Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

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21 septembre 2017

















HALIFAX, THURSDAY, MAY 18, 1995



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Third Session



12:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mrs. Francene Cosman





MR. SPEAKER: I would like to call the House to order at this time so we can commence today's sitting.



Order, please.



Are there any introductions before we commence the daily routine? If not, we will advance directly into the daily routine.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.



MR. CHARLES MACARTHUR: Mr. Speaker, as Acting Chairman of the Committee on Private and Local Bills, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:



Bill No. 19 - Queens Regional Municipality Act.



and that the committee recommends this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.



MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.







1947

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a response to a question previously posed by a member of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition regarding planning for the QE II Health Sciences Centre.



MR. SPEAKER: The return is tabled.



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



RESOLUTION NO. 385



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



Whereas 53 more teaching positions have been slashed from our education system, this time in the Halifax County-Bedford school board, even though a Liberal Government promised to invest, not cut, education funding; and



Whereas there is great concern in the county that already over-loaded classrooms will become even more crowded with this significant loss, not to mention the other cuts faced by the board in this year alone; and



Whereas while our boards have faced significant cuts and the fury of their communities, the minister has sailed along unscathed placing all blame for cuts at the foot of our boards and continues to sing the praises of his White Paper and its proposed benefits of empowering parents, students and teachers;



Therefore be it resolved that this minister awaken to the reality of what his cuts to our education system will mean and explain just what our teachers, parents, students and communities will have left to be empowered with once the final millions involved with the government's planned cuts are forced upon the provincial boards in the next two years.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 386



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



Whereas taxpayers spent $100,000 in severance for Lucy Dobbin to be fired, without just cause, because the Premier deemed it unacceptable for any opportunity for her family consulting business to coincide with her duties as deputy minister; and



Whereas this same Premier and his former Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency are applying a much different standard to themselves, and argue that the public must accept that personal and family business dealings will cross over with public duties; and



Whereas it has been long ruled acceptable parliamentary language to describe an entire government as hypocritical;



Therefore be it resolved that the different standards applied by the Premier to Lucy Dobbin and to the former Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency demonstrates just how parliamentary this Liberal Government is.



MR. SPEAKER: I would like to see that notice before it is tabled. I will rule on it at a later time.



The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



RESOLUTION NO. 387



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



Whereas part of the cuts forced upon the Halifax County-Bedford District School Board was the decision to cut its Grade 6 band program; and



Whereas a reporter commenting on the erosion of and impending attacks on our school music programs said that, the understanding of music and the arts has become even more important in today's economy and that our society must understand that, "music is not elitist. But restricting access is."; and



Whereas one school board member, regarding the cuts to music commented that, "Music is important but math and English are important, too. I think that's the lesser of the two evils.";



Therefore be it resolved that this Minister of Education and Culture realize soon how these cuts to our education system will limit the scope of learning for our youth and fail to fulfil his government's election promise to invest, not cut, education dollars so that our boards are not reduced to choosing between the lesser of two evils.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Lunenburg.



RESOLUTION NO. 388



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 1995 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Lunenburg Academy; and



Whereas this distinctive landmark continues in active use as the centre of elementary education in the Town of Lunenburg; and



Whereas Canada Post has produced a stamp featuring the Lunenburg Academy to be issued on June 30th;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Assembly extend congratulations to the Lunenburg Academy Foundation who work hard to preserve the historic and cultural significance of the Lunenburg Academy.



Mr. Speaker, I 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 member for Eastern Shore.



RESOLUTION NO. 389



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



Whereas Jimmy Flynn, a well-known Nova Scotia comedian from Three Fathom Harbour along the Eastern Shore, is billed as Canada's Top Musical Comedy Act; and



Whereas Jimmy Flynn's video, Street Comedy, released in December 1994, has reached Number 10 - and rising - on the national charts, with international distribution in countries such as the United States, Japan and Australia, through Quality Music International; and



Whereas after a very successful Canada-wide tour, Jimmy Flynn is preparing for major engagements this summer before 100,000 people at the Calgary Stampede and the Craven CountRy Jamboree, along with unique Canada Day celebrations in Boston, Massachusetts;



Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate this Eastern Shore comedian for the growing international success of his video, Street Comedy, and wish Jimmy Flynn every success as he shares with the world his unique "die laughin" Nova Scotia comedy and humour.



Mr. Speaker, I 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 member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 390



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



Whereas even the existing inadequate law requires ministers and public employees to withdraw from consideration of a decision which might result in their personal gain; and



Whereas the 1993 Liberal platform went further, declaring the principle that every minister, MLA and senior official must, "serve the public interest - first, last and always - without prospect of personal gain"; and



Whereas yesterday the Premier tossed aside both law and principles to declare that Cabinet Ministers' personal gain and public interest could coincide, so long as no one can prove a specific personal benefit was actually gained;



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier's policy of seeing no evil, hearing no evil and speaking no evil fails to meet any standard of public protection from conflict of interest, much less the high principles that he and his Liberal colleagues set forth when they sought election.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



I am also going to rule admissible and table the notice of motion of the honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party, presented earlier.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 391



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



Whereas the City of Sydney is still awaiting word whether the significant additional policing costs due to imposition of a casino will be paid by this government; and



Whereas last year the Municipal Affairs Minister quickly vetoed a motion by Sydney City Council to keep all of its police officers; and



Whereas this Liberal Government should be big enough to accept the financial consequences of its decision to ignore economic, social and community concerns and impose casinos, especially since the minister once recognized those costly problems;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the government to accept full financial responsibility for the increased police effort required by the government's imposition of casinos on an unwilling population.



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed that there be waiver of notice and passage of that resolution without debate?



It is agreed.



Well, we will put the question, then. All right, I hear some Noes to the right and to the left.



