Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

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21 septembre 2017
























HALIFAX, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1995



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Second Session



12:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mr. Gerald O’Malley






MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I will call this afternoon’s session to order at this time and begin with
the daily routine, the first item being Presenting and Reading Petitions. There is a petition.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture.



HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition presented to me which contains
over 1,000 signatures of the residents of the Weymouth and Clare areas. These people are asking that the
current shortage of doctors in their communities be addressed. I have added my name to this petition.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition signed by, “. . . the surviving
spouses and families of the men who lost their lives in the Westray Mine explosion.”. There are 24 signatures
plus mine, which is 25. It just very briefly says, “We wish to publicly state our opposition to proposed changes
in the Workers’ Compensation benefits payable to the spouses and families of workers killed on the job in
Nova Scotia. We urge the government to amend Bill 122 to preserve the present level of survivors’ benefits.”.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.









6757

 

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of 130 Nova Scotians
and the petitioners suggest that if the proposed changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act, Bill No. 122,
become reality, the injured worker will not have enough money to live on and since they cannot work, they
will have to fall back on social services. I have affixed my name to that petition.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour.



HON. JAY ABBASS: Mr. Speaker, as a courtesy, I wish to advise the House that later this afternoon
I will seek the unanimous consent of the House to introduce amendments to Bill No. 122, the Workers’
Compensation Act. Over the past several days, weeks and indeed months, I have received representations on
the bill from a large number of groups, such as the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour and trade unions such
as the United Mine Workers, Marine Workers and the Nova Scotia Nurses Union. I have also received
additional representations from a number of other private individuals, organizations and employers. My
amendments are intended to reflect the outcome of this consultation. Again, I am making my intentions
known with respect to Bill No. 122 as a courtesy to the honourable members opposite and all present.



MR. SPEAKER: All right, a very brief ministerial announcement. It relates to the Committee of the
Whole House on Bills, I believe, rather than the House.



The honourable Leader of the Opposition in response.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I rise in response to that ministerial statement. I wonder
if I might ask in the spirit of courtesy, in light of the fact that we will return to those amendments to which
the minister has referred later today, presumably, or indeed at any time in the next day or two, if he might
extend the courtesy of sharing a copy of those with the Opposition caucuses.



MR. ABBASS: I would be happy to oblige.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the statement of the minister and we, as we
have been saying all along, have tried the best we can to make representations both in this House and outside
this House to the government and the Minister of Labour in order to try to effect changes to Bill No. 122 on
behalf of workers and injured workers in the Province of Nova Scotia. I am certainly hopeful that the
amendments that the minister is referring to will include a number, if not all, of the items that we have had
some discussions about.



Mr. Speaker, while the bill as it remains is still not what we would support, we certainly feel that some
of the efforts to make changes have improved the bill and that is our objective here on behalf of workers and
injured workers in the Province of Nova Scotia.



MR. SPEAKER: Are there further Statements by Ministers? If not, we will move on.



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Human Resources.



RESOLUTION NO. 1659



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



Whereas the 14th annual New Waterford Coal Bowl Classic is a unique basketball tournament, hosting
high school teams from across our nation, which has earned a reputation as an outstanding event; and



Whereas the organizers of the Coal Bowl are honouring division chairs, Ray Steele and Hazel Durdle,
and inducting an honoured team from the past into the Coal Bowl’s Hall of Fame; and



Whereas this year’s honourees from the past are members of the 1959-1966 New Waterford Strands
team, who won seven provincial and five Maritime basketball championships and one member of the
honoured team, Russell MacNeil, the honourable member for Cape Breton Centre, now sits as a member of
this House;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House extend our sincere appreciation to the
organizers of the Coal Bowl for the recognition brought to one of our members and for a job well done in
continuing to mount an event which promotes sport in the community while earning national renown for
success.



Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.



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



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried, unanimously.



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.






RESOLUTION NO. 1660



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



Whereas the Minister of Education only a short time ago stuck to his pledge that the cuts from his
department would not affect the classroom or hurt Nova Scotian students; and



Whereas based on a survey of what is happening in the classrooms of Nova Scotia, the president of the
school boards association said yesterday that “I don’t think people can continue to think we can go on doing
more with less. We’ll have to do less with less.”; and



Whereas doing less with less includes three-quarters of our boards reducing or cutting classroom
programs this year, fewer specialist teachers, fewer books and less time with students;



Therefore be it resolved that the Education Minister stop offering the amalgamation of school boards,
a measure he has refused to offer details on until the House rises, as the salvation for classroom inadequacies
and start addressing the very real concerns of our teachers, students and parents.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1661



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 Health Minister had to take shelter in his office after he made a whirlwind tour, before
unleashing massive health care cuts and layoffs, without the necessary health reforms and community-based
services; and



Whereas the Education Minister has likewise pointed to unknown and unproven future events to justify
real loss of educational quality and services in the classrooms today; and



Whereas the Education Minister also intends to conduct a whirlwind tour and to try dodging any
legislative accountability before unleashing his next set of service and job cuts;



Therefore be it resolved that the Education Minister should drop the politics of manipulation, seriously
address the concerns raised by all of the partners in education and carefully, with ample public information
and participation, assess how site-based management would affect our education system before rushing
through Draconian changes, claiming an untested change will be the latest Liberal cure-all.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



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



Whereas the Premier says his priorities rest with the fiscal bottom line at all costs; and



Whereas prior to becoming Premier of Nova Scotia the member for Dartmouth South held the portfolio
of King of Debt for the City of Dartmouth; and



Whereas three years after the resignation of the King of Debt as Mayor of the City of Lakes, Dartmouth
still has . . .



MR. SPEAKER: I believe this reference to the Premier to be out of order. The rules are very clear on
that matter and I rule that resolution out of order. (Interruption) I am absolutely sure.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1662



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 1993 the Health Minister pushed through this House legislation to merge the Glace Bay
hospitals and supposedly launch a new era of integrated health care, both institutional and community-based
for that community; and



Whereas that same minister was quick to blame his new Glace Bay health care system when a woman
had to wait more than five weeks for admission and then fight for an actual hospital bed; and



Whereas the minister was equally quick to blame municipalities for the failures in home care and
extended care, despite his own failure to meet the January 1, 1994 deadline for a new home care system;



Therefore be it resolved that as the 2nd Anniversary of this government approaches, ministers should
recognize that Nova Scotians have little patience with the Liberal tendency to blame anyone and everyone
else.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.



RESOLUTION NO. 1663



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



Whereas yesterday in Brussels the North Atlantic Treaty Organization reached a favourable decision
to give Canada 60.37 per cent of the 27,000 metric tonnes of Greenland halibut; and



Whereas this new quota of Greenland halibut for Canada resulted in the availability of an important
fish resource, to supply fish plants in Nova Scotia and across Atlantic Canada; and



Whereas this resource has helped to provide meaningful employment to thousands of fish plant workers
across the country;



Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the tireless efforts of the federal Minister of
Fisheries, the Honourable Brian Tobin, and the efforts of the provincial Minister of Fisheries, the Honourable
Jim Barkhouse, in securing the availability of this important fish resource for Atlantic Canada.



Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.



[12:15 p.m.]



