Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

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HALIFAX, TUESDAY, APRIL 18, 1995



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Third Session



12:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mrs. Francene Cosman






MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We will commence this afternoon’s sitting at this time.



The honourable Minister of Health.



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of personal privilege. During my absence
from the House to attend the Health Ministers’ meeting in Vancouver, the member for Kings West rose in his
place to report expenses that I was supposed to have incurred in carrying out my duties as Minister of Health.
He particularly mentioned expenses for in-province travel totalling, he said, $12,940. He also reported the
costs of the minister’s corporate credit card to be increased tenfold, from $1,000 in 1993 to $9,800 in 1994.
He has also been quoted in press as saying that I received $45 per day stipend for meals during the same
period.



It is distressing, Mr. Speaker, in the extreme, to have a member of this House - a veteran member,
one who has been a Minister of the Crown - imply that I have been careless in fulfilling the trust which I am
privileged to hold, as he did, on behalf of the taxpayers of this province. It is equally distressing to learn on
my return that the Leader of the New Democratic Party has taken up the innuendo and distortions perpetrated
by the member for Kings West.



Surely, as a member of this House - or as a member of the human race, indeed - I should be given
the courtesy of replying at the time these allegations are made. Mr. Speaker, and members of the House, this
timing one must wonder at since the honourable gentleman has had these figures in his possession since at
least February of this year and waits to release them while I am absent from the House on ministerial and
government business.






595

 

The figures released by my department to the honourable member, as he very well knows, were
incomplete. In fact, the only valid accounting, as he too knows, are those compiled by the Department of
Finance and published and reported in Public Accounts. I would refer the honourable members opposite to
the Supplement to the Public Accounts. There they will see quite clearly the state of my expenses. They can
be compared to others, particularly those of the member for Kings West, who, in the fiscal year 1993, was
minister for two months, election months I must add, and accumulated over the year $18,000 worth of
accommodation and travel. Check the record, it is there.



What are the facts in my own case, Mr. Speaker? In short, the honourable member opposite has
concocted a story that is false, in fact, and which does great injustice to me, as a member and as a Minister
of the Crown. I have made every effort to control costs, as a minister. For example, I have combined health
meetings in Cape Breton on weekends, in order to avoid weekday travel, so that my constituency travel
allowance would cover the ministerial duties that I have to carry out, both as minister and then my
constituency duties. Those travel expenses are initially billed as Health Department expenses, because of these
meetings, but are assigned to the MLA account and will be published in the Public Accounts, as given.



By the way, Mr. Speaker, this will reduce the quotes by the honourable member by $12,940. I would
remind him and the members opposite that I live the furthest from Halifax of any member of this place.



More alarming to me is the suggestion by the member that on a ministerial corporate credit card I
have increased billings tenfold, from 1993 to 1994. This is absolutely incorrect. The member should know,
and if he doesn’t he should have better researchers, to know that that first figure is a figure for one month of
the initial credit card billings and the second was the full year. In addition, this card contains all ministerial
travel and costs, including three complete trips in 1994 around this province to speak about the elements of
health reform.



The use of the card allows an accountability and clear identification of ministerial expenses which,
I might add, had not been particularly present in the past. I have done this and will continue to do this.



Most of all, Mr. Speaker, this member implies in the media that in addition to a ministerial expense
account, I received a $45 a day stipend, as all MLAs are entitled to receive. What he does not say is that I
returned this stipend to the public Treasury for each day that corporate card is used. If the honourable member
had had the courtesy to ask while I was in my place and able to give him the information, I would have gladly
provided this information to all honourable members and to those who would ask any further questions of me.
This reimbursement will amount to up to $5,000 in this fiscal year of 1994 when all the accounts are closed.
I am not ashamed of that, because that is my duty, as he has suggested, we all must do our part.



Mr. Speaker, I ask only fairness and accuracy, surely, this is the right of any member of this place.
I have done my best to follow the directives of a Premier who very early on laid it on the line and insisted on
integrity and accountability, particularly in how we spend the taxpayers’ money. In his desire to drum me from
this office, as he announced to the press some time ago, the member for Kings West may certainly believe he
has scored some political points, but he has not done that. He has not done that at all. For by innuendo and
by these false accusations which can be - indeed, could have been - cleared up by me being present in this
House and being able to answer them, which I gladly do today, he has done a great disservice, a disservice
to me, he has brought dishonour to the privileged position we in this place hold, in the service of the people
of this province and we are not well served by these tactics. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, and talking about innuendoes, the Minister of Health
indicated that in two months office I had $18,000 worth of expenditures. I would ask him to prove that,
because it is not true, it is very untrue. He knows that. I will gladly lay out my expense account with his
expense account, any time as Minister of Health.



He said, Mr. Speaker, that I didn’t do my research. Of course I did, and I asked the department, I am
using the numbers from his department. He knew I got the numbers. Why didn’t he give the explanations?
When I go through his estimates and look at the filing of his expense accounts and look at the numbers that
are there, I don’t know what the American credit card was used for or whether the American Express card was
used for one month or 10 months. I have no idea. (Interruptions)



All I know, Mr. Speaker, is that the people of this province want open and to be accountable. This
minister has not been open and he has not been accountable. (Interruptions) He is standing up accusing me
of something that his department put together. If he has got a better process then table the information and
not get up here and ramble and give no more answers than we got when we got this piece of paper.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, it is, indeed, I guess, a sad day when we have to have ministers
and former ministers stand up and fight back and forth across the floor as to whose expenses were or were
not the greatest.



I think the best defence in a situation like this, quite honestly, is always full and open disclosure of
information. I take a look at the guidelines that the Premier tabled in this House almost a year ago in June
1994, in which the Premier said that these guidelines were to be implemented immediately and that the
guidelines are to apply to both the Premier and the ministers to ensure uniform reporting of current monthly
expenses in a place where the public can see the information. What the Premier was referring to was
disclosures that have to be filed on a monthly basis with the Executive Council Office.



My response, as well, to the Minister of Health, if he would read Hansard, was very directly to the
Premier in terms of what is his government’s policy. Is it the government’s policy that all that information
must be disclosed on a timely basis to the Executive Council Office or, and the minister uses as a defence, that
that information evidently shows up in the Public Accounts. Well, Mr. Speaker, showing up in the
Supplements to the Public Accounts some time down the road doesn’t give the full kind of immediate
transparent detailed information that the Premier promised after this issue had raised its place in this House,
approximately a year ago. (Interruption)



The Premier wants to know if I will file mine. Well, Mr. Speaker, the Premier, of course, will know
that unless you are a member of the Executive Council Office, your expenses aren’t filed there. But I will say
to the Premier that I have absolutely no hesitation whatsoever and anybody who wishes and the Premier has
my permission to make my claims public. So, if the Premier doesn’t want to accept that as an answer, or he
can keep filing his cheap shots across the floor. I am saying that my claims are open, that anybody can have
a look at them and certainly your office has my permission to make those expense claims public. I have no
hesitation in that.



[12:15 p.m.]



What I heard from the Minister of Health, which I am sorry he took as a personal attack, because my
questions were aimed at the Premier . . .



SOME HON. MEMBERS: Oh, Oh!



MR. HOLM: . . . as a result of the conflict in the expenses dealing with the Minister of Health, the
statements that he filed with the Clerk’s Office and the freedom of information and I asked the Premier his
policy. To his shame, the Premier would like to direct that away from the matter of the policy issue and aim
it directly at the Minister of Health. This is not an issue that is going to go away. It will not go away until we
have a full and proper, timely accounting of expenses, which the Premier promised.



MR. SPEAKER: I feel that the matter has been sufficiently aired. By that, I mean a-i-r-e-d, not e-r-r-e-d. I will take the matter under advisement, consult with the Clerk and if I have any further observations on
the matter, will report them at a future time.



We will now commence the daily routine.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.



MR. CHARLES MACARTHUR: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition from the residents
of the Deepdale Road, in Inverness County, who are greatly concerned about the condition of the road, and
are asking that a conscientious effort be made this spring to bring this road up to standards. It has been
neglected for a number of years and it is absolutely unacceptable at the present time. It is not only dangerous
but expensive to car owners. I would ask that this petition be tabled. I have signed it. It contains 112 names.



MR. SPEAKER: Very well. The petition is tabled.



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise members of the House that a public
consultation process is being established to help develop a management strategy for McNabs and Lawlor
Islands. The objective is to prepare a strategy that will provide a framework for future development and
management of the islands as a provincial park. I must emphasize that this is just the first of many steps that
will have to be taken before an islands park becomes a reality.



Public input is a crucial element in this planning process and it will be sought through a series of
open houses and public meetings, starting in late May. Times and locations for the meetings are currently
being arranged and will be announced and advertised in mid-May. These sessions will provide an opportunity
for the public to present oral and/or written presentations with respect to the future management of McNabs
and Lawlor Islands. We are especially interested in exploring the potential for partnerships with community-based groups. In fact, community groups are encouraged to bring their partnership proposals forward during
the public meetings in May and in June. A newsletter containing information about the natural and historic
values of the islands and their potential as a park will be available in a few weeks.



In 1975, McNabs and Lawlor Islands were designated as regional parklands under the Halifax-Dartmouth Regional Development Plan and in 1983, responsibility to acquire, manage and develop the islands
as parkland was assigned to the Department of Natural Resources. Today, the province owns approximately
63 per cent of McNabs Island, the federal government owns 36 per cent and the remaining 1 per cent is
privately owned. Lawlor Island is solely owned by the federal government. Lawlor Island and most of the
federally owned lands on McNabs are administered by Parks Canada. The province is currently negotiating
to acquire Lawlor Island and most of the federal land on McNabs. Our objective, Mr. Speaker, is to acquire
and develop these lands at no out-of-pocket cost to the province. We are attempting to do this through a
simple land trade between the province and the federal government.



It is hoped that, over the long term, the islands can be developed as a provincial park. Accordingly,
it is important that we consult with the public now, in order to develop an appropriate long-term management
strategy for the islands.



Public consultation also provides an opportunity to explore potential partnerships with community
or private sector groups interested in the history and future of McNabs and Lawlor Islands.



Proper management will protect the significant heritage resources of these islands and maintain their
integrity as natural settings for outdoor recreation. These Halifax Harbour islands are a priceless resource
within the province’s largest urban area and must be managed with great care and respect.



I encourage public participation in this consultative process. It is clearly a good example of our
government’s commitment to protect the environment and to improve the quality of life enjoyed by all Nova
Scotians. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to respond very briefly to the
Ministerial Statement by the Minister of Natural Resources. I am very pleased that the public consultation
process which he described is about to be undertaken.



I sincerely hope that while he makes reference in his statement that the minister will, in fact, not only
invite organizations such as Friends of McNabs Island and so on to make presentations but will, in fact, invite
them to be partners in the establishment of the strategy, which will provide the framework for the future
development and management of the islands. It occurs to me that if the department - and I am not being
critical of the department or suggesting that it can’t manage it on its own - but I know some of the individuals
and some of the activities of some of the non-governmental organizations which for many years have been
very much involved in making proposals about the long-term development, revitalization and protection of
the environment of both McNabs and Lawlor Islands.



I say to the minister seriously that I would encourage him, as he canvasses this matter further with
his departmental colleagues, that he does ask the question of his colleagues in the department as to whether
or not those non-governmental organizations, Friends of McNabs Island and others, could be involved as a
part of the steps necessary to prepare the strategy rather than simply be presenters after the department has
established the strategy framework.



One other brief comment, I would sincerely hope that the times and locations of the meetings to
which the minister has referred - he says they are currently being arranged and will be announced and
advertised in mid-May - I encourage the minister to ensure that the advertising is as wide as it possibly can
be.



I know that in representing the constituency I do, thousands of people make use in one form or
another of McNabs and Lawlor Islands, particularly in the spring, summer and early fall time. There may well
be many hundreds in the metropolitan region, particularly in my own constituency, who would be very much
anxious to be a part of it.



I have one question and I know we are not in Question Period, but I do wonder why it is that the
province is at present negotiating to acquire Lawlor Island and most of the federal land on McNabs Island?
It would occur to me and certainly it would be my hope - and there may be valid reasons for the federal
government to say no, we want to retain some ownership interest - but quite frankly, it would be my hope that
when all is said and done, the Department of Natural Resources on behalf of the taxpayers of Nova Scotia,
would own all of Lawlor Island and McNabs Island. I would encourage the minister to attempt to have the
government proceed in that fashion.



