Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

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HALIFAX, THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 1995



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Third Session



12:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mrs. Francene Cosman






MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. It may be a little soon, but I would like to call the House to order at
this time. If there are guests who haven’t arrived yet, they can come in later on.



We will commence the daily routine, unless there are introductions of guests.



The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.



MR. DENNIS RICHARDS: Today, it gives me great pleasure to introduce two individuals to the
House to you and through you, Mr. Speaker. As mentioned yesterday by the honourable Minister of Housing
and Consumer Affairs, today is Take Our Daughters to Work Day. Although I couldn’t bring my own
daughter, I brought a daughter of a constituent of mine and she has been following me since early this
morning and will continue to follow me throughout the day. She tells me it is her pleasure, by the way, and
it is certainly mine. I would like to introduce to you the Grade 9 student from Eastern Passage Junior High
School, Leslie Scott. Leslie, if you would stand and receive the welcome. (Applause)



Mr. Speaker, I will continue because seated next to Leslie is a very distinguished constituent of mine.
This lady has just been awarded the Halifax County Volunteer of the Year Award and she has participated
in a great number of community activities, the least of which happens to be as the President of my
constituency. I would like to welcome Carolyn Scott to the House of Assembly. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: We will commence the daily routine.









1131



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Housing and Consumer Affairs.



RESOLUTION NO. 205



HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: Mr. Speaker, in keeping with the earlier introduction and yesterday’s
ministerial statement, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following
resolution:



Whereas April 27th is Take Our Daughters to Work Day, when many parents, employers and schools
are cooperating to encourage girls to spend the day at work with a parent or other interested adult; and



Whereas Take Our Daughters to Work Day represents a great opportunity to acquaint girls with the
wide range of career options open to them, many of which were not open to women in the past; and



Whereas this day is also an opportunity for boys to come to a greater understanding of the obstacles
faced by girls and women, and to understand the idea that gender roles in society can be confining for both
men and women; and



Whereas Take Our Daughters to Work Day is an opportunity for boys, girls, parents, educators and
the business community to envision a future where it will no longer be unusual to see women in trades and
technical work, leading corporations, or in elected office;



Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize and support the efforts of schools, parents and
employers in helping girls and boys to a more equal future in the work place and in the world.



I would seek waiver of notice.



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



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Minister of Health.









RESOLUTION NO. 206



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



Whereas April 23rd to April 29th is National Physiotherapy Week in Nova Scotia; and



Whereas there are more than 400 licensed physiotherapists helping Nova Scotians in communities
throughout our province; and



Whereas physiotherapists make an important contribution to health care delivery in Nova Scotia and
have an important role to play in our renewed health care system;



Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize National Physiotherapy Week, April
23rd to April 29th, and commend and thank them for their dedication and professionalism.



I would seek waiver of notice on this resolution.



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



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



RESOLUTION NO. 207



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



Whereas although faced with a very short deadline many of the province’s school boards and home
and school associations and teachers did pull together their resources to respond to the White Paper on
Education; and



Whereas the minister, who said on April 5th that he would take 27 days to review any and all
submissions received, has but six days left of his self-imposed timeline to review proposals before taking a
decision to Cabinet; and



Whereas this very quick deliberation - similar to the unseemly haste with which the government
reviewed casino regulations - has already been muddied by the introduction of legislation associated with
changes in the White Paper;



Therefore be it resolved that in light of the comments of the Nova Scotia School Boards Association
and others this week that, “they continue to have concerns regarding the course of education restructuring in
Nova Scotia”, this minister give the submissions proper and full attention before any further steps are taken
with respect to our public education system.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 208



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



Whereas in December 1994 the Black Learners Advisory Committee released their report on minority
hiring and improving the school system for black students; and



Whereas the recommendations contained in the BLAC Report will assist in dismantling the systemic
discrimination that has and continues to maintain African Nova Scotians as a cultural and educational under
class; and



Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia has not officially responded to the recommendations of the
BLAC Report;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the Minister of Education not to delay any further, and
in his response expected shortly to the BLAC Report, that the minister outline, with a clearly set timetable,
the government’s agenda to dismantle systemic discrimination in Nova Scotia.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Lunenburg.



RESOLUTION NO. 209



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



Whereas Flavour ‘95 is a three day - from April 28th to April 30th - consumer exhibition combing
a wealth of tourism information with the sampling of sumptuous food, wine and liquors; and



Whereas the tourism aspect of ‘Flavour 95 shows Atlantic Canada guests the beautiful and historical
sites we can see within our province; and



Whereas the exciting food displays, through the Quality Food Program and Taste of Nova Scotia offer
the opportunity, together with smaller local exhibitors, to sample the unique Atlantic Provinces culinary
delights;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly extend congratulations to the
organizers, sponsors and participants of Flavour ‘95 who put forward the best Atlantic Canada has to offer
under one roof and give us all a feeling of pride and enjoyment.



I ask for waiver of notice.



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Kings North.



RESOLUTION NO. 210



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 Mayor of Wolfville told town council on March 20th that the MLA for Kings South,
the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency, had assured her there would be no municipal amalgamation
in Kings County without the prior consent of residents; and



Whereas last Friday, April 21st, in this Legislature, the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency
clearly denied making any such statement to the mayor; and



Whereas the Mayor of Wolfville once again on radio this morning in the Annapolis Valley was
saying that there is no disagreement between herself and the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency and
that municipal amalgamation will not take place unless consent was given by the residents of Kings County;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Municipal Affairs make an immediate and abundantly
clear statement to the residents of Kings County as to the power she has given the Minister for the Economic
Renewal Agency concerning municipal amalgamation plans.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 211



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



Whereas April 28th of each year has been chosen by the Canadian Labour Congress as a Day of
Mourning in recognition of workers killed, injured or disabled on the job; and



Whereas in Nova Scotia, more than 12,000 people have been killed or injured on the job during the
last five years; and



Whereas promises to strengthen and improve the Occupational Health and Safety Act still have not
been fulfilled;



Therefore be it resolved that this House should honour those workers who have been killed or injured
on the job by ensuring there are no further delays in implementing long-overdue improvements to Nova
Scotia’s health and safety laws, including the right to refuse unsafe work.



Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.



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



Is it agreed?



I hear several Noes.



The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



RESOLUTION NO. 212



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



Whereas this is the 73rd year of operation for the Truro Music Festival Society, yet the first year that
some assistance will not be provided by the provincial government; and



Whereas the Truro Music Festival is the oldest such annual festival in Atlantic Canada and is
operated totally by volunteers while receiving the majority of their funds from private donations; and



Whereas the annual participation rate in the Truro Music Festival averages between 5,000 people
and 6,000 people, including both young adults, individuals and school class groups;



Therefore be it resolved that this Liberal Government and the member for Truro-Bible Hill revisit
the request from the music organizers to see if funds can be found to assist with the 1995 festival.



Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.



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



Is it agreed?



I hear several Noes.



The notice is tabled.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.












RESOLUTION NO. 213



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



Whereas Nova Scotia has a long history of democracy; and



[12:15 p.m.]



Whereas due to the dedication of Nova Scotia women the right to vote was secured by women in
Nova Scotia when the women’s suffrage bill received Royal Assent in Nova Scotia on April 26, 1918;



Therefore be it resolved on this special day when young women are exposed to a variety of career
options through the Take Our Daughters to Work Program, sponsored by the Nova Scotia Advisory Council
on the Status of Women and the Nova Scotia Government, that we encourage young women throughout Nova
Scotia to get involved in our political structure so that they may effect change like those women who secured
the right to vote in Nova Scotia over 70 years ago.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



You have an introduction, too, that you wanted to make?



The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.



MR. BRUCE HOLLAND: It gives me great pleasure to introduce today Alison Baker, the daughter
of Al and Brenda Baker, and Tabitha Smith, the daughter of Betty and Gary Smith, who are all constituents
of mine. Alison and Tabitha are here with me today, their parents asked me if I would bring them, under the
Take Our Daughters to Work Program. We spent some time in the constituency office this morning and over
at the caucus office and they are here today to hear Question Period and some of the debate on bills. I would
ask all members to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



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



Whereas Rule 9(2) of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly states that it is the right of any member
to appeal a Speaker’s ruling by way of substantive motion; and



Whereas a member’s right to make such a substantive motion is violated when Mr. Speaker engages
in debate of the motion before notice has even been presented in its entirety; and



Whereas on two occasions this week, Mr. Speaker has pre-emptively ruled out of order NDP motions,
making it virtually pointless to make a substantive motion to appeal a ruling of Mr. Speaker;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges Mr. Speaker to apologize for his gross interference with
a member’s well-established freedom to place before the House a notice of motion.



MR. SPEAKER: I rule that motion to be out of order.



The honourable member for Sackville-Beaverbank.



RESOLUTION NO. 214



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



Whereas this week is Volunteer Week throughout Nova Scotia in recognition of the valuable
contributions made by volunteers;



Whereas each community in Nova Scotia has named a representative Volunteer of the Year;



Whereas Ms. Pauline Stanick has been nominated as Volunteer of the Year for the community of
Sackville;



Therefore be it resolved that this House extend congratulations and best wishes to Ms. Stanick for
her significant contribution to the betterment of life in her community.



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



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



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Eastern Shore.



RESOLUTION NO. 215



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



Whereas on Sunday, April 23rd, The Lake Charlotte and Area Historical Society was officially
formed with 16 charter members; and



Whereas the goal of The Lake Charlotte and Area Historical Society is to promote the region as a
major tourist attraction, by focusing on the fascinating industrial boom the area experienced between the
1920’s to 1960’s; and



Whereas in the period between the two World Wars the Lake Charlotte area was a booming region
which included very positive and productive sawmills, rich gold mines and a busy harbour;



Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud the members of The Lake Charlotte and Area
Historical Society on their foundation and recognize their efforts to make the area a major tourist destination,
while keeping alive the pioneering and innovative spirit which characterized the early settlements along the
Eastern Shore.



I would ask for waiver of notice.



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



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



RESOLUTION NO. 216



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



Whereas the Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women rose yesterday
with great fanfare to announce Take Our Daughter to Work Day as an opportunity for Nova Scotian girls to
see firsthand a variety of career options to consider in their future; and



Whereas the Minister of Education last week suspended enrolment for the Medical Lab Technicians
course at Nova Scotia Community College where 85 per cent of the students are young women, and;



Whereas medical lab technicians’ unemployment rate is significantly below average and the average
salary is $32,000 which is well above the average salary of women in Nova Scotia;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education reconsider his decision to eliminate the
Medical Lab Technicians course and demonstrate a real commitment to the advancement of career
opportunities for young Nova Scotian women.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Annapolis.






RESOLUTION NO. 217



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



Whereas the Annapolis County Volunteer Awards ceremony and reception were held last evening;
and



Whereas the Annapolis County Volunteer Awards ceremony celebrates 15 years of recognizing
community volunteers; and



Whereas 43 residents of Annapolis County were recognized for their outstanding contributions to
the lives of people in our communities;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House extend congratulations to the awards
ceremony organizers and to the 43 residents of Annapolis County for their hard work and self-sacrifice.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Yarmouth.



RESOLUTION NO. 218



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



Whereas in this, the 50th Anniversary marking the end of the Second World War, Canadian soldiers
are still deployed to war zones in order to achieve a lasting peace: and



Whereas Nova Scotians are serving in peacekeeping missions in Croatia; and



Whereas Private Scott Leblanc of Yarmouth has been given commendation for his work in Croatia
in 1993;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House commend Private Scott Leblanc for serving
the world in a mission of peace and for making Nova Scotians proud of Canadian peacekeeping units
throughout the world.



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



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



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried. (Applause)



I wish to advise the House that the Clerk has conducted a draw for the Adjournment debate at 6:00
p.m. The winner this afternoon is the honourable member for Halifax Atlantic. He has submitted a resolution
reading:



Therefore be it resolved that this Liberal Government do its homework on the real costs and benefits
of public/private partnership before handing off all of our public assets at great cost to Nova Scotians.



So, we will hear debate on that topic at 6:00 p.m.



Before we begin the Question Period, are there additional introductions of guests that are here, I see
several more in the gallery? If not we will advance to Orders of the Day. The Oral Question Period today will
last for one hour, the time now being 12:23 p.m., the duration will be until 1:23 p.m.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



FISH. - RADAC: ANNA. BASIN - MODUS OPERANDI



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Fisheries. As evidenced by
correspondence I received today there continues to be confusion and bitterness with respect to RADAC and
the matter of aquaculture in Annapolis Basin. I table three of the letters to which I will refer to in my first
question. Basin fishers has demanded the resignation of the member for Digby alleging conflict of interest
and also demanding the resignation of the member for Annapolis who is alleged to have offered, on April 23,
1993, to resign if aquaculture goes ahead in Annapolis Basin. My question to the minister is what immediate
action is the minister taking to get RADAC back on track and functioning as the legitimate advisory body to
the minister?



HON. JAMES BARKHOUSE: Mr. Speaker, I have not been privileged to see these letters, I have
not heard of these letters. The fact that the accusation against the member for Digby would even be implied
or mentioned in this Legislature I think is unfair because this member has in no way any affiliation. Perhaps
his son is involved with one of the companies but that I believe is an arm’s length situation. There is no way
that that member has any implications with respect to the awarding or granting of one of those proposals.



With regard to RADAC, that is a community-based operation under the management of the Western
Valley Development Authority and I do not have the authority to tell them what to do and when to do it. That
is their mandate to operate independently of the arms of this government. (Applause)



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, ACOA has been very aggressive pursuing aquaculture development in
Annapolis Basin as evidenced by a letter from Jeff Mullen, the Account Manager for ACOA in Nova Scotia
to Paul Buxton, dated March 9, 1995, and I will table that letter and another letter that is associated with this
question. Is it true that Mr. Aiden Mullen has been appointed to RADAC and that Mr. Aiden Mullen is Jeff
Mullen’s father and, if so, does this not give at least the appearance, if not the substance, of a conflict?



MR. BARKHOUSE: The two people that the member opposite has brought to the floor, Mr. Aiden
Mullen is a member of the Ratting Beach Farm which last year had been chosen as one of the experimental
farms to operate in the Annapolis Basin. I understood that was a very successful operation and, again, had
requested enlargement of their operation this year.



Mr. Aiden Mullen could be the father of the other Mr. Mullen, who works for ACOA. I think that
the people who are in charge of his department of ACOA should be responsible for considering any
implications of involvement with the Mullen family. But I can say Mr. Aiden Mullen, whether he is a member
of the RADAC, I cannot confirm. Members of RADAC have been appointed by the people within the
community. There are three members of the aquaculture operations there, also three members from the Basin
fishers, and together they chose the other ones besides the municipal appointments. Whether there is any
conflict of interest, I think that has something to do with the ACOA operations over which I have no
jurisdiction.