The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 392



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



Whereas Devco's response to the unilateral and possibly illegal NSP coal price cut has been to suggest further cutbacks and even lower wages for thousands of Cape Bretoners; and



Whereas this government claimed in February and March that the desperate economic situation in Cape Breton was its number one priority; and



Whereas nevertheless these Liberals have not once referred to their very specific pre-election commitment to require the use of Nova Scotia coal by NSP, a company built up and still protected by Nova Scotia taxpayers;



Therefore be it resolved that the government should dig deep down and find the internal fortitude to agree, before Monday's meeting with Cape Breton municipal representatives, that it is ready to proceed with legislation protecting Nova Scotian jobs from NSP's dedication to its out-of-province owners.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



I have a request to revert to the order of business, Tabling Reports, Regulations and Other Papers.



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.



HON. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table the annual report of the Department of Natural Resources for the fiscal year 1993-94.



MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.



I have the pleasure to advise the House that the Clerk has conducted a draw for the Adjournment debate at 6:00 o'clock this afternoon and that the winner today is the honourable member for Hants West. The member has submitted a resolution reading:





[12:15 p.m.]



Therefore be it resolved that the provincial government meet with its provincial and federal counterparts to discuss the possibility of harmonizing the PST and the GST.



We will hear discussion of that topic at 6:00 o'clock this afternoon.



The time being 12:16 p.m., the Oral Question Period today will last for one hour. That will be until 1:16 p.m.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



FIN. - CASINOS: BIDS UNSUCCESSFUL - RELEASE



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. The Premier will be aware, of course, that he and his government appointed Mr. Darcy Fardy to look after and rule on and make recommendations in relation to applications under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Mr. Fardy, whom the Premier's government appointed, has reviewed applications for the release of information relative to the unsuccessful casino project proponents and has written a 14 page decision recommending that the information contained therein be made public. I ask the Premier today if he will commit today to ensure that that information will, indeed, be made public?



HON. JOHN SAVAGE (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, we have not had a chance to look at it, but the process is what it is all about. If an appeal is made and it is decided by the commissioner, then we have to decide whether we appeal that. All I can tell you is, that I did not learn of this until last night. We have been in Cabinet all morning and I have not had a chance to look at it. The principle of the law obviously works.



MR. DONAHOE: Well, by way of supplementary, through you to the Premier, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Fardy has been pretty direct and has not pulled too many punches in the report which he has prepared. He has said the public should be able to judge whether government officials are right when they claim, as they have, that the Sheraton proposal was the best deal. This government appointed Mr. Fardy, as I have pointed out, and he says, "The disclosed information should include comparative data to provide a way of ensuring that the Casino Project Committee can be held accountable.". I ask the Premier this question, what possible explanation could the Premier have for not providing the information which is recommended to be made public by Mr. Fardy?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, all I am asking for is time to read it. I have not seen it. I am not saying it is reasonable or unreasonable. What I am saying is, that this is our Act that was brought in, under which the man was appointed. Therefore, it is to the reflection of the government that the Act is working. Whether it is right or wrong in this particular case, at least give us a chance to look at it. That is not unreasonable, I do not think.



MR. DONAHOE: By way of final supplementary, on the same subject, I would point out through you, Mr. Speaker, that Mr. Fardy said in his report, "The introduction of casinos into Nova Scotia, in my . . ." - meaning his - ". . . view, calls for full accountability. . . The Casino Project Committee's decisions concerning a controversial issue of considerable public interest should be subject to public scrutiny.". I ask again of the Premier for a commitment that the veil of secrecy that does surround this whole matter be lifted and that the details of these casino proposals be made public. I ask again, will the Premier make a commitment that that information will, upon analysis of Mr. Fardy's report, in which he does recommend, after an extensive analysis, that it should be made public and will the Premier make the commitment that upon review of that report, Mr. Fardy's decision and conclusion will be supported by the provincial government?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, that is the third time the question has been asked. Obviously, there are some communication difficulties here between the Leader of the Opposition and myself. I do hope they are on that side. What I am saying is that we appointed this person in keeping with the Act. The man has made a decision which I have not read, have not looked at, and therefore I have no information on it. Surely it is reasonable to ask, given Thursday morning, which the Leader of the Opposition may remember, those kind of opportunities have not just come my way for me to look at it. All I am asking the House is, let me look at it and I will give you a commitment. Surely that is not unreasonable.



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



FIN. - CASINOS: CORPORATION - ACCOUNTABILITY



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I too would like to direct a question to the Premier on the same topic. Of course, the Premier, and the Minister of Finance who is directly responsible for the corporation, if he was present, they both know of course that this decision came down four days ago but that the request for information, the appeal, went in back in December, early in December, well over five months ago.



My question to the Premier is quite simply this, as a first question. Is it the view of the Premier and his government that they and the corporation, which reports directly to the Minister of Finance, must be held accountable for the decisions that they make?



THE PREMIER: I'm sorry but I am not sure who it is that he is asking should be held accountable. Perhaps he would say it again.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I will rephrase it. Is it the view of this government and the Premier that the corporation must be held accountable for the decisions that it makes, and that means accountable to the public?



THE PREMIER: Yes, Mr. Speaker.



MR. HOLM: We now know a principle. Mr. Speaker, in the decision that was made by the review officer, the review officer has stated quite clearly that information that is being requested is needed in order for the general public to be able to analyze, to be able to assess if, in fact, the government has made the correct decisions. My question to the Premier is quite simply this. When he does review it, will the Premier guarantee that the information - and I am not talking about secret financial information but the information that is pertinent to Nova Scotia and specific to Nova Scotia - that that information will be made available so that Nova Scotians can judge if, in fact, the corporation and his Minister of Finance have made the correct decisions?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am not prepared to give any guarantee until I have read the decision made by the officer.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, Fardy in his report says a lot of the information asked for and presumably provided appears harmless and would have no apparent effect on the company's abilities to compete fairly on other projects in other parts of the world. He talks about proposed sites for the casino, the number of construction jobs, the unique contributions that could be made to the area where the casinos would be located, the revenue sharing with the province expressed in percentages.



MR. SPEAKER: Please. This is a final supplementary. It has to be brief.