I see copious references in the notice to public consultation and I sincerely hope that it is well
advertised and held at a time, as I say, I expect many hundreds of people, particularly in the metropolitan
region, will be anxious to offer their views. I compliment the minister on his important announcement this
morning. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and also congratulate the minister
on this announcement. Let me say at the outset that having grumbled the other day about not receiving the
statement in a timely fashion, I did receive this statement in a timely fashion and I appreciate that because
it does give me the opportunity to acknowledge the important statement that is being made here with respect
to the development of these important lands as a provincial park, McNabs and Lawlor Islands. Now that the
Halifax Harbour Clean Up Project is, in terms of the location of the treatment facility on McNabs Island has
been shelved, it is good to see that the plans to develop the park further are going ahead and, of course, the
question of public input and consultation is one that seems to be dealt with in this statement and we would
applaud and certainly encourage that to begin with.



The Leader of the Official Opposition I think made a good point about the inclusion of the Friends
of McNabs Island organization as a partner in the proposed management strategy here. I think that is a very
constructive and positive suggestion, and would suggest that also to the minister.



Again, Mr. Speaker, let me just congratulate the minister on this statement and wish him well and
hope that, in fact, we do and expect that we will get very active and full public participation on such an
important matter. Thank you.



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



Bill No. 7 - Entitled an Act Respecting Certain Financial Measures. (Hon. Bernard Boudreau)



Bill No. 8 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 59 of the Acts of 1989. The Bridgewater Museum
Commission Act. (Hon. Donald Downe as a private member.)



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



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



RESOLUTION NO. 133



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



Whereas April 17th to April 23rd is designated as Organ Donor Awareness Week; and



Whereas agencies and organizations across the province utilize this week to heighten public
awareness for the vital role that an individual could play in saving or enhancing the life of another; and



Whereas hundreds of Nova Scotians - doctors, nurses, transplant teams, hospital boards, families of
the organ recipients and staff - work to sustain the donor program year-round;



Therefore be it resolved that members of this House commend those volunteers who maintain this
vital program, all donors, and those who choose to sign their organ donor card in the hope that they may
someday be able to offer the gift of hope.



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 Leader of the New Democratic Party.






RESOLUTION NO. 134



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



Whereas on June 14, 1994 the Premier tabled a document entitled, Guidelines for Monthly Reporting
of Ministerial Expenses; and



Whereas the guidelines state that, “Ministerial expenses will be reported regardless of the method
by which they are paid”; and



Whereas the Minister of Health appears to have violated the guidelines by submitting incomplete
reports to the Clerk of the Executive Council with the result that an incomplete account of his expenses are
placed before the public;



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier once again direct his ministers to accurately report to the
Clerk of the Executive Council all expenses incurred, whether the method of payment is by credit card, direct
billing or out-of-pocket cash.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Kings North.



RESOLUTION NO. 135



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



Whereas the Liberal Cabinet spent the sum total of five minutes to make the decision to rip $26
million out of Highway No. 104; and



Whereas the Premier claims his Cabinet has spent a lot of time on the question of public/private
partnership and how it would fly; and



Whereas Nova Scotians travelling through death valley will soon be paying a toll as much as $12 a
trip, thanks to Richie Mann’s $26 million backyard diversion;



Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal Government understand that ripping millions of dollars from
highway agreements and making Nova Scotia the first province in Canada to erect tollbooths on the Trans
Canada Highway will not fly with Nova Scotians.



[12:30 p.m.]



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Supply and Services.



HON. GERALD O’MALLEY: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The point of order is that we
have just heard a resolution tabled in this House which is part of the business activity of this House. It is not
Question Period, it is part of the business activity of this House.






The honourable member for Kings West referred to the honourable Minister of Transportation as
Richie Mann. Now the honourable member should certainly know that in any formal dialogue in this House
he must make reference to all other members and colleagues with their formal title.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member’s point of order
referred to the member for Kings West and I don’t believe in my resolution I mentioned the Minister of
Transportation at all.



MR. SPEAKER: He meant to say Kings North, it was an error. The error is on both sides; it was
Kings North, not Kings West, and the honourable Minister of Transportation, not Richie Mann. I would direct
the Clerk to correct the resolution by inserting “the honourable Minister of Transportation”, in place of the
words Richie Mann in the resolution.



The notice is otherwise tabled.



The honourable member for Pictou West.



RESOLUTION NO. 136



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



Whereas the use of the 911 emergency telephone number enhances the ability of emergency response
vehicles and individuals to understand the situations they will have to cope with; and



Whereas Nova Scotians continue to wait for the implementation of a province-wide 911 emergency
telephone number; and



Whereas the lack of a province-wide 911 emergency telephone system recently resulted in an Upper
Stewiacke couple encountering severe difficulties in contacting their local volunteer fire department to assist
in a time of crisis;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation and the Minister of the Environment
make it abundantly clear whether it will be two days or another two years before a province-wide 911
emergency telephone service will be in place that Nova Scotians can count on.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Hants West.



RESOLUTION NO. 137



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



Whereas the game of hockey was first played in Windsor over 200 years ago; and



Whereas the Windsor Junior B Royals continue to make residents in the Town of Windsor and the
Municipality of West Hants very proud of Windsor’s historic hockey tradition; and



Whereas the Windsor Junior B Royals won both the Nova Scotia and Maritime Junior B Hockey
Championships over the Easter Weekend, with victories over Cape Breton and Montague, Prince Edward
Island;



Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature congratulate the players, the coach, the
manager and all those individuals associated with the Windsor Royals during the 1994-95 hockey season for
their tremendous accomplishments and wish them every success in the future.



Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Kings North.



RESOLUTION NO. 138



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



Whereas the Liberal Government is so completely preoccupied with the Premier’s leadership review
that it allows major decisions involving public safety to whoosh by in less than five minutes; and



Whereas the Liberal Party has determined a $20 per ticket reception with the four Atlantic Premiers
will surely highlight the Nova Scotia Premier’s superior qualities of leadership over those from Prince Edward
Island, New Brunswick or Newfoundland; and



Whereas the Liberal reception tickets are now on sale at Liberal Party Headquarters at Suite 911;



Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal Party recognize that it is Rescue 911, not Suite 911, that is
required to make their Premier measure up to his Atlantic colleagues.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.






RESOLUTION NO. 139



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



Whereas the Justice Minister is again pushing publicly for privatizing of both construction and
operation of the province’s correctional facilities; and



Whereas research challenges the assertion that privatization results in cost-savings to the taxpayer;
and



Whereas many unresolved issues and unanswered questions remain about prisons for profit,
including unacceptable risks to public safety, erosion of skilled correctional services and jeopardizing of
effective rehabilitation;



Therefore be it resolved that the Justice Minister cease being a mouthpiece for the prophets of
privatization and assure Nova Scotia that no prisons for profit will be launched in this province without
thorough research and public consultation on all economic considerations, personnel implications, safety
aspects and rehabilitation consequences of a commercialized corrections course.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.



RESOLUTION NO. 140



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



Whereas the Astral Drive Junior High School badminton team recently beat out several other junior
high school teams from the Dartmouth, Halifax and Halifax County region; and



Whereas the Astral Drive Junior High badminton team has once again become the regional
representatives; and



Whereas the four regional representatives from across Nova Scotia will meet in Sydney this weekend
to determine the provincial champions;



Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly extend best wishes to Coach Barry
Black and the outstanding team members of the Astral Drive Junior High School badminton team, including:
Chris Richards, Mark Tanner, Andrew Wolf, Jeff Sanford, Catherine Sin, Shawna Crawford, Erin Lee Bond
and Shannon Kerr.



Mr. Speaker, I 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.



Are there further notices of motion? If not, I wish to advise the House that the Clerk has conducted
a draw for the Adjournment debate at 6:00 o’clock this evening. The winner this afternoon is the honourable
member for Halifax Fairview. She has submitted a motion, reading as follows:



Therefore be it resolved that sustainable development must be more than a public relations platitude
if Nova Scotians are to be assured of a healthy environment and a healthy economy heading into the next
century.



So, we will hear on those matters at 6:00 o’clock this afternoon.



The time is now 12:39 p.m., the Oral Question Period today runs for one hour, that will be until 1:39
p.m.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



COMMUN. SERV. - LUN. FAMILY AND CHILDREN’S SERV.:

 

COMPENSATION - PROCESS



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Community Services. Last fall the minister set
up a negotiating process which he stated at the time would lead to a quick, equitable and privately negotiated
compensation package for the victims of agency failure at the Lunenburg Family and Children’s Services
Agency. The minister at that time appointed the agency lawyer to handle the negotiations on behalf of the
government. During the over four months since that announcement, the agency lawyer has continually
changed the guidelines and the ground rules for negotiations, which has frustrated claimants’ counsel and has
made a quick and equitable solution an impossibility.



My question to the minister, would the minister, after his meeting with the agency lawyer on April
11th, conclude that the process that he described last December has, in fact, materialized?



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, the agency lawyer that the honourable member refers to is part
of a group of resource people looking after the negotiations. The agency lawyer representing the agency that
is responsible, more directly accountable for the agency itself. The Department of Justice and senior members
and staff of Community Services involve that group. I am satisfied that that group is in place and functioning
and, in fact, being very sensitive to the issues brought forward on behalf of the victims.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I understand from the minister’s answer that he is satisfied with what is
going on. After months of really what could be described as non-negotiations, would the minister confirm that
the agency lawyer on April 11th notified legal counsel for Debra Stevens, by letter, of an ultimatum which
concludes with a one-time offer on a take it or leave it basis?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I have said before in this House that I am not carrying on negotiations.
The agency and the lawyer, thereof, will speak for themselves and if that member has information to that
effect, then he knows what was in the letter. I am not bringing that to the House of Assembly; these are
matters that I, as Minister of Community Services, am leaving with the group that is in place, as I have
indicated. If there is any dissatisfaction with the process of what is happening, in some of the statements to
the media which are really just misinformation and adding to the confusion on this very sensitive and
important issue.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, certainly if the minister is concerned that such an ultimatum was not
given, I am prepared to table a document that confirms what I had described in my first supplementary.



By way of final supplementary, Mr. Speaker, negotiations have not gone on well. The claimant’s
counsel continues to be frustrated. Would the minister commit today to appoint a negotiator, on behalf of his
department, who has not had any connection with the Lunenburg agency?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, as I have informed the House on several occasions, the Department of
Justice, the Department of Community Services and the lawyer for the agency are involved. I am satisfied that
negotiations are proceeding, as well as can be expected under the circumstances, and I will not be
recommending any changes to that group.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



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



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, a question through you to the Minister of Natural
Resources. An independent consulting firm was retained by the federal government and they just presented
their report in March 1995. It was the ATI Consulting Corporation Inc. It was an evaluation of the Canada-Nova Scotia Cooperation Agreement for Forestry Development from 1991 to 1995. The consultants report that
it was required in this agreement that the Nova Scotia Government promote and deliver sustainability in
forestry. Sustainability is defined to include diversification in the forestry. In fact, that means moving away
from excessive reliance on clear-cutting for pulp and paper. In return for this, the provincial government was
to receive $100 million over five years.



The consultants go on to say that this government ignored that mandate, the mandate of the
agreement, and redefine sustainability to mean, maintaining existing harvesting levels. My question to the
minister responsible is, could you explain why your department ignored the terms of reference and the
mandate of this agreement and continued on with the old practices of clear-cutting and herbicide spray?



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, in regard to the terms of reference, terms of reference were
developed in 1991 in consultation between the federal government and the provincial government in regard
to the long-term plan for the new CAFDA agreement at that time. The agreements were stated very clearly
and if you find that the report in regard to the calibration or tabulation of what is annual allowable harvest,
vis-a-vis our way of determining AAC, is if that is in question I am prepared to talk about that. Otherwise,
they were given the mandate based on the federal-provincial agreement at the time and I believe members
opposite were involved in that process.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, what I am concerned about is the fact that it seems like, according
to what this consultants report says, that this is another federal-provincial agreement, involving some $100
million, where the province was supposed to do certain things and did something else. That is the whole
question. In fact, in the report, the consultants say that this particular problem, in terms of underlying
assumptions, on which the department sets the level of cutting, are not sustainable. For that, among other
reasons, they strongly recommend a class environmental assessment of Nova Scotia forestry policy and
management practices. I would like to ask the minister, given the seriousness of that recommendation, when
are we going to expect him to make an announcement that, in fact, that will be done?



[12:45 p.m.]



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, in fact, ATI made it very clear that the forest is in good shape in the
Province of Nova Scotia. Albeit, I will be the first one to admit that there are areas that we are reviewing in
regard to the long-term sustainability of the forestry industry in this province and are working very
cooperatively with the private sector developing strategies that will allow us to have sustainable development
in this province. The report also indicated very clearly that the dollars that were invested at the time - it was
a $96 million or $97 million program, I think, in actual fact, the dollars allocated to the forestry agreement
were about $86 million - the dollars invested in that program were very beneficial. I wish the federal
government had realized that before they cut the program out.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, for my final supplementary, I would like to ask the minister if he
could explain why, after there was a report of some 100-odd pages conducted, which included such serious
recommendations as that for a class environmental assessment of Nova Scotia forestry policy and management
practices, we received, at the end of last month, an executive summary, which excluded such an important
recommendation? I wonder if the minister could explain to me and to people that are interested in this issue,
why it was that the executive summary, which itself contained some 40 pages, would have passed over such
an important recommendation as that with respect to the class environmental assessment?



