Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017
























HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5, 1995



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Third Session



2:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mrs. Francene Cosman






MR. SPEAKER: Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to welcome you to this afternoon’s session of the
Legislature. Before we get the daily business underway, I am going to call on several members who wish to
introduce guests here in our midst.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw to your attention and to all members of this
House, seated in the west gallery, Dianna Parsons, who has been involved in a very courageous and long
struggle to try to obtain fair compensation for the Hepatitis C that she contracted from contaminated blood.
She is in the gallery with her husband this afternoon and I would like to ask that they rise and receive the
warm welcome of all members of this House. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis.



MR. EARLE RAYFUSE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce to you and through you to all
members of the House, part of the Grade 12 political science class from Middleton, 30 in number and another
30 to come in a bit later. They are accompanied by their teachers, Mrs. Boyd, Mr. Hines and Mr. Eddy. I
would like for them to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House from the members. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: We will commence the daily routine of business.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.



181

 

MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition from a number of people
in the Rawdon to Lakelands Road area wishing to bring to the attention of the Minister of Transportation and
Communications for the Province of Nova Scotia the deplorable condition of the Lakelands/Rawdon Highway
No. 437 in Hants County. I have signed this position and endorse it and would like to table this petition.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour.



RESOLUTION NO. 41



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



Whereas on Saturday, April 1st, Glenda Cooper, a dedicated member of the Federation of Labour office
staff passed away; and



Whereas she committed many hours and contributed a wide range of talents to help the cause of the
workers in this province; and



Whereas the loss of this exceptional staff member and valuable friend will impact the federation’s staff,
members and the workers they serve;



Therefore be it resolved that we offer our condolences to her family and friends and I would ask that
you direct that, Mr. Speaker.



Mr. Speaker, I ask for unanimous consent of this resolution.



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.



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.






RESOLUTION NO. 42



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



Whereas this government continues to preach austerity to Nova Scotians; and



Whereas at the same time this government finds hundreds of thousands of dollars for its Liberal friends
to jump on the Premier’s patronage gravy train; and



Whereas Nova Scotians like Dianna Parsons and Debra Stevens who have a legitimate claim for
compensation against this government continue to be either ignored or stonewalled;



Therefore be it resolved that this government act with the same haste in resolving the reasonable
claims of average Nova Scotians as it does in meeting the unreasonable expectations of its Liberal friends.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 43



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 Gaming Control Act of Nova Scotia specifically states that casinos shall comply with all
environmental standards in the province; and



Whereas the Minister of the Environment has quietly exempted the casino operations in Halifax and
Sydney from an environmental assessment process for the reason that he considers casinos to be of a “social
nature”; and



Whereas the Environment Act defines an environmental effect as including “any effect on socio-economic conditions”;



Therefore be it resolved that the minister responsible for environmental assessment exemptions give
a full and public explanation of why he secretly exempted the casinos from the protections contained in the
Environment Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Pictou West.



RESOLUTION NO. 44



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



Whereas statistics from the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work show 21 per cent of Nova
Scotians have some form of disability; and



Whereas despite the number of individuals with a disability, only 40 per cent of adults are in the paid
work force compared to 70 per cent of the general population; and



Whereas the Transition to Work for Person with Disabilities Program is serving the Pictou area very
effectively and helping people with disabilities find work;



Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature commend organizations such as the Pictou
County Disabilities Program and encourage them in whatever manner possible to achieve their goals.



Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.



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. 45



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 originally the Kiwanis Club was a community service club strictly restricted to male
membership; and



Whereas Mrs. Carole Anne Mosher of Kingsburg, Lunenburg County, was permitted to join in 1989,
eventually becoming a President of the Liverpool Kiwanis; and



Whereas Mrs. Mosher has recently been elected Lieutenant Governor of the Bluenose Division 20 of
the Kiwanis in Nova Scotia;



Therefore be it resolved that this Assembly extend congratulations to Mrs. Carole Anne Mosher, who
has now become the first woman to occupy the office of a Kiwanis Club division, and thus helping to break
down the artificial gender-based barriers which, in the past, have inhibited the good works of many such
community organizations.



I ask for waiver, Mr. Speaker.



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 Timberlea-Prospect.



RESOLUTION NO. 46



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



Whereas a recent high school science fair at Halifax West High School awarded a special distinction
medallion to Troy LePlante, a student at Sir John A. Macdonald High School, Five Island Lake, for a
statistical analysis of crosswalk safety; and



Whereas Mr. LePlante’s statistical analysis was designed to test whether there is enough time for
seniors and the disabled to safely walk across city intersections before the signal lights change to caution; and



Whereas Mr. LePlante’s findings show that 87 per cent of intersections with signal lights in Halifax
do not give an appropriate amount of time for seniors and disabled to traverse streets safely;



Therefore be it resolved that the member of this House congratulate Mr. Troy LePlante on receiving
his award and in light of his statistical evidence, urge traffic authorities province-wide to reassess the time
allotted for pedestrians to cross busy streets and intersections.



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 Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.



RESOLUTION NO. 47



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



Whereas the Harry Jerome Awards promote and honour members of Canadian African communities
who have made outstanding contributions to communities throughout Canada; and



Whereas the Harry Jerome Awards have been the premiere fund raiser event of the Black Business and
Professional Association since 1983; and



Whereas the Harry Jerome Awards event provides the means to nurture excellence and give practical
support to our youth through annual scholarship awards;



Therefore be it resolved that this Assembly extend congratulations to the Honourable Wayne Adams,
the 1995 recipient of the Harry Jerome Award, for playing a leadership role in advancing the goals of equity
and fairness in our society.



[2:15 p.m.]



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



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. (Applause)



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 48



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



Whereas strip mining is one of the most disruptive forms of industrial activity; and



Whereas the residents of the Thorburn area have spoken out in large numbers, expressing concerns
about the environmental impact of an open pit coal mine proposed by John Chisholm, who has donated at
least $9,650 to the Liberal Party since 1993; and



Whereas the Minister of the Environment has released the proposed Thorburn mine project from the
requirement to undergo a full environmental assessment;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the Minister of the Environment to become proactive
in support of the environment, by reversing his decision to exempt the Thorburn mine and, further, by
amending the regulations to require that all mine projects are automatically subject to full environmental
assessment.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.



RESOLUTION NO. 49



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



Whereas on this day in 1745, New England forces led by Pepperell, arrived at Canso en route to
Louisbourg, to engage in a battle that would change the make up of the North American continent forever;
and



Whereas this summer the Town of Canso is holding a special three day celebration to re-enact the
250th Anniversary of the Canso encampment, which will highlight the beauty and attractiveness of the area
as a tourist destination; and



Whereas the celebrations are expected to attract numerous animators, marching bands and tall ships
and many tourists en route to the 250th Anniversary events in Louisbourg;



Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Canso Historical Society and the Canso
Waterfront Development Association for their leadership in coordinating these special 250th Anniversary
celebrations.



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 Minister of Community Services.



RESOLUTION NO. 50



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



Whereas between April 3 to April 9, 1995, the Dartmouth Whalers will play host to the 18th annual
SEDMHA International Hockey Tournament; and



Whereas the SEDMHA Tournament Committee, under the chairmanship of Wayne MacDonald, has
once again proven their commitment to young players by organizing their largest tournament to date; and



Whereas 242 teams, from the United States, Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces will play 487
games in 15 local rinks;



Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the SEDMHA organizing committee for a job well
done and wish players, coaches, families and all those supporting, good luck throughout the tournament.



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin.



RESOLUTION NO. 51



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



Whereas today at East Pictou Rural High School and T.C. William’s School in Alexandria, Virginia,
a unique international press conference will be held to announce the creation of the world’s first Global
Electronic Library; and



Whereas this project, at present, links the resources of two of the world’s greatest libraries, the National
Library of Canada and the U.S. Library of Congress, with plans to include other world libraries in time; and



Whereas the two schools are participating via the Internet, in a year-long international, multimedia
project covering the Civil War period in the United States and the period of Confederation in Canada, with
access to the countries’ great libraries;



Therefore be it resolved that this House extend congratulations and best wishes to the staff and students
of the two pilot high schools, the Department of Education, Maritime Tel & Tel, which is sponsoring the
necessary computer hardware, technical support and expertise, and all other public and private participants
in this unique, historic event.



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.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: I wonder, could we revert to the order of business, Tabling Reports,
Regulations and Other Papers?



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.



HON. RONALD STEWART: I should like to table here this afternoon a resume of the program in
sexual activities education for the Department of Health in response to a question of recent vintage, if I could.



MR. SPEAKER: Very well, the report is tabled.



Are there further documents to be tabled?Have we then concluded the daily routine? If so, we will
advance to the Orders of the Day. The Oral Question Period today runs for 90 minutes and will therefore run
from 2:22 p.m. until 3:52 p.m. The Oral Question Period will last until 3:52 p.m.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



COMMUN. SERV.: DEBRA STEVENS - COMPENSATION NEGOTIATIONS



DR. JOHN HAMM: A question for the Minister of Community Services. Yesterday, in Question
Period, the minister reported in the House that negotiations in the Debra Stevens affair were proceeding
nicely, and the minister stated very clearly that he didn’t want to negotiate a settlement on the floor of the
House and I agree with that. But, the minister set up the negotiation process and it is not working. Yesterday,
the lawyer for the Lunenburg agency informed Debra Stevens’ lawyer that he could not proceed with a
settlement as there was no statement of claim on behalf of Debra Stevens. Well, the fact of the matter is that
there was a statement of claim to which a reply had been asked for on March 15th. Obviously, there is a lack
of communication even after four months of negotiation. My question for the minister, is the minister
prepared to become familiar with the progress of negotiations to determine for himself if the process is on
track?



HON. JAMES SMITH: I don’t believe I used the term “nicely” as a matter of fact. I was quoted as
having said that, but I don’t think yesterday that in fact I did use that term. I said that I informed the House
that I had informed myself of the negotiations, that I was satisfied that they were proceeding properly and that
is my answer today.



DR. HAMM: Back in December, when the report was tabled and it became obvious that there was
agency failure and the minister set up a process, it appeared at that time that the minister had confidence that
a solution would be forthcoming in the short term. My question to the minister, is he satisfied that after four
months of negotiation that the Debra Stevens’ team feel they are no closer to resolution of this problem than
they were when they started? Is the minister confident and satisfied that the process is working the way he
suggested it would in December?



DR. SMITH: At that time of the announcement of the report, and the presentation of the report I said
that because of the nature of the report that I would expect that there would be applications made for
compensation. There have been, and I might point out that although the honourable member is focusing on
one particular group that there are other parties involved in that, and I have reviewed all those that have come
forward, any correspondence, phone calls, I have acquainted myself with all of those parties and I have
reviewed the progress to date and the chronology of those phone calls and letters and I am satisfied that it is
progressing. At that time, when pressed as to how soon that one could look for compensation to evolve if there
were applications when pressed, I said I would anticipate it would be a month at least and at that time
someone was suggesting weeks and I don’t believe that. Lawyers get together and exchange information and
this has to go to Cabinet and there are other issues surrounding this. I am satisfied as minister that the
negotiations are progressing in a satisfactory manner.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, obviously, there are differences of opinion, as to whether or not things are
going along nicely.



My question, by way of final supplementary, to the minister is, how much longer will the minister wait,
if no resolution is forthcoming, before he will adopt a new approach in this particular matter?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I have no intention of adopting a new approach. I have informed the House
yesterday that I do not in any way intend to carry on negotiations on the floor of the House of Assembly. If
there were matters which came to my attention, on reviewing the information before me, that I felt needed
some intervention, as minister, I would be responsible to do something. I think we are dealing with some
misinformation and I would suggest that perhaps the honourable member review some of the progress of
events, and that if I were freer to comment, that I might be able to inform that honourable member. But these
are matters of great importance. I treat this matter very seriously and I am ensuring that there will be fairness
done to all those victims, not one party or a single party, but all those victims. That would certainly come to
light during this particular report that I think was professionally done and was well done and which we
accept. We do accept that the system failed those particular people involved, that were mentioned in that
report.



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



HEALTH - HEPATITIS C: DIANNA PARSONS - COMPENSATION



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I will address my question, through you, sir, if I may, to the Premier.
The Premier, of course, will know that Dianna Parsons is going to die because the blood supply that she was
given was contaminated and because the system that was supposed to be providing the protection to ensure
that the blood supply was safe was, in fact, safe, failed her. Dianna Parsons has Hepatitis C. So, my question
to the Premier is, quite simply, this. Why is it that his government has steadfastly refused to provide fair
compensation for Dianna Parsons and others who have contracted Hepatitis C through contaminated blood,
so that they can live out the rest of their life with some dignity?



HON. JOHN SAVAGE (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I think the appropriate person to answer this is
the Minister of Health and I propose to ask him to reply.



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, in response again to the honourable gentleman opposite’s
question, this has been a question of grave concern, as he has raised, and other members of the Opposition
and of our own government have raised, on the floor of this House. We have in our departments, both in
Community Services and in Health, taken every step possible, short of what the honourable gentleman
opposite is terming “compensation”, to do our best to ensure treatment, ensure a compassionate approach in
respect to treatment and to make sure that our facilities, in terms of our health personnel and our health
system, are available to all those who would have such redresses as the honourable gentleman opposite
suggests of this particular individual.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, this is, indeed, a very important issue. I have to dispute, however, that the
government has responded in what I would consider a compassionate manner. Certainly, if people invest in
financial banks and those banks fail, they receive compensation from the government. But here the
government is unprepared to compensate those who are suffering as a result of contaminated blood and they
contacted Hepatitis C from the blood bank.



Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister quite directly, if the government saw fit to provide fair
compensation to those who have contacted HIV from contaminated blood, why are those who are paying with
their lives, for another failure of the blood system, through the Hepatitis C, why is it that those individuals
are any less deserving?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, this is not a question of one being deserving or not being deserving.
This is a question, pure and simply, of treating people as fairly as possible, under the constraints in which
government must operate. We must operate to ensure, as much as possible, that the system is safe and that
has been done. We must operate in terms of accessibility so that all citizens are treated as fairly as possible
but we must also do our best to ensure that we invest our health care resources in treating everyone, as much
as possible, as well as possible across the board and not single out any particular individual or group as best
we can.



This is a very difficult issue, as the honourable gentleman knows. It has posed us grave difficulties
here, both on this side of the House and on the opposite side of the House and I would, indeed, repeat, that
we will ensure that our resources within the Department of Health and within the health care system are
brought to bear to understandingly provide as much support, as much understanding and as much compassion
as we can under the circumstances.



[2:30 p.m.]



MR. HOLM: With respect, the minister says that this has caused the government great difficulties. I
would suggest that it has not caused the government nearly as much difficulty as it has caused the sufferers
of Hepatitis C who contacted it through the blood supply system. Mr. Speaker, there was a test in the mid-1980’s that would have been able to identify the presence of that.



MR. SPEAKER: Question, please. This is your final supplementary. Please put your question.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, my final question, as you are asking me to put it to the minister, I shall try
to put very succinctly and that is Justice Krever said, in the interim report, that governments have a moral
responsibility to provide fair compensation to those who have contacted Hepatitis C through the tainted blood.
My question to the minister is quite simply, is it the government’s view that providing social assistance is
meeting its moral responsibility to those people?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I will not, in this grave question, engage in the debate with the
honourable gentleman opposite regarding the technicalities of whether or not we had a test available in a
given year or whether or not Mr. Justice Krever is accurately quoted in this gentleman’s third supplementary.
May I say that we have taken what Mr. Justice Krever has indeed advised and that is a supportive stance, a
stance in which we will provide every support possible within the current system to ensure medical care is
provided, to ensure that support services are provided through the Community Services Department and other
areas. I have made my staff fully aware of this. We have indeed provided staff time and staff effort to ensure
that this happens and that is our moral obligation, we feel, and we are trying to carry that out, again, not in
any way suggesting that anything would be possibly enough in compensation or anything else for the grave
suffering that has occurred here.






MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



EDUC.: WHITE PAPER - RESPONSE TIME



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. It is my
understanding that the minister’s deadline for submissions in response to his recently published White Paper
on Education is today. The White Paper was made public, I think, on February 16th, some 47 or 48 days ago.
The minister has now concluded his eight public meetings circuit only a few days ago. I would ask the
minister whether or not he agrees with me that all concerned citizens have not yet, in light of the shortness
of time between publication and today, had time to digest the minister’s White Paper and the presentation,
his own reactions and statements and presentations and comments made at his series of public meetings to
enable them to form the basis of a reasoned submission to the minister in connection with many elements of
the White Paper which have caused him concern. Would the minister agree that there has not been sufficient
time for many people who want to make submissions to have the chance to do so?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable Leader of the Opposition for the
question. First of all, I would suggest to the honourable Leader of the Opposition that even the comments he
made yesterday in this House in the late show were recorded as part of the discussions because some of his
comments reflected on his times in Education when he saw, for example, that the Acadian/francophone
question must be addressed. He saw that small boards must be addressed and so on and we took that into
consideration.



What we are doing today, Mr. Speaker, is we are getting input to give three recommendations to
Cabinet for the end of this month. Those things that can be done and people have spoken to this and I would
suggest that all boards will have submitted to us by this time.



Secondly, those things that can be done but will take some time, Mr. Speaker, and further consultation
will be involved during that period of time.



Thirdly, those things that can’t be done at the present time. I am suggesting that this is not the finish
but the beginning and I would suggest to the honourable member that if we waited a very long time, the very
small boards that he asked about yesterday or he mentions support for, would be in grave difficulty and may
slide into fiscal collapse. Even in today’s papers across the province, there is some comment by some of the
smaller boards of what the impact would be. So we must move on some of these things very quickly, Mr.
Speaker, and we can’t wait for a very long time on many of these items.



Mr. Speaker, today is the date and then we will move on, but other items that will take longer, we will
continue our consultation.



