Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

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21 septembre 2017

















HALIFAX, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1995



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Third Session



12:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mrs. Francene Cosman





MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would like to call the House to order at this time. Before we begin the daily routine of business, are there introductions of distinguished guests in our midst?



The honourable member for Yarmouth.



MR. RICHARD HUBBARD: Mr. Speaker, seated in your gallery is Mrs. Irene D'Entremont, a well-known Yarmouthian, well-known business lady from Yarmouth, a Past President of the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce President and she was in town this morning to assist in the awards presentation. Mrs. D'Entremont is the private sector member of the Gulf of Maine Council. I ask all members to please afford her the usual warm welcome. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.



MR. JOSEPH CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to your attention and to the attention of the members of the House, some guests who are in from Annapolis County. I will name them off and give them the usual warm welcome, if you could. Peter Tirauds is a Warden of Annapolis County; Grant Oxner is a Councillor in Annapolis County; Robert Johnson, Councillor; Jackie Lawrence, Municipal Clerk; and Brian Reyonalds is the President of the Bear River Board of Trade. If you stand and be received. (Applause)



I might add, these people have been very instrumental in getting a project going in Bear River called the Bear River Solar Aquatic Sewage Treatment. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.



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MR. ALLISTER SURETTE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce, seated in your gallery, a few of my constituents: Mr. Ted d'Eon, who received the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award today; seated with him is his wife, Michelle; and his mother and father, Edna and Wallace. I would ask that you give them the usual warm welcome. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: Are there any further introductions? If not, we will proceed to the daily routine.



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 Health.



RESOLUTION NO. 644



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



Whereas November 19th to November 25th is designated National Drug Awareness Week to address the serious issue of drug abuse; and



Whereas close to 8,000 people benefitted from drug treatment programs in Nova Scotia during 1994-95; and



Whereas the Making a Difference Curriculum Supplement was introduced this year to junior high schools across the province, and the Peer Education Program for high school students continues to be successful;



Therefore be it resolved that this House recognizes November 19th to November 25th as National Drug Awareness Week in Nova Scotia and encourages and supports the drug abuse treatment and prevention programs available province-wide.



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is that agreeable to the House?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.





INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



Bill No. 46 - Entitled an Act to Enable the Levy of a Charge to Offset Development Costs Incurred by the Municipality of the County of Kings (Hon. Robert Harrison as a private member.)



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



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.



RESOLUTION NO. 645



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



Whereas the Minister of Education last night was once again defending his capitulation to the common sense of thousands of frightened Nova Scotians who raised concerns about education in Nova Scotia as merely an attempt to provide comfort language to frighten the ghosts; and



Whereas the minister certainly seemed to scare away those ghosts last night by slapping the Law Amendments Committee with a new version of his bill with as many as 170 changes of comfort language without even taking a minute or two to explain them to the committee; and



Whereas believing the minister, that the myriad of changes included simply a few word changes, the Liberal-dominated Law Amendments Committee refused to delay the proceedings of the committee for even a day so that the witnesses and the members could absorb the new bill before proceeding;



Therefore be it resolved that this minister admit today to the people of Nova Scotia that there are fundamental changes to the principle of Bill No. 39, thus the decision of the NSTU to call off its strike and that the bill is not in the same form in which it was originally presented in this House.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, that appears to be an attempted debate of a bill before the House.



However, the notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 646



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



Whereas a non-profit group has worked since 1990 to preserve the Casino Theatre in Halifax, one of the oldest surviving theatres in North America and perhaps the oldest in the Maritimes; and



Whereas many cultural, community, environmental and business groups have contributed to detailed architectural, financial and future operating plans for the Casino Theatre; and



Whereas on November 22nd Halifax City Council will be asked to support stabilization of the building this winter, to reduce future renovation costs and keep alive the possibility of a rebirth;



Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulates the many dedicated individuals and groups who have worked towards a rebirth of the distinguished and historic Casino Theatre and encourages the City of Halifax, the federal and the provincial governments to seriously consider supporting use of the theatre as a valuable and unique community arts centre.



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is that agreeable to the House?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.



RESOLUTION NO. 647



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



Whereas successful Nova Scotia businesses should be applauded for their long-term commitment to Nova Scotia; and



Whereas Atlantic Purification Systems Limited has proven its commitment to providing quality service to the environmental and industrial sectors of Atlantic Canada; and



Whereas Atlantic Purification Systems Limited is celebrating 25 years in business this November;



Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the management and staff of Atlantic Purification Systems Limited for their 25 years of successful business in Atlantic Canada.



I would ask for waiver of notice, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: Is that agreeable?



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 Digby-Annapolis.



RESOLUTION NO. 648



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



Whereas the Bear River Solar Aquatics Sewage Treatment Project is a pioneer in the field of sewage treatment; and



Whereas this sewage treatment plant is recognized around the world as an example of leading edge technology in the field of sewage treatment, receiving visitors from all over the world wishing to view this process of sewage treatment; and



Whereas this project is as a result of outstanding cooperation between the citizens of Bear River and the Municipality of the County of Annapolis resulting in the receipt of the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award, which was presented today in the Red Chamber of Province House;



Therefore be it resolved that this House extend congratulations to the citizens of Bear River and the Municipality of the County of Annapolis on their significant achievement on receiving this outstanding award.



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is that agreeable?



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. 649



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



Whereas the government's Halifax casino is now busy promoting its giveaways to anyone who will hang around with the slogan, "MONEY TO BURN - That you don't have to earn!"; and



Whereas thousands of dedicated care providers are being given a similar offer by this government, although most would prefer to remain part of a vital, reformed health care system; and



Whereas the Health Minister has provided no transition plan, outcome indicators or other means of keeping the Liberal promise that money saved from health cutbacks will be used for reformed, community-based services;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the Premier to make his own health care commitments come true by suspending any further health care cutbacks until Nova Scotians are assured of an effective, comprehensive, community-based health system.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



[12:15 p.m.]



The honourable member for Pictou West.



RESOLUTION NO. 650



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



Whereas with 1995 being the centennial year of operation for the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, the federation is recognizing centennial farms in regions across Nova Scotia; and



Whereas the Pictou-North Colchester recipient of the Centennial Award is Donald MacDonald of Greenhill, Pictou County; and



Whereas Donald MacDonald, his father Alvin, his grandfather George and his Uncle Fraser have run successful dairy operations for many years and have contributed a great deal to Nova Scotia's agricultural community;



Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature recognize today Donald MacDonald and the members of his family for their continued dedication in making a valuable contribution to the Nova Scotia agricultural community.



Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: Is that agreeable?



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 Sackville-Beaverbank.



RESOLUTION NO. 651



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



Whereas nine year old Cheryll Haines of Beaverbank suffers from a rare neurological disease called Joubert's Syndrome which affects her speech, vision and fine motor skills, especially her handwriting; and



Whereas Cheryll's Brownie Leader, Kathryn Hayward, recognized that Cheryll could perform tasks much better with the use of a personal computer; and



Whereas Kathryn, following contact with her brother in Vancouver who donated a suitable computer, convinced Canadian Airlines International to ship the computer to Halifax free of charge and had friends set it up on a new desk purchased by Cheryll's parents;



Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Kathryn Hayward for her willingness to help a young person who would not have otherwise been able to function independently in our society. It is people like Kathryn who are the true unsung heroes of our communities.



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is that agreeable?



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 Hants West.



RESOLUTION NO. 652



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



Whereas two and one-half years after their election to government, Nova Scotians are still looking for results and not excuses from the present government; and



Whereas the present government at every opportunity attempts to blame the previous administration for their present-day, scatterbrain approach to governing instead of taking the responsibility that Nova Scotians expect of them; and



Whereas, while blaming the previous administration, the present Liberal Government overlooks the fact that since becoming government and showing their complete disregard for Nova Scotians the debt of this province has increased by $1.5 billion in two short years;



Therefore be it resolved that members of the present Liberal Government take a close look in the mirror each and every morning and look at the turmoil that they have created across Nova Scotia since 1993 and stop attempting to pass the buck on such a regular basis.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



RESOLUTION NO. 653



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



Whereas the Halifax Regional Municipality is almost $4 million over budget without the merger even in place; and



Whereas a budget released yesterday estimated the super-city will spend $13.8 million on transitional costs by March 31, 1996, the day before it is incorporated; and



Whereas another wild card in the transition budget is an unknown substantial amount of money required for renovations to one of the existing council chambers;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Municipal Affairs begin showing decisive leadership to ensure taxpayers in the new Halifax Regional Municipality will not be stuck with astronomical tax increases after April 1, 1996, because of unknown capital expenditures leading to the merger.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.