MR. DOWNE: Well, I would undertake to go back and check, Mr. Speaker, with our staff, but if I
understand the question properly, the executive summary was a summary that, in fact, ATI had written
themselves in regard to the findings of the report. If it is some question about the modelling of the AAC and
the modelling of the Sustainable Development Program, there are two different modellings in question. There
is a modelling that we normally use here in the Province of Nova Scotia and a modelling provision that they
have used, which is opposite of the type of modelling concepts and determinations of AAC in the Province
of Nova Scotia. I will want to say that in the report it did state that the forests of the Province of Nova Scotia
are generally in good shape and the goals that we have tried to attain are being met and we are within the
AAC, on balance, across the province.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



TRANSPORT. - SHIP AGREEMENT:

 

FUNDS DIVERSION - INSURANCE INDUSTRY



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and
Communications. My question is, Nova Scotia insurance officials are reported to be very hostile over the
decision to dip into SHIP and take $26 million from the Highway No. 104 twinning project. Keeping in mind
the cost of automobile insurance in Nova Scotia and the substantial increase motorists have to pay after just
one accident, did the Minister of Transportation and Communications give any thought to discussing the
diversion of funds with the insurance industry personnel, before going ahead with the removal of the funds?



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to make reference to the remarks
that the member for Kings North has said, that someone has dipped into a pool of money and taken out $26
million. That, in fact, is false. There is no pot of money that someone has removed anything from. What there
is, is an agreement with the federal government, that says if the province spends a certain amount of money,
the federal government will match that. That money is not available in any given year to take the money and
to spend it. There is an agreement.



So, there was no dipping into a pot to take out $26 million, in fact, there was an amendment to an
agreement and an agreement is in place to spend about $2.5 million of provincial money in each of the next
five years on the Fleur-de-lis Trail, not to dip in and take $26 million out.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Thank you, I am sure that all Nova Scotians will appreciate that explanation.
Mr. Speaker, my first supplementary is to the Minister of Transportation and it is again referring to the
insurance industry and their concern, but perhaps after they have heard his explanation they won’t be as
concerned as they were.



However, once a motorist in Nova Scotia has had an accident, they have to drive accident-free for
five years before they can see a reduction in their insurance rates. We know that more than 50 people have
lost their lives on Highway No. 104 in recent years and this doesn’t include the personal injury nor the vehicle
damage. Would the Minister of Transportation have a figure that could be supplied to us concerning the
damage to automobiles and property on accidents since 1985 on Highway No. 104?



MR. MANN: Mr. Speaker, I have worked closely with the automobile insurance industry in such
measures as the Graduated Licensing Program and the Drinking and Driving Campaign and other legislation
that I have had the pleasure to introduce. Anytime there is an accident in Nova Scotia or a fatality on any
highway, not just Highway No. 104 but Highway Nos. 101, 125 - or the roads outside Sydney, Nova Scotia
as happened yesterday, I believe - any fatality is truly a tragedy.



The agreement that we are talking about, the SHIP agreement and the work that is going on in this
province under this agreement, is probably going on on four or five fronts, four or five locations at one time.
To suggest that we would put money on any project all at once to accelerate construction would mean, for
example, that the other projects would have to stop. Let’s not lose sight of that as we talk about if we could
complete a highway this year, it would have been at the expense of stopping construction on all other roads
in Nova Scotia and still not have the funds to complete that section of highway.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the information that was furnished by the Minister
of Transportation. Would the Minister of Transportation make an undertaking to find out the total amount
of vehicle damage that has taken place on Highway No. 104, because that is the highway that most Nova
Scotians are interested in at this particular time. Would the minister find out what the total damage was to
vehicles from the insurance companies and table it in the House in the next few days? I think people would
be interested to know the costs of repairs to property and vehicles.



MR. MANN: Mr. Speaker, Highway No. 104 in Nova Scotia begins when you cross the New
Brunswick-Nova Scotia border and it ends at St. Peters in Richmond County. I don’t know if the member is
looking for statistics, if the Insurance Bureau of Canada has that. He made reference to their comments
earlier, they have obviously been talking to him in recent days about this. If they have that information, I am
sure they would furnish it to him. They have not contacted me and if they have concerns, I would be only too
pleased to sit down with them and discuss those concerns and to share whatever information they want to give
to me.



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



TRANSPORT. - SHIP AGREEMENT: AMENDMENT - AUDITOR GEN.



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. The Minister of
Transportation, in response to questions concerning the misappropriation of funds in the SHIP agreement,
said in the House on April 6th that comments made by the Auditor General concerning the transfer of funds
from Highway No. 104 was “. . . just another bureaucratic attack on Cape Breton Island, . . .”. Does the
Premier agree with the minister that the Auditor General was just being a bully and launching a bureaucratic
attack on Cape Breton?



HON. JOHN SAVAGE (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, my answer to that is that I have tried very hard
to avoid putting one part of the province against another. (Applause) It is silly, it is unfair and all it does is
to enhance and aggravate what people see as differences between regions.



This province is one province. This province has a government which will have policies for all of
the people of this province and I do not intend to deviate from that. (Applause)



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, again to the Premier. The Premier, in his response, was the
response that one would expect because . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: It was the right one.



MR. ARCHIBALD: . . . it was the right one. So, the Premier did not see this as a bureaucratic attack
and he obviously will put some weight behind the criticism of the Auditor General on the disposition of funds.
Does that mean that the Premier will act upon the request of the Auditor General and ask - and in fact demand
- that the Minister of Transportation return those $26 million to the Highway No. 104 construction project
between Truro and Amherst?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I have great regard for the Auditor General. I think the Auditor
General does a difficult job, which is that of making sure governments live up to their commitments. Auditor
Generals, like other people, are human beings; therefore, they too make statements sometimes that may or
may not be substantiated, but I do not quarrel with that any more than I do with some of the garbage that
comes from over there.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, again to the Premier, with your permission. The Premier obviously
does put some weight into the comments of Auditor General Roy Salmon, but apparently he has no intention
of returning the $26 million that was taken from the SHIP agreement. Will the Premier of this province give
assurance to people in northern Nova Scotia that they, in fact, on Highway No. 104, will not be paying tolls?
Will the Premier give people the assurance that it will not become a toll road in that area due to the removal
of the $26 million?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what I will give the people of this province and the people in the area
mentioned is an assurance that this government will build a safe highway between Thomson Station and
Debert, a safe, double highway in a way that would never have been done with the farcical manipulation of
funds that went on before. This question of taking it from one pocket to another is just absolutely the
imagination of a man who spent some time in the portfolio. My answer to the people of this province is that
they will have road, they will have a safe highway and, as to the rest of it, perhaps they had better wait until
the press conference, like I said last week.



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



TRANSPORT.: HIGHWAY NO. 104 - FUTURE PLANS



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, again, with your permission, I would like to direct my
question to the Premier. The liaison committee overseeing the Highway No. 104 twinning is extremely upset
with your government and its strange decision to divert $26 million in funding; both the Truro and Amherst
Chambers of Commerce plan to issue news releases today condemning the government’s decision to divert
money from Highway No. 104, so prior to any private/public sector partnership that your government
apparently is going to announce soon, will your government meet with the business groups and the liaison
committee to tell them about your plan in the future for highway construction?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we are now getting away from matters of policy as they relate to a
Premier and perhaps it would be more appropriately answered by the minister.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I would suspect that those groups have already been
contacted. Arrangements have been made for a meeting with them, yes.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, again to the Premier. As Premier, you promised to consult and yet
today you are not sure whether any consultation has taken place. The Minister of Transportation says that he
thinks something has been lined up but he is not certain yet. Now, will you tell us (Interruptions) whether you,
personally, will intervene because it is pointless, Mr. Premier, to expect your Minister of Transportation, he
has already intervened but I think at this point it is going to take the intervention of the chief person in the
province, the Premier of this province to intervene, and sit down and have a meaningful discussion with the
liaison committee and the chambers of commerce in those areas because they are very concerned. Will you,
as Premier, meet with those people, so you can hear their side of the situation?



[1:00 p.m.]



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I would venture to say that in 15 years we had enough direction
through a central organization, as opposed to using ministers. What this government does is appoint
competent people to be ministers, who do a competent job. Therefore, the business of this is not up to the
Chief Executive, as he puts it, it is, in effect, up to the department. When that department reports to me and
I am unhappy, they will know about it and the public will, too. Up until now, I have been very pleased and
satisfied with my Minister of Transportation. (Applause)



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, again to the Premier, and I am sure that all Nova Scotians will be
gratified that you are so easy to please. Last Thursday during Question Period, Mr. Premier, you indicated that
you had letters indicating the approval from the federal minister, Mr. Dingwall. Could you please table for
Nova Scotians the letters that you referred to last Thursday in Question Period?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I didn’t say they were from Mr. Dingwall, I said they were
from the Minister of Transportation. What I said was, that we will get the letters and they will be available.
As far as I know, they will be available.



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



HEALTH - MIN.: EXPENSES - MONTHLY REPORTING



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question through you, sir, to the Minister
of Health. In fairness, the minister has indicated that he would like to have some questions on the expense
issue, so I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Health, maybe to get some clarification.



The guidelines for monthly reporting of ministerial expenses states that the ministers will report all
of their travel expenses and other expenses related to their performance of their duties as minister.



My question to the minister is quite simply, has the minister reported all such expenses on the
statements of expenses that he files with the Clerk of the Executive Council Office each and every month?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, as I am sure the honourable gentleman opposite knows,
the expense account forms to which he refers are expense accounts for reimbursement of the minister. In my
department, these are direct billings and they are not expenses that would be reimbursed to me since I do not
have any reimbursable accounts. I explained in terms of my statement earlier, that the expenses ascribed to
ministerial expenses were constituency expenses which, of course, should be reported and have been reported.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, in looking at the guidelines that the Premier himself tabled in this House
on June 14, 1994, it says that the minister’s expenses will be reported, regardless of the method of payment
by which they are paid; in other words, whether they are paid by the minister directly and going to be
reimbursed, or if they are charged to the department.



My question to the minister is quite simply this, and I am trying to get to the bottom of this, is the
minister directly charging many of his expenses to his department, rather than having them appear on the
expense forms that he is filing with the Council?



DR. STEWART: Again, Mr. Speaker, my expenses in terms of my department are charged directly
to the department. I have explained that in my statement. I do not get reimbursed because I don’t have
reimbursable expenses. All my expenses are ministerial, except for the travel which I have explained.



MR. HOLM: I think what the minister is saying is that all his expenses are ministerial but they are
not necessarily showing up on the form he is submitting, as he is supposed to, according to the guidelines that
the Premier has tabled.



Mr. Speaker, I have added up the expense claims that the minister filed for all of 1994 and the first
month of 1995. They add up to a little over $2,300, yet the report filed by his own department, if you exclude
the auto, operating, and the vehicle leases, they add up to over $28,000.



My final question to the minister, if he is following the guidelines and he is reporting all of the
expenses as he is supposed to, according to the Premier, why the discrepancy? Can you please account or
explain why all of those expenses don’t show up on the forms that are filed with the Clerk of the Executive
Council?



DR. STEWART: Again, Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, the travel incurred was charged to the
department as departmental to the total that was mentioned by the honourable member for Kings West. Those
are constituency travel expenses and they would not show up, they are not reimbursable, they are billed to the
Office of the Speaker which will be done.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH - EMERGENCY SERV.: AMBULANCES - COSTS



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. A couple of weeks
ago the Minister of Health, in talking about the new ambulance set-up in the province, indicated that the
government was not spending $8 million over three years but $9 million over three years to arrange a three-way leasing agreement between the contractor, the province and the successful leaser. Based on the figures
the minister quoted a couple of weeks ago this would result in a yearly saving of $2 million per year for a total
of $6 million over the period of the lease, as I understand it. Can the minister explain how he could make
these projections without knowing the results of the bids from the potential ambulance operators who in all
likelihood will pass on the higher ambulance costs? Would he explain how he could make those projections?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, these projections were based on an estimate of the
number of vehicles we potentially would need to replace and their estimates, as best we can come up with, of
about 150 vehicles and they are based on that.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, also the minister quoted a number that was different by way of a
question and answer information package that went out. I think that indicated that it would be $9 million in
three years and the other information was $6 million. Does the minister have the answer as to which of those
two figures are correct regarding the savings, is it $6 million or the $9 million?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure exactly what statement the honourable gentleman refers
to but the estimated cost of the lease, again projected, would be over a three year period, approximately $9
million. That is what we have been going on, again, a projection.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, in my last supplementary, I wonder if the minister can guarantee that
users or the consumers that are going to be using or needing the ambulances, that the new EHSNS will not
mean an increase of their $60 fee that they, as individuals, have to pay now? Will that remain the same under
this new arrangement or could that increase to reflect the increased costs?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, this is certainly supposition in terms of what may happen in the
future, the actual costs are $60 to $80, in fact, some patients paying up to $80 per trip. We have been looking
and the Murphy Report alludes to it that there are other ways to recoup costs including insurance programs
and so on. We would be looking at that to cut back the costs as much as possible.