MR. DONAHOE: I wonder then if the minister would be in a position to indicate today, on the basis
of his consultations following the publication of the White Paper, those items which he has already concluded
are on the can be done right away list, can he give us an indication of that? He tells us that he is going to make
a presentation to Cabinet not later than the end of this month, that is only a matter of 20-some days, 25 days
or whatever. The concern I have is that there may well be, I am quite certain that I am correct when I say that
even in relation to the list which the minister might say are the can be done right now items, that there would
be a need for some analysis and discussion with school boards. I ask him today if he could give us, and
through us school boards and parents and others, an indication of what he has on his can be done right away
list?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure now, I don’t know if we want to take more time or
we want to conclude everything before we sit down and study the submissions. I am not sure about that.



Mr. Speaker, the submissions are in and we are going to spend the next 27 days or whatever it takes
to examine those submissions in detail, which I think is only fair to those people who, some submissions are
arriving today, and it would be unreasonable and somewhat presumptuous of me to present to this House
recommendations I would have before I would present them to Cabinet, because it is my understanding that
that is not how it works. I present it to Cabinet and if they are approved, then it becomes government policy
which we will present to this House and we will do it in that order.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister might indicate now that it appears that there
will be no further public review of the can be done list, that will go directly from the minister to Cabinet and
whenever they decide on that list, the rest of us will be told about it. There will be those, he says, however,
are on the can be done but will take some time and the can’t be done lists. May I have the minister confirm
that he will, not later than the end of this month then, be providing the detail of those items along with a
timetable during which the additional consultation and review time will be available to the boards and to the
parents and to all interested Nova Scotians relative to those particular items?



MR. MACEACHERN: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I can inform the honourable Leader of the Opposition that
when in fact Cabinet gives me that direction, it will be made available. I would also suggest that many of the
things he referred to in terms of speaking to the boards, we have spoken personally to them on these items
and they tell me that there has been no history ever of this happening before in Education and many of the
things that we are going to speak to are the things that there is already consensus on. So we are not going to
surprise many boards on the things that can be done or the things that can be done over a period of time.



I can assure the honourable Leader of the Opposition that the moment Cabinet gives me direction, that
will be provided to this House, Mr. Speaker, and to the members of this House and to the school boards and
the public of Nova Scotia.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



HEALTH - GLACE BAY COMMUNITY HOSPITAL: CLOSURE - DETAILS



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Health. Earlier this morning, radio
reports in Cape Breton were stating that the Glace Bay Community Hospital was going to be closing within
12 to 18 months. Would the minister confirm that this, in fact, is so or otherwise?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, the work being done in Glace Bay is being done in
cooperation with the community committee there. Their report has not officially been received by me, and I
would not like to comment until I have received the full report from that group.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer. That particular report, it certainly has
generated a lot of activity in Glace Bay, over the radio.



One of the concerns in Glace Bay, with the new regional hospital now up and running, is how many
active treatment beds will be left in the Town of Glace Bay once whatever it is that is going to happen to their
hospitals has happened. Is the minister prepared to tell the people of Glace Bay how many active treatment
beds they will have, following the reorganization of their hospital system within their town?



DR. STEWART: Yes, Mr. Speaker, again I would say that this has been, I am sure, a centre of the
discussions, or the central theme of the discussions that have occurred within the task force that is discussing
the health care system, not only the hospital system, the health care system of that area. I would be very
confident that that group, the majority of which are from the community, would be very diligent in ensuring
that all accommodations would be in place to provide a proper health care system to not only Glace Bay, but
to the surrounding area and, indeed, the region of the Cape Breton industrial area.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer. By way of final supplementary,
another concern they have in Glace Bay is what services are going to be left within their community, does the
minister have knowledge of what services are going to be left and delivered within the Town of Glace Bay
and what services, in fact, are going to be moved to the regional hospital?



DR. STEWART: Again, I hate to be repetitive, Mr. Speaker. The honourable gentleman opposite is
asking specific and, I think, well-warranted questions in terms of the future, more or less, of the hospitals in
that area, but I can only say that services, in terms of home care and emergency health services and so on,
will, indeed, be renewed and invigorated there. They are, again, part and parcel of a report I anticipate getting
shortly from the group.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton West.



NAT. RES.: TWO RIVERS PARK (MARION BRIDGE) - CLOSURE



MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Natural Resources and
it is with regard to the Two Rivers Park at Marion Bridge. As everybody is well aware, this park has been
slated for closure because of financial restraints, as the minister has indicated, to the tune of some $156,000,
I believe.



This particular park is critical to the fabric and the development of that particular region, Mr. Speaker,
as you, being a Cape Breton member, would well know, as do all the Cape Breton members in the House. It
is the only wildlife park on Cape Breton Island and (Interruption) Yes, perhaps I will ask the question.
(Interruptions) Well perhaps the Cape Breton members who find it so funny would like to come to Marion
Bridge and explain to the people what they are doing.



My question to the minister, through you, Mr. Speaker, would the minister please explain the process,
the criteria and certainly the terms of reference that were used to come to the conclusion that this park be
closed?



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member poses a good question. I realize, in
respect, the fact that this is a very serious issue, one that I, as minister and as a department, have taken very
seriously. We are obviously very sympathetic to the people of Cape Breton, as well as to other areas of the
province that are experiencing the same issue in regard to closure of parks.



The actual operating cost of the park is $156,500, so the record is straight. In the Province of Nova
Scotia we had some four wildlife parks when we took over. Realizing with the expenditure control plan that
we have in place, we are not able, under the financial restraints we are in, to maintain all the other programs
that we have, as well as wildlife parks.



Now albeit, wildlife parks are an extremely important part of tourism and education, as they fit into
the Department of Natural Resources, it became very clear that we would have to either cancel out programs
such as the conservation program or the ACO program or other programs and we had to take a look at where
the funding cuts were possibly be made not that any one of them were enjoyed.



The decision was that instead of having four wildlife parks, we determined that it would be better to
focus our attention on one park. We have closed Goshen Wildlife Park this year. The Clements, the park down
in the Valley, is scheduled to be closed. I have offered the community there the same as I have offered the
Cape Breton community of Marion Bridge that we are prepared to enter into partnership arrangements to
work with the community to find alternative sources of funding to help alleviate the $140,000 expense that
that is to the department.



[2:45 p.m.]



In regard to the Two Rivers Wildlife Park, I felt it was imperative to make sure that the public were
aware well in advance so that as a community they can start planning and seeing if there is alternative sources
of funding or partnering that might be interested in the wildlife park. The park will be open this year and in
fact will not be closed until the subsequent year of 1996 and we are very open to receiving any concerns, or
pardon me, well, obviously we will hear concerns, but we are very open to hearing any proposals that the
community or private individuals would like to make in regard to the future of the Two Rivers Wildlife Park.



MR. MACKINNON: I thank the minister for his answer. Essentially, that is the entire crux of the
issue, if we are talking finance, we have an average visitation there of some 85,000 a year and there is no
charge as there would be with Shubenacadie, I believe it is somewhere in the vicinity of $3.00 or $3.50 per
person. Quite simply, all one would have to do - if the department wanted to - would be to charge, let’s say
$2.00 for an adult and $1.00 for a child and you would more than have enough money to keep this park
operating. If we are looking at financing there is an excellent opportunity.



I guess, on a broader scope, the fact that it is having a profound impact on the economy, was there any
impact analysis done in concert with the community to analyze what the negative effect would be in terms of
the total provincial revenues lost, whether it be through provincial sales tax, revenue generated from incomes
and so on?



MR. DOWNE: The honourable member pointed out the issue of charging a fee. We are, in fact,
proposing to charge a fee at the Two Rivers Wildlife Park this year for a number of reasons: 1) to determine
what actual dollar value could be realized if there is a partnership available or if there are other forms of
individuals wanting to invest; 2) it would also give us an accurate figure of the number of the people who visit
the facility. The numbers that are being posed, is an estimate of 85,000 visitors. We have no way to correlate
or to determine exactly if that is a real number or not; it is a guesstimate and I can assure you on guesstimates
of numbers it could be 60,000, it could be 90,000, it could be 40,000. So it is impossible to determine that
without some sort of a structure and that is in fact what we are going to do.



In regard to doing a full-blown economic analysis of the cost-benefit, determination of the net effect
of the Two Rivers Wildlife Park in the community, we have not undertaken to do that study. Obviously that
particular study would probably cost the same as what it costs to operate the park and maybe the other
alternative would be to close it down. But we haven’t done that study and we had not discussed to do that
study.



MR. MACKINNON: Just one observation on that and I believe the minister is sincere in what he is
attempting to do to help to rationalize and deal on deficit control and so on. But I think on close examination,
he will find that this is a major mistake in the making.



My final supplementary would be to the Premier on this particular issue. Given the fact that this
government has implemented a lot of reforms, good reforms, made some terrific progress in dealing with the
deficit and so on, but the bottom line is in Cape Breton their unemployment has increased, our welfare has
increased, food banks have increased and our taxes have increased. Would the Premier please take a personal
note of this particular issue and would he re-examine the entirety of this issue because it has a major impact
for all walks of life, particularly from a tourism, educational, cultural point of view and from an economy
point of view.



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will take that under advisement.



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



ENVIRON. - CASINOS: ASSESSMENT EXEMPTION - REASON



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question, through you, sir, to the new
Minister of the Environment. The new Minister of the Environment will know, of course, because he was a
member of Cabinet and of this House, that the new Environment Act was amended before being passed
through this House to remove any exemption for casinos from the provisions of this Act. Despite that, of
course, the minister has secretly exempted the new casinos from an environmental assessment. My question
to the Minister of the Environment is quite simply, why did he exempt the casinos from an environmental
assessment?



HON. WAYNE ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, I think that question is a very good one and I do appreciate
it because it gives me the opportunity to clarify for the public that we did not secretly or publicly exempt the
casinos from environmental assessment.



MR. HOLM: Well, Mr. Speaker, we know that the police chief for the City of Halifax has said that they
are going to, for example, have to hire 22 additional officers to combat what they are expecting in the way
of increased crime as it relates to the casinos. I wonder if the minister is aware that the Environment Act
defines an environmental effect to include, “. . . any effect on socio-economic conditions . . .” or did he simply
choose to ignore that when he decided not to order a full environmental assessment?






MR. ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, I heard the two questions and the answer to the first one is simply that
the Environment Act does refer to those socio-economic factors as they relate to the environment under the
Act and secondly, I believe he was asking me, I think I have lost the track of his question.



MR. SPEAKER: Possibly he could place it as a final supplementary question. (Interruption)



MR. ADAMS: He wants to know why we ignored it. In all that I have read and in all of my
discussions, Mr. Speaker, there was no ignorance of that part of the Act in this application.



MR. HOLM: Well, I want to assure the minister that social issues and social concerns and economic
issues are very important and have very important impacts upon the environment in which people live,
something that this government has obviously chosen to ignore and the Minister of the Environment has a
responsibility under the Act to assess the social and economic impact. My question to the minister then is
quite simply this, is it and was it the decision of this minister to ignore his own responsibilities as Minister
of the Environment on this important area in favour of not putting some bumps in the road for the government
as it steamrolls ahead to put into place its so-called crowning achievement, new casinos in Nova Scotia?



MR. ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, the qualified answer is no but I do want to elaborate and say that a great
deal of discussion went on between my predecessor, the former Minister of the Environment, and the Minister
of Finance and other colleagues. I can tell you with clarity today that there was no exemption, there was no
ignorance and the casino is very much subject to environmental considerations and assessments as are other
industries or buildings in Nova Scotia.

 

 

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



FIN. - NATIVE RESERVES: NON-NATIVE - PURCHASING RULES



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. I wonder if the
Minister of Finance, for the benefit of all Nova Scotians, would outline the rules respecting on-reserve
purchases by residents who are not on the reserves and who are non-native?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Madam Speaker, the rules are the same rules that were in effect when
the honourable member was part of the former government. The position that the Government of Nova Scotia
has taken is that a non-native purchasing goods on a reserve is liable for the provincial sales tax.



MR. RUSSELL: First supplementary, Madam Speaker. I am not quite sure I caught the last remarks
that were offered in a very low voice. I understand from what he was saying though that the rules are the same
as they were and I presume that he is saying that if a non-native purchased goods on a reservation, that they
would not pay the tax to the retailer but however they would be honour bound to pay that tax when they left
the reservation.



I wonder if the minister could advise us if there is a mechanism for retailers on native reserves to
collect health services tax on behalf of the Department of Finance?



MR. BOUDREAU: Well, Madam Speaker, there hasn’t been an effective collection of that tax for some
considerable period of years and the honourable member knows that. What we are doing now is we are in
negotiations with the various bands across the province. I think we have discussed this before with relation
to gaming. But also with relation to taxation, we are hoping that we can put in place new provisions which
will, indeed, involve successful collection processes.



MR. RUSSELL: Madam Speaker, I wonder if the Minister of Finance would advise the House whether
or not inspectors from the Health Services Tax Division visit on a regular basis the retailers on the native
reservations?



MR. BOUDREAU: I don’t know exactly when the last visit of the last inspector was to such a
reservation but I can simply find out and give that information to the honourable member.



MR. RUSSELL: Madam Speaker, is the minister aware that there are now sales not only of cigarettes
on the native reserves but there are also sales of furniture and appliances and electronic products to persons
who are non-residents of those reserves?



MR. BOUDREAU: When the honourable member says, am I aware, I think generally, yes, I am aware
in general terms that there are such sales being made today, as there were last year, as there were five years
ago. But, in fact, Madam Speaker, the position that has been taken by the Micmac community in Nova Scotia
under the treaty that they have signed with the Crown is now, and has been when the honourable member was
involved with government, that they believe legally they have the right to sell such goods free of tax. That has
never been our position, it was never the position of the former government but that is their position and they
base that on some legal argument. What is clear is that anyone purchasing such goods, in our view, is liable
to taxation and, indeed, to any other collection process.



MR. RUSSELL: Madam Speaker, it is fine for the minister to go back in history and say what was done
years ago, but the minister, I understand, in his conversations with the native bands is speaking about now
having gasoline sales on reservations. Would the minister condone the opening of gasoline stations on
reserves being available to non-natives people who would be purchasing the gas without either federal or
provincial tax?



MADAM SPEAKER: I think the honourable member knows his question is hypothetical. Honourable
Minister of Finance, if you wish to answer?



MR. BOUDREAU: Yes, Madam Speaker, I think that question is hypothetical, but allow me just to
remind the honourable member there are also natives, Micmacs, purchasing gasoline on reserve at the present
time with provincial tax.



MADAM SPEAKER: Honourable members, I would like to recognize the member for Annapolis on
an introduction.



MR. EARLE RAYFUSE: Madam Speaker, I would like to introduce to you and through you the rest
of the political science class from Middleton, the other 30 students. There was a total of 60 in today. The roads
are bad and the weather not too good for April 5th, but we would like to welcome you to the House and for
the students to stand and receive a warm welcome from the House. (Applause)






[3:00 p.m.]



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



FIN. - CASINOS: NATIVE COMMUNITY - RESPONSIBILITY



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Finance. I wonder
if the Minister of Finance can confirm or clarify for me that it is, in fact, his responsibility under the casino
legislation that he is the responsible minister to negotiate arrangements with the native community, to work
out the sharing of the proceeds of the Sydney casino. It is my understanding that this Minister of Finance has
negotiated an arrangement with Eskasoni. I may be wrong but I think that perhaps one or two arrangements
might have been made in recent days.



I am just really am looking for confirmation that it is, in fact, the Minister of Finance whose
responsibility it is under the relevant legislation, is the authorized minister to negotiate such matters with the
native community.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Madam Speaker, while I did, as the honourable member suggests,
negotiate the arrangement with Eskasoni, it was while I was still responsible for the Nova Scotia Lottery
Commission. Those agreements, in fundamental form, are agreements for the regulation of gaming on
reserves and, as such, fall under the minister responsible for the regulation of gaming.



The only involvement I would have now is whatever the agreement might say with respect to division
of certain casino proceeds, which is a very minor feature of that agreement, obviously I would be involved in,
but the lead minister now is the Minister responsible for the Gaming Control Commission and that aspect of
it.



MR. DONAHOE: So by way of supplementary then, to the Minister of Housing and Consumer Affairs,
I wonder if the minister, in her capacity as having these new responsibilities under the gaming legislation,
could indicate to us whether or not she has, to this point, made an agreement with Chief Lawrence Paul, the
Chief at Millbrook, that results in the establishment of a facility which would house VLT terminals in
Millbrook and also something in the order of 100 VLTs in land owned by the Millbrook Band in Cole
Harbour. Could she tell us the status of those negotiations?



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: The Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Lottery Commission, prior
to my taking on the responsibility, made a proposal to all native bands in Nova Scotia on how we could share
funds and how we could also work with them, using video lottery terminals on reserves. Yes, indeed, one
native band has signed that proposal. We have also given it to all other bands. We are negotiating with them
and I am certain that in a short time we could all come to an agreement, so they will all benefit from that
proposal. (Interruptions)



MR. DONAHOE: Well, lawyerish; it is like trying to get questions out of a yo-yo, you don’t know
whether you are up or down. (Interruptions)



Well, Madam Speaker, by way of final supplementary, this minister, now having the responsibilities
to execute these deals if, indeed, they are going to be made, starts her answer by talking about deals which
her predecessor minister with the responsibility had made. My question has nothing to do with what the
predecessor minister did, my question is to what this minister is doing. I asked a pointed and direct question.
Will this minister tell me and tell Nova Scotians whether or not she has negotiated a deal whereby the
Millbrook Band will have a gaming facility of one kind or another at Millbrook, which will have a number
of video lottery terminals at Millbrook and, because they own the land in Cole Harbour, will have a facility
which will house something in the order of 100 video lottery terminals and have a mini mall and a gas bar
in Cole Harbour. Has she, in fact, thus far made that deal with the Millbrook Band?