MR. LEEFE: My final question to the Minister of Fisheries is one that I take no pleasure in putting
but I have no choice if I am to meet my public responsibility in so doing. This morning I checked with the
Registry of Joint Stock Companies and I found that the member for Digby-Annapolis, name is listed as a
Director of Casey Fisheries Limited and my question to the minister is this. Is the minister absolutely satisfied
that there is no conflict of interest respecting the member for Digby and any application by Casey Fisheries
Limited respecting aquaculture sites in Annapolis Basin?



MR. BARKHOUSE: The implication. That member has been here, I believe, about 25 years. He has
been involved as a member of this government whether it was in Opposition or on this side of the House. Mr.
Speaker, he has not been advocating, he has not inferred that that company, and I don’t believe that that
company, Casey Fisheries Limited, is actually directly involved. It is an operation of Mr. Earle Carpenter and
Duncan Casey.



I believe the company that has been incorporated to function in the role, and it had made the
application, is at arm’s length from Mr. Joe Casey, the honourable member for Digby-Annapolis, who has
been here I believe about 25 years and who certainly has not, in my opinion, and from any undertaking and
any understanding, Mr. Casey is at arm’s length from this operation. I certainly feel quite confident that there
is no conflict of interest and I would stand by this commitment. (Applause)



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



ENVIRON. - PITS & QUARRIES: REGS. - TRANSPORT. EXEMPTION



MR. JOHN HOLM: As the minister will have to leave, I am going to direct this question to the
Minister of the Environment. The new regulations under the new Environment Act exempt pits and quarries
from the minister’s department’s assessment and watchful eye if the aggregate is to be used for the purposes
of fulfilling contracts for the Department of Transportation. My question to the minister is quite simply this.
Why have you and your department decided to exempt the Department of Transportation and, in fact, to
forego your responsibilities to ensure the proper environmental protections are in place?



HON. WAYNE ADAMS: The exemption the member refers to is an ongoing one but I will tell him
at the end of that that there is no relinquishing of responsibilities for environmental protection and control
with the Department of Transportation or any other department or with anybody else.



MR. HOLM: When you read the regulations it sounds very much like it is a fox that is guarding the
hen house because it is the Department of Transportation itself that is supposed to be monitoring to ensure
that the guidelines and so on are being followed, Mr. Speaker, not the minister’s department.



[12:30 p.m.]



My second question is quite simply this. The minister will know that the permit for the Tidewater
quarry in Waverley has been suspended. My question to the minister, if that company wins a contract, as it
has, from the Department of Transportation, can that company use aggregate from that pit to fulfil its contract
obligations to the Department of Transportation?



MR. ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, that sounds like a matter that is in the hands of the operators, as opposed
to the controller, which is ourselves and government. If a company had a supply of surplus on hand and
wanted to sell it, I don’t think we could tell him he can’t sell that material.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, the minister either accidentally or on purpose did not hear my question.
That operation is supposedly shut down. That quarry is shut down in Waverley, the permit has been revoked,
unless the minister has reinstated it, which will not be amusing to many people.



My question to the minister is quite simply this. Can that company skirt the regulations, skirt its
permit by providing aggregate to the Department of Transportation from that quarry, when it has had its
permit revoked for violating the terms that were adopted by the former Minister of the Environment back in
1985, as a result of an environmental assessment? Do they have that ability to use that rock?



MR. ADAMS: Of course not, Mr. Speaker, the answer is no.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



COMMUN. SERV. - SOCIAL WORKERS: REGISTRATION - DIFFICULTIES



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Community Services. The minister will
remember when he introduced the new Social Workers Act in November of 1993 that many concerns were
raised about individuals practising social work who did not have either a Bachelor or Masters of Social Work.
At the time, the minister made reference to Clause 23 which would, in effect, provide a grandparenting clause
so those individuals could be registered as qualified social workers. At that time, the minister described a
process which seemed to indicate easy access by the grandparenting clause.



However, many people are having difficulty in being approved by the registration board. Can the
minister indicate if the government is represented on this board, which is reviewing the applications?



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, the Act does allow licensing by the profession and gives the
profession of social work control and power and responsibilities within its own profession, much like the
Provincial Medical Board.



There are appointments, and specifically answering the member’s question, there are appointments
to the board by government. I know that one is that of a judge. I am not sure of the others, I would have to
check to inform the House, Mr. Speaker, but there are, as the honourable member would know, like the
Provincial Medical Board, there are government appointments to the Board of Examiners of the Association
of Social Workers.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his answer. In view of the large number of calls
that I think MLAs are receiving, and no doubt the minister, there is a lot of concern out there that a number
of people who felt they would be admitted by the grandparenting clause are finding out that they are rejected.



My specific question to the minister, having established now that there is government representation
on the registration board, is the minister absolutely satisfied that the registration board is applying Section
23, the grandparenting clause, in exactly the way it was described, both at his press conference and to the
members of this House when he was speaking on the social worker bill?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, this was legislation that had been available to government, the previous
administration, for quite a period of time. Like a lot of other initiatives, for some reason or another they did
not see their way clear to bring this forward. As Minister of Community Services, I feel very strongly that in
this province we should do all we can to encourage the team players within our communities and in our
institutions, whether they are physicians, lawyers, social workers, nurses or whatever. This was an attempt
to do that, Mr. Speaker.



The problem with any profession that lacks the power of licensure is that they cannot determine who
calls themselves a social worker and who does not. There is no question that many people have thought they
were dealing with social workers when, in fact, they were dealing with a family benefits worker, municipal
social service workers. These people, of course, in large part, do not practice social work.



The other concern is that of family counselling and marriage counselling, where practically with very
little recourse and without even having to belong to the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers, they
could, in fact, advertise that they were doing work that was really best served by social workers.



I realize it is a long answer. I am satisfied that the process is in place. It is working. There are letters
and calls and concerns because of people who are not, in fact, practising social work who would like to be
grandparented in.



I would end by saying, Mr. Speaker, that those jobs will in no way be threatened, if they are working
for the Department of Community Services, if they are municipal workers that we are taking in under our one-tiered system. There is no way that they are going to lose that job, it is just that they will not be able to call
themselves social workers because, in fact, they are not doing social work.



DR. HAMM: By way of final supplementary, would the minister confirm that there are groups of
employees within the Department of Community Services, within the Department of Health and within
municipal departments of social services which are being automatically accepted or rejected, by the nature
of the classification within those departments?



DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, the Department of Community Services and the Department of Health
have nothing to do with determining who is practising social work in this province. As the member has
mentioned, the Act is clear on this and this is the determination of a professional body. It is an attempt to add
professionalism to a group that is very important, both within the Department of Health and of the Department
of Community Services and within our communities.



We, within the department, did try to determine some areas where we thought we would make
information available as to the type of work being done by certain groups. I think family benefits workers
pretty well generally across the board are not considered to be social workers. That has added a lot of
confusion, and I think to the detriment of the profession of social work.



There have been some people in some areas of the province, Mr. Speaker, that I know have been
grandparented in, in all fairness, under some difficulties and great discussions, who have a Grade 10
education, or maybe a high school education. They have done that because the nature of their work was
considered to be evolved over the years to be that of social work.



I think this is an issue, Mr. Speaker, that if we want to keep looking around, this can be really
broadened and we can see winners and losers. I think we are all winners because what we are doing is a very
important part of the health care and social services of this province. There is professionalism added and they
will make the decisions as to who shall call themselves a social worker. The other people will not be losing
their jobs, certainly within our department and in the Department of Health. Any influence that I have, and
I don’t think they need that because I think the association is fair in making that determination. It is just that
they won’t be able to call themselves social workers if they are not practising social work.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Supply and Services on a brief introduction.



HON. GERALD O’MALLEY: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I will not eat into the time of
Question Period, I hope. I would want to honour this day, the Take Our Daughters to Work Day in
government circles in Nova Scotia. Two well-known people in this House who have brought their daughters
today, Mrs. Marilyn Gaudet and Mrs. Elizabeth-Ann Coady, whom I am sure everybody in the House is aware
of. They have brought their daughters along and I don’t know Mrs. Gaudet’s daughter’s first name, but Ms.
Gaudet.



Then on the other side I want to introduce, a very warm spot in my heart, my granddaughter,
Kimberley Coady, who has knocked on many doors in search of votes and will some day be running for
Premiership of this province, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)



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






NAT. RES. - PROV. PARKS: EMPLOYEES - LAYOFF POLICY



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the honourable Minister of Natural
Resources. The Minister of Natural Resources and this government was pretty ruthless last year as they
attempted to help the Premier save his political rump. In the bid to hang on to the Premier’s job in October,
a bid that was eventually pushed back until July (Interruptions) Well, Mr. Speaker, when I mention ruthless
I make mention of the fact that this minister fired a worker at Salsman Provincial Park and replaced her with
the wife of the President of the Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury Liberal Association. Granted the minister gave
the wife of the president an interview but Nova Scotians certainly understand the smoke and mirrors that are
being put forth by this government.



The minister couldn’t stop there, Mr. Speaker. Last week, a directive was given to fire the chief
caretaker at Salsman Provincial Park in Guysborough. The minister even went one step further and the
information I have . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Please, please, bring this to a question.



MR. TAYLOR: . . . he suggested that that individual could not reapply. The question is essentially
this. Is the Minister of Natural Resources able to explain to Nova Scotians just how much more crass he
intends to be in his bid to save his Leader’s job because there were other provincial park workers called and
told last week that their jobs would be expunged?



MR. SPEAKER: With deference, I feel that question has to be ruled out of order. It imputes motives;
it makes all kinds of accusations; it is not a proper parliamentary question. The question should simply ask
the minister if a fact is correct or something of that type, but not ascribe motives and impute all kinds of
things.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, may I simply rephrase and ask the minister . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Will you put the question cleanly?



MR. TAYLOR: One question cleanly, Mr. Speaker. Is the minister able to explain to Nova Scotians
if he called other provincial park workers last week and told them that they were not needed?



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I don’t make a point of calling anybody in regard to staff
activities within a region of this province. Staff would have been dealing with all those issues.



In regard to the issue of the hiring, the individual that the member opposite alluded to in regard to
the female employee, it appears to me that those employees that were hired last year were hired under the fair-hiring policy of the Province of Nova Scotia and she obviously won the bid for the job. I am very happy to see
qualified people have the job; the fact that it is a woman is even greater.



In regard to the other matter with me calling staff, I certainly don’t make it a habit of calling staff
in regard to who is in or what their jobs are, that is up to the department’s staff to do.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, with all respect, another classic example of smoke and mirrors. Will
the minister at least guarantee me today that if the government intends to stick to the decision of firing a 16
year caretaker at the park, the minister will at least assure me that the new caretaker will not be plucked from
the ranks of the Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury Liberal executive?



MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, this is really getting so, so sick, to hear that kind of a comment made
in this House. If you want to go back in the files (Interruption) and disclose in the Department of Natural
Resources and the previous ministers and who hired who and who is related to who, I would be happy to table
some of that information any minute you want it.



I take exception to the fact an individual that got laid off in our department, if they got laid off it was
because of just reason, I have no reason to doubt why our staff decided to let an individual go because,
obviously, if there was a just reason to let him go, they would have been let go.



In regard to the hiring of a new individual, they will be going through the hiring process as our
policy states and may the best person win. A simple process that we have tried to do is being clouded because
they are so used to working under their system that they can’t see something trying to work that is beneficial
to Nova Scotians, Mr. Speaker.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, in hopes of obtaining a more suitable answer I would like to go to the
Minister responsible for the administration of the Human Rights Act. Last spring, after being fired from her
position at Salsman Provincial Park and replaced with the wife of the President of the Guysborough-Port
Hawkesbury Liberal Association, Mrs. John Fenton took her complaint to the Nova Scotia Human Rights
Commission in Sydney. One year later she has not yet to even find out if an investigation is going to be
launched. Can the minister define for me the backlog of work faced by the Human Rights Commission and
just when Mrs. Fenton will be able to find out if an investigation is going to proceed?



[12:45 p.m.]



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know but I will certainly check. I think the
honourable member would realize, like all government departments, we are trying to do more with less. There
are more demands for service and there is less money for all departments, including Human Rights. I will
check with the Human Rights Commission and find out the status of it and when the matter will be dealt with.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



HALIFAX - G-7 SUMMIT: GOV’T. (N.S.) - FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Cabinet Minister responsible for
the G-7 for Nova Scotia. I would like to ask the minister how much money the Province of Nova Scotia is
making as a contribution towards the total cost of the G-7?



HON. JAY ABBASS: Currently our budget is $4.6 million and it is expected that we would spend
at least slightly less than that, Mr. Speaker.



MR. ARCHIBALD: We see a great deal of work being done throughout the downtown core of
Halifax, Mr. Speaker. My question to the minister responsible for the G-7 expenditures would be, is the work
that we are seeing done throughout the core of the city, is it being tendered?



MR. ABBASS: Actually most of the work that you are seeing done would be contracted through the
City of Halifax.



MR. ARCHIBALD: We are spending $4.6 million and it is not being tendered and it is being let by
the City of Halifax. Could you indicate to me who is in charge of the spending of the Nova Scotian taxpayers’
money of $4.6 million? It is a lot of money to be not tendered at all, so could you tell us who is in charge and
is the provincial government doing anything to see that the work is being awarded in any fair kind of a
method?



MR. ABBASS: I can only assure the member opposite that any project that is ear-marked as a
provincial project is being tendered totally in keeping with any guidelines which now exist in government.
If the member opposite would like to specify a particular project over which he has a concern, I would
certainly verify on the record that that is the case. I can tell you that any provincial dollars are being spent
only through appropriate and are entirely within keeping of the policy guidelines method.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



FISH. - TAGS: DISCUSSIONS (CAN.-N.S.) - PROPOSALS



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Fisheries. It was reported
today that a review of the first six months of The Atlantic Groundfish Strategy known as TAGS has shown
that there are some serious problems in terms of that program meeting its stated objectives. The suggested
consequence of this review may be that the program will be significant and perhaps severely cut.



My question to the minister is, has he had any discussions with the feds, has he been approached by
the federal government, with any prospects or proposals to change the program, proposals, Mr. Speaker,
which would obviously leave many fishing communities in Nova Scotia high and dry?



HON. JAMES BARKHOUSE: Mr. Speaker, it is a very important matter that the member opposite
has brought here today. The TAGS program initiated about a year ago was to help those people who have been
very seriously hurt in many parts of Atlantic Canada, particularly Newfoundland. Again, in Nova Scotia,
estimates were given that there were about 6,000 people who would take up the program. Unfortunately many
other people were affected by the decline in the groundfish stocks and, as a result, there were many more
people, I think, over 9,000 people who have taken up the program.