MR. HOLM: My question to the Premier is quite simply this. Will the Premier, if he believes in access to information, if he is not trying to say that his government is actually opposed to it, will the Premier guarantee that the information that is recommended to be made available will in fact be made public?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I give the same guarantee as I did before. I would like to read it and then I would like to make a decision. Surely that is not unreasonable.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier on an introduction.



THE PREMIER: I would like to introduce a fine body of students from the City of Dartmouth. The Grade 12 Political Science Class, under their leader, Mr. Francis LeFort. I would like them to stand and receive the applause of the House. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH - AMBULANCE SERV.: DR. M. MURPHY-MR. K. CALDWELL - CONTACT



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister of Health. Would the Minister of Health advise the House whether or not Dr. Michael Murphy, the author of the EHS report, contacted Mr. Kenny Caldwell from North Sydney and offered him $10,000 in helping prepare the EHS report?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, certainly that is a very specific question which I will take under advisement. I can't confirm that, but certainly I can do so by inquiry to my department, particularly Dr. Murphy.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister was, did he advise Dr. Murphy. Now he is going to ask Dr. Murphy whether he asked the question. My first supplementary, in March of 1994, did the minister instruct Dr. Murphy to ask Mr. Kenny Caldwell to prepare a contingency plan in the event of an ambulance operators strike during that period of time and that he would receive $10,000 a month to provide such a plan and that he instructed Dr. Murphy that this was to be kept very hush-hush? Did he instruct Dr. Murphy to do that?



DR. STEWART: No, Mr. Speaker, I can say that definitively that I did not give those instructions. Dr. Murphy was part of a group looking at various contingencies in preparation of his report. I can certainly ask the question of Dr. Murphy and I would be happy to do that. It would seem unusual and unorthodox and certainly we would not ask him to hush-hush anything. I am sure that there would be questions that could be presented and I would be happy to do so.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for telling me he will get this information.



I would ask in my final supplementary, is the minister aware that the deputy minister of the day, at that time, Lucy Dobbin, received an invoice of $10,000 from Mr. Caldwell for his participation in the emergency ambulance service contingency plan? Is he aware that such an invoice was received?



DR. STEWART: No, I am not aware of that fact, Mr. Speaker. I would certainly, again, check these facts out and be able to report back to the honourable member if such a thing happened.



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



HEALTH - AMBULANCE SERV.: UNSUBSIDIZED - DISCUSSION



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased the minister is going to check this out. I would ask the minister, in August 1994, did the minister's Executive Assistant, Mr. Jeff MacLeod, have any discussions with Mr. Caldwell regarding $500,000 of extra money in the ambulance money that was to be divided among the unsubsidized ambulance operators, Mr. Caldwell and Mr. Tom Link, at that particular time?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, this line of questioning relates to questions and continued petitions by the gentleman in question and by some of the unsubsidized operators in the industrial Cape Breton area. I have certainly discussed this with Mr. Caldwell. I have discussed these issues with my executive assistant in terms of assistance but under the current regulations, I could not provide that help.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my understanding is the minister said he had discussions with those people and Mr. Caldwell but could not provide it because of the regulations. I would ask the minister, is he aware that the executive assistant received an invoice from Mr. Caldwell for providing standby emergency service for the period of March to August 1994? Did his executive assistant ever inform the minister that he received an invoice from Mr. Caldwell?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, we have received many petitions and communications from that gentleman. Whether an invoice was amongst it, I would have to check to make sure that that were the case.



MR. MOODY: Final supplementary, did the minister's executive assistant tell Mr. Caldwell that Derrick Dinham was getting in the way but that Diane Golden would be coming on stream and she would do the necessary paperwork to pay Mr. Caldwell for his services?



MR. SPEAKER: Well, I do not know if a question of that type is in order. You could ask the minister if he, himself, had done such things. If the minister wishes to respond, he can.





DR. STEWART: I will say, certainly not under my direction, and I would take it under advisement though certainly that would be most unusual. In fact, I would not issue that order.



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



HEALTH - AMBULANCE SERV.: UNSUBSIDIZED - BUY OUT



MR. GEORGE MOODY: My question again is for the Minister of Health. Did the Minister of Health then, himself, have any discussion with Kenny Caldwell that ever advised him there would be a buy out of ambulance operators and when the ambulance system is up and running, people such as Kenny Caldwell who is unsubsidized would be bought out like some of the other ambulance operators? Did the minister have a discussion with Mr. Caldwell?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, this is becoming clearer now. I have had quite a bit of discussion with Mr. Caldwell and other people who were seeking subsidies, who were unsubsidized or perhaps unhappy with the subsidy program and I certainly have indicated to all of those that when tenders were called, they too would be in a position to respond to the tenders and I certainly made that clear, yes.



[12:30 p.m.]



MR. MOODY: So, there was no commitment for buy out but they could bid like the rest of the people, is what the minister I think is saying. Did the minister or any one from his department, or specifically the minister, have any discussions with the Ombudsman's Office who was looking into this matter, or banking officials, concerning money that was committed to Mr. Caldwell or Mr. Link. The ombudsman was looking into these affairs, as the minister is aware, and I will table a polygraph test that was taken by Mr. Caldwell who clearly indicates that some of the things the minister says today, he has said that they are different. Is the minister aware of any discussions with the Ombudsman's Office or banking officials?



DR. STEWART: I certainly have not discussed anything specific with the Ombudsman or certainly with banking officials, Heaven forbid. But, I certainly have had detailed conversations with Mr. Caldwell and with others and I would not wish to give the impression that I have not communicated. Of course, Mr. Caldwell is a constituent of mine, he has access to my office and we have discussed on many occasions his desire for subsidy and so on. If the truth be known and it must be known, I have consistently said that changes would occur in the system whereby tenders would be called and I did my best to encourage him to apply for tender. We have had many conversations in this regard.