MRS. NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, I believe the member opposite prefaced his question by referring to
getting questions from a yo-yo. I assume he is speaking of himself, he is asking the questions, I am giving the
answers. The answer to that is that I am negotiating with those bands. I am negotiating with them on a daily
basis. I have had many discussions. There have been many contacts made with those bands and when we come
to an agreement, they will be announced.



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



NAT. RES.: MOBIL OIL PROJECT - STATUS



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Madam Speaker, I would like to direct my question through you to the
Minister of Natural Resources. There is word around town that Mobil Oil has been in town of late, talking
with various groups, including the Department of Natural Resources, about developing natural gas deposits
on the offshore. I wonder if the minister could indicate whether, in fact, he has held discussions with Mobil
Oil on this question and if he could give us an indication what the current status is of the project?



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Yes, we have had discussions with Mobil and Mobil Oil made an
announcement not too long ago in regard to the fact that they are doing some studying to determine the
economic feasibility and viability of the offshore gas. The term I have used in the House to describe that, is
we are cautiously optimistic. As the private sector corporations, consortiums of investors, such as Shell and
Esso and PetroCanada, develop and work through the evaluation of the project, they themselves will be
bringing it forward and we’re there to assist in any way we can to help facilitate any information flow that they
might require from us.



MR. CHISHOLM: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the answer from the minister. Given announcements
of late with respect to the possible future of Nova Scotia Resources Limited and given the well-documented,
rather checkered history of our involvement in the offshore, I wonder, given the cautious optimism that is
surrounding this particular project, if the minister would indicate to us today and perhaps give us his
assurance that no decision will be taken with respect to disposing of the assets of Nova Scotia Resources
Limited until a decision has been taken by Mobil and its partners on this project, in order that we may play
a part through Nova Scotia Resources Limited in terms of protecting the interests of Nova Scotians in this
venture?



MR. DOWNE: We have made a decision that we are going to be dispensing and disposing of Nova
Scotia Resources Limited’s assets. The reality is that this project is predicated on the private sector initiatives
and private sector evaluation on the economic viability. With or without NSRL, this project can go forward.
NSRL has nothing to do in regard to restricting its potential or, in fact, enhancing its potential. We have a
very small percentage of the offshore play; 7.2 per cent of the area in question is being looked at in regard to
the offshore gas development. To date there are probably six to eight different companies already showing
interest in those particular assets, so this will not make any negative impact on the potential of the natural gas;
that will be dealt with in the private sector initiative and it will be onward and going based on their economic
viability.



MR. CHISHOLM: The decision to proceed with this project involves the Government of Nova Scotia.
We are also talking about maximizing the possible returns to the taxpayers of Nova Scotia and that is why
whether Nova Scotia Resources Limited exists or does not exist, I think is important to all Nova Scotians. My
final supplementary, would the minister confirm that this project, if it is to go forward, will it, in fact, be
subject to a formal environmental assessment?



MR. DOWNE: In regard to maximizing return on investment to the Nova Scotia taxpayers, I think
$440 million of debt is not maximizing the return on investment to the Nova Scotia taxpayer and that is why
we got rid of the Nova Scotia Resources Ltd. for the economic benefit for the taxpayers of this province.



MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please.



MR. DOWNE: In regards to the issue of environment obviously, you know this project is far from
being determined in regards to the environmental side of it, but rest assured that I am sure that any offshore
development, in fact, almost any of those types of onshore developments or offshore developments, are subject
to proper environmental reviews. This government would be very cognizant of the fact that the environment
would have to be reviewed in regards to environmental assessment of some sort to make sure that whatever
takes place out there is going to be able to sustain and maintain the environment in the way that we believe
it should be. As environmental processes are a normal activity in the offshore, I would assume that those
would be continued.



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



FIN.: - NATIVE RESERVES: NON-NATIVE - TAXES PAYMENT



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: My question is for the Minister of Finance. Madam Speaker, a moment
ago, the Minister of Finance agreed that he was aware of the sales of furniture, appliances and electronic
products, tax-free, to those who are not resident or non-natives by retailers on reservations. Also, I am sure
that the minister is aware that there are now a proliferation of signs particularly in Cape Breton which
advertise those opportunities to buy tax-free furniture and appliances, et cetera. I wonder if the minister is
saying that he condones this kind of an operation which is bad for the local economy and for local retailers?
Does he condone that or is he prepared to take some action to ensure that the taxes are paid by those who
illegally purchase within native reserves?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: We are addressing this circumstance we think in a very responsible
way. You see we were taught a great lesson by the former government, who decided to go with the
confrontation route, ended up with sorts of prosecutions with almost no success and leaving relations between
our two peoples virtually in a complete shambles. We decided right off the bat that we weren’t going to follow
that approach, that we were going to try and sit down around the table and see if we could mutually work out
the problem. I think we made some progress on that, we are not there all the way yet, but there is progress and
we will continue with those discussions.



MR. RUSSELL: Obviously, the minister isn’t listening to the retailers - for instance in the Sydney area
- who are very upset about the amount of sales that they are losing on a daily basis to these kinds of
operations. Will the minister assure the House that within a few short days that he will take some action that
will check people coming off reserves with a truckload of appliances or furniture, will he do that?



MR. BOUDREAU: Well, first of all, what we will assure this House and the people of Nova Scotia,
is that we will continue with our negotiations with the Mi’Kmaq community, our First Nations people in this
province and will attempt to bring those discussions to a successful conclusion. If the honourable member is
aware of large amounts of goods being transported from a particular location by non-natives having been
purchased on the reserve, I would appreciate if he would give me that information. I certainly will turn it over
to the inspection staff of the department.



MR. RUSSELL: Madam Speaker, the honourable minister has inspectors and they work for the Health
Services Tax Division. If there is a store outside of a reserve that is doing something illegal, then I can bet
you that within a very short period of time that store owner is going to be out of business. All that I am asking
of this minister is that he protect the well-being of the local retailers in certain areas in this province and also
save the taxpayers of this province a considerable sum of money, that if presently is not being paid, that should
be legally paid under the Health Services Tax Division. Is he prepared to take some immediate action?



MR. BOUDREAU: If the honourable member has some evidence rather than just engaging in a
rhetorical flight of fancy. But if he really has some evidence, let him come forward with it and I will turn it
over to the department and ask them that.



[3:15 p.m.]



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



ERA - BLUENOSE II: REFIT - DETAILS



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister for the Economic Renewal
Agency. Not too many days ago, I visited Bluenose II in Lunenburg to have a look at the very considerable
work being done on her. Many of her frames have been sistered, new planks have been installed. Much of the
vessel is open to inspection, although it certainly was not possible to have a look at the deadhead, to determine
if work was being undertaken there, work which I understand is necessary to make her seaworthy and I would
assume is being done.



I left wondering, however, about the condition of the standing rigging and the masts on that vessel.
I wonder whether the refit work includes work on the standing rigging and the masts or if it is solely related
to the hull?



HON. ROBERT HARRISON: Madam Speaker, the question is whether or not the above-deck rigging
will require maintenance. My understanding from the tour I took that day, and speaking directly to Philip,
was that most of the above-deck rigging and sails and other things are in fine condition.






However, one of the things we have learned from this is that it is absolutely critical, if you are going
to preserve a wooden boat, to have a regular maintenance schedule that is preventive in nature, so you are not
in a situation of crisis, having to be concerned in this province about a vessel that is dear to the hearts of Nova
Scotians, indeed, dear to the hearts of Canadians, and has an international presence.



Clearly, what will come of this is a preventive maintenance schedule that will deal with all aspects of
the maintenace of Bluenose II. That is one of the blessings that has come from this episode.



MR. LEEFE: May I take it then that the running rigging will have a complete inspection and that the
portions of the running rigging which should be replaced will be replaced and, additionally, that a qualified
sail maker - not a qualified ship’s carpenter - will undertake to review the condition of the vessel’s sails, to
ensure that they are in sufficient condition to power the vessel and to ensure safety at sea when she is under
sail.



MR. HARRISON: Madam Speaker, I applaud the honourable member’s questions concerning the
future of what is an icon for this province. I have heard or read in the paper recently that the honourable
member, in the early going when Bluenose II was considered for refit, that there were some predictions made
about what we might have learned over the last few months and weeks.



I can assure the member opposite that ERA takes its responsibility for this vessel very seriously. This
is an important symbol to the province, it is one that requires care. The utmost care will be given all aspects
of the maintenace schedule in the future, both preventive and what is going on now.



I make that a guarantee of this ministry, so that the people of Nova Scotia and the members opposite
are assured that the finest of scrutiny, in terms of qualifications of those people doing that scrutiny, will be
afforded Bluenose II. (Applause)



MR. LEEFE: Madam Speaker, I wonder if the honourable minister could confirm whether or not the
work currently underway on Bluenose II reflects the advice given within his department and to his department
in 1994 by departmental staff and, additionally, in two letters of January 14, 1994, from the Coast Guard to
the department? I will table those letters.



MR. HARRISON: Madam Speaker, without seeing the letters, I can assure the members opposite and,
again, to the people of Nova Scotia who care so much about this vessel, that the Coast Guard inspector has
been on-site many times. There is one example of work being identified by the on-site inspector from the
Coast Guard that needed to be done and that the shipbuilders in the area actually went beyond those
expectations, to the great pleasure of the Coast Guard inspector.



It is my understanding that all manner of inspection that has taken place is in keeping with the highest
standards of inspection for wooden vessels in this nation. So without commenting directly on the
correspondence to which he is referring, I can only assure him that the Coast Guard is active and vigilant, in
terms of the inspection of the work occurring with Bluenose II.



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Madam Speaker, I wonder if I might precede my question with a brief
introduction.



Madam Speaker, through you and to all members of the House, I would like to introduce Mr. Robert
Taylor, who is in the west gallery. Mr. Taylor is the Chairman of the Bible Hill Village Commission. I wonder
if Mr. Taylor would rise and receive the usual warm applause from the members. (Applause)



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



EMO - AIRPORTS (YARMOUTH/SYDNEY): FIRE FIGHTING SERVICE -

 

REDUCTION



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Madam Speaker, my question is for the honourable Minister responsible
for the Emergency Measures Organization. Transport Canada has withdrawn fire fighting service from the
Yarmouth Airport and only one fire fighter and one truck remain at the Sydney Airport. As a result, I feel that
perhaps the fire fighting service is somewhat less than perhaps it should be. I wonder if the minister can tell
this House what, if any, consultation was carried out with officials in his department before Ottawa made such
a decision?



HON. WAYNE ADAMS: Madam Speaker, I have to tell the honourable member that I am not aware
but I will take the question under advisement. I would be interested myself in the details.



MR. TAYLOR: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the minister doing that. I guess perhaps I would like to
go to the Minister of Transportation. The Minister of Transportation was quoted last summer that the province
would be interested in at least discussing the possible takeover of the operations of the airports once they were
cut loose, so to speak, from the federal government. I realize there is considerable discussion in Cape Breton
now about whether JOINT EX should be the new operator of the Sydney Airport. I wonder if the minister can
tell the House if we are any closer to a decision being made?



HON. RICHARD MANN: Madam Speaker, this issue is one that I think is set on a timetable, that the
federal Minister of Transport has indicated the schedule for the airport issue across the country, in fact. Our
department, our senior staff, have been involved, I have been in personal contact with officials from the Cape
Breton area and have also spoken with people from the Yarmouth area. We have offered our staff’s time and
effort. We have put officials from the Cape Breton area in touch with federal officials. We have provided
information that has been provided to us and indicated that we are there to support whatever initiatives they
would like to pursue.



On the previous question, on the fire fighting, it is something that was put down in a plan by the
federal minister and was made available to airport officials and community organizations some time ago and
was part of a plan that had been identified by Transport Canada as a way to reduce operating costs so that it
may, in fact, be viable for local communities to take over the airports in Sydney and Yarmouth and, in fact,
sustain that very vital transportation link.



MR. TAYLOR: Madam Speaker, again, I would like to go to the Minister of Transportation. Despite
the exceptional safety record at both of these airports, one must always be prepared. I am not sure that the
local Emergency Measures Organizations have been revamped in the event of, God forbid, a disaster. Can that
minister assure the travelling public today that safety is not being compromised at either of these airports?



MR. MANN: Madam Speaker, I would assume that the safety matters at the airports are under the
jurisdiction of Transport Canada and the safety guidelines and criteria that are in place have to be complied
with. For example, I think if he checks today he will see where the Yarmouth Fire Department has indicated
that they are going to provide fire protection service at the Yarmouth Airport and, in fact, are interested in
taking over some of the equipment. One can only assume that Transport Canada will ensure that the safety
measures must be complied with.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



HUMAN RES. - BERKELEY CONSULTING: REPORT - TABLE



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Madam Speaker, I would like to direct my question through you to the
Minister of Human Resources. Madam Speaker, you and other members may recall last fall, I think it was in
early November, we learned that a contract had been let to Berkeley Consulting, untendered to the tune of
around $50,000. It was to review, basically, the long-term human resource needs of the Department of Health,
to look at the changing needs of the department in light of health care reform and so on and so forth.



When asked why it was let untendered we were told that it was because it was so urgent. Madam
Speaker, it is now April 5th, we have still not seen that report and any inquiries to the Department of Human
Resources are met with the fact that we don’t have the report yet. I would like to ask the minister if he could
indicate to the House today whether in fact he will agree to immediately table a report that was commissioned
to the tune of $50,000 untendered because it was urgent?



HON. JAY ABBASS: Madam Speaker, I think this is a matter that more appropriately might be
addressed by the Minister of Health.



HON. RONALD STEWART: In response to the honourable gentleman’s question, Berkeley Consulting
worked very closely with us in determining the direction in which we should go in reorganizing the
Department of Health. They worked with us on a daily basis. They were very helpful, they had completed their
work, we are certainly indebted to them and they were instrumental in allowing us to move forward with this
reorganization which has occurred and is very helpful.



MR. CHISHOLM: We did this song and dance last fall when we tried to get an indication of why the
report was let without it being tendered, when we tried to get the report released we would get bounced back
and forth from the Minister of Human Resources to the Minister of Health and back again. My question is
very simple, I don’t care who takes it but my understanding is that it was the Department of Human Resources
that let this contract untendered. I ask that minister again will he agree to release that urgent report in this
House before the proceedings finish today?



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member may not care who takes it but I do. Are you directing
your question then to the Minister of Human Resources?



MR. CHISHOLM: I asked him the question.



MR. ABBASS: I can understand the member opposite wondering exactly who is taking the question
because it really does relate, I suppose, to any one of three departments, Health, Supply and Services and
perhaps Human Resources. Among those three perhaps it is Human Resources which is the least close to this
issue and perhaps really in fairness to the House, it should be the Minister of Health who determines the
timing of the release of any report prepared by Berkeley.



MR. CHISHOLM: Well, I should know better than to get somewhat exercised about ministers of this
government playing games with their own rules about tendering or about anything else in terms of the way
they, in a very cavalier fashion, spent $50,000 of taxpayers money.



MADAM SPEAKER: Do you have a question for your final supplementary?



MR. CHISHOLM: So perhaps I should direct my question to the Minister of Health and ask him, if
the report has been completed will he agree to table it if not today before the end of the week.



DR. STEWART: The honourable gentleman opposite has created a report which he describes as being
urgently necessary. We had these consultants come in to help us reorganize the department, that was the
contract. The contract was signed to do that, they came in and did that, they were very helpful to us and we
continue with reorganization. That is the answer, there is no report.



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



SUPPLY AND SERV. - NAT. RES.: TENDER - GRANITE DESKTOPS



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Supply and Services.
A tender recently appeared in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald requesting proposals for the design, fabrication
and installation of granite reception desktops for the Department of Natural Resources. The tender was
published by your department and my question to the minister is, have you had the opportunity to look into
why your department would authorize tenders for such elaborate desktops at a time when your government
is asking Nova Scotians to cut back on so many other things.



HON. GERALD O’MALLEY: To the honourable member opposite, I am not aware of the tender nor
the purpose of the tender but I certainly will take the question under advisement and provide the honourable
member with an answer to his question in tomorrow’s Question Period.



[3:30 p.m.]



MR. ARCHIBALD: The tender was to the honourable Minister of Supply and Services. The tender was
recently in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald requesting prices for the supply and delivery and installation of office
systems furniture for the Department of Supply and Services. The bids were received; the lowest was
$306,000, the highest was $375,000. Can the minister tell me why so much money is being spent on office
furniture at a time when your government is saying restraint is the order of the day and we are downsizing
and there are fewer employees working for government now than there were a year ago?



MR. O’MALLEY: Madam Speaker, I have just indicated to the honourable member that I will take
the question under advisement since I was not aware of the tender. I am certain that the type of furniture being
requested is essential for the job to be undertaken, otherwise it would not have been ordered. I will undertake
to investigate fully the purchase of granite desktops for office furniture and report back to the House and to
the minister, tomorrow, the conditions of the tender.



MR. ARCHIBALD: I appreciate the answer from the minister. I know that he would not have at the
tip of his fingers all of the information on all the tenders that he supervises. One of the other things with
regard to the tender I am speaking of, the tender prices went from $306,000 to $375,000. If you were going
to purchase furniture under this tender, I was wondering if the minister could indicate to us, at a later date,
why the tender that was accepted was $28,000 more than the lowest tender?



MR. O’MALLEY: Madam Speaker, again, I have just, on two occasions, outlined to the honourable
member opposite that there will be a full investigation into the request for tender and the awarding of the
tender and the purpose of the tender and that I would provide him with all answers associated with the
awarding of the tender in the near future.



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



EMO: EMERGENCY SERVICE (911) - IMPLEMENTATION



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Madam Speaker, my question is to the minister in charge of the
Emergency Measures Organization. A couple of weeks ago, there was quite a bad house fire in Upper
Stewiacke and when the residents tried to call the fire department, they were getting a busy signal. This went
on for quite a number of minutes and their neighbours also were trying to call the fire department. They were
not able to get through and the house did burn down completely. The minister in charge of EMO previously
had told me last fall that we were proceeding very quickly on 911 to bring it in place. My question to the
minister is, how are we coming along with the 911 for the province and when will it be ready to go?



