Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

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21 septembre 2017

                                                              HANSARD                                                     11-11

 

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

 

                                         Speaker: Honourable Gordon Gosse

 

Published by Order of the Legislature by Hansard Reporting Services and printed by the Queen's Printer.

 

Available on INTERNET at http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/hansard/

                                                                       

                                                                                                                                               

 

                                                             Third Session

 

                                              THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                         PAGE

 

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:          

 

Yarmouth-New England Ferry Link - Fund

 

Mr. Zach Churchill

722

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:

 

Res. 468, MacNeil, Blaise/DHA Mgt. - Walkabout Challenge

 

Hon. Maureen MacDonald (by Hon. P. Paris)

722

Vote - Affirmative

723

Res. 469, N.S. Environmental Network - Anniv. (20th),

 

Hon. S. Belliveau

723

Vote - Affirmative

724

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:

 

No. 25, Occupational Health and Safety Act,

 

Hon. M. More

724

No. 26, Sound Recording Tax Credit Act,

 

Mr. H. Theriault

724

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 2 -

 

 

 

NOTICES OF MOTION:

 

Res. 470, Yallop, Dr. Guiney: Poetry - Publication,

 

Hon. R. Jennex

724

Vote - Affirmative

725

Res. 471, Fin. Min.: Opposition Principles - Retain,

 

Mr. A. Younger

725

Res. 472, Neils Hbr. Co-op - Co-op Atl. Award,

 

Mr. K. Bain

726

Vote - Affirmative

726

Res. 473, Bednarski, Eric/The Strangest Dream: Pugwash Peace

 

Movement - Recognize, Mr. L. Preyra

727

Vote - Affirmative

728

Res. 474, Gaming: Gambling Rept. - Release,

 

Mr. L. Glavine

728

Res. 475, Austin, Hugh Fraser: Death of - Tribute,

 

Mr. A. MacMaster

729

Vote - Affirmative

729

Res. 476, Trewin, Bill: Parkinson’s Disease - Fundraising,

 

Mr. B. Skabar

729

Vote - Affirmative

730

Res. 477, Brooks, Eliza - Birthday (92nd),

 

Hon. K. Colwell

730

Vote - Affirmative

731

Res. 478, Brown, Keith/ Stone Church Restoration Soc. - Commun.

 

Contribution, Mr. K. Bain

731

Vote - Affirmative

731

Res. 479, Woodville - Lt.-Gov.’s. Commun. Spirit Award,

 

Mr. J. Morton (by Mr. M. Whynott)

732

Vote - Affirmative

732

Res. 480, N.S. Women’s Instit. - Anniv. (98th),

 

Hon. K. Casey

732

Vote - Affirmative

733

Res. 481, Cheticamp Co-op: Achievements - Acknowledge,

 

Mr. A. MacMaster

733

Vote - Affirmative

734

Res. 482, Lunenburg Curling Club: Curl for a Cause - Fundraising,

 

Ms. P. Birdsall

734

Vote - Affirmative

734

Res. 483, Walsh, Marcia/Delaney, Nicole: Runalicious

 

Ms. K. Regan

735

Vote - Affirmative

735

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 3 -

 

 

 

Res. 484, MacKeen, Gloria - St. Mary’s Dist. Mun. Rep. Vol.

 

Mr. J. Boudreau

735

Vote - Affirmative

736

Res. 485, SNAP Dartmouth/Thompson, Ken - Anniv. (1st),

 

Mr. A. Younger

736

Vote - Affirmative

737

Res. 486, Goodwin, Joshua - Decade Award (2010),

 

Mr. Z. Churchill

737

Vote - Affirmative

737

Res. 487, DARE Prog.: Digby Elem. Sch. Grads - Congrats.,

 

Mr. H. Theriault

738

Vote - Affirmative

738

Res. 488, Andrews, Mary Jane - Accomplishments Congrats.,

 