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



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



RESOLUTION NO. 1664



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



Whereas the Human Resources Minister yesterday said that she was not even aware that the
competition for the Protocol Officer was complete; and



Whereas not only was the competition complete, but the same highly qualified individual who placed
first in the competition for the Chief of Protocol position was snubbed in favour of a patronage appointment
and was dropped from the competition again for the second in command; and



Whereas Navy Lieutenant Don Rochford, who has been recognized for his service with the Canadian
military’s equivalent to the Order of Canada, did not have a chance the second time around with the new
Liberal Chief of Protocol on the hiring committee;



Therefore be it resolved that the Savage Government take a serious look at its decision and its
unsubstantiated excuse of affirmative action and hire the Nova Scotians best qualified for the jobs.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 1665



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



Whereas after Question Period yesterday, the government had arrayed in the lobby outside this
Chamber a $68,000 per annum communications director, a $48,000 per annum former communications
director and a communications advisor who earned $36,500 per annum in her former position; and



Where the government is mere steps away from hiring one full-time communications director or
advisor for every single member of the Press Gallery;



Therefore be it resolved that Liberals concerned about the costs of legislative sittings should recognize
that more acceptable answers inside this House would reduce the need for a rescue squad of government public
relations staff outside the House.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1666



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



Whereas students at Holy Angels High School have successfully convinced the Cape Breton District
School Board and many in the broader community that government funding should no longer discriminate
against mature students who return to school; and



Whereas school boards report that they are now under provincial pressure to charge tuition to any
student 21 years of age or over who is trying to improve their education; and



Whereas this simple policy change would do as much or more good than the many pilot programs to
help Nova Scotians out of poverty that have come and gone over the years;



Therefore be it resolved that this House endorses the request by mature students attending Holy Angels
High School that neither they nor other mature students should be penalized by the provincial funding formula
for education.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



RESOLUTION NO. 1667



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, hopefully I will have better luck this time. (Interruptions)



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



Whereas the reason humans were given eyes in front of them was to look forward instead of
backwards; and



Whereas the bigger one’s head gets, the easier it is to fill that person’s shoes; and



Whereas if the Minister of Natural Resources can’t stand the pressure, then he should seek less
troublesome employment;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Natural Resources look forward and not backwards, and
explain to the Nova Scotia forest industry his vision to ensure Nova Scotians stay employed in the forest
industry and his government’s plans to ensure we have a sustainable resource for many years into the future.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.



RESOLUTION NO. 1668



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



Whereas the mills at Stora Forest Industries will operate at full capacity throughout the year, producing
350,000 tons of market pulp and newsprint; and



Whereas Stora Forest Industries is Nova Scotia’s largest forest products company, employing about 800
people with an additional 1,300 wood harvesting and trucking jobs throughout eastern Nova Scotia; and



Whereas in 1994, Stora Forest Industries constructed a $48 million effluent treatment facility,
undertook a $3.5 million modification of its newsprint machine and in 1995 will plant its 100 millionth tree
seedling;



Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the magnitude of the forestry industry in Nova
Scotia, through companies such as Stora Forest Industries, which have emerged from the recession
strengthened due to improved world markets, the tremendous support from this government, Stora employees,
company wood suppliers, the community and business leaders.



Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver.



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



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried unanimously.



The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.



RESOLUTION NO. 1669



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 Nova Scotia economy is on the road to economic success in 1995; and



Whereas the Opposition obviously agrees with this assessment of our economy in that they failed to
respond to the Adjournment resolution last evening; and



Whereas the member for Eastern Shore and the honourable Minister of Fisheries responded to the
resolution in solid support of our government’s policies;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House agree that the strength of the Nova Scotia
economy is due in large part to the hard work of Nova Scotians and the sound policy of our government.



Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: Now, there seems to be broad support for the motion but I don’t know if there is
unanimity.



I hear several Noes.



The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



RESOLUTION NO. 1670



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



Whereas the Municipal Affairs Minister has proclaimed that on planning issues, her government,
“needs to hear from people”; and



Whereas the minister declared this government’s commitment to principles of openness,
responsiveness, sustainability, sensitivity and cost-effectiveness, promising greater opportunities for Nova
Scotians to get involved; and



Whereas this same government is ramming through the only legislation in Canada that cancels the
entire Planning Act and local approval, to quickly impose Las Vegas-style casinos that are already an
embarrassment to Nova Scotians;



Therefore be it resolved that a government which wants to be known as deficit-conscious and thrifty
will stop wasting paper declaring it wants to hear from people, while everyone who can read knows that this
government is brutally ignoring people’s clear wishes to keep casinos out of Nova Scotia.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 1671



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



Whereas when a polling firm was paid to ask Nova Scotians if they supported school board mergers
that would result in a more effective education system, only 64 per cent said yes despite the heavily loaded
question; and



Whereas if pollsters asked if Nova Scotians would support the present government if it was effective
and told them the truth, a majority might even say yes to that question also; and



Whereas when government used public opinion polls to justify metro amalgamation, its initiative was
then rejected by nearly 90 per cent, leading to a sudden decision that Liberals don’t care about poll results and
public opinion;



Therefore be it resolved that if the Education Minister intends to determine the quality of education
on the basis of occasional one-sided public opinion polls, parents, students and teachers should abandon all
hope that educational standards will be maintained or improved.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



Are there any further notices of motion? If not, I wish to advise the House that the Clerk has conducted
a draw for the Adjournment debate at 6:00 p.m. this afternoon. The winner today is the honourable member
for Kings West. His submission is a resolution reading:



Therefore be it resolved that as the Western Kings Memorial Hospital is scheduled to close officially
on March 31, 1995, the Health Minister should outline his department’s plans for the future of the employees
and the health services for the area immediately.



So, we will hear on that subject at 6:00 p.m. this afternoon.



The Oral Question Period today will run for one hour from 12:24 p.m. to 1:24 p.m. if there is no
further business to come before the House under the Daily Routine.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



HUMAN RES. - PROTOCOL OFFICE: POSITIONS - HIRING POLICY



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Following Lieutenant Don
Rochford’s successful bid for the position of the province’s Chief of Protocol position, he was turned away
from that in favour of Ms. Colleen MacDonald under the guise of affirmative action. That same gentleman
then felt confident enough to seek a competition which was outstanding contemporaneously at that time, the
position of Protocol Officer, even though I believe he had the expertise for the senior position and indeed the
interview team recommended that he was the first place candidate.



There in the second competition, the Protocol Officer competition, there was a review panel which Mr.
Rochford faced, chaired by Colleen MacDonald as a member, and that interview team found that Mr.
Rochford only rated second. In that state of circumstances, I wonder if the Premier would offer his view as
to whether or not he believes that the hiring process has been open and fair as it relates to the Protocol
Officer’s position?



HON. JOHN SAVAGE (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, the Premier has absolute confidence in the
Minister of Human Resources and I am going to ask her to deal with this question.



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: As was discussed here in the House yesterday the Protocol Officer’s job
was up for competition. There were over 200 applicants for that job, I have been told. Now that all the
applicants who had applied for that position have been informed of the status of the position, there has been
someone appointed to the job. I am confident that the process that was followed is right, correct and fair and
I am happy to say that the job has now been filled.



MR. DONAHOE: My supplementary is back to the Premier. It is my understanding that Mr. Rochford,
who has been jerked around pretty good by the hiring process of this government has applied, as a
consequence, to both the Human Rights Commission and the Provincial Ombudsman’s Office for review of
his situation. Based on, among other factors, his background and qualifications ranking well above those of
the successful candidates in both instances. I ask the Premier today if he would give an indication that he
would be prepared to abide by the decisions of both of those review processes?



THE PREMIER: Anybody who feels in this province that they have been treated in a way that they
think is unfair has every right to go to these organizations. I recommend that such a person go.



