they have is my understanding. If they are unable to have representation of their own,
I am sure that legal aid is available at least for application under that.



[3:30 p.m.]



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, the minister has indicated, then, that the victims are being represented by
legal counsel as far as he is aware.



By way of final supplementary, would the minister comment, has he had any indication from the
lawyer who is representing the government, the lawyer for the Lunenburg agency, that in fact the negotiations
are going along smoothly or whether in fact a negotiated settlement will not be possible.



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to mention, the honourable member did mention that the
lawyer of the Lunenburg agency is negotiating on behalf of the government. It would like to say the lawyer
of the Lunenburg agency is negotiating on behalf of the agency which has to be accountable. This is an
important differentiation.



There are lawyers from the Department of Justice and as far as I know, they have looked at models of
experience in other provinces and they are trying to do what is fair and just. It is not my job to be checking
or looking over their shoulders or to be interfering in any way. This is a matter that is very sensitive. Certainly
they know that our wishes within the Department of Community Services is to do what is right, particularly
for the children who have suffered under these particular difficulties.



MR. SPEAKER: On a new question, the honourable member for Pictou Centre.



COMMUN. SERV.: DAY CARE SPACES - NATIVE PEOPLE



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, again to the Minister of the Community Services. The federal
government has announced a program that is expected to create some 6,000 new day care spaces for
aboriginal children by next fall. Would the minister indicate for us in the House, and on behalf of native
peoples, what is the government planning to do to assure that Nova Scotian native people secure a fair share
of those day care spaces?



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I did have the opportunity this week to speak with Honourable
Lloyd Axworthy and I highlighted particularly my concern about the child welfare issues, the child care
issues. We did not discuss particularly the distribution of those seats and we are looking forward, and I think
perhaps we will have discussions with the honourable minister probably specifically on child care both as to
child care income relative to the family but also child care spaces.






I will say, Mr. Speaker, that this province has been aware and has addressed already, if the honourable
member would recall, the distribution of 50 seats last year, that was the allotment for last year. Since we have
been in government we have allotted 100 seats. We have, out of that 50, this was on the urging, I might say,
of the Premier of this Province, that 15 would go to aboriginal people. This allowed them to open a centre in
the Bloomfield Centre here in Halifax, I think, in conjunction with the Mi’Kmaq Friendship Centre and I have
not had the opportunity to visit recently but it is up and running and that is the sort of commitment that we
are making to the aboriginal peoples.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for the answer. The minister has indicated that 15 out
of the 50 seats allocated last year have in fact, or will be designated for native children. Could the minister
indicate how many day care spaces in the province at present have been designated for native children?



MR. SPEAKER: He indicates he could not hear the question. Could you repeat it again louder?



DR. HAMM: Certainly, Mr. Speaker. Would the minister indicate how many spaces presently are in
the province, that are designated for native children.



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I would have to check that for the honourable member. The 15 specifically
I know are. Since we formed government, that is the 15, which is quite considerable when you consider most
areas will get three or two even or five at maximum. So this was quite a commitment for those 50, which the
honourable member knows, the Round Table on Child Care allot these, it is a bit of an arm’s length
endeavour, which I think is good. The round table has representation from child care providers and parents
and workers and all of the people involved in child care.



So I would have to check, and I would do that as an undertaking, Mr. Speaker. I certainly know there
are aboriginal children, particularly those children of women who are in educational programs have been
targeted, in some cases, with the work programs specifically. I know the federal government has made some
commitments in this province and if the honourable member might remember, last year, I believe, there was
some withdrawal of funding, that this province has picked up.



I think I would like to say we are addressing the needs of all children, although particularly in areas
of high need we will address specific issues, whether they are aboriginal or other particular areas. But,
certainly, women in training and those types of programs, I know that some of those have been aboriginal but
we haven’t particularly highlighted it, we are really just doing what we can to meet the needs, particularly any
jobs or any areas that may get women back into the economic renewal of this country.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I was unable to pick up a lot of the minister’s answer. I suspect he may have
partially answered my final supplementary, but I will ask it again since I could not hear his answer. Would
the minister describe for us the process of discussions that take place between himself and his department
people, with native peoples, relative to issues like the designation of day care beds for native people and other
issues which are related, perhaps, to child protection concerns? Would he describe the mechanism that he is
using to negotiate and discuss these items with native people?



DR. SMITH: That is a broad issue, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: I was thinking that as the question was being asked.



DR. SMITH: There is a Micmac social agency and certainly our department interacts with that group
specifically. Our department also meets with the Micmac child care facility that I mentioned here in Halifax,
specifically, and I have met with those people.

 

 

I have met with aboriginal women in the fifth floor boardroom months ago when it was an issue of
withdrawal of federal funding. So the mechanism is really in place. The Round Table on Day Care certainly
is aware of the issues and that is what I believe and I support as a mechanism in allocation of spaces; they are
really much in need. We are looking forward, Mr. Speaker. I believe we will be able to manage again and keep
our commitment to increased numbers of subsidized spaces. If the federal government comes through, I think
we can see quite a movement in this particular area. We will continue dialogue with all parts of the province,
particularly with any areas of great need.



I think the member is saying that he identifies and supports the extra allocation of day care spaces to
aboriginal peoples and I certainly will do what I can, as minister, and influence whoever is in this position
in years to come.



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



EDUC. - AXWORTHY REPORT: RESPONSE - RELEASE



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, my question is, I think, probably just a very short snapper to the
Minister of Education. The minister led the delegation to meet with the federal minister, the Honourable Mr.
Axworthy, on Monday on the social security reform. My office contacted the minister’s office yesterday to see
if the minister or the office would release the paper that has been taken to Ottawa by the minister on behalf
of Nova Scotia and the other provinces. My question to the minister is quite simply, is the minister prepared
today to table the document, the report that was taken to Mr. Axworthy, outlining the position of the Atlantic
Provinces, so Nova Scotians can see it?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. As I
said the last day in the House, there was a report developed amongst four provinces; two of the provinces have
asked us to delay until next Tuesday because they want to do some work within their own Cabinet and caucus
to deal with the response that Mr. Axworthy gave to us. So they have asked us to wait until next Tuesday and,
as a courtesy, we have responded to that, so I will be providing it to the House next Tuesday.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I guess my question is why is it that Nova Scotia has taken that position?
Obviously some other provinces have not. Quite honestly, it has been released and made public in at least one
other province. I would be happy to provide the minister with a copy that I have received. I would like to ask
the minister, why it is that Nova Scotia has agreed to keep this information confidential when other provincial
governments are, in fact, making it public?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, as I said, we were requested by two provinces to hold it. We gave
our word on it and with respect, it is something that I feel obligated to keep. If somebody else has released it,
then that is their concern and they will have to deal with the people that requested it. Until such time as we
are removed from our commitment, I won’t release it and if the honourable member wants to use it from
somebody else, then let him do that.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, my final question is, is the reason that the minister has decided not to
release it yet, would that have anything to do with the possibility that he is hoping that the House may not be
sitting next Tuesday? Because the positions that have been taken, really, in it are in fact nothing more than
motherhood statements?



MR. SPEAKER: I believe that question to be out of order. The House will sit next Tuesday unless the
business in the meantime adjourns and the session is recessed.



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I don’t have a problem with motherhood for the
honourable member but secondly, if I might, I answered the question very frankly in this House. If he is
implying I am lying to the House, let him get up and say so. That request was made at the meeting and if he
wants to check on it, I will give him 14 people who were there who heard it announced and our commitment
given. If the honourable member is suggesting I am lying to the House, let him have the courage to stand up
and say so.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



EDUC.: WHITE PAPER - ISSUANCE



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. Parents and
teachers in the school boards, home and school associations and many others are anxiously awaiting the
minister’s White Paper on Education. It was initially promised much prior to this date. The minister has now
apparently let the media know in a scrum yesterday or the day before, that it will be out somewhere around
the end of February. In a letter to our caucus office some time ago the minister indicated that there would be
such a White Paper and consultations on that White Paper would be taking place between January and
February of 1995 and we are now in very serious danger, we have certainly lost January and are in danger of
losing much of February. Can the minister give a precise date on which the White Paper will be made
available?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, when I wrote that letter and when I spoke to the school
boards, I couldn’t even guess that we would be sitting in the House at this particular time. In order for me to
engage in consultation with the boards, I have to leave the House. I have to go visit the boards as I did last
time and go visit the communities across the Province of Nova Scotia. It is very difficult for me to do it while
the House is in session. So, the letter was anticipating an earlier close of the House. As soon as the House
closes, I will have a press conference, I will release it and then I will start the consultations to the province.
That is the commitment that I made and I will do that.



The honourable members opposite have a better gauge as to when the House will close than I do
because they are debating in the House. We are here to answer their questions and be here and I will stay here
to do that. As soon as they are finished with that we will, in fact, do the consultation.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know, I would have thought that the Minister of Education
might have been able to visit quite a few of the 22 school boards during the week that he was visiting people
in Malaysia. But that aside . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Order please. There is a high level of din in the House and I ask that one member
speak at a time, namely the member who has the floor.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, aside from all the rhetoric as to timetables and getting off, you know,
having trips to Malaysia and not being able to get out of the House and that sort of stuff. (Interruption) Oh,
shame, Bill, sit down.



[3:45 p.m.]



My question to the Minister of Education, by way of first supplementary, is a very specific one. Will
the Minister of Education give this House and those others who are interested in this matter, an indication
as to when he expects, by specific date, to table the White Paper? When will he table the White Paper?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, the week after the House rises, I will do that and then I will travel
the province and answer the questions. If I might, for the aside that the honourable member mentioned about
Malaysia, it was an honour for me to represent the Ministers of Education across the country. I would suggest
to the honourable member that it was an honour for Nova Scotia to be asked to be part of that. I do not
apologize for that because representing Nova Scotia for Canada is something that I am very pleased about.
(Applause)



MR. DONAHOE: Well, I know all about those honours, Mr. Speaker, and I am delighted that the
minister pats himself on the back. I, too, was Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Education of Canada
(Interruption) and it is an honour and I am delighted that he had the good time he did in Malaysia.



I ask the minister this, once he tables the document, because as I know he knows, to be serious, that
there are many people concerned about the future of public education in this province and the lengthiest
period of time that can be managed for dialogue and consultation is required. I ask the Minister of Education
to give the people of Nova Scotia this answer. Once the document is tabled, will the minister give a
commitment as to the length of time through which and during which he will engage in dialogue on that
document with the boards, with the School Boards Association, with the Teachers Union and with the
community at large? How long a dialogue period will he have?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that the honourable Leader of the Opposition is
anticipating a negative result from this. If we consult with all the boards and the stakeholders and there is
consensus around certain issues, then we can move forward on them when that consensus is reached. We
started this discussion last June and this White Paper speaks to much of the consensus that was arrived at.
That is what we were working towards and working very hard at it.



For the honourable member to suggest that by December 6th we are going to do this, is to fail to
understand the nature of consultation. The things on which we can arrive at consensus relatively quickly, we
will move on quickly. Things that prove to be difficult, for one reason or another, we will continue to work
on. That is what we have done for the last year, plus, and we will continue to do so.



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



EDUC.: FUNDING CUTS - EFFECT



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Education. The school
boards and the Teachers Union and the Home and School Federation and educational administrators and so
on, submitted a report to the minister and to the public today, and reference has already been made to it here
in Question Period today. In it, they outline the changes resulting from the minister’s cuts to the system and
a total of 19 of the 22 boards replied that, “. . . teacher morale appeared to be lower than in the past.”,
outlining many specifics within each board.



I wonder if the minister would agree that this is and is becoming increasingly to be a serious problem
for teachers, the boards, but, most important, for the students of the province?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I can go further than that for the honourable Leader of
the Opposition. Two years ago, I was a teacher in the system. At that particular time, I was also sitting in
Opposition and we all remember, those of us who were here, the campaign that was lodged out in the corridor
of the school, at this building. At that particular time, the morale started to drop here to teachers in Nova
Scotia.



