Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

Hansard -- Fri., May 2, 1997

Fifth Session

FRIDAY, MAY 2, 1997

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
Prov. House: N.S. Youth Parliament -
Annual Debate Competition (02/05/97-04/05/97), The Speaker 1343
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 321, Nat. Res.: Forest Week (Natl.) - Support, Hon. E. Norrie 1344
Vote - Affirmative 1344
Res. 322, River Hebert Vol. Fire Dept.: Anniv. (50th) - Congrats.,
Hon. G. Brown 1344
Vote - Affirmative 1345
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 323, Nat. Res. - Sable Gas: Price Pref./Supply Guaranteed -
Absence, Dr. J. Hamm 1345
Res. 324, Day of Justice (03/05/97): Solidarity - Express,
Mr. R. Chisholm 1346
Res. 325, PC Party (Can.) - Election Campaign Platform:
Leader (Hon. J. Charest) - Commend, Mr. R. Russell 1346
Res. 326, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - Job Creation: Econ. Plan - Produce,
Mr. A. MacLeod 1347
Res. 327, Nat. Res. - Sable Gas: Benefits (Oil Companies) - Condemn,
Mr. J. Holm 1348
Res. 328, Nat. Res. - Sable Gas: Price Pref./Supply Guarantee -
Demand, Dr. J. Hamm 1349
Res. 329, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - Nu-Air Ventilation Systems Inc.
(Newport, Hants Co.): Japanese Contract - Success Congrats.,
Mr. R. Russell 1349
Vote - Affirmative 1350
Res. 330, Gen. Election (U.K.) - Conservative Party Defeat:
Policy Change - Welcome, Ms. E. O'Connell 1350
Res. 331, Econ. Dev. & Tourism - C.B. Unemployment:
Patronage (C.B. Libs.) - Shame, Mr. A. MacLeod 1351
PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
Bill 16, Lunenburg Common Lands Act 1351
Ms. L. O'Connor 1352
Vote Affirmative 1352
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 8:20 A.M. 1352
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 10:00 A.M. 1352
CWH ON BILLS REPORTS 1352
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Private and Local Bills Committee, Mr. P. MacEwan 1353
Private and Local Bills Committee, Mr. P. MacEwan 1353
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Health - C.B. Reg. Hosp.: Environ. Health Group - Meet [Question p.1245];
Answer, Hon. Manning MacDonald 1353
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Mr. R. Chisholm 1354
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 10:18 A.M. 1358
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 2:19 P.M. 1358
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 2:20 P.M. 1358
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 3:53 P.M. 1359
CWH ON BILLS REPORTS 1359
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Nat. Res. - Student Internship Employment Prog., Hon. E. Norrie 1359
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., May 5th at 2:00 p.m. 1361

[Page 1343]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, MAY 2, 1997

Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Fifth Session

8:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Wayne Gaudet

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mrs. Francene Cosman

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Before we begin today's routine, I would like to make the announcement that I made last night to all members. I would like to inform all members of the House that starting this evening, the Nova Scotia Youth Parliament will be hosted by our staff here at Province House for their annual debate competition. So, I would remind all honourable members to remove any sensitive items from their desks for the upcoming weekend activity. Again, thank you in advance for your cooperation.

We will now begin with the daily proceedings.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

1343

[Page 1344]

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 321

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

Whereas Sunday, May 4th through Saturday, May 10th has been designated National Forest Week by the Canadian Forestry Association, of which the Nova Scotia Forestry Association is a member; and

Whereas forestry is a $1 billion pillar of the Nova Scotia economy, provides jobs for some 20,000 people and supports a wide range of recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, camping and hiking; and

Whereas our forests enhance the quality of life we enjoy in Nova Scotia and also provide habitat for more than 250 wildlife species;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House endorse and support National Forest Week and congratulate the Canadian and the Nova Scotia Forestry Associations for their dedication and efforts in organizing and sponsoring National Forest Week activities.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

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

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Marketing.