MR. MOODY: My final supplementary and poor Mr. Caldwell obviously has not been able to get in the ambulance business like I am sure he would like to and very capable of doing and the minister has been trying to be helpful, but today Mr. Caldwell is not able to get in the business. I wonder if the minister would answer the question, did he ever commit to providing Mr. Caldwell with a job in the new EHS once it is up and running because Mr. Caldwell has credentials, he is a very capable individual. I am wondering if the minister has made some commitment so that Mr. Caldwell can use his expertise in some manner in this province. Was there a commitment by the minister?



DR. STEWART: No, I could never make that commitment specifically, but I encouraged him, because of his qualifications, to say that he certainly would be in the running for a position as I have many others, those who were trained and continue to look for changes in the system whereby they might enter. I, of course, could not make such a commitment but I was very encouraging and I certainly would continue to be so.



MR. SPEAKER: Before we recognize another question, I intercepted this polygraph report that the honourable member sought to table. I will allow it to be tabled. My concern was that it might be a personal, private medical record but it appears not to be and so the document is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



EXCO: CONFLICT OF INTEREST - STANDARDS



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Premier. The Premier will know that during the Lucy Dobbin incident, she gained no personal benefit, she did not contravene the Conflict of Interest Act, there was no evidence that she in any way attempted to use her position to obtain personal benefit for the consulting firm operated by her husband. Yet, the Premier concluded that she had to go because she had not maintained a complete and total separation between her public duties and her husband's business. My question to the Premier is why is he the Premier refusing to even consider applying the same standards within his own Cabinet?



THE PREMIER: I am not sure that I understand the reference to my own Cabinet but under the circumstances, I will answer the question by saying that this has all been said before. The question of whether there was a real or apparent conflict of interest was one that we have referred to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner. Both your Leader and the Leader of the Opposition have both had opportunities, as I have, to meet with him, and we will continue to meet with him.



MR. CHISHOLM: I am trying to get at here a question of a double standard. I want to ask the question in my first supplementary to the Premier. He knows what he promised Nova Scotians during the election of 1993 and I quote from the document, the Liberal Policy document on conduct of public officials which I will table, and it says, no elected official or civil servant may violate our strict conflict of interest guidelines. They must serve the public interests first, last and always without prospect of personal gain. Mr. Speaker, we know clearly that was the basis on which Ms. Dobbin was let go. My first supplementary question to the Premier is why has he, the Premier, lowered his standards so much, especially when it comes to his Liberal colleagues?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, once again, the member opposite is skirting around the issue. If the allegation concerns the member for Cumberland North, are you not prepared to follow it up like you so boldly did yesterday? The issue is quite simple, in this case it was disclosure all the way through by the member with the Conflict of Interest Commissioner. Let us have no more insinuations that the member for Cumberland North did anything wrong, did anything that was, indeed, even apparently wrong. There was disclosure to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner and I stand by that decision.



MR. CHISHOLM: Well, Mr. Speaker, this was a standard that the Premier, himself, set during the election in 1993 and it is the standard by which Lucy Dobbin was judged and let go. My final question to the Premier, will he, in fact, enforce the guidelines that he set forth to Nova Scotia and that he applied to Lucy Dobbin, so Nova Scotians can be assured that this obvious double standard is not something as trivial as trying to ensure that Liberals are happy leading up to his leadership test in June?



THE PREMIER: I suspect this, Mr. Speaker, may have more to somebody's else leadership candidacy than mine.



The reference once again is couched in terms that imply something was wrong. Mr. Speaker, nothing was done wrong by the member. There was complete disclosure both of the company that he owned and the fact that he took out a loan; he did not get a preferential rate from anybody. He paid through the nose as you do with the FDBB, the normal way. In effect, the member opposite should look at his facts before he throws out what amounts to the continually baseless and rather nasty insinuations. I think it lowers the whole tone of debate in this House and he should be ashamed of himself.



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



TRANSPORT.: COLWELL BROS. - EXPENDITURE



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the honourable Minister of Transportation and Communications. During budget estimates on the minister's department, Tuesday, I asked the minister several questions and he was certainly kind enough to answer most of them. But the minister was unable to answer my question relative to the expenditure within his department in the 1993-94 fiscal year for some $16,400 for Colwell Brothers, an exclusive, fancy men's clothing store here in Halifax. Can the minister explain why his department would be spending some $16,400 at a fancy men's clothing store here in Halifax? (Interruptions)



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, he obviously hasn't been spending it on himself, has he? (Laughter) The budget item in the Supplement to the Public Accounts, that is where the entry is, it does not say Colwell Brothers fancy clothing, it says Colwell Brothers. I indicated to the member that I would - as I was very interested as well - find out if that, in fact, was the clothing store, perhaps a trucking company, or what it was. I did not jump to the conclusion it was the clothing store although we will wait until we find out.



I did, yesterday morning, talk to my Director of Finance and asked to have that information. Immediately when I sit down following, I assume, the three questions he has, I will go out and see if that information is available. I am interested to find that out as well.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I didn't jump to the conclusion that it was (Interruptions) In fact, what I did, because I was intrigued, as apparently the Minister of Transportation was, I phoned Colwell Brothers, the fancy men's clothing store in Halifax (Laughter) and I identified myself as Brooke Taylor, a Member of the Legislative Assembly and, in fact, Colwell Brothers does have an account with the Department of Transportation. I am going to ask the minister, is it the policy of the Minister of Transportation to provide suits for any of his staff?



MR. MANN: Certainly, Mr. Speaker, nothing has happened since I have been here, I haven't authorized any account at Colwell Brothers or clothing for any of my staff. If in fact there are agreements that they have when they became employed with the department that I don't know about, I will certainly look into that. But I am very interested to know that the department does have an account at Colwell Brothers. I will find out what it is for, what the money has been spent on. If there is an impropriety in that, we will certainly deal with it very aggressively, and I would give that assurance to the member.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, by way of final supplementary, I would like to route my question to the Premier. Is it a policy of this government to provide a clothing allowance for Cabinet Ministers at the expense of the Nova Scotia Government?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I think somehow we are talking about hypothetical cases and questions here. I think the sensible thing is that we will find out the facts. I am sure the minister, whose clothes are fitting him less and less as he (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please, so we can hear the Premier's statement.