As a result of this undertaking, the federal government through Human Resources development and
under the leadership of Lloyd Axworthy, have had an extremely difficult time in processing the extraordinary
amount of people who have applied as a result of the uptake, the funding has been extended to provide
services and support to these families in these difficult times. Some of the funding, I understand, that has been
taken from the training program to help these families, just for their food and lodgings and the necessities of
life. We have spoken in the past and we have staff that are currently negotiating on that FOWAP program,
which is an older workers retirement program. We have not completed the negotiations on that.



There is also the HABS Program, which is an undertaking of about $300 million to help fishermen
take early retirement for their vessels and sell their license to the federal government. At the present time, and
in response to the actual activities that have just taken place in Ottawa, I believe it is the federal Fisheries
Committee where this information has been delivered. We have not had any recent correspondence - I mean
within this last week - to discuss this particular matter of what happened, whether the program will be four
years now instead of five years. We have not had the opportunity to discuss this with our federal Member of
Parliament, who has been tied up in the turbot wars and all these other negotiations that have been ongoing.
I believe that as soon as it is possible, I will be working with my senior staff to find out what the federal
agenda is with regard to the TAGS program.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would just ask the minister if he would agree to respond to this
House, to report back to this House at the earliest opportunity the results of his discussions and his
department’s discussions with the federal government on the question of changes to the TAGS program
because, as he well knows, there are many communities in the Province of Nova Scotia that will be severely
affected if the decision is made to reduce this program from five years to four. Will he endeavour to bring
himself up to speed on this issue and report back to the House at the earliest opportunity?



MR. BARKHOUSE: Mr. Speaker, I do have a copy of a recent report, April 19th, which I would
certainly table to the members of the Legislature so that they would be aware of what took place about a week
ago and let the members opposite know how many thousands of people who have had the opportunity to take
part in this program and the hard work that the federal civil servants have placed in enabling these people
to take up the program. There are many people in many regions of Nova Scotia who have been seriously
affected by the downturn in the groundfish fishery, many fishermen and plant workers. So, I would ask for
staff to make a copy of this and I will table it so the member opposite will have the latest information, as of
a week ago, and as new information comes, I would certainly make it available to all members of the
Legislature.



MR. CHISHOLM: I thank the minister for his response. On clearly a related question, and my final
supplementary, as the minister knows, there have been serious weaknesses in the TAGS program in terms of
determining eligibility. One problem that continues to come up is the fact that boat owners who have a
lifetime history in the groundfish fishery are being excluded from eligibility to TAGS because of the fact that
they are incorporated and just drawing a salary. The consequence of that for these people is not the money
that they would receive if eligible but is the fact that eligibility determines whether in fact their license will
be reinstated or whether they have the authority to transfer that license. I would like to ask the minister if he
is aware of this problem and, if not, would he apprise himself of the situation and ensure that some of his staff
can get involved and to see that this problem is rectified? It has been brought to my attention and we are trying
to work through the TAGS people, but it continues to come up and it is causing some considerable amount
of consternation and hardship for people in communities that I represent.



MR. BARKHOUSE: The member opposite brings up a very important aspect of this whole TAGS
program. Early estimates gave substantial numbers of people that they estimated estimated would apply. There
was something like 6,000 people. Beyond that, there were many people who had an attachment to the fisheries
so when a criteria had been established and there is a booklet that has been published and is in the hands of
most people and it had a fairly tight criteria. To my understanding, no exceptions have been made to that even
though there is an independent review panel established that would enable those people who feel they have
been discriminated against, they have been given two or three levels of opportunity to appeal to ensure that
fairness has been given to all of those that have had a direct attachment to the groundfish fishery.



This is an issue about the groundfish fishery which means round fish which are cod, haddock,
pollock, halibut and flounder. People in different areas of this province have had different degrees of
dependency upon the groundfish fishery. If you did not have a level of $3,000 income from those species of
fish but also fished lobster, your income could be $15,000 to $20,000 a year but if you did not accrue $3,000
worth of sales of fish in a period from 1989 through to 1992, you were not dependent upon the groundfish
fishery.



This dependency upon groundfish is one of the very basic criteria but there are many other issues like
the member for Eastern Shore the other night who brought up the trawl baiters in the Eastern Shore who do
not qualify. Yet, the trawl baiters that work for a plant could qualify but those that have worked independently
and provided the service don’t qualify.



There are many exemptions and the criteria is very tight . . . (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: All right, no fourth supplementary, this is getting too long.



MR. BARKHOUSE: Mr. Speaker, I will make this short, the criteria is something that the federal
government has established. We have interceded on behalf of fishermen and their families when they have
asked us to intercede and we will continue to work on their behalf. I will pledge to make an effort to try to find
explicit answers for the member opposite.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



JUSTICE - COURT-HOUSE (WINDSOR): TRANSFER - COSTS



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. As the Minister
of Justice is well aware, the court-house in Windsor will be losing the offices that were formally occupied by
the Department of Justice and the Supreme Court will only be sitting there on an occasional basis in future.
I was wondering if there was a study that the minister has with regard to that specific court-house to show
what financial gains or losses are occasioned by the transfer of the functions presently carried out by the
Department of Justice and moving them down to the Town of New Minas?



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, it is true with court reorganization that certain people who
work for the Department of Justice in the court-house in Windsor will no longer work after six to nine months,
after a certain period of time. It is also true that all the courts, except possibly the Supreme Court, will
continue to meet there and even the Supreme Court, if the judges so choose to sit at Windsor, they certainly
are free to do that and probably will given the lack of court space overall. So, I suspect over the next period
of time, the Supreme Court will continue to sit there.



On the other matter, I think you have to look at it broadly and it is estimated that overall, when you
follow our court reorganization on an annual basis, the province expects on a full year basis to save $1
million.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I was wondering if the honourable minister would just repeat that last
figure?



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, just so it is completely clear, I tried to indicate that it is on an overall
basis for the whole province and Windsor is part of the reorganization. With the changes all across the
province, including Windsor, the object, goal and expectation is that on an annual basis on the cost of courts,
$1 million will be saved.



MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, that is what I expected. We are having a savings of $1 million right
across the province. It is my understanding from independent appraisals of the situation, for instance in
Windsor, that it is going to cost something in the order of about $100,000 a year negatively to the province.
In other words, the province is going to have to provide an additional $100,000 per annum to move the
present offices, et cetera, to the Town of New Minas, so that there is no savings in the removal of the justice
system from the Town of Windsor. My first supplementary to the minister is, is the decision to close the
Windsor office based entirely on financial reasons and is that decision irreversible?



[1:00 p.m.]



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, the decision in relation to Windsor and a number of areas of the province
is based on work that goes back to the time of the former government when studies were carried out. I think
I even have a copy here in my file of a report that was carried out at the time. It was the Department of the
Attorney General, Courts & Registries Division, Court Reform-Phase II, Courts & Public Offices Review,
Proposals and Recommendations, dated February 1993.



As a new minister coming in I picked up on that report and I can assure you, as is my wont, I didn’t
rush into anything. I very carefully considered the whole picture, given our resources, given that the
Department of Justice like all other departments has to live with less, in fact, 12.5 per cent over four years.
In a perfect world we would not change Windsor or any other part of the province but we had to make these
difficult decisions that were before us and we made them. Yes, I have to say that that is a final decision that
those changes are to be made. I am not sure to which independent study the honourable member refers but
all I can tell him is that overall with all the pluses and minuses whatever they might be, we hope to save $1
million a year.



MR. RUSSELL: I would suggest to the Minister of Justice that if you are going to save money, you
save money by closing those particular facilities which are costing additional funds. The Department of Justice
is going to spend $60 million, by the minister’s own admission, over the next 10 years, that is $6 million a
year to save $1 million a year. What kind of financial advice is the minister getting?



MR. GILLIS: I think the honourable member is mixing up apples and oranges to an extent. I think
you have to look at the realities all across the province. For example, part of the changes relate to probate.
There is an average of eight wills probated a month and the recent figures, over 21 months, I think to the end
of December 1994, just for comparison purposes and the amount that will be spent on courts, there is an
amount that might be up to $60 million; we all know that some of the clerk facilities are very inadequate in
the province. We have to spend money, whether that money will come directly from the public sector or we
might be able to do private/public partnering, in order to do this. Mr. Speaker, part of the problem is this
honourable member is in the mind-set of his friend John Buchanan who put us in debt $8 billion; we have to
control this and unfortunately, we have to take action and sometimes it hurts a little but we share it all across
the province. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.






HEALTH - PHARMACARE: SENIORS - PRIVATE PLANS



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Thank you very much for the applause. My question is for the Minister
of Health. On Tuesday the Minister of Health said in this House that any private programs that seniors had
did not cover an unlimited amount of drugs. I talked to a senior this morning, that statement is not true, it is
false. I would ask the minister, given the fact that there are plans that do provide an unlimited amount of
drugs, total cost of drugs and covers other areas as well that those seniors could be exempt from this minister’s
program if that could be proven to be factual?



HON. RONALD STEWART: I undertook, as the honourable gentleman opposite knows, to examine
programs to explain to seniors exactly the benefits of this new insurance program we introduced for
Pharmacare. As I have said repeatedly here, the costs of private plans in this province are linked and
predicated upon the costs of our own Pharmacare Program. If the senior opts out - if they could, which they
can’t - of these programs, or our program here, their premiums would change and they would be exposed. I
would be happy with my staff to examine that and to explain to seniors exactly why the new program is
beneficial to all.



MR. MOODY: The minister is doing a poor job of explaining it to many seniors that are calling me.
I would ask the minister, one senior called today - I had six calls - who said that MSI, if they didn’t pay the
premium, they would not be covered under MSI.



Is the minister saying to these seniors, through MSI, if they don’t pay the Pharmacare premium they
will not be treated under MSI in this province?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, of course not, that is nonsense.



MR. MOODY: If that is the case, will that minister direct MSI, when calls come in by seniors who
are told if they don’t pay the $215 that they will not be covered under MSI, will the minister today direct MSI
to tell seniors, I would want to know, if seniors do not pay the $215, what is going to happen to them? One
senior told me today he would go to jail. I am asking the minister, what is he going to do to those seniors who
refuse to pay the $215?



DR. STEWART: This is typical of this honourable gentleman, fear-mongering and scaring seniors
across the province by his unfounded allegations, which only make political points in a very sensitive area.
We are not here to score political points, we are trying to inform the public as best we can. I have repeatedly
said, as has the Finance Minister, that the Senior’s Pharmacare Trust Board of Directors will be very
understanding and will develop the policies in concert with the seniors of this province. That is the difference,
by the way, Mr. Speaker, from the former administration and their approach to Pharmacare and I would stand
very solidly on that.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



EDUC. - MLAS: INFO. PACKAGES - DELIVERY



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Education. This week,
I received in the mail at my home the 1995-96 Community College calendar and a special feature on the
community college system. I want to thank the minister for providing this information to us.



My question is, I want to know - and this has happened before, in fact it happened two weeks ago -
why they would mail such a heavy package? I know it is not a lot of money, maybe $100 or $200 or $300, and
I am not picking on his department, but this is the one I got last week and I have been thinking about this for
some time, why do departments send these heavy items to our homes when we are sitting here five days a
week and they could deliver them for nothing?



HON. JOHN MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question but
it is a much wider mailing list than just the members of the House of Assembly, so when we send them out,
we send them to a mailing list on which we have included the honourable member as well as other members
of the House. But if the honourable member would like, we could make a special direction so that from now
on they will be delivered directly to the House or to the caucus offices, if that would please him.



MR. MCINNES: Well, Mr. Speaker, I am not asking to be singled out, by any means, but I just think
there are 52 members and if they were all mailed - if they were all, I didn’t say they were because I don’t know,
but I know mine was and it has happened on more than one occasion - I just want to ask the minister, perhaps
he could ask the staff if they would look at having that particular item, when the House is in session, to be sent
here or to our caucus office, or whatever, and it would save a few hundred dollars, and a few hundred dollars
is a few hundred dollars.



MR. MACEACHERN: Mr. Speaker, as I am sitting here and thinking of the cost of mailing it and
the cost of delivering it to the offices, we will examine it and find out what is the cheapest way of getting it
to the honourable members and we will do it the cheapest way possible. But as I sat and thought of it, the cost
of a courier to even bring it to the caucus offices may actually be more than it would be to mail each of those
copies out, but I assure the honourable member that I will take a look at that.



MR. MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, I think this is a serious matter and it is not a lot of money. My
question, if I can go to the Minister of Supply and Services, perhaps if I could ask that minister if he would
do a little memo out to all the departments and say that any mailings to be done, of any heavy material
particularly, would be when the House in the session, either sent to our caucus office or to the Legislature?



HON. GERALD O’MALLEY: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question and the
general trend of his pursuit. I think it is a very admirable one and if the mail can be delivered at no cost, that
would be our objective. We will certainly, along with the Minister of Education and other ministers, look into
the matter. If it is achievable in that manner, that is the manner we would pursue.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs on a brief introduction.



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to have in our east
gallery today a number of our very valuable staff from the Department of Municipal Affairs, as well as their
daughters. As you can see, we have a large representation here. They are going to be doing some reviewing
of mapping and registries this afternoon. They are going to have an opportunity to work the LIMS system and
look at computerized mapping into aerial photos. So, I am very pleased to have them here today and I would
ask them to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: Now, I am going to add one minute onto Question Period because of time consumed
with introductions and I trust that other introductions can wait until Question Period is over.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



JUSTICE - JAILS: PRIVATIZATION - PLANS



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to return to the Minister of Justice, if I might. We see
that, and of course, it doesn’t come as a surprise, his colleague, the Minister of Finance, has put private
construction of provincial jails on this government’s fire sale list of services that they plan to put out to the
private sector. Independent studies have shown that private prisons do not, there is no conclusive information
or evidence that they save money and, in fact, the public safety is often reduced. My question to the minister
is quite simply this, if there is not and he does not have conclusive evidence that private prisons are more cost-efficient and improved programs and public safety, why is your department even considering the privatization
of such facilities?



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is going on certain assumptions.
We have to act on faith sometimes and to look at various options. We are not the flat earth society, we are
prepared to look at options and our plans with regard to corrections where costs are going up, we are trying
to live within our means and our plan would be later this year to call for expression of interest just to see,
given very tight standards, what the private sector could provide. It may be that they can’t provide it. It may
be that the public sector can compete with it and do it better financially and otherwise.