RESOLUTION NO. 322

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

Whereas the River Hebert Volunteer Fire Department has been serving the people of this area for 50 years; and

[Page 1345]

Whereas these many volunteers, the ladies auxiliary and the community, have supported their efforts which has saved this area millions of dollars in loss of property; and

Whereas their leadership and efforts are appreciated by all residents;

Therefore be it resolved that in the opinion of this House that all members congratulate the River Hebert Volunteer Fire Department on the occasion of their 50th Anniversary.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 323

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

Whereas the Minister of Natural Resources could not table a single piece of evidence to demonstrate that her government protected the interests of Nova Scotia by securing a preferential price and supply of natural gas for Nova Scotia; and

Whereas in response to repeated questions that she produce evidence to demonstrate her government has protected the interests of Nova Scotia, the best the minister could offer was, "Fortunately, Nova Scotia will be the last to intervene and that is the best position to be in,"; and

Whereas the Minister of Natural Resources believes that by securing the final position as an intervener before the joint review panel, her government has pulled off some sort of a miraculous coup and fulfilled its duties in terms of protecting the interests of Nova Scotians;

[Page 1346]

Therefore be it resolved that the minister recognize that if government had done its duty, Nova Scotia would have been front and centre in getting guarantees for a preferential price and guaranteed supply of gas, and not the last in line to ask for concessions.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 324

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 Liberals in Nova Scotia and Ottawa have followed in Tory footsteps by imposing drastic cuts to health and social programs; and

Whereas tomorrow, May 3rd, the Canadian Labour Congress, CLC affiliates and community activists across the country will protest Liberal Government cuts to jobs, education and transfer payments; and

Whereas Nova Scotians will join in demanding jobs and a more just and equal Canada in demonstrations on the Commons in Halifax and the Bayplex in Glace Bay;

Therefore be it resolved that this House express solidarity with the CLC, its affiliates and supporters as they fight for jobs, child care, education, health care and pensions.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to seek waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 325

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 Honourable Jean Charest, Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, visited the Hants Community Hospital yesterday; and

[Page 1347]

Whereas unlike the Prime Minister who promised an end to further health cuts in one of his classic well-known, knee-jerk election promises, Mr. Charest delivered in March, and reiterated yesterday, a sound, fiscally prudent plan to increase federal health transfers; and

Whereas while the Prime Minister's plan has been verified by the Liberal's spin doctors and strategists, Mr. Charest's plan has been verified by independent economic forecast models used by the University of Toronto, Statistics Canada and a national accounting firm;

Therefore be it resolved that the Honourable Jean Charest be commended for his well-developed platform aimed at the future instead of the Prime Minister's old-style, manipulative electioneering.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. (Interruptions)

Order please. The honourable member has the floor, please.

MR. MACLEOD: Whereas both the federal Liberal Government and the Nova Scotia Liberal Government shamelessly promoted the national infrastructure program as an employment generator; and (Interruptions)

I have until 4:00 o'clock.

MR. SPEAKER: Maybe we could ask the honourable member to start over again, please. (Interruptions) Order, please. Order, please. (Interruptions) Order, please.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West has the floor.

RESOLUTION NO. 326

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

Whereas both the federal Liberal Government and the Nova Scotia Liberal Government shamelessly promoted the national infrastructure program as an employment generator; and

[Page 1348]

Whereas one of the goals of the infrastructure program, as outlined in the agreement first signed in early 1994, was to provide for timely, effective employment creation; and

Whereas despite a litany of public relation materials promoting job creation, the Auditor General made it abundantly clear, with the release of his annual report, that the government employment numbers were highly exaggerated and were nothing more but smoke and mirrors;

Therefore be it resolved that this Liberal Government come forth with a sound economic plan that will stimulate growth in the employment sector, instead of spending time on producing materials that are only make-believe and designed for re-election purposes instead of the well-being of all Nova Scotians.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid. (Interruptions)

RESOLUTION NO. 327

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

Whereas the Liberal Government has negotiated a royalty agreement for Sable gas that is highly favourable to Mobil and Shell; and

Whereas the Liberal Government gave Mobil and Shell its sweetheart deal without securing any agreement from the offshore proponents that it would offer any gas to Nova Scotians, let alone at a preferential price; and

Whereas the government's bungling will enable Nova Scotia gas to be exported cheaply so that it can be used by American industry to compete against Nova Scotian industry;