RESOLUTION NO. 654



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



Whereas the week of November 18-25 marks the 19th Annual Canadian Children's Book Week proclaimed by the Children's Book Centre, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting children's literature; and



Whereas more than 35,000 children and adults across Canada will participate in Book Week events, including school and library readings, book signings, workshops, book fairs and more; and



Whereas the theme for this year's Canadian Children's Book Week is Picture This, a theme which celebrates in a particular way the work of Canadian children's book illustrators;



Therefore be it resolved that this House encourage all children and concerned adults to participate in Canadian Children's Book Week and to reaffirm the commitment of this government to support literacy programs at all levels.



Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: Is that agreeable?



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 Argyle.



RESOLUTION NO. 655



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



Whereas Ted d'Eon, a pharmacist from Middle West Pubnico, is known as a leading naturalist and bird watcher; and



Whereas Mr. d'Eon has been instrumental in preserving the habitats of such rare species as the roseate tern and the gannet in the Pubnico/Tusket Islands area; and



Whereas Mr. d'Eon was awarded the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award for Nova Scotia this morning here at Province House;



Therefore be it resolved that this House extend to Mr. d'Eon its congratulations and best wishes on receipt of this prestigious award and wish him well in his future endeavours.



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



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreeable?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 656



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 Premier modestly claimed last Saturday night that this Liberal Government spends smarter and does things better, supporting this with the incredible claim that hospital overhead is $681,123,912 - 84 per cent of the total budget; and



Whereas the Liberals' top-down amalgamation model just hit another bump with the embarrassing discovery of an extra $4 million cost in metro; and



Whereas the poor, beleaguered Education Minister last night stated his belief that none of the present Cabinet will be in their present post for more than three years;



Therefore be it resolved that it would be one smart move and the first good news ever for these Liberal backbenchers if the Premier and the entire Cabinet really did quit by the end of May 1996.



Mr. Speaker, I have been requested to call for waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: Well actually, this matter will be debated at 6:00 p.m. this afternoon because the same submission was made for the Late Show and you won the draw.



The notice is tabled until 6:00 p.m.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 657



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



Whereas during the first two years of this government's mandate, the Liberals cut 2,510 full-time equivalent jobs from the hospital system; and



Whereas during those same two years, the Liberals cut the Home Care Program's budget and reduced the number of home care clients; and



Whereas the further 1,900 full-time equivalents to be cut through severance, plus early retirement, will take more than one-third of all staff from the hospital system in four years;



Therefore be it resolved that the Health Minister should present to Nova Scotians and this House his response to the Health Reform Blueprint recommendation that, "Health human resource planning should be based on population health needs, with needs assessments at the community, regional and provincial levels to determine the type of skills and number of people required.".



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Hants East.



RESOLUTION NO. 658



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



Whereas residents in Enfield and the surrounding area, greatly bothered by a number of break-ins, are comforted to learn that the Enfield detachment of the RCMP has successfully smashed three break and enter rings and have recovered more than $25,000 worth of stolen merchandise; and



Whereas in the last month, a special RCMP team focusing on break-ins has arrested 19 people, including 4 adults and 15 young offenders, laying 157 charges, with further charges pending and have solved similar break and enter cases in Musquodoboit Harbour, Halifax, Bedford and Sackville, New Brunswick; and



Whereas the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has recently remarked negatively on the effectiveness of the RCMP in Enfield;





Therefore be it resolved that the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley join with me and all members of this House in congratulating the members of the Enfield detachment of the RCMP for their skilled efforts in apprehending these criminals, while protecting residents in Enfield and the surrounding area.



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The member for Hants East is great at asking different members of the House to table documents and so on and so forth, relative to whatever the concern seems to be of the day. I wonder if the member for Hants East would table any document that relates to my criticism of the Enfield detachment of the RCMP. What I have said, and to sum it up in a nutshell, is that the municipal units should all pay on a police to population ratio. I have never criticized the RCMP. I have criticized the way the municipal units are contributing to the police force in Enfield.



MR. SPEAKER: All right. It would appear that unanimous consent is lacking. Therefore, I would declare the motion tabled.



MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: On the point of order, Mr. Speaker, the resolution has stated that the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has remarked negatively on the effectiveness of the RCMP. Many times in this House he said that he is not getting the bang for the buck.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. A dispute between honourable members as to facts does not constitute a point of order.



The notice is tabled.



Are there any further notices of motion? (Interruption) The member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley disputes the content of the motion.



Are there further notices of motion? If not, I would feel that the daily routine is satisfied and we will move on to Orders of the Day. As I earlier indicated, there was a draw for the Adjournment debate conducted by the Clerk. The winner today is the honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party who has submitted a motion:



Therefore be it resolved that it would be one smart move and the first good news ever for these Liberal backbenchers if the Premier and the entire Cabinet really did quit by the end of May 1996.



So we will hear debate on that proposal at 6:00 o'clock this afternoon.



The time now being 12:28 p.m., I will say, the Oral Question Period today will run for one hour, that is until 1:28 p.m.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition, to begin.





FIN. - CASINO (SYDNEY): ITT SHERATON - CONTRACTOR PAYMENTS



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation. As the minister responsible for, and at arm's length with, the Gaming Corporation, can the minister tell the House if he is aware of any difficulties that ITT Sheraton has had in making payments to the general contractor who contracted to construct the $25 million Sydney casino?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: No, Mr. Speaker.



DR. HAMM: Again with the Minister responsible for the Gaming Corporation. Mr. Walter MacPhail, a small contractor in Sydney, was one of the companies subcontracted to work on the Sydney casino. He has advised our office that he completed approximately $10,000 worth of work in late May and when he tries to receive payment for his work he is told that the general contractor, J.W. Lindsay, has not been fully paid and that Mr. MacPhail and a number of smaller subcontractors in the Sydney area have, in fact, a considerable number of outstanding debts owed by J.W. Lindsay, as a result of the work they did completing the Sydney casino.



My question to the minister is, as the minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, will he make inquiries and report back to the House as to whether or not ITT Sheraton have completed all their payment obligations, by way of their contract with the J.W. Lindsay company? In essence, are all the payments up-to-date?



MR. BOUDREAU: Well, Mr. Speaker, as the Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, I don't intend to get involved in micro-managing the operation, either the construction or the ongoing operation of the casino. However, I will pass along the comments that the honourable member makes, to the Chairman of the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation.



DR. HAMM: Well, the minister must take some responsibility. This casino concept was sold on the basis of all the spinoff financial rewards, including the rewards in building the Sydney casino.



Does the contract that the province signed with ITT Sheraton set out any provisions that protect Nova Scotia companies that perform work for ITT Sheraton or are these companies going to be forced to go through the time and expense of pursuing their grievances through the courts?



[12:30 p.m.]



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, first of all let me say, if we had wanted to manage the casino, we would not have gone looking for a partner; we would have managed it ourselves and presumably would have taken all of the profits. There is a partnership arrangement - we will do our share, they will do their share. The Sheraton Group, in constructing the casino in Sydney, I think spent something in the range of $26 million injected in as a capital construction amount and, in fact, the people who dealt with them will be protected by the laws of Nova Scotia, as any contractor doing business in the province is.





MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



HEALTH - TRANSITION: JOINT LBR. MGT. COUNCIL - RECOMMENDATIONS



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Health. It appears, and it has become more clear in recent days, that the Minister of Health has a pretty clear vision on how to cut health care services. The window of opportunity that was opened yesterday is an example of how the opportunities for health care workers go in one way - in other words, getting people out of the system.



I would like to ask the minister, why did the government and this minister not make it an equal priority to address, as was recommended by the council, transition from hospital to community-based care for workers to stay in the community-based health care system?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, the program announced yesterday does exactly that. We have said, very specifically, that those who do not elect to avail themselves of these programs will be, in fact, on the roster to assume the roles in the community and other places in the health care system. That is a fair and equitable way that the joint council felt was helpful in all respects. That has been committed to. I might remind the honourable member opposite, too, that the joint council is committed to continuing their work to ensure that this happens.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, that is exactly my point, that it was almost as an afterthought in the minister's statement, the fact that he is asking the council to continue work and to try to examine this issue. I am suggesting that it should have been a bigger priority for this minister. In fact, the recommendations of the council . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Now this is a question.



MR. CHISHOLM: This is my first supplementary, Mr. Speaker. The recommendations of the Joint Labour Management Council on Transition deal quite specifically with giving people access to new health care jobs and helping them to continue their employment through reassignment . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: Question.