HON. WAYNE ADAMS: Madam Speaker, I can help the honourable member by telling him that we
are on track with the schedule and agenda for Emergency 911. At this present time we are doing the final data
collecting with regards to civic addressing across the province. I have been briefed, come to full knowledge,
it has been a difficult task to do the civic numbering across the province, particularly in rural areas where we
do not even have street names, let alone street numbers. But that data has now been collected and it has been
banked and double-checked for part of the main brain, if you will, of the 911 System.



MR. MCINNES: Madam Speaker, in all fairness, the honourable minister, last fall, told me exactly
the same thing. Now it is a number of months later.



AN HON. MEMBER: That’s not quite true.



MR. MCINNES: Well, not quite true, but that was the consensus, I think, at that time, that you were
working at it. Anyway, I am supposed to talk through you, Madam Speaker, and they are only trying to rabble-rouse me.



I would ask the minister to please try to get on with this. This was a very bad effect on those people
in Stewiacke. A lot of the people in that area are very concerned, as well as Geoff Stewart from that area who
wrote in and asked us to also ask the question. So, I think it is very important that this can happen, whether
it was technical or what was the breakdown, that they were not able to get the fire department, but it was half
an hour before they got through. Would the minister please assure the House and all Nova Scotians that 911
will be coming in place very quickly?



MR. ADAMS: I could hardly hear the question, Madam Speaker. I believe he was asking me to assure
the House that 911 would be coming onstream? (Interruption) Yes, we are not going to trip and stumble on
the way but I will say that we are going to be identifying regional call centre locations right across the
province between now and September 1st.



I think the opportunity is prime right now. If I might with your indulgence, Madam Speaker, call on
the Minister of Transportation and Communications, who has made a call to accelerate this whole ambience
of 911 and I think the answer is appropriate for the questions I have received so far.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Madam Speaker, in fact there has been a call for proposals using the CBS,
Cooperative Business Solutions process. It has been advertised for an integrated, wide-area network project
and has bundled a number of government requirements, including mobile radio communications to support
emergency services such as police services, fire protection and emergency services. That call has been out;
it has been advertised. I am very happy to report that it has attracted the attention of consortiums in Europe,
in fact all over the world and will, in fact, probably put Nova Scotia on the leading edge and give us a service
located nowhere else in the world, where the entire province will have wired and wireless communications
across the province. (Applause)



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



ERA - AMHERST RESIDENTIAL CENTRE CLOSURE (APSEA): JOBS -

 

REPLACEMENT



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister for the Economic
Renewal Agency. As he will know, the government has already announced its intention to close the school
for the hearing impaired in Amherst. That was done in June and 70 or more of the non-teaching staff received
layoff notices there on March 31st. Although a few of those 70 or 75 have the option of perhaps moving to
Halifax or elsewhere, most are not so lucky.



In anticipation of this loss to the community of Amherst, the Minister of Education and the former
Minister for the ERA made a clear and definitive promise to move some 75 civil service jobs to that
community to replace the loss with the closure of the school. That announcement was to have taken place in
February. However, in March, our esteemed Premier seemed to throw cold water on that idea by saying he
was non-committal on the jobs moved to Amherst.



I wonder if the Minister for the ERA could inform the people of Amherst just where the commitment
of the government stands in terms of replacing that loss of 70 to 75 jobs in Amherst, with a new 70 or 75
public sector jobs?



HON. ROBERT HARRISON: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the question. It is one that obviously is
an import as one assumes a new ministry and picks up files. I have asked my staff to put together an update,
a briefing file on that issue.



There is no question that commitments made to replace the loss of public service positions around this
province are difficult in the sense that it is clear that community economic development and development here
in the metropolitan area and in Sydney will largely have to be led by the private sector. We are talking about
sustainable job creation in Nova Scotia and some 17,000 jobs created to date. They are being created by the
real heroes of this province. The men and women who are mortgaging their futures, are, in fact, the real
heroes of this province because they are taking out the investments necessary to expand their businesses, to
build jobs, four and five at a time. They are the real heroes because they believe in the future of this province.



So when we are talking about government not being a hero, the fact is that government is in
partnership with the real heros. There may be multinationals who are coming here to find communities that
will sustain their exportability in international markets, but I would like to pay compliments to the men and
women of this province who are creating jobs in small numbers.



As to the commitment of replacing and backfilling every single position of government that is
obviously going through an expenditure reduction, that is difficult to make, that is a difficult commitment to
honour. There are negotiations involved. We are talking about human beings being moved from one province
to the other, from one place in one province to the other, from the public sector to the private sector. We will
do everything to ensure that the backfilling of jobs takes place on a sustainable, firm footing.



MR. DONAHOE: So the translation of the answer, Mr. Speaker, is that the government takes away
and one hopes that the private sector will replace. That is exactly what that means. I don’t take serious issue
with the minister suggesting that effort be made to attempt to determine whether or not there is a private
sector involvement or partners, or cooperative effort that would assist in this regard. The fact of the matter
is, however, as he well knows, two Cabinet colleagues of his, the Minister of Education and his predecessor
in the Economic Renewal Agency, said that if those jobs are lost as a result of the closure of the government
institution, that the government would ensure that they would be replaced with employment in similar
numbers. While we now have the dimension as expressed by this minister, that we are now going to hope that
the private sector will come into the fray, may I ask this Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency if he will
tell me how many discussions has he had or to his knowledge have officials of his department had, with
anybody connected with the private sector to make good on the promise of the government to ensure that 25
to 80 jobs will, in fact, in as short a time as possible, make their way back to Amherst, Nova Scotia?



MR. HARRISON: The question of private sector discussions with the Economic Renewal Agency and
many other departments, because it is clear that this isn’t just, as the honourable member across said, the
government being a hero, this isn’t just a function of a single ministry. We are talking about job creation and
aquaculture and natural resources, job creation in community services, in finance and all the way across the
Treasury benches. The fact is that the Cumberland Community Economic Development Association trumpeted
the fact that they have met their target of 500 jobs in their area through community economic development.



We are also talking about the one year anniversary of Simmons expansion and the fact that those jobs
are there and preserved in this day and age, high-tech jobs for Amherst. We are talking with 14 groups in that
area in fact, about moving other employment opportunities to Amherst, not just in this department but in other
ones as well. We are also within government looking at the possibility of moving public sector positions to
that community. The fact is that not every community in this province, if it loses a public sector job, can have
a back-fill and replacement.



The whole issue here is, that for 15 years we ended up with $9 billion worth of debt because the
decision-making was dysfunctional. Sustainable employment will be created by access to capital, by people
who can sustain employment in their communities, by nurturing the heroes and the pioneers of this province,
who are creating jobs in the private sector. (Applause)



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I noticed that when the minister was in high gear and when he was
into his rant and rhetoric, did in fact sneak in an interesting line. He snuck in the interesting line, to attempt
to leave the impression that government is in fact attempting to determine what transfer of government public
sector jobs can in fact be made to the Town of Amherst to replace the jobs that were lost to make good on the
promise of the two ministers. I want to ask specifically of this minister, if he will tell us what precise and
detailed meetings has he or officials of his department had, with officials in Amherst, to address specific
provincial government jobs to be moved to Amherst, to replace the jobs lost and to make good on the promise
that was made by the predecessor minister?



MR. HARRISON: First of all, it is absolutely critical and important for the people of Nova Scotia to
know that public sector positions in any area of the province but in particular rural areas that are hurt by the
loss of what we will call public sector positions, that every effort be made by this government to redress those
losses either in the private sector or in the public sector but ultimately in a sustainable manner. I have already
indicated that one of the first things I asked my department to do was to bring forward the file. There are
discussions going on, there is an environment office opening in Amherst, as an example, something that
happened before we even went there, but there are also discussions going on with other departments.



Every effort will be made to make sure that there aren’t just 75 jobs in Amherst, that there are hundreds
and thousands of jobs in Amherst, in the public sector, in the private sector that are sustainable and lasting.



[3:45 p.m.]



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



SUPPLY AND SERV.: TENDERS - PROFESSIONAL SERVICES



MR. JOHN HOLM: I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Supply and Services. The
Minister of Supply and Services, I am sure, will know that his colleague, the Minister of Finance, went to the
chamber of commerce and announced that as part of the government’s attempts to meet the fiscal targets that
they were going to be examining all programs and everything that is being done to find ways to reduce money
spent by this government. Well, when I take a look at the list of untendered contracts awarded by this
government since 1993 there are literally millions of dollars of untendered contracts for professional services.
My question to the minister is quite simply this, why has the government not yet, if money is so scarce, put
in place a proper open tendering system for professional services?



HON. GERALD O’MALLEY: I apologize I was writing a note to you regarding the introduction. I
wonder if I could have the question repeated?



MR. SPEAKER: Could the question be repeated please, briefly?



MR. HOLM: Yes, Mr. Speaker, as I pointed out, the Minister of Finance announced that the
government was going to be examining everything that it did to try to find ways to reduce government
expenditures because money was scarce. Yet, when you take a look at the list of untendered contracts, many
of them by the minister’s own department, there are millions of dollars of untendered contracts for
professional services. My question is quite simply why hasn’t the government already put in place a proper
system to ensure fair, open tendering for Public Service contracts?



MR. O’MALLEY: To the honourable member opposite, the process of fair and just and open tendering
process for professional services is a matter that is of grave concern to the government, been discussed in the
House before, the government has undertaken and now has completed a process for calling tenders from
professional bodies for government businesses. The formal policy will be ready in a very short period of time
and will be circulated openly, publicly to all members of the public including members of the Opposition for
their criticism or input. But within the very near future, a formal document for the first time in the history of
this House in calling for professional services in a professional way will be undertaken in the very near future.



MR. HOLM: I look forward to this policy because the kind of answer that the minister just gave is very
similar to the kind of commitment that was given by his predecessor. In the fullness of time, at a snail’s pace,
maybe we will get there. The Minister of Finance at the chamber meeting can say that they are going to
reform the welfare system in this province and give tax breaks to business, well the issue isn’t only whose
pockets are not being picked the issue is also whose pockets are being filled. I want a firm commitment from
this minister, when will this government finally table in this House so that all Nova Scotians will see and
know that their taxpaying dollars are being put to the best use possible not just simply filling the pockets of
their friends on a rotating roster basis as is currently the case?



MR. O’MALLEY: To the honourable member opposite, as I have just outlined to him the rotational
process, that informal, rotational process that seemed never to rotate but to be directed to the chosen few over
the last 17 years is about to cease in the very near future. But we, on this side of the House, have promised
open consultation with the public and with the Opposition, and we will undertake that open consultation. In
the very near future, that document will be tabled in this House.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I certainly want to take this minister at his word because, certainly, the
minister has not been in this portfolio very long. However, not aimed at this current minister, but one has to
wonder why it is that after two years in office, this government has still failed to move on that urgent priority
and a commitment that was made.



My final question then to the minister, as part of this package that he is proposing that he will be
releasing, will the minister guarantee - because it can be done, the costs can be included and the rotating
roster system done away with - that those who wish to bid on professional services will have an opportunity
through an open tendering process to which all may apply?



Yes, indeed, in such a process you can still take experience and qualifications into consideration, but
will he guarantee that it will be an open tendering process and that the fullness of time, the very soon that he
talks about, means before this House rises this spring?



MR. O’MALLEY: Mr. Speaker, I have already indicated to the honourable opposite that this will be
a fair, just, honest, open and transparent policy. The answer is a categorical yes.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time allotted for the Oral Question Period has expired. Before we
move on to Opposition Members’ Business, we have a number of introductions of distinguished guests in our
midst.



The honourable Premier.



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of introducing to this House a man who it may be
said has looked down on the world in a way that very few others have. If I may be permitted to say a few
words longer than usual about Scott Carpenter, who is the astronaut and so-called aquanaut who is in our
gallery today.



Mr. Carpenter was born in Colorado. He was commissioned in the U.S. Navy. He worked and was
involved during the Korean War and then was selected as one of the original seven Mercury astronauts on
April 9, 1959. He underwent intensive training with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and
served as back-up pilot for John Glenn during the preparation for America’s first manned orbital space flight.



Mr. Carpenter flew the second American manned orbital flight on May 24, 1962. He piloted his Aurora
7 spacecraft through three revolutions of the earth, reaching a maximum altitude of 164 miles. On leave of
absence from NASA, Mr. Carpenter participated in the Navy’s Man in the Sea Project as an aquanaut in the
Sea Lab II Program off La Jolla, California in 1965.



He returned to duties with NASA as executive assistant and there is here, Mr. Speaker, far too much
to read out that I am sure will make the honourable gentleman feel very embarrassed if I do. What we do
know, is that he has worked since his retirement from the Navy. He has worked very much in pursuit of those
matters that touch on the environment and has worked very closely with Jacques Yves Cousteau, the famous
Captain Cousteau and the Calypso team. He continues to work, also, in the United States as a lecturer and
completed his first novel recently, called The Steel Albatross and we may be taking orders for that afterwards.



His awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and the NASA Distinguished
Service Medal. Mr. Speaker, I guess it goes without saying that this old House, which has seen a lot of people
since 1819, is delighted to extend a warm welcome to Scott Carpenter. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: Well it is certainly a great privilege and honour to have Mr. Carpenter here in our
midst this afternoon.



We also have a delegation here this afternoon of eight from the German Bundestag, with whom I was,
while the Deputy Speaker was in the Chair. I would like to introduce each of these people. The delegation is
headed by Herr Ulrich Klose. Herr Klose is the Vice-President or Deputy Speaker of the German Bundestag,
Vize Präsident des Deutschen Bundestag. He is accompanied, also, by Herr Norbert Formanski, who is a
member of the German Bundestag for Herten-Gelsenkirchen, Herr Ruprecht Polenz, a member of the German
Bundestag for Muenster and Herr Heinz Lanfermann who is a member of the Bundestag for Duisburg.



These four members of the German Federal Parliament are accompanied by His Excellency Dr. Juergen
Hellner, Deputy Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Canada; Dr. Edgar Gold, Q.C., Honorary
Consul of Germany, here in this city; and two staff members, Frau Mechthild Surholdt, who is Executive
Assistant to Herr Klose and Dr. Beate Hasenjaeger who is with the Protocol Office of the Federal Republic
of Germany.



So we would like to welcome these eight delegates from the German Bundestag here to our House this
afternoon and thank you for coming. (Applause)



Now we have further distinguished delegates.



The honourable Minister of Supply and Services.



HON. GERALD O’MALLEY: Mr. Speaker, while writing the note to you I did not hear the opposite
member’s question. It is my honour and privilege this afternoon to introduce to you and through you and to
all members of this House, a very honoured citizen of the City of Halifax, one well known by most of the
members of this House, Mr. Brian Flemming. Mr. Flemming is a well-known solicitor, a well-known
entrepreneur and a former primary advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Honourable Pierre Trudeau.
(Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: Are there any additional introductions before we proceed with Opposition Members’
Business?



OPPOSITION MEMBERS’ BUSINESS



MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Opposition House Leader.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 17.



Res. No. 17, re Gov’t. (N.S.) - Rural Communities: Abandonment - Condemn - notice given March
31/95 - (Mr. J. Leefe)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens. (Applause)



MR. JOHN LEEFE: It is always safer to have the applause in advance.



Mr. Speaker, the issue we bring to the House and to all Parties for debate today is one which is, indeed,
critical to the well-being of Nova Scotians but, most particularly, to the well-being of those who live in rural
Nova Scotia, in small town Nova Scotia and in the villages and small communities across our province which,
of course, relates into the future of literally hundreds of thousands of Nova Scotians, many of who are young
Nova Scotians, people graduating soon from high schools and those graduating even sooner from the
universities across this province and, indeed, Nova Scotians attending university outside the province and
perhaps outside the country, who would like to be able to return to this province to find their future.



These are young people who, in my experience, and it is not an experience that I have relished, are
young people who experience significant frustration and, indeed, one is prompted to say, in many cases, that
frustration has turned to despair. That despair and frustration, in many instances, are the results of decisions
both taken and avoided by this government.



It has now been some 22 months since this government took over the reins of power in this province.
It came to power on a promise to create a better future for Nova Scotians, a promise to provide jobs and
prosperity and security for everyone, it proclaimed. I remember so clearly in June 1993, sharing the stage at
the community college and campus in Bridgewater with the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of
Fisheries and the member for Lunenburg, when the young person who is a valedictorian said, and now that
we have this new government we hope that we have an opportunity to find jobs and security in our province
because they promised that to us. I can recall turning to the Minister of Fisheries and saying to him, one day
you probably will regret that promise because in likelihood you will be unable to fulfil it. To date, to my great
sorrow they have entirely failed to meet that promise.



[4:00 p.m.]



Instead of creating jobs and prosperity, as it promised it would, this government has instead embarked
on a course of action that threatens the very existence of small communities across this province. This is the
government that has come to believe that bigger is better and to that end, it is closing and downsizing
hospitals and schools and court venues and registry offices and sheriff’s offices and prothonotary offices,
assessment offices, forestry depots, even wildlife parks in small-town Nova Scotia. In the small and rural
communities of this province, these facilities, this provincial infrastructure and the services they provide are
among those important factors which help to forge and sustain many of our communities.



Look at the hit, for example in Upper Clements, in an area that not only has suffered the loss of its
major employer, the base at Cornwallis, but now is seeing the Department of Natural Resources begin to
remove some of the tourism infrastructure which it had hoped to build its new economy upon. At any rate,
these are the facilities and the services that help make a town a town and a village a village. Collectively,
these towns and villages are what make up Nova Scotia. We all recognize the need to cut the cost of
government and to reduce the burden on the taxpayer. We all know what we have to do to streamline services
and achieve efficiencies.