THE PREMIER: . . . as he continues his aggressive health campaign, I am sure he will have an answer. I suspect that all reasonable people will wait until we get the kind of answer, rather than indulging ourselves in hypothetical flights of fancy.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



ENVIRON. - BEVERAGE CONTAINERS: RETURN SYSTEM - REGULATE



MR. JOHN LEEFE: There continues to be interest across Nova Scotia with respect to creating a more effective and all-encompassing beverage container deposit return system. The Nova Scotia Liquor Commission, of course, has one in place and it is doing reasonably well. However, the overall rate of returns (Interruptions) Minister of the Environment, that's him, you used to be there. They are all so terribly anxious to get a question these days, Mr. Speaker. I apologize for not identifying the Minister of the Environment, but I thought (Laughter) contextually he might be able to figure that out all by himself.



At any rate, the current container return system is not causing as many containers to be returned as one might hope and certainly is falling short of the government's objective with respect to 50 per cent diversion by the year 2000. My question to the minister is this, is his department intending to modify the current regulatory system for which he is responsible in order to find specific ways in which to increase the return of beverage containers that are sold in Nova Scotia?



HON. WAYNE ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, I hate to do this but I really have to ask for the question to be repeated.



MR. SPEAKER: Would you concisely summarize the question?



MR. LEEFE: Yes, Mr. Speaker, is the minister's department, the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment, giving consideration to modifying the regulatory regime which governs the way in which beverage containers are returned in Nova Scotia with a view to increasing the return rate of used beverage containers?



MR. ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for repeating the question. The answer to the question is, yes, officials in my department are actively pursuing that course of action with regard to returnable containers.



MR. LEEFE: I thank the minister for that response and I am pleased in fact that is his response, Mr. Speaker. In July 1993, Archie Fader, President of the Nova Scotia-Prince Edward Island Bottle Dealers and Recyclers Association, met with the then Minister of the Environment, Mr. Harrison, and put forward a comprehensive proposal for a job creation plan based on an aggressive deposit return system for beverage containers. Is the minister familiar with the proposal which comes from this well-established industry organization, a proposal which in fact states that if adopted by government and enacted, it would result in as many as 30 new small businesses being created and providing up to 500 short-term and perhaps as many as 500 long-terms jobs, is the minister familiar with this proposal?



[12:45 p.m.]



MR. ADAMS: It is one that I have had a chance to read in part, if not in whole, and I do recall that if I am not mistaken, it is incorporated into the consultation report put together by the Department of the Environment. It is probably part and parcel of the waste strategy recommendation that we are coming forward with very soon. But the answer to your question is yes, Mr. Speaker.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, we now have a new Minister of the Environment. Mr. Fader advises me in writing that he has heard absolutely nothing from the Department of the Environment, from the former minister, for now almost two years since that meeting took place.



My question to the new minister is, will he, certainly more quickly than two years, personally arrange to meet with Mr. Fader as quickly as he possibly can, in order to review this proposal that Mr. Fader has put forward, with a view to considering whether or not government may be in a position to respond favourably to it, especially with respect to the job creation factor, as well as the environmental factors that are involved with the program?



MR. ADAMS: I am well aware of Archie Fader, a former colleague in municipal council. He has never been one, to my knowledge, to miss an opportunity to participate. But I think (Interruption) Well I think there have been public consultations, Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, for everybody to participate in that kind of activity. But I certainly will ask my officials to make sure that he hasn't missed another opportunity.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



ENVIRON. - BEVERAGE CONTAINERS: RETURN SYSTEM - REGULATE



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, I didn't ask the minister to have his officials contact Mr. Fader. Mr. Fader, two years ago, met with the previous minister and has never had the courtesy of a direct response from that minister.



What I am asking this new minister to do is to pick up the ball that was dropped by the previous minister and personally call Mr. Fader and meet with him regarding this proposal? I have given a copy to the minister, all he has to do is say yes, he would be delighted to meet with Mr. Fader. That is all I am asking for.



HON. WAYNE ADAMS: Well, Mr. Speaker, the answer would be much the same, that I will make sure that Mr. Fader does not miss another opportunity to be involved in this whole process. I have no difficulty talking to Archie Fader or anybody in that business. I didn't get a chance to read this yet but I will follow it up in detail.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, in response to a previous question the minister mentioned that the department was reviewing the government's policies with respect to beverage container regulations. I wonder if the minister could advise if part of that review is whether or not the government is giving consideration to a deposit return system with respect to refillable bottles, similar to that system which is in place in the Province of New Brunswick?



MR. ADAMS: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I can probably say at this moment that I met with the Minister of the Environment of New Brunswick just yesterday or the day before yesterday. We have agreed to meet within the next couple of weeks to review that program and see how we can perhaps do similar things here in Nova Scotia.



MR. LEEFE: Is the minister also giving consideration to looking at as far-reaching a solution as that which is in place in Prince Edward Island, that is with respect to only refillable, reusable beverage containers being allowed to be used in the province?



MR. ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, I can only say to that question that I would certainly recommend and go forward with that which is more feasible and affordable for Nova Scotians and the environment.



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



FIN. - CASINOS: BIDS UNSUCCESSFUL - RELEASE



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to go to the Minister of Finance who, of course, is the minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, on a topic that I raised earlier. The minister, of course, will know that the review officer for the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act has made his decision and, of course, the minister will have known about the request for information as that was filed way back in December. The minister also, of course, will know that the recommendations, I am sure, that are contained in the decision that was made by the review officer are, in fact, very reasonable. My question to the minister who is directly responsible, will the minister instruct the corporation to properly or promptly, I should say, turn over the information that has been requested and that has been recommended?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: I will say to the honourable member that we have referred a copy of that decision to Mr. Ralph Fiske, the Chairman of the Gaming Corporation in whose jurisdiction and in whose possession, in fact, that material rests. He will be out of province until Monday, I will be meeting with him on Monday. Let me reiterate here today what I said initially when we made the selection. We have no objection as a province to that material being made public. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite. We will do two things. We will allow the corporation to review the decision and as well will inform the two unsuccessful proponents whose proposals will be made public under that order prior to taking action.