MR. CHISHOLM: . . . and that this recommendation has been dropped. I would like to ask the minister, why won't he, here and now, accept the recommendation that all of those delivering health care give preference and priority to employees on the central registry of displaced and available employees as recommended in the report - and I will table that report, Mr. Speaker - by the Joint Labour Management Council on Transition?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I repeat, as I said, that this commitment has been made. In fact, the commitment to preparing health care workers to assume roles in the community has been a commitment that we have made for the two previous years. We have, in fact, put significant funding in place to provide educational programs for nurses, for example, the St. Francis Xavier University program being one of those examples. That is commitment in a real sense to the transition of health care workers from facilities to community. I have - and it was not an afterthought, this was indeed the intent, as recommended by the blueprint which he quotes from time to time and adequately so, I am sure - that we do give attention to the transition of workers into a community or into the other programs that we are not putting in place to serve the needs, population based needs I might say, of the system in Nova Scotia.



MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister leading into my final supplementary and that has to do with the Blueprint Committee's recommendation that says that health/human resource planning should be based on population health needs. In other words, needs assessments, human health needs assessment needs to be done and that is what a human resource strategy should be based on.



I would like to ask the minister, my final supplementary, will he table here today the assessment that was done of the health care needs of Nova Scotians that this human resource strategy that he is carrying forward with was based?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I would remind the honourable gentleman opposite that the health care needs of this province have been assessed in the last 25 years. In fact, we have had 14 reports assessing the needs and the structure of the health care system. We have had 3 reports within the last 5 years, we have the Royal Commission Report, all of which comment on the structure and the direction in which we need to go and we will do that.



What the honourable gentleman opposite does not wish to regard is the fact that the transition period that we are speaking of, three to five years over which these programs would be made available to workers, will be done by community health boards and the communities themselves. The decisions will be made at that level and not by a bureaucratic system based in Halifax in the central region.



So, we have looked at needs. We certainly will be looking at needs and very carefully measuring the needs and the personnel to carry out the services that we would see improving across the province.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel, on a new question.



FIN. - CASINOS: AGREEMENT (ITT SHERATON) - TABLE



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for the Gaming Corporation. You will recall, Mr. Speaker, as I know the minister will, that on November 1st the minister promised to table in this House all of the legal documents and the minutes of the Gaming Corporation Board meetings that show the agreement with ITT Sheraton, the subsequent amendment to the agreement, allowing for a delay in the construction of the new casino, so that there would be verification of all the matters which were carried out and that they were carried out in a legal manner with the full authority and approval of the Gaming Corporation, the Cabinet and all the signatories to the original agreement signed between the province, ITT Sheraton, Purdy's Wharf Development Limited and so on.



I note with interest, Mr. Speaker, that there was an Order in Council passed on November 14th subsequent to the minister's trip to Las Vegas purporting to approve an amendment to the Halifax casino construction contract. So my question for the minister today is whether or not he will acknowledge that he did, in fact, have no legal authority to make any commitments or undertakings on behalf of either the Gaming Corporation or the Government of Nova Scotia at the time he met in Las Vegas as it appears now that Orders in Council were not in place and were done subsequent or retroactive to discussions which he had with ITT Sheraton?





HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I will admit that now, as I did when he first asked the question in the House. My comments both here in the House - and the honourable member can check Hansard - and to the public, in the media, was that this was a recommendation that I indicated that I would make. I told ITT Sheraton in Las Vegas that I would do so. I had every confidence that that recommendation would be followed. In fact, I made the recommendation, all the necessary bodies required to pass on that recommendation have done so. When the package of documentation is complete, 100 per cent complete, I will fulfil the undertaking I had made to the honourable member and deliver to him a copy of all relevant documentation.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, you will recall and I will remind the minister by way of supplementary that the minister, speaking of tabling materials, has also promised an undertaking here to provide to this House a list of the names of officials from ITT Sheraton with whom he met during his recent trip to Las Vegas. I would ask the minister if he will table a copy of the agenda that he drew up for the meetings which he held with ITT Sheraton officials several weeks ago, as well as a copy of his itinerary and the documents which accompany Order in Council 95-832, which is the retroactive Order in Council which was passed following his meeting with the ITT Sheraton officials?



MR. BOUDREAU: Well, there were about four questions there. I will table, as I have undertaken to do so already, a full list of the documentation required to effect the extension. I have given that undertaking in the past and I just gave it a minute and one-half ago, and I repeat it now. When those documents are complete, a full set will be provided not only to the honourable member but to the other Opposition Party as well and anyone else who is interested.



Now, with respect to the undertaking of who was present. I will get that information. I must say that it just slipped my mind but I will provide that information.



As to what was discussed, no, I will not provide that to the honourable member and to this House. Conversations between partners in this regard will be held confidential and will not be disclosed on this basis.



MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, I would ask the minister if he will indicate to us whether, in the course of those discussions with ITT Sheraton, the question of equity hiring practices to which the minister has already made reference, and the matter of whether or not the Sydney casino might or should close for the winter season, were matters which were presented to ITT by the minister or matters proposed by officials from ITT Sheraton?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, again there were a number of questions there. I will answer both, I think, main questions. On the question of employment equity, I have already indicated, I think to the Third Party in Question Period that yes, that issue was raised by me at that meeting.



With respect to closures of the Sydney casino, no, that issue never came up by either party.





MR. SPEAKER: On a new question, the honourable member for Halifax Citadel.



FIN. - CASINOS: ITT SHERATON - CONTRACT



MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, by way of new question, again to the Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, the Chair of the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, as you will be aware, Mr. Speaker, and the minister is certainly aware, has publicly stated that it will cost any future government up to $300 million to break the casino contract signed with ITT Sheraton, if that were the intention of any future government.



Mr. Fiske, that Chairman, went on to say that the agreement he negotiated - I note that he negotiated it and not the minister - protects ITT Sheraton from the whims of future governments for 20 years, which I think is the way he put it. He went on to say, and I quote him, this is being used to deter any government that would be silly enough to change the deal.



My question, through you, Mr. Speaker, to the minister is, can the minister confirm that it will cost Nova Scotian taxpayers $300 million to get out of the deal with ITT Sheraton?



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Well, Mr. Speaker, I would be interested in reading the particular item from which the honourable member read. But in point of fact, there is no difference between a casino deal than any other contractual arrangements that the Province of Nova Scotia makes. We have signed a contract with a partner to enter a business deal. This business deal has a term.



Now if you want to break the contract, it is going to cost money. I don't know precisely how much it is going to cost but there is a price involved in breaching a legal contract that we have signed with a business partner.



I can't imagine why we would want to do that, Mr. Speaker, but there is with this contract, as with any other, a cost for breaching it.



MR. DONAHOE: There has been, as you know, Mr. Speaker, here and in other places, much discussion and debate about a $10,000 a day penalty provision which is included in the contract to ensure that ITT Sheraton keeps its commitment to build a new permanent casino.



My question for the minister is, when does the $10,000 a day penalty come into force? Is there anything in the agreement with ITT Sheraton which states that there is a limit on the total penalties that can be assessed against ITT Sheraton, in the event they walk away from the deal they have signed with the province?



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, again there are a number of questions, I am trying to remember them all. The penalty provisions are, as I recall it, without limit but I will check that to make sure. They will commence at the end of the extended six month period, if, in fact, there is any need for them to commence in any event.



The other question had to do with what the costs of ITT Sheraton breaching the agreement will be? Well, I don't know precisely what those would be either. But as I have said in response to the previous question, when two parties sign an agreement they make a legally binding commitment to one another over a period of time. If either party breaches it, there are legal consequences and dollars flow from those legal consequences.



MR. DONAHOE: By way of final supplementary, I would refer back to the fact that the Chair of the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation has stated publicly that in his opinion at least, and he is the signatory to the document and not this minister, he is the person who signed to commit the Nova Scotia taxpayers to this ill-fated casino arrangement, that Chairman of that Gaming Corporation has said publicly that it would cost the Nova Scotia taxpayers $300 million if this or a future government backed away from the deal with ITT Sheraton. The question I put to the minister by way of a final supplementary is simply this, if ITT Sheraton were to back away from the deal, just simply walk out of town and say we are finished and break its agreements with the province, can this minister confirm that the provincial taxpayers are guaranteed at least $300 million, the same amount that it would cost the taxpayers if, in fact, ITT Sheraton were the ones to walk away from the table?



[12:45 p.m.]



MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I think I will leave the amount of liquidated damages and the subsequent lawsuit up to the court.



The honourable member says, the ill-fated casino deal. I can only repeat that without investing or risking in one cent, we have $25 million a year, which, by the way, they haven't suggested they would remove from Health, Education or Social Services to reverse this deal. We have $25 million a year, we have 850 people working, not a cent at risk, not a cent invested. I hardly call this an ill-fated deal.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



HEALTH: LABOUR ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM - IMPACT



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of Health. Yesterday the Minister of Health announced a labour adjustment program that cost $20.3 million. The minister said that this program would save approximately $56 million per year in salaries. These numbers are based, I assume, on eliminating a number of health care positions. Obviously those jobs are gone, otherwise they are just pie in the sky. Will the minister tell the House how many positions will be removed, either voluntarily through this program or otherwise will be laid off, to achieve the $56 million in savings per year?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I would respond, as I did yesterday. I trust that I was as clear as possible in speaking about this, in concert with my colleague, the honourable Minister of Human Resources, in saying that the speculative numbers being thrown about in the press out of the joint council were numbers in terms of what might occur over the next three years to five years. Gradually we needed some guidance in terms of how much money we needed to have set aside for a program which we felt was progressive and a very good program and we have congratulated the council for bringing this about in concert with us. We are saying that until we know what the union membership, the members of the different organizations in the facilities will accept and the numbers, we cannot be speculating. That is their decision. We believe this package is unique and a very attractive one and we would hope that as many as possible would avail themselves of it.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, no, I didn't hear the minister say that yesterday because I was purposely not told about the press conference so how could I hear him? I will say this, if the minister doesn't know what impact $56 million had, taken out of the health care system, I can't imagine how he could be part of a program where he doesn't know the impact. I would ask the minister if he will share with the members of this House, which he obviously shared with the Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations and he shared with the members of the Joint Labour-Management Committee, they must have had these numbers to enable them to do the calculations.



Specifically, I would ask the minister, what reductions in hospital payments will have to occur in order to achieve the $56 million a year saving that will result in job losses?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, the council and its report and its recommendations are certainly reported on. They had information and experience within the system and we rely on their advice. But simply to say that the number of positions that would be removed from the system depends on those who accept the packages and they depend also on the gradual implementation of health care changes in communities, governed by communities and governed by the facilities themselves and decisions will be made at that level.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, we still don't know. We know that $56 million is being taken out of the system. If you look at $56 million and you divide it by the average salary of $28,000, you find out that there are 2,000 people going to lose their jobs. I would ask the minister, out of the 2,000 jobs that are going to disappear because of his cutting, how many will qualify for the early retirement? In other words, how many of the 2,000 jobs that are going to disappear, if everyone took the early retirement, how many will qualify? He must know that answer or he wouldn't have put $20.3 million in the program.



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, perhaps my colleague, the honourable Minister of Human Resources could better explain this to the honourable gentleman opposite, if, in fact, he wishes to know the answer. The fact is that the number of people who would accept the package and who would retire or take early retirement would, in fact, be the number that we could deal with in the next three years to five years. It will depend on those who accept the package. It is not certainly good for me to speculate and tell the particular health workers how to govern their decision. The workers and the labour representative in the Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations who were around the table were very cognizant of this, were very sympathetic to this. They took a speculative offer in order to allow them to advise us as to what we might prepare for.



Everything will be done decently and managed and in good order, a difference, by the way, from what might have occurred ten years ago or five years ago.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



HEALTH: RETIREMENT PROG. - EXPERTISE LOST



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, to continue with the Minister of Health. The minister's program would seem to indicate that some 2,500 or more health care workers will eventually come out of the system. Does the minister have any information or any idea whatsoever as to how much expertise will be lost through this program, expertise that won't be replaced? I am talking about how many operating room nurses may take this package; how many intensive care nurses may take this package; how many obstetric unit nurses may take this package; how many Emergency Room nurses may take this package; how many trained technologists; in other words, does the minister have any idea of how many persons who are providing technical and expert service to patients in Nova Scotia will, in fact, come out of the system, due to his program?



HON. RONALD STEWART: Mr. Speaker, as we tried to make clear in our presentation yesterday, the number of people will be decided on the basis of what services will be provided to the public of Nova Scotia, at the local community level. That will be the decisive factor; that will be the management plan that each facility will come forward with. It will not be dictated.



This is a plan which says there are now options presented to workers which were not there before; they certainly were never there in the past in terms of before 1994. We will assume that the planners on the local level, particularly community health boards, regional health boards and local facilities will, in fact, determine what the service needs are and they will provide for those services in a more comprehensive way.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, again, with the Minister of Health. The Minister of Health, in answering an earlier question, said that we will proceed in this process by carefully measuring needs. In 1994, this province had the largest increase in treatment delays of any other province in the country. That was an independent survey by the Fraser Institute.



AN HON. MEMBER: The Fraser Institute . . .



ANOTHER HON. MEMBER: Oh, come on.



DR. HAMM: It is interesting that the minister is prepared to refute other studies, but doesn't give us any studies that he has done to suggest differently.



The Fraser Institute said that we now have a delay in orthopaedic surgery waiting time of double the national average. We now have a waiting list of three to four weeks longer than any other province for critical heart surgery. Does the minister have any information whatsoever to table to the House that will indicate the effect of waiting lists for critical surgery in this province that his program of Early Voluntary Retirement, or retirement packages, will have on waiting lists for surgery in this province?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the honourable Leader of the Opposition raises the issue of waiting lists and information and data which, by the way, in terms of waiting lists were not collected in this province until 1994. It was 1994 when we began to collect those, because we had information.



Let's just talk about before and let's talk about the waiting lists and the number of people who were displaced from the system in 1991, 1992 and 1993 without any kind of packages, without any kind of information. Then they cite their friends in the Fraser Institute which, in fact, reflects what happened two and three years ago. In this province, in 1994, the waiting lists for major surgical procedures have remained the same or have decreased, the first time we have ever done that. (Applause) That is true; we have the information now.



MR. SPEAKER: The final supplementary, and I ask for order in the House, please. Order in the House, please, on both sides.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, the minister, in answering my first supplementary, just said that there has been no increase in the waiting lists between 1993 and 1994, I believe. (Interruption) For 1994. Is the minister prepared to table the information . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: The evidence.



DR. HAMM: . . . the evidence that backs up his statement just made, in the answer to that question, to this House between now and Question Period tomorrow?



DR. STEWART: Mr. Speaker, for the first time, we have this information. These are figures that we are monitoring now in terms of the changes. The honourable Leader of the Opposition will, I think, be surprised to know that we are doing more surgical procedures. He will, perhaps, be amazed to know that we even have the information - which we never had before, by the way - and we will be happy to bring those to the attention of the honourable member opposite.



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



JUSTICE: GHIZ REPORT - OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to address my question, through you, sir, to the Minister of Justice. The minister, of course, will know that approximately 15 months ago he was provided with the report commonly called the Ghiz Report, properly entitled, Independent Accountability in Management in the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Services - A Review and Evaluation. In that report there were a number of very major concerns pointed out, including such things as, just to give a couple of examples, the potential for a conflict of interest within the prosecution services; the fact that many lawyers were being assigned to occupational health and safety prosecutions who were unfamiliar with occupational health and safety rules and procedures. These were matters that the report said must be resolved.



My question to the minister is, quite simply, why haven't the minister and his department addressed these very serious and urgent matters that were raised in the Ghiz Report as they relate to the prosecution of those who are charged with violating occupational health and safety rules within the province?



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, since the Ghiz Report was tabled, progress has been made on some of the recommendations; other matters are being studied; we are getting information from the service itself about others. We have had a new Director of Public Prosecutions for just over a month. In fact, in the last week or 10 days he has been away moving himself and his family to Nova Scotia, and he has asked for time to consult with the staff of the prosecution service and get input on the various recommendations that are still outstanding, including prosecution of occupational health and safety. I expect the new Director, Mr. Pitzul, to be making recommendations on that and other of the Ghiz recommendations in the near future.



MR. HOLM: It seems that everything, I guess, in the Department of Justice must have gone on hold while the government was waiting to appoint a new Director of Public Prosecutions, and until that review is done.



Mr. Speaker, you, sir, and the minister, of course, will also know that strict enforcement of the occupational health and safety rules prevents preventable accidents in the work place, because if those who are involved in the business know that they will be prosecuted, on a very effective and timely basis, then, in fact, they will be more inclined to ensure that occupational health and safety rules are being followed in the work place.





