Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

Hansard -- Mon., Nov. 18, 1996

Fourth Session

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1996

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
INTRODUCTION OF NEW MEMBER:
Ms. Eileen O'Connell (Halifax Fairview), Mr. Robert Chisholm 1941
RESIGNATION OF MEMBER:
Mr. Ross Bragg (Cumberland North), The Speaker 1942
RESIGNATION OF HON. PAUL MACEWAN AS SPEAKER,
Hon. P. MacEwan 1942
APPOINTMENT OF HON. WAYNE GAUDET AS SPEAKER, The Premier 1943
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Hants County: Rawdon to Lakelands Road -
Deplorable, Mr. R. Carruthers 1948
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Milford Station: Speed Zone - Reduce,
Mr. R. Carruthers 1949
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Lakeland Drive Homeowners Association:
East Uniacke Road - Condition Grave, Mr. R. Carruthers 1949
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Health - Reporting Health Performance, Elective Procedure Waiting Times
in Nova Scotia, 1992 to 1996, Hon. B. Boudreau 1949
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 642, Human Res. - Long Service Awards: Recipients - Congrats.,
The Premier 1949
Vote - Affirmative 1950
Res. 643, Fin. - Expenditure Add.: Health/Supply & Serv./Pub. Serv. -
Approval, Hon. W. Gillis 1950
Res. 644, Health: CPR Awareness Month (Nov. 1996) - Recognize,
Hon. B. Boudreau 1951
Vote - Affirmative 1951
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 36, Health Council Act, Dr. J. Hamm 1952
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 645, Joe Ghiz/Robert Bourassa - Accomplishments: Commemoration -
Silence Observe, Dr. J. Hamm 1952
Vote - Affirmative 1952
Res. 646, Fin. - PST & GST Harmonization: Legislation - Delay,
Mr. R. Chisholm 1953
Res. 647, Sports - Football: St. Francis Xavier Univ. -
AUAA Champions Congrats., Hon. W. Gillis 1953
Vote - Affirmative 1954
Res. 648, Fin. - PST & GST Harmonization: Tax Grab - Acknowledge,
Dr. J. Hamm 1954
Res. 649, Ross Bragg - Cumberland North MLA: (1988-1996) Dedication -
Acknowledge, Mr. D. McInnes 1954
Vote - Affirmative 1955
Res. 650, Justice - Abuse Victims: Compassion - Show, Mr. J. Holm 1955
Res. 651, Fin. - PST & GST Harmonization:
Min. (Former [Hon. B. Boudreau]) - Tax Cut Misleading,
Mr. R. Russell 1956
Res. 652, Joe Ghiz - Legacy Honour: Canadian Vision - Promote,
Mr. P. MacEwan 1956
Vote - Affirmative 1957
Res. 653, Educ. - Halifax Reg. School Bd.: Amalgamation Savings -
Account, Mr. T. Donahoe 1957
Res. 654, Country Harbour (Guys. Co.) - Life-Saving Awards:
Recipients - Congrats., Mr. R. White 1958
Vote - Affirmative 1958
Res. 655, Educ. - School Bds. Amalgamation: Classroom Resources -
Increase Show, Ms. E. O'Connell 1959
Res. 656, Country Music - Lisa Fraser (Hardwoods Lands [Hants East]):
New Female Vocalist Award (Internat. Div.) - Congrats.,
Mr. R. Carruthers 1959
Vote - Affirmative 1960
Res. 657, Tangier Vol. Fire Dept. : Anniv. (16th) - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Colwell 1960
Vote - Affirmative 1961
Res. 658, Health - Home Care Program: Accessible - Plan Devise,
Mr. G. Moody 1961
Res. 659, Scouting - Jack Cornwall Award: Jeffrey Balesdent (Trenton) -
Congrats., Mr. W. Fraser 1961
Vote - Affirmative 1962
Res. 660, Fish. - Salmon Hatcheries: Owner/Operator (DFO) Retain -
Campaign Develop, Mr. J. Leefe 1962
Res. 661, Health - Care: Measurement Implementation - Recognize,
Mr. D. Richards 1963
Res. 662, Health - Care: Crisis Real - Recognize, Mr. R. Chisholm 1963
Res. 663, ERA - C.B.: Job Creation - Action, Mr. A. MacLeod 1964
Res. 664, Agric. - Agri-Focus 2000 Prog.: Reinstate -
Negotiations Commence, Mr. G. Archibald 1964
Res. 665, Cumberland North: By-Election - Call, Mr. B. Taylor 1965
Res. 666, Environ. - Tires: Disposal - Export Prevent, Mr. J. Holm 1966
Res. 667, Gov't. (N.S.) - Expenditures: Priorities - Recognize,
Mr. T. Donahoe 1966
Res. 668, Health - Pharmacare Program: Seniors - Actuarial Info. Release,
Mr. G. Moody 1967
Res. 669, Nat. Res.: Progs. (Gov't. [Can.]) - Use, Mr. B. Taylor 1967
Res. 670, Educ. - Cole Hbr. DHS: Computers Shortage - Explain,
Mr. G. Archibald 1968
Res. 671, Health - Reg. Bd. (Western): Community Boards -
Formation Direct, Mr. J. Leefe 1968
Res. 672, Fin. - Accounting Procedures: Commitment Violation -
Auditor Gen. Refer, Mr. R. Russell 1969
Res. 673, Justice - C.B. Reg. Hosp.: Suicide - Public Inquiry Call,
Mr. A. MacLeod 1970
Res. 674, Remembrance Day (Ottawa) -
Mrs. Margaret Langille (River John): Silver Cross Mother -
Congrats., Mr. D. McInnes 1970
Vote - Affirmative 1971
ADJOURNMENT MOTION UNDER RULE 43:
Fin. - PST & GST Harmonization, Dr. J. Hamm 1971
Rejected^ 1973
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 14, Occupiers' Liability Act 1973
Hon. J. Abbass 1974
Mr. T. Donahoe 1975
Mr. J. Holm 1988
Mr. R. Russell 1994
Adjourned debate 1995
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Nov. 19th at 2:00 p.m. 1996
NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Exco - Min. Responsibilities: Breakdown - Release, Mr. G. Moody 1997

[Page 1941]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1996

Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Fourth Session

7:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Paul MacEwan

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mrs. Francene Cosman

[The Legislature rose on Friday, May 17, 1996, to meet again at the call of the Speaker.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Now before we begin this evening's agenda, the Leader of the New Democratic Party will now present to the House the new member newly elected for the constituency of Halifax Fairview. (Applause)

[Mr. Robert Chisholm and Mr. John Holm escorted Ms. Eileen O'Connell into the House.]

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present to you, Ms. Eileen O'Connell, member for the electoral district of Halifax Fairview, who has taken the oath and signed the roll and now claims the right to take her seat.

MR. SPEAKER: Let the honourable member be seated.

1941

[Page 1942]

I wish also to announce a further change in the composition of our House. I have here a letter from the former member for Cumberland North, Mr. Ross Bragg, addressed to myself, reading, "Dear Mr. Speaker: Please accept this letter as my resignation as a member of the Legislature for the constituency of Cumberland North effective as of today's date.". This is dated November 8th. "Yours very truly, Ross Bragg". I wish to table that letter.

Now honourable members of the House of Assembly, about three and one-half years ago, this House elected me to the post of chief presiding officer. These years have been among the most memorable of my life. It has been a great honour to have served as the Speaker of this House even for a short time. I had the honour of having served longer, in terms of continuous service, than any incumbent in this position - other than the Honourable Arthur Donahoe - since the days of Speaker Harvey A. Veniot back in the 1960's.

Following the last session of the House, I had indicated my wish to step down from this position and let another member take a turn in this Chair. I had indicated that I would tender my resignation to the House when it sat, as I had been elected by the House in the first instance.

The House now having reconvened, before the regular routine of business begins, I feel it would be best to submit my resignation from this office now. I do not think it would be appropriate to make any lengthy statement at this time, but I would wish to thank all who assisted me in any way during my term of office, particularly those who served as my deputies, the Honourable Gerald J. O'Malley and Mrs. Francene Cosman, and to other members who, from time to time, took the Chair at my request so as to give me some relief from the long and difficult hours one must put in in the Chair. I also wish to thank my staff in the administration office for their support; the House staff who are always ready to help and all others who worked for the House under the Speaker. I would especially like, at this time, to mention the late Sergeant-at-Arms, D.W. (Buddy) Daye who hung in right to the end, and whose dedication is reflected in the diligence displayed by the current Acting Sergeant-at-Arms, Doug Giles. It was a great privilege and honour to have worked with all these wonderful people.

In conclusion, to those who might be wishing that by my stepping down from this Chair I intend to step down also from elected public service, let me assure them that I have no such plan (Applause) and intend to carry on as an ordinary MLA, and to brush up on my skills on the floor of the House over the next little while.

I hereby tender my resignation to the House, effective immediately.

[Mr. Paul MacEwan left the Chair and took his seat on the floor of the House.]

[Deputy Speaker Francene Cosman took the Chair.]

[Page 1943]

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

HON. JOHN SAVAGE (The Premier): Madam Speaker, I have to inform you that I have received the resignation of the Honourable Wayne J. Gaudet as Minister responsible for Acadian Affairs, and further, I move that Wayne Gaudet, Member for the Electoral District of Clare, be appointed Speaker for the duration of this, the Fifty-sixth General Assembly.

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

DR. JOHN HAMM: Madam Speaker, I am pleased to second the nomination for the appointment of Wayne Gaudet as Speaker to this House.

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

The motion is carried. (Applause)

[The Premier and Dr. John Hamm dragged Mr. Speaker to the Chair.] (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

À vous tous et toutes, honorables membres de l'assemblée législative.

Honourable members of the House of Assembly, I thank the House for the great honour it has bestowed upon me. I will do my best to uphold the prestige and high tradition of the Speaker's Office. I respectfully ask for the assistance and cooperation of all the honourable members.

Permettez-moi de vous exprimer mes sentiments de gratitudes pour l'honneur que cette assemblée me confère en me choisissant président.

Je promets de faire tout en mon possible pour maintenir le décorum et le prestige de cette noble fonction. Je vous prie, honorables membres, de bien vouloir me venir en aide et de m'assurer de votre collaboration.

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: His Honour, the Administrator, is without.

MR. SPEAKER: Let His Honour be admitted.

[The Speaker and the Clerks left the Chamber.]

[Page 1944]

[The Administrator, The Chief Justice, Hon. Lorne O. Clarke, preceded by his excort, and by Mr. Douglas Giles, Acting Sergeant-at-Arms, bearing the Mace, entered the House of Assembly Chamber. The Administrator then took his seat on the Throne.

The Sergeant-at-Arms then departed and re-entered the Chamber followed by the Speaker, Hon. Wayne Gaudet; Chief Clerk of the House, Roderick MacArthur; and Acting Assistant Clerk, Arthur Fordham, Q.C. They took up their positions at the foot of the Table.]

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: It is the wish of His Honour that the ladies and gentlemen be seated.

THE PREMIER: May it please your Honour, the House of Assembly has proceeded to the choice of a Speaker and has elected Wayne J. Gaudet, member for the Electoral District of Clare, to that office and by its direction I present him for the approbation of Your Honour.

THE ADMINISTRATOR: I approve of the Speaker whom the House of Assembly has chosen.

MR. SPEAKER: Your Honour's ready approval of the choice with which I have been honoured by the House. Having constituted me, in due form the Speaker of the House of Assembly, it has now become my duty in the name of the representatives of her Majesty's loyal subjects, the people of this Province, respectfully to demand all their accustomed rights and privileges, and that they shall have freedom of speech in their debates, that they may be free from arrest during their attendance in Parliament, and that I, as their Speaker, may have free access to Your Honour's person.

[7:15 p.m.]

THE ADMINISTRATOR: I most cheerfully grant your request.

[The Speaker and the Clerks left the Chamber.]