Therefore be it resolved that this House condemn the Liberal Government for caving in to big oil companies and failing to secure even the most minimal benefits from the exploitation of Nova Scotia's offshore gas resources.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

[Page 1349]

RESOLUTION NO. 328

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 an attempt to defend her government's failure to protect Nova Scotia's interests relative to the availability and price of natural gas in Nova Scotia, the Minister of Natural Resources said, "It says also in the newspaper that Nova Scotia wants a point-to-point price that would make natural gas more expensive the further it gets from the wellhead, giving Nova Scotia customers a competitive edge,"; and

Whereas the minister clearly stated that Nova Scotia wants a point-to-point price and not that it has a commitment for a point-to-point price agreement; and

Whereas Nova Scotia was clearly in the position, when it entered negotiations with Mobil and its partners for the development of Nova Scotia gas, to demand price and supply concessions from the proponents before signing any agreements, but chose instead to just take their chances with the joint review panel;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Natural Resources realize that Nova Scotia should not be in the position of asking for something that is rightfully ours and that the Government of Nova Scotia was in a position to demand, and that she immediately tell Mobil and its partners that not an ounce of gas will come ashore unless the proponents agree to a preferential price and supply for Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

[8:15 p.m.]

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 329

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 new Nu-Air Ventilation System Incorporated of Newport, Hants County, recently signed a new contract with a large Japanese housing consortium; and

Whereas the contract called for a shipment of 86 of the company's heat recovery ventilators which control indoor air quality and moisture and in return reduces bacteria, mould, mildew, et cetera; and

[Page 1350]

Whereas company President Earl Caldwell believes his company's involvement with the Atlantic Canada Home Program as being beneficial in securing the contract with Japan which has become the leading world market for building products;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature acknowledge the hard work put forth by Mr. Caldwell and his employees in securing this new contract with a Japanese housing consortium, and wish them every success with future sales to Japan and elsewhere around the world.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for 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.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 330

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 victory of the Margaret Thatcher Tories in 1979 ushered in a flood of right-wing policies that have washed over many jurisdictions including Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the remnants of the Thatcherite Tories were tossed from office by the people of the United Kingdom yesterday and replaced by a Labour Government; and

Whereas the victory of the Labour Party will bring to the people of the United Kingdom a more just, more secure future;

Therefore be it resolved that this House welcome the demise of Thatcherism in Britain and express confidence that Thatcherite . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: . . . disappear in Canada, too.

MS. O'CONNELL: . . . I was just going to say that, Mr. Speaker, ideas will soon vanish from jurisdictions like Nova Scotia to which they have unfortunately spread.

[Page 1351]

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 331

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 Auditor General reported this year that several old-style Liberal infrastructure programs fell 25 per cent to 60 per cent short of their original job projections; and

Whereas the Liberals have been so much more successful in finding patronage jobs for friends; and

Whereas with a 27.4 per cent unemployment rate, Cape Breton Liberal bigwigs such as George Unsworth, Vince MacLean and Kenzie MacNeil must be relieved to be the only Cape Bretoners to find work under the Liberal Government;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Liberals hang their head in shame for jamming their Liberal friends into patronage spots while nearly 18,000 Cape Bretoners are officially unemployed.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private and Local Bills for Second Reading.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 16.

Bill No. 16 - Lunenburg Common Lands Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg.

[Page 1352]

MRS. LILA O'CONNOR: Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of Bill No. 16.

MR. SPEAKER: Is the House ready for the question? The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 16. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Private and Local Bills.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[8:20 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Acting Deputy Speaker Mr. Dennis Richards in the Chair.]

[10:00 a.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Wayne Gaudet, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, would you please revert to Presenting Reports of Committees.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

[Page 1353]

MR. PAUL MACEWAN: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Private and Local Bills, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 3 - Ardnamurchan Club Act.

Bill No. 4 - Université Sainte-Anne Act/La Loi de l'Université Sainte-Anne.

Bill No. 10 - Incorporate the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the Dominion of Canada Act.

Bill No. 12 - District of Argyle Financial Assistance Act.

Bill No. 13 - Antigonish Heritage Museum Board Act.

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

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

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

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

Bill No. 11 - Queens Regional Municipality Act.