Ms. K. Regan

738

Vote - Affirmative

739

Res. 489, Hamilton, Ellen: Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade

 

- Vol./Hon. Member (50 Yrs.), Hon. K. Casey

739

Vote - Affirmative

740

Res. 490, TIR Min.: Englishtown Ferry Fee - Rename,

 

Hon. W. Gaudet (by Hon. K. Colwell)

740

Res. 491, NDP Gov’t.: Ferry Fees - Rename,

 

Mr. Z. Churchill

740

Res. 492, Digby-Annapolis: For Sale Signs/Political Signs

 

Mr. H. Theriault

741

Res. 493, Kingston Lions Club - Anniv. (50th)

 

Mr. L. Glavine

742

Vote - Affirmative

743

Res. 494, Gareau, Colleen - Intl. Women’s Day: Anniv. (100th)

 

- Event Congrats., Ms. D. Whalen

743

Vote - Affirmative

744

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:

 

No. 78, Lbr. & Adv. Educ.: Gambling Rept. - Release,

 

Mr. L. Glavine

744

No. 79, Lbr. & Adv. Educ.: Gambling Rept. - Dept. Custody,

 

Mr. K. Bain

745

No. 80, SNSMR - Min.: Municipalities - Consult,

 

Hon. K. Colwell

746

No. 81, Health & Wellness: Kentville Police Chief

 

- Correspondence, Mr. L. Glavine

748

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 4 -

 

 

 

No. 82, Fin. Municipalities: Costs Uploading - Details,

 

Mr. A. MacMaster

749

No. 83, Energy: Oil & Gas - Royalty Rates,

 

Mr. A. Younger

751

No. 84, Health & Wellness: C.B. Surgeons - Recruitment/

 

Retention, Hon. C. d’Entremont

752

No. 85, Health & Wellness: C.B. Dist. Health Auth. - Surgeons,

 

Hon. Manning MacDonald

754

No. 86, Environ.: Environment Quality Standards

 

- Interpretation, Mr. C. Porter

755

No. 87, ERD & Tourism: Convergys Centre - Usage,

 

Mr. H. Theriault

757

No. 88, Energy: Gas Exploration - Fracking,

 

Hon. K. Casey

758

No. 89, Econ. Dev. & Tourism: Clean Technology -

 

Bus. Climate, Mr. C. Porter

760

No. 90, TIR: Brooks Dr. (Preston) - Resurfacing/Repairing,

 

Hon. K. Colwell

761

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:

 

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:

 

ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:

 

Hon. M. Samson

763

Mr. C. Porter

767

Mr. L. Preyra

771

Mr. A. Younger

775

HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 2:34 P.M.

776

HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:00 P.M.

776

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):

 

Lbr. & Adv. Educ.: Gambling Rept. - Release,

 

Mr. L. Glavine

776

Hon. M. More

779

Mr. K. Bain

781

HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 6:30 P.M.

782

HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:12 P.M.

782

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:

 

No. 13, Pharmacy Act

783

Hon. Maureen MacDonald

783

Ms. D. Whalen

784

Hon. C. d’Entremont

791

Hon. Maureen MacDonald

792

Vote - Affirmative

793

 

 

- 5 -

 

 

 

No. 15, Electricity Act

793

Hon. C. Parker

793

Adjourned debate

794

ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Apr. 15th at 9:00 a.m.