MR. HOLM: Of course, the information of the request has already gone to the proponents who were unsuccessful and we know their answer. Do you know, the very same minister, the Minister of Finance who insisted when that bill went through the House that the corporation responsible for gaming would report directly to and be accountable to the Minister of Finance. He is the one, therefore, where the buck stops not his appointed director.



MR. SPEAKER: This extensive description is not a question.



MR. HOLM: My question to the Minister of Finance is quite simply this, will the minister live up to his responsibility and be accountable, as the Premier says that he believes the government should be, and guarantee that that information that is specific and unique for Nova Scotia is made public and that he will instruct the corporation to do so?



MR. BOUDREAU: Let me say first of all that I am aware that the responsibility for the corporation is ultimately mine. With respect to the comment that the buck stops with the Minister of Finance, not enough bucks stopped with him in the past and that is part of our difficulty. However, let me say this to the honourable member and I realize his concern is genuine in this matter. The chairman of the Gaming Corporation is out of the province, he will be returning on Monday, I don't intend to allow the thing to sit but I do intend to allow him to read the decision first. I will be meeting with him then, I can reiterate our position, we have no objection to any of that material being made public, as a matter of fact, I think if it were all made public this afternoon it would indicate what a great deal we got.



MR. HOLM: The minister says they have no objections to making that information public and that is encouraging. The question is whether or not they will help to facilitate making it public. The requests for proposals says that the bids become the property of the project committee and that nowhere does it say that committee or, in fact, the corporation shall keep them in confidence. They are the property of the corporation now, Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Finance. If the government has no objections to making that information public why would the minister not now be prepared to make a commitment to make the information that is theirs and in their control public?



MR. BOUDREAU: I believe the commissioner, even in his decision recognized that there might be some information which in the interests of fairness to the parties who submitted those proposals should not be made public. I am not exactly sure to what extent, what we are going to have to decide exactly what information should be severed, we are going to have to advise the two parties who submitted those proposals and made their views known to us that they did not wish it to be released, now that is not saying we are going to ask permission but we are going to advise them of this decision and we are going to allow the chair of the Gaming Corporation to read the decision and then we are going to take action.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



PREMIER: MINISTERIAL EXPENSES CLAIMS - PETTY CASH



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. I would like to table a couple of documents and have a set of those same documents made available to the Premier. The documents which I have just now tabled are a series - not a complete set -of monthly statements of ministerial expenses of the Premier; December 1993, January 1994, February 1994, March 1994 and March 31, 1995.



The reason I was interested in the expense claims filed was because I noticed with great interest that in each and every case the Premier makes a claim for reimbursement for an item he calls "Petty Cash (Tokens etc). When you look at the numbers you see $136.95, $129.75, $133.20, $85.50 and $128.70. If you add those up, you get $614.10 in petty cash reimbursements out of five months alone during this Premier's time as Premier.



I wonder if the Premier would indicate to this House just what is involved in the reimbursement to him under this petty cash (tokens, et cetera) item which, over those five months only, has totalled $614.10? Tokens I understand, et cetera I don't understand.



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, obviously I cannot answer that offhand. I am prepared to look at it and discuss it with staff and to present to this House a report of what the parking and tokens is. Obviously I can't remember what they were, in detail, but I will find out.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, there is some suggestion in some quarters that there is a possibility that our business here in this session may finish perhaps tomorrow; it may not but it may. Would the Premier be prepared to direct his staff today to prepare documentation that would provide the answers I seek and the clarifications and the detail I seek, so that he is in a position to table it in this House not later than either at the end of the day - we go until 8:00 p.m. - or, at the latest, through tomorrow?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I repeat, I have nothing to conceal and nothing to hide. I will get staff to look at this as soon as possible.



MR. DONAHOE: By way of final supplementary, as I have indicated, I have said to the Premier, even my small mind understands the word tokens but not the et cetera, could the Premier offer the taxpayers any thought at all as to what other items of petty cash he might have been using that would result in him being required to be reimbursed here, in addition to bridge tokens? We know he lives in Dartmouth, travels the bridge extensively and so on.



THE PREMIER: Well, I would remind you that crossing the bridge three times a day, as I often do, is the equivalent of 75 cents times six. That certainly mounts up in terms of tokens. The et ceteras and the other things are probably parking that we sometimes do - I don't know where they are - but there is no attempt at concealment. I will find out what these are and report to the House, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



ENVIRON. - PCB: TRANSPORT (ALBERTA) - TIMEFRAME



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of the Environment. As you and I am sure all members of the House will know, and I am sure as most Nova Scotians will know, taking an interest in these kinds of matters, a decision has been taken not to site a PCB incinerator here in the Atlantic Region but, rather, to transport PCBs, certain PCB-contaminated materials to Swan Hills, Alberta, for destruction there. This seems to me, on the face of it, to be a sensible solution to a difficult problem.



My question to the minister is, and I am sure that his officials have been involved, talking to Environment Canada officials, has a schedule yet been set with respect to determining the effective dates upon which these PCBs will be transported from Nova Scotia to Swan Hills, Alberta, for ultimate destruction?



[1:00 p.m.]



HON. WAYNE ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, I do not have a schedule of dates at this point in time. I had the opportunity earlier this week to talk with the federal minister with regard to that move to Swan Hills, Alberta. The initial movement will be with federally stored PCBs in the province.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, at the moment, as we know, there are probably 70 or 80 PCB storage sites around the province. I am not sure exactly how many, but there are a significant number. My question to the minister is whether he anticipates that as we move towards transportation to Alberta, if those PCBs will be gathered in a centralized site for storage, being prepared for transportation to Alberta?