[1:00 p.m.]



My question to the minister is quite simply this, why have the minister and his department placed such a low priority on addressing these very serious, identified problems?



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, it might be the approach of the Party that the Leader represents that with an independent service that the politicians would intervene and direct them how to operate. This government believes in integrity and independence.



We have a new Director of Public Prosecutions. He has asked for time to consult, not only with his head office staff but with the offices across the province. He is doing that on occupational health and safety and many other things. I will wait to hear what he recommends before I unilaterally act.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, 15 months and who knows how many preventable accidents later the minister is saying that now we are still waiting for reports back.



Mr. Speaker, the minister will know that the Department of Labour itself has very serious concerns and that the Executive Director of Occupational Health and Safety - and I will table a copy of this letter - wrote way back in June 1994, identifying and pointing out a lot of serious concerns, such things as cases being passed from lawyer to lawyer, in fact maybe going to as many as four or five different lawyers in that process. Surely that is frustrating and demoralizing for those who are involved in trying to ensure that the occupational health and safety rules are being followed in the Province of Nova Scotia, to say nothing of being extremely expensive and extremely inefficient.



My final question to the minister is, when? Let's have some kind of timeframe. When will these very serious issues which affect every working man and woman in the Province of Nova Scotia, and they have a right to know how the occupational health and safety rules are going to be enforced, when will a decision finally be made as to effective enforcement of those regulations?



MR. GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, on the specific recommendation of the Ghiz Report that relates to occupational health and safety, I indicated in an earlier answer that the new director is looking at this actively and I expect he would give me some recommendations on this and some other of the recommendations that are outstanding in the near future. Now that may not satisfy the honourable member but I think it is important that it be done carefully and he wants to consult with his people. I would hope he would give me a recommendation on this and others, as I said earlier, in the near future.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.



MUN. AFFS. - HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION:

COORDINATOR - BUDGETS LETTER



DR. JOHN HAMM: My question is to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. Recently metro merger coordinator, Bill Hayward, sent a letter to all four metro municipalities. That letter was basically a warning that municipal units were not to transfer money of any kind, including that from reserved accounts, beyond that approved in annual budgets.



My question to the minister is simply does she believe that such a warning was necessary?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, obviously the coordinator, based on some of the questions that have been asked in this House over the last three weeks, thought it might be appropriate to direct a letter to the municipal units and has done so.



DR. HAMM: Mr. Speaker, to continue with the minister, my question, as a follow-up to her answer, is did either the minister's office or Mr. Charles Campbell issue a similar warning to the eight municipal units in Cape Breton County prior to the August 1st merger in Cape Breton?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, we didn't issue a letter to the same degree or to the same basis that the coordinator in Halifax did but certainly I met with the councils during the summer and suggested to them that because we were not in a fiscal period, we were not having the amalgamation as an April 1st date, that in actual fact the date which I requested, which was April 1, 1995, had been changed to August 1st., that there was limited ability for them to spend during that four month time period. We had some discussion with them that they should base their spending based on the revenue projections and the budgets they had been dealing with the year before.



DR. HAMM: I believe what the minister is saying is that the precautionary letter which was sent to the four municipalities here in metro, that the same kind of safeguard measure was not done by either her department or the coordinator.



My question then to the minister, by way of final supplementary, would the minister be prepared to suggest to the House then that that oversight may well be the cause of the financial difficulties of the new Regional Municipality of Cape Breton? Would she not be prepared then to accept some of the responsibility of the difficulties that the taxpayers in the new Cape Breton Regional Municipality will face due to the overspending, particularly in transition costs for the new regional municipality down there?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, no.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



MUN. AFFS.: C.B. REG. MUN. - DEFICIT



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister of Municipal Affairs a question. The question for the minister is, could you confirm the four months between March 31st and August 1st of this year, the Department of Municipal Affairs, through her as minister, gave the eight municipal units the authority to spend up to one-third of their previous year's operating budget?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, as I already mentioned to the honourable Leader of the Official Opposition, I had gone to Cape Breton and because we had adjusted the time period for the amalgamation from April 1, 1995 through to August 1, 1995, which meant that the amalgamation wasn't going to be on a fiscal time period, it was necessary to give the municipalities some direction. They had asked for an opportunity to know what expenditures or what type of budget they should work on because it was considered that for them to do a new budget for four months would not be necessary or it would be an opportunity for them to look at the expenditures.





As I have said to the honourable member before, we sat down and had a discussion. An agreement was reached that they should look at expending no more than one-third of the expenditures they had made the year before, based on the revenues and the budget of the year before.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, again my question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. The minister indicated that it was her department that allowed them to go ahead and spend and so on. One of the main reasons indicated last week for the financial mess that is facing the taxpayers of Cape Breton was the municipal units overspent. The question for the minister is, is she satisfied that her department took appropriate steps to monitor and keep track of the spending of the municipal units who were on emergency funding and if so, how can she now state the overspending on the part of municipalities contributed to the deficit that they are facing in Cape Breton, when her department, apparently was supposed to be doing some monitoring?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, I have answered this question for this member and a number of members already. Number one, as of April 1, 1995 there was no emergency funding. The emergency funding had been taken out because of the service exchange, so the emergency funding was gone. I have explained that to the honourable member before.



As I have already explained as well, we had established some guidelines for the municipalities to follow. They wanted to know a type of parameter that they should look at doing expenditures because in the summer it is an area that they have more construction and more expenditures than other times of the year, so we set a guideline for them. As this honourable member knows, the expenditures that are done by the municipalities, the cheques that are written by the municipalities are the responsibility of the municipalities. Those are the individuals who have dealt with the reason they are making the expenditure, the revenues that are coming in that the expenditure will be offset toward and the requirement of having that expenditure brought forward.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, again to the honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs. There were $55 million in capital projects spent or projects that were undertaken in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality under the Canada-Nova Scotia Infrastructure Agreement. Did they contribute to the overspending because all of the borrowing that would have to be done to accommodate those would have had to go under the signature of that minister. Is the minister aware at the time she was signing authorization to borrow, that this was going to be the outcome, the $15 million deficit, was she aware at all that this was going to be the outcome and if not, what kind of monitoring were you doing to see that they were under budget?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member quite clearly knows based on all kinds of information that I put out to the members, there was approximately $18 million that was available over a two and one-half year time period through the infrastructure. That would be the amount of money that would be expended by the eight municipalities in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.



MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton West.



MUN. AFFS.: C.B. REG. MUN. - DEFICIT



MR. ALFRED MACLEOD: Madam Speaker, my question is also to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. The minister refuses to accept any responsibility for the situation that is facing the taxpayers in Industrial Cape Breton. On one hand she says her department has put the proper controls in place so that there wouldn't be any overspending and on the other hand she tells us that the municipal units spent too much money and that is the problem for what is going on there today.



My question for the minister, will she identify the municipal units which violated her department's directive that municipal units spend no more that one-third of their previous year's operating budgets in the four months leading up to the amalgamation?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: Madam Speaker, it is difficult for me to try and express to this honourable member opposite, I have answered I don't know how many questions, 20 or so from the honourable member opposite. In the four month time period the municipalities had asked for a guideline of what parameters there would be. We said to them, well, look, you know what your budgets are, you know how you came through the last year. You just finished doing some numbers as of March 31st on what the numbers were. We suggested to them that they should spend no more than one-third of what the expenditure had been the year before.



Madam Speaker, it was an opportunity to have a discussion with them. It gave them a parameter to work in. Those municipalities would have looked back at their previous budgets and looked at the revenue that was available to offset the expenditure.



MR. MACLEOD: Madam Speaker, again my question is to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. On November 14th, the minister said that when the new Cape Breton Regional Municipality took over on August 1st, they hired a number of accountants to do audits on the eight municipalities. The minister went on to say that she understood that those audits were completed. Has the minister seen fit to have officials of her department examine each of these audits and if not, on what does she base her public comments that one of the main reasons for financial messes in Cape Breton is the overspending on the part of the municipalities?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, the eight municipalities have been audited up to March 31st, as is the normal procedure. Those audits once they are completed are forwarded in to our department because we review the audits as they come forward.



MR. MACLEOD: Well, the information, Mr. Speaker, that I have is that only six of those audits have been turned in to the minister's department. So I respectfully request that she look into that.



By way of my final supplementary to the minister, is the minister prepared to table the audits which she says have been completed and if not, could you give us an indication why the members cannot have these turned in to the House and the information made available to the members here in the House?