MR. DONAHOE: By way of final supplementary I would ask the Premier today if he would also
commit that he would refrain from any personal or directed interference in the review of both the
Ombudsman’s Office or the Human Rights Commission as they review the circumstances facing Mr.
Rochford?



THE PREMIER: Obviously, the technique which has been referred to has been used before. I can tell
you quite categorically that I have no intention of talking to anybody who is in the position of Ombudsman
or the Human Rights Commission.



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



EDUC. - C.B. DISTRICT SCHOOL BD.: MATURE STUDENTS - TUITION



MR. JOHN HOLM: I would like to address my question through you to the Minister of Education.
Prior to this year it was government policy to discourage school boards from charging tuition fees to mature
students over the age of 21 who had returned to school to upgrade and further their education. This year the
minister’s department, of course, encouraged boards to charge such tuitions. Recently the Cape Breton District
School Board, in fact, reversed its policy and decided not to collect. My question to the minister is quite
simply this, will the minister revert back to the policy that had been in existence before and discourage boards
from, in fact, charging any tuition to mature students who have returned to school to upgrade their education
so that they will, in fact, be employable in this new modern day?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: If I might, first of all, to inform the honourable member because I
know he is very concerned about people who are over 21 who want to be educated, there was no previous
policy and there is no present policy. What he refers to are the discussions of last January 13th, of which he
and I had some discussions in which the boards put forward ways that they could save money. One of the
things that was suggested from the committee was that oftentimes they have classes that are overburdened by
people who are over 21, for which it is not the responsibility of the Education Act for the public school system.



The public school system, in fact, is responsible for people under the age of 21. So, what happened is
it became one of the considerations that were made from those discussions and the boards talked about
charging tuitions for those that came. What we offered in the Department of Education was that any person
over the age of 21 that this was a problem for that they would come to us in the community college side
because that is how we receive adults in the education system for retraining.



The case he refers to in Sydney, Mr. Speaker, some students enrolled in the system and many of them
in the public school system and were informed afterwards about the tuition decision of the local school board.
My understanding is it has been resolved for this year and again will be considered by that board and other
boards but again the direction didn’t come from the department nor did it before. It was the decision made at
the local level.



[12:30 p.m.]



MR. HOLM: Yes, indeed, Mr. Speaker, and, in fact, certainly, the decision did come as a result of the
discussions that were held, as the minister is suggesting. But you know, this government and the minister
have pointed out, quite correctly, that eduction and training are the key to future employment and to the
prosperity of our province. They have introduced legislation which shows that they treat workers or believe
that workers, basically, are unreliable, lazy and so on.



My question, therefore, to the minister is quite simply this. Why is it that he is permitting boards to
be charging this tuition fee, something which is, in fact, discouraging those very students who have
demonstrated, quite clearly, their maturity and commitment to upgrade their education so that they can take
part in the modern day economy?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable member about his preamble, I would challenge
the honourable member to suggest any member of this Cabinet or this government who talked about labourers
and workers as lazy and the rest of it. That was outrageous that he brought this to the floor of the House.



But, in answer to his question, Mr. Speaker, I can suggest to him that we in the community college
system are working to develop an adult education model for all of the people who need retraining and we are
inviting all Nova Scotians to come to the community college side. Because part of it is that when they go back
to school, oftentimes the schools are for younger people and it would treat these adults as if they were younger
people. That is why we want to develop a training system for the adults in the community college system
which addresses the needs of all adult learners and it is an effort that we have made.



Also, Mr. Speaker, it is not the position legally or legislatively for us to direct the boards. We have
spoken about that often in the House. If the honourable member suggests that we should start telling the
boards, the elected boards, how they should make decisions, I would suggest, maybe, his view of democracy
is different from mine.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, in a brief reference to his comments, I suggest that he take a look at the
provisions that are contained in his colleagues’ workers’ compensation bill.



My final question is quite simply this. The minister has talked about the community college system
and that that is the direction in which the students over the age of 21 should be going for upgrading their
education. That may be appropriate in some situations, it may not be appropriate in others, Mr. Speaker.



My question to the minister is quite simply this. Will the minister, if he is truly concerned about this,
agree that for those mature adults who have returned to upgrade their education through the public school
system, he will provide, on the same per student basis as for other students, the education funding, so that,
in fact, they will be able to deliver those problems and so that mature students who want to further their
education will not be turned away at the door because of their inability to come up with $1,000 in tuition fees?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the honourable member that any adult in the
Province of Nova Scotia who wants to be retrained, I would suggest that they contact our community college
and if it is appropriate that we contract with the public school system to do that, we will proceed to do that.
Because it is very important that the focus of the public school system would be for those young learners
between 6 and 21. That is what the focus should be.



If there are adults of those people above 21 that that is appropriate to do, the community college system
is in power to contract that, Mr. Speaker, and they will do so after appropriate assessments, which they are
equipped to do and I will assure the honourable member of that.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



EDUC. - SCHOOL BOARDS: AMALGAMATION - SAVINGS



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. The Minister
of Education was recently speaking to a home and school association meeting and he floated a figure, I guess,
of potential savings that he anticipates as a consequence of school board amalgamation. My understanding
is that the number quoted by the minister was in the order of some $5 million.



I wonder if the minister would confirm that if he did, in fact, quote that $5 million figure and that that
is the amount that he anticipates will be saved as a result of his amalgamation efforts?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, in terms of proposals that we are considering for
amalgamations to help, for example, the smaller boards that are in great difficulty, that is not an unreasonable
number.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, well, the disarray in which so many boards now find themselves as
a result of the activities and policies of this government over the last two years, not knowing what their future
is when they are trying as best they can to plan under the restraints, boards whose numbers have been greatly
contained and which are fully elected by their communities is bad enough; however, I ask again, is the
Minister of Education saying that $5 million in savings is his rationale for his amalgamation efforts?



MR. MACEACHERN: No, Mr. Speaker, in fact, when we are approaching the problem that is faced
by some boards, we have some small boards who can’t continue because of declining enrolment and the
resources can no longer provide base education because of declining enrolment. That preceded any action of
this government and it has been a problem in some of those boards for some time. That is one problem and
I presented it to all members of the House; I travelled the province and I presented it across the province to
all boards in many forms.



Secondly, we have to address francophone first language governance, Mr. Speaker, and that too has
problems. The other two concerns that the Department of Education is faced with is the amalgamation in
metro and also the amalgamation in Sydney.



They are the three questions that have been asked about amalgamations that we have to address in the
Department of Education. Any model that we look at, Mr. Speaker, to address those three problems, indicates
savings of that order. That is not the reason for it although those savings will go back into providing for those
small boards and protecting services, most particularly at the Primary to Grade 6 level where they are most
needed. I don’t think any member would argue for that need at the Primary to Grade 6 levels.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, again, to the Minister of Education. This Minister of Education on
behalf of this government at the time the early retirement scheme for teachers was actually put in place
suggested in various speeches around the province that this would actually result in a realization of profit or
a better position for some boards when, in fact, if he looks at the province as a whole, the minister will find,
I am sure he knows, that that early retirement plan, with the obligation from the individual school board to
fund it, will be devastating for many boards, particularly in those cases where lower salaried teachers were
not able to be hired, which was part of the rationale.