MR. ADAMS: Mr. Speaker, I cannot give an accurate answer to that question at this time, but I do understand that there will be good consultation between the feds and the province, in terms of how they will be collected for the inevitable transfer.



MR. LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, all of us, of course, will be mindful of the PCB fire which occurred in Quebec a number of years ago in a storage depot where there was a very high concentration of PCBs. My question to the minister is, in the event that centralized storage is part of the process, will there be any special regulatory regime for procedure laid down by his department with respect to that period of centralized storage, in advance of the stored materials being sent to Alberta for destruction?



MR. ADAMS: The last part of the question drifted away there, but in terms of the special requirements and regulatory measures, we are looking at the current ones, Mr. Speaker, as to how we store them in Nova Scotia. Mind you, the provincial storage of PCBs is rather - we say minor - but there is really no way to gauge major or minor in PCBs. With reference to the former light ballast, which is stored in storage sheds across the province, we are looking at how we can probably do those better. We have had some presentations from the private sector since I have been in the office, who have some suggestions as to how we may better get rid of PCBs rather than the ultimate destruction, whether it be in Alberta or in any other part of this country. So, we are looking at all measures and means by which we can safely remove ourselves of PCBs.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



SYSCO - MINMETALS: CREDIT - ARRANGEMENTS



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Finance. The joint operation, sale and long-term agreement between Sysco, the province and Minmetals provides responsibility for Minmetals to open a line of credit of $10 million, to be available to allow Minmetals to fulfil its obligation to the province, in terms of the agreement. My question to the minister, has Minmetals made the appropriate arrangement to establish a line of credit with a chartered bank in Canada to fulfil this obligation?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am assured by our solicitors that in fact they have complied with that provision of the agreement.



DR. HAMM: In Question Period on January 26th, the minister made reference to Minmetals bringing to the agreement tangible market connections in China. My question to the minister, would the minister tell the members the business that Minmetals has been able to provide in terms of signed Sysco orders in China?



MR. BOUDREAU: I thank the honourable member for the question. Two years ago, and in all of its previous history, Sysco sold not a pound of product of any kind, including rail, in China. This year thus far, we have confirmed orders for 55,000 tons of rails. (Applause) There is a possibility that that amount will be increased, but in terms of confirmed orders, the figure I gave you is accurate.



Now, I would not like to mislead the member and say that all of that was strictly to the account of Minmetals, but it has been very clear to us for some time that they are playing a very large role and contributing substantially to our success in that new market. One further comment I would like to add, that we are informed, through Minmetals, that of the four countries who have been exporting rails to China, the country with the highest quality product is Canada and, indeed, Sydney Steel in Nova Scotia. (Applause)



DR. HAMM: I certainly welcome the news and the information that the minister is providing in terms of the success to this date of the arrangement with the government, Sysco and Minmetals. I think, too, the previous government shares in that success, beginning the arrangement with Minmetals. I certainly welcome the minister's statement. By way of final supplementary, is there any plan afoot right now to improve the plant, particularly the rolling mill?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable member and to other honourable members, one of the advantages of the Minmetals arrangement which will be a joint operation over three years is that now we are provided with a potential pool of capital because, really, they were operating on a shoestring. If something broke down and it cost $100,000 to repair, it simply didn't get done. Now we have a pool of money, in the amount of a maximum of $30 million over the term of the operating agreement. Now we have the ability to consider capital improvements. I will report to the honourable member that at the last board meeting, just a number of weeks ago, the first approvals of capital spending under that $30 million pool were given. The steelworkers at the plant and the people of this province will see capital improvements on Sydney Steel occurring, beginning almost immediately, and the best part of that is that all of those capital improvements will be paid for ultimately, at the end of the three years, by Minmetals, not by the taxpayers of Nova Scotia. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



TRANSPORT.: DIR. COMMUNICATIONS & TECHNOLOGY - HIRING



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question through you to the Premier. I do so because it has to do with a response to a letter that I sent the Premier last year. I raised some concerns back in March 1994 with the Premier about the fact that a former member of the Liberal caucus office, a Director of Policy and Research had then at that point been recently transferred over as a policy analyst to the Premier's staff and then moved to a newly created position as Director of Communications and Technology. I raised some concerns about that matter, and the Premier responded to me by saying that the person was seconded only for six months and that when a permanent position was established, it would be advertised and open for competition. Mr. Speaker, that position has now, I understand, been filled after an internal competition only, instead of the full and open competition which would have been expected.



I guess my question to the Premier - and I address it to him only because he responded to my letter and addressed these matters - in view of how important this government says that information technology is to this province and to our economy, will he agree to cancel this hiring decision and ensure that that particular position, the Director of Communications and Technology, is advertised widely in order to ensure that we get the best person, someone who has been involved, has full experience and knowledge of the burgeoning information technology field?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I think in all fairness this is a question that should be answered by the Minister of Transportation and Communications and I would ask him to do so.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to very briefly put a little bit of history to this. This goes back, I guess, to the fall of 1993, when the management audit in the department was done. One of the suggestions, recommendations, in the management audit was that the division, Communications Policy, be relocated in the Economic Renewal Agency. Then, in a subsequent management audit in the Economic Renewal Agency, it was suggested in their audit that that function, Communications Policy, should perhaps be located in a central agency. So, what happened at the time is that Communications Policy was left in the Department of Transportation and Communications on an interim basis. We were not sure what the future of it would be, and so a trial was established.



In fact, the whole area was changed from Communications Policy, which had been basically a monitoring of CRTC activities, and it was changed to communications technology, to identify across government the need to keep pace with communications technology. Mr. Todd Brown was seconded from the Policy Board at the time to lead that initiative on an interim basis, until such time as a determination was made. Since that time, there has been a determination that the role, the function, the division will stay in the Department of Transportation and Communications. There was a competition held across government, with, I think, a fair number of applications, a screening process and a diligent interview process, with highly competent individuals sitting on the team and Mr. Brown won that competition fairly and squarely.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, we see a lot of positions in this government advertised widely. As the government would say, cast our net widely in order to ensure that we get the best possible applicant. Assistant Director, Policy and Standard Land Information Services, advertised in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald and the other provincial papers; Public Information Officer 3, Department of Health, advertised; Human Resource Officers, Education Officer 3, for Halifax, advertised widely across the province in order to ensure that we get the best possible applicant. I guess I have to ask the minister responsible, the Minister of Transportation, why it was that this type of procedure was not handled in such an important position, at the director level and in an area of information technology which is so critical to the future of the economy in Nova Scotia, why was that competition not subjected to the rigours of a broad competition?