MS. JOLLY: Well, Mr. Speaker, the audits as far as I know, once they are completed, tabulated and brought forward are made available at the municipal offices. So if the honourable member would like to see those audits, I would suggest he go to the municipal office.





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



ERA - IMPERIAL OIL (DARTMOUTH): TAX BILL - ALLEVIATE



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Last year, Mr. Speaker, as you will recall, nearly 200 employees of the Ultramar Refinery in Dartmouth were tossed out of work without so much as a comment from the Premier of this province. Now, we learn that Imperial Oil is considering closing down the Dartmouth refinery and, of course, that means a lot of people are facing job loss there as well. Part of Imperial Oil's problem relative to the Dartmouth refinery is a $4.8 million tax bill each year. I wonder what steps the Premier of this province is taking to save those jobs and alleviate the tax bill to ensure that the refinery does, in fact, remain in operation?



[1:15 p.m.]



HON. JOHN SAVAGE (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to talk on two refineries, perhaps with a lot more information than he has. The former minister, the Honourable Ross Bragg, worked very closely with the workers in Ultramar. We are still meeting with them and we will continue to meet with them as to the best possible disposal of the assets of the Ultramar refinery although, obviously, there are some legal barriers now that make it difficult.



This is not the first time, Mr. Speaker, that the Imperial Oil refinery has approached this dilemma. A few years ago, when I was mayor, the same issue came up in which they had to cut their costs. This is another issue of cutting costs. It is a corporate decision that they have to make. We have already, some of us, met with people from Imperial and we will continue to work with them in creating what we hope is a good position for them to stay in this province, but the ultimate decision is that it is a corporate decision by Esso.



MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I thank the Premier for that response. As well as being Premier, the Premier is also the MLA for Dartmouth South and also the President of the Executive Council, so I am pleased that the Premier found fit to respond to a question.



MR. SPEAKER: That's a little gratuitous.



MR. TAYLOR: Well, the Premier doesn't respond to too many questions, Mr. Speaker, so I am pleased. Now my next question to the Premier is, will the Premier agree to sit down immediately with representatives of the Imperial Oil refinery and discuss the problems they are having and try to come to some resolution that will not mean the disappearance of jobs or the closure of the refinery in Dartmouth?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, once again I have to correct my friend for his geographical inaccuracies. The Esso refinery is not in my riding; therefore I will continue to work for it because it borders on my riding. The refinery used to be in Dartmouth South and it was removed when it was put into the adjacent constituency as a result of the boundary changes. Nevertheless, obviously we will guarantee any possible opportunity to meet with the people of this refinery because obviously their presence is very important to us as an economic unit in the metropolitan area and obviously in the area of Nova Scotia.





MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I guess it is safe to say, at the present time, the Premier doesn't have a course of action that he is taking relative to the Imperial Oil refinery in Dartmouth. I think that is a safe statement to make. Is the Premier at the very least aware of the study that is being undertaken by Imperial Oil that may eliminate the refinery?



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it may be a safe statement for him to make; it is totally inaccurate and bears no relation to reality which, of course, is like most of his questions. What we are determined to do is to work with the people of Esso. We have gone through this before and we will continue to demonstrate interest in tax position, in power rates, which are obviously not within our mandate, but the issue of willing to work with Esso is one that you can take for granted and the people of Nova Scotia know that we will work with them as much as we possibly can.



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



MUN. AFFS.: HFX. METRO AMALGAMATION - ORIGINAL BUDGET



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to address my question to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. I am sure that the minister will be aware that the Chief Executive Officer of the new, super, soon-to-be metro regional municipality has predicted that already the amalgamation process is at least $4 million over budget, over what was anticipated and that amalgamation is many months yet away. My question to the minister, was the minister or her department involved in the preparation of the original budget that was prepared for the amalgamation by her coordinator for the metropolitan area?



HON. SANDRA JOLLY: No, Mr. Speaker, we didn't participate in putting together the numbers. No.



MR. HOLM: Thank you very much, which goes to the whole key issue of accountability. Here the minister appoints the coordinator who puts together the budget upon which these assessments are being made, and we already hear that that is $4 million over, so my question then to the minister, if she wasn't involved, and her department was not involved in the budgets that were prepared by her coordinator, I would like to know what examination, what evaluation the minister or her department had or did of the proposed budget and what it is doing to monitor the expenditures of the minister's coordinator, Mr. Speaker?



MS. JOLLY: Mr. Speaker, this member just frustrates me sometimes, I have to admit. The budget for the new Halifax metropolitan area, taking in operating capital and boards and commissions, is almost $700 million. It is a very large budget. The coordinator we have in this area is one of the most fiscally responsible, capable individuals that I happen to know in the Province of Nova Scotia. And this member questions his ability, his integrity to put together a reasonable outline of where the new regional municipality will go, as a transitional expense.



I have a very difficult time with where this honourable member would question the financial and the integrity of the coordinator. Mr. Speaker, no, I did not put together the numbers but I did, and so has my staff, reviewed the numbers with the new regional municipality staff. We believe the numbers are the best they can deal with, as to what they foresee in the future.



Yes, the original report that was done had looked at a $10 million transitional cost. Yes, they are at $13.8 million as a transitional cost, Mr. Speaker, of which I think the honourable member is well aware that $1.4 million of that is a fund that they may or may not need. So I think that based on the job being done, they have done pretty well on a $700 million budget.



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I say to the minister that we share something in common, and that is that we are frustrated with each other. It is not the ability or credibility of Mr. Hayward I am questioning, it is the ability and credibility of this minister and this government that I am questioning.



Mr. Speaker, the elected representatives in this metropolitan area had no say, no opportunity to approve or review the expenditures . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Is there a question in this?



MR. HOLM: . . . of the coordinator. My question to the minister is quite simply this, since her handpicked coordinator is spending this money, already $4 million over budget, is it this government's view that the taxpayers in the metro municipal area will have to swallow those overexpenditures in total themselves because of this government's neglect and failure to do its duty, or is this government prepared to pick up the overexpenditures that result because of this government failing to do its job?



MS. JOLLY: Well, Mr. Speaker, he blusters and goes on at great length, as he has on any number of occasions. This member consistently wants to have it both ways; one day he is telling me I am not in enough control over the elected officials and now he tells me that the elected officials should be the only people who are allowed to deal with this money. He cannot have it both ways. (Interruption)



Well, yes, I guess he - his honourable colleague says yes, he can have it both ways. Based on the debate they put forward, either way, whatever way is most convenient for them is the way that they want to go. Well, both sides are the sides of righteousness for the NDP; there is no side of truth to these people, either side is the right side. (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North. I would ask the two NDP members to tone down and let this member ask his question.



SUPPLY AND SERV. - PARKING LOT (HOLLIS/WATER STS.): PATRONS - LIST



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Yes, be quiet, out the window. Mr. Speaker, through you I would like to ask the Minister of Government Services a question. (Interruption) Who is it? You don't know? The Minister of Supply and Services is it? Okay, thank you.



The Minister of Supply and Services has control of a parking lot between Hollis Street and Water Street. The one I am talking about is the one that was renovated for the G-7 this past summer. I was wondering if the minister could furnish a list of the people who have permits to park in that lot who are not paying any money to the government or to anybody else, a list of the people who are parking for free?



HON. GERALD O'MALLEY: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. I don't have such a list with me at present but I would be pleased to provide the member with a list of those who are parking there, all of whom, to the best of my knowledge, are paying for their parking. I will provide the list.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Thank you very much, I appreciate that very much because the information I have is that there are 125 parking spaces; 60 people have parking as a benefit or a bonus of working conditions for this government and most of the rest are paying $70 a month. The person who brought this to my attention indicated that they, too, would enjoy very much to be able to have a parking space downtown for nothing, rather than pay $70 a month. So I am wondering, if the honourable minister has agreed to furnish me with a list of the people who are parking there, if he could also furnish a set of guidelines so that we will all know who is parking at the expense of the taxpayers and who is not? Thank you.



MR. O'MALLEY: I am not sure there is any diffence between the second question and the first question. The essence of the matter is they result in the same answer. I answered it on the first occasion so the same answer applies to the second question.



MR. SPEAKER: A new question, the honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. There is one minute remaining.



SUPPLY AND SERV. - PROVINCE HOUSE: GATE POSTS - TENDER



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Supply and Services, too. I am not a stonemason or a stonemason inspector and I certainly appreciate that it is very highly skilled and very tedious work. I wonder if the Minister of Supply and Services can tell us where the company is from that is presently doing the work at the automobile entrances off Hollis Street, coming into Province House, and how much longer are they going to be doing whatever they are doing? (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please, so the minister can answer the question.