[The Administrator left the Chamber.]

[The Speaker took the Chair.]

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: His Honour, the Speaker. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, let me be the first to welcome you to your new position. I certainly wish you an enjoyable and a very lengthy stay in that position. I certainly commit the support of myself and my colleagues in the government benches and the

[Page 1945]

government caucus. I would ask, perhaps, before we start the daily routine if you would be so kind as to recognize His Honour, The Premier.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, this is a proud moment for Nova Scotians, the installation of the first Nova Scotia born Acadian Speaker to preside over this House. (Applause) As Premier, I feel very privileged to have played a role in nominating the Honourable Wayne Gaudet to be the 50th Speaker of the Nova Scotia Legislature. I would like to thank the Leader of the Opposition for his assistance in dragging him in and I would like to wish him well in this challenging task. I know he will be an outstanding Speaker and a credit to the people who elected him MLA for Clare.

If I may, Mr. Speaker, I would like to say a few words about our outgoing Speaker, Paul MacEwan, who has served this House with great dedication since his appointment in 1993. Paul MacEwan was elected to the House in 1970. He has been elected and re-elected no less than seven times. As one of Nova Scotia's longest serving MLAs, Paul MacEwan has had many opportunities to familiarize himself very intimately with the day to day routines of this honourable Assembly, but that is not to say that Paul MacEwan's attachment to this House has been in any way routine.

Simply put, Paul MacEwan has a great deal of love and esteem for the House and all that it symbolizes and that has been very clear from the way in which he carried out his role. I am sure he has some strong feelings today as, on the one hand, he closes this very interesting and rewarding chapter in his long service to the people of this province and, on the other, he returns full time to his beloved constituency work as the MLA for Cape Breton Nova.

The job of Speaker, Mr. Speaker, is never an easy job, as no doubt you will find out. It is a job that requires great skill, knowledge and extraordinary even-handedness. Paul MacEwan has not only been called upon to embrace these challenges, he has also performed his duties during some very difficult moments in the history of this House. I don't think there are many of us who would have liked to have traded places with him, particularly in these moments that I refer to, particularly the disturbances that sadly marred the introduction of the budget in the spring of 1994.

Paul MacEwan is a man of the people. I trust his life will be a little calmer, a little less stressful as he takes up his new seat, new in the sense that he hasn't sat there before but he has sat in various places in this House, as the MLA and advocate for the people of Cape Breton Nova.

[Page 1946]

So, in closing, may I just say a heartfelt thank you very much to our outgoing Speaker, congratulations on a job well done and welcome back. We are pleased to have you rejoin us over on this side, although we still have the other side as well, of the Legislature. Thank you very much. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have been able to participate in the nomination process of the first Acadian Speaker in the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia. As well, I wish to acknowledge the service of the former Speaker, the member for Cape Breton Nova, a Speaker to this place.

I think the Speaker would not debate me on the observation that service to this place in the Speaker's Chair is, indeed, a daunting task. I wish to thank the Speaker for many personal kindnesses over the last three and one-half years. I wish him well in his future political endeavours. I see that the Premier has placed him close to the Opposition benches where he can still keep a close eye on what it is we are doing. (Laughter) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

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

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, let me first of all say how pleased I am to have you in the Chair. I must tell you though that I wish you had achieved this position in a different way. I had encouraged the Premier some number of months ago to take the courageous first step towards having a free vote for the position of Speaker. Most jurisdictions in this country, Mr. Speaker, starting with the House of Commons in Ottawa have made that position in the spirit of democracy.

I very much, and my colleagues in the NDP caucus, felt that this was an opportunity for the Premier and for this government to make a courageous first step. I am only sorry that he didn't do that and I hope that my and my colleagues' sense with respect to that decision, Mr. Speaker, will not harm our relationship as you fulfil your duties as Speaker. I am very proud, Mr. Speaker, of your position as the first Acadian Nova Scotian to be sitting in that position.

What can I say about the former Speaker, Mr. Speaker. He certainly carried out his duties as he saw best fit. I can't stand here and suggest to you that I didn't have a lot of problems with a number of the decisions that he made, but then again that is our prerogative isn't it in order to make that decision.

[Page 1947]

That having been said, I am not necessarily going to wish him well in his future political endeavours, Mr. Speaker. That having been said, as a representative of the people of Cape Breton Nova, if they continue to ask him to represent them in this House of Assembly, then I certainly hope he will do that to the best of his ability, as I am sure he will attempt.

Anyway, with those few brief comments, Mr. Speaker, I wish you well and look forward to working with you in the days and weeks ahead. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Before we proceed with the daily routine, I would like to begin with introduction of guests.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.

MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, I wish to introduce to you and through you to members of the House, two constituents in Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury, Mr. Gordon MacDonald and Mr. Stephen Grady. I would ask if they would stand and receive the usual warm welcome from the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Eastern Shore.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, it is with mixed emotions that I stand here today and introduce our next guests. It is with both sadness and with joy that I stand here today. The first people I would like to introduce lost their son in a tragic car accident on the Eastern Shore less than a year ago, a very tragic accident. I would like to introduce first Heather and Bill Romo who lost their son. Shawn Romo, better known as Little Tim. They are seated behind me in the east gallery. I would like them to stand, if they can. (Applause)

Also, I would like to introduce Janet and Dave Romo, who also lost their son in the same car accident. Their son's name was Darron Romo. I would ask them to stand, please. (Applause)

Out of this very serious and tragic accident we have lost two young people from our community who were very valued and very fine young people, indeed. There has been a new organization formed on the Eastern Shore and we have many of their organizing members here this evening. The new organization is called the Marine Drive Fighting for Futures Association. I would like to introduce the co-chairs of the organization. It consists of both adults and teens from our community. First of all, Cheryl McManamy, Kris Evong, Jodie Abott and Bill Romo. I would ask them to stand, please. (Applause)

Seated with them are the rest of the board members who make up this very important organization that, hopefully, will prevent this type of accident from ever happening in our area again. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

[Page 1948]

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

MR. BRUCE HOLLAND: Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a pleasure to rise this evening to introduce to you a constituent and former Chair of the Halifax County-Bedford District School Board, now Chair of the Halifax Regional School Board, Mrs. Vickie Brown. Would you please welcome her. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin.

MR. GERALD FOGARTY: Mr. Speaker, to you and through you to all members of the House, I would like to introduce another member of the Halifax Regional School Board. He is seated next to Ms. Brown in the Speaker's Gallery. He is the school board member for my particular area, called Mainland North, located in Halifax-Bedford Basin, Mr. Sheldon Doyle. (Applause)

[7:30 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Yes, Mr. Speaker. Usually we are graced with the presence of this individual in the media gallery, but tonight he is in the Speaker's Gallery. Would we all give a warm welcome to Dan O'Connell. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MS. EILEEN O'CONNELL: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce through you and to all members of the House, my nephew, Shawn O'Connell, who is sitting in the gallery tonight. I would ask him to stand. (Applause)

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. ROBERT CARRUTHERS: Mr. Speaker, I have the privilege of presenting to this House three petitions this evening. The first one encompasses 1,000 names, all residents that use the Rawdon to Lakelands Road in Hants County, in Hants East. We, the undersigned, wish to petition the attention of the Minister of Transportation to the deplorable condition of Lakelands Road. I know that to be so and I have attached my signature to this petition and I so endorse it.

[Page 1949]

Mr. Speaker, my second petition is from 33 individuals from the Milford Station area requesting the present 70 kilometre speed zone be reduced to 50 kilometres. I brought this to the attention of the minister. I also wish to present this petition in the House. I have also endorsed that petition.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I have a petition with 11 signatures from the Lakeland Drive Homeowners Association. They are writing with regard to a matter pertaining to the grave condition of the right of way to the East Uniacke Road, which is a major thoroughfare of the area. Once again, I can also advise the House that I know this road is also in serious condition.

I bring these matters to the attention of the House. I have brought them to the minister's attention and I will continue to do so. I wish to table all three petitions, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The petitions are tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the report entitled Reporting Health Performance, Elective Procedure Waiting Times in Nova Scotia, 1992 to 1996. For the advice of the House, I will be providing a copy to each member before we finish this evening.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 642

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

[Page 1950]

Whereas civil servants from across this province, whether they be secretaries, administrators, educators or engineers, perform their duties with responsibility and dedication; and

Whereas it has been the custom for many years to honour these employees who have served their province for 25 years; and

Whereas at a long-service award ceremony held today, 169 provincial employees, 60 women and 100 men, were so honoured;

Therefore be it resolved that this House acknowledge the valued contribution made by today's honourees and express our warmest congratulations on this very important occasion.

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

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 643

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

Whereas the Expenditure Control Act was enacted by this House as Chapter 4 of the Acts of 1993 to limit government expenditures to a specific predetermined level; and

Whereas a program operating expenditure that exceeds the level authorized under the Expenditure Control Act may only be made after a resolution has been passed by this House authorizing such an expenditure; and

Whereas it is necessary to exceed the program operating expenditures authorized by the Expenditure Control Act for fiscal 1995-96 in order that this province honour its commitment to fund an appropriate level of service to Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that a sum not exceeding $53,285,192 be granted to the Lieutenant Governor to defray expenses in respect of the following matters. In summary, there is some breakdown and I will provide more when we debate it, but the breakdown is: Department of Health $51,735,735; Department of Supply and Services $1,461,612; Public

[Page 1951]

Service, Office of the Ombudsman $9,550; Public Inquiry, Westray Mine $78,295 for a grand total of $53,285,192.

Please distribute these. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 644

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

Whereas "When seconds count become the first link in the Chain of Survival" is the theme of the sixth annual CPR Awareness Month launched on Friday, November 1, 1996; and

Whereas more than 1,600 Nova Scotians die from heart attacks every year and some 50 per cent of these deaths occur before the victims reach hospital, and it is reliably estimated that 30 per cent of these deaths could be prevented with the right combination of CPR and advanced life support; and

Whereas it is the objective of CPR Awareness Month to raise awareness of the benefits of CPR and to encourage the public to become trained in CPR;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize November as CPR Awareness Month in Nova Scotia and do unanimously endorse the work of the Heart and Stroke Foundation to promote CPR techniques and CPR courses and to call upon all Nova Scotians to avail themselves of such courses whenever and however possible.

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

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

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 1952]

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 36 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 13 of the Acts of 1990. The Health Council Act. (Dr. John Hamm)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 645

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

Whereas in recent months Canadians have lost true patriots with the passing of former Prince Edward Island Premier Joe Ghiz and former Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa; and

Whereas the shared vision of Joe Ghiz and Robert Bourassa was one of a Canada based on reconciliation, tolerance and respect; and

Whereas their sentiments are needed more than ever among our nation's leaders to preserve the unity of our country;

Therefore be it resolved that his House observe a moment of silence to commemorate the accomplishments, as well as the ideals, of Joe Ghiz and Robert Bourassa.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver.

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

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The motion calls for one minute of silence.

[One minute of silence was observed.]

[Page 1953]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 646

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 Liberal BST deal will increase taxes on the necessities of life to pay for a $240 million tax break for corporations; and

Whereas the BST deal will be bad for consumers, harmful to the provincial economy and disastrous for the province's finances; and

Whereas every day more and more Nova Scotians are becoming aware of the defects of the back-room tax deal agreed to by this Liberal Government;

Therefore be it resolved that the government accept the invitation of the federal Minister of Revenue on November 5th and delay passage of the BST so that the people of Nova Scotia have a chance to pass judgment on this tax and this government in a provincial election.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 647

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

Whereas approximately five years ago Saint Francis Xavier University briefly dropped and then reinstated its football program; and

Whereas on November 9, 1996 the long road back culminated in the St. F.X. X-men winning the AUAA Championship and one week later, the underdog X-men captured the Honourable Robert L. Stanfield Trophy at the Atlantic Bowl;

Therefore be it resolved that in the opinion of all members of this House that Coach John Stevens and the Xavierians be congratulated on their triumphs and be wished Godspeed at the Vanier Cup on November 30th.