If the infrastructure that helps define a community disappears so too do the businesses, so too do the
jobs and so too do the people, so too does the incentive for investors who look to communities that are growing
not communities which are shrinking. Eventually, what makes Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia, and what makes
our province unique and attractive to people from all over the world starts to evaporate. The point I want to
drive home especially to those honourable members across the floor, who like myself, represent many rural
communities in this province and this is a critical point, the point I want to drive home is that small-town
Nova Scotia, the villages, the rural communities in our province, cannot be expected to bear a disproportionate
amount of pain. This is a government which chooses in my view to perform microsurgery with an axe and
to inflict great pain indeed on rural Nova Scotia.



Everything is relative; closing a hospital, closing a school or a government office has a far more serious
impact on a small community than it does in an urban centre with all of its economic diversity. In many cases,
hospitals, schools and other facilities are the main or indeed the major employer in a village or a town. These
institutions, so basic to the quality of life of our communities, not only provide a sense of ownership and
identity, they provide jobs and those jobs ensure consumer spending in the community. They also provide a
pool of talent for community leadership, all of which are absolutely requisite to sustaining rural and small-town Nova Scotia.



Mr. Speaker, this government has betrayed the people of rural Nova Scotia not once but twice. First,
it said vote for us and prosperity will rain down upon you. Well, they were right about the rain part. They said
we have a plan. A plan to bring businesses and jobs to your town and your village, it is called community
economic development and it will breathe new life into your communities. It will provide employment to your
job-starved youth, it will secure your community and your future will be bright. That was the first betrayal and
that was - does anybody remember 30-60-90 - and we are all still counting?



The second betrayal, and this is the ultimate betrayal, is that while the Liberal Party was spinning this
line, a line it knew full well it could not deliver, it was actually drawing up plans. Drawing up plans not to
improve the economy and create jobs for Nova Scotians, and especially young Nova Scotians, but rather
drawing up plans to close the hospitals in rural communities, to downsize them, to board up schools, to shut
down court-houses, to take away local control by creating centralized administrative structures that will make
it next to impossible for the people in our communities to have the kind of input into important decisions that
affect us that they have enjoyed in the past. Not only that, Mr. Speaker, but this is a government which is
downloading costs to municipal taxpayers like never before; charging the municipalities $50 to prosecute
liquor and motor vehicle violations and then keeping the proceeds from the fines; eliminating its financial
support for transit services.



Let me quote a recent editorial in the Inverness Oran entitled, Rural rape, an editorial that really says
it all. I will not quote at length. I have just chosen three brief quotes. The first says, “For the unwashed in
rural Cape Breton, this means Savage or Brown or Dingwall or LeBlanc announcing hundreds of jobs for
Halifax, Sydney or Port Hawkesbury or moving jobs from the boondocks to the larger centres so that the larger
centres can get larger and suck more jobs from the rural-park, a sort of employment black hole. . . They keep
taking jobs away and making us travel hundreds of miles to get the services. . . It is time they stood back and
took a look at what the future holds for the people and economy of rural Cape Breton. It is time they gave us
more than a passing glance because we are dying due to their myopia and the disease of not listening.”.



Well, Mr. Speaker, that was an editorial in a rural newspaper serving a rural community in this
province and it was one from Cape Breton, but it is one that serves and speaks out to every rural community
in Nova Scotia and speaks for every rural community in Nova Scotia.



Mr. Speaker, this editorial speaks to the young people in this province; the young people who have
been ill-served by those like the Minister of Transportation who soon will be taking the floor and who will
be telling us what he has done to create jobs for young people; what he has done to keep the school open in
his constituency, a school which is now closed. Let us hear him talk about that instead of standing here
heckling a member who is trying to make a point on the floor. What does the future hold for the youth of this
province?



The fishing industry is in crisis. The forestry sector is faced with further difficulties because the
Minister of Natural Resources has not been able to convince his Liberal friends in Ottawa to enter into a new
federal-provincial agreement with respect to forestry. There are fewer long-term job opportunities and any
hope of education beyond high school is growing beyond the capacity of families in Nova Scotia to be able
to afford, not specifically because of what this government has done, but because of what their Liberal friends
are doing with the new budget in Ottawa, a new budget which will adversely impact on the young men and
women in this country who want to go to university and who are going to have to be paying tuition which is
far beyond their means to be able to pay. This is the government which cuts back on everything but rhetoric,
which cuts back on everything but promises.



Mr. Speaker, what is the government’s response to these needs. The response to these needs is to come
and try your luck, take a spin on Bernie’s roulette wheel. Come to Halifax, come to Sydney, spend your money
on gambling. That is what their response is to the needs of rural Nova Scotia and that indeed then, Sir, is no
response at all. Is this all there is for thousands of young Nova Scotians who are unemployed, who are under-employed, who cannot afford university, and those who indeed are on unemployment insurance benefits and
running out?



Mr. Speaker, when hope withers and despair runs rampant the choices where they are extant at all
become very limited. Our young people pack up and leave. They turn to the government for support or they
turn to the streets. When they have turned to the government for support they have found that support to be
entirely lacking.



Mr. Speaker, I am not suggesting for a moment, as this government did, that there is a quick fix to the
issue we are debating here this afternoon. That is what the Liberals in Opposition promised and that explains
why they now have the lowest performance rating of any government in Canada because they promised what
they could not deliver. How they have deepened the cynicism of Nova Scotians with respect to democratic
practice in this province.



Mr. Speaker, every effort to cut costs must be weighed against benefits to be gained. No decision should
be taken without first undertaking a cost benefits analysis. That is sound business practice. Clearly, the
government must recognize that it is not in the interests of the people of this province be they from rural or
urban Nova Scotia for it to proceed any further with decisions that jeopardize the very future of our many
smaller communities, decisions that dash the hopes of our youth, the young people who want to live and to
work here and contribute to their communities and to their province, to contribute to and benefit from a
buoyant Nova Scotian economy.



Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Finance attended a Board of Trade luncheon and said the
government has stopped the bleeding. Well, he may have stopped the bleeding on the numbers side, but rural
Nova Scotia is haemorrhaging. It is losing jobs. It is losing services. It is losing local governance. At the same
time, rural Nova Scotia is being handed a bigger bill. This government has actually cut deeply into the heart
of rural Nova Scotia. It used no anaesthetic and it made no attempt to close the wound, let alone apply a
bandage.



Mr. Speaker, the wound in rural Nova Scotia, in small town Nova Scotia, in the villages across this
province, is raw. It is sore. It is festering. What is the government’s response to rural Nova Scotia’s suffering?
Amputate. This government has an obligation to tell Nova Scotians how it plans to resuscitate the patient, how
it plans to return the province to economic good health, how it plans to replace despair with hope for the
thousands of young Nova Scotians who believed this government when it said, we know what needs to be
done. We have a plan.



For 22 months, Mr. Speaker, we have heard about this plan. Where is it, Mr. Speaker? Where is this
plan? Let that government table it in this House so that Nova Scotians can see it. Ask the university graduates
where the plan is. Ask the young men and the young women who have to find employment in British
Columbia and Alberta and Ontario because this government has not delivered on its promise to provide them
opportunities to make a living and to contribute to their communities here in this province.



Mr. Speaker, nowhere do I remember reading, either in its policy papers or in its Throne Speeches,
that they were committed to the rape of rural Nova Scotia. Nowhere do I remember reading anything other
than the promise that they made to create jobs in rural Nova Scotia, not a promise of taking them away, the
promise of creating them.



Mr. Speaker, along with thousands of Nova Scotians who live in rural communities, I say enough is
enough. It is time for the government to stop the rhetoric. It is time for the government to come clean. It is
time for the government to develop the plan they promised two years ago and which, to date, they have not
put forward. It is time for the government to start delivering on its promises to rural and small town Nova
Scotia, to the young people, to our sons and our daughters and our grandchildren. It is time to stop shredding
the rural fabric of this province. It is time to start performing. (Applause)



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this
discussion of the future of rural communities in our province and in other parts of Atlantic Canada. I can
appreciate the level of emotion that is being shown by both the previous speaker and by members of the
government benches who have been actively trying to encourage the speaker from continuing.



Let me say, Madam Speaker, that the problem in terms of the continuing or the increasing pressure
on rural communities started long before this government came to power. The problem dates back many years,
but we only have to look at policies that have come down from the federal government, such as the free trade
agreement, such as the policy on deregulation and privatization which has such a disastrous impact on our
railroads here in Nova Scotia and on the provision of bus transportation from many of our remoter
communities. Things like that have had a disastrous effect.



The continuing decline of the supposed equalization payments that formed the basis of which our
country was formed on in order to balance out the inequities that are faced by regions like the Atlantic
Provinces, as a result of the concentration of wealth and manufacturing in central Canada; those things have
been severely cut back over the past 10 years by successive governments, both Tory and Liberal, Madam
Chairman, and this has caused considerable problems for rural communities in Nova Scotia and in other parts
of Atlantic Canada.



[4:15 p.m.]



Certainly over the past few weeks we have seen the federal government announce that they are going
to cut a further nearly $400 million out of transfer payments to Nova Scotia for health, education and social
services. Madam Speaker, what did we hear from this government? We didn’t hear a peep from this
government. It is as if they have jumped on that old bandwagon that we had been hearing so much about
under the Tories and now under the Liberals, that the only way we could possibly plan for our future is to cut
the deficit and in order to cut the deficit, we have to cut and slash at everything that is not moving, other than
untendered contracts to friends of the government in power.



The effect of this is that there are many things that are important to us in Canada and in Nova Scotia,
including our rural communities and the infrastructure which ties those communities together, which are
going to be lost as a result of this fetish on cutting the deficit, without any plan or program or strategic
thought as to what is going to happen in the future.



Yes, in two or three or four years time, we may have a balanced budget or an operating surplus,
Madam Speaker, but what are we going to have to show for that? What are we going to have in terms of
quality of education in this province? What are we going to have in terms of our infrastructure to our rural
communities? What about the fact that the courts are being amalgamated into centres and being taken out of
smaller communities? What about the fact that schools are being closed in rural communities? Services that
are now provided in some of our communities, (Interruption) services that are provided because of the fact
that we in this province have believed that services to people in the urban part of this province are . . .



MADAM SPEAKER: We have a point of order. The honourable member for Hants East. Would you
take your seat, honourable member, please? Please yield for a point of order.



MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: Actually, Madam Speaker, I wonder if the member would entertain
a question.



MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry, I thought it was a point of order. You are being asked if you would
entertain a question.



MR. CHISHOLM: No. I certainly encourage the member for Hants East to jump in on this debate but
I have 15 minutes and I am going to say my piece and he can have an opportunity at some other point to say
his piece.



Madam Speaker, the concern I have that I am trying to express is that this government and the federal
government and the Tories before them and the Reform Party, in the completely focused attention on the
deficit, regardless of consequences, we may look back in 5 or 10 years time and wonder why did we cut out
those programs and those parts of our society which bind us together, in terms of the provision of health care,
in terms of education and in terms of social services for people most in need, that make our country and our
province as special as it is?



We have watched over the past two years to see what this Liberal Government is going to do, in terms
of making good on their commitments to rural Nova Scotia. As in so many areas, Madam Speaker, we found
this government’s actions sadly lacking, in terms of meeting up with the rhetoric during the election
campaign.



We all recognize the fact and many of us recognized the fact during the election campaign in 1993 that
we had to deal with the fiscal crisis facing this government. We didn’t make outrageous promises to the people
of Nova Scotia in order to try to buy their votes, Madam Speaker. The New Democratic Party said then that
we had to start working together to come up with some answers, to deal with the fact that government budgets
are shrinking, to deal with the fact that there is a continuing crisis in the resource sector that has been oh so
important to the economy of Nova Scotia, that we need to begin to come up with strategy that would facilitate
local communities, from one end of this province to the other, to come forward with their strategies to develop
not only their community but also their economy, to create jobs and to create some sustainability, because the
reality has been over the past 10 years that there has been a real decline in income in most, if not all, of the
rural communities in Nova Scotia as well as all of Atlantic Canada.



Even for those people who do have jobs and have been earning an income, the value of that money
unfortunately, Madam Speaker, has been decreasing and that is a problem. When you look at the move by the
federal and provincial governments to supposedly reduce the dependency of many on government programs,
unemployment insurance or welfare or other types of training programs, you can see what has happened is
that the pot which the community uses to survive, that people have in order to spend money in their
communities at local stores and to buy services and that sort of thing, is continually shrinking and that is
having a devastating impact on our communities.



What we looked for from this government was some real positive action in the area of maintaining,
if not maintaining, building on the links that the urban parts of this province has with the rural parts of this
province, to try to assist in any way possible rural communities in responding to the serious crisis in the
fishery, in the forestry and in the mining sector. Unfortunately, we have had seen bits and pieces, but what
we have seen more than anything is a reduction in support from the province, not in terms necessarily of
money but in terms of jobs, in terms of services that are available in the rural parts of this province.



It is almost as if they are saying what John Crosbie the former federal Minister of Fisheries, said to
Newfoundlanders four or five years ago when he said if there is nothing to do in Newfoundland, if there is
not enough fish or whatever, then get the hell off your behinds and go to central Canada or go to Alberta.
Well, that is not good enough. That is not what was promised in the election of 1993 and that is not what we
wanted to hear. We have to work to ensure that we have a vital rural part of this province, not just in the
southwestern end but also in the northeastern end, in Cape Breton and in order to do that when you can
maintain some of the things that make our rural communities special, make them important, make them vital.



The important thing there is jobs. As the provincial government continues to cut and slash public
sector jobs and services in the rural communities without coming up with some kind of alternative strategy
to replace those, or as the Minister responsible for the Economic Renewal Agency would talk about in terms
of backing in from the private sector unless those kinds of strategies are intertwined, then you are going to
find that there is a real devastating impact and that is a problem, that is something that I think most Nova
Scotians are very disappointed about with this government.



An issue that came up today is an issue that I brought up in the past and it was that, during the election
campaign, the Liberal Party talked a lot about decentralizing public sector jobs into other parts of the
province. Since the election, they have made some significant commitments in areas like Amherst, like Cape
Breton, that there would be a decentralization of jobs, that the government would see that public sector jobs
would be moved from the urban area, some to rural parts of the province including Amherst and Cape Breton.



The specific example that was raised this afternoon was the promise by two Cabinet Ministers that jobs
would be moved to Amherst to replace the loss of 75 jobs as a result of restructuring in the Department of
Education. What we have seen ever since that announcement was made prior to Christmas is this government
back-pedalling on that kind of commitment. The concern is either they have a policy on this, either they are
committed to doing this kind of thing or they are not. When asked, specifically, here in the House, the Premier
said to me, Madam Speaker, with respect to a policy on decentralization, that he is not particularly committed
to that idea and he did not know if they were going to follow through with any of that kind of strategy.



Well, I think that causes some concern. (Interruption) Yes, Madam Speaker, I have said this very
clearly, as have other members of the New Democratic caucus and our Party, that we see some very important
advantages to decentralizing public sector jobs to other parts of this province. We have said that that has to
be done in a logical and a planned fashion in close consultation with the union representing the Nova Scotia
Government employees. It can be done. We have said that. This government said that when they were running
for election trying to buy votes, but, as usual, they have failed to follow through.



There has been a very successful community economic development model in this province over the
past three years. It is called Community Futures, Madam Speaker. In three areas of this province, it has been
particularly successful, the Inverness-Richmond area, Guysborough and in Shelburne. There has been a
decision, specifically by this province, as well as the federal government, but it has taken the active
involvement of the former Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency to basically dismantle that program
and replace it with something else which basically appears to merely fit the needs of the government to be able
to control services that are going to be offered to communities in the regions.



In other words, what they have done, instead of taking a number of community economic development
models across the province, what they have done is they have amalgamated them into 12 easily organizable
units. The problem with that, and I will conclude with this, has been that there has been absolutely no
connection from one program to the other and, as a result, a lot of hard work, a lot of good projects and good
programs have been allowed to basically fall through the cracks.



That is criminal, Madam Speaker. That is not showing any indication of a commitment to community
economic development and dealing with the problems of our coastal communities in the Province of Nova
Scotia surviving the economic crises of our day. Thank you.



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Eastern Shore.



MR. KEITH COLWELL: Madam Speaker, I would like to first start off by indicating that I represent
a rural community and I am extremely shocked, actually, that the Opposition Party would bring this resolution
to the floor. Based on their past history of job creation and employment in the rural areas, I am indeed very
shocked. But what has to happen when you have something that is sick and not working properly, it has to
be changed and it has to be changed in a major way.



The resolution goes on to say, what happens to our youth and what does our youth do? Well, I can tell
you in my riding what they did. They moved out for the last 15 years before our government took office and
I will tell you why they moved out. They moved out because of a very poor infrastructure program that was
in place to create employment and, basically, all the employment did was create a few offices, a few secretarial
jobs and a few people that collected a big salary and accomplished absolutely nothing.



It just so happened that all these people were members or supporters of the past government. That is
quite a coincidence, actually. It got so bad at the last going off and I will draw your attention to one example.
A student had a summer job which was needed to go to university, a young lady in my riding. She was
scheduled to go to work on Monday morning. On Sunday evening, she got a call from the MLA in the area
who told her that she was not going to go to work the next Monday morning, however, someone else did that
was a political friend. So that young lady’s hopes of going to university were sort of badly dashed. It is just
really sickening to see these sorts of things happen. You see the infrastructure people and the infrastructure
was in place before, people blowing the horns about the fantastic job they have done and all the great things
they have done. I have already referred to the offices and the secretaries and the fat salaries with little or no
results.



[4:30 p.m.]



Many people came to me just after the election, in dire straits, looking for welfare and indeed it is a
very sad and sorry story. I often wondered when these people were still continually telling me what a great
job they were doing, where they were and how they were helping these people that really wanted to work and
did not want to collect welfare. Well, I guess I got my answer over the past two years in seeing the improper
job that was really being done.



You know, I guess the old adage, throw a whole pile of money at it and the problem will go away, was
the attitude that the last government worked at and worked with and as we can see by the deficit that was
generated that is exactly how they approached everything that happened. As a result of that, has left no
latitude at all for our present government to do anything, to really have a positive impact on the economy
although we are making significant improvements. Even though we have no money to work with now, there
is significant hope and significant improvement.