I wonder if the minister would be prepared to commit today, to table in this House before the House
rises, a cost analysis of the relative pluses and minuses, board by board, of the financial circumstances in
which those boards will now be left as a result of their obligation to meet their cost and their share of the
payment for the early retirement program? Would he table such an analysis?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me congratulate the honourable Leader of the
Opposition for recognizing one of the constraints the small boards are under. When the agreement between
the Teachers Union and the Department of Education was arrived at, it was recognized that the early
retirement package is manageable province-wide. Some of the larger boards encouraged savings; some of the
smaller boards will have great difficulties. Again, I give to the honourable Leader of the Opposition, because
of declining enrolments, when people retire they are not replaced and it presents a real problem to smaller
boards.



I could give the honourable member the data, in fact, my staff has committed as part of the
negotiations, after one year, which they are accumulating now, they travelled from board to board and
analyzed how the early retirement hit this year, how it would hit next year and the year after, so we can
anticipate the savings, but I would suggest to the honourable Leader of the Opposition that that is one of the
reasons that we have to look at possible amalgamations in some areas, because this one impact will basically
cause some boards to become a problem but, province-wide, we can manage that. (Interruption)



I don’t know if it is all accumulated but whatever we have, I would be pleased to provide to the House
without any difficulty. I think I would have to call the Teachers Union to get approval, because it may cause
them some difficulties but, if it doesn’t, Mr. Speaker, I would be pleased to give it to the House.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



PREMIER - CHIEF OF STAFF (HEATHER ROBERTSON):

 

BLUENOSE II TRUST - RESIGN



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Back on January 3rd, my
colleague, the honourable member for Queens, asked of the Premier whether or not Ms. Heather Robertson,
his Chief of Staff, would be resigning from the Bluenose II Preservation Trust. The Premier, in response, said
very correctly, it has been discussed and I understand it will be given.



Then again on January 10th, Mr. Speaker, the member for Queens asked the Minister for the Economic
Renewal Agency virtually the same question. The minister responded that she is resigning and I believe if it
has not been done it will be done very shortly. I was wondering if the Premier has advised Ms. Robertson to
make that request to resign?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I have no other information than I had at the moment in the House but
I will gladly take it under advisement and report back tomorrow.



MR. RUSSELL: Well, that is fine, Mr. Speaker, but how long does it take to write a note, I resign
effective today, and sign your name to it? It certainly should not take a month to do that. So I assume from
the Premier’s response, since she is still a member, I believe, as of yesterday anyway, of the Bluenose II
Preservation Trust, that that resignation will be coming forward shortly.



Now, Mr. Speaker, the same lady has resigned from the Police Commission but however she has not,
as yet, resigned from another plum that she has which is Director of Nova Scotia Resources Limited which
has a stipend of about $2,500, $150 a day for attending a meeting. I was wondering if the Premier, in the spirit
of keeping his staff clear of those kinds of boards and agencies, will be requesting Ms. Robertson to resign
from Nova Scotia Resources Limited?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I do not see the major issue in the Bluenose one but all I know is I got
back last night and I have not had the opportunity, it was not high on my agenda, but as you have requested,
I would be delighted to do so.



The question of Nova Scotia Resources Limited is, of course, interesting. Back in 1989, John
MacPherson, who was principal assistant to the Premier, sat on Nova Scotia Resources Limited without any
real difficulty. Deputy ministers have sat. Let us not forget that Nova Scotia Resources Limited is largely to
do with the province and provincial representation on it is, of course, absolutely natural and therefore it is not
an issue of any significance. The issue is, of course, whether somebody would get paid and nobody is getting
paid for it as of this time. (Applause)



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, when the crowd across the road came to power, I understood that the
Premier was not going to have any truck with anything that the previous government did. It does not seem
as though he is doing a particularly good job. (Interruption)



Well, Mr. Speaker, there was a question put yesterday to the Minister of Natural Resources with regard
to another gentleman by the name of Bob MacKay who is the Secretary to the Executive Council and Deputy
Minister in the Office of the Premier. That gentleman has also been assigned to Nova Scotia Resources
Limited. I was wondering when these people on the staff of the Premier ever get time to do their primary job
and I was wondering, anyway, will the Premier be requesting Mr. MacKay to resign from Nova Scotia
Resources Limited?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I should tell you that in this age of instant communication, I am very
happy to inform the member opposite that Ms. Robertson has resigned from Bluenose II, so the issue is
presumably gone.



AN HON. MEMBER: It was yesterday.



THE PREMIER: No, she resigned before. That is the information I have received. You know how
instant it is these days. (Interruptions) Mr. Speaker, I am not the only one who looks aloft for inspiration, I
can assure you.



[12:45 p.m.]



I will be talking to Mr. MacKay but, at the same time, these people are fulfilling important jobs when
they were appointed to this, and the essence of continuity is important. There is no government precedent why
they should not be there and, therefore, it makes a lot of sense. You were obviously not here when I responded
previously, when I stated they were not getting paid.



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



JUSTICE: GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION - DISCUSSIONS



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the honourable Minister of Justice. Any
Nova Scotian who has turned on the radio or television or read a newspaper in recent weeks can understand
and appreciate, the issue of gun control is very controversial and certainly at times emotional. I moved a
resolution the other day requesting all members of the Legislature encourage and, in fact, support, a free vote
in Parliament when it came time to vote on this legislation.



Now, this morning we hear on the radio that the federal Liberal caucus is meeting in Toronto today
and the Prime Minister is throwing down the gauntlet. By that, Mr. Speaker, I mean he is essentially saying,
support gun control legislation or absent yourself from the House of Commons and, if not, look out.



Now we, as a province, most likely will be responsible, either in whole or in part, for the enforcement,
administration and perhaps the maintenance of this new legislation. I wonder if the Minister of Justice has
discussed the legislation yet with gun owners across Nova Scotia or has the government put forth a position
paper to the federal Minister of Justice on this issue?



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I have had discussions with my counterparts across Canada
at the recent meeting of the Ministers of Justice, along with the federal minister. I think we should all keep
in mind that we have many topics that are very important to Nova Scotians that are a direct responsibility.
I think I have plenty of matters in my own jurisdiction.



The matter of gun control comes under the Government of Canada and those Members of Parliament
from all parts of Nova Scotia, including the honourable member’s part, should take their own responsibility
and vote for or against that particular legislation.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, the answer is somewhat as I expected. I had hoped to go to the Premier
with my supplementary but again, I will go with your approval, Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Justice. I have
heard recently from very reliable sources, and one of them in Ottawa, that the Nova Scotia Government
(Interruption) Perhaps, Mr. Speaker, with your approval, I could go to the Premier?



MR. SPEAKER: Proceed please, carry on.



MR. TAYLOR: I should inform the Premier, Mr. Speaker, through you, that I have heard from a very
reliable source in Ottawa, that the Nova Scotia Government is being asked for full support of the gun control
legislation. If this happens, (Interruptions) a Canada National Gun Control Registration Centre will be
constructed and opened in Sydney, creating in the order of some 150 to 200 jobs.



Has the Premier been made privy to that information?



MR. SPEAKER: I must caution the House before this question is answered that Beauchesne - I don’t
have the direct reference in front of me - states very clearly that matters that are, by their nature, secrets of
state, are not appropriate for questions in Question Period. For example, the communications within Cabinet
are not appropriate for discussion here in the House in Question Period. (Interruptions) I don’t know, it sounds
hypothetical, too.



The honourable Premier has the floor.



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am going to give this to a very reliable source beside me, the Minister
of Justice.