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

[Page 1954]

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

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried. (Applause)

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 648

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

Whereas this government campaigned on a promise of no new taxes only to increase the provincial sales tax by 10 per cent, increase motor fuel taxes, apply a new tax on electricity, invent a new beverage container and tire tax, toll our highways and increase every license fee and permit in the province; and

Whereas Nova Scotians are sick and tired of broken Liberal promises; and

Whereas the BST will now mean consumers will be stung by a minimum of $84 million a year in new consumption taxes along with millions more in property taxes to be added to the hundreds of millions they have lifted from taxpayers since October 1993;

Therefore be it resolved that this government acknowledge that it has no mandate to introduce the BST thereby initiating the single biggest tax grab in the history of the province and put the question to Nova Scotian consumers by way of a general election.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 649

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

Whereas the member for Cumberland North officially resigned as a member of the House of Assembly on November 8th to go back into private business; and

[Page 1955]

Whereas that former member for Cumberland North served his constituents well for eight years; and

Whereas Ross Bragg always attempted to do what he felt was right for Cumberland North;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature acknowledge the dedication and effort put forth by Ross Bragg and wish him every success in the future.

[7:45 p.m.]

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

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

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 650

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

Whereas many hundreds of young Nova Scotians suffered abuse at provincial youth institutions; and

Whereas the process of compensation for those who suffered while under the care of government was negotiated and entered into in good faith by the victims and the government; and

Whereas the government's recent decision to suspend the compensation process will amount to further official abuse if the agreed to compensation process is cancelled or changed unilaterally by the government;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the government to put justice and compassion ahead of the bottom line and honour the terms of its Memorandum of Understanding with abuse victims.

[Page 1956]

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 651

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

Whereas in the spring, the former Minister of Finance referred to his BST deal with Ottawa as the single biggest tax cut in the history of the province; and

Whereas in the last hour of the last day of the last session of the Legislature, he tried to sneak through a document which said Nova Scotia consumers would be paying an additional $64 million in consumer taxes; and

Whereas the former Minister of Finance had the gall to say that he was not trying to mislead Nova Scotians on the consumer tax angle, he just was not asked about it;

Therefore be it resolved that the former Minister of Finance apologize for misleading Nova Scotians and that he acknowledge his reference to the BST deal as being a tax cut was both dishonest and deceitful.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 652

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

Whereas the Honourable Joe Ghiz loved Canada with all his heart; and

Whereas Joe Ghiz's vision of one strong and united country from coast to coast lives on and deserves our diligent support; and

Whereas Canada is deeply indebted to the contribution made by the late Joe Ghiz who, as Premier of her smallest province, was a giant among those who have worked to maintain and enhance this nation;

[Page 1957]

Therefore be it resolved that this House honour the legacy of the late Joseph Ghiz by reaffirming itself to support and promote his vision of Canada as a great country which has a great deal to offer its people and that one should be very proud and thankful to be a Canadian.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 653

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

Whereas metro Halifax parents are sick and tired of sending their children to overcrowded classrooms and understaffed schools, a direct result of multimillion dollar Liberal cuts year after year; and

Whereas despite the Halifax Regional School Board's recent decision to spend $390,000 to help relieve some of the 180 overcrowded classrooms in the Halifax Regional Municipality, the Halifax Regional School Board is still facing a shortfall in the millions of dollars for this fiscal year; and

Whereas the former Minister of Education promised that $11 million in savings from the amalgamation of Nova Scotia's school boards would be redirected to the classroom;

Therefore be it resolved that the current Minister of Education table in this House immediately a detailed accounting of the promised $11 million in savings from school board amalgamation and the details of the allocation of that $11 million to the various school boards of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

[Page 1958]

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

I hear several Noes.

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 on November 2nd, Country Harbour, Guysborough County residents Edith Mae Porter, Joey Keith, Judy Gay and Barbara Hayne were honoured with life-saving awards by the Order of St. John Ambulance, in a moving ceremony at St. Mary's Basilica; and

Whereas the awards recognize that without regard for her own personal safety, Edith Mae Porter, a non-swimmer, pulled her 10 year old grandson, Derek, out of Country Harbour in July 1995, after he fell into the water; and

Whereas Country Harbour residents Joey Keith, Judy Gay and Barbara Hayne came to the assistance of Ms. Porter and her grandson, assisting them out of the water;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Edith Mae Porter, Joey Keith, Judy Gay and Barbara Hayne for saving the life of 10 year old Derek and join with the Order of St. John Ambulance in honouring their efforts.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried. (Applause)

[Page 1959]

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview. (Applause)

RESOLUTION NO. 655

MS. EILEEN O'CONNELL: 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 has made a solemn commitment to divert millions from the teachers' group insurance into the classroom; and

Whereas the minister's predecessor also made a similar pledge about diverting alleged savings from amalgamation into the classroom; and

Whereas despite this promise classrooms are still overcrowded and support services for teachers and students are in short supply;

Therefore be it resolved that before this government makes any more pledges about diverting funds into classrooms, it furnish this House with clear evidence that resources in the classroom have, in fact, increased as a result of amalgamation.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Waive notice.

MR. SPEAKER: Is the member requesting waiver?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 656

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

Whereas the 16 year old Hants East country music sensation, Lisa Fraser, has sung her way to yet another honour by being awarded the title New Female Vocalist of the Year, International Division; and

Whereas the Hants East Hardwood land's resident won the prestigious award September 29th at a special ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee, where she was also nominated in six other categories; and

[Page 1960]

Whereas while Lisa's professional singing career continues to skyrocket, she remains an excellent high school student and very committed to Nova Scotia and her local community of family and supporters;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate local country music sensation Lisa Fraser, on winning the New Female Vocalist of the Year Award, International Division.

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

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

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Eastern Shore.

RESOLUTION NO. 657

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

Whereas on November 23rd, the Tangier and Area Volunteer Fire Department will hold a special banquet to celebrate the 16th Anniversary of the fire department's establishment; and

Whereas under the leadership of Fire Chief Jeff Canning, the Tangier and Area Volunteer Fire Department has 25 highly skilled volunteer members; and

Whereas throughout the past 16 years, the Tangier and Area Volunteer Fire Department has made a valuable contribution to the overall fire safety and security of the area, particularly in fire safety education;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend its congratulations to the Tangier and Area Volunteer Fire Department on the occasion of its 16th Anniversary and commend its members for their excellent community service.

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

[Page 1961]

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

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 658

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

Whereas the Liberal Government announced its new Home Care Program in June 1995, boasting it would be among the finest in the country, serving 1,000 new clients per month; and

Whereas Nova Scotians are fed up with this Liberal Government which gave with one hand, is now taking away with the other and leaving Nova Scotians - the majority of them infirmed or disabled seniors - disillusioned, angry and fearful; and

Whereas the Home Care Program was urgently needed to help deal with Liberal cutbacks that have resulted in Nova Scotians being denied access to hospital care or prematurely discharged from hospital;

Therefore be it resolved that the government respond to the crisis it has created by immediately meeting with key stakeholders including service providers, consumer groups, non-profit and volunteer agencies to devise a workable plan that will result in a truly coordinated, comprehensive and accessible Home Care Program throughout the province.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 659

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

Whereas Jeffrey Balesdent of Trenton received from Governor General Romeo LeBlanc, during a ceremony today in Ottawa, one of Canada's top scouting awards; and

[Page 1962]

Whereas Jeffrey received the Jack Cornwall Award for having undergone great suffering in a heroic manner; and

Whereas Jeffrey who has a number of health problems, including acute asthma and familial spastic paraparesis, has always been a role model for fellow scouters;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend to Jeffrey its congratulations and best wishes on receipt of this prestigious award.

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

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

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 660

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

Whereas the federal government is trying to step away from its responsibility for operating Atlantic salmon hatcheries; and

Whereas salmon hatcheries are an integral part of salmonic enhancement; and

Whereas the Government of New Brunswick has become very aggressive in demanding the Department of Fisheries and Oceans continue to meet its Atlantic salmon obligations by maintaining the federal hatcheries;

Therefore be it resolved that the Government of Nova Scotia borrow some backbone from the Government of New Brunswick and develop an aggressive public campaign to keep the Government of Canada as owner/operator of Nova Scotia's salmon hatcheries.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

[Page 1963]

RESOLUTION NO. 661

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

Whereas a study by the Strategic Planning and Policy Development Division of the Department of Health shows that most patients in Nova Scotia are waiting less time than they did four years ago for elective procedures; and

Whereas while the overall waiting time for elective procedures has decreased, the number of medical procedures in the province has increased over the past four years; and

Whereas contrary to what members of the Opposition and other interest groups would have the people of Nova Scotia believe, this province's quality health care system is better than it was four years ago;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize that unlike the Ministers of Health of the previous administration, the Health Ministers of this government have put in place the necessary tools to measure the effectiveness of health care in Nova Scotia, and congratulate this same government for helping reduce the overall waiting time for most elective surgery while increasing the number of procedures.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 662

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 Minister of Health dismisses concerns over the crisis in Nova Scotia's health care system by saying they are limited to people with special interests; and

[8:00 p.m.]

Whereas the special interests the minister refers to include all those Nova Scotians who have suffered as a result of hospital bed closures, home care cutbacks, user fees and a deep concern about the erosion of our Medicare system; and

[Page 1964]

Whereas this Liberal Government has no problem with corporate special interests in health care, like IBM, Health Staff Inc. and Corporate Health Consultants;

Therefore be it resolved that this government recognize that the crisis in the health care system is real and is being made worse not by its victims but by those other special interests who want to profit from illness.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 663

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

Whereas Cape Bretoners are sick and tired of this Liberal Government's silence and inaction on job creation at a time when 5,000 people lost their jobs in Cape Breton during the last 12 months; and

Whereas last month the Minister of Community Services admitted that the unemployment rate in Cape Breton East is at least 50 per cent; and

Whereas this summer the Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-The Sydneys said that the loss of only 100 jobs of the National Gun Registry was not a concern;

Therefore be it resolved that Cape Breton Liberals get off their backsides and adopt an attitude that every potential job is worthy of attention for Cape Breton Island.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 664

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

Whereas agriculture in Nova Scotia is a $1 billion a year industry employing 16,000 people; and

Whereas Nova Scotia's agricultural community is sick and tired of the financial assault continually being imposed upon agricultural programs by this government; and

[Page 1965]

Whereas in the past three years the Liberal Government has not simply reduced basic farm development programs, they have literally swept them away;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Agriculture immediately begin negotiations with the Federation of Agriculture to reinstate the farm development section of the Agri-Focus 2000 Program.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 665

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 people of Cumberland North are sick and tired of broken Liberal promises on taxes, health care, APSEA and, most recently, the Amherst Regional High School; and

Whereas the waiting game now begins for the people of Cumberland North who are without representation in the House; and

Whereas this is consistent with the Liberal Government's cynical approach to calling by-elections when it is politically expedient, as with Pictou East and Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley in 1993, then delaying for eight to nine months when the results would not be in their favour, as with Cape Breton West in 1995 and Halifax Fairview in 1996;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier stop suppressing democracy for his own partisan purposes and give Cumberland North residents elected representation by calling a by-election immediately.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Sackville Cobequid.

[Page 1966]

RESOLUTION NO. 666

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has wisely banned burning as a means of tire disposal within the province; and

Whereas the Environment Minister displayed an incredible double standard by changing the rules so that tires can be shipped out of the province and burned to produce electricity; and

Whereas pollution is pollution, whether it originates in Nova Scotia or somewhere else;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the government to think globally about the environment and act locally to prevent the export of Nova Scotia tires for burning.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 667

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

Whereas this government has added hundreds of thousands of dollars to its PR budgets and hired an unprecedented number of spin doctors in an effort to resurrect its poor public image; and

Whereas at the same time as it has money for more public relations experts it is withdrawing support for urgently needed child protection workers; and

Whereas this is a frightening example of a government that is more interested in self-preservation than in protecting the interests of children at risk;

Therefore be it resolved that rather than criticizing child welfare agencies for not spending their budgets in the most appropriate manner, the government recognize its own budget priorities are completely out of whack and that it immediately put scarce dollars where they are needed most.