We have seen a debt, that was 125 years ago, from about $500 million grow to $9 billion in the 15
years of power, Tory rule. Just imagine 125 years and you have $0.5 billion or less of debt and in the following
15 years you generate another $8.5 billion, and it is almost inconceivable. Unfortunately, those young children
that we are talking about here today are going to have to pay that debt and probably their grandchildren too.
It is a pretty sad story. Again, a reckless situation of throwing money at the problem and hoping it goes away.
It sure does not work.



I will give you an example of one of my communities here that has been under the thumb and under
the control of total political patronage from the past government over the years and how things have changed.
In the area of Sheet Harbour we have seen the local MLA at the time, a councillor and one business person
literally control everything that moved in the riding including the board of trade and the Lions Club, you
name it they controlled it. If you were not a part of that group, you had no hope of a job and would never get
a job. I can tell you that the people of that community are now taking control of their own destiny. We have
seen an improvement. We have seen a new merchants’ association formed, a new board of directors of the
board of trade; we have seen a new direction in the Lions’ Club. It is pretty disgusting when you think about
a Lions’ Club being politically influenced, I mean, that is disgusting.



It is no wonder that the young people all moved out of our communities and had no hope of a job. If
you did not have the right political stripe at that time, you definitely did not get a job and that has changed
with our government and I am very pleased to say that.



Again, on the issue of economic development. I just recently received a report from one of the
development agencies which was set up by this wise past government. It indicated that there were 42 new jobs
saved in the lobster fishery. Well unbeknownst to them, I guess, the lobster fishing industry is a closed market.
There are no new licenses. So, therefore, they must have just financed some people to buy licenses that would
have been bought anyway. So, I do not call that job creation. I just call that passing the buck and not a very
good investment.



I had a call recently from one of the local councillors outside of my area in a very big panic. Evidently,
some of the development agency monies are going to be dropped off and cut off by the Federal Government
and he was in a big panic to make sure that all these very valuable people kept their jobs. Well, the questions
that my constituents asked me, those people may have jobs, but where are our jobs? I think the job and a job
to an individual in a rural area or in a municipal area is very important, probably the most dedicated thing
you can get, the most precious thing you can have today. It allows you to educate your children, feed your
family and do all the things that a family should be doing.



It really makes you wonder how they can get here today and tell us what a great job they have done
and how bad a job we have done. You just have to look at the numbers to tell what kind of a great job they
did. Sixty thousand people who were unemployed and it is hard to believe that they can stand here and say
these things and that was in May 1993. Look at 1994, the province’s economy grew by 2.3 per cent and Nova
Scotia recorded the third highest employment growth rate in Canada, has more than 12,000 new jobs were
created. Unemployment fell from 14.7 per cent in 1993 to 13.3 per cent in 1994. I would say we are getting
the job done.



It is pretty bad when you go in a rural area and someone comes up to you with tears in their eyes and
says, I have no hope, I have no job and what can I do? I am telling you, it is a pretty disgusting thing to see,
especially when you know the people and you know the people are very hardworking and honest people. If
the economy has been destroyed so badly that people like that have no hope, where can we go? We have to
start rebuilding and re-energizing the whole economy.



I will give you another example of something that horrified me during the election. I talked to many
people during the election campaign and they indicated they would support me, however, they would
definitely not be able to tell anybody they were doing that, they wouldn’t be able to put a sign on their lawn
or do anything else. I will tell you the reason for that, they believed - and based on the past record - that they
would lose their job if they did happen to have a job and if they didn’t have one, they would never have a hope
of getting one and that is the story we inherited, pretty scary stuff.



They sound more like a terrified population rather than a people with hope. I think we are starting to
restore the hope and I think we have a long way to go, because there has been a lot of damage done. And as
I say, if the past government called what they had in place infrastructure, I would like to know what they
interpret with economic development, because it sure wasn’t economic development.



If this province is going to prosper, we really have to prosper in all areas of the province, in the rural
areas, in the cities and the towns. We have to generate and develop that business and businesses one at a time.
We can no longer have government just creating jobs to put someone to work because they are a friend. Those
days are gone by and as you can see by the deficits and debts that have been racked up, we can no longer
afford it. Indeed, we need real, solid jobs, jobs that will be here, jobs in the private sector and jobs that really
generate tax dollars and tax revenue for the province, so we can move forward and provide the services that
are so badly needed by our citizens.



In the past, we have seen the past government solve things by giving everybody a grant. I can show
you several houses that had new businesses started in them, give them a grant to expand their homes and at
the end of the day, they had a nice addition on their home but no new business. That happened over and over
again. I was really pleased to see that the province, under our government, eliminated these grants. They will
lead to longer and more prosperous economic development in the Province of Nova Scotia.



Nova Scotia is going to win and Nova Scotia is going to be one of the leaders in Canada indeed. We
have a long hard road, we have inherited a tremendously difficult situation. That situation must be addressed
and corrected. If we don’t correct this situation and take the hard and fast measures that are going to be needed
to do that, we will never prosper and unfortunately our children and our grandchildren will pay the price, as
they have already and will continue to do, until this situation is corrected.



I did note by the honourable member, who moved the motion here, that yesterday, only yesterday in
his debate, in the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne, actually paid our government some pretty
good compliments here and I was surprised again that he brought this forward. He credited our Minister of
Fisheries, the Honourable James Barkhouse, and I will quote from there, “The Minister of Fisheries knows
very well that he has on his staff a very fine group, a dedicated group of people, who although not large, in
a very innovative way give tremendous, indeed invaluable assistance to the smaller companies in this province
who want to market their produce throughout not only North America but, indeed, the world.”.



I think that says something, even from the Opposition, that we are going in the right sort of direction
and we are continuing and working on the positive things and taking away the negative.



I also notice here, in the same debate in Hansard yesterday, that in the honourable member’s riding
that brought the motion forward the harbour is badly silted. It goes on in Hansard to say that, “. . . the
Government of Canada embarked on a very aggressive and ambitious program to bring that harbour up to
snuff.”. I think that is terrific. It looks like we are going in the right direction. That should have been done
maybe 30 years ago.



That program is coming close to completion and we are very hopeful that we will serve as a catalyst.
Indeed, it has been continued by the government in Ottawa, the Liberal Government, and I think it is a great
thing. I feel that it is a good thing that this was brought today to the people of Nova Scotia because I think
that the very difficult times we have inherited have to be corrected. We need bold, new approaches to these
problems and we are going to have to find very good, positive solutions, to make sure that Nova Scotians do
have jobs, and not just for a short, three or four month period, but that we have jobs for a year, five years, 10
years and 20 years into the future and the real economic growth areas that will be maintained in this province
and into the future.



Madam Speaker, I am, indeed, very optimistic about my riding. I have three industrial parks. One of
my constituents one time said about one of them in particular that we would have been better off if we had
taken a half-ton truck and thrown $20 bills out the back and driven down the No. 7 Highway, and I would
tend to agree with him. However, that is changing and we are on the road to recovery. Indeed, in the next few
months, that park will show and be prosperous and help people to get employment on the Eastern Shore.
Thank you.






MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Madam Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to rise and
address for a few minutes the resolution presented by my colleague, the honourable member for Queens. He
quoted the Inverness Oran editorial, entitled Rural rape. The message that editorial is sending to this
government, and its Liberal counterpart in Ottawa, is loud and clear. The message to the government is, listen
up.



You know, I was intrigued as I listened to the previous speaker, my friend the member for Eastern
Shore, he talked about the previous government that had a few people with big salaries. Along the way he
talked about some of those salaries paid to people connected with the previous government. I wonder if that
same member has had a look in the last little while at the salaries which, by any Nova Scotian standard, would
be considered to be high, if not obscenely, extremely high, for the likes of people like Bob MacKay and David
Harrigan and Heather Robertson.



How about the Chair of the Gaming Commission? How about Dr. Dan Reid, friend of the minister who
is going to look after the doctors? How about the settlement - unnecessarily so settled - with Judge Albert
Bremner for 17 months and $125,000? How about the Premier’s Office having spent 50 per cent more than
was spent in the previous Premier’s Office? (Interruption) How about twice the expenditure of the previous
Premier’s Office?



How about the $50,000 untendered contract with the Berkeley Group, which the Minister of Health
won’t acknowledge that he signed, the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency won’t admit he signed, the
Minister of Supply and Services won’t admit he signed but yet the taxpayer is out $50,000 and we have not
yet seen anything of any positive nature being done relative to all of that in the Department of Health?



So I think, Madam Speaker, and I have said this before, what many members of this government have
failed to understand is that the result of May 1993 meant that you, Madam Speaker, and all of those who are
your Liberal colleagues here in this place, have had the responsibility to govern for two years and all the
rhetoric we get is to point fingers at things that went on previously. Well, I think more and more Nova
Scotians have long since come to the conclusion that they are looking at this government for some positive
action and the time for finger-pointing to a former day is long since gone.



[4:45 p.m.]



The editorial which prompts this resolution, I think, says it in very large measure. The editorial
describes the growing sense of despair felt by rural Nova Scotians, as rural Nova Scotia sees what little
government infrastructure is left in their towns, and what little is left is vanishing. The infrastructure, Madam
Speaker, which in so many cases helps sustain Nova Scotia’s smaller communities and contributes to their
economic viability is - if you travel this province, and I have greatly - disappearing, and fast disappearing.
The truly scary thing about it is that we have not heard so much as a whimper from the members on the
government side of the House. The silence is absolutely deafening.



What happened I wonder, Madam Speaker, to 30-60-90?



AN HON. MEMBER: What was that again?



MR. DONAHOE: There is an echo in here, is there? What happened to 30-60-90?



AN HON. MEMBER: It ended after 90 days.



MR. DONAHOE: It sure did end after 90 days and not to the benefit of any of the rural Nova Scotian
communities.



AN HON. MEMBER: It was 30-60-nothing.



MR. DONAHOE: What happened to community economic development? That was the rubric. You
know, it is interesting, when members of the Opposition benches talk about economic development issues the
Minister of Supply and Services perhaps wants to get into the debate. Does he want to take the floor?



MADAM SPEAKER: Don’t be distracted by rabbit tracks.



MR. DONAHOE: It is interesting, isn’t it? Now that I am on the floor, the Minister of Supply and
Services has all kinds of information. Twenty minutes ago, when we asked him questions about his ministry,
he had no information. (Interruption)



MADAM SPEAKER: Order.



MR. DONAHOE: It is interesting, too, Madam Speaker, when members of the Opposition benches,
myself included, speak a little bit about economic development initiative that we are greatly helped, on
occasion for instance, by the heckling from the Minister of Natural Resources. (Interruption) A great minister.
He loves to take shots at us when we are up talking about economic development.



But I would like to ask, in counterpoint to the heckling we get from him when we talk about economic
development, where is the Minister of Natural Resources when we ask him; where is the new forestry
agreement? All we get is gobbledegook and we have no idea and no reason to think that we are anywhere
closer to a new forestry agreement now than we were many months ago. A forestry agreement, as I know you
know, Madam Speaker, is so vitally important to the lifeblood of the infrastructure and the economic well-being and development of rural Nova Scotia.



Madam Speaker, 30-60-90 and community economic development have all of a sudden disappeared
from the Liberal Government’s vocabulary, along with its promise of jobs and prosperity for everyone. Like
Saul on the road to Damascus, this government has had some kind of a dramatic conversion; somehow it came
to the conclusion that in order to build Nova Scotia, it first had to level it.



Let’s take away the government-supported infrastructure. Let’s create governing boards and agencies.
Let’s shut down small-town Nova Scotia and we will not have to worry about community economic
development or jobs for rural Nova Scotia at all. Not only that, Madam Speaker, we will not have to be
accountable, says the government, the monstrous boards and agencies we will create will make the decisions
and they will take all the heat. (Interruption)



AN HON. MEMBER: We’re cutting the boards.



MR. DONAHOE: Cutting the boards . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: Sure, can’t you count?



MR. DONAHOE: Yes, we’re cutting the boards to centralize them away from the people who need
their service and who need access to them. That is what we are doing. Let’s shut down small-town Nova
Scotia. That is what is happening and the people will have to come to the city where they can live in a high-rise and they can work in this government’s casino.



Is this the government’s answer to Nova Scotians, too many of whom are out of work and too many
of whom are out of hope? Madam Speaker, 22 months ago this government, which looked Nova Scotia square
in the eye, and said that we have all the answers; you and your colleagues, toured the province saying you had
all the answers. Now I suggest that it is time to stand up and be answerable to the people of Nova Scotia to
whom, particularly in rural Nova Scotia, you made those promises. The government has got to be answerable
to the people to whom it made those promises and it promised the sun and the moon. It has in fact delivered
a black hole, a black hole that rural Nova Scotians are finding themselves falling into. The only people the
Liberal sun shines down upon in this province these days are the high profile Liberal powerful friends of the
Premier.



Rural Nova Scotians are not only falling into this black hole, the government is giving them a push.
Instead of seeing this government’s plan for community economic development, rural Nova Scotians are
seeing this government’s plan for community extinction and destruction. The same acronym I might note, but
with something of a very different twist.



Madam Speaker, this government delivered a discussion paper on ways to position Nova Scotia as a
nature tourism destination. A reasoned and sensible approach for tapping into our tremendous and largely
untapped tourism potential. A way, said the paper, to reach out to our smaller communities, especially our
coastal communities which are devastated by the collapse of the fishery. A way to throw a lifeline to our
smaller communities which are desperately searching for something to hang onto.



Madam Speaker, are those ads promoting Nova Scotia as a nature tourism destination now going to
run along side the come to Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada’s answer to Atlantic City ads? The contrast in the
two images could not be more marked and it could not be more obvious and this will not be lost on those who
want to come and who in very large numbers in the past have come, to Nova Scotia to escape the glitz and
the glitter and the flash not to mention the crime that accompanies casino gambling in every other place in
which it is practiced.



Nova Scotians are watching the magic and the mystery of this Liberal Government. The magic, the
jobs and the prosperity it promises is all of a sudden a mystery. Very much like: now you see it, now you don’t.
Your school board, your hospital board, your local government: now you see it, now you don’t. Your hospital,
your court-house, your assessment office, your registry office, your forestry depot, your wildlife park: now you
see it, now you don’t. The magic and mystery of this Liberal Government must be spellbinding for the
members of government on the government side of this House. It really must be spellbinding because it, as
you have noticed, has left virtually all of them utterly speechless.



Madam Speaker, I represent an urban constituency blessed with hospitals and universities and
government jobs. A constituency that is economically diverse and even with all of its economic advantages
over many other communities and constituencies across this province there are still far too many thousands
of people unemployed or under-employed in that constituency. Rural Nova Scotians see little hope in coming
to the city even with its blackjack tables and its slot machines. They see little or no hope for their communities
in anything that this government has said or done since being elected almost two years ago.



My colleague, the member for Queens had it right, I say to you, Madam Speaker, when he said it was
like a double betrayal. Like mail-order fraud this government told Nova Scotians that they would win a major
prize if the Liberal Government was elected, but the deal has soured because not only are rural Nova Scotians
not getting what they were promised - the jobs -they are losing those jobs and they are losing the ones that
they have. The real kicker is that along with this they are losing their services and local governments. “Rural
rape” is the title of the item in the newspaper. It is a perfect description, I think, Madam Speaker, for the
misguided remedy this government has prescribed for curing Nova Scotia’s fiscal and financial woes.



Madam Speaker, time and time again we hear this government saying the information highway is the
way of the future. We hear this government say the information highway is paved with gold and it will bring
prosperity to our province. Yes, we have heard that repeatedly since this government took office.



Madam Speaker, the Oran editorial asks a very legitimate question, that is, will rural Nova Scotia have
any hope of securing some of the jobs that this government promises will result from this electronic highway.
Will the information highway include any off-ramps to the job-starved parts of rural Nova Scotia? Or will it
be a one-way street that bypasses rural Nova Scotia? If, by chance, Madam Speaker, the information highway
does move into rural Nova Scotia, will there be anything left there in rural Nova Scotia? Any schools, any
hospitals, any court-houses, any government offices, any services to support it?



Madam Speaker, the people of rural Nova Scotia are demanding to be heard and the government better
listen up, before their despair turns to rage. Thank you, Madam Speaker.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Madam Speaker, I, too, welcome the opportunity to take part in the debate we are
involved in this afternoon. As I do, I would certainly like to say that I appreciate the fact that the member for
Queens has brought this resolution to the floor for consideration this afternoon. I would especially like to
commend my colleague, the member for Halifax Atlantic, for the excellent remarks and insights that he
provided earlier in the debate.



Now, Madam Speaker, I must say, however, when I was listening to a number of the other speakers
that I was left with the impression, by and large, that I am wondering who is trying to play Pontius Pilate
harder? Who was trying to wash their hands of responsibility to a greater extent? We had, for example, the
former government member speaking and saying that this is not their responsibility, that we should not talk
about the failures and things that went on prior to two years ago because that is in the past and, therefore,
former government members of the Official Opposition don’t have any responsibility for the problems facing
rural communities today.



Then we had the one member so far of the government caucus speak, and other interjections by way
of helpful heckles across the floor, from many members of the government basically saying we can’t do
anything, it is not our responsibility because of all the problems left by the former government with respect
to debt.






I would suggest, Madam Speaker, that indeed, we should be looking at this. We should be trying for
a time, doing what Nova Scotians would expect, and try to analyze clearly what is actually happening and to
work together in a non-partisan, non-political way, to try to find some realistic solutions for the problems
facing rural Nova Scotia today.



Madam Speaker, we should be looking at Nova Scotia in a holistic way. The Minister of Health talks
about the holistic approach when you are talking about health care. The Minister of Education talks about that
with respect to education. But that is not the approach we see being followed, quite the contrary. In fact, it
was very telling what the Minister of Education actually said in Antigonish during one of his first, in fact the
first of his public consultations on education restructuring, where the Minister of Education said that one of
the reasons there was a need to restructure and to amalgamate school boards was because of the amalgamation
of metro governments in Cape Breton and in the Halifax metropolitan area. He pointed out that that was
necessary, so that we would have a strong economic unit to drive the province.