I think we have a responsibility to look at various options, including just calling for expressions of
interest just to see what type of response we might get from the private sector for either constructing and/or
operating facilities. (Interruption)



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, we have got another debate going on but the minister, I think, hit the nail
on the head when he said it has to do with spending controls and cutting down, living within their means. My
question to the minister is really quite simple. We have seen that the Minister of Transportation plans to enter
into a sweetheart deal that is going to result in hundreds of millions of dollars of increased costs to Nova
Scotians. I will lay them out later on for the Minister of Municipal Affairs, if she wishes. My question to the
Minister of Justice is quite simply this, is it not the fact that the government’s intentions of privatizing
provincial jails has more to do with this government’s fiscal spending controls legislation, in other words,
hiding the true costs of delivering these services by having them appear on somebody else’s books rather than
the province’s? Is that not the real purpose, so that Nova Scotians will end up paying more so you can hide
the cost?



MR. SPEAKER: The question, is it not the real purpose, casts aspersions and imputes motives and
should not be placed.



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, here is the way it is. All honourable members know that people in the
province, citizens, have to live within their means. Governments should try to live within their means. I know
the Party for which the honourable member is Leader may not think that that is important, but it is important
because when we run up our debts and spend our first $1 billion to $1.2 billion on debt charges, it takes away
from running proper prisons or proper nursing homes or proper schools.



We want to do this responsibly. As I said earlier, I just wanted to look and see what the options are
to see if we can operate corrections properly, rehabilitate, have better facilities and do it that way. If we can’t,
we still have the public section option. (Applause)



[1:15 p.m.]



MR. HOLM: That is a strange view of good, fiscal management. Their view is to hide the true cost,
try to, from Nova Scotians, (Interruptions) and to pass those . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.



MR. HOLM: . . . debts, Mr. Speaker, on to somebody else’s books so that they can make a huge profit
while seniors and others are having . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Question.



MR. HOLM: . . . their drug programs, et cetera, cut. My question to the minister is quite simply this.
I want to know what price, how much is this government prepared to pay in terms of reduced public safety,
reduced programs, in order to be able to hide your debt on somebody else’s books rather than being up-front
with what the true cost of delivering the services are for the people of the Province of Nova Scotia?
(Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Before the honourable minister answers the question, let there be
some calm in the House, please.



When there is silence, the honourable minister will make his answer.



MR. GILLIS: The government plans to operate responsibly. We are not trying to hide behind
anything. I think that the honourable member is scare-mongering talking about safety. The Department of
Justice, as long as I am involved, will not go into any program or project, private sector or otherwise, if we
don’t have equal public safety or better facilities and better rehabilitation. Don’t worry about that. What we
have is scare-mongering.



What I find is that we have this honourable member concentrating on this, and I have said this in
the House before, yet for many years in Nova Scotia, our frail, elderly, and those who can’t look after
themselves, are in private sector nursing homes with standards. Surely we can have standards for correctional
centres just like nursing homes have and run them properly. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



HALIFAX HARBOUR CLEAN UP INC.: FUNDING (PROV.) - STATUS



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for the
Halifax Harbour Clean Up Incorporated. Since the March 31st deadline of the three-way agreement with the
feds, the province and the municipal units has expired, a number of metro residents have been in contact with
me and have asked just what is the state of the nation as of today with Halifax Harbour Clean Up. Recently,
as the minister will know, the Mayor of Halifax among others indicated, in speaking for himself and for the
City of Halifax, that he was not keen to let the issue of the clean-up just wither and die.



Would the minister please tell me and the House today what is the status of the provincial
contribution to the project? Monies were allocated, reserved for that purpose. The agreement has come to an
end. Where are those funds and what is the provincial government’s position relative to pursuing any Halifax
Harbour clean-up initiative?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to respond to this question. As the honourable
member knows, March 31st was an important date with regard to the funding that was available. I think it
is important also to recognize that it was under the previous administration, both federally and provincially,
that there was a commitment of $73 million made federally only, towards the Halifax Harbour clean-up. That
commitment was based on a certain technology being used in the clean-up. As progress went on, trying to
ensure that they could get that $73 million in funding, in actual fact the program kept developing. What was
to be a $200 million project went to a $400 million project which no one could afford. Mr. Speaker, as you
know, it has only been in the last, I think, seven months or eight months, that that project, the $400 million
project has fallen off the table because no one could afford it.



At this particular point in time, I know the municipalities have been collecting their pollution control
fund and they, themselves, have been doing quite a bit of work on how they can do clean-up within the
harbour. The City of Halifax have spent some money on Duffus Street, which is doing some clean-up. There
has been an allocation of $20 million to upgrade the Mill Cove plant, which has been done through the
infrastructure project. I know that the City of Dartmouth is looking at consolidating some of the outfalls that
are over there in Dartmouth Cove. So the clean-up is going on an ongoing basis.



Certainly we all feel, particularly the municipalities, that the important aspect is the at-source control
and we have to look at that.



MR. DONAHOE: Well, that is an interesting review of certain activities being undertaken by
everybody except the organization that I asked about. I asked about the provincial government. The minister,
Mr. Speaker, as I am sure you observed, didn’t come within light-years of indicating where the provincial
government is in relation to its commitment to continuing to be a partner of one kind or another, and I am
not trying to suggest a particular kind of partner or particular level of funding.



By way of supplementary, I want to ask this minister if she will please, in as straight and as direct
a manner as she can manage, simply say to me and to this House, what is the state of the commitment of the
provincial government of the Province of Nova Scotia today, to be a participant in any Halifax Harbour clean-up initiative? I remember asking the predecessor minister responsible, and he got off some lines about how
they were going to go out and check - which seems to be the buzz-word these days - private/public partnership
possibilities. I want to know from this minister if she is pursuing that course? What is the provincial
government’s commitment, both in policy terms and financial terms, to moving forward with a Halifax
Harbour clean-up project?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member knows, the Halifax Harbour clean-up is the
responsibility of the municipalities. I mean that has been very clear from the very beginning; both waste and
waste water management and garbage issues are all things that are the responsibility of the municipalities.



What we have done, as a province, is provide some leadership when there were initial discussions.
At this particular point in time, as the honourable member knows, the Province of Nova Scotia does not have
any money in any of its budget figures for harbour clean-up. That is very clear in the Minister of Finance’s
budget that came through. I think it has been stated by the Minister of Finance, the Premier and certainly
myself, in the short time that I have been responsible for this. There is no budget item in our budget for
harbour clean-up.



It is also important to know, Mr. Speaker, there is no project on the table. There hasn’t been a
decision on how the harbour will be cleaned up. There is no project on the table at this point in time. There
has been a lot of discussion on at-source control and trying to control what is going into the harbour, first and
foremost, before we make a decision or the municipalities, in actual fact, make a decision, on how you clean-up the harbour as it is.



MR. DONAHOE: Well, I understand all of what the minister has just said now and, notwithstanding
the fact that in the election campaign of April and May 1993, she and her colleagues vilified the then current
government, relative to solid waste management and Halifax Harbour clean-up and other things, alleging that
we were failing to exercise the kind of leadership necessary, as should be exercised by the province, to address
these issues.



She clearly is indicating here today that this provincial government has washed its hands and
abdicated any responsibility or involvement or interest in exercising any leadership in regard to Halifax
Harbour clean-up. No money and it is a municipal responsibility.



I ask this minister if she will indicate to me today, is she prepared, as minister responsible for Halifax
Harbour clean-up, and presumably if she is responsible, it means she has some responsibilities and something
to do; will she, in that capacity, undertake some leadership to bring together the municipal units now and
pursue the possibility that there is, indeed, a private/public partnership, that might result in a more fulsome
Halifax Harbour clean-up project, than simply letting it die the natural death, which it appears now to be
dying?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I think we are showing a responsibility. We have not tied money to a
certain project, which is what the previous administration did, that you only get $73 million, if you, in fact,
do it our way. We are opening it up for an opportunity for public/private partnering. But, in actual fact, there
is water utility, with the amalgamation that we are looking at, we are putting all the water utilities into a
single water utility.



There has been a suggestion that a water and waste water private sector would be the approach to
go. But at this point in time, Mr. Speaker, I would have to say the municipalities - we are dealing with the
Dartmouth water system, we are dealing with the amalgamation and the four mayors, on an ongoing basis -
I know we are having discussions. I have already said the Mill Cove treatment plant is being upgraded; Duffus
Street is being upgraded; and Dartmouth Cove is being upgraded. The municipalities, in actual fact, are
increasing and moving forward on clean-up in the harbour.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time allotted for the Oral Question Period has expired. I know
there are a number of introductions that some honourable members wanted to make. We could perhaps have
those now, introductions of guests. Well, then, fine.



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: I move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair and the House resolve
itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Supply unto her Majesty.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take advantage of a few minutes going into
Supply to continue to talk about uranium mining. Yesterday we had that subject on for Opposition Day, but
unfortunately I was unable to complete my remarks. We had a number of people present in the gallery
yesterday from various organizations around the province that have been very active in bringing forth their
concerns with regard to uranium mining, bringing it forth to members of the Legislature, to their municipal
councils and to anyone else that they can reach through the medium of public meetings.



Following my remarks yesterday, which were somewhat brief, the Minister of Natural Resources
spoke and he defended the present government policy. As is well known, there was a moratorium placed on
uranium mining back in 1985, for a period of five years. During that first period of five years, the exploration
for and the mining of uranium was not permitted. On January 31, 1990, when that moratorium expired, then
the government of the day, in response to the concerns expressed to them by various citizens and associations
across this province, decided to reinstitute the moratorium for a further period of five years, which brought
us up to January 31, 1995. That is this year and that is where we sit at the present time.



My argument, Mr. Speaker, and the argument put forward by residents in my area - because that is
where, indeed, there are fairly substantial deposits of uranium - and people also around the province, the
argument put forward is that nothing has occurred between 1985 and 1995 which alters the picture with
regard to uranium mining. In other words, it is still the type of business that can create immense problems
environmentally not only for the present- day population of this province or even for the next couple of
generations, but for hundreds of generations to come that can be affected by the results and the residue of
uranium mining.



In his response to the arguments that I put forward, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources
said that the moratorium was still in effect because nobody could mine radioactive minerals in this province
unless they proceeded through the Department of Natural Resources to obtain a permit to go out and explore
and to mine. That is perfectly true, but the thing is, without a moratorium, all that the minister has to do is
to say, yes, I am going to give you a permit, and we could be in the business of mining radioactive materials.



Now, that would be fine and it may well be fine while we have the present minister in place.
However, ministers come and go and perhaps a minister with an entirely different viewpoint from the present
minister may occupy the position of Minister of Natural Resources. I am not even sure, Mr. Speaker, that the
Minister of Natural Resources is of such a bent as to say, if somebody came forth with a proposal to open a
uranium mine, no you can’t. I don’t think really that the minister is sufficiently sold on the idea that uranium
mining cannot be done safely. I don’t believe that because, yesterday, in response to my arguments that I put
forward about tailing ponds that that could be in existence for hundreds of years from now and require
maintenance, he said that there are ways that the industry have at the present time of taking care of that
residue. He told me about what they were doing in Saskatchewan, whereby they were drilling down into the
granite and tipping the residue from the milling and mining of uranium, tipping that surplus material into
a mine shaft and that that would take care of it.



[1:30 p.m]



That is not a new technology. You can get rid of any kind of waste you like by putting it out of sight,
but you don’t necessarily solve the problem with that waste. At the present time, as far as I am concerned, as
far as the majority of people in this province are concerned, we cannot at the present time accommodate
radioactive waste. The radioactive waste that we get from our present nuclear plants in Canada, the
radioactive waste that we presently get from our uranium mines in Canada, there is no way that has been
found to adequately dispose of those wastes. As far as I am concerned, as I say, and as far as people in Nova
Scotia is concerned, I do not believe what the minister had to say yesterday with regard to the fact that, yes
indeed, today we can safely mine uranium.



The minister also had an another interesting argument. He went on to ask, who would come to Nova
Scotia to mine uranium? Who would come to Nova Scotia and open a uranium mine? Obviously, a uranium
miner might do it; however, the argument he put forward was that nobody would be interested because,
number one, our deposits are not immense. They are reasonably large but they are not as big, for instance, as
what they are in Saskatchewan or as big as they are in Russia. The interesting thing is that of recent date a
French company has indicated that they will be opening a new mine in Saskatchewan. They will be opening
it, I believe at Lac la Ronge, which is in the northern section of Saskatchewan and this mine itself is 350
kilometres further north. So, this mine that is being established is way in the outbacks, if you will, of the urban
centres and even the rural centres of Saskatchewan.



This same French company is one of the companies that was in Nova Scotia exploring for uranium.
At the present time there is no shortage of uranium. We have no need for it in Canada. The amount that is
required to run the nuclear plants that we presently have is adequate and we are not in the business of
manufacturing nuclear weapons so we have ample uranium being mined at the present time; in fact, we have
surplus quantities being mined which are being sold abroad. Nevertheless, like all elements, eventually the
present areas where mining is being carried out, those ore reserves will be exhausted and then the mining
companies are going to look at places such as Nova Scotia.



The mining companies are interested in Nova Scotia from the point of view of coming in here and
staking areas and doing exploration. No, they are not interested in mining because of the depressed price of
uranium ore and because of the surplus, but they are interested in long-term reserves of any mineral including
uranium, so it is quite conceivable that this company, for instance, this French company, who, as I say, has
had an interest out in Hants heretofore, could come back now that the moratorium is lifted and go out there
and do exploration and staking, with no intention whatsoever to put in place a mine, perhaps for 20 or 50
years. However, they would do the exploration and the staking.



The difficulty and the problem with radioactive minerals in the mining process is that even the
exploration for the minerals themselves creates equal problems, as does the mining. You have to get down
to the granite to extract samples, to determine exactly what area you want to stake and to determine what the
reserves are in that particular area.



As soon as the overburden is removed, that rock face becomes open to the atmosphere and you are
going to get dust from removing the overburden, which is going to be carried by air currents around to the
surrounding countryside, which can do immense damage, incidentally, to plant life and also to animal life.
Lastly and most importantly, Mr. Speaker, it is opening up that face to the impact of rain and snow, which
then transmits the radioactive material down through the soil, through the surrounding area to the rocks and
down into the water table.



In rural areas, as you well know, Mr. Speaker, coming from a relatively rural area yourself, people
depend on dug wells, they depend on drilled wells to get their water. Once the water table becomes polluted
with radioactive materials, that is the end of that water supply.



So, Mr. Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to finish off what I didn’t have a chance to say
yesterday and to assure all members of the House that this is a very important subject, it is a subject that may
affect any member in this House because there are scattered pockets of uranium right across this province. As
I say, in spite of what the minister says, he may have the best intentions in the world, it is quite possible for
people to come in now and to take out an exploration permit to search for radioactive materials. When they
do that, you have a problem. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to stand as we are going into Supply
to bring up a topic that has been addressed in the House before and to remind all members of an excellent
report, and that is a very modest adjective to use when I say an excellent report, but not only that but a very
important report that was released in December of 1994 and prepared by the Black Learners Advisory
Committee under certainly the very capable hands of the members of that, particularly the Chairman, Castor
Williams.