[Page 1967]

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 668

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

Whereas the former Minister of Health promised this Legislature on two occasions that he would release actuarial studies into the government's Pharmacare Program for Seniors; and

Whereas the Freedom of Information Review Officer subsequently ruled that the government had no legitimate reason to deny access to this information; and

Whereas the present Minister of Health publicly stated that he could not understand why information that could be released in about 10 minutes was being denied by his own department;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health do as his predecessor promised and the Freedom of Information Review Officer ruled and immediately release the actuarial information used in establishing the Pharmacare Program for Seniors.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 669

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

Whereas Human Resources Development Canada allocated funding in July through its job creation fund to subsidize silviculture work on private woodlots in Atlantic Canada; and

Whereas a spokesperson with Human Resources Canada is on record as saying, "Nova Scotia can still apply for some of its $25 million share of the money"; and

Whereas private woodlot owners in Nova Scotia require a sustainable forest management process to be implemented that will ensure a viable Nova Scotia forest industry into the 21st Century;

[Page 1968]

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Natural Resources take advantage of federal programs available to Nova Scotia so scarce provincial dollars can be allocated towards other urgent needs such as children's dental care, hospital services and classroom support.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 670

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

Whereas students at Cole Harbour District High School are sick and tired of seeing one computer after another becoming obsolete; and

Whereas according to one of the educators responsible for technology at Cole Harbour District High, the computer labs will be dead in three years; and

Whereas the government can't find $50,000 to fund a computer lab at Cole Harbour District High yet it can find $30,000 to fund an Omnifacts poll on public libraries or find $5,000 to fund an Omnifacts focus group to tell them what they should call the new Department of Business and Consumer Services;

Therefore be it resolved that the members for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage, Dartmouth-Cole Harbour and Preston explain to Cole Harbour District High School students, their parents and the teachers why this Liberal Government is spending tens of thousands of dollars on frivolous surveys while children are going without computers.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 671

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

Whereas January 1, 1997 is the effective date for the takeover of hospitals in western Nova Scotia by the Western Regional Health Board; and

[Page 1969]

Whereas communities like Liverpool, Shelburne and Digby among others have poured their own volunteer hours and hard-earned dollars into their community hospitals; and

Whereas Nova Scotians are sick and tired of having the health care system in chaos and there is great fear that the Western Regional Health Board will move unilaterally to effect changes in our communities' hospitals;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health direct the Western Regional Health Board immediately to form community health boards so that community input may be considered before decisions respecting our communities' hospitals are taken.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 672

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

Whereas the federal Auditor General recently criticized the federal Minister of Finance for charging the unexpended $1 billion carrot he used to get Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick to sign on to the BST, against the previous year's budget; and

Whereas the federal Finance Minister must have learned this trick from his Nova Scotia counterpart who used the same suspicious budget technique in accounting for the $33 million compensation package for victims of abuse and the $22 million set aside for a voluntary buy-out package for civil servants; and

Whereas this government has since suspended the compensation package for victims of abuse and has still not accounted for any expenditures in the voluntary buy-out package;

Therefore be it resolved that this Liberal Government acknowledge it violated its commitment to open and transparent accounting procedures and that it immediately ask for an independent assessment of its actions by referring the matter to the provincial Auditor General for comment.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

[Page 1970]

RESOLUTION NO. 673

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

Whereas the families of the suicide victims who sought help at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital have waged a long and emotionally draining battle to bring closure to their grief by reviewing an independent investigation into the hospital's handling of their cases; and

Whereas months after the court had ordered the hospital to release an edited version of the independent report, justice has been denied and the families continue to live with the nightmare of not knowing whether these suicides could have been prevented; and

Whereas the hospital's refusal to release the report is an affront to the families and has rocked the public's confidence in both the hospital and the justice system;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Justice help the families bring closure to their grief by immediately calling a public inquiry into the deaths of those involved.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 674

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

Whereas Margaret Langille of River John, Pictou County, was chosen as Canada's Silver Cross Mother for this year's National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa; and

Whereas Mrs. Langille lost her son Lawrence in 1944 in a battle fought by the Allies in the southwest of France; and

Whereas Mrs. Langille has served her town, her province, her country and all mothers who lost their sons in battle proud as this year's Silver Cross Mother;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Mrs. Margaret Langille for her participation in this year's Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa as the Silver Cross Mother.

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

[Page 1971]

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

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I wish to move that the business of the House be set aside for the purpose of discussing a matter of urgent public importance under the provisions of Rule 43(1) of the Rules, Forms and Procedures of the House of Assembly.

I refer to the decision by this government to impose an agreement on Nova Scotians representing the blending of the GST and the PST, which will add an additional $84 million to the consumer tax burden and which surrenders Nova Scotia's autonomy over the setting and collecting of provincial sales taxes.

This government, in the last hour of the last day of the last session of the Legislature, dropped a bomb on Nova Scotia consumers. After insisting for weeks that the BST was the biggest tax cut in the history of the province, the Minister of Finance tabled a document acknowledging the deal included $84 million in new consumer taxes. The tax agreement the government has since signed with Ottawa, Newfoundland and New Brunswick has far-reaching implications for virtually every Nova Scotia family and for our economy. The magnitude of these changes demands our urgent attention.

[8:15 p.m.]

This is the first opportunity the members of this House have had to address the information tabled by the former Minister of Finance in the dying minutes of the last session. As well, it is our first opportunity to debate the information presented by the Minister of Finance after he finalized the deal last month. I therefore move for an emergency debate on this urgent matter at the time of Adjournment today. I await your ruling, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Before I recognize further speakers, I will acknowledge one honourable member from each Party of the House to speak very briefly on this request before the Chair is prepared to rule.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I rise briefly to indicate our full support that we set aside the normal business of the House and talk about this matter.

[Page 1972]

This is something that is going to be affecting every man, woman, child and business in the Province of Nova Scotia, not just for a very short period of time, but for many years to come. We were promised that the GST was going to be replaced by the federal Liberals when they took office. That promise by the federal government was also torn up. Now what they are trying to do, with the full cooperation of their provincial Liberal partners, is pull another hood-wink on the people of the Province of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, families are going to be forced to pay thousands of dollars collectively over a number of years for the basic essentials. Home heat fuel, which has already increased in this province by about 20 per cent over the past year, that is going to have another 8 per cent added on. All of these items that affect the real families in this province need to be fully aired, fully debated and the people of this province deserve to be heard. What this government has been trying to do is to railroad this agreement through before they give the people an opportunity to be heard. We have a responsibility in this House, this democratic Assembly, to have a full-ranging debate before matters proceed so far that there is no turning back. I urge the government, I urge them, to look seriously at what they are doing and to support the common-sense, rational approach of let us lay the cards on the table, let us see the deal, let us see the implications and let us have a full debate. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, since the Rules in this House changed a few years ago, this government, since we have come in, have not refused to have an emergency debate on anything. I think we are going to draw the line tonight or, certainly, recommend that you draw the line, Mr. Speaker.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition said when he got up that we need an emergency debate on the setting and collecting of the HST - the collecting of the HST - which is going to start on April 1, 1997. Now that is some emergency. Here, on November 18, 1996, that is some emergency. How many Question Periods between now and then? How many resolutions, how many opportunities? Tonight, this very evening, the members of the Opposition put, on their order paper, resolutions on the HST, which they, I am sure, will call for debate this very Wednesday.

Now I believe, Mr. Speaker, that this Wednesday will even occur before April 1, 1997, before the HST is implemented, before the collection of the taxes. The honourable Leader of the Opposition today and yesterday, and all weekend, served notice that he was going to be an obstructionist. He sent out the word far and wide, I am going to obstruct, delay, do everything I can to foment the Opposition, that is what he said.

In closing, I would recommend, I would suggest that between now and April 1st the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Third Party will have many opportunities to tell us what their plan is. We will see (Interruption)

[Page 1973]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. MANN: We will see if their plan is any different than the Mulroney-Buchanan plan that we have now. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Before I rule on this matter I will pose a question to the House. If we have unanimous consent, we could certainly deal with this matter at the time of the Adjournment of tonight's schedule.

I hear several Noes.

I had a chance to look at this request and from the Rules and Forms of Procedures of the House of Assembly, Page 38, Rule 43(4A): "In determining whether a matter should have urgent consideration, the Speaker shall, without debate, have regard to the extent to which it concerns the administrative responsibilities of the government or could come within the scope of ministerial action and the Speaker also shall have regard to the probability of the matter being debated by the House within a reasonable time by other means.".

Also, on Page 39, Rule 43(10)(a), "the matter proposed for discussion must relate to a genuine emergency, calling for immediate and urgent consideration;".

For these two reasons I will deny the request put forward by the Leader of the Opposition Party.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 14.

Bill No. 14 - Occupiers' Liability Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

[Page 1974]

HON. JAY ABBASS: Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour to rise on this occasion to speak on Bill No. 14, An Act Respecting the Liability of Owners and Other Occupiers of Land and Other Premises. In so doing, I move that this bill be now read a second time. Prior to that, though, I would like to make some comments.

The purpose of this bill is to clarify the liability of an occupier of land to others. This is being done in order to afford occupiers of land and visitors alike, greater certainty with respect to their rights and liabilities. This area of the common law has been developed over the centuries.

Arbitrary distinctions have grown up in the common law setting out different standards of care owed by occupiers to different classes of people who might happen upon their lands. These rigid common law categories have created confusion and unpredictability in the law. I am told that even lawyers have a difficult time understanding the law that might apply in a lot of cases dealing with an occupier's liability. To say the least, this is a Byzantine area of the law and one in which there is quite a bit of confusion.

One judge who was held in high regard was the late Lord Denning, who in a 1953 decision found, at the Second Volume of the All English Reports, which is a Court of Appeal report - the name of the case being Dunster versus Abbott - said, "A canvasser who comes on your premises without your consent is a trespasser. Once he has your consent he is a licensee. Not until you do business with him is he an invitee. Even when you have done business with him it seems rather strange that your duty towards him should be different when he comes up to your door from what it is when he goes away. What is his position when you discuss business with him and it comes to nothing? No confident answer can be given to these questions. Such is the morass into which the law has floundered in trying to distinguish between licensees and invitees.". So, if Lord Denning was confused - and he was a pre-eminent jurist of his day - needless to say the law is still in quite a quandary, Madam Speaker.

Over time the judges have bent and twisted the law to achieve fair results in the different fact situations before them. A result of this is that the categories of visitors have become more and more difficult to distinguish and there is little consistency among the cases. This means that it is often very difficult for landowners, or visitors, to know where they stand. In fact, Madam Speaker, one of the things that has driven development of this legislation is the very strong support that has been given to it by both landowners and users. Development of this legislation has taken place since 1989 and has involved extensive and broad consultation with groups representing the interests of both owners and users.

Madam Speaker, the legislation is based on a model adopted and recommended by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada. That model, or very similar legislation, is in place in each of the Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island. It is in the interests of all Nova Scotians that this confusing and unpredictable area of the law be clarified.

[Page 1975]

At this time, Madam Speaker, I would like to extend thanks to all those who have played a part in bringing this bill forward, not the least of whom were those connected to Voluntary Planning here in Nova Scotia, led at various times by Lester Settle as Chair of the Land Resources Coordinating Council and more lately, I understand, by Dean Hennigar also of LRCC and the Voluntary Planning group.