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



HEALTH - MIN.: COUGAR HELICOPTERS - USE



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the Minister of Health could indicate whether
or not he has used Cougar helicopters in travelling around the province, other than the Lands and Forests
helicopters? Could he indicate whether or not he has used Cougar helicopters?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, never.



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



HEALTH - EMERGENCY SERV.: AMBULANCES - CRITICAL CARE UNITS



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I had to ask the question. Someone told me and I am glad
the minister answered honestly, that he never used them. (Interruptions) I will have an explanation later on
today why the question came up. If this supplement had been handed out earlier, it would have come up
earlier. I would ask the minister, he talked about the ambulances that were being purchased and I think he
talked about a critical care unit, as I understand it. The numbers that the minister used, are those all critical
care units or how many critical care units would be involved in the number he previously gave me?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, there are basically three types of ambulances that would
be included in the leasing agreement. One is a multiple patient vehicle which would have several patients
being able to be carried in a non-urgent way from let’s say Yarmouth to Halifax. These would be patients who
would be coming to Halifax for treatment or some other reason.



The second is the work horse, if you would, of the fleet, which would be a well-equipped,
internationally recognized standard ambulance, which would be able to be either advanced or basic life
support.



The third would be, and very few of these would be needed, an intensive care unit which would have
ventilators and other equipment available.



MR. MOODY: I appreciate the minister in giving the definition of the three. What I was trying to
find out is how many of the critically care of the group would be, and if he might when he answers that, just
give an indication of the cost of those compared to the others?



DR. STEWART: Again, I am trying not to be technical in my answer, Mr. Speaker, and I appreciate
the patience of the honourable member opposite. Suffice to say that the cost of a particular vehicle, for
example, if we cite $80,000 for one of the more advanced ambulance designs, one would have to look at that
and project it in terms of the life of the vehicle. What happens, very simply, is that the life of the chassis
versus the life of the patient compartment is different. Obviously, the life of the patient compartment would
be quite a bit longer and could accommodate some changes in design if necessary. The life of the chassis is
less because of course it has the motor and so on involved. That is where the savings occurs, if you look at the
upfront cost, it is more than the usual ambulance would have, however in the long term it is cheaper.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



JUSTICE - GAMBLING: DICE GAMES (CRAPS) - JURISDICTION



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. I wonder if the
Minister of Justice would confirm that my understanding is correct, in that whereas the Criminal Code of
Canada permits provinces to engage in certain types of gambling procedures and devices, et cetera, that dice
games, more commonly known as craps, is not permitted under the Criminal Code, in other words, the
province doesn’t have any jurisdiction over whether or not to permit dice games, craps?



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know and I will undertake to check out that particular
provision.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, the question arose because it is my understanding that what I have just
said in my first question was correct and that the Provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and, I believe,
Saskatchewan, have approached the federal government with a view to permitting provinces to have crap
tables within their casinos. The reason simply being that in most jurisdictions, I guess, across the world they
do indeed permit dice games.



My supplementary to the minister is, he, I take it then, has not been approached by either the
Minister of Finance or the Minister of Housing and Consumer Affairs to obtain or to put pressure on the
federal government to change that particular aspect of the Criminal Code?



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is correct, I have not been approached on this
matter. I wasn’t aware of it. As I said, I undertook to check on the provisions of the Code.



MR. RUSSELL: Well, in the absence of the other persons who are connected with the casino activity
within the province, Mr. Speaker, I guess I will have to ask the Minister of Justice whether or not he would
be prepared to proceed on behalf of the province to obtain a change within the Criminal Code of Canada to
permit dice games?



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I have enough responsibilities under the Justice hat to start speculating
on whether we should ask about this. If the minister responsible, the Minister of Housing and Consumer
Affairs, brings the matter forward and requests it, I will certainly look into it. But I am not prepared on my
own, at this time.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



JUSTICE - JAILS: PRIVATIZATION - PLANS



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I, too, would like to direct my question to the Minister
of Justice. It concerns the indication, again, today, that the minister was heard to give on the radio that the
province is considering the privatization of correctional facilities in the province, not only for purpose of
construction but also commercial operation. The minister will know that it is almost a full year since he
confirmed that the government was considering this policy option and indicated in early June of last year that
within a month or so there would be a master plan tabled and circulated for public scrutiny and consideration
of the choices to be made in regard to the operation of correctional facilities and correction services. I wonder
if the minister could indicate today when that master plan will be brought forward for public consideration?



[1:15 p.m]



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the honourable member refers to work that
was done in cooperation with the Province of New Brunswick. I believe P.E.I. also had some involvement in
it. We have had discussions with the Province of New Brunswick; there have been quite a few changes in their
correctional administration over the last period of months. So, we haven’t proceeded, since it is an
intergovernmental document, to release that. But I would hope later this year, probably this summer, that that
document would be made public.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, in addition to the inter-provincial discussions that were
underway, the minister indicated in his estimates last year that a senior official, Jim Crane, had been assigned
to tackle this issue, do extensive research, and also a number of people in the department, and that there would
be a full report to the public before any such course of action was pursued with all implications and
considerations associated with going the route of prisons for profit being fully aired.



I wonder if the minister could indicate whether there is a report forthcoming from his staff in regard
to the question and, if so, will he give the further assurance that the government will not act on one option
without there being very careful consideration of what the implications are for public safety, for personnel and,
most importantly, for the impact on the effectiveness of rehabilitation?



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, there have been changes in the department, among other things, and this
in no way changes where we end up, Mr. Crane retired and new people have taken over. The matter is being
pursued currently and as I indicated in the first question, we would hope by summer to be able to proceed. The
correctional officers’ union will be advised of the direction we are taking.



We are approaching this quite cautiously and the plan, at some point, would be to call for an
expression of interest to the private sector for building and/or operating facilities, some or all. But no decisions
are going to be made, we are just going to see what interest there might be and compare it to the costs of the
public sector operations. So, there are no final decisions being made and we are proceeding very cautiously
and the correctional officers’ union will be advised before we call for expressions of interest in the summer.



MS. MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, far from sounding like a cautious approach, it sounds as though
completely without documented research, completely without public consultation on the incredible
implications of commercializing our correctional services, the minister is prepared to buy, hook, line and
sinker, the notion that there are going to be big savings of taxpayers’ dollars and, on that basis, going to the
private sector to ask them to come up with a plan.



My question to the minister remains, will he, as promised on June 3rd of last year during his
estimates debate, bring forward for full public scrutiny - those were the words he made when he made this
commitment - a cost-benefit analysis of the considerations with respect to going the prisons for profit route?
Will he explain to Nova Scotians how in the name of Heavens it is possible to borrow money at a higher rate,
to add profit on top of that for commercialized prisons and still save taxpayers’ money, unless it is taken out
of the hides of workers and unless it is taken out of rehabilitative services?



MR. GILLIS: This matter is looked at being very carefully. We will make available information on
which we base our call. The member must misunderstand, we are not planning to announce in the summer
that we are going to operate all correctional facilities by the private sector or we are going to have them build
them all. We are just going to try to find out what proposals they would make, given certain high standards,
to see that there are possibilities for rehabilitation, unlike the problems now, where the facilities are very
difficult to operate because of lack of space. Some of them go back 140 years. I have been to them all and the
honourable member has probably seen some of them, too.



We are going to approach this very carefully. The report we did with New Brunswick will talk about
some of the inadequacies. This will all be made available before any final decisions are made. All we are
doing is bringing forward this proposal.



What astounds me, is the honourable member, even to look at this as a bad word; prisons for profit.
I don’t hear her talking about nursing homes for profit. Some of our most frail elderly are in private facilities
but she doesn’t criticize those. Those are privately run facilities. But we look at jails and the possibility, it is
a terrible curse.



We are going to proceed carefully and see that it is done right. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



HEALTH: AMBULANCE SERVICE (PICTOU) - STATUS



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Last fall, Dort’s
Ambulance Service, which works out of Pictou County and also does service for the Sutherland-Harris
Memorial Hospital, advised the department at that time that they would no longer want to do the service out
of the Town of Pictou.



Subsequently, tenders were called and closed sometime in February, I believe. It was expected that
we would have a new ambulance service beginning in March.



I understand that for some reason the tender was not awarded and there was an extension given for
the month of March. The same thing happened at the end of March and an extension was given to Dort’s to
provide the service.



Because of reduced beds at the Sutherland-Harris Memorial Hospital and the concern about when
we are going to get a new ambulance service, I have been asked questions on many occasions about it. Could
the minister bring us up-to-date on where we are, with providing the new ambulance service for Pictou?






HON. RONALD STEWART: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that question from the honourable
member who has been diligent in his interest in this and, in fact, has been very helpful to the community in
terms of covering and on some health care items on which we have collaborated.



Might I say, that the current situation is that the proposed tenders are being examined, particularly
in light of some of the changes in home care. That is what the delay was, we were trying to make sure that
the design of the ambulance and the system would equate with the changes in the hospital and the home care
there.



MR. MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, of course all I know is rumour, what you hear on the street. They are
suggesting there were a number of bidders and that actually the group that worked for Dort’s have bid and the
fact is, that maybe they don’t have the training that is required under the new system. All I am saying is, can
the minister look at it and see if we can get on with it? I am sure there are people who are prepared to take
the training and will be able to provide the service.



Would the minister please try to get on and see that this tender is awarded quickly?



DR. STEWART: Yes, Mr. Speaker, certainly I am aware of the process going on at the moment. I
do want to reassure the honourable member opposite that we will, of course, ensure that the service continues
and that it will continue at a higher level, as he has indicated.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



FISH.: LOBSTER FISHERY - POLICY



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries. The federal minister,
Mr. Tobin, has directed the Fisheries Resource Council of Canada to render advice to him on the lobster
fishery. It is clear that lobster fishers in Nova Scotia at least, emphatically do not want the FRCC to be
involved in any way with their sector of the fishery.



I wonder if the minister could advise the House and, indeed, those people who have specific interests,
the lobster fishers in this province, if the province has enunciated a policy position on this matter of vital
importance to Nova Scotia? If so, has the minister informed the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with respect
to that policy personally?



HON. JAMES BARKHOUSE: Mr. Speaker, there are several parts to that question. It is a very
important question because Nova Scotian fishermen went to the FRCC meeting. One of my staff, Mr.
MacKinnon, is a representative on that FRCC committee. We realize that, and the honourable member, as
a previous Minister of Fisheries, realizes that Nova Scotians have tried to have the carapace size changed in
the Northumberland Strait. That has been an issue that has been foremost in the minds of most fishermen.
I believe that was the item that instigated some of Minister Tobin’s request to have the FRCC look at the
question about lobsters. There also came up questions about the ITQs. We were strongly opposed to questions
about the ITQ, on an individual quota for each fisherman. I think there is almost unanimous support in Nova
Scotia to be contrary to that opinion, but in Nova Scotia, there is a great support for the increased carapace
size. Those items have been mentioned to Minister Tobin by myself and by my staff. I do not know that any
report has been finally tabled. I do not believe the FRCC report, coming out of the hearings that were held
throughout Nova Scotia, has been tabled with respect to the lobster issue.



MR. LEEFE: The minister is absolutely right, reflecting on the very proactive way in which Nova
Scotia lobster fishermen, particularly in Inverness County, have endeavoured to deal with the question of
carapace size by voluntarily moving towards a larger carapace size. My supplementary to the minister is this,
the minister having clearly, in my view, stated that this is a gulf issue, has the minister spoken personally with
the federal minister, to decry the imposition of the FRCC into the lobster fishery as a whole, simply to solve
a question which relates only to the gulf and not to the rest of the industry?



MR. BARKHOUSE: Mr. Speaker, the question that has arisen, I believe that Minister Tobin took
that advice, to seek some kind of, through consultation - the FRCC is a vehicle of consultation between the
federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the fishermen -and I believe that as a result of carapace there
was such an adamant demand from Nova Scotia - and I certainly had mentioned it to Minister Tobin every
time I have met him about how we are coming along with the carapace size - and out of that came this issue
about the FRCC to make that response. We do realize that the balance of Nova Scotia lobster fishermen have
no interest in dealing with the FRCC. We have made that point extremely important. Again, we do not wish
to see individual quotas allocated to people in the lobster industry. I think we have made that point,
adamantly, from all fishermen in Nova Scotia.