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member has said he has a reliable source, it sounds like
a bit of a rumour, that the essence, as I understand it, that in return for the support of the Province of Nova
Scotia for the gun control legislation, some facility with some number of jobs is going to be constructed in
Cape Breton. Well, I would be glad to see any number of jobs come to any part of Nova Scotia, be it Cape
Breton or any other part because we certainly need them and we have been moving towards getting them.



I am not aware of any such suggestion. This is a matter for the Parliament of Canada. These
parliamentarians are elected and they should carry out their responsibilities and not try to slough this stuff
off on us, we have enough to do here. (Applause)



MR. TAYLOR: Well, Mr. Speaker, my final supplementary is to the Premier. I welcome him back for
his visit to Nova Scotia. I don’t know whether it will be an extended visit but welcome back, Mr. Premier.



MR. SPEAKER: Those comments are inappropriate. Please put your supplementary question.



MR. TAYLOR: My question to the Premier is simply this. If the federal government does, indeed,
come forth with such an offer, will the Government of Nova Scotia accept the federal legislation, in its present
form, for these 150 to 200 jobs in industrial Cape Breton?



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



MR. TAYLOR: The question is not hypothetical.



MR. SPEAKER: Does the Premier wish to respond?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I suspect that my answer was the same as yours, that this is totally
hypothetical and, as such, it is not the custom in this House to answer hypothetical questions.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



FIN. - SPORTS LOTTERIES: MINORS PURCHASE - OFFENCE



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of
Finance. On May 19th in this House, the Finance Minister announced his government’s latest gambling
initiative, specifically, the introduction of sports lotteries. At the time, I raised the concern that the
government had introduced no legislative measures, nor regulatory protections, making it an offence to sell
lottery products to minors.



Eight months later, this government has still introduced no regulations or legislation making it illegal
to sell sports lottery tickets to minors and, yet, this minister would have us believe that his government is
prepared to be tough with gambling regulations.



My question to the minister is simply why has the government not seen fit to make it an offence to sell
lottery tickets to children in this province?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: As the honourable member knows, Mr. Speaker, we have engaged
over the past year in an extensive review of all regulations and we await the opportunity to present them to
the public, very shortly. The clearly enunciated policy for any vendor is that no such products be sold. In fact,
to my knowledge, they are not being sold, but if the honourable member has information to the contrary, I
would be happy to see that it is followed up.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is the lawyer in the crowd and he knows
that it is not an offence, which is the only way to really fully regulate this matter and, yes, such tickets are
being sold to minors.



A member of my staff was stunned when her 12 year old son arrived home earlier this week having
purchased, with no difficulty at all, such a sports lottery ticket, a Sports Select Pro Line Ticket. She called the
police because she thought it was probably illegal. The police made it quite clear that they were powerless to
deal with this because there is no such law. There is no regulation against it and, yes, there is a policy that
is virtually unenforceable. Which leaves Nova Scotians wondering how serious this government is about a
strict regulatory regime.



My question to the minister again is, if he would have Nova Scotians believe that this government can
deal with the gambling that has already been introduced in this province, then why doesn’t he make the
commitment, immediately, to introduce such a regulation, rather than ramming through more forms of
gambling and asking people to trust him to regulate in a proper way?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I would suggest, specifically in the case she refers to, to refer that
individual to the Nova Scotia Lottery Commission and we will see whether or not it can be enforced. There
is quite an effective enforcement process. Anyone selling those types of products to minors will be denied the
right to sell them. It is as simple as that.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, this is a government that knows perfectly well that young adults
are vulnerable to gambling addiction (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: We need a question here.



MS. MCDONOUGH: When this government decided it was serious about tackling underage smoking,
it brought in a law to deal with it. When it said it was serious about dealing with underage video lottery
terminal play, it brought in a regulation to deal with it. Why should Nova Scotians believe that this
government is serious about protecting young Nova Scotians from gambling addiction when it does not even
introduce the necessary legislation or regulation to make it an offence to sell to children?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know if there was a question attached to that, but, quite
clearly, there is an effective means. Now, there is a question of enforcement, naturally. (Interruption) I have
indicated to the member how it is enforced and, in fact, we have acted against vendors and we will act. But
in order to act, we have to have the information. I think that is reasonable.



So if the honourable member has information, table it here today, send the name of the vendor over
to me, or, if she is reluctant to do that, have the particular individual who spoke to her go directly to the Nova
Scotia Lottery Commission. (Interruption) Well, thank you. Now, I think the honourable member is engaged
in politics here not enforcement of policy. (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



EDUC. - SCHOOL BOARDS: AMALGAMATION - SAVINGS



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. It is my
understanding that the Minister of Education contends that amalgamation of school boards across the
province, who already serve an average of 7,000-some students per board, is the answer to the financial plight
being faced by some of the boards across the province. I wonder if the minister could outline for me today just
how much such a merger would save as far as his financial analysis seems to indicate?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, if my memory serves me right, from 15 or 20 minutes
ago, he suggested that the number that I had used was something of the order of $5 million and I said that
is not unreasonable. So, I repeat it here, if I might, I didn’t suggest for moment, and again I go back 15
minutes ago, that this is the solution to all the problems.



We are looking to see if in fact this might be the solution to three problems. I stated them a few
moments ago, and I will state them again if the honourable member would want. One is the small board
problem, which he has talked about; the second is francophone first language governance; and thirdly, is to
address the municipal amalgamations here in metro and in Sydney.



We are going out and asking questions. We started that last June. We think we have distilled what we
heard and we are focusing the discussion on some very particular things and we are going around and
discussing them again. I didn’t suggest for a moment that this is the solution to everything, but I think they
are reasonable questions to be asked.



It was stated yesterday, for example, by Don Trider, that 27 per cent of the education budget goes
towards administration. I think if we are going to choose between examining the administration to get
savings, Mr. Speaker, or examine, for example, guidance services to elementary children, it seems to me the
place to start is at the administration level. We did it in our department and now we are doing it at the boards.
I think those questions should be asked and they should be asked thoroughly and answered. That is what we
plan on doing.



MR. DONAHOE: Well, I guess, Mr. Speaker, part of the frustration that is being experienced by all
those who are the board leaders and the Teachers Union and the parents and informed students is that there
doesn’t seem to be yet, from this minister, any master plan or any outline, any documentation that enables
those who are so concerned about what the future might be to get their teeth into facts and figures and details
and options and pros and cons and so on.



I wonder if the minister could indicate to us when it is that he would expect to be in a position to
communicate precisely to each and every of the boards of the Province of Nova Scotia: (a) what his intention
is in regard to their fate as far as amalgamation is concerned; and (b) what the amalgamation of their board
will do to them in terms of finances and numbers of teachers in front of the children in the classrooms?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I am stuck again. They have their budgets in order for them to
plan the education delivery. They have that. As I said yesterday and I tried to say a few moments ago, we are
asking the questions. If the honourable member is suggesting because he says, on the one hand, we are heavy-handed, doing this to the boards and then on the other hand, he is saying, when am I going to give them my
plan?



Mr. Speaker, I am trying to develop by consensus an understanding of what is the best thing to do to
address the very particular problems that are out there. They are very particular problems and we are trying
to do that.



The honourable member, and I told him yesterday and I will say to all members of the House, through
you, Mr. Speaker, that during the spring I plan to travel throughout the province and consult with all the
stakeholders in every forum possible to talk about what is possible to address the problems. I have already
talked to all of the boards, personally, and we have discussed across the table the views that they have and we
have made some changes which our White Paper, hopefully, will address.



[1:00 p.m.]