Some of the organizations which have been part of this include: the Annapolis Valley Affiliated Boards of Trade, the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia, the Arson Prevention Council of Nova Scotia, the Association of Consulting Foresters of Nova Scotia, the Association of Land Surveyors, Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia, the Boy Scouts, Canadian Institute of Forestry (Nova Scotia Section), Caretakers of the Environment, the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia, Clean Nova Scotia Foundation, Confederacy of Mainland Micmacs, the Mikmakik Development Corporation, and the Departments of the Nova Scotia Government: Agriculture and Marketing, Health, Municipal Affairs, Natural Resources, and Transportation; the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture; the Nova Scotia Forest Products Association; the Nova Scotia Forest Technicians Association; the Nova Scotia Forestry Exhibition; the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association; the Nova Scotia Land Use Committee; the Nova Scotia Recreation Association (RANS); the Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission, whose Executive Director, Bill White, is here with us in the gallery, Madam Speaker; the Nova Scotia Trails Federation, whose members will be ecstatic about the bringing forth of this legislation; the Nova Scotia Wildlife Federation; the Snowmobilers Association of Nova Scotia; and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, to name but a few.

I won't go on because I believe my colleagues opposite will have comments, but I look forward to moving formally the passage of second reading of this bill, Madam Speaker. Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

MR. TERENCE DONAHOE: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the introductory remarks by my friend opposite, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, but I must confess, while I appreciate what he said, I am disappointed that there is so much he didn't say. What he didn't say - and I don't say this as a shot; I say this, frankly, as an expression of concern - he didn't really provide those of us who are his colleagues here with nearly as much detail, indeed any detail, as to what are the current difficulties in the common law, with a little bit of description of some of the difficulties that have been faced by landowners, by persons who have been on land either as trespassers or invitees or whatever, and has simply made the broad and blanket statement that the bill which we have before us is going to clear up all kinds of messes which do exist.

[Page 1976]

[8:30 p.m.]

He did say in the course of his introductory remarks, and he is absolutely right, that this bill addresses an area of the law which some not involved with the practice of law, indeed, some who are not property owners, never have been property owners, might consider to be rather arcane and not really terribly important one way or the other. The fact of the matter is, this stuff is fundamentally important and it is one which has to be addressed with, I think, and I would have hoped, a rather more fulsome explanation by the Minister of Justice as to just what issues are out there that are problematic as far as the common law is concerned; give all of us who struggle with this very difficult area of the law a little bit of an understanding of the issues which the minister hopes to address by way of passage of this legislation and then explain, in principle form, in terms of the principle of the legislation, the way in which this bill will, in fact, respond, and respond effectively, to those concerns.

It is only by doing that that I think the minister might have made it possible for those of us who wish to engage in some debate on this legislation and hope, very sincerely, to engage in that debate in a manner which makes a reasonable and positive contribution to the understanding of the principles and perhaps puts us in a position to make some observations about the principles. I know there are a couple of areas where I would like to address certain principles that are enshrined in this legislation. So, I say rather gently, but I say it with, I hope, some point, that I am disappointed that the minister's introductory remarks were as sparse as they were.

To move away from that and come to talk about some of the substance of the bill, Madam Speaker, what I would perhaps do is invite the minister to give some consideration to assisting, either as we engage in the debate or, failing that, when he closes, to give members, myself included, a little bit more detail as to what those issues are that this legislation is intended to address and his explanation as to how he believes the legislation does, in fact, do that.

As has been said, Madam Speaker, this legislation certainly, first of all, is important. I believe, and the minister can correct me if I am wrong, the minister alluded to the fact that it was supported by the Uniform Law Commission across the country. I may be wrong, but I think Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are at present the only two provincial jurisdictions in the country which do not have such a piece of legislation.

It is, as I have already said, a very technical area of the law and one which has generated very great amounts of litigation over many years. Essentially, as I understand it, the purpose of this legislation is to codify much of the existing common law and, I believe, to provide a new standard of care for occupiers of property. I am mindful of the fact that somewhere in my package of materials, the Minister of Justice, in this case it was this minister's predecessor, Minister Gillis, when he introduced this and issued a document dated April 12, 1996, he indicated that this bill is designed to clarify the liability and occupier of land

[Page 1977]

owed to others and he suggested at that time that it brings Nova Scotia's legislation in line with several other jurisdictions in Canada. He said that it outlines more clearly the rights and responsibilities of both occupiers of land and visitors. That is where I have my difficulty because I do not get, in the remarks made by this minister tonight, a great deal of help to have those difficulties which have developed as a result of the way in which the common law has grown and the way in which this bill assists and overcomes some of those difficulties.

Essentially, if I read it correctly, the purpose of this legislation is to codify some of the existing common law and to provide a new standard of care for occupiers of property. The bill actually makes it unequivocal that there is, as there must be, in a society such as ours, a duty and a standard of care owed by the occupier of property - and the occupier of property is a defined term in this legislation - to any person entering upon the premises of that occupier.

I would like to suggest to the minister and to all colleagues through you, Madam Speaker, the shortcomings suggested to me relative to this particular piece of legislation is that it does not respond, notwithstanding the fact that the minister, when he made his brief remarks a few minutes ago, he talked about voluntary planning and that the legislation had the support of a considerable number of organizations and I know from contact with a number of them that he speaks the truth when he says that. I think it is also true, however, that one of the shortcomings of this legislation in terms of principle is that it does not respond nearly fully at all to representations which were, in fact, made by Voluntary Planning and, in particular, the land resource committee of Voluntary Planning.

I am advised, I have reason to understand that one of the things which Voluntary Planning wanted and which is not enshrined in this legislation and maybe their request was excessive, I do not know, but my information is that they did make the request, they wanted a virtually absolute exemption from liability to the landowner or the occupier to anyone on that occupier's land without permission, the trespasser. As I am sure the minister knows, there are thousands and thousands of people in this province, whether again they are right or wrong, they are there in very large numbers, there are thousands in this province who believe that position to be a reasonable public policy position.

You own real estate, Madam Speaker, somebody is on your land without right, without permission, they never came to ask your advice, ask your permission, you do not want them there. This bill talks about the obligations that you owe to the people who are on your land having no right to be there in the first place. The difficulty, the point I try to make, so it is not lost in the debate - and I can see that the remarks I am making are attracting tremendously close attention from all members - is that there are thousands and thousands of people in this province who simply fundamentally believe that if they own a piece of property, a man's house and his land is his castle theory, then why should we be falling over backward to codify and develop a legal regime which describes all of the obligations owed by the owner of that

[Page 1978]

land to persons, who in many cases, are on that land without the authority and in some cases, indeed, without even the knowledge of that landowner.

I recognize having said that, Madam Speaker, that the common law has developed otherwise and the common law has developed in a manner which is relatively consistent with many of the principles which we see enshrined in Bill No. 14. I recognize that what I have just said about some believing that that is a reasonable public policy to weight the consideration of rights and obligations in favour of the landowner as against the visitor, trespasser or indeed the criminal element, because I am going to talk about the criminal situation here in a moment because it is provided for in this legislation, I recognize of course that that is not the way the common law has developed and what we are now left with is basically a codification, as I have said, of the existing common law. So I simply want to indicate, because I believe it to be the case, that there are some, not all, but some connected with Voluntary Planning and other organizations who have looked at this matter over a very considerable period of time, who, quite frankly, are rather disappointed that the legislation goes only as far as it does. The bill, in the opinion of some, is unfortunately rather deficient on that account.

Now, as one looks at the bill itself, Madam Speaker, there are a number of principles involved, as has already been said by the minister - and I concur wholeheartedly - some of the principles are difficult and complex. I have been engaged in discussion with some people relative to this legislation and I have had people say to me, "Well, you know, Terry, this is lawyers' legislation." Well, it is not lawyers' legislation. It is difficult and it is technical, but it is legislation that fundamentally impacts upon the rights and obligations of every Nova Scotian who owns lands and upon every person, be they Nova Scotian or not, who enters upon those particular lands, and the implications are in some cases rather significant.

So, I know we are at the stage where we are to talk principles and not clause by clause and I will do my best to ensure that I do that, Madam Speaker, but I do find, and I think I can have you and colleagues consider it from a principle point of view, and the issue I want to start with is in the definition section where we are told what kinds of premises are affected. There is a definition of an occupier, who is, what is an occupier, of premises, but then you have to get down to the definition of the law, the bill, telling us what are the premises of which there is to be an occupier.

It is interesting to note that we get into land and structures and we get into water and we get into ships and vessels and down in this definition we get into railway cars, vehicles and aircraft, but I note with interest that when the reference to premises comes to railway cars, vehicles and aircraft, there is an exclusionary or an exceptionary clause which is attached and those words are "except while in operation". What I wonder about - and I would like, when he closes, if the minister might be kind enough to help me understand this - as a matter of principle and as a matter of public policy, why is it that we have a piece of legislation before us that talks about ships and vessels being premises and, in the same section which describes ships and vessels as premises, we have a description and a definition of railway cars, vehicles

[Page 1979]

and aircraft, but they are only premises, except those latter three - railway cars, vehicles and aircraft - except while in operation.

I, frankly, as I read this, I wondered a little bit about why, if railway cars, vehicles and aircraft are premises except while they are in operation, why are ships and vessels not premises except while in operation? And so, from a public policy point of view or from a principle point of view, I wonder if I might ask the minister to have a look at that and, again, as I say, when he closes, if he might be kind enough to help me - and I would hope others - understand the difference and distinction, if indeed there is one, as between the ships and vessels and railway cars, vehicles and aircraft because one category of vehicle has to be in operation to qualify and the other does not.

[8:45 p.m.]

There is a reference too, Madam Speaker, in this legislation that tells us that premises include land and structures or either of them, except portable structures and equipment. So it says land and structures, so this bill is supposed to set out the rights and obligations of occupiers, on the one hand, and users, trespassers, visitors, invitees, licensees and others, on those premises, and it talks about land and structures or either of them, except, though, it says except portable structures and equipment.

So I read that and others read that and say all right, what that is intended to address and indicate is that the principle of this bill in this part is that the premises that we want to deal with here are premises which are, in effect, fixed. They are land, which is immovable, and structures which presumably are affixed to that land.

The reason I say that is because the bill invites us to come to that conclusion because it has the words, ". . . except portable structures and equipment,".

However, I and others have become confused as we try to understand what premises are really contemplated to be affected by this legislation because when you read further in that same definition section, Madam Speaker, you find that notwithstanding that, premises are supposed to include, " land and structures . . . except portable structures and equipment.". It says, "notwithstanding . . . trailers and portable structures designed or used for a residence, business or shelter, . . ." are considered to be premises.

I assume that it is because of the way in which the bill is drafted it is an assumption, I assume that what the minister and the government and the drafters of the legislation want us to understand is that these trailers and portable structures designed or used for a residence, business or shelter, really are premises if they are, in fact, used for a residence, for a business or a shelter.

[Page 1980]

Frankly, I am not sure if that is, in fact, correct, if they are to be considered to be premises, if they are used as a residence, business or shelter. If that is the case, and I apologize for being picky but I am being picky to try to understand what premises this bill is supposed to address. If that is right, that what we are talking about is that trailers and portable structures used for residence, business or shelter are premises contemplated to be swept up in this bill, then I want to suggest to the minister that we should not be talking about trailers and portable structures designed to be residence, business or shelter. We should, in fact, get rid of the word design and we should be talking about trailers and portable structures which are, in fact, used as a residence or as a business or a shelter.

The fact that something is designed to be used as something doesn't make it, in this case designed to be a residence, business or shelter. If it is, in fact, not used as a residence, business or shelter I am not so sure that it was intended that it be considered to be swept up in the definition of premises as set out in this legislation. The minister may have other views and if he does and if I am off the track here I would hope that he would be able to get me back on track in that connection.

The bill goes on in Clause 3, Madam Speaker, and the minister alluded to this, that upon passage, this bill, once it is passed and becomes an Act, it will apply ". . . in place of the rules of common law for the purpose of determining the duty of care that an occupier of premises owes persons entering on the premises in respect of damages to them or their property.". It then goes on to describe the nature and extent of the duty which an occupier of premises does indeed owe.