795

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):

 

Res. 495, Crowe, Anne & Andrea - Dairy Industry: Work

 

- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter

796

Res. 496, Thomas, Gillian/Smyth, Donna - Cole Award,

 

Mr. C. Porter

796

Res. 497, Portland Estates Elem./Ryan’s Well Fdn.: Efforts,

 

- Applaud, Mr. A. Younger

797

Res. 498, Rahmad, Tasmiah - Shelburne Jr. Vol. Leader,

 

Hon. S. Belliveau

797

Res. 499, Richardson, Aaron - Shelburne Jr. Vol. Leader,

 

Hon. S. Belliveau

798

Res. 500, Rahmad, Anika - Shelburne Jr. Vol. Leader,

 

Hon. S. Belliveau

798

Res. 501, Chetwynd, Garrett - Shelburne Jr. Vol. Leader,

 

Hon. S. Belliveau

799

Res. 502, Bower, Geneva - Shelburne Jr. Vol. Leader,

 

Hon. S. Belliveau

799

Res. 503, Scott, Hannah - Shelburne Jr. Vol. Leader,

 

Hon. S. Belliveau

800

Res. 504, Nickerson, Kassidy - Shelburne Jr. Vol. Leader,

 

Hon. S. Belliveau

800

Res. 505, Richardson, Luke - Shelburne Jr. Vol. Leader,

 

Hon. S. Belliveau

801

Res. 506, Race, Natasha - Shelburne Jr. Vol. Leader,

 

Hon. S. Belliveau

801

Res. 507, Buchanan, Riley - Shelburne Jr. Vol. Leader,

 

Hon. S. Belliveau

802

Res. 508, Roberts, Brian - Shelburne Jr. Vol. Leader,

 

Hon. C. d’Entremont

802

Res. 509, Bourque, Melanie - Vol. Honours - Congrats.,

 

Hon. C. d’Entremont

803

Res. 510, d’Entremont, Alexa - Vol. Honours - Congrats.,

 

Hon. C. d’Entremont

803

Res. 511, d’Entremont, Verna - Vol. Honours - Congrats.,

 

Hon. C. d’Entremont

804

Res. 512, d’Entremont, Yvonne - Vol. Honours - Congrats.,

 

Hon. C. d’Entermont

804

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 6 -

 

 

 

Res. 513, d’Entremont, Marie - Vol. Honours - Congrats.,

 

Hon. C. d’Entremont                          

805

Res. 514, d’Entremont, Agnita - Vol. Honours - Congrats.,

 

Hon. C. d’Entermont

805

Res. 515, Natalie Smith - Vol. Honours - Congrats.,

 

Hon. C. d’Entremont

806

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011

 

Sixty-first General Assembly

 

Third Session

 

12:00 NOON

 

SPEAKER

 

Hon. Gordon Gosse

 

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

 

Ms. Becky Kent, Mr. Leo Glavine, Mr. Alfie MacLeod

 

 

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please. Before we begin with our daily routine, I would like to remind you that as of today, as well, we continue to have some difficulty with the feed on the television, so there is no captioning at this moment and so your name will not be displayed as per usual, but the feed is still going out live.

 

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

 

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Yarmouth.

 


MR. ZACH CHURCHILL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker (Interruptions) My apologies - Madam Speaker.

 

[Page 722]

 

 

Madam Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the residents across Nova Scotia, including residents from Yarmouth, Yarmouth County, Digby County, Annapolis County, Shelburne County, Queens County, Kings County, Lunenburg County, as well as HRM. The operative clause of the petition reads:

 

“We, the undersigned, urge the NDP Provincial government to work with other levels of government and allocate sufficient funds to restore the Yarmouth ferry link with New England, as such a link is vital to the economy of Yarmouth and the entire province.”

 

Madam Speaker, there are 1,206 names on this petition. I and my colleagues from the Liberal caucus have affixed our signatures in support.

 

            PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

 

            TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

 

            STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

 

            GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 468

 

            HON. PERCY PARIS: Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Health and Wellness, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas increasing the number of people walking is a priority of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia’s Walkabout Program, which promotes walking as part of comprehensive workplace wellness through Walkabout at Work; and

 

            Whereas Blaise MacNeil, CEO of the South West Nova District Health Authority challenged CEOs from all district health authorities and their senior management to a Walkabout Challenge; and

 

            Whereas a total of 53 participants took more than 9.9 million steps from February 14th until March 13th;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the great work of Blaise MacNeil and the senior management of our district health authorities, in showing leadership through their Walkabout Challenge.