Now, Mr. Speaker, the report which is aimed at trying to come up with concrete ways of redressing
the inequities and empowering black learners, I think is an excellent starting point. In that report they make
very substantive, very concrete, very doable, to use a term that the Minister of Education likes to use quite
often, recommendations. They also set out with the recommendations, they provided a timeframe in which
they hoped that action could be started.



Now, Mr. Speaker, I note in looking at the timetable that was proposed, that we have not been able,
or the government has not been able, to meet the timetable being suggested. (Interruption) Pardon me? Yes,
I am being advised that somebody wants to do an introduction, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: Yes, the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley is looking for
that and possibly others.



MR. HOLM: Okay, I will stop for a moment then and allow the interruption and come back in just
a moment.



MR. SPEAKER: You have used two minutes, you have 13 minutes remaining.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I do want to thank the Leader of the NDP for affording me
an opportunity to introduce two very fine gentlemen, and very distinguished, I might add, from the
constituency of Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. The member for Pictou West concurs that they are very fine
gentlemen. I want to introduce Fred Kennedy.



Incidentally, Mr. Speaker, Fred was a candidate for the Liberal Party in the 1984 provincial election.
Accompanying Fred is his friend and my good friend, farmer Doug Scott from Murchyville, and Fred, of
course, is from Middle Stewiacke. (Applause)



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, if I may, I almost will be in a sense starting over again. The report that
was presented to the Minister of Education and then presented in this House, laid out an action plan. That
action plan called for, as it was done, the presenting of the report to the minister and to the government in
December 1994. At that time, the Minister of Education, it was hoped, would be able to be responding to that
report by February 1995 and that representatives of BLAC and the Policy branch of the department would be
meeting to draft legislation to prepare the process to be implementing many of the recommendations that
would require that would have been taking place by that time.



Now, those timeframes have passed and I am not trying to be critical or harsh with the minister or
with the government, for allowing those timeframes to have passed by such a modest amount of time without
concrete actions having been taken, given the fact that the minister has and I can’t remember the exact date,
but the minister has indicated that he will be responding to the detailed recommendations of the report. I
understand that those responses are to be made, if my memory serves me correctly, within the matter of the
next, actually should almost now be the next few days, because when I heard it, it was going to be within a
couple of weeks. Obviously, the responses are intended or are supposed to be quite prompt.



When one puts a week or two weeks maybe, in the context of the greater timeframe that the blacks
and others in this province have suffered from discrimination, systemic discrimination and all forms of
discrimination, may sound like a very short period of time. As the Governor General, in his remarks pointed
out today, in this building in the Red Room, that blacks have been mistreated in a deplorable fashion since
they first visited and came to our province.



We and this government, have to come up with a very concrete, a very committed, unequivocal
commitment that they are going to act and to act immediately without all kinds of new studies, all kinds of
lengthy delays, to once and for all, begin to address the shame that has faced this province as many other
provinces and other parts of this world for far to long.



In the report released in December, there are a couple of sections that I want to refer to and one has
to do with the context. It said, for example, that black Nova Scotians like other black Canadians, are
victimized by a racist ideology and a racist social structure. Racism permeates the entire social, economic,
political and cultural environment of Nova Scotia and Canada. The situation was clearly articulated by the
Donald Marshall Report when it stated, blacks have had to bear almost unbearable burdens.



I think that those of us who have tried to better understand and to familiarize ourselves with the
history and with the circumstances of the black population within Nova Scotia would agree wholeheartedly
with that statement and that context.









[1:45 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, those who have not done so, and especially those members on the government benches,
who control purse-strings and who can also prod the minister and his government colleagues to take some
actions, should bear in mind and have a look at, for example, the chart that appears which shows the linkage
between the different factors and the consequences. Whether those deal with the negative perspectives that
are affecting the black learners, the institutional and the systemic barriers, and the socio-economic factors,
which are all interlinked, which all combine and which all act as very serious barriers towards moving
forward to addressing the problem.



When one takes a look at the analysis that was done, it points out that it is possible to attribute low
or average incomes, chronic high unemployment and the kind of work performed to the lower educational
achievements of African Nova Scotians. A review of all available studies and data clearly shows wide
disparities in education between blacks and white Nova Scotians. The question is, why is educational
attainment in the black communities, so much lower than the Nova Scotia average, given the commitment
of the black community to the importance of education?



We all know in this House and if we all listen to our own words, we all know that our future is
crucially dependent upon the level and the quality of the education that we receive. That equates for all
students, Mr. Speaker, and to members of this House, and unless we are able, unless we are committed -
because we are able. Let us delete that section, because it is not a matter of if we can, it is a matter of if we
will. I suggest we have to make it a firm commitment, we have to take the positive stand and we have to say,
quite clearly and unequivocally, that we, as the representatives of the people of Nova Scotia, as the elected
members in this House, we will do everything that is humanly possible, to make sure that those barriers to
members of the black community, from receiving the highest and fullest of educations, so that they can move
forward in our society and to assume their proper and equal role and position in society, both in the social and
the economic and in all the different fields. When one takes a look at the report, there are some items, there
are some recommendations that will, of course, take some time to develop and that will take some time and
cooperation and even some money to develop. But some of them are quite concrete, very simple and
straightforward, but it is extremely important that we should be working on them and should have been
working on them before now.



I am not going to try and I do not have enough time to go into the whole report, obviously, at this
point in time, but one of the points, looking at Recommendations 7(a) and 7(b), for example: communicate
and enforce equality and anti-racist standards and require all components of the education system, including
school boards, to develop and implement anti-racist policies. That should be something that we should have
already stated, Mr. Speaker, that was to be done. That is something that we should have stated, that there are
to be funds, if any funds are needed. Narrow timelines, timeframes should have been imposed to develop such
a policy and standards and it should be made very clear immediately that those standards are going to be
enforced and enforced right away.



There are things that we can do; there are many things that have to be done. We need more, not only
for the benefit of the students who need better educational opportunities and to have the barriers, both social,
economic and systemic, all the different types of barriers, removed. We also need to do extensive training for
all of those who are involved currently in the education system. The teachers, those who work with boards,
those who work with trustees and all others. It is my belief, and I think that I am being fair when I say this,
that the Minister of Education genuinely does, also, not only from things that he has said relative to this
report, but from some discussions in other meetings that we have had over the years and positions the minister
has taken. I believe that the minister believes in true equality, that there should be true equality and
educational opportunity and standards for people of all races in the Province of Nova Scotia.



Mr. Speaker, what I am saying and the reason why I am bringing this forward at this time, is that
I hope - and maybe the minister even today, I don’t know if he is going to speak on this topic today - I would
sincerely hope that the Minister of Education on behalf of his government within an extremely short period
of time, and I am saying within a week or two weeks, will lay out for Nova Scotians and, more particularly,
for the black population who have been disadvantaged, who have been treated over the years in a deplorable
manner and who have had to face many severe barriers in obtaining a higher quality of education, I hope the
minister will not only respond in terms of saying which recommendations we are or are not prepared to adopt,
but I hope that the minister will also lay out, very clearly, commitments in terms of time lines as to when those
recommendations will come into effect, that the government is going to support, and what resources the
government is prepared to commit to that.



All Nova Scotians and all Nova Scotia benefits when we have a strong, healthy society. All Nova
Scotians are going to benefit when each and every member of that society is going to be provided with an
opportunity to receive a high-quality, equal education because, when that happens, that will help to alleviate
many of the social as well as the economic problems that exist in the province at the present time, from one
end of the province to the other and in all segments of society. This is a crucial . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time has expired.



MR. HOLM: Thank you, and I was just about to finish, Mr. Speaker. This is a crucial issue and it
is one that deserves the highest priority in the way of attention from this minister and this government on an
immediate basis.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



Before I leave the Chair, I want to advise the House that the Deputy Speaker is attending official
duties on my behalf with His Excellency the Governor General of Canada and the Premier, to which the
Speaker was also to be a participant but, being unable to be in two places at once, I sent the Deputy Speaker,
so the Deputy Speaker is not here with us. The honourable member for Hants East, who sometimes assists me
by taking the Chair is likewise absent from the House today so I have asked the honourable member for
Cumberland North to take the Chair and act as Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on Supply.
He will take the Chair now and the House is resolved into a Committee of the Whole House on Supply.



[1:54 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Acting Deputy Speaker Mr. Ross
Bragg in the Chair.]



[5:55 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mrs. Francene
Cosman in the Chair.]



MADAM SPEAKER: 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.



MADAM SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Madam Speaker, we are going to return to Public Bills for Second
Reading. Perhaps before we do we could ask for unanimous consent of the House to dispense with the
Adjournment motion at 6:00 o’clock or the moment of interruption and continue through with the business
of the House until 7:30 p.m. and adjourn for the evening at that time since there will be no late debate this
evening. I would ask for the consent of the House for that.



MADAM SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



The motion is carried.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Madam Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills
for Second Reading.



PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 5.



Bill No. 5 - School Boards Act.



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Madam Speaker, Bill No. 5 was adjourned by my colleague the member
for Queens when we last were on the bill. Unfortunately he is out of the House this evening so I will try to
make some remarks in regard to this bill, An Act to Amend Chapter 6 of the Acts of 1991, the School Boards
Act.



I did have the opportunity to speak on the motion for the six months’ hoist the other night and
expressed my concern at that time that I thought the bill was wrong simply for the fact that it gave the
minister an extreme amount of power to go down in the bunker and to reduce the number of 22 boards down
to five or seven or maybe even to one. I think the bill is a one page bill, Clause 1, Section 8A(1)(a), “. . .
amalgamate a school board with any other school board; (b) annex the whole or any part of a school district
to another school district.”. As I say, I just think it is wrong and I want to try over the next few minutes to
point out why I feel it is wrong, and others in the province, including my own Pictou District School Board,
the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, the Nova Scotia School Boards Association, the Association of Nova Scotia
Education Administrators and also the Federation of Home and School Associations.



This is a bill that a number of years ago reduced the school boards by a significant number. There
were six in Pictou County at that time and it was reduced down to 1; 22 boards across the province. In my own
county the boards were reduced from six to one board. I honestly thought at that time that was too big a
reduction. I did have the opportunity to sit on a school board and I am sure there are many members in the
House that had that opportunity over the years, to have sat on a school board. It is a very rewarding and
interesting experience. One has the opportunity to work with the teachers and with your superintendent of
schools and you are able to visit the schools and be a little bit aware of what programs are going on and what
have you.



As I say, I sat on a school board. At that time we had two high schools and quite a number of
elementary schools all over the rural municipality of Pictou County. In fact, we built a number of schools
during that period of time as well: MacLeod School, Frank H. MacDonald School, River John School, West
Pictou Elementary.



AN HON. MEMBER: Did they build a Donnie McInnes school is what I want to know? If they
didn’t, they should have.



MR. MCINNES: Well, very kind of you, George. The member for Kings North is helping me.



I want to take a moment and make some quotes through you, Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of
Education on a report that was tabled and presented to (Interruptions) You fellows be quiet, I can’t hear.



AN HON. MEMBER: You are not missing much.



MR. MCINNES: I know. The Pictou District School Board made a presentation to the Minister of
Education. I know he will be back quickly to hear what I am saying about that. They did make a very good
presentation to the minister on March 2, 1995, in regard to some of the things, in response to his White Paper
on education reform.



[6:00 p.m.]



I am reading directly from the presentation made by the Pictou District School Board to the minister,
“We believe that the key political decisions affecting our schools should remain as close to the people as
possible and those affecting the whole district are best made by a local elected board. Pictou District should
be recognized for the effectiveness and efficiency with which it provides quality programs, for its visionary
initiatives, and be given the option to remain as a single school system.”.



Now that is what I am saying, we have an excellent school board there, now all elected members, and
I think that is proper. They have done a good job over the past number of years, since the joining together of
those six boards and down to one board.



This document also goes on to say, “. . . if Pictou District is required to amalgamate with other
Boards, . . .”, which they say, “. . . is not our first choice, but it is our contention that . . .”, they would prefer
to work with a community like Antigonish. Pictou and Antigonish Counties are not that far apart and I think
it would be much better than the proposal which I know you have all seen, the District No. 3, with 28,876
students for Pictou County, Colchester County, Cumberland County and East Hants. It is just too big a board.



There are schools out in Parrsboro, how would anybody from the Pictou area know anything about
the school system and what was needed or what is required in the Parrsboro area? It is a very good area, by
the way, and one that we would be very pleased with - Cumberland County, I will come to that a little later
on but they are very concerned, too, that they want to represent their own area.



Now again, Mr. Speaker, I am going to quote from the school presentation of Pictou County to the
minister, “A major restructuring of school Boards is incompatible with a simultaneous move to site-based
management as proposed. The proposed Board restructuring options will require either a substantial strong
Central Administration staff including sub-systems to support the transition to . . . or a significant transfer
of governance power and authority to school councils and a corresponding reduction in the roles and
responsibilities of Superintendents and School Boards - a process that will require a comprehensive
developmental training program and a phase in period of several years. It would be impossible for a regional
board with a downsized Administrative staff to fulfill the duties as currently proposed.”.



Now they give an example and one of the examples is, “It would seem that in order to fulfill the
expectation as outlined in the White Paper that the Board would have to meet with each School Council at
least four to six times each year . . .”, now get this, “. . . a budget meeting, a meeting to review and approve
the school improvement plan, a meeting to review and accept the Councils Accountability Report, a meeting
to set area rates, and policy related meetings. Assuming a minimum of 4 meetings with each school council
the Chignecto . . .”, I guess is what they call it, the Chignecto federal school board, “. . . with 91 schools
would have to schedule the equivalent of 364 meetings just with the school councils one meeting a day, seven
days a week, twelve months of the year covering an area from Amherst to the Guysborough County line!”.



That is not what I said, that is what the Pictou Central District School Board said to the minister
when they made their presentation to him. I don’t know whether he listened to it or not, but I know that he
has a copy of it and I will make it available to him if he so wishes.



Now, I am still with this Pictou County presentation, “School Board Regionalization be restricted
to the minimum essential i.e. where there is municipal amalgamation, where small boards could not otherwise
survive - probably not fewer than 14 Boards would remain.”. Now they are saying if we have to do it, maybe
we should go down to 14. As I say, this is the Pictou District School Board’s presentation to the minister.



I think we want to offer every young Nova Scotian every opportunity for the highest quality
education; I think that is our goal, isn’t it? To offer our young people the best opportunity possible. Quite
frankly, the Pictou District School Board is very much opposed to Bill No. 5, which gives the minister the
opportunity to reduce the boards from 22 boards to 5 or 7 boards.