MR. LEEFE: This is, as the minister has indicated, a matter of vital importance to Nova Scotia
lobster fishers. I would ask the minister, if he has not already done so, will he make a request that this item -
that is, the role of the FRCC in the lobster fishery and the matter of carapace size in the gulf - be put on the
agenda for the next meeting of the Council of Atlantic Fisheries Ministers, for a full and open discussion?



MR. BARKHOUSE: I am not sure when we will have a future meeting, but I would expect within
the next six months. Certainly, that is something that will be put on the agenda. It is always on the agenda.
Thank you.



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



EXCO: EXPENSE CLAIMS - POLICY



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question, through you, sir, to the Premier,
to try to resolve any questions about expenses, once and for all. My question to the Premier, quite simply, is
this, are ministers only required to file, on their statements which they file with the Clerk of the Executive
Council Office, those expenses for which they are seeking reimbursement or are they required to file all the
expenses related to their duties as a minister?



THE PREMIER: They are required to file expenses that are related to their functions as a minister.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, that was my understanding. Of course, the guidelines, that the Premier
himself tabled in this House, said that it is supposed to be providing the same information on a current basis
as would later appear in the Supplement to the Public Accounts. My question to the Premier then is quite
simply this, because the Premier heard the responses earlier in the day of the Minister of Health, could the
Premier advise us if he has had the expense accounts examined and if he is satisfied that all the expenses
listed on the Minister of Health’s expense claims that are filed monthly, are, in fact, the full details, the full
costs related to the minister’s responsibilities as minister?



[1:30 p.m.]



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am not prepared to give a statement that I have gone through bit by
bit, every particular statement of every particular minister. The ministers file their statements with the
Executive Council; the MLA expenses are submitted to the Office of the Speaker, as you well know. I am,
however, prepared to stand by the integrity of a man whose parsimony and whose thrift with public money
is well known and who has a reputation for honesty that is unequalled in this province. (Applause)



MR. HOLM: With respect, I say to the Premier, the integrity of the Minister of Health, as an
individual, is not the issue here. The issue is whether or not the proper guidelines and procedures are being
followed or if an error was made.



My question to the Premier then is quite simply this - because he has had information and knowledge
of this now for quite a number of days and I am sure that the Premier’s staff has been checking into this - can
the Premier explain the discrepancy between the numbers of dollars, less than $3,000, in fact about $2,300,
that were filed on the forms by his minister with the Clerk of the Executive Council, compared to the amounts
that his department released, excluding, as I said before, automobile expenses and leases, which added up to
over $28,000? Can the Premier explain the discrepancy between those two figures?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am prepared to look into this so that it can be clarified for the full
interest of the House. I am not prepared to say that I have gone into the incidental expenses of the minister
that were brought up in his absence. I have not even had the chance to discuss them with the minister since
he got back.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



EDUC.: WHITE PAPER - SAVINGS SOURCE



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. The
minister has claimed in his White Paper and in public forums around the province that something in the order
of $6 million will be saved as a result of the implementation of the proposals in that White Paper. I think the
minister even reiterated that number on Budget Day. He is quoted, I think, as saying that his department’s
$4.9 million cut in the 1995-96 budget year will be found by reducing the number of head office
administrators and not from the province’s classrooms.



I wonder if the minister will confirm that the savings, if any are to be realized, will be realized
through the reduction - or some might say slashing - of administrators’ numbers, even though the school
boards have shown and the minister has admitted, I think, on an earlier occasion, that the numbers that appear
in the White Paper are based on 1993-94 numbers, where will the $6 million saving come from?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable Leader of the Opposition, I can
suggest to him that what we did is a very modest evaluation, using $6 million. We just imagined, for example,
that there would be either 5 plus 1, or 4 plus 1, or 6 plus 1 boards and we allowed for an average size that
occurs in Nova Scotia at the present time, with 12,000 students, took the cost of administration and we used
that as an average.



We didn’t allow, for example, benefits, which are about 15 per cent, for overhead, for buildings or
anything else, Mr. Speaker. We just took basic salary averaging $40,000 and that is the number we have and
it is defensible on any grounds.



MR. DONAHOE: It is defensible on any grounds, provided you know what ground you happen to
be standing on. With respect, Mr. Speaker, this same minister has said in all his public presentations that if
anybody, school boards and the Teachers Union and parents groups and others, can provide him with
reasonable alternatives, that the school board numbers suggested in the White Paper may not have to be the
school board numbers at all, that there is all kinds of room for flexibility in the event that reasonable
alternative proposals are made to him. So if a number of reasonable proposals are made to the minister, then
surely the calculation which he just talks about now just simply can’t hold up because the ground would have
shifted entirely.



By way of supplementary, Mr. Speaker, the school board association claims that the savings projected
by this minister in his White Paper will, in fact, already have been achieved by the time the 1995-96 school
year rolls around because they have already been in the last two fiscal years being ripped out of the school
system, the reductions have been made. I ask again, in light of the fact that that is the case, can the minister
please produce or perhaps I should put it this way, would the minister prepare and table here in this House
a schedule showing exactly where the savings are going to come from, board-by board-by board-by board
across this province?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable Leader of the Opposition has indicated, this
is a province-wide number and we would be pleased to provide how it was calculated for the honourable
Leader of the Opposition, who seems to be having some difficulty with those numbers. He used to be the
Minister of Education and he can understand how, and in fact he did this and stood in this House and made
similar arguments some years ago about amalgamation of boards. But the numbers are not complicated and
I will provide them for the honourable member, with annotations as to how you would arrive at them if there
were 4 plus 1 or 6 plus 1 or 8 plus 1.



MR. DONAHOE: Well, I appreciate that undertaking from the minister and I take it as a serious
undertaking and look forward to receipt of that tabled document. I would expect, since he suggested to us, Mr.
Speaker, that the numbers are pretty simple, that the undertaking could probably be honoured not later than
tomorrow’s Question Period and I would look forward to the numbers by then.



By way of second supplementary, I would ask the minister, shifting gears away from the $6 million
saving to talk for just a second about the alleged or proposed $5 million saving to which the White Paper also
refers. That saving, we are told in the White Paper, is supposed to be brought about by way of administrative
and other board efficiencies. I wonder if the minister will give me the same undertaking in regard to the $5
million alleged savings. Will he commit and undertake here today to table in this place a clear, definitive
statement describing exactly where and in exact amounts this alleged $5 million saving will be affected?



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I would inform the honourable Leader of the Opposition that,
in fact, that one board down in Digby County, there was an accountant sitting on the board and she suggested
to us that $11 million is a very modest amount of money to be proposing. The $5 million he refers to focuses
on two things, facilities usage on the first hand and we have one example that is a study that was done, not
by us, indicating that in two particular boards in this province if, in fact, they shared one building, it would
save $1 million a year because there are two underutilized buildings within 15 minutes of each other but
across the boundary line, just as a small example. Likewise efficiencies of busing, utilization of spare buses,
all the rest of it.



Mr. Speaker, I can tell you that we will provide it, as we have done in response to questions at our
public meetings across the province, we will provide it to the honourable Leader of the Opposition without
hesitancy. But I would suggest if he would want to check, he could talk to, for example, if he wants to see
afterwards, I can give him somebody to give him the name and phone number of the person in Digby County
who has done an analysis of this to indicate that whether you look at last year or this year or next year, that
the $5 million and $6 million is indeed modest.



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



GOVERNMENT BUSINESS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



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



GOVERNMENT MOTIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



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



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis.



MR. EARLE RAYFUSE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak to the
Assembly this afternoon about the great constituency of Annapolis. I am very proud and pleased to represent
those fine people. Their support shown to me over the past seven years, since I was first elected in September
1988, has been greatly appreciated. Yet in order to carry out my role as an MLA, I must also recognize the
love and the support shown to me by my wife, Babe; my daughter, Nancy, and her husband, Ian; and our
grandchildren, Tim and Kristen.



Mr. Speaker, to the people of Annapolis, I extend my sincere loyalty and dedication. I am proud to
represent all the constituents of my riding in the provincial Legislature regardless of their political affiliations.
I look forward to continuing to work with them in the days, months and years ahead.



The people of Annapolis are very hardworking people. They strive to make their communities the
best place to live in, to raise children and to find gainful employment. The legislative agenda of our
government presents this province with a plan that builds on the accomplishments of the past and provides
a plan and vision for the future. The agricultural industry across this province and, most certainly, my
constituency of Annapolis is very much a part of this vision.



There about 4,000 farms in this province which provide full and part-time employment for people
of Nova Scotia. Projected annual farmgate sales for 1994 were in excess of $309 million. This industry has
been and will be a key player in helping Nova Scotia and, in particular, rural Nova Scotia, on the economic
road to recovery. The most important part of it is, it is where our food is produced.



There are over 7,000 people employed on farms across this province. There are another 3,500 people
employed in secondary industries related to agriculture. Agri-food processing plants and feed supply
companies are examples of these secondary industries. A further 700 people are employed in specialized
businesses to service the agriculture industry. An example of these service jobs to agriculture includes
veterinarian, credit and farm machinery services. Many other services such as trucking, packaging, spinoff
employment in agriculture provides an overall employment of over 16,000 for the Province of Nova Scotia.
These jobs help to stimulate the local rural economy.



The 1991 Census figures show that there are approximately 257 farms in Annapolis County. The
dairy sector continues to play a major role, along with beef and poultry. Of course, the greenhouse businesses
of fruits and vegetables has been increasing steadily over the years. I might say that on the weekend I attended
the opening of a new fruit and vegetable stand in the ridings of the member for Digby-Annapolis near the
theme park. They had an excellent day and they too have plans to go into the greenhouse business.



Agriculture is important to the stability of rural Nova Scotia. This industry has and will make
significant contribution to the further development and strengthening of rural communities in most areas
across this province. Last year alone farmers injected over $251 million into the local economy for farm
operating expenditures.



In reference to the Speech from the Throne, I would like to congratulate the Department of
Agriculture and Marketing and in particular, Minister Wayne Gaudet for undertaking a thorough review of
its agriculture assistance programs and the plan to review the other programs and services of his department.
Hopefully, the School Milk Program will find a sponsor to pick up the slack that has been mentioned there.
It is very important to the students of our schools, especially the elementary schools.



In particular, I am pleased that the Agriculture Assistance Program was done in consultation with
the industry. As we work towards the goal of balancing budgets, it is important that we know what the
priorities are in the farming community. This review will provide good information to plan for the future.



[1:45 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, in the fall sitting of the House, this government passed the Farm Registration Bill. It
provided a data base of farms in the province. The system to register is now in place. This is a voluntary
system, the farmers can register if they wish. The farmer only has to register once a year to access programs.
In the past, the farmer had to provide this information each time he or she wanted to access a Department of
Agriculture and Marketing program. Farm registration reduces work for the farmers and demonstrates the
government’s commitment to make the process more efficient.



The farmers in Annapolis County, like other farmers in the province, are concerned about the
implications of GATT and the trade rules that are coming into effect, particularly with respect to supply
managed commodities. Supply managed commodities account for about 50 per cent of the cash receipts in
agriculture for Nova Scotia, so this demonstrates the significance of this matter to the industry.



Mr. Speaker, this government has made a commitment to work with the industry as it adjusts to these
new trade rules. As well, participation in the discussions at the national level to amend the separate feed
provincial agreements is strongly supported by this government. In addition, this government continues its
work to provide a whole farm stabilization program of safety nets. The net income stabilization account
program, a major whole farm safety net program has been expanded to include red meats. As a result of this
expansion, all commodities are covered except the supply management commodities.



The people of Annapolis County are used to both the advantages and the disadvantages of being
located outside the central Halifax area. Fortunately today, Mr. Speaker, businesses are not just attracted to
the Halifax area, the story of success is being written on the highway. It is being transmitted electronically
on the information highway; this has opened the door to opportunities we would not have been able to dream
of 10 years ago. Our information-based industries are innovative and on the leading edge; many of them are
successfully competing with the best in the world. For example, Access Nova Scotia was the first of five one-stop information centres opened in Kentville on March 17th. Access Nova Scotia offices will be state of the
art technology, to provide a single entry point for the delivery of business advice and information.



Mr. Speaker, in addition, earlier this year, under the Canada-Nova Scotia Infrastructure Works
Program, a central information and computer base was announced. Funding of this project will result in the
installation of a computerized land information system for Annapolis County. This user-friendly system will
be accessible to the public and county staff to access land information records. Interestingly, future marketing
opportunities exist and county planning staff resources will be more efficiently utilized.