The principle essentially is that an occupier of premises, you own a piece of land, you own one of these trailers, whatever, used as a residence or a business or a shelter, this bill would impose upon you and anybody like you in those circumstances a duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that each person entering on those premises, your premises, and the property brought on the premises by that person are reasonably safe while on the premises.

The bill then goes on to describe the elements of that duty owed by you as the landowner. You have to meet a duty in respect of the condition of your premises. You have to meet a duty in regard to activities on that premises. You have to meet a duty in regard to the conduct of third parties on that premises.

Without restricting those conditions in determining whether the duty of care that you have to show has in fact been discharged by you, consideration is able to be given in the case of a dispute to a whole number of things: the knowledge that the occupier has or ought to have, the knowledge that you as the occupier have or ought to have of the likelihood of persons being on the property; the circumstances of the entry; the age of the person entering the premises; the ability of the person entering the premises to appreciate the danger; the effort made by the occupier to give warning of the danger; and whether the risk is one which,

[Page 1981]

in all the circumstances of the case, the occupier, you, may reasonably be expected to offer some protection.

Then it goes on to say this in Clause 4(4), that nothing in that section relieves you of a duty to exercise, in a particular case, a higher standard of care that in such case is required of the occupier by virtue of any law imposing special standards of care on particular classes of premises.

One of the thoughts that occurred to me as a matter of principle in regard to this particular clause is I would like to suggest to the minister, the sponsor of the bill, that the age of the person entering the premises is addressed, the circumstances of that person's entry onto the premises is addressed and the ability of the person entering the premises to appreciate the danger is addressed.

In today's society we have unfortunately far too many situations where people are entering other people's premises and they are impacted unfortunately by drugs, alcohol and the ingestion of other substances which might have the impact of impairing their ability to appreciate any danger. I want to just put the thought in the minister's mind as to whether or not some reference to the condition of the person entering the premises to appreciate the danger might be more fulsomely addressed in that particular clause.

The bill goes on to describe, I guess - essentially one would say this is really the codification, I think I am right, of what has developed as the common law - in regard to the duty owed to a trespasser, that the duty of care created by this legislation does not apply in respect of risks willingly assumed by the person who enters on the premises. In that case, the occupier owes a duty to the person not to create a danger with the deliberate intent of doing harm or damage to the person or property of that person and not to act with reckless disregard of the presence of the person or property or that person. That, subject to clarification and confirmation from the minister, I think that essentially is a legislative statement of the common law principle which has developed over decades and decades of litigation.

MADAM SPEAKER: Honourable member, I just would remind you that you are debating the principle of the bill and it isn't necessary to reference each clause by clause and to read from it. I just would remind you of that.

MR. DONAHOE: Thank you, Madam Speaker. So once we have a statement here where a principle which establishes the duty that you and I as occupiers of land owe to somebody coming onto our land - in this case, somebody who is a trespasser - we have a principle enshrined in this piece of legislation which some people to whom I have spoken find questionable. They find it difficult to understand how or why we should have this principle enshrined. Because this bill tells us that upon passage, if somebody comes onto your land or mine for the purpose of committing an offence against me or you, our person, or against our

[Page 1982]

right to the property, contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada, then that person is deemed to have willingly accepted all of the risks.

What I have been asked and what I want to ask the minister is, and I am sure there is a reasonable explanation, why, I ask, and others have asked, does this legislation restrict itself to matters relative to the Criminal Code of Canada? There is a whole range of quasi-criminal activity not covered in the Criminal Code of Canada, unfortunately, contemplating offences, which are able to be perpetrated by people who enter your land or mine, which are not necessarily Criminal Code offences.

Why is it that we say that a person who has come on my land or your land, Madam Speaker, with the intention of committing a Criminal Code offence, that they are considered to have willingly assumed those risks and yet there is no mention of the crook or criminal who comes on your land and is not proposing to commit an offence contrary to the Criminal Code, but indeed is perhaps engaging in or proposing to engage in criminal activity which would be contemplated by one or other of the provincial Statutes? That can happen.

I simply put it on the record as we look at this legislation this evening and ask if the minister would be prepared to have a look at that and determine whether or not, as there may well be, there is a good answer as to why this legislation should be restricted in these circumstances only to that man or woman who comes on your premises or the minister's premises for the purpose of committing an offence contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada. I don't think it should read that way at all and I would hope that the minister could help us in that regard.

The difficulty there, Madam Speaker, and I know it is a very difficult legal principle, but here we are making laws and this minister, as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, as a member of a large majority government, has the capacity to make some very significant laws and to make some very fundamental change. One of the things that has been said to me by a considerable number of people in relation to this legislation is, quite frankly, it really is a restatement of where we are at the present time and it does not really help greatly to alleviate the responsibility or the legal implications for the property owner. That is why I was, frankly, disappointed that the minister was as cursory in his opening remarks because there are a lot of people out there - as I am sure you know and perhaps have had consultation with some - who, quite frankly, are of a view that if some crook or criminal enters their land, your land, the minister's land with the purpose of committing an offence against the Criminal Code of Canada, perhaps against the person of the minister or yourself or your husband or wife or children, or against the property on your land, we have a piece of legislation which addresses itself to the care which the owner, you, the minister, I, have to take to make sure that we do not do harm to that crook and criminal who is coming on our land to steal or to murder or to rape or to burn down the barn or to set a torch to the home or to wreck a $100,000 piece of farming equipment or on and on and on.

[Page 1983]

[9:00 p.m.]

I say very seriously, there are many thousands of Nova Scotians who are in today's environment saying, it is high time that the onus is not laid on forcing the landowner to show that he or she was going out of his or her way to make sure that poor Joe Criminal was not hurt or injured in the escapade, but rather the landowner and his or her family and his or her children and his or her home and his or her equipment and his or her land were not ripped and raped and there is a real problem here in that regard.

I know I repeat and I know there is a caution against repetition and I am mindful of that. I repeat that this bill is, in very large measure, a codification of where the courts and the judicial system has brought us to this point in terms of the law as between the owner/occupier on the one hand and the entrance onto the property on the other hand. I am just simply raising the concern that there could have been, there might well have been - well, I shouldn't say there might well have been - there clearly was an opportunity for the government to go somewhat further than they have in regard to a protection or relieving to some extent the onus and the obligation which this legislation continues to impose on the property owner in cases where there is an entry onto the property by somebody in some cases without even the permission or knowledge of the owner of the property.

Madam Speaker, one which occurs to me as I now look at another element of this legislation, there is a gratuitous statement/provision in this legislation which, frankly, I think is probably so unrealistic as to not be worthy of inclusion, but the minister might help me understand better if I am misapprehending the intent or the import of the principle which is enshrined which tells us that an occupier can by express agreement or stipulation extend or increase the duty that he or she wishes to impose upon himself or herself as set out in the generic duty section earlier in the legislation. I refer to Clause 7 for the minister's benefit and I am not really sure if I understand or think that it is at all realistic to be providing provisions which talk about the extension or increase of the duty created and imposed upon the owner/occupier of the land.

Madam Speaker, there is some interesting provisions in this piece of legislation which relate very much to the relationship of landlord/tenant. I would simply like to ask the minister if, when he closes, he might tell me and tell all of us whether the principles set out in this legislation that relate to the landlord/tenant relationship, whether those provisions mean that if a tenant has a hazardous condition in his or her apartment, perhaps even one of which a landlord has no knowledge, that the landlord is liable. I would hope and trust that the answer is no but I don't know that the answer is no. The language here seems to go a long way to implicate the landlord. Frankly, I think if the bill passes in its present form we might be causing very real difficulties for a great many landlords.

[Page 1984]

There was a reference in the note issued by the previous Minister of Justice, Madam Speaker. Back on April 12th, the explanatory note explaining to the world what this Act was supposed to do said that the Act also clarifies liability in rental situations. Currently a visitor to a rental property must sue the tenants they are visiting, who, in turn, sues the landlord. Since the landlord is responsible for the condition of the premises, as outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act, this section allows the injured visitor to sue the responsible landlord and avoids the circuitous route which previously existed.

Well, I am not so sure that I like that at all because, if I understand that note and if, in the context of reading that note, then read the provisions in the legislation, I am afraid that I see a situation where I visit somebody in an apartment, I am injured as a result of some inappropriate, indeed potentially negligent conduct on the part of the tenant I am visiting, and I am starting to get the impression that what the government thinks we should be doing is drop the negligent tenant out of the middle of the picture and say to me, Terry, sue the landlord. Now, if I am off the mark, and I may be, but I find the language very difficult, I would hope that the minister would clarify that before this bill goes down the hall to the Law Amendments Committee because I think that is an exceedingly important and fundamental public policy issue. If that, in fact, is what the effect of this legislation would be, then I think it is incumbent upon us to ensure that every single landlord in the Province of Nova Scotia understands the impact of this legislation. I am sure the Minister of Justice would help me communicate with each and every one of them before it went to the Law Amendments Committee.

There are a couple of other interesting public policy questions, Madam Speaker, which I think deserve attention. I am not able to offer a lot of precise language, and this isn't the stage of debate to be offering that language anyway, but I am having difficulty with really getting my head around even some of the principles that are at play here. As you have undoubtedly observed in your reading of this legislation, subject to certain exceptions or exemptions, this bill, in Clause 11(1), purports to bind ". . . Her Majesty in right of the Province and in right of Canada.". But then it goes on to say, in Clause 11(2), that it ". . . does not apply to Her Majesty in right of the Province . . .", or Her Majesty in the right of Canada in relation to public highways or public roads, drainage works, rivers, streams, watercourses and so on and so on and so on.

I guess what I would hope that the minister might clarify for me and for all members is simply this: if I am on the public highways of the Province of Nova Scotia and I am driving along and the Crown has cut a considerable piece of pavement out of the middle of that highway in the course of legitimate highway construction work but through no fault of mine there is no notice to me as the driver on the highway that that has happened and I go slam bam across and down into the culvert which is directly in the line that my vehicle would normally travel and I or others in the car are very seriously injured; I have to ask and I do ask whether as a matter of public policy, am I going to find that Bill 14, if and when it passes, is going to be used by the Province of Nova Scotia, which owns and operates and maintains that

[Page 1985]

public highway which is the authority having the work done on that particular highway, is this particular piece of legislation going to be raised in the courtroom in defence when legal action is taken as it rightly would be and should be by the injured party against the provincial Crown? If that is possible, then clearly we are in very real difficulty here and I ask the minister if he will, when he closes, clarify that for me as to whether or not that could possibly happen. If it could possibly happen, then I say to the minister that good conscience clearly says to us all that we cannot allow ourselves to pass a piece of legislation that would have that result or that effect.

The legislation goes on further, Madam Speaker, to address as a matter of principle or policy that it describes highways and it defines municipalities but it says, "This Act does not apply to a municipality as the occupier of a highway, public walkway or public sidewalk.". That is a pretty fundamental public policy and legal question if, "This Act does not apply to a municipality as the occupier of a . . . public sidewalk . . .", and you, Madam Speaker, walk in the snowy, rainy season, and hopefully it will be a long time coming, but you walk in icy and rainy and messy conditions up the street to the Grand Parade and you want to go into City Hall up at the Grand Parade and you slip, and you are very seriously injured, on the ice and the snow and the mess on the sidewalk maintained by the municipal unit which leads to the front door of City Hall up here at the Grand Parade.