 

[Page 723]

 

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Minister of Environment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 469

 

            HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas the Nova Scotia Environmental Network has a mission “. . . to connect environmental and health organizations together to conserve and enhance our natural environment and achieve a sustainable future for Nova Scotia.”; and

 

            Whereas the Nova Scotia Environmental Network is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year; and

 

            Whereas the network has grown over the past two decades, now representing dozens of organizations from around the province;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Nova Scotia Environmental Network, its members, staff, and volunteers on their 20th Anniversary, and wish them many more years of success.

 

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

 

MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            Is it agreed?

 

            It is agreed.

 

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

 

[Page 724]

 

 

            The motion is carried.

 

            INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

 

            Bill No. 25 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 7 of the Acts of 1996. The Occupational Health and Safety Act. (Hon. Marilyn More)

 

            Bill No. 26 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 217 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Income Tax Act, to Provide a Nova Scotia Sound Recording Tax Credit. (Mr. Harold Theriault)

 

            NOTICES OF MOTION

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 470

 

            HON. RAMONA JENNEX: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas educator Dr. John J. Guiney Yallop of Wolfville, Nova Scotia, has written a new book titled Of Place and Memory: A Poetic Journey; and

 

            Whereas Dr. Guiney Yallop will be hosting a poetry reading and a book launch at the Acadia University Club today, Thursday, April 14, 2011; and

 

            Whereas Dr. Guiney Yallop appeals to not only scholars and educators in education and creative writing and the social sciences, it will also appeal to readers who are not part of an academic circle;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Guiney Yallop for his presentations of his poetry that have been enthusiastically received coast to coast and for being recognized as a startlingly fresh new voice in the literary world.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you, before we proceed, it appears I’ve missed a step. So I’d like to revert to the order of business, Introduction of Bills.

 

[INTRODUCTION OF BILLS]

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: Ordered that the bills presented today be read a second time on a future day. Thank you.

            [NOTICES OF MOTION]

 

[Page 725]

 

 

MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Dartmouth East.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 471

 

            MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas in 2001 the member for Halifax Fairview served as counsel in O’Connor v. Nova Scotia where Dan O’Connor, now the Premier’s Chief of Staff, sought freedom of information documents the previous government claimed were under Cabinet confidentiality; and

 

            Whereas again in 2003-04, the member for Halifax Fairview served as counsel in Sean Fuller v. Nova Scotia where Sean Fuller, now the Premier’s Director of Communications, sought freedom of information documents the previous government claimed fell under Cabinet confidentiality; and

 

            Whereas the ruling from O’Connor v. Nova Scotia stated, “I conclude that the legislation in Nova Scotia is deliberately more generous to its citizens and is intended to give the public greater access to information.” and this ruling was noted in Fuller v. Nova Scotia;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly call on the Minister of Finance to stay true to the principles he held in Opposition.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            Is it agreed?

 

            I hear several Noes.

 

            The notice is tabled.

 

[Page 726]

 

 

            The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 472

 

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

 

            Whereas the Neils Harbour Co-Op was opened in 1965 and continues to serve the Neils Harbour, New Haven and surrounding communities in the northern portion of Victoria County; and

 

            Whereas the co-op was recently presented with a Performance Award from Co-Op Atlantic for displaying the highest standards in retail operations and member/customer service; and

 

            Whereas the co-operative was also presented with Co-Op Atlantic’s Market Town Award for their excellent promotion of the Market Town family of products, as evidenced in the 30 per cent increase in sales of Market Town products year over year;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the management and staff of the Neils Harbour Co-Op on achieving these awards and wish them continued success in the future.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Minister of Finance.

 

            HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Madam Speaker, I’d like to draw the attention of the House to some distinguished visitors in the Speaker’s Gallery today. I’d like to do this introduction in two parts, for reasons which will become obvious.