HON. GERALD O'MALLEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am most pleased to answer for this member and for all members that the company doing it is not CanStone, it is Coastal Restoration. The contract is for $44,658. It was tender No. 1995-000517, File No. FO111000126 and it is a Halifax company. That is all of the information. If the honourable member wishes to know more, I have a page . . .



MR. TAYLOR: Did it go to public tender?



MR. O'MALLEY: Yes, I just read you the tender number.



AN HON. MEMBER: How about CanStone?



MR. O'MALLEY: CanStone has not been involved. If the honourable member would like any further information, I will file a document on the table for him, right here, in the fullness of time.



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



The honourable Premier.



THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we normally make introductions of people who are in the gallery, but I am sure it has probably arrived to most people's attention that we are delighted to welcome back the representative from Annapolis who has recovered from his surgery and looks great. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: We would also welcome his lovely wife, Babe, in the gallery opposite, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)



Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Business.



GOVERNMENT BUSINESS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



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



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.



[1:29 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mrs. Francene Cosman in the Chair.]



[6:04 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Paul MacEwan, resumed the Chair.]



ADJOURNMENT



MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)



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



EXCO - QUIT: REALITY - SMART



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to rise this evening and to bring the resolution that I have before this House. I am sure that it is one that many members of the government benches, maybe even some of them on the front benches, might welcome coming into force because what I am moving is:



"Therefore be it resolved that it would be one smart move and the first good news ever for these Liberal backbenchers if the Premier and the entire Cabinet really did quit by the end of May 1996.".



Mr. Speaker, I see some government members going, yes, and I can understand that and I might even understand why some of those on the front benches might be cheering and saying yes, because they would love to have a way to get away from the hot potatoes, get out from under what they have hoisted upon Nova Scotia and not have to start to answer for the problems that they have developed.



I raise this, Mr. Speaker, because the poor Minister of Education, who was beleaguered and has been under a great deal of fire as a result of the Education Act that he introduced into this House, suggested in a statement that it was his belief that none of the present Cabinet will be in their post for more than three years. One of those members, of course, who is the First Minister of Cabinet is his own boss, the Premier. So it is obviously the belief, because of the way the minister said it, or it would appear anyway, that he is suggesting that he does not even believe the Premier will be in his current post at the end of May 1996. Many people in this province are hoping that the Minister of Education's crystal ball is correct on this one.



One takes a look at the record of this government and maybe I have introduced this in a sort of a humorous way to broach the topic tonight but when one takes a look at what has been going on by the ministers of this government, one has to ask what more could they do as a favour to Nova Scotians, what better could they do and what would give them a greater boost in credibility than to resign?



Let's look at just a few of the ministers and let's take a look at some of their actions so far. First of all we had an Education Minister - I started picking on him before so I might as well continue - who introduced a piece of legislation into this House with so many flaws and if it had not been for the hard work of the partners in education, the parents, the community groups, home and school associations, the School Boards Association, the support staff in the schools and the representatives and the teachers, we would be having foisted on the Province of Nova Scotia one of the worst pieces of legislation and the most damaging to the education system that Nova Scotian could possibly imagine; without any proper consultation, breaking promises to provide an opportunity for the input leading up to the kind of major confrontation that we were on the edge of that would have harmed all.



I would suggest that even though the minister, as a result of the pressures that were put on him, hopefully some by his colleagues and hopefully some by the members of the back benches and I know I certainly encouraged anybody I spoke to who had an MLA in this House on the government side in the back benches, I encouraged them to let their views be known to that member and to be telling that member that they also are responsible for the bill that the minister brings forth. So I hope that they had some impact in persuading the minister to make some changes. The minister has lost credibility and confidence.



The Minister of Health is present. We have a health care system that is under attack. I tend to be somewhat simple in the way I approach things sometimes, simplistic but people understand and appreciate that we need to have reform that is going to lead to maintaining or better still, improving the quality of health care. That is not a question. Most people, I would suggest, recognize and support that. That is a goal.



You know, we have already had hundreds, in fact I believe it is thousands now, 1,000 or more people removed from the health care system. We are going to have a couple of thousand more removed from that system. We already have lengthy line-ups for certain kinds of procedures. The truth is that each and every one of us know of situations that we have heard about, which are becoming more frequent, about constituents or others we know who have had to endure very long waits, not because the calibre of those who are providing the medical service is inferior, but because there are not the resources in place, Mr. Speaker.



One asks, if we are removing this many more persons from the health care system, who is going to be delivering the services in the future? Now yes, there has to be some restructuring, but surely to Heaven there has to be a plan laid on the table which outlines clearly what the goals, what the objectives, what the outcomes will be, in a measurable way, as to how those services are going to be provided. We have yet to see that, Mr. Speaker.



We have a situation where this Minister of Finance and his colleagues foist casinos on the people of Nova Scotia, which goes completely contrary to what the government had promised before and which was in complete contradiction to what the people wanted.



We have a Minister of Municipal Affairs who refuses to accept any responsibility or accountability for any of the amalgamations that she is again imposing on residents in municipal units, whether they want them or not. We have seen that the minister and her department are not even monitoring budgets and are not prepared to ensure that the taxpayers in those constituencies or in those municipalities are not going to be paying for this government's neglect in the future.



We have a Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency, and I don't know how many minutes I have left, it is getting close . . .



MR. SPEAKER: Well, say two.



MR. HOLM: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I was starting to speed up, to whip through some of the ministers and not give them the full attention that they deserved. We have a Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency who introduces legislation in this House which, because of the Internal Trade Agreement that he is including within that, is giving up Nova Scotia's right to control trade and commerce within our boundaries, which can have a very serious economic impact.



We have a Minister of Transportation and Communications who, interestingly enough today, releases the federal Auditor General's statement and is running around showing it off proudly, saying look, isn't this wonderful, we didn't break any laws. But you know what it clearly shows is that the decision was a political decision, not based on merit, not based on priorities, not based on any measurable criteria, but based on a political decision taken by the Minister of Transportation and Communications in the Province of Nova Scotia and Mr. Dingwall. Instead of running around and waving it at us out there and bragging about it, I certainly, Mr. Speaker, if I had been the minister, would have been hiding this. I would not have wanted to be showing this off when it points out how normal procedures were not followed.



This is what we have, this kind of action, and I could pick other ministers as well from the front benches. Is it any wonder why Nova Scotians are losing confidence? Backbenchers and members of the Liberal caucus cannot, of course, stand up and publicly criticize frontbenchers because they may go the way of the former member for Cape Breton West, out of the caucus, Mr. Speaker. But surely they must also feel some of the frustrations that other Nova Scotians do as well.



Mr. Speaker, I just had to pick up, when I introduced my resolution today, on the suggestion of the Minister of Education that none of the current ministers will be in their portfolios in three years time, after the election. All I can say, in closing, is that Nova Scotians sincerely hope the minister's projection does, indeed, come true. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: Now I am going to have to make a ruling as to how long this debate will last. I am going to rule, after consulting with the Clerk, that it will end at 6:30 p.m. and we will divide the remaining time in two equal instalments. I let the honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party have 10 full minutes because he had won the draw. I thought that I gave him a little extra time.



Now, the honourable member for Eastern Shore, and we will let you go until 6:23 p.m.





[6:15 p.m.]



MR. KEITH COLWELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. What we really are talking about here today is mismanagement from the past Progressive Conservative Government in this province and the situation that our government has been placed in, having to make very tough decisions.



Let us go over some of the facts and some of the numbers. First of all, we have a debt service charge in Nova Scotia of $1.1 billion yearly, which was generated by the last Progressive Conservative Government. In 1978, when that government took power, there was less than $500 million in total debt in the province; that is a long way from $1.1 billion in debt service charges alone. Not many Nova Scotians realize that 23 cents of every tax dollar collected by the province is paid to service that debt. That is 23 cents that could go into education, into health, into many areas badly needed in the province.



The last balanced budget in the Province of Nova Scotia was by a Liberal Government. Strange, indeed, and guess what? Next year, we are going to have another balanced budget. I guess it takes a Liberal Government to do those sort of things and some tough decisions made by ministers and by a government that is committed to Nova Scotia and improving Nova Scotia.