This piece of legislation which we debate tonight purports to address the liability of owners and other occupiers of land and other premises. In that case, unless unbeknownst to me, the municipality has conveyed that sidewalk to somebody else and I know they have not and you know that too, this legislation says that the ". . . Act does not apply to a municipality as the occupier of a highway, public walkway or public sidewalk.". So does that mean, and I put the question through you, Madam Speaker, to the Minister of Justice, that in my example when Madam Speaker falls and is very seriously hurt on the sidewalk at City Hall, that in her effort, and proper effort, to bring action against the owner and occupier of the sidewalk, namely the regional municipality, that somebody stands up and cites this legislation and says, no, this Act does not apply to the municipality, this does not impose the kinds of duties of care that are described in other places in the legislation. I want to ask and I ask very seriously where does that leave Madam Speaker in her suit in those circumstances which I have described?

[9:15 p.m.]

I think it is interesting to note, Madam Speaker, in the context of what I am now trying to have clarified or understand, that the language here says that, in our example, when you go up to City Hall at the Grand Parade and you trip on the ice and you are badly hurt and somebody perhaps quotes this to you and says, all of this stuff about onus and obligation and duty of care does not apply, because the language purports to say that. I find it very interesting that the law requires you, as a private owner, if you live in the Halifax Regional Municipality, you have to get the ice and the snow and the mess off the sidewalk that runs in

[Page 1986]

front of your home. If you don't, there are municipal by-laws which make it possible for you to have action brought against you.

If the distinguished member for Halifax Needham were to walk along the sidewalk in front of my home and slip on that ice, if it were shown that I did not take appropriate care to clean the ice from that piece of sidewalk, the honourable member for Halifax Needham could, I think, successfully carry action against me for having failed to do that. That would be evidence of negligence on my part and I would not have a piece of legislation, which the municipality now appears to have, to be able to say, no, those duties of care do not apply to us as a municipality. I don't have that protection.

I am very concerned, Madam Speaker, that the language here is very fuzzy and uncertain as to whether or not the provincial Crown, the federal Crown and the municipalities of the Province of Nova Scotia have a protection as a result of the passage of this legislation, if indeed it passes in its present form, which is not available to the private owner or occupier of land. I don't really believe that that result is intended.

I may, in fairness, through you, Madam Speaker, to the minister, misapprehend the legal implications and the impact of the language in those clauses that relate to the provincial and the federal Crowns and the municipalities. If I do, I ask again, if the minister would be kind enough to ensure that my reading is inaccurate, that the result that I am describing, both in the municipalities' case and in the personal case with my ice and snow on the sidewalk example, that if I could be persuaded and satisfied that that cannot and will not happen, then I apologize for having taken so much time to attempt to make the point or raise the question, but I really do look forward to that assurance from the minister.

I don't have a lot more to say, Madam Speaker, which I am sure will please you and all honourable members. It is just so technical and difficult and the principles are, as the minister rightly indicated, complex. I go back to the notes which were offered at the time Minister Gillis introduced this legislation and he points out, and certainly the language is here and it is language found in precedent all over the place in the case reports, the minister's communications document said, "As well, the duty to take reasonable care does not apply to those who willingly accept the risks of entry. A lower standard applies in these cases.", meaning the occupier must not create a danger with the deliberate intent of doing harm to an individual or act with reckless disregard to the presence of that individual. This is designed to encourage landowners to make their land available to such people as hikers and skiers by reducing their liability for negligence.

Well, I wonder if, when he closes, the minister might help me understand where the bill does that. I see a clause and I am not going to get into a reading and you have cautioned me against that, Madam Speaker, but I do see Clause 6(1) which talks about agricultural and forestry purpose and vacant and undeveloped rural land and those things and the bill goes on to say in Clause 6(2) that people who enter upon those lands or those premises are ". . .

[Page 1987]

deemed to have willingly assumed all the risks and the duty created by subsection 5(1) . . .", and that is, of course, the provision which says the owner cannot create a danger with the deliberate intent of doing harm or damage to the person or property and not to act with reckless disregard of the presence of the person or property of that person.

Then there are some exceptions; those are exceptions that relate to people who are on the premises for a purpose connected with the occupier or any person usually entitled to be on the premises, paid a fee for the entry, is being provided with living accommodation and so on and so on. I guess what I am really looking for the minister to help me with is to help me understand - and help those of us who want to understand this legislation in its entirety - the extent to which, the way in which, the manner in which the provisions in Clause 6 reduce the legal liability as against the current common law for the owner of agriculture or forestry land, the vacant or undeveloped rural land and the other kinds of lands which are described in Clause 6 of the legislation itself.

Those, I think, are the principal remarks which I would like to put on the record, relative to Bill No. 14, at the present time. I trust for your sake and the minister's sake that my comments were not too disjointed; they might have been in spots, and I apologize for that. There are a couple of fundamental questions, I think, which I did raise - and I will close with this - the one real fundamental issue that the bill skirts and approaches, but it does not enshrine, is the one that I did make reference to a little earlier, and that is that many, many people in this province have said to me, Mr. Donahoe, why, why, why? if I own a piece of land, am I the one, the owner of the land, who is on the hook when some creep who has criminal intentions comes on my property then the whole piece of legislation centres around trying to make an assessment of whether or not I, as the innocent law-biding, taxpaying, God-fearing landowner, did the right things to ensure that this creep who is on there with criminal intentions gets along all right as he comes on to my property to destroy my barn, to attack my family, to destroy my farming equipment and so on?

That is a real problem. I understand, too, that there are thousands and thousands of well-meaning and well-intentioned landowners who, by nature and disposition, quite enjoy having people enter their lands and use them. They use them for snowmobiling purposes and they use them for skiing purposes and they use them for hunting purposes and they use them for all kinds of legitimate and honest purposes. Some of the circumstances in that regard may well be different.

I want to simply impress upon you, Mr. Minister and close with it, that there are a lot of people in today's society who are absolutely sick and tired of the fact that our legal system, our judicial system, our system of laws sets out a regime in too many cases, in too many elements of the way in which our society functions that it is the criminal element who are molly-coddled and it is the criminal element who get along just fine. It is the innocent, in this context, landowner who has a piece of legislation which describes the kind of duty of care that that landowner has to meet. We don't get an awful lot about the kind of duty or care or

[Page 1988]

obligation that is supposed to be met by the criminal element. The duty of care that they are supposed to meet is that they are not supposed to break the law and they are not supposed to be on my property or yours or anybody's with the intent of perpetrating a crime which is contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada. When we get into that situation in this bill, what do we do, we start addressing the question of the landowner, they didn't have any zip guns or they didn't have any razor barbed wire and they didn't have any secret traps and pits into which the poor unfortunate criminal might fall and might be injured.

There are a lot of people out there who are sick and tired of worrying about the criminal who is walking around their property with a gun and with a hatchet and with God knows what kind of weapon and we are worried about whether or not the honest landowner is meeting a proper standard of care.

I know that there are many of my legal colleagues and yours who will see and hear me say these things and perhaps read these remarks in Hansard and take a little issue, some will take perhaps more than a little issue but I understand that. I also understand the frustration that the overwhelming majority of Nova Scotians have when it comes to the balance between the honest and the law abiding landowner on the one hand and the criminal on the other. I am disappointed that the legislation reads as it does in that regard and I am very disappointed and I said this to the minister that there is reference here to the criminal who wants to come on somebody's property with the intent to perpetrate a crime contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada but there is no mention of a crook or a criminal or a scumball who wants to come on to somebody's property with the intent of perpetrating a crime of a quasi-criminal nature, contrary to a provincial Statute. I really do ask the Minister of Justice if he will offer me before we close debate here in second reading, some explanation as to why there is not reference to the quasi-criminal elements of provincial or non-criminal code legislation which should be enshrined.

It just occurs to me that since we are talking about water vessels, ships and railway cars and so on, there is undoubtedly and I frankly didn't do this to . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time for the honourable member has expired.

MR. DONAHOE: Mr. Speaker, my apologies for going on at such great length, I appreciate your indulgence and the indulgence of all members and hope that the minister will be able to respond to some of the concerns which I raised. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to say a few words tonight (Interruption) I am being encouraged by the Minister of Fisheries to make those few words at least go to the end of the evening for another 30 minutes. I thank the minister for his encouragement and I thank him for the compliment, it is quite flattering to think that the

[Page 1989]

distinguished Minister of Fisheries would like to hear me going on for some length. I may disappoint him this evening.

Before I begin, as this is the first opportunity that I have had to speak while you are in the Chair since your recent election. I would just like to add my words to those of others that were given earlier this evening, congratulating you on the assumption of your new responsibilities. I certainly look forward to what I am sure will be very fair and impartial proceedings in the Chair. I look forward to having the opportunity to work with you in the weeks and months ahead. I know that is off the topic, Mr. Speaker, but I wanted to take the liberty of transgressing for just a moment to put that on the public record.

[9:30 p.m.]

When I was listening to the minister give his introduction, I must admit that he was making me feel a little bit better because I have gone through this legislation and, as I was reading the legislation, the more I read it, the more I knew that I didn't understand what a lot of it was talking about, that it was, indeed, a very technical paper and that we are getting into an area of common law and an area that I personally have absolutely no training in. So it was quite encouraging when I heard the minister saying that this is, in fact, an area that has been of great confusion to many of the most learned of legal minds across the country and across the province for many years.

Then, when I heard the lengthy remarks made by the previous speaker, the member for Halifax Citadel, who certainly is also very well learned in the law and a former Attorney General in the Province of Nova Scotia, when I realized that he also had some difficulty in understanding the meanings of a lot of the words and the phrases before us in this bill, I didn't feel so bad that I didn't understand the ramifications or the meanings of a lot of the phrases. So my remarks this evening are maybe going to be a little bit simpler and briefer.

I guess I am looking at this very much as a layman, very much in terms of a few basic principles. I would like to hear the remarks from the minister later, when he wraps up debate, and also from many intervenors who may appear before us at the Law Amendments Committee, who can provide some simplistic but accurate information to clarify a number of the points.

First of all, as I say, very much as a layman and somebody who has no official legal training whatsoever, I recognize, as I am sure do most Nova Scotians, that there has been a great deal of need for some changes with the liabilities protection within the Province of Nova Scotia. All we have to do is listen to and look at some of the ridiculous, what I think anyway, are ridiculous court cases that you hear about going on south of the border, to realize that we have to make sure we don't allow our situation to go down that slippery slope, Mr. Speaker. There certainly are many of those cases that we could all talk about.

[Page 1990]

Under the bill before us, Mr. Speaker, there are a few things that, when reading through it, I must admit, and I know you are not supposed to, in second reading, be dealing with clause by clause, so I am just talking about the general principles that are contained and I have no intentions of going through every one of the individual clauses in the bill. I want to deal with a few of the principles and things that are contained within them.

Clause 5(1) in the bill talks about how there is a duty of care created in an earlier clause, Clause 4(1) of the bill, but it "does not apply in respect of risks willingly assumed by the person who enters on the premises, but, in that case, the occupier owes a duty to the person not to create a danger with the deliberate intent of doing harm or damage to the person or property of that person and not to act with reckless disregard of the presence of the person or property of that person.".

The next clause deals with those who are involved in the criminal offence. But many people enter onto property as a result of obligations, as a result of work, for example. It is quite possible that you would have a building inspector or fire inspector who would be entering a building because of their responsibilities. It could be a game warden, somebody working for the Department of Natural Resources, somebody who is fulfilling their responsibilities under the law and of their employment, working for government or an agency, who in order to fulfill their responsibilities would have the legal right to be entering into certain of these premises. The way this is written, I don't know.

As I started out freely admitting, Mr. Speaker, I am not trained in the law. I don't know all of the - how shall I put it? - interpretations, the nuances of what the legal language means, because what often seems to be common sense to one, when you put it into the courts or into the legal world, something that we thought of as common sense appears to have entirely different meanings altogether. I guess that is why a lot of people wonder if the laws aren't written intentionally to be able to create a lot of work for some in the legal profession.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Intentionally intend to obfuscate.

MR. HOLM: I am getting help here with some big words. I am not sure if the Minister of Public Works, no the ERA. He has graduated, changed, transferred.