I have a quote here from the Cumberland District School Board, “It would be a mistake to make the
Cumberland district school board into part of a larger unit say the county teachers. `The economies . . . that
are the driving force behind board amalgamation have already been achieved by the (school) board in
Cumberland County,’ the county local of the Nova Scotias Teachers Union said this week. `We see very little,
if any, fiscal or educational gains to be achieved by school board amalgamation.’”. Then it goes on to say,
“The province’s white paper on education says the Cumberland board should be amalgamated” - as I said -
“with the Colchester-East Hants and Pictou boards, to save money.”.



There is a big distance from my area going up the Trail to Amherst, from Pictou to Amherst is about
90 miles. If you go around the other way, via Parrsborro, it would be probably 130 to 140 miles, so that would
be even more. The Amherst Teachers Union also doubts amalgamation would improve students’ educations.
I quote, “`The best opportunity for our students, we believe, lies with the present school board.’ The teachers
say education should `be treated as the investment in the future which it is. Therefore we suggest that the
regions of economic renewal . . . be used as the basis of amalgamation.’”. It goes on to say - I want to be fair -
“The Cumberland local supports the concept of advisory councils and site-based management, but wonders
how they’d be implemented.”.



In today’s paper, the 27th, the Halifax District School Board said that school board amalgamation
proposals, they are saying perhaps there should be 12 boards, 11 boards plus 1, the Acadian provincial board,
and that is fine. The Halifax District School Board has asked the minister for an extension and they go on to
say, “A board . . .”, this is the Halifax District School Board, they go on to say, “. . . with 57,000 students
spread unevenly over 5,376 square kilometres (is) not an option the parents of Halifax City (want) for their
children,” Mrs. MacFarlane said, in a letter to the minister. Mrs. MacFarlane went on to say, “We’ve tried five
meetings and we’ve looked at a variety of options for the three metro boards, and we couldn’t reach
consensus.”.



That is what they are saying, that perhaps we should have 12 zones for the school boards and perhaps
we could live with that. I do not think it is right, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister of Education, as this bill
states, that he, down in the bunker, may order Clause 1, Section 8A(1)(a), “. . . a school board . . . “, to be
amalgamated “. . . with any other school board; (b) annex the whole or any part of a school district to another
. . .”. He has the authority, if this bill passes which it probably will.



Now I want to go to another submission that was presented to the minister. This submission was from
the President of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, John MacDonald; from the President of the Nova Scotia
School Boards Association, Sandra Everett, the president of the Association of the Nova Scotia Educational
Administrators; and also Anne White who we all know very well is the President of the Nova Scotia
Federation of Home and School Associations. They made this presentation to the minister dated April 18th.
I want to read again from that because these are the people who represent the teachers, students, school board
associations and the parents.



I am going to quote again from this paper, “We would ask the Minister to provide research data to
support the claim that was made for the educational change in the White Paper, and we also request the clear
explanation on how the projected savings were calculated . . . We feel rather than viewing amalgamation as
a cost-savings measure, which is highly questionable, what is urgently needed is an in-depth analysis of the
funding formulas.”.



In other words, Mr. Speaker, they are saying that they do not see how the amalgamation of all these
school boards is going to save approximately $6 million per year. I do not understand it, and I would like to
see the minister present the figures to us to show where the saving would be to save that $6 million. Here the
Nova Scotia Teachers Union, school boards association, educational administrators and home and school
associations are saying the same thing. That is what they say, and I think they do represent the interest groups
that are used for teachers.



There were others, I am still with this same presentation. Some participants questioned the need for
amalgamation and others reflected a great concern for the extent of the proposed changes. Some boards were
viewed as too large now. They were concerned that amalgamation was perceived by the government as a cost-saving measure. They felt that amalgamation structures such as those proposed would negatively affect the
education. The big thing is that there would be a loss of personal contact, maybe a loss of accountability, a
loss of control by the local community council and a loss of existing specialized programs.



As I say, Mr. Speaker, that is not me saying that, this is being said by the various groups, the Nova
Scotia Teachers Union, home and school associations, and so on. I don’t think I want to quote any more from
that and I am not going to have too much more.



[6:15 p.m.]



Then on Wednesday, April 26th in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald and the Mail-Star again we had an
ad. In this document he talks about Education Horizons and “This document proposes unparalleled changes
to education in Nova Scotia . . .”. I won’t read the whole thing: “1. School Board Amalgamation The reduction
of 22 existing school boards in favour of five, or seven school boards, is a move that would centralize school
board authority away from local interests and local communities. Fewer school boards would result in many
rural areas feeling further removed from decision-makers. More so, there appears to be a distinct lack of
validated evidence that school board restructuring with either save dollars or improve the quality of education
services to students.”. And that is what we are saying.



That is what we say and I sincerely believe that the fact that with the size of the boards we have now,
and maybe we have special cases and I again want to say to the minister, he talked about the Guysborough
School Board going bankrupt, perhaps that one can be tied-in with some other board, and I appreciate that,
but I don’t think we have to go the route to five or seven boards, or go the route to fact that the minister will
have the opportunity to do it down in the bunker, without consultation, he will just be able to go down there
and do it.



Now this ad, of course, was put in by the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. They are asking for responses
and anyone wishing to respond to that ad.



Well, Mr. Speaker, I don’t want to delay the bill but I wanted to make the point that I am not in
favour of Bill No. 5, I don’t think it is the right thing to do. Maybe we could reduce the number of boards, five
or six, or whatever the magic number is. But, as I say, when you look at your White Paper, Education
Horizons, there is a lot of good information in there which is very helpful, but you are going to make Cape
Breton into two boards. I would like to hear those members get up and tell us if they think that is the right
thing, for Cape Breton to have two boards in Cape Breton Island. I don’t know. It seems to me - or option
number one is that they would have only one board and they would have 36,839 students under that one board.
Wow!



I should go through this for you, just so you will all be aware, just in case you didn’t look at it. Region
number two would be Pictou-Cumberland-Colchester-East Hants. They would have a student range of 28,876.
That would be called Chignecto Central. Number three proposal was Metro Halifax County, which of course
is Halifax County, Bedford, Halifax and Dartmouth. Could you believe that there are 57,000 students in that
area?



Then we go to number four and man, I wouldn’t want to sit on that school board; it goes from East
Hants, down to Kings County, Annapolis County, Digby County, Yarmouth and down around to Argyle
(Interruption) - no, Cape Breton is on the other end, I know that, Shelburne, Yarmouth, Lunenburg, Queens
and Clare-Argyle, with 38,000 students. How would a person in Lunenburg have any idea what is going on
with the schools down in Digby or whatever? It blows my mind away. It really does. It really blows my mind
away.



Now the minister explained to me when I was talking on the hoist amendment the other day, about
how he was going to have the French board, the Acadian provincial board work and that is under 5,000
students and I appreciated his answer and perhaps that one can work that way. Now, those schools are spread
out across the province, but he is going to have it set up and that is fair. But I think it is wrong that the
minister, with this bill, to amalgamate by order. Clause 1 Section 8A(1), “Notwithstanding Sections 7 and
8 of this Act and subsection 22(1) of the Utility and Review Board Act, the Governor in Council, on the
recommendation of the Minister, may, by order, (a) amalgamate a school board with any other school board;
(b) annex the whole or any part of a school district to another school district.”.



Mr. Speaker, I feel very strongly about it. I know that the bill will probably pass and go to the Law
Amendments Committee, but I shall not be voting for it to pass. I do sit on the Law Amendments Committee,
but I think it is wrong and I am sure the member for Cumberland North thinks it is wrong too. I am sure he
does not want the students from Cumberland County to be involved down in Pictou. It is just too big a board.



Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to partake of the debate on An Act to Amend
Chapter 6 of the Acts of 1991, the School Boards Act. I will not be supporting this bill.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 5 is a very good example of this government’s
arrogance and this government’s abandonment of communities in this province. What this government is
doing with this bill, it says to communities in this province, we do not care about your uniqueness. We don’t
care about the things that happen in your small areas anymore. We are going to make you big and we are
going to tell you how big you ought to be and we are going to tell you how it is all going to work.



We had the Minister of Education run around the province and, I have to tell you, anybody I talked
to said that the Minister of Education came with plugs in his ears and his mouth going and that they were not
happy, after the meetings were over, that they felt that the government was listening to what the possibilities
really are. We are looking at going from 22 boards to 7, 9 or 5. Who knows?



We have a piece of legislation that says the minister can walk into Cabinet and that Minister of
Education can decide how many. Probably not many people in this Legislature know that right now, with the
reductions this government has made to education and with the reductions they are going to make, they spend
the lowest per pupil of any province in Canada, except P.E.I. and, with the reductions that are coming, we
will be below P.E.I. That tells me that we have a government that does not care about education, that is not
concerned about young people and their education. If you were, you would be concerned about the system and
what is happening to it and how much money should be given to education to invest in our young people and
to invest in our future.



If you talk to anybody and you look at what has happened, what this government has done to special
education funding, it is a crying shame. We had students with learning disabilities in this province and many
of those students required special assistance through resource teachers and through EAs. In this province, in
many areas, these students were getting an opportunity, to complete a formal education, an opportunity to go
through school, otherwise they couldn’t go through school without that aid, that additional help.



What I am told has happened today, yes, people are continuing to be evaluated, continuing to be
tested and it has been discovered that yes, there are a lot of students that have a learning disability and a lot
of students with special needs. What this government has now done by taking away the funding, they are
ignoring those people. What is going to happen to those people if they can’t receive a formal education? Who
is going to care for them and at what cost to society because they weren’t able to get a formal education
because this government has not made the commitment to help those students that have special needs in the
schools of our system.



I have talked to educators, I have talked to principals, I have talked to some people who work with
these students and test these students. They come home each day and just throw up their hands and say, these
students are crying for help, the parents are crying for help. What this government has done is turned the tap
off and they are not giving these students any assistance and there is no future. The future is bleak, the future
is black. I will tell you, this government does not show any compassion when it cut the funding to special
education in this province.



We have a Minister of Education running around the province saying, we are going to put every cent
into the classrooms. Every cent into what classrooms? Because they are still looking for it. Yes, they can spend
more on administration and more on his staff and other staff but you look at what is happening in the schools
and I will tell you, this government doesn’t realize the parents are beginning to find out, and it took a little
while for them to realize - that their young people and their children are not receiving the additional help and
the kind of education and the opportunities that they were receiving, it is fast diminishing.



Classes are becoming larger and teachers are asked to cope with additional problems without support.
What does that do? I thought we should be concerned about quality of education. I haven’t heard the minister
talk one bit about the quality of education. He talks about numbers and the great numbers, we are going to
reduce the number of boards in this province and somehow some magic is going to happen that is going to
increase the quality of education in this province. It is not going to happen.



When you think of a school board that runs from Hants County, to Kings, to Annapolis, to Digby,
to Yarmouth, to Shelburne, to Queens, and Lunenburg and you say to yourself, if someone was an elected
school board member from Kings County, how do they know the problems in Shelburne County? How does
the person in Annapolis know the problems in Hants County?



We all argued for years, and I argued for it, to have elected school boards, to have people that could
be reached by the parents and students and have people that they could go and see. Can you imagine trying
to get hold of all the members of a board that large if you had a concern? Parents are losing their rights in this
province, students are losing their rights, whether it is a transportation issue or whether it is an issue in the
school. Now this government is taking it so far away from them and they say, we are going to improve the
system by reducing and making a larger board but less boards.



The minister claims he is going to save a lot of money on administration. School boards will tell you
and I think it was in their presentation, the one that was made, that they have reduced their administration.
The boards have been cut year after year, they have reduced their administration. I know in Kings County
alone the number of administrators that have been reduced. But can you imagine that we are going to have,
yes, fewer administrators for one board whether it be one board in Cape Breton County and you have got a
meeting on the other side of the Island, it is going to take you all day to get there. If you are in Hants County
and you have to go down to Shelburne, it is going to take you most of the day to travel. And the cost of that,
that is going to be more efficient and people are going to understand more about community needs and school
needs and school busing problems and educational problems? I can’t believe that.



Now, we have a minister who has put in a bill that won’t even allow us, as elected people of this
province, to have any say on exactly what size board he is going to put forth. He is going to do that in Cabinet.
Never before in the history of this province has anyone made such dramatic changes to the school system and
the number of boards without allowing the bill to come before the House that spells out exactly what he is
going to do.



AN HON. MEMBER: Secret.



MR. MOODY: It’s a secret. This went on in a communist country. I can’t imagine it going on in a
democracy where people get a piece of legislation like this and they say, trust me, I know what is best and I
don’t want any other 51 members of the Legislature confusing my mind that they might know something about
education, don’t confuse me. I was appointed Minister of Education so don’t confuse me with the facts.



AN HON. MEMBER: They’ll make their decisions down in the bunker.



MR. MOODY: Down in the bunker. (Interruptions)



[6:30 p.m.]



I will tell you there are a lot of people and you know, it took a long time for this government to get
this to happen but it did happen and they upset a lot of people and this is why it happened. The Teachers
Union, the school board and the federation of home and school associations and the president of the
association of Nova Scotian education administrators all came together in a common cause and that was to
try to get this government to listen. They came together as a group because they felt that if they could work
together to agree on what should happen in this province, in response to the White Paper, that just maybe the
Minister of Education might take out the ear-plug for five minutes and listen to what is being said by these
four groups. Thus far, there has been no indication by this minister that he is willing to pay the least bit of
attention to what these people are saying that is happening and should happen in education and that is a
shame.



The minister has not produced any documentation, none that shows that he can save $6 million or
$11 million, it depends on which one he is going to go with. We have no documentation, we can’t find out
how it has been calculated, we can’t find out exactly how this is going to be better for the kids.









The one thing that is sort of missing in this whole thing is the students, you know, you say to yourself
yes, the government is so intent on saving money but what about the students. How are they going to be
affected? What is this going to do for them? There is some advantage to amalgamations, obviously, but there
are some disadvantages when you get too large and you get too ridiculous. You can go from one extreme to
the other and that is what this government is doing. The minister says, well, we had to introduce a bill because
we gave that early retirement and so we have to do something for a small board like Guysborough. I don’t have
any difficulty with this government dealing with the problem they have in Guysborough but why are you going
to affect the kids in Kings County and Annapolis County and Digby County and everywhere else because you
have a problem in Guysborough County?



Now, that says to me that minister is saying that we are going to ask everybody else to be affected
because I have a problem in Guysborough County. I find that very strange. If you have a problem in
Guysborough County and maybe that area is small, maybe that board needs to be amalgamated, maybe there
is an arrangement that could be made with a board next door and you can solve that problem. Guysborough
wouldn’t go broke and you then wouldn’t upset every other board in the province.