We continue suffering by paying down this debt and not providing Nova Scotians with a service that they could have had - and I stress, could have had - if the money had not been squandered in re-election promises and wasteful spending. I am not sure that most Nova Scotians realize that we only collect $748 million in health services tax. That is 11 per cent hospital tax we pay. If we did not have the $1.1 billion debt, we would easily eliminate the hospital tax. Quite an interesting economic development tool, I would think indeed, but we do not have that option in Nova Scotia today, again, due to the past government. Unfortunately, we had to slow spending very gradually without grinding Nova Scotia to a halt; that was, indeed, a very difficult situation.



We have just heard the Third Party here speak. They had their members and the NDP Government in Ontario, five people resigned after a short period of time from improprieties that took place and, indeed, the government is gone now. We have seen scandals by the last government, and just to bring a few back in case people have forgotten what they were all about: expense accounts by Malcolm MacKay and Billy Joel MacLean; travel woes by the Premier; the Premier resigns in 1990 as a result of Deputy Minister bringing testimony; vote buying charges against Chuck McNeil. It just goes on and on and on and I am not going to linger on that.



AN HON. MEMBER: The toilet seats.



MR. COLWELL: Yes, and the toilet seats. That situation which, indeed, was quite disgraceful. All those things the taxpayers of Nova Scotia are paying for today.



A record, indeed. I would be quite ashamed to be associated with a Party with that type of record. Also, I cannot forget the Offshore Development Fund and the misappropriation of funds there. On top of that, we have a non-funded liability that is not included in the $9 billion, and the Workers' Compensation Board of $0.5 billion, Nova Scotia Resources close to $0.5 billion; it gets worse and worse as you look at it.



Look towards the positive things that have been happening in Nova Scotia and the tough decisions that this government has made. I am going to refer to a document that I will table when I am completed with it here, from the Investment Dealers Association of Canada, Canadian Fiscal Roundup, October 1995.



"Nova Scotia cut its deficit by over 60% to $235 million in 1994/95 from a record $617 million in 1992/93.", prior to us taking power. That was attributed partly to the province taking, ". . . aggressive measures to rein in spending last year, program expenditures (including restructuring costs) declined nearly 2% in 1994/95 reflecting streamlined government services . . .". That is definitely not put forward by a government that does not know where they are going. "The deficit is forecast to decline to $167 million in 1995/96 primarily due to continued expenditure restraint.". Again, in the next year, we will have a balanced budget. I think it is something that our grandchildren really need.



Going on to more of the positive things that happened with this government: according to Statistics Canada, there are 17,000 new jobs in Nova Scotia, which far outstrips New Brunswick which is always quoted as having the best economic development in the Maritimes. However, we have outdone them. We have outdone them two years in a row, 8,000 new jobs alone last year.



We have retired approximately 8,000 civil servants that have gone off on a pension that will, again, contribute to the economy. Tourism figures are up in the province. In my riding alone, it is up 10 per cent this year, the largest growth in the province; the first real growth in over 20 years.



The investment tax credit put forward by business is very positive in putting private money back into our economy; the Universal Home Care Program, where all Nova Scotians can participate on an equal basis in a badly needed service; improvements to the ambulance service system, which will surely result in improved life support and life expectancy for people in emergency situations; the $3,000 rebate program for new homes, income tax relief for low income Nova Scotians, indeed, Nova Scotians that will put all those dollars back into the economy. The last but most important thing is a balanced budget next year. (Applause)



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, it is pretty hard to top the contribution made by the honourable member for Eastern Shore. The Therefore be it resolved part of the resolution as put forward by the Leader of Third Party is essentially saying that the Premier and the entire Cabinet should make a smart move and quit. I noticed that the Leader of the Third Party seemed to focus most of his contribution and most of his debate on the Minister of Education and the Minister of Health. I will be fair and I will start with the front benches and perhaps in order, we will start with the Minister of Transportation.



Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transportation, as you may recall, drastically reduced the salt hauling rate to the truckers across this province. He cut the rate by some 20 per cent to 25 per cent. I think, by anybody's imagination, that is a dastardly deed, without question. The public sector, as you will recall, had their wages rolled back some 3 per cent by this government and there was a great hue and cry and justifiably so. But the truckers that hauled salt had their rate cut by some 20 per cent to 25 per cent by the Minister of Transportation and, of course, the Savage Government and, I believe, with the support of Cabinet.



Now, there has been some discussion here this evening about the $26 million and the diversion of funds and I will not get into that, Mr. Speaker, tonight, but I did have a glimpse at the copy of the federal Auditor General's Report. In no way did the federal Auditor General exonerate, so to speak, the Minister of Transportation. One only needs to read it and although when you do read it, you will find that it does differ from the provincial Auditor General's Report in that the provincial Auditor General clearly stated that the minister in concert and cooperation with the federal Minister of Transport violated the terms of the Strategic Highway Improvement Program, he violated the major criteria and that is that the funds from that project are to be spent on the national highway system. Any way you cut it, that is what the provincial Auditor General, Mr. Roy Salmon said.



The member for Eastern Shore talked a little bit about the 15 years previous to his government coming to power. It just so happens that I have a constituency by constituency breakdown of Department of Transportation capital expenditures. I wonder if the member for Eastern Shore is cognizant of the fact that the then Opposition riding of Cape Breton The Lakes for the period from 1988 until 1992, when the Tory Government was in power, Cape Breton The Lakes had $34.8 million spent in their constituency, the fifth highest expenditure of any provincial riding in the province. Cumberland North had $39,314,000 spent. Cumberland South had $25,917,000 spent. I ask the members and I ask the member for Eastern Shore, if he was aware that many of the Opposition-held ridings had a lot more capital expenditure in their ridings?



The point I am making is that you didn't see the member for Cape Breton The Lakes stand up and say, don't spend money in my riding. You didn't see the members for Cumberland North or Cumberland South say, don't do capital improvements in my area, it will raise the deficit. But $34.8 million spent in Cape Breton The Lakes, the fifth biggest expenditure.



East Hants, and there has been a great discussion about East Hants. I would like to talk about East Hants and how disproportionate the central region is spending their funds this year. The Minister of Transportation, quite frankly, should be ashamed of himself that Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has not had one kilometre of pavement either new or repaving since this government came to power and this is the third construction season. We can go to Richmond, there has never been a provincial constituency shut out like Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley as by that minister over there and he should be ashamed of himself. I have the print-out of all of the ridings.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. It is ironic that I can recall, I think, the last four letters I received from the member opposite about road work. One was about a road in Inverness, one was about a road in Pugwash, one was about a road, where did they have another meeting - Pictou. I have to assume that I am doing the priorities of the member opposite because that is what he has been writing about.



In this very House last session when a group of people from Inverness were in the gallery the member stood up and started going on about the roads in Inverness and how the people in Inverness had as much of a right to have roads fixed as anyone else in this province, so I fixed those roads. Now the honourable member doesn't like that either, well good for him.



MR. SPEAKER: That is not a point of order.





MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, in Richmond County in 1988, $2,492,000 and as I have said, in 1993 Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, zilch. In 1989 under a Tory Government in Richmond County, $4,063,000, in 1990 $534,000, in 1991 over $1 million. In Richmond County for a total of $9 million, nearly $10 million, was expended in Richmond County under the previous government. Members of this government are very quick to rise and suggest that all the capital expenditure took place in Tory ridings and that is absolutely a bunch of bunk and it is easy to refute.



The federal Auditor General, and we can talk about the federal Auditor General's Report, today he confirmed what the rest of us know, that there was no cost study done as to the benefits of fixing a secondary trail down in that member's riding. Again, let's go through with Cape Breton The Lakes, $34.8 million, Cumberland North, Cumberland South. All these ridings were in Opposition-held ridings.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time allotted for the late debate is expired. The House will now reconvene into the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.



[6:30 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mrs. Francene Cosman in the Chair.]



[7:57 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Paul MacEwan, resumed the Chair.]



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



THE CLERK: That the committee has met and made some progress and begs leave to sit again.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees.



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:



Bill No. 36 - Arts Council Act.



and 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.



The honourable Minister of Justice.



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:



Bill No. 34 - Maintenance Enforcement Act.



Bill No. 43 - Interpretation Act.



and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.



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



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Tabling Reports, Regulations and Other Papers.



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Education, I am pleased to table the Annual Report of the University Foundation.



MR. SPEAKER: The annual report is tabled.



The honourable Minister of Justice.



HON. WILLIAM GILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the Annual Report of the Law Reform Commission for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1995.



MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.



The honourable Opposition House Leader.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, the business for tomorrow, we will be calling Resolution No. 540 and then Resolution No. 607 and then House Orders.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, the hours for tomorrow will be from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.



I move adjournment until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.



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



The motion is carried.



[The House rose at 7:59 p.m.]