Also, there are problems across the country because of the stress of the difficulties we have because of
financing and the fiscal difficulties, some of which were created significantly by the honourable member. I
want to suggest to him that this is something that has occurred over the last three years and we have to work
very hard to build on it. I know that, Mr. Speaker, but I am encouraged because, in the same report, on Page
9, it indicates that the teachers - and it gives reasons here - “. . . object to the increased pressures to which they
have been exposed.”. I understand that. In the final analysis, we will do what they believe to be right for
students. I have said that in the House year after year and I still believe it to be so.



The strength of the system of education in Nova Scotia is the individual teachers and despite their
concern about the fiscal difficulties, the uncertainty, they are still doing their job and I take this opportunity
to congratulate them. The honourable leader should recognize that despite the morale problems, they are
doing an excellent job and they will continue to do so. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



EDUC. - FUNDING CUTS: DIALOGUE - COMMENCE



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: I share that sentiment with the minister and I know hundreds and
hundreds of the teachers who do superb work, but I also know that morale is at an all time low. I wonder if,
by way of supplementary, the minister will indicate whether or not he will be addressing the very serious
inadequacies that are outlined in the survey document presented today with the authors of that survey before
he signs off on his 1995-96 budget so that Nova Scotians will not witness a further deterioration of our
children’s Primary year, their transportation system, the morale of the teachers and their educators and the
continuing loss of programs and teachers to help deliver those programs in the coming year. Will he be
engaged in that kind of dialogue before signing off on the 1995-96 budget of his department?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, first of all I would inform the honourable member and
all members of the House that in fact all the students who require to be bused to school are still being bused
to school. Routes have to be changed and other kinds of things had to be done and that is understandable, but
they are being bused to school and being cared for unless the honourable member or someone else has some
information to the contrary.



Mr. Speaker, there were changes involved and decisions made, not just because of our cuts. In fact,
we had a request by the Cape Breton District School Board a year before there were any cuts by the present
government in which they were asking to change Grade Primary. Not because of our cuts, but because they
have a declining enrolment problem and they have to find ways to address it.



We have several boards with significant problems and the survey does not separate the cuts versus
declining enrolment or its other changes and that is something that the honourable member should take into
account as he is asking the question. Again, we are working with the boards continually. In fact, I sent a press
release out. The School Boards Association chose to have their press release and when they were doing it sent
a letter to me and said they would like to talk about it. I told them I am more than pleased to talk about it and
I will continue to do so.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, by way of final supplementary, if I may, I would repeat the question
which I just put. Will the minister give the undertaking to this House that he will engage in serious dialogue
with the authors of the survey document presented today prior to him signing off his 1995-96 Department of
Education budget?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I said in the House one other day that I provided the school boards
with their money announcements last November/December and told them to proceed with their budgeting.
I am not going to delay those announcements. I am telling them to proceed with their budgeting process and
if they want to have discussions while this is happening, I would be pleased to discuss it with them.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



HUMAN RES. - BERKELEY CONSULTING: REPORT - STATUS



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of
Human Resources. Last fall, Nova Scotians were told that it was such an emergency to get on with the
reorganization of the Department of Health that a sole-sourced contract had to be entered into in the range
of $40,000 to $50,000 with a Toronto based consulting firm by the name of Berkeley Consulting. We have
yet to hear any report back with respect to that consultant project.



Last week, the Minister of Health indicated that the report was not yet available and I wonder if the
Minister of Human Resources could indicate whether that report is now available and will be released to the
public?



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, Berkeley Consulting have been working with the
Department of Health. The report is not yet completely finalized and when it is it will be tabled.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for giving the assurance that the report will
be made public, but my further question has to do with the puzzlement that Nova Scotians feel over the fact
that the Berkeley report has not even yet been tabled, yet the Deputy Minister of Health announced, over 10
days ago, a massive reorganization of the Department of Health, in fact five branches of the department.






I wonder if the minister could please explain how it costs $40,000 to $50,000 to enter into a contract
with Berkeley Consulting, who have not yet even reported, yet the complete reorganization of the Department
of Health has already been announced and is in the process of being implemented? How did Nova Scotians
get value for their money from this untendered contract?



MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, I feel the word untendered is not really appropriate. We contacted other
companies to see if there were people available with health expertise as well as human resource management.
Only one company felt they could reply to our request and to those things that we need to have addressed.



The Deputy Minister of Health, the minister stated last week, has been working with the consultants
and with the report that they have prepared in his reorganization and is working in consultation with it. That
is where we are with it. When it is completely finalized it will be tabled in the House.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, the minister has said that her department contacted a number of
companies, none of whom had people available who apparently were capable or available, to do this job.



I wonder if I could ask the minister, in a very straightforward way, if she would table in this House the
list of companies contacted and invited to bid on this contract?



MRS. NORRIE: I could do that on a future day, Mr. Speaker.



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



SPORTS: ECUM SECUM ORANGE LODGE - FUNDING REFUSAL



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question, too, is to the Minister for the Nova Scotia Sport
and Recreation Commission. I want to know, as does Mr. J. Hape of Ecum Secum, Guysborough County; he
contends that other lodges in Nova Scotia were given grant money after the Ecum Secum Orange Lodge Hall
No. 2468 was refused. I would like to know, as does Mr. Hape of Ecum Secum, Guysborough County, why
grant money was refused for the Ecum Secum Orange Lodge?



I realize that perhaps the minister may not have this information off the top of her head but I wonder
if she would be willing to provide me with a written decision on this application?



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, I think the member opposite should realize that we did a
major overhaul of the process of how we apply the funds available for recreation facility development. If this
lodge or this organization applied for funding, they would have gone through the process that was put in
place. Of the large number of applications we got from across Nova Scotia, we filled about 82 per cent of those
that required funding and feel very proud of those projects that have gone forward. I am not sure if this
organization did apply. If they did, I am sure they must have received their answer from the commission at
that time.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I am sure that this organization did apply and I ask the minister if she
would provide me with a written decision on their application. Now I realize that the minister would not have
this information readily accessible, off the top of her head so to speak, so will the minister provide me with
a written decision on this application?



MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, I will look into that and get back to him on another day.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



NAT. RES.: SABLE ISLAND GAS - JOB CREATION



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Natural Resources. The
other day in the newspaper the Minister of the Environment was quoted as saying that natural gas exploration
and extraction off Sable Island is on a fast track. The minister also indicated there is a five panel agency
drawn up, involving the National Energy Board, the Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, as well as the
federal and provincial and New Brunswick Departments of the Environment.



My question for the Minister of Natural Resources is, with job creation so important in Nova Scotia
at the present time, why isn’t the department for the Economic Renewal Agency involved in this review
process?



[4:00 p.m.]



HON. DONALD DOWNE: I am happy to address this issue with regard to the five panel committee,
about whether the review process, the environmental review processes should continue to create more jobs.
The reality is that industry, looking at the potential of investing in the offshore, are looking at and have to deal
with and go through five separate environmental processes.



Now, the member opposite, obviously has had some background in business. Farming is a business and
he understands all too well, if you have five hoops to go through to come to the same end then, that does not
make a lot of sense to the private sector. What the process is, is trying to find a vehicle under one regime to
deal with the all complexities of the environmental assessment process, for the benefit of creating jobs not
deterring jobs.



MR. ARCHIBALD: The Minister of the Environment has the right idea to streamline the
environmental review process, but my question involves job creation for Nova Scotians. My question is, what
is the Department of Economic Renewal Agency doing about the offshore gas, the Minister of the
Environment is looking at the impact environmentally, what is Nova Scotia doing as a job creation program
with natural gas?



MR. DOWNE: We, as a government, have been working collectively together as teams in ministerial
efforts to coordinate activities. The offshore, obviously is my jurisdiction and because of that we have a
working committee of staff and of ministers. Mr. Harrison, the Minister of the Environment is involved; Mr.
Bragg, Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency, the Minister of Fisheries and a number of others, the
Education Minister and so on and so forth, they are involved.



Through that we are looking at trying to coordinate the types of requirements that are needed to
develop the offshore. We will continue to do it on that kind of a basis so that, really, whether it is the
Department of the Economic Renewal Agency, the Department of the Environment or the Department of
Natural Resources, we are working as a unit in developing the potentials of the offshore in a very business-like
and a thoughtful manner. One in which, I might add, the industry has indicated to us that they have been very
pleased with the performance and the activities that we have done to date, in accordance with their concerns
and requirements.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Well, I appreciate the minister’s candour and his openness in the answer, but Nova
Scotians need jobs. What we have read in the newspaper is that there is a plan to build a pipeline right straight
through New Brunswick and stop in New England.



My question to the minister is, are you aware of the fact that the jobs are created at the end of the
pipeline which will be in New England, not at the beginning which will be in Nova Scotia? That is why I am
concerned about the Economic Renewal Agency being involved, so that there are jobs for Nova Scotians.



MR. DOWNE: The Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency is part of this working team and is
very much aware of the potential impacts, pluses, to the Province of Nova Scotia. Obviously as indicated
before, publicly, I have made it public and Mr. Harrison, our Minister of the Environment has made it public,
that we are hopefully optimistic that this process will go forward.



There are many areas that need to be dealt with prior to this project saying it is a green light, absolutely
going to go. We, as a government, have been very cognizant of the fact that over the years we have had a lot
of Nova Scotians put up and down the proverbial flag pole about offshore this, offshore that - all our problems
are being answered by this program. We are careful not to do that. We are trying to deal directly with the
companies. Trying to deal directly with putting a program together to meet those requirements. But, also this
is a private sector initiative and they have a number of areas that they are reviewing and studying to make sure
that this is economically viable from their perspective jobs and economic activity in the Province of Nova
Scotia. If this project goes forward, is a benefit to the Province of Nova Scotia and we will have to wait and
see the actual numbers, I can assure the member opposite, if it goes forward it will be a benefit to Nova Scotia.



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



OPPOSITION MEMBERS’ BUSINESS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: I am filling in, Mr. Speaker. Would you please call the order of business,
Private and Local Bills for Second Reading.



PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. GEORGE MOODY:  Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 147.



Bill No. 147 - New Glasgow Parking Commission Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable the member for Pictou Centre.



DR. JOHN HAMM: I rise to speak to an act to amend Chapter 82 of the Acts of 1992, the New
Glasgow Parking Commission Act. The effect of this amendment is to allow the New Glasgow Parking
Commission to increase its membership from eight members to nine members. The additional member being
that person that holds the office of manager of the New Glasgow Development Corporation Limited, as long
as that person holds the office.



I move the bill for second reading.



MR. SPEAKER: The question has been called. The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 147.
Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Private and Local Bills.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Today during Question Period the Leader
of the Official Opposition referred to Mr. Bob MacKay as the Deputy Minister of the Premier’s office. In fact,
Mr. Bob MacKay is the Deputy Minister of the Planning & Priorities Commission.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Motions Other
Than Government Motions.



MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, would please call Resolution No. 1556.



Res. No. 1556, re Health - Hospitals: Waiting Lists - Clarification - notice given Jan. 23/95 - (Mr. G.
Archibald)



MR. SPEAKER: I will recognize whomever wishes to move it.



The honourable member for Kings North.



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, the Resolution No. 1556 we are debating today and if I
might I would like to read the therefore be it resolved section of this resolution:



“Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health make it abundantly clear to Nova Scotians today
that doctors will not have to consider sending patients to hospitals outside of Nova Scotia while waiting for
a hospital bed in our province.”.



Now, at first blush one may think that this therefore be it resolved section is a joke but I assure you,
it is not. A medical doctor in Kentville was faced with that very problem because he could not find a bed for
a patient who needed an operation because he had had three heart attacks. This is a very serious situation that
is new to Nova Scotia. It is not something that we are proud of but it is something that has developed very
recently.



At one point, if I may quote, “. . . he thought he might have to airlift him to Saint John or Ottawa for
treatment. `It’s unusual you get to that point where you think about it,’, says Dr. Whightman of the Valley
Regional Hospital.”. That is very serious, that is not what Nova Scotians expect from their Department of
Health. And what is the problem? Well, I will tell you the problem; the Minister of Health is the only person
in this province that doesn’t realize we have a problem and a crisis on our hands. It is unfortunate the Minister
of Health is on holiday in Calgary and unable to be with us today in the House. But this issue is so serious that
I feel that it must be discussed today, we cannot wait for his return to the Chamber.