 

            The first part is I would like to draw the attention of the House to the presence of Mr. Rodney Snow, the national president of the Canadian Bar Association. Although he is currently based in Whitehorse and the First National President from Canada’s North, he is originally from Port Maitland, Nova Scotia. Mr. Snow is accompanied by his spouse, Heather MacFadgen, a native of Glace Bay and also by Trinda Ernst of Kentville, 1st Vice- President of the National Canadian Bar Association. She will become the National President next year, only the fifth woman in history to hold that position. Also, Jim Rossiter, the current President of the Nova Scotia branch of the Canadian Bar Association.

 

[Page 727]

 

 

They’re all here to mark Law Day and Law Week. I’d like to ask the House to acknowledge their presence in the gallery today.

 

            Madam Speaker, a second introduction, equally special, but for a different reason. With Rodney Snow today is his father, George Snow. Now, George is a distinguished and long-serving former member of this House. He represented the County of Yarmouth from 1963 to 1974 and held a number of Cabinet positions, including Minister of Lands and Forests, Minister of Public Works, and Minister responsible for the Housing Commission. I’m sure I join all members in thanking Mr. Snow for his service to this House and welcome him to the gallery today. (Standing Ovation)

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you. I’d like to welcome all visitors to the gallery today and I hope you do enjoy the proceedings.

 

            The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 473

 

            MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas Eric Bednarski is a Halifax-based filmmaker whose films have screened on Danish and Polish television, internationally at festivals, and at the state Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau; and

 

            Whereas his 2008 film, The Strangest Dream, is a compelling account of the history of nuclear weapons and the efforts of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs to halt nuclear proliferation; and

 

            Whereas The Strangest Dream recently won the Best Writing in a Documentary Program or Series award at the 25th Annual Gemini Awards;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate filmmaker Eric Bednarski, and his film The Strangest Dream, on his outstanding success and for recognizing the importance of the Pugwash Peace Movement in global history.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

[Page 728]

 

 

            Is it agreed?

 

            It is agreed.

 

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

 

            The motion is carried.

 

            The honourable member for Kings West.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 474

 

            MR. LEO GLAVINE: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas approximately 18 months ago the NDP Government shelved a study on the social and economic impacts of gambling because they perceived problems with the research; and

 

            Whereas the freedom of information review officer has rejected this argument put forth by the government, stating that Nova Scotians are intelligent enough to make up their own minds about the research contained in the report and has called for a release of the full draft report; and

 

            Whereas the freedom of information review office said that as a result of the delay the applicants’ right to access information and to fully participate in policy formulation, government decision making, and being allowed to air divergent views was interfered with and is at odds with the purposes of the Act;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly call on this government to release the contents of the gambling report immediately and transparency back to the House.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            Is it agreed?

 

            I hear several Noes.

 

            The notice is tabled.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 475

 

[Page 729]

 

 

            MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas Hugh Fraser Austin of Skye Glen passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on February 13th; and

 

            Whereas Hugh was a hard-working farmer and a dedicated member of the community, being awarded Canada’s Centennial Medal for outstanding service to the nation in 1968; and

 

            Whereas Hugh was past president of the Whycocomagh Branch 123 of the Royal Canadian Legion, a president of the Whycocomagh Co-operative, a past president of the Inverness Federation of Agriculture, and a 4-H club leader, among others;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly acknowledge the dedication to community, the achievements, and the passing of a great man, Hugh Fraser Austin.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Cumberland North.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 476

 

MR. BRIAN SKABAR: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

Whereas Parkinson’s disease is no match for the spirit of the people of Cumberland North; and

 

Whereas Amherst native Bill Trewin, who lives with Parkinson’s, has proven this with the publication of his book, Driftwood: Nature’s Sculpture; and

 

Whereas Bill has joined with another strong Canadian, Michael J. Fox, and is using his book as a fundraiser to donate to the Team Fox effort to fight Parkinson’s;

 

[Page 730]

 

 

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Bill Trewin in his efforts to raise awareness and fund to fight Parkinson’s disease, and wish him the best of luck with his future.