Mr. Speaker, the Canada-Nova Scotia Infrastructure Program projects for the riding of Annapolis
provides funding for: the reconstruction and resurfacing of local roads within the Town of Bridgetown; the
Granville Ferry sewer extension; an upgrade to the Nictaux sewer treatment plant; a sewer system installation
for Bear River; water meter installation for Annapolis Royal; Solomons Chute Brook sewer system upgrade;
a sanitary sewer renewal combined project for Middleton; swimming pool renovation in Middleton; sewer
treatment plant upgrade for Middleton; and a water line renewal in the Village of Lawrencetown.



Mr. Speaker, the Canada-Nova Scotia infrastructure program is an important part of our commitment
to putting Nova Scotians back to work and rebuilding the province’s community infrastructure. On December
15, 1994, the Board of Directors of Future View a non-profit organization devoted to help mentally, physically
challenged adults through training, rehabilitation and employment, opened in the old abandoned railway
station in Middleton. It provides a location for a drop-in activity centre. I would like to congratulate Bob
Weaver, Chairman of Future View, along with the members, friends and volunteers that worked long hours
to make this drop-in centre become reality, working together to help us help each other.



During 1994, one of the largest fitness centres in the Maritimes with 800 members and five full-time
employees opened in the Town of Middleton, actually in the former location of the TRA building. September
1994, saw the opening of Fall Court Inn, dining and lodging at Nictaux, a recently restored 1920 lodge. Fall
Court Inn has six bedrooms, one suite, a meeting room and dining room with a beautiful view of the Nictaux
River. The inn is truly unique offering excellent food and friendly hospitality. Late 1994, saw the opening of
a Tim Horton coffee shop in the Town of Middleton.



Actually, three new businesses have been opened in Middleton since January. Sunshine Bookstore,
Four On The Floor Pet Food Supplies and Novelties, Old Town Bulk Foods, which provide shoppers with a
variety of more than 400 items of spices, gourmet coffees and teas. Just recently, in fact last week, Valley
Farm Equipment in Lawrencetown expanded their facilities and had an opening on Thursday last. This week,
I believe P&A Farm Equipment, a John Deere dealership is having an open house. So, it shows that there is
faith in the agriculture community of Annapolis County.



It is at this time that I am proud also to report the hard work of the Annapolis Royal Business
Improvement District Commission. It has been through funding from the Provincial Community
Opportunities Fund, that they are able to complete the projects and their long-term strategic planning,
including ACOA marketing campaign, retail promotion, tourist awareness, Victorian Christmas promotion,
cross-marking campaigns and advertising in the Nova Scotia Travel Guide. From the Community Business
Lunch Program, this government has provided funding to three viable businesses in Annapolis County.



Funding was welcomed earlier this year for the Anderson Cove Slipway at Hillsburn, it provides
facilities for herring fishing boats. This will provide summer employment for young people and a number of
fishermen as well. Mr. Robert Longmire has an order for 75,000 boxes of smoked fish to be shipped to the
West Indies this season.



Mr. Speaker, as part of the Village Fair Celebration, Nova Scotia towns and cities have prepared
activities for visitors which showcase the history and heritage, spirit, charm and diversity of Nova Scotia. Is
it wind-up, Mr. Speaker? I will just mention a few of the functions that happened in the Valley and of course,
as the member for Kings North mentioned, it starts off with the Apple Blossom Festival.



July 1st to July 4th is Bridgetown’s celebrations, Kingston steer barbecue, Dalhousie Days, Port
George Country Jamboree, Annapolis Natal Days, Valley Exhibition and of course, Bridgetown Cider Fest.
I could spend another half hour talking about the good things of Annapolis but I will return at another time.
Thank you very much.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: What a pleasure it is, after listening to the honourable member for
Annapolis, my good friend and colleague, I thought we had reverted to Throne Speech, it sounded a little like
that was what he was delivering. I know that during the Throne Speech debate, that there were some time
limitations put on the members. I am glad to see that they are permitted to stand in their place and tell us the
interesting and important and informative things about their constituencies because their constituents deserve
to hear in this place . . .



MR. SPEAKER: If I might just intervene, I might point out that on the motion to go into the
Committee of the Whole House on Supply, members are permitted, of course, yes, to address the House on
any matter that they wish. It is perfectly in order.



MR. ARCHIBALD: I congratulate you as well, Mr. Speaker, for making sure all members know that
they can cover topics that they want to talk about, things that they didn’t have time in their Address to the
Speech from the Throne. When you only have about 5 or 10 minutes in the Address to the Speech from the
Throne, rather than the hour that some of us are accorded, you can’t tell us all about some important issues.
I hope the member for Annapolis County will get up again because 15 minutes on Annapolis County is
inadequate. There are so many things that are happening in his constituency and we would like to hear about
more of them. (Interruption) I am delighted to know that we will be hearing more about Annapolis County
and other ridings around the province because how else are we to know?



I don’t want to bore you talking about agriculture and I know you won’t be, because you and all
members of the House, do have a deep and determined interest in agriculture, which is one of the primary
employers in this province. I have some concerns and as we get into the debate on the budget and the
estimates, some of these concerns that I have will be explained to me.



We are in a very difficult time, agriculturally. I recall a few years ago, there was a great debate in
Canada, in Nova Scotia and indeed the world about the GATT talks. Nova Scotians went to the GATT talks
in Brussels. Some Nova Scotians went to Ottawa in protest over the GATT but then there was an election, the
Liberal Government won and all of that protest evaporated. It left me thinking, was the protest by some people
generated by politics or a real concern for agriculture? But be that as it may, we now have a GATT Agreement
and that has placed a different group of confines on agriculture than before.



We must, as Nova Scotians, be ever-vigilant to make sure that we do not bring in any policies or do
anything knowingly that will impede the development and indeed, the enhancement of agriculture in Nova
Scotia. The Minister of Agriculture, who has a real interest in agricultural success in our province, will be
able to tell you more as we get into the agricultural debates in committee.



Agriculture is worth $320 million at the farmgate. Approximately 7,000 people work on farms in
Nova Scotia. The retail sales from those $320 million come to over $1 billion. Agriculture is an industry that
is employing directly 7,000 people, indirectly another 10,000 people with gross sales of $1 billion. Find for
me and identify for me, one other industry in Nova Scotia that is worth $1 billion and employing 17,000
people.



If we had a new industry coming to Nova Scotia that was going to generate $1 billion and employ
17,000 people, every single man, woman and child in this province would be excited. Yet, Mr. Speaker, we
have before us today an agricultural industry that, in fact, is a billion dollar industry. Year after year, it is a
billion dollars. It has been very stable over the last 20 years and, in fact, it increases every year a few million
dollars. Five years ago, the gross agricultural sales at the farmgate were about $308 million. Even though we
are in a recession and things are going badly, we have still increased the farmgate sales to $320 million. That
is a big number.



[2:00 p.m.]



Apples, they are important particularly in the region I come from, the Annapolis Valley. When you
hear of the Annapolis Valley, you think apples, not just in Nova Scotia but right across Canada the Annapolis
Valley is famous. Years ago, the Annapolis Valley was famous around the world because we exported apples
but now things are a little different. Now, the apple is grown in so many countries that it was not grown in
before and also the preferential trade agreements that we had with Great Britain ceased at the end of the
Second World War, so our export to Great Britain has certainly declined.



But when you think of apples, think of the research that was led by Dr. Pickett at our research station
in Kentville. Dr. Pickett would not be proud of what has happened this past week at our research station. The
federal government, through lack of knowledge and through lack of concern and through of lack of interest,
even, in Atlantic Canada has closed apple research in Nova Scotia. We were the forefront in the world in
researching apples, Dr. Pickett led integrated pest management as no other researcher in the world was able
to accomplish. We will no longer have individuals like Dr. Pickett because they don’t have the opportunity,
the money is gone and the research is no longer there.



Poultry is also important in Nova Scotia. We have many hundreds of people earning their living
through the direct result of the poultry industry, whether they are working at the processing factories, of which
we have three in Kings County; or in the egg grading stations, of which there are several throughout the
province, there are two very large ones in Kings County and several smaller ones throughout the province.
Dr. Proudfoot working at our research station in Kentville in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s and others in the
1980’s did some very meaningful important research so that the poultry industry could grow and become about
a $45 million a year industry at the farmgate and four times that in retail sales, employing over 300 people
in the processing factories and as further processing. Dr. Proudfoot helped our farmers develop a poultry
industry but now, in its wisdom, the federal government has also decided we don’t deserve poultry research
in Atlantic Canada either. So they have cut that out.



I say to you, Mr. Speaker, what on earth is the federal government thinking about. Times are tough,
money is in short supply, but the last place you go cutting is research. This federal government and previous
governments have thought that research wasn’t important, but I tell you we would not have a poultry industry,
we would not have an apple industry in this province if it were not for the developments at the Kentville
Agricultural Research Station.



The future of apples and poultry in Atlantic Canada and, indeed, eastern Canada, has become
somewhat unstable, somewhat unsettled, because of the lack of interest, the lack of concern and the single-minded determination to attack Atlantic Canada by the federal government. The federal government, what
they have done, is unpardonable and is unconscionable to degrade research in Atlantic Canada in agriculture.
But that, indeed, is what they have done.



The dairy industry is important. Over $100 million a year at the farmgate in all counties in the
province. Dairy research was done at the centre in New Brunswick. Hogs in Atlantic Canada are important.
Nova Scotia has almost one-third of the hog production in Atlantic Canada. During the last 10 years the hog
industry has been anything but stable. The federal government on two occasions in the last eight years has
come to the rescue of Nova Scotia hog producers because officials from the department in Nova Scotia were
able to convince Ottawa that we had a viable and worthwhile hog industry. The federal government put forth
the cash, the dollars to keep our hog industry alive and viable, until the price situation got better.



Would the same thing happen today? Would our Minister of Agriculture be able to go to the federal
Minister of Agriculture and say we are in a crisis, we need help? By the example of closing the research
station, cancelling the Agri-Food Agreement as he has done, I would have to say that the federal Minister of
Agriculture would probably tell our provincial minister to go home and stay home, we are not helping. The
examples we have seen from the federal government are certainly not encouraging to agriculture.



In Nova Scotia we have Larsen Packers, a very important hog processing facility that last year had
the most successful year they have had in the last 10 years. They have made a joint association with a packer
from New Brunswick. Together, they have become stronger and better. They are employing more people and
doing more added value than they ever did before.



From our minister’s district it is the mink industry. Since the 1950’s, Nova Scotia has been the
primary mink raising region in Canada, with some of the most unique mink animals in the world. In Nova
Scotia we were fortunate enough to find a jet black mink, just as black as a lump of coal. This was an animal
whose fur was in great demand around the world. The mink industry prospered and did well, until about five
years ago when, for many reasons, the mink industry went into hard times and the sale value of fur was 10
per cent from one year to the next - a 90 per cent reduction in revenues to the mink farmers.



The mink farmers said, so what, we are tough, we will hang in there. Well, the second year, 90 per
cent, and they said so what, we are tough. You know the mink farmers showed a resolve that a lot of Nova
Scotians would admire and be proud of because the mink farmers were not discouraged. They said, we will
tough it out. But by the third year their reserves were gone, their bank books were empty, their cars were sold
and they had buckled down. The Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture was able, on two occasions, to show
the federal government how important the mink industry really is to the economy of Nova Scotia and Atlantic
Canada and, indeed, all of Canada. Again, the federal government helped agriculture in Atlantic Canada.
They had two different programs, two years in a row, to help and assist and to keep the mink industry and the
fox industry as viable industries for Atlantic Canada. Could that happen again, with the current
administration? That is the question, Mr. Speaker.



Well, Mr. Speaker, my time is running low and I am barely beginning to talk about agriculture and
tell you again how important it is. Even in Cape Breton I heard a couple of fellows from Cape Breton
indicating that maybe agriculture didn’t turn them on much. But I want you to know that the largest vegetable
farm in all of Nova Scotia is located in Cape Breton, just outside North Sydney. If you are not familiar with
the Eyking farm, you should visit because it is one of the most modern that you will find anywhere. It has been
able to develop greatly through the assistance of the federal-provincial Agri-Food Agreement, another
program that this federal government has decided to no longer fund.



So, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak so briefly on agriculture and to
share with the other members in the House the importance of our primary industry. Thank you.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to rise and say a few words as we enter
into Supply. This is certainly one very valuable tradition of this House, in that it gives members from all sides
of the House an opportunity to rise and make their views known on a variety of issues that is not often
afforded, because of time restraints in the House.