Our office gets calls almost daily from people who are awaiting surgery or waiting for a hospital bed.
They are waiting for adequate home care to replace the beds lost. They are waiting for beds that no longer
exist. (Interruption) We just heard an interjection from the Government House Leader, why are they calling
members of the Opposition because he says they are doing interference. Well, perhaps sometime the
Government House Leader would stand in his place and stop his heckling, all he does is make interjections
from the side.



Mr. Speaker, I want you to know that the quickest way to get a hospital bed is to call or write to the
Minister of Health. Two weeks ago in this Chamber the Minister of Health said it was a mere coincidence that
upon receipt of a telephone call a patient immediately got a hospital bed. Well, I am telling you members, if
you get any complaints from people in your regions and your areas that can’t get into the hospital and you
want a coincidence, write or call the minister’s office. I was speaking to a person in Kentville the other day
who indicated the very same thing to me. That person needed treatment, couldn’t get it, wrote to the minister,
got a letter back and the next day was admitted to the hospital that was unavailable prior to the letter.



Now this isn’t what the Minister of Health tells us, this isn’t what the Minister of Health wants us to
believe. However, this is the truth.



Now the other day I was reading a newspaper article from a lady in Glace Bay, so the silent 10 from
Cape Breton should listen. This is one of the most tragic situations that I have heard of in a long time; a Glace
Bay woman has been waiting five weeks, after having a disc operation in Halifax, to get a bed in a hospital.
She is in constant pain, unable to look after herself and unable to have home care service.



A week after the operation in Halifax she was returned to her home in Glace Bay by ambulance. On
the first of January the pain was so unbearable that she checked herself in, with the aid of her sister-in-law,
to the Sydney Hospital. They were so overcrowded and beds unavailable that she was asked if she would mind
staying in a small room. The emergency entrance to the South Street Hospital is where she spent four days
with five other people, in a little antechamber, off the emergency entrance. Five other people in one small
room, with one bathroom; two of the other people were males. This was humiliating for this person who was
in pain.



One of the other people who was there, an elderly person, her husband even offered to make a donation
to the hospital but they said, I am sorry, we have no room for you, we have no beds.



Now this is something new because this person from Glace Bay is not new to the hospital system,
having had two operations in 1992. She said in 1992 the service was very good and there is no comparison
to the medical service available today that there was in 1992. The system has gone so far downhill that if we
don’t do something to stop it, we won’t have a health care system at all.



This is what the Cape Breton people are telling us. Are the silent 10 listening? You should be because
this is a serious matter. These are Nova Scotia taxpayers, they deserve health care and they are not getting
it.



She is concerned, why else would she call the newspaper and allow her picture to be splattered across
the news media? It is harder and harder for Nova Scotians to accept this situation. We have a blueprint for
the medical care system, the health care system. It should be followed. The minister says he is following it
but then what happens? Something else entirely.



In January the minister indicated it was just coincidence that a call to his office would get you in the
hospital. Well that is some coincidence.



A person called our office the other day. She was admitted through emergency for a blood clot. The
cardiologist tried to get it cleared but he was unsuccessful. The woman waited for 20 days in a hospital bed
before she could get an operation to cure the problem. Wouldn’t it have been better if the Minister of Health
had busied himself, to make sure that patients were getting the treatment they need, rather than be treated as
though they were somewhere in a rest home? This is not good use of hospital beds to simply have somebody
waiting. She needed the operation. Anybody who realizes they need a heart operation knows the fear and
terror they live through each day.



We should, certainly, be making sure that the hospitals are equipped to handle the emergency patients
when they arrive. The problem is, there is a lack of funding in the operating rooms. Oh yes, we do not have
any money and I know that. Times are tight. But, by golly, when it came time to find $3 million to fire the
deputy ministers, $100,000 for a deputy minister, another $100,000 for another deputy minister, that money
was there. But when it comes to finding $100,000 to pay a physician who will work in the operating room,
the money is not there.



[4:15 p.m.]



The minister continually says that the health care system is under his control. Well, I say to you, the
health care system is out of control and we have a minister that is not doing his responsibility. In December,
the parent of a sick four and one half year old was turned away from the Izzak Walton Killam Hospital for
Children. The mother worried it was cutbacks and a shortage of beds. The mother was concerned. Dr. Murphy
at the hospital said that while it is fortunate that it was not the case for the IWK to be short of beds, budget
cutbacks will continue to be a problem.



I raised some questions in this Legislature, Mr. Speaker, about the Valley Regional Hospital. That was
very upsetting for me because the Minister of Health informed me that I did not know what I was talking
about, that I was misinformed and if the figures and the numbers I were giving him were true, I should table
them. Well, in fact, I did table them because the Kentville Valley Regional Hospital is in a crisis situation and
this crisis situation is not getting better. In fact, it is getting worse.






There has been an increase in lab work of 46 per cent this year, much of it due to the closure of the
Wolfville Hospital and the scheduled shutdown in Berwick. A 46 per cent increase in lab work, a 40 per cent
increase in the work load, without any corresponding financial input from the government. How are hospitals
supposed to continue with the lack of planning that this government is putting forward? The only thing this
government is interested in and the biggest concern that I can see and that Nova Scotians can see in this
government is casinos. They don’t seem to be interested in health care.



The administrator of the hospital in Kentville said that the rising demand must be met with a
comparable funding from the province or what is he to do? Is he to shut the door completely when the payroll
stops? You know, how many people does he have to turn away before this minister and this government wake
up to realize there is a crisis? One of the interesting things about the Valley Regional Hospital, and I know
that the minister said, when I asked the questions, he said, you should not have built it in the first place. The
honourable member for Kings South said, oh, that was a political decision.

 

 

I want you to know, Mr. Speaker, something that I know that the honourable member for Annapolis
can tell and vouch for, that is a regional hospital. When that was open, three other hospitals closed and the
work load was put under one roof. The savings that that generated is over $5 million per year. Within six
years, that hospital will have paid for itself in the reduced expenditures that it was costing to run the other
three hospitals.



Now, that looks economic to me, but this government does not follow the rules. They make them and
then they make some more and they forget what they said yesterday. So, it is proof positive that the Valley
Regional Hospital is an excellent facility, but the staff are being worked beyond what they anticipated. There
are not enough nurses available to do the work and, believe me, the nurses are working very vigorously and
rigorously. I toured the hospital. I know how difficult it is for the people that are working there to keep their
heads above water under difficult circumstances.



But the spirit of the people and their willingness and their wanting to work hard and look after their
patients is paramount. When 22 people arrived at the Emergency for seven beds, those people suddenly made
the difference; they scheduled people around; they had people in ICU; they had people in Emergency; and they
had people in the OR, a place where they keep some more cots, just to make room.



People came in. They came in on their day off to work, they had to. They are pulling together, but they
are not pulling together with the Department of Health. The minister is not with the people. The minister does
not understand exactly what is going on with the health care system in Nova Scotia. He should become aware
of the problems; he should speak to the people and listen to what they are saying.



The people operating our medical facilities will tell him plainly and clearly what the difficulties are,
and in all cases it is not just money that is the problem, it is scheduling, and it is the commitment that this
government made towards having a Home Care Program. They should have had a Home Care Program in
Wolfville before they closed the hospital. How are the people in Wolfville to address the issue?



They are having community meetings. Reverend Canon Davies from Kentville is chairing a committee,
appearing in 8 or 10 communities throughout our county to talk to people. The Wolfville Hospital just did not
serve Wolfville: it served Scott’s Bay, Canning, Port Williams, Gaspereau, Hants Border. It served a very large
area. Those communities are just now coming to the realization that there is a problem. They are meeting to
help solve the problem. Wouldn’t it have been great if, prior to the closure of the hospital, there was home care
and there was a plan and there was at least a thought that this government cares about people? The people
feel neglected, rejected and abandoned and that is not fair. They are people, they are Nova Scotians and they
should be, and they must be, treated fairly.



What happened to the promise that the Liberals made that Nova Scotia would have good health care?
We look for so much from the Minister of Health who has had input to the United States Health Care Reform
Program that failed so miserably. He is having the same effect in Nova Scotia. The one he tried to do in the
United States with Mrs. Clinton has not gone over any better than what he is trying to do here.



We have seen the shift from having beds to losing beds, but we have not seen any evidence from this
government that there is a commitment to replace the beds that Nova Scotians need in our hospitals.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin.



MR. GERALD FOGARTY: Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to have this opportunity to respond to this
resolution introduced by the member for Kings North having to do, of course, principally with what the
member for Kings North maintains is a shortage of beds in Halifax hospitals.



I want to say unequivocally at the outset that there is not a shortage of acute care treatment beds in this
Province of Nova Scotia. Now there is - or I should say there has been in the past - but there is a change that
is so evident to all Nova Scotians now and a tremendous improvement in this situation. In the past there was,
Mr. Speaker, a lack of proper management of active term beds. That is the difference in this entire situation.
Active term beds are being used to fill long-term need beds. Twenty-five per cent of the beds in an average
90 bed hospital in Nova Scotia are occupied by patients waiting to go to a long-term facility. Again, it is the
total mismanagement of the beds in our hospitals in Nova Scotia.



Mr. Speaker, I know of one case where a patient spent 14 years in an active care treatment bed because
there was no system in place for this individual elsewhere. On average, it is not unheard of to have a long-term care patient in a hospital for 3 to 5 years. This is not the type of care that people need. It is the type of
situation that the reform process must be addressing. Indeed, with this administration and the change in
government that occurred in May 1993, the very critical need for health care reform in this province is being
addressed.



Mr. Speaker, I want to dwell for another moment or two, if I may, on this whole question of the
number of acute care beds in Nova Scotia and how we rate, or stack up, if you like, how we compare with
other provinces in this country. In April of last year in Nova Scotia there were 4,200 beds available, which
breaks down to 4.7 beds per 1,000 of population in the province. Six months later, in October of last year, it
was 3.9 beds per 1,000 of population. That is a change of 16 per cent.



I want to point out, Mr. Speaker, that the national average, if you look at all the other provinces, is
approximately 3 beds per 1,000 of population. That is the target we are working toward here in Nova Scotia.
That goal or target will adequately serve the health care needs of Nova Scotians.



Mr. Speaker, I want to be fair about this and I think it should be pointed out that the previous
administration, and there is at least one member of the Opposition who served as Minister of Health in that
administration during that 15 year period, I would have to say that he gave lip service or showed tokenism
toward reform in health care in this province, but no more than that, because there was no courage, there was
a lack of intestinal fortitude to take the kind of measures that this government is implementing in the area of
health care reform.



During that 15 year period Nova Scotia did not introduce programs such as home care and companion
care. Other provinces in Canada were doing it, there were lots of examples to have a look at. This province
could have followed the lead of many other provinces in this country, had they the courage to do so. But no,
there were band-aid solutions and that kind of very temporary acts of relief, we might say, Mr. Speaker. That
is why this province is in the dire situation that it faces today. I want to say that the Minister of Health and
this government is dedicated to bringing this province into position to where it is ready to move into the 21st
Century.



Many other provinces have reduced their acute care beds, per 1,000 of population, to that level
anywhere between 2.5 and 3 beds. The target is 3 beds per 1,000 of population. If that figure is more than
adequate in other provinces, why should Nova Scotia be any different? Why does Nova Scotia need all these
beds when other provinces do not? This is the kind of situation that must be addressed, Mr. Speaker.



Technological advances in medical terms are helping to reduce the number of days that patients are
required to stay in hospitals. Same day surgery is continuing to rapidly increase as a result of new medical
technologies. Same day surgeries have increased by 16 per cent over the past year. These advances enable
patients to be in hospitals for much less time, thereby freeing up hospital beds for other uses.