[5:00 p.m.]



Well, Madam Speaker, I look at the province as a whole. Quite frankly, if you have a weak or a sore
foot or a shoulder or arm or whatever it is that is not well, none of the body is well, as such. We have to be
developing programs and services to ensure that meaningful economic development takes place at the
community level, from the northern tip of Cape Breton to the very southern edge of our province. But that is
not what we are seeing happen.



I take a look at the Speech from the Throne and I see, Madam Speaker, that your predecessor in the
Chair is a former Deputy Speaker and now that he has assumed a Cabinet responsibility, he has also assumed
the responsibility, obviously, of a Cabinet Minister of taking active part in the providing of heckling across
the floor. I want to assure him that although he is just but a new minister, he has been able to assume that
mantle and carry out that function as well as his more seasoned colleagues on that floor.



MADAM SPEAKER: Try not to be side-tracked.



MR. HOLM: Madam Speaker, the Speech from the Throne that we had before us just a matter of a few
days ago contained absolutely nothing in the way of a vision, a vision that this government saw for the
Province of Nova Scotia and virtually nothing in the way of a strategy as to try to achieve that healthy vision.



Madam Speaker, what we have seen happening is that in the name of so-called reform, this
government has clearly, yes, been setting about on a restructuring program, but a restructuring program that
is not aimed at meeting the community economic needs and the social needs across the province, but rather
then only trying to meet its own political, fiscal targets that it has set for itself in time for the date down the
road, whether that be a year or two years from now.



Not once in that Throne Speech did this government make any reference whatsoever to the $385
million cut that is coming down from their Liberal colleagues in Ottawa to Nova Scotia over the next three
years. Cuts that will have a major effect upon health, education, community support programs from one end
of the province to the other, but which will have the greatest impact on our rural communities. When we take
a look at what this government has been doing, it is quite obvious that they have but one focus, one thing in
mind and, yes, they are correct in that the deficit is a problem and that it has to be addressed. But, the only
ways to address the deficit are not, (1) to blame the Official Opposition and, (2) to simply cut and slash.



Deficits can be measured in many ways. We have, yes, a real fiscal problem in the Province of Nova
Scotia. New Democratics have recognized that you have to have spending under control. That is why, for
example, earlier today I was, again, after the Minister of Supply and Services, as I have after his predecessors
and as I did after the former government, Madam Speaker, gone after the government to ensure that we have
proper, fair tendering practices in the Province of Nova Scotia, so that we stop wasting money filling certain
peoples pockets while the government is turning around and picking the pockets of others. That money,
Madam Speaker, would have been better spent providing and ensuring that the infrastructure programs that
are so crucially needed in our rural communities would be maintained and, in fact, enhanced.



When we are talking about infrastructure programs, I am not only talking about roads and how much
asphalt you can lay down. There are all kinds of infrastructures that impact upon some of the other deficits
as well, the human deficits which this government tends to put blinders on for. People and communities are
not just units. They are real, live, breathing, bleeding people. What’s happening to our rural communities in
terms of infrastructure? Health care reform indeed needed to be done, but have we had put in place some
meaningful, comprehensive home care programs to provide the services that are going to be necessary in those
rural communities when those hospital beds were cut and hospitals closed? Are they there? I would suggest
that they are not. (Interruption)



The Minister of Health points to one or two examples, Madam Speaker, as certain pilot projects. What
about in education? We are having amalgamation of school boards which will mean that the major decision-making bodies of education will be farther removed from the communities. Why is that necessary? Again, the
Minister of Education pointed out, in Yarmouth, that a major reason why the small school boards are in fiscal
trouble, are in economic danger right now, was because of this government’s policy and plan last year to bring
in early retirement.



What about all of the other programs as well, Madam Speaker, which are being cut from the rural
communities? If we do not have those programs and services, then businesses will not be attracted and people
will not be coming to bring and create employment in those areas.



What about commitment to decentralize government jobs, as my colleague has said? That’s been a
long-standing commitment, I know, of our Party. In fact, the Minister of Finance, when he first sought office
back in 1988, was promising that jobs would be brought, as a result of decentralization, to the Island of Cape
Breton, government jobs. We have long argued in support of that. If that is done, then the economic benefits
that flow from government will be spread throughout the community and will help to generate and create even
more employment and health in those areas, Madam Speaker. (Interruption)



Now, I hear the Minister of Transportation trying to be helpful. Maybe he is going to suggest that the
Liberal caucus office will move down in that area, Madam Speaker. I do not know if the community up there
would necessarily like to have that inflicted upon them, but they would like to have meaningful, good jobs
brought into their communities.



Where are the government’s jobs? Where is the government’s vision? Where is the government’s plan
to try to support and to encourage alternate economic development? Where are their plans to be helping the
communities to devise and to develop their own strategies and for this government, then, to provide planning,
some funding and research to help those communities get those viable projects up and going, from one end
of the province to the other.



You can go to rural community after rural community, especially along the coast, and you can count
the houses and see who owns them and see how many of those homes are owned by come-from-aways, as they
say in certain places, Madam Speaker, where those homes are now simply being used by people for summer
homes or retirement homes. But the people who used to live in them and who had been employed in those
communities are gone. Those are gone.



Now, I am getting a lot of helpful comments in the way of heckles from government members opposite.
I sincerely hope that members of the government benches will prove that I am just being cynical, prove that
I am being just totally negative and that they do, in fact, have a clearly defined agenda and vision as to how
they are going to set out and work to improve the economic life and conditions in rural Nova Scotia. That has
yet to be provided. It does not exist. Nor, quite frankly, Madam Speaker, has this government shown any
indication that other than in the most superficial way, for political reasons, that they are willing to work with
the communities in a sustained way to develop sustainable economic development from one end of this
province to the other. I hope that government members will stand in their place and provide that clear, solid
explanation and vision on the floor during this debate this afternoon. Thank you.



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.



MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Madam Speaker, I would like to start with a quote and the quote says, It
was once so simple. I will repeat that again, because I think it sets the tone. It was once so simple.



Earlier, in today’s debate, we heard the Leader of the Opposition saying that people should not be
continually reminded of their past. I can understand why that Party would be very sensitive to their past. I had
to reflect on what was said by the honourable member when the member said that maybe our government was
unable to fulfil jobs and could not deliver. If I ever could think of a group that could not deliver, that probably
had something amputated and maybe it was their head, it was the previous government. Because they rarely
came here, to begin with, in this House to work and here we are through our third session in this Legislature
and we are producing results.



Madam Speaker, the changes that our government has brought forth certainly have caused concern
for those public employees that are involved, but I think it is important to take a look at part of this resolution
and this resolution says, steps must be taken to strengthen Nova Scotia’s communities and deliver new hope.
I think it is important that there are examples of where this government is attempting to strengthen our
communities and produce hope.



But let’s go back and talk about that Tory record. We have dealt with our employees in a fair way. We
have dealt with our employees when changes come through union agreements. But I can think of one evening
in which the wrecking crew came. They tore down the toll booths. Was there any consultation with anyone?
Does anyone remember? No. Was there any compassion? No. Was there any severance plan that would enable
these people to transfer? Not that I am aware of. Which member of the now Opposition stood up and said to
the Premier, we disagree? Does anybody remember anybody doing that? No.



Now, Madam Speaker, I found it very interesting that the New Democratic Party said, we have had
a long-standing policy on decentralization. I challenge the New Democratic Party to go back and read what
they said when the Nautical Institute was relocated to Port Hawkesbury. Did they support it? Check the record.
Check the position of the now Tory Leader on the transfer of the Nautical Institute to Port Hawkesbury. Is this
New Democratic Party now starting to flip-flop on their positions? At one time, they were for it, now they are
against it. I don’t know.



Madam Speaker, we have heard time and time again today the call for decentralization. Can anyone
name or give us examples of decentralization carried out by the past government that lasted? I looked, but I
could not find any. Maybe they are there. We do have a legacy from the past government, though, of fly-by-night establishments and, unfortunately, throughout Nova Scotia, we have a legacy of empty buildings and
broken promises. That is not the type of economic development that this province wants. That is not the type
of economic development that is going to save our small communities.



Let’s talk about infrastructure, Madam Speaker. In a response to the needs of the rural communities
through the Economic Renewal Agency, a regional development agency has been set up involving the
communities of Canso, Guysborough and St. Mary’s. This is meant to be a transitionary period from the
Community Futures into the Regional Development Authorities. This was supported by all three councils
because they believed this is a way that they could influence and be involved in rural economic development
in a rural area.



Recently, our government has approved funding for the Guysborough communities Community Futures
subcommittee and this will provide a facilitator to help identify and promote economic incentives that the
community at the local level has identified. So this is where a community has identified a need and our
government has responded by saying, yes, community economic development is important.



[5:15 p.m.]



Another thing, instead of the people from our area having to go to the Economic Renewal Agency, over
the last year a Mr. Fred Tibbet has come into the community. He has met with local entrepreneurs and he has
helped them establish business. This is a matter, Madam Speaker, of providing the service where it is needed
for the people.



Madam Speaker, health was alluded to earlier and the impact on hospitals in rural areas and I can only
talk about my area. When the Minister of Health travelled throughout Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury, when
I attended public meetings, the administrator stood up and said, yes we realize there must be a change.
Everyone accepted that. What has happened in rural Nova Scotia and in rural Guysborough County is as a
result of that change, we now have clinics in our hospitals that never existed before. We now have services
that never existed before and this is the way we have to respond to the needs of the people. (Applause)



Madam Speaker, I have had constituent after constituent speak to me and say, we cannot wait until the
new ambulances and the trained personnel are in place. Now, I have to preface this by saying that we do have
with our constituency some very conscientious ambulance operators, but what we want is a standard so if
anyone is hurt anywhere throughout Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury, we know what the equipment is, we
know what the standard is and this is responding to the needs of rural Nova Scotia. I am pleased that we have
a department that is doing that.



Madam Speaker, when the Cashin report on the fishery came down, it was through the leadership of
Jim Barkhouse that this province said that fish plants throughout Nova Scotia must be able to survive as a
business venture and not a committee deciding which plants will close. It is because of that, communities still
have a future. It is important to note that through the federal-provincial governments that over $11.3 million
has been earmarked by the PWAP Program and that has helped over 540 fish plant workers. That is a case
of where the government has responded to a crisis.



I have mentioned job development and the fact that we have personnel from the Economic Renewal
Agency go into the community and meet with the people. I mentioned that in Port Hawkesbury we have
resource people who meet again on fisheries development. For constituencies such as Guysborough-Port
Hawkesbury, the downturn in the fishery indeed has been a challenge. It has resulted in population loss and
we do need a new economic base and that is something we must continue to work for, Mr. Speaker.



I reflect back to the previous government again when we talk about infrastructure. I can remember
sitting in the Canso fire hall with the then Premier Donald Cameron who said, within five years we will pave
Route 16 from one end to the other and it will be a super highway. Yet when we came to power, I do not
think, I remember talking to the Minister of Transportation, could anybody find the commitment, the money
that was set aside for that promise to our community? It was not there. But ever since the election we have
done improvements to highways throughout Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury and we will continue to lobby for
that.



Mr. Speaker, it was mentioned that one of the things that has been changed in our community is the
Goshen Park. I am pleased to see that that community has set up a committee that is looking at alternatives.
There are a few things; I would like to go back to this quote, It was once so simple. It might be interesting to
know to whom that quote is attributed. It was once so simple, referring to how government worked. That is
from the newsletter of the Leader of the Opposition, the honourable Terence Donahoe. If it was once so
simple, why do we have a debt of $9 billion? If it was once so simple, why did they not tackle the issues
affecting rural Nova Scotia? If it was once so simple why do they get upset when we remind them that they
were given a responsibility that they did not carry out. The question I ask, Mr. Speaker, is with that $9 billion,
how much . . .



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the honourable member would entertain a
question.



MR. WHITE: My time is somewhat limited, Mr. Speaker. If there is time at the end, I will consider
that.



MR. TAYLOR: That means no?



MR. WHITE: Mr. Speaker, infrastructure has been addressed. We have put into place programs to
encourage economic development. Through the Economic Renewal Agency we have several projects
underway, through eco-tourism, which will enhance the tourism potential for Guysborough County.



Much remains to be done but to create the false illusion that we, as a government, are doing nothing
for rural areas is incorrect. We are making changes and we do recognize that some of those changes are
difficult.



Mr. Speaker, when this government became involved with Stora Forest Industries, it had a direct
impact on all of Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury. Members will remember that the question was asked, should
we be supporting a multinational company? Should we, as a government, be involved? The answer is, yes,
when it secures employment for an area such as Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.



Mr. Speaker, I want to quote a few facts for you to indicate that there are jobs being created in the rural
areas of Nova Scotia. I want to mention that mining in Nova Scotia is up by 6 per cent, from 3,300 to 3,500.
Logging in our province is up 32 per cent and paper and allied products are up 14 per cent. I think it is
important to note that sales from the forest sector have increased substantially over the years, up 22 per cent
for paper and allied products. The wood industries alone are up 29 per cent, providing employment and
spinoffs to rural Nova Scotia.



It is important to note that the value of mineral production has increased from $570 million to $638
million, up 9 per cent. This will have a positive impact on rural areas. As mentioned earlier in Question
Period today, the potential for offshore development of $2 billion to $3 billion may have a major impact on
Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury but we have to be careful, we have to be sensitive not to raise false
expectations.



Mr. Speaker, another initiative of this government is the Community Business Loan Program. This
is one of the avenues by which our government has responded to small communities. I would like to mention
that to date we have approved 596 projects throughout Nova Scotia, a value of over $7 million. Now the
number of jobs created by this one incentive alone, 1,366. The number of jobs maintained, and maintaining
jobs is as important as creating new jobs, is 868 jobs. The number of new businesses started through this
incentive alone is 456.



Now, Mr. Speaker, one cannot look at this resolution in isolation and not realize that there are steps
that have been taken by this government. We are attempting to address the needs of rural Nova Scotia. I
sometimes ask myself, as I sit here, what could we have done with the $9 billion? How many kilometres of
roads could we have paved throughout this province with $9 billion? How many hospitals could we have built,
with proper thought, not just dropping a hospital someone mentioned the word hospital through Nova Scotia.
How many jobs could we have created with $9 billion?



Mr. Speaker, the greatest injustice that this previous government has left is that 26 cents out of every
dollar that the taxpayers pay to Nova Scotia has been robbed from us because it has to go to pay the debt that
the PC Government left us when we took over this province.



Mr. Speaker, I can understand time and time again why the previous government does not want us to
reflect back on their record. If I had a record like this, I would want no one to remind me. Judgment has been
passed once by the people of Nova Scotia and that judgment was that it just was not good enough. I think it
is important for us as a government to continue to remind Nova Scotians that this Party that presents itself
as the alternative, the question is, some alternative, eh? Who would want to go back to another $9 billion debt,
another credit card mentality that would truly, like the Titanic, sink this province?



In summing up, there are challenges facing rural Nova Scotia. There are efforts underway by this
government to address them and they are producing results, but anyone would be naive to think that all the
problems facing rural Nova Scotia could be solved overnight. In a constituency such as Guysborough-Port
Hawkesbury, the challenges are many and we must continue to look for opportunities that will stabilize our
communities and expand the economic base.



I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to comment on this, and to remind the
Opposition Parties that what you have said in the past will come back to haunt you; you cannot say it one time,
I believe in diversification, and then change your mind.



HON. RICHARD MANN: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. There was an interruption this afternoon.
Introductions went on at some length and since there are approximately 33 minutes left, I wonder if that time
could be divided equally between the three Parties? I know the schedule does not reflect that. It, in fact, leaves
the government with only five minutes at the end, and I would suggest that it be split equally between the
three Parties?



MR. SPEAKER: Well, by agreement, anything can be done.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I think the agreement that was made with the Government
House Leader was that the time remaining after our 15 minutes would be split, but we will see how we go and
we could work something out.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury who is presently on the other side of the House. I sometimes think that members speak on
resolutions without reading the resolution. This resolution is about the destruction of rural Nova Scotia. This
resolution does not deal with what has gone on in the past, it is dealing with what is the present and what is
the future.



If this government, Mr. Speaker, wants to live in the past, so be it. But we are not there with them; we
are moving forward. This government came to power two years ago and they came to power with the promise
of jobs; in fact, I think it was 69,000 jobs.



AN HON. MEMBER: Give or take a few.



MR. RUSSELL: Give or take a few. And when were they going to put those jobs in place, Mr. Speaker?
It was not two years hence, it was 30-60-90. After 30 days, they would have the plan; after 60 days, they
would have the jobs; and after 90 days, they would have the deficit under control and have the plan in place
to take this province into Eden.



Well it did not happen. What this government has done, not to their credit, but what they have done,
Mr. Speaker, is completely and absolutely attempted to destroy the villages and towns and communities in
this province. They have done so by destroying the infrastructure that the member for Guysborough-Port
Hawkesbury was telling us a moment ago was the lifeblood of those small communities.



Mr. Speaker, the other day, when I was speaking in the debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech
from the Throne, I mentioned that people who live in rural areas - in fact, I suppose, all Nova Scotians - can
remember the old westerns and what a town or a village is. (Interruption) Well, if I have that honourable
member behind me, I know I am doing well.






[5:30 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, to have a community you have to have certain infrastructure to form that community and
to maintain that community. In the olden days, it used to be to have a court- house, a sheriff’s office, a bank,
a railroad station perhaps or a place where the stage-coach came in, (Interruption) a horse trough, yes, indeed,
and of course a saloon; and you would have a lawyer’s office and a doctor’s office and a dentist’s office and
a barber shop. Those things all came into place and formed a community. People didn’t have to go down the
road 40 or 50 miles to get those essential things that they needed to make their day. (Interruptions)



The honourable Minister of Transportation and Communications, Mr. Speaker, is just again displaying
where this government really is. They are back in the bathrooms.



SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!



MR. RUSSELL: Now, Mr. Speaker, one of the essential ingredients of this small community is the
court-house. The court-house is necessary, I would suggest to you, because it provides some employment,
certainly for lawyers, but it also helps those who have land transactions to carry out and it also administers
the justice system within that particular community. (Interruption)



The honourable member for Hants East says, isn’t it great that the one in Hants West is safe. Well, the
one in Hants West is not safe.



MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: I said, Hants County.



MR. RUSSELL: Hants County. Well, I don’t know what the honourable member is talking about, Mr.
Speaker, I don’t think he knows himself. We have a court-house at the present time in Windsor which is going
down the tubes because that minister over there has decided to expend a tremendous sum of money.



MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. My friend from Hants West has
questioned as to what I would mean by the court-house in Hants County. Well, it is the Hants County court-house, not the West Hants court-house. It is the Hants County court-house and the east part is half of that
county.



The second part I would like to mention on this point of order, Mr. Speaker, is that I understand the
Minister of Justice announced that that court-house will remain a court- house in Hants County and
congratulations should be made to that minister.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, I fail to find a point of order, although the honourable member has made his
point.



MR. RUSSELL: It is not a very good point. Yes, indeed, that court-house is a part of Hants County,
which encompasses both East and West Hants, plus the municipal units of the Town of Windsor and the Town
of Hantsport. They all paid a certain amount to the Municipality of Hants West, to put that court-house in
place, to maintain it and to upgrade it as it has been necessary over the past several years.



But, what the Minister of Justice is doing is he is removing from that court-house all the court offices.
He is moving the Supreme Court, I thought to Kentville but I understand now it is going to be in New Minas,
which is a very slight adjustment so that we don’t put it into one member’s riding but it goes to some other
member’s riding, by just moving it up the road a mile and one-half or so, Mr. Speaker.



Mr. Speaker, besides the court-house, the other two most important ingredients of a community are
the hospital and the schools. We have been very fortunate in Hants County, in the main, to retain our hospital.
But that has not been the case for the ridings of a number of other members who have lost their hospitals. We
still have our schools but I would suggest to you, under what the Minister of Education is going to do to our
school system, that we become within that community very minor players in what goes on in that school, what
kinds of programs will be taught, what control we will have over what used to be our own school system and
I would suggest that the loss of that control is very important in the maintenance of the community spirit.



Now, we have no argument, or at least I have no argument, with the elimination of the annual
operating deficit that this province is facing. In fact, we were moving in the right direction, I would pass on
to the member in Opposition, we were moving in that direction in 1993. We had started those cuts in
programs. We had started those things with regard to early retirement programs for the Civil Service. Those
were things that were initiatives of the previous government, not the present government. Now this
government is starting to reap the benefit of those changes that we made back in 1993. (Interruption) Well,
the honourable Minister of Education does not like that, but that is the way things go, Mr. Speaker.
(Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: Order please. Order.



MR. RUSSELL: Why not? Every initiative that we were moving forward on, including the one that
was announced today, the metro amalgamation, those were not things that were initiated by your government.
They were not ideas that came from your Cabinet. Those were ideas that came forth from the previous
administration and are simply now being carried forward to fruition.



The only difference, Mr. Speaker, is that whereas this bunch over across the road here have gone ahead
like a bull in a china shop. We were doing it with cooperation and discussion with the people of this province
(Interruption). There is a difference between going out and having a public meeting and listening and then
going and doing your own thing. We went out and met with the people of this province before we initiated
any change. We listened and then we took those opinions and those ideas back to the offices in Halifax and
we changed our legislation, we changed our approach to accommodate the wishes of the community or the
population of this province.



It is very easy, Mr. Speaker, to talk the talk, but it is a lot more difficult to walk the walk, and I would
suggest that this group across the way is not doing that. (Interruption) Well, you only have got to take what
happened just the other day. The Minister of Finance goes out and says to the people, as a whole, give me your
ideas with regard to these regulations and he gets, I do not know, maybe thousands of answers, we do not
know how many, but he got many answers. (Interruption) He got 400 answers and he gets them all and three
days later he has read all those, he’s vetted them all, he has gone through it with his department and ITT, I
suppose and he is ready with regulations to table in the House. What absolute nonsense. How on earth, unless
(Interruption) he must be a speed reader extraordinaire. (Applause) (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: Order please.



MR. RUSSELL: No, Mr. Speaker, there is a difference in approach. There is a difference in how you
consult. There is a difference in how you listen and there is one heck of a difference when you actually
implement. (Interruption)



AN HON. MEMBER: It is a lot easier to close a hospital than open it, that is what you are saying.



MR. RUSSELL: Well, Mr. Speaker, another item that I wish to address under this resolution that we
have before us is the change that took place some considerable time ago when the operations of the boards
of health across this province were turned over to the Department of the Environment. I have absolutely no
argument that that is not the right way to go.



We have in this House, Mr. Speaker, a lot of municipal councillors and I am sure that a large number
of those municipal councillors, in their capacity as municipal councillors have, at one time or another, served
on a board of health. That board of health listens to appeals that were originally brought forward to the boards
of health. They listen to the local input, to what people have to say about why, indeed, they could do things
to make their land, perhaps, acceptable for a septic field or, perhaps, how they could change their premise if
it was a restaurant or something, to accommodate the requirements of the Department of Health to get a
license. They could do those things.



But what has this minister done, Mr. Speaker? He has taken that former board of health and the board
within the Department of Environment and they have removed it from the local area and now the appeal is
going to be to the Minister of the Environment. Now do you know what that does? That means that Joe Doaks
has got a problem getting his septic field approved.



I am sure every municipal councillor has had that phone call in the middle of the night, somebody who
is angry and disappointed because of the fact that they cannot build their house or something because they
cannot get the land perked. Before, they could go down to the local board of health and they could appeal.
They would get a hearing. The people would know the local area; they would probably know Joe Doaks and
they would or would not, based on different premises, either reject or pass that particular appeal to them. But
who on Earth is going to have the opportunity to make that appeal directly to the Minister of the
Environment? Thank you very much.



MR. SPEAKER: Now, if there is agreement that the remaining 18 minutes be split between the New
Democratic Party and the government, it will be 9 minutes each.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure there was any such agreement. I certainly
will try to shorten my remarks to give the government members a few minutes to speak, but I have to say that
if government members had a great deal to say of concern about issues affecting Nova Scotians, it is surprising
to me with 41 members in total that nobody thought it was worth putting in for the late debate to have some
of these issues addressed later this afternoon. So, I don’t want to waste my time trying to imagine why that
would be so when members are so keen to speak, but let me just try to get to the point of the debate.



In essence, as I understand it, the resolution introduced by the Tories is that this Liberal Government
in 1993 sought to displace the Tory Government on the promise that they would revitalize rural communities
in this province and they did so. They gave hope to Nova Scotians, because Nova Scotians were already
reeling from the battering they had been taking from 10 years of the Mulroney Government’s agenda, which
was gutting rural communities, and 15 years of the Nova Scotia Tory agenda that was further annihilating
the infrastructure of rural communities in this province.



It is not surprising that Nova Scotians turned to what they saw as a new hope, a new set of
commitments to revitalize rural Nova Scotia. How disappointed they have been. The Liberal Party, which
promised that community economic development would be the new engine of growth, that that is what would
give hope to youth across this province, that that is what would allow families to be sustained in rural
communities, that that is what would allow seniors to be cared for and be able to remain in their rural
communities with some kind of dignity and some kind of supportive services is down the tubes, out the
window, as this government has not just pursued the same Tory policies that have battered rural communities
but, in fact, have accelerated those policies.



At least, to be fair to the Tories, the Community Futures Program that was in place, was a program
that was capable of being utilized by local communities to try to strengthen their infrastructure and to have
some basis for future development. This government has succeeded in virtually wiping out the benefit of that
program and putting something in place that is not remotely as effective.



[5:45 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, what is that agenda? The agenda is, that if you can figure out how to make a profit off
it, then privatize it and let’s keep it and if you can’t figure out how to make a profit off it, get rid of it. That
is not the value system that most Nova Scotians embrace. They don’t like what comes from it and they are not
at all happy with how much this government has embraced that wholesale and is proceeding even further
down that road. So, people were already reeling from the destruction of postal services, they were already
being adversely affected by the extent to which the public rail system was being wiped out across the province.
Now what do they see? More of the same, only worse and even at a faster pace.



Mr. Speaker, I spent much of the day with the Canadian Pensioners Concerned organization, at their
annual meeting. They raised issue after issue that especially impacts on senior citizens in rural communities
because of the policies of this government, because of the betrayal and the abandonment of the commitment
made by the Liberal Government, that they were going to address the needs and concerns of rural Nova
Scotians and strengthen, not further erode, the community infrastructure. Let me say that it was almost
universally expressed that - notwithstanding the public relations campaign around this government’s supposed
commitment to expanding into a comprehensive, coordinated, home care system - that nothing has happened
to improve that system across this province. That was a very specific commitment made in 1993 to an urgent
matter, that this government said would be a priority.



Nova Scotians are literally reeling from the fact that they are experiencing, especially the elderly and
the sick and the disabled, hospital policies which are resulting in same-day admissions, in early discharge -
all policies that have merit - in more same-day surgery, in earlier release to the community, but in complete
violation of the commitments that were made by this government and the recommendations that were made
by the Blueprint Committee and everybody else who has ever addressed the issue of health care reform, that
the community-based and the home care services must be in place. Because if they are not in place, Mr.
Speaker, what is happening, is that the burden for the care of the elderly and the disabled in our society is
being shifted dramatically onto the backs of those who can least afford to carry the burden. The burden of care
is being shifted from the universal base, through which it was being provided, in an overly institutionalized
system, no question about it, onto the backs of families who cannot afford financially, physically and
emotionally, to carry that burden. That is creating an immense hardship for the people in this province
everywhere and, particularly, in rural areas.



Let me refer briefly to a second issue that was raised again and again today. It was a thread throughout
much of the discussion brought forward by seniors. A great deal of alarm has been generated by, I think,
insensitive and reckless talk about the possibility of bringing in policies with respect to seniors’ rights to drive
vehicles, on the basis of age alone, on the basis of a discriminatory provision that would say when you reach
a certain age, it is no longer safe for you to drive. Mr. Speaker, there is not a shred of evidence that such a
policy is warranted. In fact, we have in this province a Human Rights Act that makes age a prohibited base
for discrimination in the adoption of such policies.



The point was made very well by speaker after speaker that if you want to drive up the health care costs
in this province and if you want to drive up the premature death rate of seniors, you will bring in a policy that
says seniors will not be permitted to drive after they reach a certain age. You will increase their isolation, you
will increase their dependency, you will drive them into institutions and the inevitable outcome of that will
be premature death. (Interruption)



Mr. Speaker, I want to say that I don’t think the government has said clearly that this is what we are
going to do. But this government has generated a great deal of anxiety, of fear and of concern around this
issue by the kind of musings that have been publicly expressed. I challenge the Premier of this province and
the Minister of Transportation, who has been musing on this subject, and the Minister of Health who knows
what the health toll on seniors is going to be if such a policy proceeds, and the Community Services Minister
who knows what the cost of that is going to be to this province if such a policy proceeds, and the minister
responsible for the Human Rights Commission, to all state clearly that no such policy will be inflicted on the
seniors of this province.



Mr. Speaker, that is a policy of concern to Nova Scotians everywhere but it is a particular policy that
would plague and discriminate against seniors in rural communities. I think if this government is serious
about its supposed preventive health care strategy and it is serious about strengthening the infrastructure in
rural communities and it is serious about support for seniors in this province, that it will state a clear policy
that it will not, under any circumstances, introduce an arbitrary, punitive set of restrictions on senior citizens’
ability to drive.



If one’s ability to drive a vehicle is impaired and it can be objectively measured, in terms of loss of
eyesight or loss of motor functions, then everyone of all ages, seniors included, agree that that is a legitimate
basis for restricting one’s right to operate a motor vehicle. But if there are not such objective measures then
it is discriminatory in the extreme and in fact, Mr. Speaker, it is a violation of the Human Rights Act in this
province to start talking about introducing such restrictions on one’s ability to drive a vehicle. (Interruptions)



Mr. Speaker, it is a shame that members who have so much to say on these subjects didn’t think it was
even worth using their time from 6:00 o’clock to 6:30 p.m., which on Wednesdays . . .



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



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, this is from the member who showed up for about 15 minutes
of the whole Assembly today. (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: Well, the honourable member has made his point but I do not find a point of order.



MS. MCDONOUGH: The Government House Leader seems very concerned about whether I have been
sitting at home twiddling my thumbs, with my feet up all day, and I only arrived in the Chamber in the last
three-quarters of an hour. Had he not been absent from his seat for the last 15 minutes, he would know that
I have been at the Canadian Pensioners Concerned annual meeting since 9:00 o’clock this morning until 4:00
p.m. this afternoon, I have heard senior after senior stand up in their place in that forum to say, we are being
battered and bruised and discriminated against by the government of this province on all of these issues.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order the honourable member once again has
deliberately misled the House. She got up and said that I had been out of here, I had been out of my seat for
15 minutes when Hansard will clearly show that I was in here speaking less than 15 minutes ago, asking for
some fairness in splitting the time that was left which obviously she has no respect for that either, Mr.
Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition on a point of order.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: I wonder if the honourable member for Halifax Fairview would take a
very quick question from me?



MR. SPEAKER: All right.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Yes, I will entertain a question.



MR. DONAHOE: I am just curious. The honourable member has been describing her attendance at
the function presented by the Canadian Pensioners Concerned attended by herself and my colleague the
honourable member for Kings West. I wonder if she would be able to tell us whether or not there was any
representative of the Government Caucus at that function?



MR. CARRUTHERS: We were at work. We are here.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview there is one minute left. That is all.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Well, Mr. Speaker, there was not, to my surprise, a single representative of this
government. The meeting started at 9:00 this morning and I think that was a disappointment to the members
of the organization.



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, the Department of Health had a
representative there, it was the Director of Home Care in this province and she was very diligent to be there
and speak on our behalf.



MR. SPEAKER: The point is noted, but it is not a point of order.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I believe that my time has all but expired, but let me just say that
it will be extremely important for the Minister of Health to receive a very thorough briefing from the official
from the Department of Health who appeared at that meeting today in a vain attempt to give assurances to
people that there is anything resembling a proper consultation process taking place with the seniors of this
province with the home care providers of this province, with the people who have been involved in some cases
the VON for 98 years in the delivery of home care services in this province who have yet to be properly
consulted in regard to the whole direction of this new home care system. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.



MR. RUSSELL MACNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I had a wonderful opportunity to listen to all of the words
that have been expressed because we were asked quite often did we read the resolution. My opportunity to
listen to all the speakers, not one talked about the resolution so it is kind of interesting that one of the
(Interruption) resolutions said bigger is better. It is very interesting that bigger is better has been the theme
of the past government and there was a special quote that those who forget their past will be deemed to repeat
it and that is why we should never forget the past and the mover of the resolution who is a great historian
would probably agree with that.



I would just like to mention that the housing starts have been the first in Canada. In the food and
beverage industry we have been way up, the resource industry is one that is coming along so all the people
who have the negative impacts of it.



MR. SPEAKER: The time allotted for the discussion of Opposition Members’ Business has expired.



The honourable the Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, Thursday we will be sitting from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00
p.m. The order of business following the daily routine in Question Period will be the Address in Reply to the
Speech from the Throne. I would move that we adjourn until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



[The House rose at 6:00 p.m.]



NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)



RESOLUTION NO. 52



By: Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax Fairview)



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



Whereas the Cape Breton Post reported on Monday that New Waterford has the highest number of
single mothers per capita than anywhere else in the country; and



Whereas teen pregnancy more often than not results in single parenthood for young women and the
rates of teen pregnancy throughout Nova Scotia are higher than the national average; and



Whereas during the last election the Liberal Party promised that “sex education will be enhanced and
more time and effort will be spent educating all ages about sexuality”;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the Liberal Government to stop jeopardizing the health,
well-being, and the future of our youth, especially the lives of young women by implementing cost-effective,
preventive health and education services for youth throughout the province.



RESOLUTION NO. 53



By: Mr. Robert Chisholm (Halifax Atlantic)



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



Whereas the multinational company Mobil Oil is now actively pursuing the possibility of extracting
natural gas from the seabed area around Sable Island in order to export it by pipeline across Nova Scotia and
New Brunswick to the United States; and



Whereas such a project would be a classic example of extraction of a non-renewable resource, meaning
once it is gone, it is gone; and



Whereas there are also possible serious negative environmental impacts from any such project;



Therefore be it resolved that this House not allow the loss of a non-renewable resource without
ensuring that a full environmental assessment at the highest level of scrutiny is held and unless all steps are
taken to ensure that there are very significant lasting benefits for Nova Scotians and not just short term and
insignificant spinoffs.

 

HOUSE ORDER NO. 9



By: Mr. Donald McInnes (Pictou West)



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



(1) A copy of the signed agreement between the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick Governments
to construct the off-ramp which will lead directly past the tourist bureau at Amherst; and



(2) Copy of the proposed construction schedule of the off-ramp.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 10



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



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



(1) Number of motor vehicle accidents involving seniors aged 65 and over who were driving on
Nova Scotia highways between January 1, 1994 and April 1, 1995;



(2) Number of fatalities and/or injuries of seniors driving a motor vehicle in Nova Scotia between
January 1, 1994 and April 1, 1995;



(3) Estimated cost to insurance companies of seniors aged 65 and over involved in accidents on
Nova Scotia highways between January 1, 1994 and April 1, 1995; and



(4) Number of Nova Scotia seniors aged 65 and over who were recalled for a driving exam between
January 1, 1994 and April 1, 1995.