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

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

[TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I believe it was on Wednesday, during Question Period, the honourable member for Cape Breton West asked me a question on a report on the Cape Breton Regional Hospital indoor air quality and I told the member

[Page 1354]

at that time that I would table a report as soon as I have it. I have it today and I would like to table it for the honourable member.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

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

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am happy to take the opportunity this morning, as we are moving into Supply, to talk for a few minutes about the whole issue of community health boards. I do so because not only, number one, is it extremely important but, number two, some events over the last couple of days have been extremely interesting and, if the response to some of these things and the calls that I have received in the last few days is any indication, they have generated some considerable interest out in the health activist community. Of course, I am talking about the introduction, earlier this week by our caucus, of the bill to establish the community health boards. The bill, a Private Members' Bill is entitled, An Act to Establish Regional and Community Health Boards.

The reason why it is so important that we establish this, that we put in legislation a strategy and a structure and roles and responsibilities for community health boards, Mr. Speaker, is to give all those people who are working out there in the communities, working on these quasi-community health boards that now exist, to give them some clarity in terms of what it is they are doing and to give their activities a little bit of impact and a little bit of authority.

I have heard already from a couple of people who are now participating in these ad hoc community health boards, and what they are saying to me is thank you for your support, thank you for recognizing how important it is that community health boards be given some clear roles and responsibilities, because, as it stands right now, Mr. Speaker, those people are working out there, working hard, to try to implement the recommendations of the Blueprint Committee, the key component of health reform, which is the whole role of the community

[Page 1355]

health boards in the development of a newly-oriented health care system, focused on primary health care.

I want to say that on the same day that we introduced our Act, the minister introduced 11 workbooks that he described as support for community health boards. He said that they will provide, ". . . meaningful and practical assistance to those community health boards . . .". Some people have looked at these and suggested they really give people something to do but in terms of meaningful and practical assistance, they fall far short. The kind of meaningful assistance people who are working on these community health boards need is legislation which gives status and standing to community health boards and outlines very clearly and very carefully how they fit in with the reform process that has been underway over the past couple of years.

Right now, people will seem to agree with this across the province. Right now, instead of having a devolution of authority to the communities from the Department of Health, from government, where the communities are participating in identifying the health needs in their communities and how best to meet those needs, how best to deliver medical services, what we have with the four regional health boards in the province is nothing more and nothing less than regionalized decision-making. We have four mini-Departments of Health now that are once again imposing decisions on the communities, a strategy that has been followed in this province for far too long.

I just want to refer if I may to some of the key points of the bill that I have, to talk about why it is so important. Let me preface that by assuring members of this House that this is not just a bill that the NDP pulled out of the air, pulled out of the hat, and is laying on the table here without having done any work. This is a bill that has been recommended to the former Minister of Health after the Regional Health Boards Act was introduced in this House. That minister understood, because of the pressure that he got, that there was a serious omission in that initial bill and that was the whole question of the community health boards. So, in 1995 he asked the Provincial Health Council, which still existed, to strike a committee that would examine how best to amend the Regional Health Boards Act to include community health boards.

What they came back with was a recommendation, in the summer of 1995, that the bill not be amended because of the complexity of the issue but that a new bill be developed and they, in fact, did that. The bill that I introduced earlier this week is, in fact, that same bill. There was consensus by members of the steering committee that included the Provincial Health Council, South Shore Health Partners, the Public Health Association of Nova Scotia, the Health Action Coalition, a lawyer from Boyne Clarke, the Nutrition Council, the Registered Nurses Association, the Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations, the Department of Labour, regional health boards, the Department of Health and the Medical Society. In other words, it was a diverse group representing a number of different interests within the health care sector who came together and came up with this bill.

[Page 1356]

There are a couple of clauses in the bill that I think really underline how important it is that, in fact, this bill needs to be introduced. I refer specifically to Page 4, Clause 12(1), "A community health board shall (a) develop and co-ordinate community health plans that encompass all primary health care at the local level;". Maybe these wonderful and helpful booklets that the minister tabled earlier this week could form part of the process where they would develop and coordinate those health plans.

Clause 12(1)(b), "develop the budget and authorize the funding for primary health care programs and services consistent with the community health plan and within the funds made available by the regional health board;". In other words, it begins to establish the fact that the community health boards have a role and responsibility that also includes the whole issue of budgets and the authorization of funding for programs.