I think it is common knowledge now, Mr. Speaker, that anyone who spends any time in a hospital is
there only as long as he or she must be in a hospital. There are numerous figures and much evidence to
indicate that anyone who spends time in a hospital will improve and the period of convalescence is much more
pleasant and the results are much more meaningful if that patient is allowed to go home and to be cared for
in a home care or companion care atmosphere.



Mr. Speaker, I want to bring to the attention of all members of this House a comment by the Medical
Director of Camp Hill Medical Centre here in Halifax, Dr. Richard MacLachlan, faces the truth that many
people do not need to be in a hospital. Beds are no longer the appropriate measurement for people to be in a
hospital. Again, just to re-emphasize the point that I want to make about how this government is addressing
that situation and realizing the need for people to spend time in hospital and when it is time for them to go
home and be administered by home care or companion care.



A few minutes ago, the member for Kings North mentioned the Nova Scotian in the Valley, I believe
in Kentville, a Mr. Taylor who was looking for admission to the Victoria General Hospital for heart surgery.
Well, Mr. Speaker, I have a letter from a Nova Scotian who lives in Bridgewater. This letter was sent to all
members of the government caucus. I think it illustrates that the changes in health care are being accepted
by a greater number of people in this province. This writer if Kathleen Gorman of Central Street in
Bridgewater.






[4:30 p.m.]



In December of last year Ms. Gorman was admitted to the Halifax Infirmary for surgery and she
reported to the Infirmary in mid-afternoon the day before her surgery. All of the paperwork was done at that
time, the blood work was completed as she was a day surgery patient. In the past, a patient like Ms. Gorman
would be required to stay overnight in hospital and then go through surgery the next day. All of it went very
smoothly, according to this correspondence from Ms. Gorman in Bridgewater.



She talked to her doctor about the anaesthetic that she would receive the next day and the blood work
and paperwork was all completed and she was able leave and come back the next morning for her surgery.
She reported at 7:00 a.m. early the next morning, had her surgery and then awoke after the anaesthetic and
was in her room in the hospital.



While convalescing that same day she was asked seven times by the nursing staff if anyone had
changed her dressing. Each time she replied no and the nurse would leave and not return with the dressing.
After this happened four times, Ms. Gorman began to get increasingly upset each time that she was asked the
question. She ultimately discovered the next day that the nurses had had six admissions on the floor that day,
they simply didn’t have time to attend to Ms. Gorman and change her dressing. These new patients who had
been admitted had not gone through the hospital admission in the separate unit.



So, what does it tell us, Mr. Speaker? Well, it tells us that nurses are doing clerical work when they
should be doing much more meaningful and significant tasks in the hospital setting. So that is an example
of one Nova Scotian who is much in support of the changes in health care. She feels that the nursing staff had
to use their time looking after those patients who were well, that is being admitted to the hospital and waiting
for surgery, rather than being able to spend their time dealing with those who were ill in a post-operative
setting.



Ms. Gorman goes on to state emphatically, she believes very strongly, if the difference in this testing
procedure is indicative of the changes in health care and she congratulates this government and the Minister
of Health and says, that this government would be remiss in not changing the health care procedures that have
been in place for so many years in the Province of Nova Scotia. That is one Nova Scotian’s story and a
congratulatory note to this government and to the Minister of Health for a new approach and a new way to
address the problem of health care.



The Registered Nurses Association of Nova Scotia are on record as urging the Minister of Health,
encouraging him to get on with the program of reform even more rapidly. We hear some who are so
uncomfortable with this program of reform, everything is happening too rapidly in the eyes of some people
and I can relate to that. Many of us are not comfortable with change and reform. Human nature being what
it is, we react differently when we are asked to accept a different form of procedure or a practice that we are
not comfortable with.



I want to say that the Registered Nurses Association of Nova Scotia is urging the Minister of Health
to get on with it and so many other Nova Scotians are saying exactly the opposite. The Registered Nurses
Association of this province and the Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations banded together
recently to speak publicly to Nova Scotians through this advertisement. Some Nova Scotians believe that
change is not the way to go and that better health care will come only if we have higher levels of public
spending. That and these are not my words but I am using the words of representatives of the Registered
Nurses Association and the Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations, that is fiction. Here is the fact
of the matter, Mr. Speaker.



Over the past 25 years the cost of Nova Scotia’s health care system has gone up in leaps and bounds
but the level of our health care has not escalated. Review after review has come up with the same news about
our health care system, changes are definitely needed, leaving no doubt about the position that is shared by
the Registered Nurses Association of Nova Scotia and the Association of Health Organizations. More of our
health budget would be spent on programs to keep us healthy.



Hospital stays would be made shorter, while providing follow-up care at home and in community-based
clinics, getting us back to home care and companion care. Patients would be able to leave hospital beds for
the acutely ill. People would have more choice over where they receive health care services and from whom.
Health care reform is not a problem, it is our only solution. Mr. Speaker, again, those are the words of the
nurses of Nova Scotia and the Association of Health Organizations of this province.



Mr. Speaker, the real question at the end of the day is, that we must have in Nova Scotia a system that
is flexible, it is oriented to serve the needs of the people; not one that tries to fit the people to the program and
that is the crux of the problem, I think. In the past, Nova Scotians have had to fit into this system which was
antiquated and out of touch. This government is determined to bring about health care reform in this province
and a system which is flexible to meet the needs of those Nova Scotians who are ill or injured.



The Department of Health realizes that fiscal responsibility is part of this reform process and it also
realizes health care reform is about wellness, not about illness. The goal of this government, Mr. Speaker, is
to build a Comprehensive Home Care Program that can adjust, expand and be modified easily, in order to
meet the constantly changing needs of Nova Scotians.



In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I want to say, in the absence of the Minister of Health and the minister
is in Calgary, as was pointed out by the honourable member for Kings North. He is consulting there on this
very subject of health care reform. I want to say, that I am totally committed and supportive of the Minister
of Health and this government, in trying to bring about the necessary changes that we so badly need.



The previous administration knew that health care reform is and it should have been, a major priority
of that administration through 15 years. It was not, Mr. Speaker. This government has a totally different
approach and view and a commitment and a dedication to change the health care system in Nova Scotia for
the better. Thank you. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I want, at the outset, to say that I very much agree, I am
sorry to say, with the conclusion of the member for Halifax Bedford Basin, which is, that the major reforms
in the health care system, that have been desperately needed for many years in this province, were not the
priority that they ought to have been with the previous government. I think there would be very few Nova
Scotians that would not agree with that statement.






However, Mr. Speaker, I have a great deal of difficulty with where the member for Halifax Bedford
Basin is, in terms of addressing the very serious crisis that is real, that is happening in this province today and
that is causing a great deal of concern, anxiety and difficulty for far too many Nova Scotians. Because you
know, it is easy to mouth the platitudes. It is easy for the Minister of Health or the honourable member for
Halifax Bedford Basin or any other member of this government, to stand on their feet and talk about the vision
for a better health care system.



In fact, it would be downright easy to reduce the number of acute care beds. I mean, you could just
close the beds. You could close wings. But, Mr. Speaker, what health reform is about, is not just a vision, but
what health care reform is about, is managing the process of change that is absolutely critical if we are going
to get from here to there. I have to say, and perhaps this is just an aside, but since the member for Halifax
Bedford Basin chose to inform the House that the reason for the Minister of Health’s absence is that he has
gone to Alberta to consult on health care, I would feel much more comfortable about it if the Minister of
Health were on vacation, because I think first of all he shows signs of needing a vacation, but more
importantly, it worries me a lot to think of the Province of Alberta as the model for health care reform that
we ought to embrace. As a matter of fact, I think we ought to do some careful reflection of where this minister
may, in the name of Heaven, want to take us next if he is looking to Ralph Klein as the model for health care
reform.



Mr. Speaker, let me say that I listened with care to the comments made by the member for Halifax
Bedford Basin and he chose to quote Dr. Richard MacLachlan, a very outstanding and highly respected doctor
who is Medical Director, I believe that is the correct name of his position, of the Camp Hill Health Care
Centre. He quoted Richard MacLachlan as saying, and I have no doubt that Richard MacLachlan did say, that
health care cannot be measured according to the number of hospital beds.



Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt that Dr. MacLachlan made that statement because he has been trying
to give leadership to the health reform process in this province for a very long time. But let me also tell the
member for Halifax Bedford Basin and any other member who is concerned about the crisis that has been
created by this Minister of Health and this government in our current health care system, that Dr. MacLachlan
was also a member and a very active valuable contributing member of the Blueprint Committee, that
committee that was set up, that was invited to work in a multi-disciplinary way to try to come up with a
blueprint for the health system reform that is so desperately needed in this province.



Mr. Speaker, that Blueprint Committee set out not just a vision, because that is the easy part. That
vision has been out there for years. That vision was contained in the Select Committee on Health of 1984.
That vision is what propelled the New Democratic Party in this province in 1974, 21 years ago, to hold a
conference on community health centres and the need for a fundamental shift in our health care priorities to
stress prevention, to stress primary health care and to stress participation of the community and the
stakeholders in developing a healthy health care system.



So, Mr. Speaker, it is not the vision that is hard to come by, but that Blueprint Committee set out 11
critically important principles that needed to guide the health reform process in this province. I am not going
to go through all 11 principles, but I am going to refer to two, the 10th and the 11th principles that were set
out with the following preamble:






“Health care reform will be achieved through a process of transition. It will be a participatory process
based on partnerships amongst stakeholders.”. Mr. Speaker, the first of those principles read as follows, “A
reallocation of health care resources is required to improve the health status of Nova Scotians. Access to
necessary quality care must not be jeopardized while existing services are altered and new services
established.”.



Mr. Speaker, the 11th principle, an absolutely critical principle that has been totally ignored by this
Minister of Health and by this government is the principle that, “People presently employed in the health
system are recognized as a valued resource.”, and that it be recognized that a labour adjustment strategy is
needed to deal with the orderly transition of our health care system that is very much now focused on a
sickness model and operates on a sickness model, to get us to a new model of health care which is going to
be much more focused and assign priorities to prevention, to developing healthy communities and to providing
a much more community-based model than we have seen heretofore.



[4:45 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, we have seen no progress whatsoever by this government in developing the kind of
transition plan necessary to get us from here to there. That is what the challenge of health reform is. We don’t
even have the beginnings, not a tiny semblance of a labour adjustment strategy, and I guess if the Health
Minister is out there consulting Alberta in how to go about it, their labour strategy is to just turf as many
workers as you can get away with, until the population screams bloody murder and finally the point is reached
where people say enough is enough, you are making so many health care workers sick by turfing them out of
the system and you are completely gutting the health care expertise of the system by throwing people on the
scrap-heap that finally the government is going to be forced to come back to the solid principles that are set
out in the Blueprint for Health Care Reform.



Mr. Speaker, that is what is beginning to happen in this province. It was never imagined, nor was it
ever recommended, nor did anybody knowledgeable about health care reform ever propose that we ought to
just start shutting down hospital beds and drastically reducing operating room time and somehow think that
people were going to be getting the health care they needed, while the minister began the process of putting
in place the kind of strategies, the kind of policies, the kind of programs and services that are needed to
accommodate for those changes.



Mr. Speaker, I want to say that I totally agree with the member for Halifax Bedford Basin when he says
we have had in this province more hospital beds than we can afford and than a healthy health care system
would require. But a modern, cost-effective health care system has to have the policies and programs and
services in place to ensure that if you are going to shut down hospital beds and you are going to shut down
operating room hours, that you have the alternative in place. People don’t suddenly stop needing health care,
people need to be accommodated through alternate means.



It would be wonderful if we saw instant returns from policies that are discouraging smoking, that
supposedly are doing something more responsible about family planning and about cutting down on sexually
transmitted diseases and all those policies. It would be wonderful if overnight we don’t need the services that
are now required to deal with the casualties of a system that does not operate on the basis of health prevention.