MR. MANN: Well, Mr. Speaker, here we go. The member gets up and, before he finishes his question, he is talking about information technology. There is a complete and entire separate section on information technology. This is communications technology. Mr. Brown has done a splendid job. His role in doing this is to communicate, to deal across government with all government departments and agencies, to ensure that we are all singing from the same song sheet, that we are going in the same direction as far as communications technology goes. He has dealt with the private sector in an exemplary fashion. He has provided stellar performance to the Province of Nova Scotia, demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt his capabilities to lead this very important initiative, one, in fact, that has led now to expressions of interest, which we have received. We will be going for a hard call for proposals to a short list on the wide area network, the integrated trunk mobile radio system, which will enable 911 to be up and running, which will provide opportunity and many applications for the Province of Nova Scotia.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, once again, the question is not the competence and the qualifications of the individual; it is a question of why did we not go to a broad competition, advertised widely across the province, if not the country, for such an important position when we have done it in other cases. In this case, where it is an individual who has come out of the Liberal caucus office, the only conclusion that can be drawn from that is whether or not the matter of your political connections are more important than whether or not you are qualified.



MR. SPEAKER: Is that the question?



MR. CHISHOLM: I want to ask the Minister of Transportation, will he agree to advertise this position, to cancel the hiring, to advertise it as widely as possible to ensure that there is some consistency in hiring competition so that Nova Scotians get the best position, get the best person for the job, not the best connected?



MR. MANN: Mr. Speaker, the short answer is no, I will not. Mr. Brown successfully competed and won a competition fair and square. The preamble to the question that he worked in the Liberal caucus office, and the uttering across the floor by the Leader of the NDP that politics entered here, Todd Brown joined the Liberal caucus office in policy and research in 1989, despite the fact that he was a card-carrying member of the New Democratic Party of Nova Scotia. In fact, he was the driver for Bob Levy in the 1984 election campaign. That had nothing to do with his ability to be employed in the caucus office. He did not relinquish his NDP card to become an employee of the Liberal caucus office. He did not do that. Mr. Brown has sat back and he has watched while people from the NDP caucus have made phone calls to people in very close relationships with him, seeking information about him and he has sat back and he has taken that. He is an exemplary employee. He has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt the contribution he makes to this province and to this department and Mr. Speaker, again the short answer, no, we will not stop, the process is completed. He is a civil servant, he competed successfully, he was scored, graded and won it fair and square. (Applause)



[1:15 p.m.]



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Yesterday during Question Period - and the minister is about to, I presume, go into calling bills - the minister agreed that he was going to table in this House a copy of the amendments to the SHIP agreement and that may be very relevant to the bill that is about to come up for debate. As a point of order, I am asking the minister why it is that he has not yet tabled that document?



MR. SPEAKER: It is not a point of order, it could be brought up however, in the committee if that bill is under discussion.



The honourable Minister of Transportation and Communications.



HON. RICHARD MANN: I have no difficulty with that, it is like a lot of things we make commitments to do here, it will be done. I did not go back to my office last night when I left here, I had another function on and I was at Cabinet early this morning and I have not been back to the office but I will ensure that comes along. As I said yesterday, I thought it had been tabled already.



Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, earlier today in Question Period we had the case of the suits or the suit case I guess. I would like to ask anyone wearing a suit from Colwell Brothers to stand up. Seriously, the order with Colwell Brothers and the account that is open is for the provision of uniforms for the Highway Safety and Field Program Division, and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. I can provide more details to the member if he is interested in that, but that is why the account remains open, our field officers and safety inspectors. as he would know, he may have seen those in his earlier days in trucking (Interruption) he saw the lights, Colwell Brothers does not provide the lights but they do provide the uniforms.



MR. SPEAKER: On that point of order, I might observe that I believe Colwell Brothers has also, on tender, provided the uniforms for the Pages and messengers here in the Legislature, so it is an outfit that does good outfitting. That is my ruling on the point of order.



GOVERNMENT BUSINESS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



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



GOVERNMENT MOTIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



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



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



[1:19 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mrs. Francene Cosman in the Chair.]



[8:01 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Paul MacEwan, resumed the Chair.]



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



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



Bill No. 10 - Highway 104 Western Alignment Act.



and the chairman has been instructed to recommend this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.



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



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



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



Bill No. 15 - Bridgewater Ribes Regulation Act.



Bill No. 16 - Kentville Memorial Park Commission Act.



Bill No. 17 - Kentville Rink Commission Act.



Bill No. 19 - Queens Regional Municipality Act.



and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.



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



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



THE CLERK: That the committee has met and asks leave to sit again.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, we will sit tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. and it is possible we could conclude our business but, if not, we will sit, I guess, until 4:00 p.m. We will start with Committee of the Whole House on Bills and hopefully move to third reading.



I move that we adjourn until 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.



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 8:02 p.m.]





NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)



HOUSE ORDER NO. 32



By: Mr. Donald McInnes (Pictou West)



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



(1) A copy of the study showing $3 million in benefits being generated for Nova Scotia as the result of the agreement signed between KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and the Nova Scotia Government;



(2) A copy of any analysis carried out by Nova Scotia tourism officials showing the impact the open skies agreement would have on Nova Scotia's tourism industry;



(3) Cost to the Nova Scotia Government to distribute 250,000 brochures on Nova Scotia in the American mid-west between Minneapolis and Detroit; and



(4) Details on how the brochures were distributed, i.e., through newspapers, on Northwest Airlines.