Clause 12(1)(c), "assist the regional health board with the development of a regional human resource plan;", something that has been completely lacking in this province in this supposed reform that has been going on. We do not have and we have not completed the audit that was recommended by the Blueprint Committee of what the status of health human resources were in the Province of Nova Scotia, in order that communities can then determine what the needs are in those individual communities.

Clause 12(1)(d), "foster community development to ensure health care consumers and providers actively participate in planning and delivering services; (e) work with other community health boards in the region, to assist in developing the regional health plan; (f) support the implementation of the community health plan; (g) support the evaluation of primary health care programs and services at the local level as a basis for future planning and funding;", an extremely important component that is not now a part of the system.

Clause 12(1)(h), "in collaboration with other community health boards, government departments and non-government organizations, monitor and advocate for healthy public policy guided by the Nova Scotia Health Goals; (i) report at least annually to the community it serves;". Mr. Speaker, again, establishing that important relationship between the community health board and the community, as well as the community health board and the regional health boards.

Clause 12(1)(j), "assist in the development of a health information system; and (k) determine such other matters as a community health board and regional health board considers necessary or advisable to ensure the quality of primary health care in . . .", this province.

Mr. Speaker, it is not good enough for the Minister of Health to say, oh, no, we support the whole issue of community health boards; look, there are 20 of them already out there and there are going to be more. You see, they exist with absolutely no authority. I have talked to members of many of those community health boards who have said that they do not

[Page 1357]

appreciate and understand what their role is in the system; they feel very much that they do not have any power; the regional health board can accept or reject any of their recommendations; they do not have sufficient resources in order to function; and they are operating with a considerable level of anxiety as a result of that kind of confusion. That is important because these people are committing a significant amount of energy to the whole philosophy of the community being involved and decisions with respect to human and health matters in their communities.

We have to, by the process of legislation, provide a structure and an authority relationship whereby members of the community health boards can participate and ensure that, in fact, the much-needed reform is from the community level up because that has not been what we have seen in this province.

If you look at a number of the crises that have taken over the health care system in communities from Windsor to Digby to Canso to Glace Bay, if we had community health boards established under the auspices of a piece of legislation with an authority structure and an authority strategy, Mr. Speaker, then those community health boards could participate in trying to resolve these crises instead of having the spectacle of the Minister of Health with his staff working like Monty Hall, running around the province saying, let's make a deal and making policy on the fly. It is just not good enough and it has contributed to the kind of chaos that now exists in many parts of this province in different facets of the health care system.

[10:15 a.m.]

I want to say, as I wrap up my comments, that the timing of the minister bringing in these planning workbooks for community health boards was extremely relevant for the point that I was trying to make and my caucus was trying to make and many activists across this province have been trying to make on the need to get real health reform back on the rails. That is, to understand how important community health boards are to this whole process of reforming the health care system from acute care to primary care and to understand that in order to do that, they must become an integral part of the structure by being established and given standing in legislation. They must be recognized as part of the decision-making process with not only the plans but also with the distribution and the allocation of resources.

Unless we have that, then community health boards will be dismissed, just like our own Auditor General was dismissed when part of his commentary, part of his opinion relative to the books of this province was not acceptable to this government, then they decided to get rid of him and hire somebody else. That is what many of the activists in the communities that are working on community health boards now feel is happening, that as a result of there not being any status for community health boards in legislation they, in fact, are existing out there without any power, without any authority.

[Page 1358]

Those people, as are many other Nova Scotians, are committed to the idea of shifting health care in this province from an acute care system to a primary care system. We need to make sure that the pieces of the puzzle are put together and that they fit. This bill is one step to re-orienting the health care reform, to getting it back on the rails, and ensuring that the health and that the health plan for Nova Scotians is in fact real and based in the community. That is where the decisions in terms of the allocation of funds are made.

As I take my seat and my time is up, I just want to thank you for the opportunity to make these comments and again thank the minister for having introduced these workbooks and encourage him, in the spirit of supporting those community health boards, to do something real and something practical and meaningful by supporting this bill, An Act to Establish Regional and Community Health Boards.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[10:18 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Acting Deputy Speaker Mr. Dennis Richards in the Chair.]