But, Mr. Speaker, that is not the real world. This minister needs to be somehow brought into the real
world of what the real challenges of health reform are all about. It is true that many people who are now in
hospital beds - I visited someone in the hospital two weeks ago and next to that patient in that hospital room
was someone who had occupied that bed - a human tragedy for that individual and his family - in the cardiac
unit, in a coma, for seven years. That cost the health care system well over $2 million for that individual to
be cared for in an acute hospital bed because there are no chronic care, there are no appropriate, long-term
care facilities in place.



But, Mr. Speaker, you cannot start creating a logjam in the health care system and say we are going
to cut down on beds, we are going to cut down on operating room time before you have provided for how the
beds that are now being occupied and utilized in inappropriate and cost ineffective ways are actually put in
place.



I know someone who should have been able to be dealt with on a day surgery basis in recent weeks,
at the VG Hospital. Instead, that patient occupied a hospital bed for seven straight days. An acute care bed
costing approximately $900.00 a day, I believe. The reason the hospital bed was occupied for seven straight
days, instead of it being a matter of day surgery, is because there are such constraints on operating room
facilities that there is a literal logjam. People are waiting in hospital beds day after day after day not because
they need to be in the hospital or need to occupy that bed, but because there is so much mismanagement of
the resources, the physical resources, such as the OR and the human resources, such as the health care
personnel that they have to wait in the bed in order to get OR time.



That is not the fault of the patient. That is not the fault of the family. That is not the fault of the
admitting doctor. That, certainly, is not the fault of the entire health care staff who are providing the care.
That is the result of a faulty health care system. There is a constipation in this system that is costing us dearly
in dollar terms and is costing us even more in human terms.



I see that my time is up, but let me just conclude by saying that we are not saving dollars by the way
in which this minister and this government is presiding over health care reform. We are driving the costs right
through this ceiling and the tragedy is that Nova Scotians are still not getting the health care they need. Not
in home care, not in terms of chronic care facilities, not in terms of day surgery or same day admissions or
early discharge. There is a complete paralysis of the health reform process that has to come to an end. If the
Minister of Health can come back with some new revelations about that then his 10 day absence will probably
have been to the benefit of all Nova Scotians and their future good health. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 1543 for debate.



Res. 1543, re Commun. Serv. - Social Workers: Case Load - Reduce - notice given Jan. 20/95, (Dr.
J. Hamm)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.






DR. JOHN HAMM: I welcome the opportunity to participate in the debate on Resolution No. 1543
which I had introduced into the House some time ago: “Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of
Community Services not allow the present situation to become any more stressful and despite budgetary
restraints begin working towards a reduced and not an increased case load for Nova Scotia’s social workers.”.
This is particularly directed to the problems of the child protection officers and particularly directed to the
plight of children within families who are in danger.



The reason for introducing the resolution was to bring attention to the very real problems which are
addressed daily by child protection officers in this province and to bring attention to the very real problem of
the child in danger. The particular piece of legislation that is relevant, of course, is a piece of legislation that
was introduced into this province by the previous government and it is the Children and Family Services Act.



This Act governs the provision of protection services and interventions for families in danger. Danger
in this context means actual or potential abuse either physical, emotional or psychological. The enforcement
of this particular Act is a municipal responsibility and it is carried out through the 19 agencies that exist in
this province, which are actually spinoffs from the old Children’s Aid Societies which were set up many years
ago to provide children’s services in Nova Scotia. These agencies act independently to provide compliance
with the Act that is a provincial Act.



This Act provides the legal framework which provides interventions by social services professionals
that facilitate treatment and protection and service to a family in danger. Now, it has been noticed in recent
weeks and months that there is an increased demand for service which is available under this Act. The reasons
for this are twofold: one, the Act provides for a greater range of available service; and secondly, due to
changing economic and social changes, there’s an increased number of families in danger in this particular
regard.



There’s obviously an increased number of dysfunctional families in this province, perhaps due to the
changing profile of family structure in Nova Scotia. Now, the typical family structure that many of us relate
to, of course, is the mother and father living at home with a number of children. I can remember, when I
began my medical practice three decades ago, that many families in my community were traditional in that
the father went out and earned the living, the mother stayed home, and a number of children were cared for
in the family home.



In those days, it was not unusual in the community in which I live for there to be 7, 8, 10, maybe 15
children in the family home. Today, in that same community, we have a mother and father in the home, both
of them working, and, perhaps, 1, 2 or 3 children in the home. But, in addition, there is an increasing number
of single parent families; there is an increasing number of single, teenaged parents bringing up children in
this province.



There was a very interesting question brought up by the member for Kings North recently in Question
Period that had to do with problems which are brought about by single, teenaged parents bringing up young
children. The changing structure of families in this province, where it is deemed necessary that the mother,
in addition to the father, become a breadwinner, the traditional family set-up with the mother staying at home
and the father out earning the living has been interrupted, and there is an increasing number of single parent
families.



Now, there are some interesting statistics when we start discussing the dysfunctional family and the
amount of problems that exist in terms of children being perceived to be in danger. These statistics are
relatively recent; they are statistics from September 1994. The Act provides for child protection officers and,
as I had earlier stated, these are provided by the various agencies around the province.



[5:00 p.m.]



In September of last year, there were 135 protection officers in the province. They handled an average
case load of 19.1 cases, but there were problem areas in terms of distribution of these officers. For example,
in Colchester County, the average case load was 29.2. In Lunenburg County 30, in Queens County, it was
slightly above average at 22.5. In Dartmouth, again very high at 25.9. Bearing in mind that the best
information available suggests an average case load per worker of 20 cases.



One sad statistic is the number of children in Nova Scotia who are under custody. In other words, these
are children that the system has failed and it has become necessary to remove those children from their natural
parents.



In September 1994, there were 361 Nova Scotian children under temporary custody and 822 children
under permanent custody, for a total of 1,183 children under custody at that particular time. Each time that
a child has to go under custody, it is an admission that we are facing, what, at least, on a temporary basis, is
an unsolvable problem, and a family that is so dysfunctional that the child can no longer be left in those
surroundings.



The awareness for all of this problem became particularly evident to all of us when the Debra Stevens
and Baby Chayce cases in Lunenburg came to light and a review was ordered by the minister of the
Lunenburg Family and Children’s Services. That review came back and it was reported publicly in the late
fall and it was not an individual failure. The review has determined it was an agency failure. A number of
incremental, wrong decisions, rather than one large wrong decision or one individual being responsible for
the unfortunate events that happened, that were the subject of that review.



Now, if there were a purpose to the review and if the review is to have any meaning, it is not the fact
that it will allow the victims to receive compensation, while that is important. But the true value of the review
has got to be a change in the way we do things. A change that will result in the same mistakes not being
repeated. That there will not be victims again of agency failure.



Some of the recommendations of the report are as follows: The status of procedures in the Child
Protection manual should be changed from guidelines to standards. Now one of the problems that we face in
this situation, is the very real one that the agencies are local, but the legislation is provincial. The agencies
have developed, obviously for historical reasons, a different approach to handling different problems. A
different approach to staffing of the agency and there has to be certainly, a provincial policy and a provincial
standard, as to how we approach the protection of children within the family.



The report goes on and indicates that many of the new standards would not take any more time or
resources, but would require social workers to be thorough and not take short cuts. Well, I think that is
certainly evident, but all of us require reminders at times and certainly a set of provincial standards would go
a long way, I think, in assuring that we have a very even-handed approach across the province in terms of
enforcing the Act.



Now, one of the key issues addressed in the report is the case load to be assigned to the various
workers. It is self-evident that with lower case loads, the more social work that can be done, the less children
will have to come into permanent or temporary care. The result would be that more money could be put into
non-care services resulting in a healthier community. Prevention should always be our focus.



The recommended case load and it is very specific that if a worker is handling new cases the limit is
12 or in an ongoing service, 17 or a combined new case and ongoing service, 14 cases or a combined ongoing
with children in custody, 20 cases. The recommendations are very specific and that makes, perhaps, the
minister’s job a little easier in that he can look at the case load for any particular agency and determine how
many protection officers are required. Without a case load limit, Nova Scotia children will not always be able
to receive the services necessary that will stop abuse, stop abuse from occurring and stop abuse from
reoccurring.



Province-wide, in 1992 to April 1993, 1,204 protection cases were identified. From April 1993 to April
1994, 1,585 and from April last year to this date, nine months, 2,476 cases have been identified. The
Lunenburg case load is 38.2 per worker. In Truro, the statistics last September indicated 29.2. In the last few
days a press release by the agency in Truro indicates their case load is now between 35 and 40. How far away
are we from reaching an acceptable level of case work for social workers?



In Question Period yesterday I asked if additional staff had been hired. I think this is of prime
importance and the minister must be on top of things, he must know what is happening. I would have to get
the up-to-date statistics on the changes that this will make, was the minister’s answer in Question Period. The
minister must be concerned with the case load levels of child protection officers around the province.



Do we need omnibus legislation which standardizes the approach to child protection by all 19 agencies
in this province? Children are our future. We must do everything we can to ensure that their futures are
protected. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for Pictou Centre for
bringing the resolution before the House. I think this is certainly an important one and one that really needs
to be highlighted.



I think there are many areas that the honourable member has discussed; I think, looking at some of
the information that is coming before us, we are aware that the early damage from abuse and neglect that is
taking place with our children is really irreversible and that is a scary thing; it is not totally reversible even
under ideal circumstances. So, once the damage is done, in the first couple of years of life - these are the
findings that are coming out from Dr. Steinhauer and others - it is really irreversible to at least an extent.



I think the number two thing is - the honourable member mentioned this - the changing family and
the blended family as opposed to the traditional family. I think a scary thing that is happening in our society
is the time that younger children are spending alone, for whatever reason. I think the third thing is the
difficulties of a child protection worker, that balance between prevention and protection, when to remove a
child, when to try to work out contracts with parents and families and, of course, the stress of the professional
and the importance of the professionalism of the staff, the training and the adequate numbers.



As Minister of Community Services, I can think of no issue that is more important than the welfare
and the well-being and the safety of our children. The resolution the honourable member introduced, while
specific to existing caseloads, raises another important issue that those of us in the Department of Community
Services are trying to grapple with. Namely, how can we, we as a society and we as the Department of
Community Services, prevent problems from occurring in the first place? How can we put an end to child
abuse and neglect? What can we be doing to provide more support to families in crisis?



The honourable member mentioned that there are more dysfunctional families than there had been.
I suppose that is true but I think we also now have different ways of measuring and evaluating and I think
there is more of the dysfunction probably coming to light, at least that is my opinion.



Obviously, this is not a problem unique to Nova Scotia, it is a world-wide reality, a reality for which
there is no quick fix or an easy answer. However, it is urgent in the life of our children. One day, one week,
one month is a long time in the life of a child, it is a large percentage relative to adults. This is particularly
true if that child is being abused. You picture the stories that we become aware of, of long-term abuse and the
anguish and difficulties of those children. So we are dealing with very complex social issues.



The causes of abuse and neglect are often multi-faceted, making finding solutions even more difficult.
We are working to find solutions, we are putting more resources towards strengthening and supporting
families. I am going to speak to those in a minute, Mr. Speaker, but first I want to address the issue of high
case loads.



I want to make an important distinction that is sometimes lost when we are quoting statistics, that is
the high case loads. The number of reported incidents of abuse and neglect does not, by itself, suggest that
child abuse is on the rise. Across Canada, indeed, across North America, the numbers of reported cases of
abuse are on the rise. However, child welfare professionals largely attribute this to increased public awareness
and education. So this adds to the difficulty and the changing times, this awareness. This must be addressed,
as well as the actual abuse and neglect.



Not long ago, Mr. Speaker, much suspected abuse went unreported. People often didn’t act on their
suspicions. Today, more are aware that they are obligated, under law, to report all known or suspected cases
of abuse. I would underline that, people seem to be having some difficulties with that yet, but the law is clear.
As well, more and more families in crises are reaching out for help, help that was not available 15 or even
10 years ago.