Now Halifax has indicated that maybe it is not what the five or seven that government is suggesting.
Maybe it is 12. If the government had done this right from the beginning and what the government did was
put together a White Paper and said, here are your options. Never mind allowing the communities to develop
their options or never mind allowing the communities to put forward a position that, lo and behold, might
work better than the government saying, this is what is best for you.



So the minister has not allowed the kind of proper consultation to go on and is not addressing what
is really happening in education or the problems we are having in education. He is not addressing those at
all, but comes along with a bill that says that he, with his Cabinet colleagues, can annex the whole or any part
of a school district. It does not even say he has to annex it all, but that he can take pieces of one and put it
together with pieces of another. He can do this. This legislation will allow him to do this and he does not even
have to tell us how many boards he is going to end up with. He has not told us.



Why the rush? Well, if the rush is for Guysborough, then why don’t we deal with Guysborough and
allow the rest of the province to put together a plan, one that, first of all, has at the top, students. It is not what
it is all about. This, what the minister is talking about, has at the top, finances, and we are going to start with
the premise that we are going to save money, but I have not seen any piece of paper when it talks about the
quality of education and improving education for young people. That is what we should be all about. How are
we going to allow our young people opportunities in education and to ensure that there is some accountability
in the educational system and end up with the kind of quality education I think we all want?



Now the minister has not addressed the issue of accountability, not at all. This does nothing to do
that. The Teachers Union says that they do not believe that five or seven boards is a move that would
centralize school board authority away from local interest and local communities. They think by making it
five or seven boards, and I agree with them, that you are taking it away from the community and you are
taking it away from local interest groups.



I think when you go in rural areas, it is fine and this government does not seem to understand.
Whether it is the amalgamation that is happening with the municipalities or this amalgamation, there is a
difference between urban areas of this province and rural areas. For so long, we have had a lot of uniqueness
in the rural areas and those that choose to live there choose to live there because of the quality of life, maybe
it is the educational opportunity, maybe it is the quietness, whatever. Those who choose to live in the urban
area choose it for whatever reason.



What this government has decided is that it does not matter whether you live in a rural area or an
urban area, you are going to be lumped in with the same and we will see that here in metro when they end
up with one school board, whether they are serving Musquodoboit Valley or the Eastern Shore or downtown
Halifax.



So we are not convinced, in our caucus, and I don’t think any of the four groups that I mentioned
earlier, whether it be the home and school association and I don’t believe this government has paid enough
attention to the home and school associations in this province. They have worked very hard over the years and
done a lot of good work in the schools, for education. I don’t believe this government is listening or allowing
them the kind of participation or giving them the kind of recognition they should give them because they
automatically think that school councils, and they haven’t said whether or not the home and school federation
could be the starting point.



I happen to believe that the home and school associations could very well be the starting point. There
is nothing wrong when the minister says that he wants more parent involvement and we have to find a way
to get more parents involved in the education system. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting more
parents involved or more students involved in the education system. But what is going to be left of the system
after this minister destroys it? That is what is happening, as he reduces the funding. Cuts are happening this
year to school boards, there are going to be additional layoffs and there is not even enough money to handle
a request for emergency funding that is around the province that is dealing with environmental issues, all
kinds of emergency issues and this government is not even funding that to the level that it should be. So we
are going to have more layoffs, we are going to end up with class sizes of 40, and with teachers with no
support, no EAs to support them for those students that have special needs; and this government continues
to make those cuts.



What is happening, does anyone talk, does the minister talk about what is happening in the
classrooms, about what is happening with education and education opportunities in this province? I have not
heard a word. Well, if he is talking to them, he is not talking to the same people that I am talking to because
the people I am talking to are telling me that with the cuts that have been made and the way this government
seems to pay very little attention to the special education component and not funding it properly, that we have
so many kids - you know in Kings County, Mr. Speaker, this year, and I will bet it is true in every school
board across the province, they have had more suspensions in this last year, it has tripled, and maybe even
larger, but they had tripled the last time I checked. You have to ask yourself, why are we having all the
suspensions? Well, I will tell you why we are having all the suspensions, because those students who have
learning difficulties and used to get some additional help, when there was funding, are not getting that help
anymore, so those students are getting into trouble.



So what does the school system do? They suspend them. But what does that do for that student in the
long term? It does nothing for that student in the long term. Should we be proud in this province because of
this Minister of Education’s policies, that more students than ever before are being suspended? I would not
be very proud of that and I know they are not proud of it in Kings County and I am sure they are not proud
of it around the province. But you have to analyze why it is happening and very quickly they tell me why it
is happening; there is no support for these young people. This government has to wake up and has to
understand that these people who have special needs have to have that additional support. The EAs in that
county were cut to about one-third of what was there in hours before. When they gave one-to-one assistance
to many of the students in the classroom, many of those people required the one-on-one.



What happened now, with this government’s policy? No more one-on-one. What is happening now
is many of those students have been suspended. I have had parents call me and say, look, we don’t know what
to do, our kid has been diagnosed, tested and this is what is required but the school board and the schools say
that there are no funds to help your child, no funds. These are hardworking Nova Scotians, men and women
who go to work every day to support their families and they are helpless because what this government has
done has taken away a tool that was used to allow these students to go through elementary, junior high and
high school. They have taken away that tool and I don’t believe this government knows how much they have
affected the lives of many of the young people in this province. Because this government won’t change and
because this government continues to reduce funding this year they are going to affect again many of the lives
of the young people of this province.



[6:45 p.m.]



I can’t imagine any MLA supporting a budget and a government that has that kind of an effect on
the young people of this province. What we have is a piece of legislation that the minister says will cut some
costs. I haven’t had anyone, whether it be from the four groups I described or whether it be from any parents
or any school board or any community of this province, not one has come to me and said, that this is a good
idea - not one.



Now, I have to say that if you have a piece of legislation and you cannot find one person who is in
the system that thinks it is good, you must have to start questioning what in the world is happening. What is
happening is a power grab by the Minister of Education. Now he may have the best of intentions, but this
power does not give the Honourable John D.S. MacEachern, Minister of Education and Culture the authority.
It gives every Minister of Education, present and future, the authority. What this legislation does, if the
present minister says, okay, it is going to be seven boards in the province, we could have an election and we
could have a new Minister of Education that says no, no, it is not going to be seven, it is going to be one. All
he or she has to do is take it to Cabinet and Cabinet approve one and it is one.



I would think an issue like that should at least come before the Legislature. An issue like that affects
the lives of a lot of young people in this province, as well as many families, I would expect any government
to bring the legislation to the Legislature. This government is not doing that and this government is setting
it up so that next year it is seven, the next year after that it could be five, it could be three, it could be two or
it could be one. They never have to come back to this Legislature again to do that.



To me, that is not what democracy is all about. We are all elected in 52 ridings in this province to
come to this Legislature and debate the changes that are happening. At least the government on the
amalgamation of the municipalities, the Minister of Municipal Affairs did not take the approach that, I am
bringing in one piece of legislation and I am going to be able to amalgamate whatever areas I want by just
taking it to Cabinet. At least she recognized that the way democracy works is you bring each piece in and you
allow it to be debated publicly and you allow people to have an opportunity to participate in that debate and
you allow them the opportunity to go to the Law Amendments Committee. You allow the process and then
at least people have their say.



Then you end up with a piece of legislation that we all have to live with. At least it is a democratic
process. This kind of legislation takes away from that democratic process because if she came in, the Minister
of Municipal Affairs, with the same kind of legislation, she could amalgamate any areas of the province
without coming here to the Legislature. She could mix and match any way she wants and that is what this
minister can do. He can mix and match any way he wants and none of us the opportunity to get up and say,
look this mix is right or this mix is wrong or that would work better or it wouldn’t work better. We won’t have
that opportunity and to me that is not fair. That is not even reasonable. I think anybody who would vote for
this legislation the way that it is written cannot be in full support of the democratic process. I cannot imagine
why you would even want to get elected unless you sit in Cabinet because you will not have any say on what
happens around the province. You will not have any say at all.



You know, Mr. Speaker, I am sure there will be groups that will come before the Committee on Law
Amendments on this bill. I am sure that they will ask for some changes. I think one of the changes that they
will ask for, is to maybe see it delayed or see it so that they know exactly that there will be some, at least,
accountability when the minister trots into Cabinet and deals with an issue in five minutes and then runs out
and how it might affect many of the people around this province.



Can you imagine the busing problems? Mr. Speaker, Kings County is not all that big, but there are
many five year olds who get on buses and parents have concerns about stops and they call the (Interruption)
Are you okay, Mr. Speaker?



MR. SPEAKER: Carry on.



MR. MOODY: Okay, I thought you were falling out of your Chair, but it is okay.



MR. SPEAKER: No. I am just reading Erskine May, here.



MR. MOODY: Okay. That is good to know that you have now begun to read it. (Laughter)



MR. SPEAKER: I am at Page 141.



MR. MOODY: I am impressed. Getting back to Bill No. 5. I just lost my train of thought for a
moment and I apologize for that. Getting back to Bill No. 5, there has to be a process so that the parent of the
five year old in Kingston, Nova Scotia does not have to call the school board member in Shelburne who is
chairman of the transportation committee to see if that stop can be changed because of a certain circumstance.
Those circumstances happen all the time of where stops change and where it is a dangerous section or
whatever.



So as we get so large and as we take away that personal touch that I think that is needed, I think this
government is going to change the way that this whole province thinks. You know, we have had a nice
province. We have a lot of nice communities in this province. People take pride and I know that people in
Kings County take pride, as well as they do in Annapolis or as well as they do in Lunenburg, but how are you
going to take pride in your county when you are a part of a great big region? I find that people do not take the
same interest when it grows so large that no longer can you relate to your local area and that is what this
government is doing. They do not want people to relate to their local area.



I honestly believe that this piece of legislation will have a negative effect on education in this
province. People will not get a same level of service. They will not get the same personal level of service as
they have had in the past. What can they do about it? They cannot do anything about it. I know that this
minister has said, that everybody on the present boards are going to be there until the next election, at least
nine months before the election, “. . . the Governor in Council may determine the minimum and maximum
number of members on the school board after the next election of school board members.”.



Here we have, if we have Hants, Kings, Annapolis, Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens and
Lunenburg in this one proposal were going to have a hundred and some people sitting around the school board
meetings. Now that doesn’t make a lot of sense and I don’t know how that is going to work. You know how
much opportunity you get to speak in here with 52, can you imagine sitting around with over 100 and how
much opportunity you are going to get to speak or how much input you are going to have?



The minister says that we will only allow that to happen until the next election and then we will
reduce the numbers. Now we don’t know what the numbers are going to be so we don’t know in Kings County
whether we are going to have 1, 2, 3, 4 (Interruption) I am not. It took us a long time to get an elected
representative to represent the small Town of Berwick because the people in Berwick felt, initially, when we
had part-elected school boards and part-appointed, they didn’t have a lone representative from the Town of
Berwick, they felt because they are a unique little town, that the town should have at least one representative
on the school board.



Under this system, that little Town of Berwick isn’t going to have anybody to represent them on the
school board. They are going to be lumped in with a whole larger group of people. We don’t even know in
Kings County whether we might get two people on the elected school board. We have two people from Kings
County on the regional health board and neither of them from the western end, both of them from the eastern
end. Now what kind of representation are we going to have on this new board? Will it be distributed so that
people will be - will there be less than there will be MLAs? Now we all know, in Kings County, we have 3
MLAs, but you may not even have 3 school board members. Now, can you imagine how local that
representation is going to be? If you have 1 board in Cape Breton County and you have 12 members, can you
imagine what representation you are going to have? It just doesn’t make sense.



I hope that at some point this government will understand that by forcing 5 or 7 boards on this
province without at least looking at Halifax’s proposal of 12, which they say makes it difficult but at least they
think it might be workable, if this government is bound and determined to reduce the number of boards in this
province, why wouldn’t they at least allow others to make a presentation such as the Halifax District School
Board did on 12? The 12 would allow you 3 boards in Cape Breton, not 1, which would, to me, be much more
reasonable than 1. At least in the Valley, we wouldn’t run all the way from Hants County around to Lunenburg
County, we would end up with Hants West, Kings and Annapolis; difficult, but more reasonable, and one that
I think people could live with.



They are saying in the southwest you would have Digby, Clare-Argyle, Yarmouth and Shelburne;
not a bad combination. They are even allowing Queens and Lunenburg to have their own, or they could join.
We would have Metro Halifax County, we would have Cumberland and Pictou and Colchester-East Hants,
and it would remain the same. There are other options out there for the government, but they are not being
considered and I think this government has to take that into consideration.



I think the one area, the Acadian francophone one, is probably one area that we would probably all
agree on. That one board, even though there are distances, there may be some rationale for one such board
in the province. Again, that covers a lot of area, but that might work, I haven’t heard anyone say to me that
that isn’t a good idea.



[7:00 p.m.]



I know, in Kings County, we have francophone schools and I guess the Charter of Rights would allow
French, if someone’s first language is French and where numbers warrant it then you are going to end up with
a French language school. I think that those have grown and I think that because we are a province that has
a lot of DND, that we get a lot of parents, and in our area, it is Greenwood where a lot of francophones get
stationed and their parents’ first language is French and they speak French at home and so there is an
opportunity for a school and there is a school but it is run by the Kings County District School Board. I think
there is some merit in tying these boards together because of their common interest. I think, I don’t know if
again there would be all that much savings because of the distance between them but I do believe that because
of the numbers that it may warrant having one board.



I am just about finished, Mr. Speaker, but I want to say that, obviously, I won’t be supporting this
bill. I am disappointed that the government continues to make the kind of educational cuts that it is making
to the young people of this province. I think, as every member in here would say, the young people of our
province are the future of our province. An investment in our young people is a good investment in the future.
This government is not making that kind of a commitment, it is not making that kind of investment in
education and what it is doing is actually taking away from the young people’s opportunities.



I heard it said that even though this government has claimed that they can take the money out of the
system and not hurt the system they cannot produce any facts or any documentation that says that with less
money there are a better opportunities for young people, that is just not happening. Anybody who was a
teacher knows that when you get 40 in a classroom and you get students with special needs and you have no
support, that you can’t provide better education. There is nobody more important in the whole system than
the classroom teacher but when the class size gets beyond a certain size the teacher has difficulty in providing
that quality of education that should be provided.