Now I want to, not to downplay the importance of the previous topic because the agriculture industry
is extremely vital and important to the Province of Nova Scotia. I congratulate the previous speaker on the
important words he made on that topic.



I am going to deal - I am sure based on the heckles I am receiving from some government members,
I am going to change my topic this afternoon. I really want to talk about accountability. I want to talk about
openness, Mr. Speaker. I am sorry that the member for Hants East doesn’t like my tie. He can, tomorrow or
Thursday, on the debate going into Supply, if he wants, he can stand up and do a fashion commentary on the
kinds of ties I wear. Instead, I would like to address my comments to something far more important to Nova
Scotians, that is the lack of accountability and credibility that the government currently has.



Now, Mr. Speaker, if one takes a look at a whole variety of issues, and there are so many of them that
one would like to touch on, I am not going to be able to do it in total this afternoon but we do know that the
government promised, when they assumed office, that they were going to be totally open, that they were going
to be accountable and certainly that we could take their word on promises they had made.



I say, Mr. Speaker, that it may not come as a surprise to many people in this House, nor to Nova
Scotians, that the government has fallen far short in living up to the commitments and promises that we
heard. I am sure this afternoon we will hear, during the estimates of the Department of Health, about many
of the weaknesses and promises that were made, like the human resources strategy that was going to be put
in place, that has yet to be done. Therefore, all of the employees working in the Department of Health are very
much placed at risk, because of the failure of the government to follow through in the commitments that it
made and to be accountable to the people and employees who work within that system.



Mr. Speaker, Highway No. 104 is another prime example. Here we have a situation where the
government’s only defence for doing what they have done is that the Tories did it too. That is what they are
basically saying, whether it is true or not. The Minister of Transportation said, when he stood up, we didn’t
negotiate the SHIP agreement, we didn’t negotiate the federal-provincial agreement which gave us permission
for the minister himself to transfer money from the 100-Series Highway projects for which that money was
intended, the Trans Canada projects, to other highway projects in the province. We didn’t negotiate that, that
was a former government that did it. Therefore, all we are doing is taking advantage of the loopholes that
were negotiated into that contract.



Well, Mr. Speaker, with total respect to the intelligence of the people of the Province of Nova Scotia,
whether those provisions were in the contract or not, whether they were contained within the agreement, this
government cannot shirk from its responsibilities or from the fact that it was this government, the Liberal
Government, the Red Team that did, in fact, direct that money away from the Highway No. 104 by-pass to
the road running through the minister’s own riding and that of the federal minister for the area, the Hon.
David Dingwall. They had to amend the agreement to do that and whether or not the former government
correctly or incorrectly negotiated a contract with such a provision in it, it was this government that actually
acted on it.



[2:15 p.m.]



When one is talking about accountability, this government has a clear responsibility to accept the fact
and make it public that they chose to circumvent that agreement by trying to get that amendment through and,
in fact, doing so. We heard the Premier today saying that it would be silly and he is not going to take part in
silly arguments where you are trying to pit one part of the province against the other. That came in response
to the question about the fact that the Minister of Transportation had accused the Auditor General of making
a bureaucratic attack against Cape Breton. Therefore, if you follow what the Premier was saying to its logical
conclusion, the Premier himself was saying that the Minister of Transportation’s criticisms were silly. They
were silly but more than that, they were irresponsible in the extreme because the Minister of Transportation
was taking direct pot shots at the Auditor General for actually doing what the Auditor General is paid by the
taxpayers of Nova Scotia to do and that is to be a watchdog.



Another example of failed accountability, and in fact some might suggest a little bit of cowardism,
and that is the decision by this government to introduce legislation that gives all dictatorial power to the
Governor in Council to amalgamate school boards without any public input or consultation whatsoever. That
is again an example of where this government is unprepared to be accountable to the people it was elected to
serve. I travelled around the province following the Minister of Transportation and I went to most of his
public meetings. Around the province whether it be in your part of the province, Mr. Speaker, in Cape Breton
or whether it was in Yarmouth, people expressed serious, grave concerns about the minister’s White Paper
and what he was proposing to do.



The minister said we are here to listen, we are here to hear options, we are here to hear other choices
other than those which we are proposing. Yet, what does the government do? It introduces legislation not
laying out any boundaries, not setting out what amalgamation will be but saying that the Governor in Council
on the recommendation of the Minister of Education can do whatever they so choose. Any public consultation,
any public input is denied because what this government has done in effect is taken the powers away from the
Utility and Review Board who would have had the responsibility and would have had the power to accept
public input and concerns on what those new amalgamations will be.



As well as removing the powers of the Utility and Review Board to examine that, there are no
provisions whatsoever in the legislation other than for very brief comments at the Law Amendments
Committee for public input. The public of Nova Scotia has no idea what the government intends to do because
that is being kept secret behind the red curtain down in the Cabinet Room. They are keeping that as a secret
so that Nova Scotians don’t even know what to react to. All they know is that the government has taken upon
itself all dictatorial powers without even there being any opportunity for an appeal because there is no appeal
process that is contained. Mr. Speaker, that is not accountability.



I am sure that the residents who live in Sackville would like to have some kind of input or at least
to know that they would have an opportunity for input, as would the people in Cape Breton, as would the
people in southern Nova Scotia, in fact, all Nova Scotians who are concerned and have a stake in the future
of the education process in our province.



Mr. Speaker, on a small point in terms of expenses, and it is small in terms of dollars and cents, but
it is a very fundamental and important issue because, again, it deals with accountability. I asked the Premier
this afternoon if all expenses of ministers, related to their expenses as a minister are to be disclosed on the
proper forms and then filed with the Clerk of the Executive Council Office, and the Premier answered
correctly in terms of what his guidelines are, and that was yes.



But it is quite obvious that nobody is checking, nobody is monitoring to ensure that mistakes are not
being made. The Premier said that I am questioning the integrity of the Minister of Health. Quite honestly,
Mr. Speaker, I am not challenging the personal integrity of the Minister of Health, I am questioning whether
or not the Minister of Health has made a mistake, an error. The Minister of Health has said that all his
expense claims will appear in the Supplement to the Public Accounts, and those same guidelines clearly spell
out that the expenses are to be filed on a timely basis, monthly - in other words, they have to be current -are
to be the same as those that will appear in the Supplement to the Public Accounts.



If an error has been made in one, how many others - I am not just talking to the Minister of Health -
maybe have made errors in the way in which expenses are being filed? Mr. Speaker, it is a matter of
accountability; it is a matter of openness. It is not a matter of personal integrity in this particular situation
dealing with expenses; it is a matter of whether or not the proper procedures, so that the public will have a
full and detailed accounting as they have been promised, are actually being made available to them.



Mr. Speaker, I can go on and on with all kinds of other areas in terms of accountability. We know
that in Opposition, when the former Tories privatized Nova Scotia Power, members of the Liberal Opposition
vehemently opposed that and argued strongly in support of indigenous Nova Scotia resources as a fuel supply
for Nova Scotia Power. Now that they have gained control of the reins of power, the government appears to
be playing Pontius Pilate and washing their hands and saying that is a dispute between two companies and
it is not for us to interfere. The well-being of all Nova Scotians is affected by decisions being made. This
government has a responsibility to show some leadership, and far more will be said on that in future days, I
am sure, especially by my very capable colleague and Critic for the Department of Natural Resources, the
member for Halifax Atlantic.



This government has a credibility problem on the issues that I have talked about and many others.
If this government truly expects Nova Scotians to have confidence in what they are doing, then they have to
be transparent and accountable, as they promised.



Yes, Mr. Speaker, I see you are indicating that my time is wrapping up, so I won’t go into another
area where I could very easily, where accountability has been sadly lacking. Therefore, that may be the topic
of a future intervention as we go into Supply. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



The House is resolved into a Committee of the Whole House on Supply and also into the
Subcommittee on Supply, which will be meeting in the Red Room. I would like to point out that we need at
least six members in the Red Room to have a quorum and we need at least nine members or more here.



The House is now resolved into those respective Committees on Supply.



[2:25 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mrs. Francene
Cosman in the Chair.]



[5:59 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Paul MacEwan,
resumed the Chair.]



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on Supply
reports:



THE CLERK: That the committee has met and made some progress in considering Supply and asks
leave to sit again.






MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



The honourable Opposition House Leader.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, the business for tomorrow will be two resolutions: Resolution No.
55 which respects senior citizens and Resolution No. 92 respecting Highway No. 104 twinning. It is our
intention to devote 45 minutes to each issue and any time left over we will use for House Orders.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, the House will sit tomorrow from the hours of 2:00 p.m.
until 6:00 p.m. I move that we adjourn until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow afternoon at the
hour of 2:00 p.m.



The motion is carried.



[6:00 p.m.]



On the Adjournment Motion, the draw was won by the honourable member for Halifax Fairview
whose resolution is:



Therefore be it resolved that sustainable development must be more than a public relations platitude
if Nova Scotians are to be assured of a healthy environment and a healthy economy heading into the next
century.



ADJOURNMENT



MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.



ERA: DEV. SUSTAINABLE - ENSURE



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I am not going to spend a lot of time elaborating on the
resolution that I introduced for debate but let me just quickly, by way of introduction, indicate that it was
something along the lines that sustainable development has to be more than just a public relations platitude
or a buzz-word if we are going to enter the 21st Century with anything resembling a healthy economy and
a healthy environment.



There may be some who would say, well, this government has totally endorsed the concept of
economic sustainability. This is a government that often mouths the necessary words indicating a commitment
to environmentally responsible policies. But let me say that it is noteworthy, in fact, it is a cause for very grave
concern. As my colleague for Halifax Atlantic earlier today in this House indicated, in the most recent analysis
of the evaluation of the Canada-Nova Scotia Cooperation Agreement for Forestry Development for the period
1991 to 1995, one thing is absolutely clear. To suit its own narrow definition of sustainability, and I would
contend to suit its multinational partners and its big corporate interests in the field of resource development,
this government saw fit to basically change the definition, to narrow the definition of sustainability in the
application of that forestry cooperation agreement over the last four to five years, such that the words about
sustainability have not been followed or accompanied by appropriate actions. I think that that is, indeed, a
cause for concern.



As one environmental commentator recently suggested, the whole concept of sustainability has
become something like the motherhood issue, and I don’t think it is sexist to use that term. The point being
that there is a lot more lip service about sustainability, just as there often is about motherhood, than there
really is a lot of genuine, concrete attention to the issue of sustainability. So, we have the situation where, for
example, with respect to our forests it is well known that many of the practices that have accompanied our
forestry industry in the last couple of decades are such that this resource will not be sustained, that the
practices themselves are not sustainable.



What is happening with the forestry industry is very akin to what has already sadly happened with
respect to the fishing industry. We have had the application of harvesting methods, the application of modern
technology in the fishing industry that has virtually raped that resource from the ocean floor, that has gutted
the resource so that it is no longer, in its current form, using current practices, an industry that is going to
survive. Nobody can dispute that. We have massive displacement of both fisher persons and fish plant
workers, we have whole communities that are under seige because of the rape of that resource, the fact that
harvesting practices have not ensured that this industry will survive and be sustained over time, because there
is so little left.



One would hope that there would be lessons learned from that. I know that the province gets off the
hook somewhat by saying, oh well, in regard to the whole question of fishery methods, fishery harvesting
practices and so on, that is really a federal responsibility. If this government were really seriously committed
to the application of the principles of sustainability, they would be helping to provide some leadership in this
whole question of what kind of harvesting methods are going to ensure that we have a fishery at all over time.
Instead of seeing this government apply the very difficult disastrous lessons from the fishery to what is
happening today in the forestry there is very little evidence that this government is providing leadership in
the area of forestry practices, as well. Certainly, the evaluation of the cooperation agreement reinforces that
fact.



The reality is, and I am not suggesting that it is the creation of the current government, but surely
the time line, surely the vision about where our economy is headed has to take into account the practices that
have built up over decades if we are going to secure these resource-based industries for the future. That is
really what sustainability is all about, the concept of sustainability.



This government prides itself in talking about how exports are such an important part of our economy
that, in fact exports are up and we know that, I think, approximately 50 per cent, it may be a little more or
less in any given year, but approximately 50 per cent of our exports from this province are, in fact, resource
based. In fact, I think, just taking the fishery, agriculture and forestry alone accounts for 50 per cent of our
exports. Yet we know that with respect to forestry, for example, there are basically three major plants in
operation that are key in that export industry and they are 80 per cent of the forestry products that we export
are in the pulp and paper arena. Those plants are all foreign owned and there is no fundamental loyalty to
Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia jobs and the Nova Scotia way of life that is so dependent on our resource-based
industries.