Again nothing is finished, discussion is still ongoing and those things we arrive at consensus on we
will move forward with as quickly as possible. If there is no consensus reached we will still work on this and
again, I don’t think anybody in Nova Scotia fails to see the problems and the differences on the solutions and
I will continue to discuss those. I will tell the honourable member again, there is no master plan except that
we are going to try to find a way through these problems.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I thank you to allow me to put my third supplementary. If, as the
Minister of Education has just now acknowledged, there is no master plan it occurs to me that he is on a
search and destroy mission or a lets go meet with this board and see what that brings and then we will go
down the road and meet with the next board and see what that brings and there is no rhyme or reason.



MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.



MR. DONAHOE: I repeat, whether or not it is the minister’s intention to present to each and every of
the boards of the province a master plan which will outline the objectives which he and his ministry and the
government hope to reach as a result of this dialogue that will take place with the school boards? Will there
be such a master plan document?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I am not the master nor do I have a master plan. I will just give
you a small example for the honourable Leader of the Opposition to illustrate the problem. They have left us
debt servicing in the order of $800 million-plus and they have allowed us $700 million - that crowd - for the
public education system. In fact, this is growing according to compound interest and eating away at the very
essential services we have. The waste heap that they left us is the problem that they have left for the children
of Nova Scotia to be solved. (Applause)



The teachers of Nova Scotia have laboured under this for a very long time because there has been no
attempt to find out from them, who are dealing with the problems, how to solve this. The boards in the field
have tried to apply as best they can, the monies that have been available and the monies that are deteriorating
because of the waste of the honourable Leader opposite and the crowd that used to be on this side.



We are working very hard to get that solution so that every dollar that is available in the education
system can go to service the children. We are doing that, that is a problem, we are trying to break down some
of the stuff that they left us with so that we can get the dollars from the stuff to the students. We are trying
to do that and there is not a master plan that is developed in a back room, it is developed out front with the
public so that they can see how it is developing. The next stage of that will be presented to them and when
we get a determination of a consensus, we shall move on. It is not a command but I will tell you what is
commanding us is the debt that is hanging in front of us and every time I think of it I get angry at that crowd
opposite. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



EDUC. - SITE-BASED MANAGEMENT: PROJECTS EVALUATION - TENDER



MR. GEORGE MOODY: My question is for the Minister of Education because I realize the only
applause he gets is in here so they have to do something. The minister set out an invitational bid for the
evaluation for eight site-based management projects, as I understand it (Interruption) I haven’t been to any
Liberal ones lately, no. I know I shouldn’t get sidetracked, Mr. Speaker. I promise if you keep them quiet I
won’t get sidetracked.



MR. SPEAKER: Please put your question.






MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, as I understand it the minister sent out an invitational bid for the
evaluation of eight site-based management projects. Could the minister tell the House whether or not the
company, Campbell and Company was the successful bidder for this particular project?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, no. I know the tender was put out and I will check with
the office to find out if it has been awarded and by whom. It is not something I personally involve myself in
but I would be pleased to provide the honourable member with the information.



MR. MOODY: I appreciate the minister getting back to me. He is one of the people who, when he says
he will, he will. I would ask the minister if, when he gets back to me on who the successful bidder was, could
he also indicate the price of the successful bidder?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I would be pleased to do that for the honourable member.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Education, I would ask the minister, when
will the plan for the evaluation of the eight projects be completed? Does he know?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I don’t know if it will ever be complete because we
want to focus on the development over a number of years. I think that for our first evaluation we are aiming
for the end of this academic year.



I can inform the honourable member and all members of the House that I am meeting tomorrow with
representatives from all the pilots, to find out how each is going personally. My staff has been making contact
and trying to keep themselves informed on what is happening in each of them, Mr. Speaker. Tomorrow, I am
meeting with them to hear personally about the difficulties they are having and the successes they are having
because that will inform me better.



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



EDUC. - SITE-BASED MANAGEMENT: PROJECTS - IMPLEMENTATION (1995-96)



MR. GEORGE MOODY: I thank the minister and I think it is very important that we do have an
evaluation, obviously. I would ask the minister, is it true that you are planning to implement more pilot site-based management projects for the next year, for 1995-1996?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Well, Mr. Speaker, I can inform the honourable member that I don’t
know if there are any specific plans but I know if there is any community that wants to get involved in
planning with the school, we would be more than willing to work with them. I will give the honourable
member the clearest example; up in Pictou County 100 per cent of the schools now have advisory councils.



We are willing to work with them, Mr. Speaker, because, for example, just this week on my desk,
arrived a Canadian Education Association bulletin on absenteeism, which indicates that is one of the chief
characteristics that allows for low absenteeism in school, if there is parental involvement. So, we are willing
to do that. The eight pilots are things we can study very clearly; the Teachers Union and the school boards
association also are doing that and we are going to inform each other. So, it is basically on the eight pilots
but anyone else involved, we are more than pleased to involve ourselves to help with that involvement.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I would ask the minister why he might consider moving ahead? How far
would he move ahead, with how many projects, until at some point we reach the point of getting some
evaluation? What I am saying is, will the minister continue to allow projects to start, before we have some
evaluation of the ones that are already underway?



MR. MACEACHERN: Well, Mr. Speaker, I don’t think it is for me to tell a group to stop. Yesterday,
I met with a group from Sydney Mines who were involved in Thompson Junior High School. They informed
me that they have had an advisory council, the same thing for six years. They have used that advisory council,
in fact, to develop a health centre for their school.



I don’t know if I could ever get it in myself, to tell them to stop doing those things. The principal, the
school board and ourselves are monitoring each of them carefully, to make sure they are there, doing positive
things.



I don’t know if it would even be in my constitution to tell parents to stay out of the school until we
decide whether it is a good thing for parents to be in the school. That would be my first inclination on that.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I would never want anyone to think any of us would not want parents
involved. I think the point I am making is, how much money do we continue to put in site-based management
projects? Why do the evaluation if we are not to somehow get an evaluation of these site-based management
projects and use that to determine how far we go with it, then obviously it is no good to evaluate?



So, I am asking the minister, would we continue to put money in from the province, until at some point
we get some feedback from evaluations of the projects we already have going?



MR. MACEACHERN: I can inform the honourable member that we are putting money into eight, and
that is all we are doing. So, as a result, we are monitoring those and our money is to help with the monitoring
and the professional development.



The other schools are stepping forward themselves, without money. We are hoping they will learn from
what is happening at the other eight. That is part of what the pilots are about.






MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



ERA - M & M MANUFACTURING: CREDITORS - CONTACT



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask who is the acting minister responsible
for the Economic Renewal Agency?



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Finance, in the
absence of the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency. There are a number of Nova Scotia companies
in serious trouble as a result of the financial difficulties being experienced by M & M Manufacturing. I am
extremely concerned as are many people about this situation. It is clear that the former government and in
fact, since 1993 this government has provided $6.5 million in terms of loan guarantees or loans to M & M
Manufacturing.



On this basis a lot of companies have continued to work with and participate in business with M & M
Manufacturing. My question to the minister would be that many businesses have put it on the line because
of those guarantees and is the government considering and will it consider sitting down with the creditors to
take some of the responsibility that they have, in order to try and resolve the situation so that many of these
Nova Scotia businesses don’t go into receivership themselves as a result?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: I am aware that the department is very much apprised of the
situations that the member brings to the floor of the House. Discussions have occurred on an ongoing basis
with certain of the creditor companies and the matter is being followed very closely.