[2:19 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mrs. Francene Cosman in the Chair.]

MADAM SPEAKER: The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on Supply reports:

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

MADAM SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Madam Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

MADAM SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[2:20 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mrs. Francene Cosman in the Chair.]

[Page 1359]

[3:53 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mrs. Francene Cosman in the Chair.]

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

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

MADAM SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Madam Speaker, would you please revert to Statements By Ministers.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. ELEANOR NORRIE: I guess I couldn't finish off the last two days, Madam Speaker, without making a statement.

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to announce that the Student Internship Employment Program is being provided again this year by our government. Under the program, up to 275 forestry related jobs will be available to Nova Scotia students this summer. It will provide 10 weeks of work for between 260 and 275 high school and university students from mid-June until late August.

The province, through the resource enhancement fund of the Department of Natural Resources, is providing $700,000 for this program.

High school and post-secondary students who are residents of Nova Scotia and age 16 or older are eligible to apply for these jobs. Application forms for these students will be available at Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources offices across the province and at Canada Employment Centres. Deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, May 23rd.

Students employed under this program will assist department staff in a variety of forestry related projects such as forest renewal, wildlife research, forest protection and boundary line clearing and maintenance.

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Our government is very pleased to fund and support this program. It will create summer jobs for between 260 and 275 students and it clearly demonstrates our government's commitment to assist the young people of Nova Scotia.

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MS. EILEEN O'CONNELL: Madam Speaker, I thank the minister for getting a copy of her statement. Certainly, only the grinch would complain about jobs for students, given what students are living through these days. So it is good news that students in Nova Scotia will have the benefit of the Student Internship Employment Program.

It is good news but it is not new news, this program we knew about before. It is good news that some of them will go to the Department of Natural Resources and it is good news that some of the work that will be done by students who have these jobs will be in forest renewal. So, that's the good news.

The bad news, Madam Speaker, of course, is that over the last seven years student debt loads have increased about five times. So every single job that the government can assist with is not just beneficial but absolutely essential in this time of tremendously high unemployment and increasing tuition costs.

So good but not news, but good anyway. The students who work at these jobs, I am sure, will benefit both in their job experience and in their future life as a student. Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

MR. ALFRED MACLEOD: Madam Speaker, first I would like to thank the minister for supplying a copy of her statement beforehand. I, too, believe that it is good news. It is much needed work for our students and it is a much valued program that should, by rights, be expanded. It is much deserved by those who are going to be looking for the jobs that are involved in this.

Anything that this House can do or any government can do to help our students should be received as good news but, unfortunately, it is like a lot of other efforts put forward by this government, it is a little too little but it is a start.

When we are looking after our students and supplying them with work, that's important. The other thing that is unique about this program, it is also looking after a very important natural resource and that is of our forestry, because the number of people who are employed in our province through forestry is quite significant.

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It would be interesting to know just how the department is planning on putting out these jobs. Are they going to concentrate on the areas of higher unemployment where we have a real, significant need for jobs, especially for the young people who have higher education costs and higher living costs? I think that one of the things that should be looked at is to make sure that all areas of the province get an equal and fair share of the number of jobs that this program will create. So, with those few words, I will take my place. Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs on an introduction.

HON. JAMES SMITH: Madam Speaker, I certainly apologize for the intervention at this late hour, but it is a very special occasion. I would like to introduce to you, and through you, to the House, in the east gallery, my son, Michael Smith and his friend, Noah Pink. They are here today on their way to Truro to participate in the Nova Scotia Honour Jazz Weekend. They will be driven there by the Minister of Natural Resources, I hope. (Laughter) Michael is a drummer and Noah is a saxophone player. I would like them to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. RAYMOND WHITE: Madam Speaker, the hours of the House on Monday will be from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Following the daily routine, the Committee of the Whole House on Supply will continue the estimates of the Minister of Natural Resources and in subcommittee, the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs. Following that the Committee of the Whole House on Bills will deal with Bill No. 6 and other bills.

I move that the House now adjourn until Monday at 2:00 p.m.

MADAM SPEAKER: The House stands adjourned until Monday at 2:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 4:00 p.m.]