 

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

 

MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

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 Preston.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 477

 

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

 

Whereas Eliza Brooks of East Preston will be celebrating her 92nd birthday on May 15, 2011 and is still living in her own home, taking care of all her own housework, as well as cooking and baking for herself, and has been known throughout the community for making very good bread; and

 

Whereas Eliza gave birth to three boys and one girl, who all reside in the community of East Preston, and is also the proud grandmother of 13 grandchildren; and

 

Whereas Eliza joined and was baptized in the East Preston United Baptist Church in 1938, has been singing in the East Preston United Baptist Church Mass Choir for more than 30 years, is an active member of the church’s women’s auxiliary and the East Preston Senior Citizens Club, and remains an active member to this day;

 

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the life of Eliza Brooks and the significant contribution she has made to Nova Scotia, and join with me by wishing her a very happy 92nd birthday and every success for the future.

 

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

 

MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

[Page 731]

 

 

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 Victoria-The Lakes.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 478

 

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

 

Whereas the Stone Church Restoration Society was developed by community-minded citizens who were committed to saving St. Alphonsus Church in Victoria Mines; and

 

Whereas the society was formed last year and has worked tirelessly to save St. Alphonsus Church since time and elements have taken their toll on the building; and

 

Whereas despite their efforts to preserve the history and symbolism St. Alphonsus Church represents to the area, unfortunately they had to let go of their mission when the required fundraising became too much for the community to bear;

 

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the important work that the Stone Church Restoration Society and society chair Keith Brown contributed to their community, and for their relentless desire to preserve this icon and community symbol, St. Alphonsus Church.

 

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

 

MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

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 Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

 

[Page 732]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 479

 

MR. MAT WHYNOTT: Madam Speaker, on behalf of the member for Kings North, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

Whereas the community of Woodville, nestled into the North Mountain in the Annapolis Valley, is home for about 200 residents; and

 

Whereas Woodville is a vibrant active community of citizens who have discovered how to support each other, have fun, who know how to work together, and which offers many community recreation and social events - some of which include a fitness gym, hiking trails, swimming lessons, exercise classes, community coffee parties, corn boils, day camps, garden parties, and the long-running Woodville Chicken Barbeque; and

 

            Whereas Woodville will be the recipient of the 2011 Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate the community of Woodville, its many volunteers and long-term community leaders on being awarded the 2011 Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Colchester North.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 480

 

            HON. KAREN CASEY: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas the Women’s Institute is celebrating its 98th year in Nova Scotia; and

 

            Whereas the Women’s Institute enhances women’s education and culture, handcrafts, home economics and social welfare, and promotes projects such as Adopt-A-Highway and a Buy Local survey, which ultimately grew into Select Nova Scotia; and

 

[Page 733]

 

 

            Whereas members volunteer within their communities by supporting hospitals, transition houses, fire halls and various community groups;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate the members of the Nova Scotia Women’s Institutes as they celebrate their 98th Anniversary, and commend them for their service to community and province.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Inverness.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 481

 

            MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas the Cheticamp Co-Op officially announced that it is now offering Home Hardware products; and

 

            Whereas the Cheticamp Co-Op is a consumer co-operative, incorporated in 1937, with 45 employees serving more than 2,500 members in Cheticamp and surrounding communities; and

 

            Whereas general manager David MacDonald and his team now offer a broader selection of product, faster delivery, an on-line catalogue, and the competitive pricing power of Canada’s largest independent hardware retailer;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly acknowledge the achievements of the Cheticamp Co-Op and wish them success with this new development.