MR. CHISHOLM: To the minister, I know that as of a day or so ago there was one particular company
that, if some resolve is not identified, will themselves be out of business within the week. I think it is clear
that the government is not setting a precedent if they were to become involved. They have been fairly active
in other instances, for example, Romatt Doors come to mind. The clock is ticking, this company or one
company in particular will go into receivership.



MR. SPEAKER: The clock is ticking on our Question Period, too.



MR. CHISHOLM: Will the minister assure this House that the Department of Economic Renewal
officials will call a meeting immediately with those companies, with the creditors that are involved in this
situation, in order to try to come to some resolve?



MR. BOUDREAU: As I have indicated in the previous answer I am aware that officials and senior staff
from the Economic Renewal Agency have been engaged, on an ongoing basis, in meetings with certain
creditor companies. The honourable member referred to a specific company. If after Question Period he wishes
to give me the name of that company I will contact people at the department and make sure that discussions
have occurred or indeed will occur with that company.



MR. CHISHOLM: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I will provide that information to the minister but
there are other companies involved. Really the focus here is whether the government, through this minister,
will give an indication that they will try to find some resolve to the concerns of all the creditors that have been
put in peril as a result of the fact that the government has provided guarantees to M & M Manufacturing. Will
they step forward, accept some of their responsibility for the precarious situation these companies are in and
immediately try to seek a resolve, not just for that one company which I will bring to the minister’s attention
but all of the creditors?



MR. BOUDREAU: I think that the Economic Renewal Agency has been, will be, continue to be,
concerned and involved with any creditor company that is facing serious financial circumstance. At this point
in time, I think that is perhaps as far as I might prudently go as the acting minister. However, I will also
ensure that the minister is aware of the honourable member’s interest on his return.



[1:15 p.m.]



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



TRANSPORT.: CAST (CP TAKEOVER) - REVERSAL SEEK



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, it is certainly not a hypothetical question. The Premier may
or may not be aware, and surely his government must be aware that the National Transportation Agency
approved an application by Canadian Pacific to take over CAST shipping operation. With this move,
Canadian Pacific will control 80 per cent of the container traffic going through the Port of Montreal and may
well undercut container shipments through the Port of Halifax by diverting traffic to Montreal.



The National Transportation Agency is required by law to promote regional economic interests and
development. This decision, I feel, will reduce and possibly bring into question the viability of the Port of
Halifax, but, fortunately, by way of appeal, the National Transportation Act allows the federal Cabinet to
reverse their decision.



My question is this, will the Premier petition his colleagues and his friends in the federal Cabinet to
reverse this decision, by way of the appeal, which he is able to do through the National Transportation Act?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I, once again, would refer the matter to a very reliable minister, the
Minister of Transportation.



HON. RICHARD MANN: This government, through my department, has made our concerns well
known to the federal Minister of Transport, the Honourable Doug Young, in letter, in person, as recently as
a couple of weeks ago. I and a senior staff member visited Ottawa and they are well aware of our concern with
a takeover of CAST line by CP and I can assure the member that we will continue to make representations,
as he suggests.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, perhaps I might ask the Minister of Transportation why there was no
representation from Nova Scotia at that very hearing that I was talking about in my first question?



MR. MANN: Mr. Speaker, I missed the first part, but, as he said, we made representation to the
minister and the agency. This is a matter for the National Transportation Agency to decide. It now is in the
hands, as he suggests, of the federal government and we will be making representations to the federal
government, with the concerns of Nova Scotia, as we have been doing all along.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I certainly feel that the Province of Nova Scotia should have intervened
in the decision, in the application, at least, to protect employment in the Port of Halifax, directly through the
Halifax-Dartmouth Port Development Commission.



I wonder if the Minister of Transportation could confirm that that commission is funded with
provincial funds?



MR. MANN: Mr. Speaker, the Halifax-Dartmouth Port Commission gets a separate grant under the
grants through the Department of Transportation - a direct government grant which offsets some of their
costs, but not all.



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



TRANSPORT.: SECONDARY MAINTENANCE PLAN - STATUS



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I was not expecting to be recognized quite yet. I would like to direct
a question to the Minister of Transportation. The government had promised, when they were seeking office,
that they were going to be developing and they would have it ready within six months, a three year secondary
maintenance plan. This, of course, was to ensure that the patronage practices of the past would not continue
into the future under this government. Last April, of course, the minister indicated that they had not had time
to get that plan yet ready. Well, another year has passed and we are almost ready to start a new construction
season.



My question to the minister is, quite simply, has such a plan now been developed?



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, there has not been a plan developed in the format that we had
hoped we would be able to develop. I indicated, I guess, last session, perhaps last fall, in response to the
honourable member’s question, that we had attempted to put together a matrix, taking into account such
initiatives, such factors, as traffic volume, the road comfort index, the economic development potential.



But in attempting, Mr. Speaker, for example, to apply a waiting formula, how much should traffic
volume account for? What would happen is, if you used traffic volume, for example, you may find that the
only money spent on transportation in the Province of Nova Scotia would be in a very small area, simply
because of the traffic volume.



So what we have put in place, as opposed to the system that we thought we might be able to develop
but couldn’t, we put in place a system where the four districts in the province are set out distinctly and the
directors, the professional engineers in those districts go and they put together, based on a number of criteria
they use such as the condition of the road and the traffic volume, they put together their list of priorities and
those lists are then submitted to head office where the senior engineering staff and management would
priorize the four different lists, taking into account those same criteria.



We have attempted to take the politics out of it by having the professional engineers identify the needs.
That member opposite would know full well, based on the volume of work that was done in his own riding
last year, that this process is a remarkable improvement over what had been in place because his riding was
one that had been neglected for some time under the previous administration.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, indeed I would have to suggest that the minister’s last comment is bang on
and is absolutely correct; I don’t dispute that. I have no assurances, of course, that that still isn’t happening
relative to others.



The minister’s short answer was that no, that plan hasn’t been developed. My question is - and this
shouldn’t be too hard - the government had said that they were going to develop the comprehensive pavement
condition measuring criteria and monitoring system which will be used to determine the road repair priorities,
and that should not have been too difficult to prepare, if politics and partisan practices are not followed, could
the minister indicate if that has been developed?



MR. MANN: Mr. Speaker, I missed part of his question. I am not exactly sure what it is he is asking
but, in trying to develop any matrix, in trying to develop any system to deal with roads in Nova Scotia, I
suggest to you it will be very difficult for anyone. You have some counties in this province that have up to 78
per cent of the roads in that county paved and you have other counties that have as low as 36 per cent of the
roads paved. Now, in attempting to disperse the capital budget and the construction of roads and all the
different areas where you devote the funds, it is very difficult to determine, for example, whether a road should
be repaved, or a road should be paved for a first time, or whether you should construct new highways.



There is no criteria, there is no formula that you can apply that is going to work because if you apply
the same criteria in all cases, you are going to end up spending your money on only one single item: either
repaving, or new paving, or building new roads. As the member opposite would know, all of those initiatives
must go forward at the same time and the budget must be broken down and shared in paving, repaving and
new construction. In attempting to do that, criteria has be applied with roads relative to one another in various
constituencies.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, it is an excellent case in favour of the question I was asking. I just want to
know, has the government developed the pavement condition measuring criteria and the monitoring system
that it said that it was going to develop?