Mr. Speaker, under this one particular clause, is the bill implying that a person who would be entering that property in so doing is willingly assuming the risk, if they are entering that property without necessarily even having been invited on? That is an area on which I would like to have some clarification back from the minister.

There are two additional subclauses under Clause 5, and for the love of me I don't know why a landowner would be considered to be held liable if a person is entering a property to commit an offence. Now, I guess we could talk about how it depends on what we mean by an offence, and there are different degrees or levels of offences. Are we talking about

[Page 1991]

somebody who is going in to cut down a Christmas tree or are we talking about somebody who is going in and trespassing to commit a more heinous crime? Not that I am suggesting that people should be trespassing to cut down Christmas trees or to diminish the importance of that as an offence, but certainly on the scale of many of the offences that are being committed, there are a whole host of degrees and that would be on the lower end of the scale.

I have to wonder why it would be that the property owner should be expected, and that is the kind of thing you hear of often in the United States. I can remember hearing of a case, not too long ago, where a person was being sued because they harmed an intruder who had stabbed them, I believe, 14 times with a screwdriver, and when the intruder then went to leave, since they weren't attacking them anymore, they defended themselves and they ended up being sued in the courts and the perpetrator won. (Interruptions) I am pleased to see the minister of humour, the Minister for the ERA. If the Minister for the ERA has as much success in attracting business to Nova Scotia as he does in disrupting the proceedings of this House, then we will have more jobs than enough and we will have to import people to fill them. The Minister for the ERA, the Government House Leader, is a master at the one-liners. Mr. Speaker, I would like some clarification on that point.

I have to say that I am very anxious and very seriously waiting for the minister's response. I am sure there are some very good, solid legal arguments as to why you still have to leave some degree of protection in there. Certainly, you have to make sure that those who are trying to protect their properties and so on do so in a reasonable and prudent manner and they are not trying to put up booby traps and they are not trying to do things which would be intentionally harming people.

But surely to heavens, Mr. Speaker, if somebody is trespassing through your property, if somebody is trying to break into your premises and they become injured because of some protective devices, whether they be kinds of locks, or whether they be kinds of barriers, or simply because there may happen to be some obstructions over which they ended up getting hurt, I feel the landowner, the property owner, should not, in any way, be liable or responsible for that.

The one other point that I wanted to touch upon briefly really deals with the end of the bill, Clauses 11 and 12. To me, Clauses 11 and 12 are saying, the Liberal Government of Nova Scotia is saying, we have our standards, we have our codes that property owners and landowners must follow, but we have double standards for ourselves. We are exempt from all of this. Clause 11(2), the bill does not apply to Her Majesty, in other words, to the Government of Nova Scotia ". . . in the right of the Province or in right of Canada as the occupier of (a) a public highway or a public road; (b) drainage works; or (c) a river, stream, watercourse, lake or other body of water except those areas thereof that have been specifically developed by Her Majesty for recreational swimming or for the launching and landing of boats.".

[Page 1992]

Exempt, the rules do not apply; Mr. Property Owner, Ms. Property Owner, small business, farmers, woodlot owners, you have to obey the law, but the public rights-of-way that are paid for by the taxpayers and which are to be maintained by the government, their representatives, are exempt. Now I appreciate and I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that you, like many other members in this House, have had calls from constituents, particularly in the spring, complaining about damage that has been done to their vehicles. Now, fortunately, in most cases, it is that a tire that has been ruptured, or that a spring has been broken, or that a rim has been bent. You know, in almost every single case whenever you try to intercede to try to find out if there is any help for that individual, what you are told is, well, you are travelling those roads at your own risk and that unless you can prove that there is negligence on behalf of the department, then there is no help.

Now, Mr. Speaker, here this legislation seems to be going even farther. The bill does not apply to Her Majesty, so all of the areas it talks about where landowners and property owners have to show due diligence and care, the province does not. (Interruption) The member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage says, we can just walk away from it. Unfortunately, those who are harmed by these actions cannot. They don't walk away from it just because the government has decided that they want to walk away from the liabilities.

It is like the amendments that were made last year with municipalities which exempts the municipalities from liabilities for so many things. Now we have the province saying well, we gave you all of these exemptions, now we are going to take them all as well, plus we are going to give additional exemptions to municipalities, regional municipalities, incorporated towns or municipalities of a county or district. It, ". . . does not apply to a municipality as the occupier of a highway, public walkway or public sidewalk.". So, Mr. Speaker, in HRM, where we are, Halifax Regional Municipality (Interruptions) now if a citizen fails to meet their responsibilities and if they do not clear their sidewalks and somebody falls or becomes injured - those who are the legal people in here can tell me if I am right or wrong - but those individuals, I believe, would have grounds to sue that homeowner, that property owner, who has a legal responsibility to maintain or clear that sidewalk; however, if it is the municipality's responsibility, it is now exempt.

[9:45 p.m.]

A lot of people, when they look at these two provisions at the end and you compare them to the provisions that exist earlier in the Act, might suggest - and I would think that a lot of reasonable people would agree - that the province has some double standards in mind. And some might also suggest that the government, the Liberals here, are more concerned about protecting their backsides through any possible liability that they could have than they are about insuring that they provide the proper level of service that is reasonable and so on, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 1993]

Certainly, if in fact someone is using those facilities and roads and sidewalks and they are using them in a prudent manner, and if in fact conditions change, people, yes, do indeed have a responsibility to be aware of the conditions and so on that they are driving in or walking in at a particular time, but you have reasonable periods of time in order to make those situations safe, to clear the roads, to clear the sidewalks, and do those kinds of things. Those in the private sector, in terms that they own those properties and were being sued, if someone was going to litigate against them because of something that has happened, those would be things that would be taken into consideration in any court of law in determining the degree of liability that is owing to the owner/occupier of that property. But for the case of the province, it does not come into play because the province has decided that we have a higher standard for others than we do for ourselves and that, Mr. Speaker . . .

MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: That is typical of this bunch, isn't it?

MR. HOLM: The member for Kings North says that is typical for this bunch. Well, that is something that I think a lot of people may agree with you on and it is certainly something that I am not going to debate you on either. However, Mr. Speaker, that is something for a vaster body of people in the province to eventually cast their decision upon, and certainly the BST will help to encourage people to come to their conclusions about what they may feel about that matter.

However, Mr. Speaker, that is off the topic and I said that my comments this evening would be brief on this bill. I really would like to receive some of the comments (Interruptions) from the . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. The member has the floor.

MR. HOLM: Have you ever noticed, Mr. Speaker, on Monday nights, once it gets close to 10:00 p.m. (Interruptions) well, the Minister of Education is suggesting that I try to stay out of harm's way and maybe I shall do that by drawing my remarks to a conclusion, but as I said, I would be brief and always a person, whenever possible, to be of few words, I will try to abide by that again this evening.

I would very much like to have from the minister some explanations about the aspects of the matters that I talked about briefly in Clause 5. Also, I would really like to have some good explanation as to why we have what definitely appear to be double standards towards the end. I also hope that those who are far more learned in the law and who can understand the intricacies of this legislation will be appearing before the Committee on Law Amendments, as well to, in very much layman's language explain an awful lot of what is going on in this legislation because the implications certainly are very broad and far reaching for many.

[Page 1994]

One other final point before I forget it that I had wanted to touch on very briefly is simply this, many landowners have willingly allowed persons to use their property, whether that be to fish, skidoo, to cross-country ski and so on. Because of fear of litigation and so on, many of those people have felt that they have had to put up No Trespassing signs to prohibit people from travelling upon those properties. What I would like to know in a clear indication from the minister, is, how are those landowners who quite happily allow people to use their land for responsible recreation use, how will this protect them so that they will have a comfort level in being able to allow that safe usage of the land without being possibly faced with very real or serious liability obligations down the road should something end up happening to one of those who are using the properties. Certainly, we would hate to see the day where every landowner has No Trespassing signs stuck up on every second tree across their property and I would like to hear from the minister how this will try to provide some protection for those property owners, as well as trying to make it possible for them to allow their lands to be used by those who they wish to have using it in a reasonable and a safe manner. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Chair and to give you my congratulations and I trust that you are going to enjoy your duties as Speaker of this Legislature.

Speaking on Bill No. 14, I think it becomes very apparent to all those who have read this bill that unless you are a lawyer it is very difficult to understand what this piece of legislation is all about, except that on reading the title we are told that it is An Act Respecting the Liability of Owners and Other Occupiers of Land and Other Premises. If you go right to the end of this piece of legislation, you will find that we are told in Clause 15 of this bill that the present Act, the Occupiers of Land Liability Act is repealed.

This is a bill that is very difficult for a non-lawyer to read. I would like to just read you the complete contents of the bill it is replacing because I think it is very apparent to anyone who has looked at the existing legislation to see that, indeed, you can make a point without going into seven or eight pages of very complicated legalese. The present Act reads as follows: "An occupier of land owes no duty of care towards a person who is driving or riding on a motorized vehicle or being towed by a motorized vehicle upon the land and who is a trespasser or licensee except the duty to not create a danger with the deliberate intent of doing harm or damage to the trespasser or licensee.". I can understand that as a non-lawyer and I am sure every member of this House and I am sure every Nova Scotian can understand that piece of legislation. Why in Heaven's name do we have to have a piece of legislation that doesn't tell me what rights I have to protect my property as a landowner.

[Page 1995]

Sometimes I think that we do indeed have a double standard in legislation. The legislation is drawn up by professional people, probably very adequate to prepare legislation, but people who live in the city. They are making laws and regulations for those who live in the country. I am sure the Minister of Justice would be quite delighted to have somebody on a Sunday morning come roaring up his driveway on a snowmobile, run around his house a couple of times and then disappear down the driveway. That kind of behaviour in the city would not be tolerated but if I live in the country, as I do, and somebody comes up my driveway and drives around my house two or three times and takes off, I have no recourse to protect my property.

I will tell you a case in point. I used to have a couple of yahoos who used to come to a property I had in Falmouth where I had my house at the end of a long lane. It was considered to be great fun on a Sunday to come roaring up my driveway, run around the back of my property, around the house a couple of times and by the time I came out shaking my fist, they were down the driveway and gone. In front of this property right at the end of the driveway I had two big brick posts and from those posts at one time used to hang wrought iron gates. The wrought iron gates had either been stolen or sold or something and they disappeared along the way and I couldn't afford to put back those wrought iron gates so I hung a chain across my driveway. I thought that was a logical thing to do, put a chain across your driveway (Interruption) I beg your pardon?

AN HON. MEMBER: You didn't have it properly marked.

MR. RUSSELL; I did have it properly marked as a matter of fact although I didn't buy the expensive sign, I just hung a couple of pieces of red tape on it.(Interruption) Obviously, the Minister of Justice doesn't come from the country and he doesn't understand what landowners face in the country. It is not from those who have good intentions to go out and look at nature, to walk around and to come on in, knock on the door and say, do you mind if I go down to your apple orchard and run around on my four wheel drive or my three wheel tricycle or my snowmobile? You don't mind those kinds of people but when people come up deliberately on your property you do have to have some protection.

I see that the time is running out and you are asking me to terminate the debate for this evening. I will return to this debate probably tomorrow I would hope and have an opportunity to explain to the people from the City of Halifax and the City of Dartmouth exactly what goes on in the country, out where the member for Hants East lives and where I live in West Hants. I move adjournment of the debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will sit from the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and following the daily routine and Question Period, we will resume debate on Public Bills for Second Reading beginning with Bill No. 14.

[Page 1996]

I move that we adjourn until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: A motion for adjournment has been put. We are adjourned until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.

[The House rose at 9:59 p.m.]

[Page 1997]

NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

HOUSE ORDER NO. 14

By: Mr. George Moody (Kings West)

I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return showing, with respect to the Premier's Office or the Priorities and Planning Secretariat:

(1) An individual and comprehensive breakdown of ministerial responsibilities above and beyond that released on June 27th of this year. This list should include every agency, board and commission and a list of ministers whom they report to.