I think it is important that we not assume that an increase in the number of reported cases of abuse is
synonymous with increases in the incidence of abuse. Mr. Speaker, the crux of the honourable member’s
resolution is that case load levels for child protection workers in Nova Scotia are too high. I absolutely and
wholeheartedly agree. When I released the Lunenburg review in December of last year, I stated quite frankly
that this was a problem that we have to and that we will address. Even before the review was released, we
moved to increase the number of child protection workers in those areas that were carrying the heaviest case
loads: Lunenburg, Antigonish and Dartmouth. I will be the first to admit that we have a way to go before we
can reach our target of 20 cases for each case worker.



I want to assure the honourable member, Nova Scotia’s child protection workers and the public at large
that I am committed to doing just that. As the honourable member would know, I called on the Minister’s
Advisory Committee of the Children and Family Services Act, to hold me accountable by publicly reporting
on our efforts, not only to implement the review team’s recommendations specific to case loads, but, indeed,
each and every one of the recommendations contained in the Lunenburg review report.



I want to briefly discuss some of the positive initiatives underway in the department that I believe
clearly demonstrate that child welfare and child protection issues are receiving priority attention by this
government and, in particular, by our department. As a matter of fact, the Lunenburg review team singled out
Nova Scotia for its leadership in a number of important areas that impact very directly on the ability of social
workers in the province to do their job and I think they are worth mentioning here today, Mr. Speaker.



[5:15 p.m.]



Specifically, they cited our training programs in the areas of sexual abuse investigation and risk
assessment. The review team also said that the province’s decision to employ social workers who meet
academic standards of social work is a positive move forward and that social workers will now have to abide
by a code of ethics which emphasizes empathy, self-determination and other positive aspects of the
relationship with clients.



Mr. Speaker, one of the first things that I tried to do in becoming Minister of Community Services was
bringing forward a bill to ensure licensure and these standards that would enable the social workers of this
province to be responsible and have control over their profession. I think that is an integral part of the work
of social work and guaranteeing the care of our children, whether it is a child protection worker or whatever
sort of worker this might apply to.

 

 

Mr. Speaker, we are also cited for having specific standards that workers must abide by in our
regulations to the Children and Family Services Act. The review team said we were ahead of other provinces
in terms of our use of computerized technology, which assists case workers with case management and allows
staff to assess information if there is an emergency situation with a child.



I want to briefly return to the issue of prevention. Certainly, while we give those children currently at
risk top priority, we have also to do more in terms of preventing abuse from occurring in the first place. I want
to highlight a couple of the initiatives currently underway that will help us more effectively deliver preventive
services to families and children. We have initiated a province-wide child protection mediation program as
an alternative to the normal, adversarial dispute resolution process. We have implemented a $1.4 million
family support program to provide preventive services to families.



Through the Brighter Futures Canada Action Program, we have also developed family parent resource
centres throughout the province to provide parent education and parent support services to families in need.
Protocols and training programs to improve the coordination between the police, social workers, health care
professions and other community agencies have been developed under the family violence prevention initiative
for dealing with child physical and sexual abuse.



As members know, our department is presently in the process of setting up a new division of preventive
services, which will result in a greater emphasis on prevention and combine day care, early child intervention,
parent resource centres and other prevention programs. Our department has also been working in cooperation
with a committee of representatives of Children’s Aid Societies to identify the priorities for case workers and
supervisory personnel, a crucial safeguard in the child welfare process. We will be implementing a plan to
put this staff in place. This is a number one strategic priority for Community Services.



In the honourable member’s resolution, he referenced Colchester County. Mr. Speaker, we are
particularly pleased with the success of our prevention programs in the Cumberland-Colchester area. In the
past year, over 80 community facilitators have been trained to provide a range of parent support programs.
As a result, over 600 parents have participated in courses such as, Nobody’s Perfect, and that is the name of
the program.



Mr. Speaker, this is, I think, an excellent program. I checked the numbers because I thought they might
be high. I am really pleased to hear that this group of volunteers, church groups and other volunteer groups
within the community are participating. The facilitators can go out and network in the community on these
parenting support services to families that require them. We spoke earlier of the single parent, mothers and
fathers. This is important and crucial. I don’t think we are going to be able to do it any other way except
through programs such as this. I think that is important and I am very pleased that that is underway.



In the Cumberland-Colchester area alone, nearly 300 children have benefited from special prevention
focus programs, which help relieve the pressures on families who have difficulty coping. In partnership with
other community agencies, our parent resources coordinators helped to organize Maggie’s Place, a home-like
centre which offers services and support across both counties. Clearly these efforts have laid a foundation upon
which we can build future successes.



Mr. Speaker, before I close, I want to say how important these programs are to good child welfare
practices. They are an investment in healthy children and families. I want to take this opportunity to assure
the honourable member, who I know shares my belief in the value of prevention programs, that I have
personally carried this message to the Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, as our federal counterparts look at the
issue of social security reform.



These are crucial issues. I welcome the debate and these issues being brought before the House. I think,
as minister of the department with this responsibility, I welcome the support and the increased awareness
because times are changing and I think, rather than despair, we have to take the initiative and we have to
budget and we have to organize our priorities. We have to do it in consultation, not only with the consumer,
the clients, the people who need these services but, particularly, those people that are delivering the services
and support.



The work of social work is very stressful. While I was waiting to take the floor, I was called out by the
honourable member for Shelburne and we discussed a worker within our department and he was speaking on
behalf of that person. I compliment him on that. He said, the person himself, the workers themselves were
not complaining, but they felt that their load was high. So, I also thank the counsellor that has brought that
to our attention here today, who is in the gallery, I believe.



So, those are the types of things that some of the prevention programs, I think the issue of so many
times in our society, whether it is health care or social work, we are dealing with situations that have gotten
to the stage of total disruption and acts of violence and abuse and neglect. I know prevention in our society
is an overused word, perhaps, and I think we all have different meanings. But I think we are starting to
identify programs that can work at the community level.



With early retirements and people retiring, there are good people out in the communities that have time
who will volunteer their services, so they can work in tandem with the social workers and the other
professionals, who we herald. We salute them for their work which is so demanding and so stressful and so
important. Thank you. (Applause)



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise and have an opportunity to speak this
afternoon and it is great to see this, quite honestly, from all sides of the House, from the mover of the
resolution, the member of the Official Opposition Party, from the minister who spoke and from ourselves in
our caucus and that is saying that this has got to be one of, if not the, most crucial issue that is facing Nova
Scotia and it is something that has to be addressed as the very highest of priorities.



I say that, Mr. Speaker, and I guess I don’t have a background in social work, but I think that I have,
over the years in this House and through previous employment and the contacts that I have made, come to a
little bit of an understanding of the kinds of dilemmas that we are facing and families are facing in this
province. I guess I would like to think that I have an appreciation as to the kind of people that we have in our
great Province of Nova Scotia and what they expect that we, as governments, will be doing to try to address
what I think that they would also say is the highest of priorities in our province.



Mr. Speaker, I guess I sort of look at this as a holistic type of approach that has to be done. We cannot,
obviously, attack the problems in any one particular area in isolation, without looking at the problems and
the difficulties that are being faced in a broader context. There has been a great deal of discussion. For
example, the mover, the member for Pictou Centre, talked at some length about statistics, the number of cases
that each case worker in Family and Children’s Service, in the protective end, are dealing with. He also talked,
at some length, about the Lunenburg report into the situation down at the Family and Children’s Services
division in that area.



I guess I look at all of these and I think that those reports are, in fact, very important and very
meaningful. But, Mr. Speaker, in reality, their long-term benefit will be relatively insignificant if the firm
commitment is not made to put in place the resources, and I underline the word resources, that are going to
be necessary to put in place the proper programs and services, both on the preventive end and also in the way
of assistance to those families in crisis and in need.



This isn’t something that we should say is new and a problem that has just been identified. The
minister himself will know that when he was on this side of the House, in Opposition - and I believe at the
time he was the Community Services Critic - the former government had introduced the Children and Family
Services Act. It was an Act that all sides of this House supported, but supported it knowing full well that in
order for that piece of legislation to be effective, in order for the kind of programs that were going to be
needed to address the problem - and I might add, this Act was developed as a result of years of consultation
and a great deal of input from those who are very knowledgeable in the field, and a great deal of study - the
knowledge that financial resources would have to be put in place to provide the services for those children and
families. To this day, those resources have never been provided by either the former government or by the
current government.






We, on this side of the House, also supported the minister when he introduced his new Act last year,
requiring that we have standard training and levels of certification for social workers. At that time, the
minister again pointed out that that is going to assure, in terms of the licensing procedures, that we will have
our social work needs met in the province. Again, at that time, Mr. Speaker, we supported the initiative, we
thought it was a good one. However, just having changes in licensing, if we don’t have the resources in terms
of the people and the other things needed, it goes a very short way in terms of addressing the actual needs.



If we take a look at - and I guess Nova Scotia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention - I don’t
have the actual convention in front of me, Mr. Speaker, but I do have the brief, Children and Youth at Risk,
as a result of the Nova Scotia underfunded child welfare system, which came out in September 1994. They
are talking about the coalition’s objectives and vision statement. I think it is something we should bear in mind
as we are considering this debate because the United Nations - really I should say this is based upon the
United Nations Convention, that Nova Scotia is a signatory to, in terms of the rights of the child - it says that
we, the Nova Scotia Coalition of Children and Youth believe that children and youth should grow up in an
atmosphere of love, understanding and security, free from poverty, violence and discrimination of any kind.
We also believe that children and youth are entitled to participate in decisions affecting their health, safety,
education and well-being.



Well that is certainly a very high ideal and goal. It is not something that we can achieve overnight and
I am not suggesting that we can. But, as we are trying to devise systems and, as the minister has pointed out,
there are a number of models that can be pursued and followed, we have to remember and bear in mind and,
I suggest in a non-confrontational way, to the members of the government caucus, that as you are preparing
your budgets for the upcoming fiscal year, I hope (Interruption) Even on this kind of a topic, we get the
helpful comments and interjections from the member for Cape Breton South. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: I’m speaking the truth . . .



ANOTHER HON. MEMBER: The what? You don’t even know . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The Leader of the New Democratic Party has the floor.



[5:30 p.m.]



MR. HOLM: I am glad to see that we can still, on important topics like this, remain serious and above
the cheap shots. I want to get back to these issues.



I say in all sincerity and I know the minister himself is under budgetary restraints and budgetary
pressures from his colleagues to reduce costs but this is not an issue just for members of the Opposition or in
fact for the Minister of Community Services. The Minister of Community Services needs the support of his
colleagues to be resisting the temptation and the pressures to be cutting the budget so that the services that
are going to be provided will end up being reduced even more.



The Premier, himself, in a letter written last March, outlines the recognition that there are a number
of serious areas that will require some additional input of financial means in order to address or begin to
address some of the problems and to provide the protection and so on that children need. The Premier, in his
letter of last March, said that essentially there are three sections of the Children and Family Services Act that
have yet to be implemented. One is a secure treatment facility for adolescents. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that
that is a concern that has been brought to my attention by a number of parents in my community of Sackville
who are trying to grapple with teenagers and children who are at risk and who are in need of assistance.
Unfortunately, they are told that there is no such help available to them and the waiting lists go on.



There need to be increased preventive and support services for families and funding of services for
youth 16 to 18 years of age. Right now, once a youth turns 16, they are basically cut adrift and there is very
little in the way of programs or services there to assist them. So, obviously, even the Premier and this
government does recognize these needs.



Members opposite and on all sides of this House - I am not trying to imply that the answers are
simplistic because they are not, models and so on have to be developed - now do have knowledge about a lot
of the kinds of programs that are needed. What is simply lacking is dollars. The government can decide, as
they have before when they cut the child welfare budget by 5 per cent, when that budget item on a topic and
matter that is so crucially important, that budget item was cut. We have to look at not only the social
consequences but I would suggest we should be looking at the financial consequences as well. Because every
child and the minister, himself, pointed it out earlier today, he said that early damage once done is irreversible
or almost irreversible.



If we are going to be short-sighted and unthoughtful and are going to, on the front end, withdraw or
not provide the financial resources that are necessary, then we will find ourselves with, unfortunately, a lot
more need to have studies such as that done at the Lunenburg agency. That is not aimed as a criticism of the
staff down there. It is very easy for us and for the public to cast aspersions, cast blame on individuals for not
doing their job. We do that all the time. It is done in the education system, it is done in the health care system,
it is done in the policing and so on, as it is in the social work field.