MR. MANN: Mr. Speaker, again, as we find in so many areas of government and so many departments
of government, we are faced with a problem that goes back to previous years where roads in certain areas have
been neglected to the point where we are now at that critical stage, where we must either spend the money
and fund the maintenance and protection of those roads or, in fact, risk losing them. So, within the relative
divisions of our budgets, we are attempting to apply criteria to have them rated relative to one another, in a
very professional manner.



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



Before we move on to Government Business, I would like to have some time for recognition of guests
that are in our midst. I would like to introduce, in the Speaker’s Gallery, in conversation with the honourable
member for Cape Breton West, Mr. Joe Joseph from Sydney. I would like to welcome you here this afternoon.
(Applause)



The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury on an introduction.



MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, through you, and to you and the members of the House, I wish
to introduce two guests from the community of Indian Harbour Lake. You may not be aware, but Indian
Harbour Lake is located very close to the community of Sherbrooke. It is Mr. Clifton Sangster and his son,
Shane. They are in the city and are here to observe Question Period. I ask them to stand and for the members
to extend the usual warm welcome. Thank you. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I also would like to introduce a couple of folks here. First
of all, Brian Matheson, business agent, IBEW, is here this afternoon to pay some attention to the debate on
Bill No. 122. There are also members of Phalen Local 2501 of the United Mine Workers; Bill McLean, Laurie
Lloyd, John McCarthy and Matt O’Hanally are here.



Mr. Speaker, there are also two members of the executive of the Halifax and District Injured Workers
Association, Inez Day and David Whiswell. I would like to ask that all those people mentioned please rise and
receive the warm welcome of this House. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour.



HON. JAY ABBASS: Mr. Speaker, seated in the east gallery, a rapt follower of the proceedings of this
House, Brian Cox, with his aunt, Phyllis Cox. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I, too, would like to make an introduction in the gallery
opposite; the President of what was the Canadian Paperworkers Union, Local 972, a colleague of mine for 17
years. For many of those years he served as the president of the local union to which I belonged and while he
was my president, I was his shop steward. Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce Mr. Ronnie Beaton.
(Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: Now are there any further introductions? If not, I will call on the honourable
Government House Leader to indicate the next order of business.



GOVERNMENT BUSINESS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



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



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



[1:27 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gerald O’Malley
in the Chair.]



[6:00 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gerald O’Malley
in the Chair.]



MR. SPEAKER: It has come to the attention of the Speaker that unanimous consent to waive the late
debate has been requested in order to proceed with the business of the House.



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



The motion is carried.



The late debate is waived.



The honourable Government House Leader.



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



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



[6:01 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gerald O’Malley
in the Chair.]



[7:47 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gerald O’Malley
in the Chair.]



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



THE CLERK: That the committee has met and considered the following bill:



Bill No. 137 - Summary Proceedings Act.



and the chairman has been instructed to recommend this bill to the favourable consideration of the House,
without amendment.



MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be read for a third time on a future day.



The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on Bills reports:



THE CLERK: That the committee has met and considered the following bills:



Bill No. 124 - Maintenance Enforcement Act.



Bill No. 122 - Workers’ Compensation Act.



and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House,
with certain amendments; and begs leave to sit again.



MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that these bills be read for a third time on a future day.



The honourable member for Kings North.



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce to you and to all members of the
House, one of your constituents, Gary Foran, who is President of the Beverage and Soft Drink Workers Union
in Halifax. He is a very active community person. It is good to see him in the gallery this evening. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: I would like to extend a personal welcome to Gary Foran, a very close friend and
confrère. Welcome, Gary, to the House.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will be sitting from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
We will start with Committee of the Whole House on Bills on Bill No. 120 and following that we hope to have
an opportunity to do some bills at third reading.



I move that we adjourn until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.



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






The House will rise to sit tomorrow at the hour of 9:00 a.m.



[The House rose at 7:49 p.m.]






NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)



HOUSE ORDER NO. 189



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



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



(1) Number of public and written presentations made to the Electricity Regulation Review Panel
during public hearings in Halifax, Sydney, Yarmouth and Truro between Monday, January 9th and Monday,
January 23rd;



(2) Total cost of hotel rooms to hold the hearings plus the number of support staff employed with
the review panel during the hearings;



(3) Expected completion date and expected release of the report by the review panel; and

 

 

(4) Cost of the newspaper ads advising Nova Scotians of the public hearings.



NOTICE OF QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWERS

 

Given on February 1, 1995

 

(Pursuant to Rule 30)



QUESTION NO. 157



By: Mr. George Archibald (Kings North)

 

To: Hon. Wayne Adams (Minister of Supply and Services)



We have been around this historic House of Assembly for some weeks now. The roof of this building
has had some work done on it. I want to know, as does I. Maxwell of Kentville, who has the responsibility
for determining the necessity of the work, the proper time to carry out the work, the methods and materials
to be used and was the job tendered?



At the time of the work, some safety infractions occurred. What has been done to ensure that further
incidents such as these do not happen again?



QUESTION NO. 158



By: Mr. George Archibald (Kings North)

 

To: Hon. John Savage (Premier)



I want to know, as does B. Graves of Dartmouth, as to why you referred to actions taken by your
Minister of Municipal Affairs in the first week of November as overzealous and also said at that time, there
was no wrongdoing involved? Mr. Graves is of the mind that your Minister of Municipal Affairs blatantly
disregarded the tendering rules set down by your government. Why do you say that there was no wrongdoing
involved?



QUESTION NO. 159



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Halifax Citadel)

 

To: Hon. John Savage (Premier)



I want to know, as does Mr. E. G. Francois of Dartmouth, as to how the amalgamation of Halifax,
Dartmouth, Bedford and Halifax County is going to work and how much time was used to properly research
the issue of metro amalgamation? As well, Mr. Francois would like to know if you believe the municipal
elections held in October were a waste of time and do you really care about the people of Nova Scotia?



QUESTION NO. 160



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Halifax Citadel)

 

To: Hon. John Savage (Premier)



I want to know, as does S. Melanson of Weymouth, under what circumstances taxpayers pay the travel
expenses for spouses of the Premier, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs and public servants to travel? Is there a limit
to the costs or any form of accountability to the people of Nova Scotia and why should taxpayers pay any travel
costs for spouses when most Nova Scotians cannot afford trips themselves.






QUESTION NO. 161



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Halifax Citadel)

 

To: Hon. John Savage (Premier)



I want to know, as does L. Reid of Westmount, after travelling from Cape Breton, why she needs
identification to get into the Legislature?



QUESTION NO. 162



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Halifax Citadel)

 

To: Hon. John Savage (Premier)



Mr. B. Johnson of Halifax wants to know why you, as Premier, if you have decided there are so many
savings in the amalgamation of metro’s four municipal units, why you do not seek the amalgamation of the
four Atlantic Provinces and really save money?



QUESTION NO. 163



By: Mr. George Moody (Kings West)

 

To: Hon. Richard Mann (Minister of Transportation and Communications)



I want to know, as does Mrs. G. Hall of Tremont, Kings County, when your department plans to pave
the East Torbrook Road? Mrs. Hall is very unsatisfied with the sandsealing which has now been done three
times on the road. She believes the cost of paving the East Torbrook road could not be any more than what
has been spent on it so far.



QUESTION NO. 164



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

 

To: Hon. Eleanor Norrie (Minister of Human Resources)



Ms. P. Chute of Bridgetown, Annapolis County wants to know, with so many cutbacks and restraints
taking place, why provincial money helps pay the salary for a recreation director in the Town of Bridgetown
(approximate population, 1,100) when the town is already served by a very strong volunteer recreation group?