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

 

[Page 734]

 

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Lunenburg.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 482

 

            MS. PAM BIRDSALL: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas the 11th Annual Curl for a Cause took place in Lunenburg on February 25- 27, 2011, in support of Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital, with 96 curlers participating in the fundraiser; and

 

            Whereas the event raised over $200,000 for the hospital since its inception in the year 2000, contributing to fund items such as ambulatory care, an ECG for the emergency department and equipment for physiotherapy departments and the asthma clinic; and

 

            Whereas this year’s event raised over $35,500 for Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Lunenburg Curling Club on its 11th Annual Curl for a Cause event, and recognize the many volunteers and sponsors who participated in the successful fundraising event.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Bedford-Birch Cove.

 

[Page 735]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 483

 

            MS. KELLY REGAN: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas running and business partners Marcia Walsh of Birch Cove and Nicole Delaney of Dartmouth started a women’s running apparel business after not finding the kind of running clothes they were looking for; and

 

            Whereas they set up Runalicious in their basements, and sell their cute and fun wares on-line and at marathons and events; and

 

            Whereas Nicole and Marcia have, in a short period of time, turned their business into a runaway success, often selling out of their designs;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Marcia Walsh and Nicole Delaney on the success of Runalicious and wish them well in their future endeavours, both athletic and business.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 484

 

            MR. JIM BOUDREAU: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas the 37th Provincial Volunteer Awards Ceremony and Luncheon was held on April 4, 2011; and

 

            Whereas each year the Province of Nova Scotia recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to their community; and

            Whereas in recognition of her contribution to various community organizations, Gloria MacKeen is one of the 2011 Representative Volunteer Award recipients for the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s;

 

[Page 736]

 

 

            Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Gloria MacKeen on her 2011 Representative Volunteer Award for the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s and wish her success in her future endeavours.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Dartmouth East.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 485

 

            MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas Ken Thompson of Dartmouth published the first edition of SNAP Dartmouth in March 2010; and

 

            Whereas SNAP Dartmouth is known for being a paper of and for the community, capturing the faces and stories of those who live and work in Dartmouth; and

 

            Whereas SNAP Dartmouth recently celebrated their 1st Anniversary on March 3, 2011;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Ken Thompson and the SNAP Dartmouth team on their 1st Anniversary, and wish them many more years of success.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            Is it agreed?

            It is agreed.

 

[Page 737]

 

 

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

 

            The motion is carried.

 

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 486

 

            MR. ZACH CHURCHILL: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas Joshua Goodwin, a student of Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School, was one of the 10 province-wide recipients of the 2010 Decade Awards launched by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation to celebrate its 10th Anniversary and raise student awareness of health research; and

 

            Whereas Joshua received this award for his essay titled Cancer is a Critical Health Issue in Nova Scotia, which highlighted the large impact that cancer has on the people of Nova Scotia and the incredible work being done to combat this disease by physicians like Dr. Kendra Cann and health care professionals like Darolyn Walker; and

 

            Whereas Joshua’s submission was one of the essays that Krista Connell, CEO of NSHRF, described as leaving her team inspired, impressed and with a sense of optimism about the future;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Joshua Goodwin for being a recipient of the 2010 Decade Awards, and thank him for his insightful and inspiring work on the effects of cancer on Nova Scotians and the research which is being done to combat it.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Digby Annapolis.

 

[Page 738]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 487

 

            MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas DARE - Drug Abuse Resistance Education - is a 10-week course designed to educate students about the harmful effects of drug abuse; and

 

            Whereas 50 Grade 6 students at Digby Elementary School recently graduated from this program; and

 

            Whereas DARE is an effective way of teaching children about making smart and healthy choices which they will carry with them throughout their lives;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating these students from Digby for their participation in this very valuable program.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Bedford-Birch Cove.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 488

 

            MS. KELLY REGAN: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas Mary Jane Andrews, a partner with the audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG, has served as a chartered business valuator for more than 20 years; and

 