The reality is, if the case loads and the work that these people are trying to do is so heavy, then it is
not humanly possible for them to be providing, not only the assessment services, but the intervention services
and the prevention programs and counselling that are needed. If that happens, if those kinds of aids are
lacking, then you end up having serious problems and we end up having, not just a few, but far more young
people being damaged as a result.



I want to throw in a couple of other comments, Mr. Speaker, if I may. I just say, as I close that little
segment, that I sincerely hope that the Minister of Community Services will get the support from his
colleagues during this budget process and that he will not have funding cut, but actually increased, so that
these badly needed services can be provided.



I want to touch on service exchange for a brief moment. If that had gone ahead and if the province had,
as it promised, taken over and consolidated social services, provincial and municipal, that would have
eliminated a great deal of the duplication of services at one level of the hierarchy and it would have then
freed-up some additional resources.



Mr. Speaker, had the government gone ahead with its commitment to do that, those freed-up resources
then could have been channelled into providing badly needed family and children’s services to eliminate and
to prevent abuse of children. Obviously, I haven’t got time to get into that angle. It is another important one
that I would liked to have had the chance to touch on and therefore, maybe I will get an opportunity to rise
on that issue a little bit later on, in another day during the session. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, we do want to call a few House Orders and I hope that the
Deputy Government House Leader has approval for some that we could call. We have only got a few. Would
you please call House Order No. 177 and I so move, Mr. Speaker.



H.O. No. 177, re NSLC: Whitney Pier Store - Renovations - notice given Jan. 3/95- (Mr. R. Russell)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.



MR. ALLISTER SURETTE: Perhaps to facilitate matters a little bit here. The only indication that I
did receive was from the Minister of Justice and that was House Order No. 185. I did not receive any other
indication from any other minister so, I would suggest that if they are not here, I will ask that they be stood.



[House Order No. 177 was stood.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I think that I understand that we could call House Order No.
185. Is that what I understood? I am kind of disappointed that we do not even have half the Cabinet ministers
here. We only have a few House Orders and that is not really acceptable from the point of view - if ministers
know they are going to be away, surely, they could read their House Orders - and if they give them to the
House Leader and say, we can approve it or we cannot approve it, at least we would know how to deal with
it. I do not think that is too much to ask. I hope we will call House Order No. 185.



If the Deputy House Leader would undertake that the next day that we have it, if the minister is going
to be away, that somebody would give some instructions as to whether we could go forward with the House
Order or that we would have to wait. I will move House Order No. 185.



H.O. 185, re Justice - Freedom of Information Act: Review Comm. - Terms - notice given Jan. 23/95 -
(Mr. T. Donahoe)



MR. SPEAKER: Does the minister or the Deputy House Leader need the House Order read?



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, no. I am quite happy to return an answer to House Order No.
185.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, I have been given the understanding that we
cannot call the other House Orders and given that we only have one (Interruption) That was stood. Did you
want it stood? Well, if we can deal with House Order No. 92, I will so move.



H.O. No. 92, re Nat. Res.: Forestry Dev. Agreement - Correspondence - notice given Oct. 28/94 - (Mr.
B. Taylor)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.



HON. DONALD DOWNE: I do not think it would be appropriate to go through that process again as
we have probably 15 or 20 times in the House. I think members opposite realize all too well that we are
working very hard to resolve the problem.



I have before me letters, not only to the Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Anne McLellan,
I did not include letters to the minister, Barbara Sparrow, who at the time, was the Conservative Minister of
Natural Resources which indicated that there would be no support for the upcoming program in any way,
shape or form. I have included in here from November 9, 1993, a letter to Anne McLellan; December 23,
1993, again to Minister McLellan; December 23, 1993, to the Honourable David Dingwall. We also have
responses, as well, to these letters, for your information. Letters to Derek Wells, Member of Parliament with
regard to this issue. We have a number of letters in here.



I have not included any letters that we have written past August 4, 1994, but we have other letters at
a later date I would be happy to share. I think the members opposite would agree that the letters and the
correspondence will have covered more than just the topic of the new agreement, but state a number of
concerns that we have brought forward to the federal minister and others.



I might read just one or two paragraphs of the first letter sent to the minister on November 9, 1993.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, actually it is a request for a House Order.



MR. DOWNE: So, I am happy to table this.



MR. SPEAKER: Does the Opposition member agree to that extent? (Interruption)



The motion is to that extent, can the minister satisfy the House Order. Would all those in favour of the
motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The House Order to that extent is now carried and returned.



The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, am I right that the honourable Minister of Justice is the
Acting Premier?



AN HON. MEMBER: Yes, you are.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Thank you. I wonder if then, in light of the Acting Premier’s presence,
it might be possible for us to consider, and hopefully pass, House Order No. 183 which had earlier been stood.
I assume stood on the basis that on that occasion the Premier was not present. But with the Deputy Premier
present, perhaps we could call that and have it read and the acting Premier might be gracious enough to be
able to respond to that one.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Premier.



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: I have no problems if he wants it read, but to be honest with you, I have not
been briefed on any reason why it might have been stood in the past, but maybe we could read it and go from
there.



MR. SPEAKER: Would the Clerk read House Order No. 183.



H.O. No. 183, re Premier: Social Reform (Can.) - Response - notice given Jan. 11/95 - (Dr. J. Hamm)



[The House Order was read by the Clerk.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Premier.



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: I think it would only be responsible for me to bring this to the attention of
the Premier. He is due back tomorrow and, hopefully there will be another day next week. I would ask that
that information be available on a future Opposition Day, so the matter could be dealt with. I just don’t know,
to be honest with you, but I will undertake to refer to the Premier’s Office.



[5:45 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: On that undertaking, House Order No. 183 will remain stood.



The Acting Opposition House Leader.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Well I guess, Mr. Speaker, that ends the Opposition Business for today.
Maybe we can have the hours for tomorrow.



MR. SPEAKER: The Opposition Business is ended for the day.



The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.



MR. ALLISTER SURETTE: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the members of the House that
we will meet tomorrow between the hours of 12:00 noon and 8:00 p.m. Following the daily routine and
Question Period, we will be in the Committee of the Whole House on Bills and we will begin with Bill No.
122.



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



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



Now entering into the late debate, the winner of the draw for this evening’s debate was the member
for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage:



Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotia’s economy has turned the corner in 1994 and that our
province build upon success, as we embrace 1995.



ADJOURNMENT



MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage. (Applause)



FIN.: ECONOMY (N.S.) - IMPROVEMENT



MR. DENNIS RICHARDS: Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure for me to speak to this particular
resolution today because I believe that 1995 is going to be a year that will help Nova Scotia return to the
success story that it had enjoyed in previous years.



This year, 1995, as has been said so many times already, we will be hosting the leaders of the great
nations of the world; eight of them, or almost even, I guess, nine of them, along with the European
Community. You know that didn’t come about as any small feat. It is a very significant activity for not only
Nova Scotia but, more particularly, for the metropolitan area. I believe it will become the marking point for
the Nova Scotia turnaround from a have-not province to a have province. At the very least, though, it will
immediately inject millions of dollars into our local economy.



Nova Scotia will return to its roots as an international centre of trade and commerce. You know during
the Golden Age of Sail, Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia was a shipping nation with great international recognition.
I believe we can return to that great international recognition, not only by events such as the G-7 Summit, now
called the Halifax summit conference, but so many other activities as well. Foreign trade, tourism and
Halifax’s position as a regional centre will further our capacity to achieve economic success.



Mr. Speaker, you know it is uncommon for Nova Scotians to boast about our successes. We are not like
our American neighbours to the south who praise almost everything that goes on in their country. In fact, in
some ways we take a back seat to our own successes. I think that has to change. I think it is time now to start
singing the good song that Nova Scotia is becoming an international, recognized player in so many areas. I
think it is time to embrace our successes and build on them. We must move ahead with great confidence, so
that those areas of the province that have not enjoyed as much success as has the metro area, for example, will
start to grow and prosper as well.



You know, Mr. Speaker, we have had quite a year. Although there have been no great mega-projects,
neither has there been great demand for public money into the private sector. Despite our historic reliance on
such projects, our economy has created over 13,000 new jobs in the year 1994. We, as a province, have laid
the groundwork for even a more historic 1995.



Government programs, like the Canada-Nova Scotia Infrastructure Program, or the Economic Renewal
Agency’s Community Business Loan Program, have brought great benefits to our province and our economy.
Many of these projects have been small-scale. But that is not to take away from their success and their impact
on our economy. They have laid what I believe is the foundation for long-term growth.






Mr. Speaker, you know, there have been 213 new businesses created under the Community Business
Loan Program. In the Cape Breton area, there were 75 of them and the rest on the mainland. Not all of the
areas of the province have created jobs in record numbers, though. We must still work toward those areas that
have not had quite the same success province-wide. We must continue to expand and embrace those industries
that are willing to come to Nova Scotia, to expand in Nova Scotia and build upon, particularly, our tourism
industry.



This year, Mr. Speaker, the tourism industry will probably reach the $1 billion mark in value to our
economy. The G-7 Summit in Halifax will expose Nova Scotia to a world-wide audience of the richest nations
in the world. The Grand Prix race, of particular interest to me in my own constituency, that is scheduled for
May of this year, will also bring Nova Scotia to the world audience by attracting the IMSA organization. That
event will be televised on international television and will showcase Nova Scotia as a very important place,
not only in the tourism industry, but in so many areas other than that.



Probably, though, one of the most interesting developments in the past year has been the rise in the
business immigrants arriving in Nova Scotia. Business immigrants bring both their entrepreneurial skill and
much-needed capital to our province. Nova Scotia has been labelled by Citizen and Immigration Canada as
the fastest growing province for business immigrants. Investor immigrants alone pumped $169 million into
the Nova Scotia economy.



Mr. Speaker, we should try to sell the positive aspects of Nova Scotia to the entire world. Our Premier
is currently in Davos, Switzerland, making contact with influential business people. The benefits of that trip
alone will come, not only in the near future, but over many years and reap rewards for our province. The track
record of that has been the trips that he has already made to other parts of the world. When I just mentioned
about the $169 million from the business immigrants, I think that has been a significant improvement and
has come about in great measure because of our Premier’s trips to other parts of the world.



The Economic Renewal Agency is presently negotiating with 15 companies who wish to come and
invest in our province. The Economic Renewal Agency is also cultivating business contacts throughout
Canada and the complete world. Mr. Speaker, our government is reaping the reward of the hard work of
thousands of Nova Scotians who can compete with anyone, anywhere in the world. From one end of our great
province to the other, there is movement afoot to make 1995 even better than 1994.



I was reading just this week, Mr. Speaker, many newspaper articles talking about investment and how
our economy is starting to grow. I cite just a few of the topics, the headlines. It says, fair taxes, skilled labour,
new Nova Scotia businesses lure; gypsum sales skyrocket - I think that is one of keen interest to you, Mr.
Speaker - Atlantic Aircraft flying, that came from Milford and the Truro edition because of the interest going
on there; battery charging ahead in 1995, an Amherst operating business; Stora hopes to turn around
profitable 1995.



Increasing records to show that Nova Scotia is starting to improve, not only in one area of the province,
but all over. New Sysco on the rebound, a very critical part of our economy, something that has been much
needed and our government takes great pride in helping to make that turnaround occur. Booming coal market,
good news for Devco. Revitalizing the Trenton Works, they plan to be riding high in 1995. Michelin to hike
tire production, not only in one plant but in all of their plants in Nova Scotia. Bio-research firm beats cold
markets.



We are at a time when I believe we should collectively work together to make Nova Scotia the very best
it can be. I encourage all members of the House, all Parties of the House, if we want to make Nova Scotia
return to the great economic success stories of the past, that with collective work, with cooperation, with
boasting about our success, not being negative, not being the doom-sayers but being good marketers, good
sellers, I think that Nova Scotia will return. I believe the successes of 1994 will just be the start of what we
will see throughout 1995. Mr. Speaker, thank you for your time.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Eastern Shore.



MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage on his optimistic view of the future under our government and I think he is totally correct.
We have to look ahead one job at a time. So often we have seen the mega-projects go, government money
wasted and at the end of the day somebody returns to their homeland with some Nova Scotia money in their
pocket. I am hopeful and glad to see that those days have ended. It is time for Nova Scotia to put Nova
Scotians to work, one job at a time.



One job in the future of a community, a rural community in particular, is just as important as the
daydream or pipe dream of 100 new jobs that never materialize. A local job means local spending. It means
employment in service industries and industries that will support that particular industry and those
individuals.



The honourable member opposite has stated the tourism industry will hit $1 billion. That is quite an
establishment and quite a feat for Nova Scotia. This year alone with a 7 per cent increase in tourism, it is a
major improvement. We are seeing eco-tourism becoming more popular in the eyes of our customers. Most
of our customers, by the way, are from outside the province, bringing real dollars to Nova Scotia. With the
ongoing evolution of eco-tourism, Nova Scotia is naturally set and in a good location for European, American
and other Canadian visitors.



I have spoken on this before and I believe that our immediate future in Nova Scotia is through tourism
and in the long term through the technology we have developed. If we can develop one solid job at a time, that
will lead to the second job and that will lead to the third job. If these jobs are maintained and developed, as
time goes on we will see a more prosperous Nova Scotia that will prosper into the year 2000 and beyond.



It is terrific to see the improvement that has been made by this government in starting to reduce the
debt and deficit to a point that Nova Scotia will be a good place to do business. As taxes increase, everybody
in business knows that it is impossible to continue with economic conditions that businesses come here and
work under. With the deficit reduction that we are seeing, with the terrific job that is being done by our
government at the present time in that area, we should see some economic spinoffs as a result of that.



As the member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage has already said, with the significant investment by
people from outside the country and to quote the number - I hope that I have it right - $168 million in Nova
Scotia; that is a terrific amount of input. Indeed, with government money, it is a terrific investment that
should reap significant job gains in Nova Scotia in the coming years. It is nice to see the steady turnaround
coming, nice and steady but slow, and hopefully, this time when the economy returns it will be solid and stay
solid, not a boom and bust as we have seen in the 1970’s and repeated again in the 1980’s and then in the
1990’s. It would be nice to go into the year 2000 and see a nice steady growth, continued employment and a
solid economic base in Nova Scotia which I believe we are setting the tone for now in this Legislature with
good legislation and with solid economic planning.



[6:00 p.m.]



I feel that we are on the right road, we have to continue that road and I have to stress again, one job
at a time. The one job down the street; the person who makes a craft and sells it to the tourist is just as
important as a factory that builds parts for a rocket. Those things, I think, will make Nova Scotia grow and
make Nova Scotia a lot stronger than it is today.



I would like to thank you very much for having the opportunity to speak today. I am looking forward
to a stronger and more prosperous Nova Scotia in 1995 and beyond.



MR. SPEAKER:  The honourable Minister of Fisheries.



HON. JAMES BARKHOUSE: Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to join my fellow colleagues of the
government this evening to speak about the turnaround in Nova Scotia’s industry and economy. The jobs that
have been created by this government since we have come to office on May 25, 1993, have been very
significant. I want to make it very clear to the public and through my members that are in the House this
evening that the fishing industry has not been the disaster as recognized to the situation that has occurred in
Newfoundland.



Many Nova Scotians believe that the fishing disaster on the East Coast has also affected Nova Scotia.
I must first declare that in some regions of the province, some communities have had great difficulties, but
to say that all Nova Scotia industry has been a disaster is erroneous. At the end of the first nine months of
1994 the production of fish exports from Nova Scotia was $583 million, that was $8 million more than the
year before which was $5 million more than the year before. We have had five successive years of increases
in production of fish that were exported. We also used considerable amount of fish in this province and that
is due to the entrepreneurship, the diversity of the fisheries in Nova Scotia which is really important to our
coastal communities and to the infrastructure of our central cities and major communities.



The work that has been provided by the fisheries is tremendous. That dollar export is equal to 30.8 per
cent of all the exports of products out of Nova Scotia. That is a very significant figure. It is only down several
per cent and that is due to some of the comments made by my fellow colleagues. The tires from Michelin, the
pulp and paper products have had major increases in the last years, but the fishing industry has retained and
made a significant contribution to Nova Scotia’s economy and there are still great numbers of jobs being
created in various communities throughout Nova Scotia.



One of the changes that have taken place, and it is a global fishing community today, companies like
National Sea, for example, are buying fish from many different parts of the world. Small fish plants maybe
that employ 10 people are also buying fish from other parts of the world. They are also diversifying in Nova
Scotia - procuring sea urchins. This year we have had a very successful sea urchin harvest. We have also
adapted and are processing the product in this province, exporting these products to Japan. Recently, I have
heard of prices as high as $2.60 a pound for the sea urchin. In the past they have been destroyed or just left
to go through their normal life cycle.






We are also into the skate wings, a product that in the past has not been harvested. We had a trade
mission to France this year and some serious negotiations have taken place between some of our processors
and markets in France. We just had a newspaper sent to us yesterday from Seoul, Korea. The owner of a
restaurant operation in Seoul, Korea built six restaurants a year ago. He imports Nova Scotia seafood and he
charges a good price for it, but he puts up an excellent meal. He used a half page colour ad of Nova Scotia,
a map of Nova Scotia expounding upon our seafood that we produce and which we ship through air transport
to Seoul, Korea. It creates many jobs in Nova Scotia and it is also creating jobs in Seoul, Korea.



It is a tremendous tourism awareness of where Nova Scotia is and what Nova Scotia is doing in the
world market. The opportunities are grand. Last March, myself and one of my staff and several fishermen
went down to Ecuador, Chile and Argentina. Following that there was another trade mission with the same
staff person and seven industry people from Nova Scotia who all made major contacts this fall in those same
nations and I suppose the trade mission with the Prime Minister, which is currently taking place in South
America, some of those people have gone back on that trade mission, have signed contracts with the joint
partners in South America, in Argentina and Chile, two of the leading nations in South America.



The opportunities abound for processors, for equipment providers and, for instance, those who make
trap haulers, actually manufacture the boat. We have a high-speed-boat manufacturer who moved from
Iceland to the South Shore, has three new hulls under construction, has provided, I think, 10 new jobs in a
South Shore community. These are high-speed boats which are going to be exported to world markets.
Through trade missions, on behalf of the Economic Renewal Agency and some federal departments that
provide assistance to our job creators, our entrepreneurs, who are taking our products throughout the world,
setting up deals between other nations and it is an important method by which Nova Scotians are creating new
jobs and it is a given that Nova Scotians are going to survive and it is through this hard work, commitment
and dedication of both this government and the people of this province.



This is an historic opportunity, I think, for Nova Scotians who have, in the past, experienced hardship.
We had many good years through the 1960’s and 1970’s, after the Second World War, but the nation sort of
became complacent. We have to explore the world markets; we are in a global economy. We have done it in
fish and we are, our department -  along with the Economic Renewal Agency and my other colleagues in this
government - is committed to exploring markets, whether it be Thailand, Japan or Brussels. We are providing
the best quality products. Our producers have now understood that quality products give excellent value,
excellent dollars, provides continuous jobs in our small communities and that is what is so critical about our
community, that we provide year-round jobs, not casual jobs, but full, year-round jobs, technical skills that
are given to our young people through the schools and our community colleges and our universities.



In aquaculture, we are training people. We are, also, providing the experience, the financing and the
accessibility to water lot leases which, at a recent meeting on Saturday that I attended, the aquaculture
meeting of Nova Scotia - there were several hundred people there - it is a new growth industry; it is not the
panacea, but I can certainly assure you that people from 17 through to 65 years of age were in attendance and
they are all very anxious to take part in this industry. Our government is committed to providing training and
all the necessary assistance to help these people find new careers, no matter where they had worked
previously, in fish plants or in other businesses.



Mr. Speaker, this government has a clear message to give to the people of this province. I think that
our Premier has provided tremendous leadership. We have seen the absence of other members of this
Legislature to stand up and speak on this given issue; I think they acknowledge that this government has made
terrific steps in providing jobs in this province and we members of the government who have spoken here
tonight are confident that Nova Scotia is going to succeed and it is only done because of the prudence of our
government in managing the fiscal responsibilities that have been given to us. We are dedicated to training
our young people.



There is, certainly, change. Changes had to come about and we are dedicated and committed to
supporting our Premier, enabling this to happen. People find that change is difficult to accept but, I can assure
you, Mr. Speaker, the entrepreneurs in this province took those steps long before our government came to
power, but they are working with us in a very cooperative manner. Our financial institutions, I think, are
gaining confidence that this government is setting its direction. It is maintaining the goals which it set. I think
when you see the budget tabled this spring, the confidence that will be exhibited by the people of this province,
the partners in our world joint ventures, that we are gaining respectability again.



This province is on the road to success, but it is only through the commitment of the people in this
province, along with the government in partnership together that it is going to enable this province to come
out of the mire, that we have acquired over $8 billion worth of debt over the last 15 years.



I thank my colleague, the member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Shore and my other colleague, the
member for Eastern Shore, for taking part in this debate because I think this government has made a
commitment to help the people of this province. I think through the serious direction of the Premier of this
province that it will happen. Thank you. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: Hearing no further interveners the House will adjourn to reconvene at 12:00 noon
tomorrow.



[The House rose at 6:11 p.m.]



NOTICE OF QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWERS

 

Given on January 31, 1995

 

(Pursuant to Rule 30)



QUESTION NO. 150



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Halifax Citadel)

 

To: Hon. John Savage (Premier)



Ms. L. Maukwe and I would like to know if there are any decisions and consideration being given to
combine the governments of all four Maritime Provinces into one central government, eliminating enormous
and unnecessary costs of supporting four separate governments to manage approximately 1.5 million people
only in a small area?



QUESTION NO. 151



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Halifax Citadel)

 

To: Hon. John Savage (Premier)



I want to know, as does J. Steeves of Dartmouth, why it is unacceptable for Ultramar Canada to break
its contract when your government broke its contract with teachers and government employees?



QUESTION NO. 152



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Halifax Citadel)

 

To: Hon. John MacEachern (Minister of Education)



One of the biggest concerns in the upcoming metro amalgamation is regarding tax rate policy and area
rates especially as it pertains to education. I want to know, as does J. Jones of Lake Fletcher, is this
government planning to introduce a bill to strike area rates and trustees from the Education Act?



QUESTION NO. 153



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Halifax Citadel)

 

To: Hon. John Savage (Premier)



I want to know, as does Commodore W. P. Hayes and B. Mowbray of Mahone Bay, and R. Hunt of
Kingston, in light of the uncertainty the Province of Quebec is injecting into the political and economic life
of Canada, and in particular the Atlantic Provinces, what action the Government of Nova Scotia is taking,
or intends to take?



QUESTION NO. 154



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Halifax Citadel)

 

To: Hon. John Savage (Premier)



I want to know, as does J. Jarvis of Weymouth, where does your government stand on Ottawa’s decision
to close CFB Cornwallis and how does your government stand on a proposal to turn the base into a permanent
headquarters for STANAVFORLANT?



QUESTION NO. 155



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Halifax Citadel)

 

To: Hon. John Savage (Premier)



I want to know, as does G. MacLeod of North Sydney, G. McKim of Dartmouth and R. Langille of
River John, what are the provisions under which the Premier can suspend a member of his caucus for
representing his constituents and voting on legislation according to their wishes?



QUESTION NO. 156



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Halifax Citadel)

 

To: Hon. John Savage (Premier)



I want to know, as does R. E. Langille of River John, why did the Premier permit the Minister of
Municipal Affairs to keep her portfolio, who apparently violated the conflict of interest provisions, yet force
Russell MacKinnon, who represented the position of his electorate when voting on legislation, to sit as an
independent?