I know the people will say, well now, it is just time for us to recognize that we are not going to be
able to depend on these resourced-based industries in the future, that we are going to have get into the high-tech solutions, that we are going to have to recognize that modern technology is the whole key to our future.
Surely, this government and anybody who aims to provide leadership in the development of the economy has
to be prepared to be proactive and show leadership in regard to securing as much of a sustainable resourced-based industry as we possibly can by taking a hard critical look at some of those practices that have severely
eroded jobs and economic opportunities in a resource-based industry.



Yet, I think there is very little indication with respect to forestry that the government has been
prepared to be proactive and show leadership in even facing the reality that over a period of almost four
decades that we have really, through our practices of herbicide spray, of suppressing hardwoods, when in fact
they are the most valuable resource, of having just been prepared to sort of give carte blanche to using the pulp
and paper industry as the basic vehicle for development of our forestry industry, really put us in a very
precarious position today with respect to the future. I do not want to be the purveyor of gloom and doom, but
the reality is that our forestry practices tend to be based on high volume and low value.



Yet, Mr. Speaker and I know my time is up, there is every argument to be made for why we have to
re-examine some of those clear-cutting practices and recognize that not only are we not maximizing the value
over time, but we are literally going to be robbing ourselves of the very basic elements of our ecosystem that
are important for the future of not just a healthy forestry industry, but in fact, for the future of a healthy
environment. In the process we are allowing the erosion of our soil, the silting of our rivers, the depleting of
much of the richness and diversity of our forests with very little indication that this government is prepared
to provide leadership for where we go in the future and how we are going to ensure genuine sustainability over
the next number of decades. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, I always find it most interesting to be lectured to by an urban as
a rural member with respect to forestry practices. I am often inclined to remind urban members that if they
want to look at clear cuts they do not need to take a drive in the countryside where in fact urban members live
in the biggest clear-cuts in this province, that is in the urban sprawl which seems to provide them with the
necessities that they deem to be appropriate to their lifestyles.



I also am consistently amused by those who criticize multinationals as being, on their very best days,
only accidentally ethical and having no interest or commitment to this province. There is a multinational
corporation which now owns the pulp and paper mill which was established in Liverpool in 1929 which is
providing steady, consistent and very valuable employment to my community.



It is interesting to note that in those early years it was financed and owned by Nova Scotians and that
in the 1950’s when the time came for the mill literally to be rebuilt, Nova Scotians, were not prepared to invest
in that company and so thank Heavens for our community, we did find an international investor who was
prepared to invest and that was Bowater. So Mersey Paper Company Limited became Bowater Mersey Paper
Company Limited. That is not to suggest that I agree with all policies that that company puts forward. I think,
by in large, it has played a positive role, certainly, in the economy of my community, and I think in the
economy of Nova Scotia, as well.



I also find it interesting having had the opportunity just a few days ago to review the monies which
were given to the three political Parties to notice that the largest single group which gave to the New
Democratic Party was in fact the labour unions in this province. I just wonder how in good conscience the
New Democratic Party can take that dirty money from those labour members who work for the multinationals
in this province because surely that is where some of that money comes from.



Sustainable development is, by its very nature, an ambiguous term. I am inclined to think that there
is some good fortune in that because it means that we can adjust the definition to meet the realities of
economic development within the context of environmental protection and that we do not end up creating an
icon which reflects the understanding of the past, but rather create a constantly shifting definition, one which
we must hope will reflect the knowledge of sustainable development as we accumulate it through our
experience of creating sustainable economies, not only here in Nova Scotia and in Canada, but indeed around
the world as well.



The Brundtland definition of sustainable development is well known to us and essentially it is the
one which is incorporated in what I think is a pretty good piece of legislation that the now Minister for the
Economic Renewal Agency brought into this House and that we hammered into its final form after many
hours in committee. I have commended him before and I wish to do so again for the patience and cooperation
and openness that he showed with respect to creating this new legislation.



The definition of sustainable development in the Act means development that meets the needs of the
present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. My
inclination is towards a somewhat different definition. One which was recommended to the government by
the three person committee that the minister wisely established to hold public hearings with respect to the
draft of the environmental legislation which is now upon Nova Scotia. That essentially says that sustainable
development requires that the quality of human life be improved while living within the caring capacity of
supporting ecosystems.



I think that word ecosystem is absolutely essential to our understanding of sustainable economic
development and what kinds of economies we can build because it does require us to take a holistic approach
to the whole matter of developing our economies and protecting our natural environment, by looking at it not
as we mistakenly have in the past, for example, in the fisheries on a fish stock by fish stock basis, but looking
at the entire ecosystem and understanding as much as we possibly can.



[6:15 p.m.]



We must work hard to increase that understanding all the time, that there is a tremendous integration
of every living being directly or indirectly within that ecosystem. If we inadvertently, or God forbid
advertently, destroy or significantly alter the health of any one aspect of the ecosystem, we now know almost
assuredly that it is going to have a negative impact somewhere else in the ecosystem and perhaps an extremely
negative impact indeed.



I think that is my own belief and it is one that I think is shared by many others with respect to the
fishery, is that we probably have done ecological damage in the fishery not understanding the importance of
managing through a holistic approach and, as a result, we have depleted our resource in specific areas which
are important parts of the food chain and, therefore, that has had an adverse impact on other aspects of the
fishery as well.



I noticed too that ecosystems, of course, play an increasingly significant role in our understanding
of how we should go about protecting special places in Nova Scotia. I think if we reflect on the parks system
plan which is currently under discussion in the province and one of which we will hear more tomorrow as the
World Wildlife Federation in Canada makes its annual report on all of the jurisdictions across the country
with respect to the stewardship of special places, that we are beginning to move away from the idea of setting
aside special places because they have one or two or three major features which are of importance and we
begin to think of them in terms of ecosystem development, ecosystem protection and so on.



It is a quantum leap mentally and in policy to move from the old way of thinking which is only a few
years old, in fact, to the new way of thinking. It is difficult for governments, it is difficult for education
systems, it is difficult for industry to make that leap of faith, but nonetheless it must be done and I have some
comfort that however difficult a chore may be, that we are beginning to face up to it, to face up to the reality
that not to do so will provide us with a very bleak future on this planet indeed.



We saw Canada playing a very important role at the Earth Summit in Rio, a role that we must
continue to play. Nobody comes to the sustainable development table with clean hands no matter where they
come from on this globe and the important thing is for us, I believe, not to assign guilt but rather jointly to
work together to find solutions which will benefit not only all of humankind, but indeed will benefit all of
those life systems which are part of the larger ecosystem which function within that very thin envelope of life,
the biosphere, and do so in such a way that we will be able to accomplish the challenge that the Brundtland
Commission had put before our species on this planet.



The information economy, which is developing rapidly and really into which we have been thrust
and of which we must take advantage, lends itself well to the whole idea of sustainable development. We have
tremendous opportunities here in Nova Scotia to position ourselves to sell what we know, the services we
know, the knowledge that we have gained through our private sectors, through our academic institutions,
through the institutions associated with government, with respect to building our economy by helping to green
the world.



We do have a long way to go. I would like to think that all of us have played in small or a large way
a role within a Nova Scotian context to help to do this. We must be ever vigilant, we must be sure that we
move forward and we move forward on the basis of good, solid, scientific knowledge and not solely on the
basis of emotion, although emotion is an important part of this for all of us.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency.



HON. ROBERT HARRISON: First of all, I appreciate very much this resolution to debate the issue
of whether or not we are dealing with a public relations platitude or, in fact, the very substance of government.



I would think, without judging the age of my honourable colleagues, that a few years ago no one
could have imagined that we would actually see in our lifetime the destruction of the Berlin Wall, or that an
author in Wolfville, named Jim Stokesbury, who wrote a book about nuclear disarmament, would actually live
to see the impact of his work, or Michael Fullan, from the University of Toronto, who wrote a book in 1975
entitled The Implementation of Educational Change, would actually live to see his works obsolete, not only
in a lifetime but within a decade.



We have read books about the agrarian revolution. For centuries people wrote about the agrarian
revolution. For hundreds of years after the industrial revolution scholars argued about the impact. Here we
are, on the brink of the information revolution, arguing about the ethics before the revolution has actually
begun.



The kind of change we are talking about here, the issue of platitudes and sustainable development,
the term sustainable development is already obsolete. The issue we are talking about here is governance based
on a balanced approach between social, fiscal and environmental responsibility. Ultimately, it is in and of
itself an ecosystem, which requires very complex forms of governance and even more complex forms of public
policy shaping.



The fact that at least one of my two honourable colleagues mentioned the process that took five years,
which yielded environmental legislation with a sunset on it to be reviewed within five years again, is an
indication of the kind of public policy building that is required in the 21st Century, in terms of the essence
of governance. Begun by the previous government and, I am sure, applauded by the New Democratic Party,
was the Round Table on Environment and Economy, which as one of its fundamental tenets undertaken to
try and define a concept which, in the early days, was at best a conceptual idea of sustainable development,
practised by our grandfathers and great grandfathers and mothers, but something we had to rethink after the
throw-away age of the early 1950’s and 1960’s and 1970’s, for that matter, and perhaps even 1980’s, where
things were disposable, dispensable and we didn’t care much for living off the interest.



Further generations, previous generations, understood well the concept of living off the interest but
somehow in the post-war era this concept escaped us, perhaps because, as my honourable colleague has
mentioned, we were like children with the toys of technology. There is no question that a balanced focus
requires that we not fool ourselves into thinking that technology will be the solution to the future problems
of the world.



So the Round Table developed as its essential tenet the description, at least in government, of a
document that now lives within Priorities and Planning, one that is being responded to by each of the
departments, which attempts to drive through the heart of and transcend the departments and the ethics of
those departments, the concept of sustainability.



We have, growing out of that, Coastal 2000, an inter-departmental consultative document at the
moment that is going from community to coastal community, in an attempt to try and build consensus around
the issue of decision-making leading to sustainability. We have seen in the platform and campaign literature
of the New Democratic Party the development of community economic development, the incredible power of
empowerment of communities that are focused, in a balanced sense, on their own economic futures. We have
seen integrated resource management, at least practised in pilot form by Natural Resources.



There is no question that the report that I have only just seen today, in very rough detail in terms of
the description of the Fuller Report, is critical of some of the initiatives of practices that are not leading to
sustainable forestry in this province. However, it is absolutely and also critical that this government and every
government undertake to manage public policy, to try and shape and lead within the complexities and the
overlays of a balanced approach to environment, to social responsibilities and ultimately to fiscal
responsibility.



Therein lies the difficulty. Oftentimes my colleagues are chastised for not providing definitive
responses to our plan. The plan is that complex. We are faced with the lack of sustainability on the fiscal front
of having to pay $300 million more a year on the interest payments on our staggering debt than we do to
educate all of our children. That statement, I keep repeating it in front of you. I cannot even believe I am
saying it when we talk about sustainability in terms of social debt and deficit.



We know about the environmental debt and deficit of this province and this report reveals some more
of that and we must correct that and we must do so in a balanced fashion. Anyone who has ever knocked on
4,000 or 5,000 doors in an election campaign knows full well the extent of the social deficit that exists in the
Province of Nova Scotia. Regardless of what government is in power, there needs to be a full understanding
of decision-making that leads to sustainability on all fronts.



I had the great distinct pleasure of meeting Bernadette Dwyer, who is the spokesperson for the Fogo
Island Cooperative, an island off of Newfoundland. She stood up and said, the greatest blessing that happened
to our community was when they told us we could not fish any more because it meant we could get on with
our lives, that we could bury the unsustainable part of our past, stop practising denial which said that another
hospital and NSRL would pave our streets in gold, stop expressing the anger that comes from when people
point out the realization that our life was not sustainable in the first place, to get on with the negotiations that
are undoubtedly yet to come and are in the process and to actually start celebrating a new life after we have
come to terms with the burial of the unsustainable part of our past life, that we take the best of our heritage
and attach it to the great potential of this province and actually lead ourselves into the 21st Century.



So, I commend the member opposite for raising this issue. You certainly have my personal pledge
and I don’t know how many Environment Ministers have been privileged enough to be given a portfolio in
Economic Renewal, but the concept of renewal, whether it is in education or community services, whether
it is environment or economy, is one of renewal in a balanced sense, one that ensures that the complexities
of public policy making and shaping and leading and, ultimately, of governance, is understood by those
governing, whether in Opposition or in power.



I guess I would conclude by saying that I believe at the very heart of this government, and I am sure
you have heard the word sustainability almost as often as world-class, I think the two go hand in hand. I do
believe that part of the heart and soul of this government is, in fact, decision-making that leads to
sustainability and that those who follow, I believe, will be impressed with the balanced record set by this
government. Thank you. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: If there are no further speakers, I will declare the debate adjourned. The House will
now rise to meet again tomorrow afternoon at the hour of 2:00 p.m.



[The House rose at 6:28 p.m.]