I will be opposing this piece of legislation basically because I think it infringes upon my rights as an
MLA that the government is going to make the decision behind closed doors, down in Cabinet on how many
school boards are going to be in this province and where. It gives the government the power to do that at any
time without any input from any member of the Legislature and I am also going to oppose it on the basis that
if we are going to have amalgamation it should be spelled out just exactly what is going to be amalgamated
and where and what the cost-savings are and what the benefits are to the students. I have seen nothing of that
in this piece of legislation, it has to be one of the worst pieces of legislation I have seen here for a long time
and it is certainly one that I will be opposing.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: It is my opportunity to stand in my place and what a pleasure it is to
have the opportunity to stand here and do my best to represent the views of the people for Kings North and
discuss this bill, An Act to Amend Chapter 6 of the Acts of 1991, the School Boards Act. I guess the crux of
the Act indicates that the minister has the power by order to, Clause 1, Section 8A(1)(a), “amalgamate the
school board with any other board; (b) annex the whole or any part of a school district to another . . .”. We
are going to cross county lines, if we wish. We are going to put counties together, pretty much whatever whim
the Minister of Education may take at any given time.



Clause 1, Section 8A(2) says, “The Governor in Council may determine the minimum and maximum
number of members of the school board . . .”.  You see, it is all power to the elected Cabinet of this province.
That flies in the face of everything that the Education Horizons paper talked about. Now, if I could review a
couple of things in the Education Horizons, because it is very topical and it is very close to this bill. This
Education Horizons is one of those things that it does not matter what your point of view is, I think your aims,
dreams, ambitions can be filled in whole or in part by reading this book, because this book does not say
anything about the individual teacher, student, parent, board, on-site management, off-site management, site-based management or anything else that is really objectionable. It is one of those warm and fuzzy kinds of
papers that has come forward.



You can see many of the musings of the Minister of Education in this. It is all pleasant, nothing
particularly objectionable but not a whole lot of down to earth practical substance that you can grab hold of
and say, look, this is what it means, this is what it does not mean. Because with this, if I may read a little from
it, says, “Students must take more responsibility for their learning, including regular attendance and
demonstrating respect for the rights of others and a willingness to learn.”.



Mr. Speaker, I ask you in all honesty and sincerity, who can argue with that? Further, “Students must
be given a greater role in the education system through involvement in decision-making and participation on
school councils.”. Well, one of the things you notice if you go to a school in Nova Scotia today, as compared
to 10 or 15 or 20 or 30 or 40 years ago when we were all students - and at some point in the last 40 years we
were all in school, some even teaching, others of us trying to learn. The students have changed a great deal
over the years. When I went to school in Halifax, I think one of the main requirements was a shirt, a necktie
and a pair a pants with a press in them and shiny shoes. Over the years that has changed, so when you go to
the schools today physically the youngsters look different. They can wear sneakers, Levis, a T-shirt and some
even have a whisker or two. But there is more to the students than that. It is not just the physical thing that
has changed in the school, Mr. Speaker, it is the knowledge and the experience and the expectation that the
students have. So things have evolved, things have changed and students do want a greater role in the system
and they should have more responsibility for their learning.



On the other hand and at the same time, some students, Mr. Speaker, have decided that discipline
does not include them in the classroom. Now on Monday of this week, I met a person who has been teaching
school for many years and at the present time he is a substitute teacher. He was called and notified. Would
you come and teach for three days this week? We have an opening. He said, no, I don’t feel up to it because
the discipline in that class is beyond what I can do, I cannot cope with the attitude of some of the students.
This is a very serious matter, discipline in our schools. I don’t see exactly any recommendations to talk about
correcting the discipline.



Now on the Human Resources Committee that is chaired by the honourable member for Lunenburg,
last winter, Principal Gillis from Cape Breton came and talked to us about discipline in schools. What he has
done is spearheaded an amalgamation, for discipline purposes, of three high schools in his area. They have
segregated one classroom in his school and youngsters in school, students, are sent to that classroom for the
day and there is one teacher responsible for these eight students. The students can be there for an offence from
wearing a hat in school to throwing a rock through a school bus window and anything in between.



One of the things that Mr. Gillis pointed out was they rarely ever go back to that classroom again.
They spend a week in the classroom and they have study carrels for each, with sidewalls so their desk is facing
the wall, their books are beside them and any problem they have scholastically, the home room teacher is there
to help in all subjects. If the problem is mathematics and he happens not to be strong on calculus or statistics,
then he can call in the math teacher for that period of time, or history or English or French. Whatever the
student needs, he is given that instruction in that room. The student eats his lunch in that room for that week.
The student uses the separate washroom facilities available to that room.



In short, that student has no contact with any other students in the school during school hours. This
is punishment for the student but it also, according to Mr. Gillis, teaches some of these students that they are
not incapable of learning. Sometimes it is the first time the student has had individual attention from a
teacher, or even an adult, in some long period of time. Just the interest shown by that teacher is sometimes
enough for that student to say, by golly, I am not the numskull that people have been telling me, I am capable
of learning. Some of the students who have been in that detention room have suddenly decided that they want
to learn, to have an opportunity, to get ahead.



You know, more schools should be following the example of Mr. Gillis’ experiment that they
spearheaded. The Chairman of the Human Resources Committee sent a summary of that to all district school
boards throughout Nova Scotia and I hope as many principals as possible have had the opportunity to at least
be exposed to what they are trying in the Sydney area because discipline in the schools today is very hard to
maintain. But it is a priority that cannot be overlooked because if you have one student who decides the rules
are going to be made by themselves, it is very difficult for the teacher to maintain order in the classroom and
it is difficult for the other students to learn.



Now this paper by the Minister of Education certainly indicates that discipline is a concern, but it
is more than a concern, according to many people. It is becoming even more of a concern because the numbers
of students in our classrooms are becoming more and more, year by year, particularly this year when the
funding for schools across Nova Scotia has been drastically reduced and classrooms have become larger
because the students have to be taught by fewer teachers.



Now the parents in this article by the Minister of Education, Education Horizons, the parents should
provide support for their children in the education system. Look, is there anybody that does not agree with
that statement because it is true, they should. First they should help the children prepare for learning by
providing the needs of discipline and values and second, become partners in school decision-making. I have
been involved in the home and school association at Aldershot Elementary School and at Cornwallis District
High School and during that time, particularly at Aldershot, we, as parents, organized the development of a
school playground. The teachers organized chicken barbecues, spring flings and spring fairs so that they could
purchase computers for the students.



[7:15 p.m.]



The parents were involved, but I want you to know, Mr. Minister, very often it was the same parents
I would see at the home and school meeting. It was the same parents I would see helping to organize the
school lunch program. It was the same parents I would see in the school yard the two days that we set aside
to put up the new swing sets and gymnastic equipment. It was the same parents I saw helping the teachers
who were raising money to purchase computers for the students.



So, these words ring hollow. The Minister of Education says parents should provide support, well,
sure they should, but what is he going to do if it continues the way it has in the past when a few parents carry
the load for the rest? What is the minister doing that is practical? Does the minister live in a little dream
world and say, this is the way things should be, so I am going to snap my fingers, this is the way they will be.



These things are great, but if they are not attainable then why on earth doesn’t the minister deal with
the reality that we are facing today. One of the realities is that all parents cannot provide the support for their
children in the system. Many parents are single parents, many parents are looking after two or three jobs,
some have just been laid off. There are pressures on the family today that were not there 50 years, 20 years
and even 10 years ago.



There are other children at home and some of the other children are creating thoughts and stresses
within the family. Parents have a difficult time today in many cases. Simply because the minister says they
should provide the support doesn’t mean they are going to. Parents sometimes have trouble disciplining their
children themselves. Sometimes the values of the parents are a little bit different than what the school wants
to see as values. Some of their values are different than what the minister indicates they ought to be. Just
because the minister wants the parents to take part in the schools, does that mean that the parents are
equipped and can.



There is a section on teachers. They need to be role models of lifelong learning by periodically
updating their subject knowledge, teaching and technology skills. I know for a fact and you know for a fact
that the teachers are doing that. They are always trying to upgrade their knowledge and they are always trying
to bring up their technology skills, for the most part. Just as the MLAs and just as the passengers going down
the road in the bus, we are all different, we are all individuals and we all have different goals, aspirations and
desires.



Teachers must have every opportunity for continuous learning for professional development. Well,
I think that is up to the Department of Education, it is up to the school boards and it is up to the teachers
themselves. What is wrong with that? Thirdly, teachers are the closest to students in the school system. They
should be part of the decision-making as participants on school councils. Finally, teachers should regularly
communicate with students and their parents about expectations in progress. You know, one of my favourite
days at school was always the parent-teacher day and you make your appointment and you go in and you sit
down. It was great when your child was making 85 in Math and you went in to see the Math teacher. Well,
that was probably one the nicest days you have all week. But, then if you happen to go down to English or
French and your child isn’t a master in English, French or some other subject, I mean that is not such a great
day. I think at the present time, schools and teachers are sending the note home two or three times a year,
sometimes more often, that they want to have a parent-teacher meeting. Sit down and discuss, even if your
child is the brightest kid in the world and doing so well.



You know, it is nice to go and hear from the teacher first hand what a marvellous child you have and
how great things must be at home. It also gives the opportunity for us when your child is not doing well in
his subject to go ask the teacher what is the problem. It gives the opportunity for the teacher to say look, I am
available at lunch hour, I am available after school, I am available before school to help your child with a little
extra tutoring; there is a problem and I think we can overcome it.



So this is one of the areas that I cannot argue with. I just cannot argue with a lot of the things in this
White Paper. What has this to do with the bill?



MR. SPEAKER: That is just what I have been asking myself during the last 10 minutes.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Because one of the things you have got to read when you read the bill, is bear
in mind this White Paper or whatever you call it, White Paper on Restructuring the Education System.



This is the White Paper and somewhere over this one-page bill, that and the two of them you would
sort of think they just fit together like your hand and your glove, but I am afraid, Mr. Speaker, they do not.
They fit together like this. So all of the good and positive suggestions that we have heard do not bear fruit in
this bill because this bill has absolutely nothing to do with helping our students get a better education. This
bill has everything to do with giving the Minister of Education the unilateral power to decide how many
school boards we have, where we are going to have them, how many school board members there are going
to be, what size. You know, the minister has the ultimate authority.



The minister the other day, when I was a little critical, he jumped up and said, I want you to know
that Kings County, Hants West and Annapolis have all said, we are going to work together. Well, you know,
that is great. If the Kings, Hants, and Annapolis boards had suddenly one night, simultaneously, just jumped
and woke up out of a deep sleep and the light bulb came on and they said, look, and three of them
simultaneously called the Minister of Education on the phone and said, we want to get together. You see, that
would be credible. But what it is, is when you get a gun to your head and you get a map drawn, well, I should
not say that, when you get a map like this in front of you that says, school board number five will be the
Valley with West Hants, Annapolis, Digby and Kings. That is quite a large board. Or you get the other
proposal that woofed it all the way in to even a bigger area, I think it took in Yarmouth and number four,
yeah, here you go.



When you get a call and you read this White Paper when the school boards in the Valley looked at
the map, Mr. Speaker, as I know you looked at it and said the Valley Southwest School Board District No.
4 concerning Hants West, Annapolis, Kings, Digby, Shelburne, Yarmouth, Lunenburg, Queens, Clare-Argyle,
the anglophone part of that. The entire half, even more than half of the mainland, it is a big area. You are
going to be one school board. Well, don’t you think that the ones in the Valley, West Hants, Kings and
Annapolis would have said, jumpin’ Christmas, what are we going to do, we had better get on the phone and
make a proposal that is better than what he is making? Of course they did.



Kings District School Board did not say, we want to join with West Hants and Annapolis because
of any burning desire to have a larger school board. They said, we better join with them or else the minister
is going to put us in with Clare-Argyle, Queens, Lunenburg, Yarmouth, Shelburne, Digby, Annapolis and
West Hants. That is so unmanageable, it would be so difficult to have a district like that, that it would be
impossible for the school board to function. I know that. The school board knew that. Why couldn’t the
Minister of Education figure that out? It is a huge area. You would have to pack your lunch if you were going
to try to drive around it and if you left in the afternoon you would have to take your sleeping bag. The distance
is so great you can’t make it between meals.



So the Kings District made a proposal and the minister might or might not accept it, I don’t know.
It is frustrating as a member of the Legislature to read a paper, Education Horizons, to have so much easy
listening, sort of. You hear the radio stations playing easy listening. Well, this is easy reading, not a whole
lot of controversy but there is not enough substance, everything is a little bit wishy-washy.



Little wonder parents, school boards, and teachers are scratching their heads and saying what is the
real goal of the Minister of Education? First it was to save the $11 million and that has sort of become wishy-washy now because the numbers he was basing his $11 million on were not the budgeted numbers of this year,
1994-95, they were the budgeted numbers of 1993-94 and most of the school boards have already made
substantial cuts in their school budgets so that the $11 million is only going to be attainable at tremendous
cost-cutting. Already, we have heard from the school board in Colchester-East Hants. They cut $1 million last
November from their school budget.



MR. SPEAKER: Excuse me, I think the House had agreed by unanimous consent to adjourn at 7:30
p.m.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to move to adjourn this debate today and report
progress and start it at another time.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, I am sure that that opportunity will be afforded to you but the motion for now
is that the honourable member moves that we adjourn this debate.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



The debate is then adjourned.



The honourable Acting Government House Leader.



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, the hours for tomorrow will be from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
and following the daily routine we will go into Estimates in the Chamber. We will be doing Health and if we
should finish Health tomorrow, I think we move on to Education. We will, as well, have the Law Amendments
Committee meeting in the Red Room and I believe that starts at 9:00 a.m. After Estimates, we will move into
bills and continue with the debate on Bill No. 5.



MR. SPEAKER: Is there a time proposed at which we would revert from Supply to bills?



MS. JOLLY: We will do the complete four hours on Estimates tomorrow.



Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now adjourn.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow morning at the
hour of 8:00 a.m.



The motion is carried.



[The House rose at 7:30 p.m.]

 

NOTICE OF QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWERS



QUESTION NO. 11



By: Mr. George Moody (Kings West)

 

To: Hon. Ronald Stewart (Minister of Health)



(1) I want to know, as does Mr. David Webster of Kentville, Nova Scotia, why the present
Liberal Government did not include an opt-out clause under the new seniors’ Pharmacare Program? I, along
with Mr. Webster, want to know where the monies accumulated by the new seniors’ Pharmacare Program will
be depositied? Who will be deciding where these monies will be allocated?



QUESTION NO. 12



By: Mr. Terence Donahoe (Leader of the Opposition)

 

To: Hon. William Gillis (Minister of Justice)



(1) I want to know, as does Mr. Bob Ritchie of New Minas, Nova Scotia, will this government
make forceful representations to the federal Government of Canada to ensure that restitution to the victims
of crime be a compulsory part of a convicted criminal’s sentence?



QUESTION NO. 13



By: Mr. George Moody (Kings West)

 

To: Hon. Ronald Stewart (Minister of Health)



(1) I want to know, as does Mr. Bob Ritchie of New Minas, Nova Scotia, if this government is
planning to discontinue the funding of abortions under MSI?