            Whereas Ms. Andrews has served the Board of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators in a variety of executive roles and led initiatives that have strengthened the CBV Programme of Studies; and

            Whereas Ms. Andrews has earned the distinction of honorary fellow by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators;

 

[Page 739]

 

 

            Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mary Jane Andrews on her accomplishments and contributions to KPMG and to the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Colchester North.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 489

 

            HON. KAREN CASEY: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas rural Nova Scotians for many years have depended on the members of their volunteer fire brigades to keep their families and properties safe from fire; and

 

            Whereas fire department members in recent years have also taken on the role of first responders, because the need for medical assistance has increased throughout the province; and

 

            Whereas many additional responsibilities such as fundraising, training, first aid, recruitment, and public relations are also part of a firefighter’s commitment;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ellen Hamilton for 50 years as a volunteer and an honorary member of the Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            Is it agreed?

            It is agreed.

 

[Page 740]

 

 

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

 

            The motion is carried.

 

            The honourable member for Preston.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 490

 

            HON. KEITH COLWELL: Madam Speaker, on behalf of the member for Clare, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas the New Democratic Party is busy nickel-and-diming Nova Scotians into submission by increasing the HST, 1,400 user fees, and punishing municipalities; and

 

            Whereas the NDP has admitted that increasing user fees was meant to increase revenue to help fund their spending priorities; and

 

            Whereas the NDP Government increased the Englishtown Ferry fee and, in doing so, made it more expensive for Nova Scotians to travel the Cabot Trail;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly ask the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to rename the Englishtown Ferry fee to the Cabot Trail Tax.

 

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

 

MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            Is it agreed?

 

            I hear several Noes.

 

            The notice is tabled.

 

            The honourable member for Yarmouth.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 491

 

            MR. ZACH CHURCHILL: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas the New Democratic Party is busy nickel-and-diming Nova Scotians into submission by increasing the HST, 1,400 user fees, and punishing municipalities; and

 

[Page 741]

 

 

            Whereas the NDP has admitted that increasing user fees was meant to increase revenue to help fund their spending priorities; and

 

            Whereas the NDP Government increased the Englishtown Ferry fee, the Petite Passage Ferry fee, the Grand Passage ferry fee, and the Tancook Island ferry fee and, in doing so, made it more expensive for Nova Scotians to travel via ferry - except for in Yarmouth;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly ask the NDP Government to combine all of these fees into one and rename it the “We’re Out for Your Ferry Tax.”

 

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

 

MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            Is it agreed?

 

            I hear several Noes.

 

            The notice is tabled.

 

            The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 492

 

            MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas the NDP Government states they are working hard to grow the economy in rural Nova Scotia, such as in the riding of Digby-Annapolis, but according to the people in this area this is not true; and

 

            Whereas in Digby-Annapolis the population is declining because there is no growth, and people are leaving to find work in other provinces of this country; and

 

            Whereas with the federal election going on the people who are not leaving are becoming confused with the signs on people’s lawns, where there are more For Sale signs than political ones;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that government get to creating some economic development so these For Sale signs can be removed and people don’t go to the polls in the next provincial election and look for the name Re/Max on the ballot to mark their X.

 

[Page 742]

 

 

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

 

MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            Is it agreed?

 

            I hear several Noes.

 

            The notice is tabled.

 

            The honourable member for Kings West.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 493

 

            MR. LEO GLAVINE: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas the Kingston Lions Club will celebrate 50 years of their charter as initiated in March 1961 . . .

 

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please. If we could just keep the chatter down a little bit while the honourable member has the floor.

 

MR. GLAVINE: Thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

Whereas the Kingston Lions Club will celebrate 50 years of their charter as initiated in March 1961 by the late Reg Boates as the charter president, and after being sponsored by the Lions Clubs of Middleton and Kentville; and

 

            Whereas the Kingston Lions Club, now 51 members strong, continues to be involved with the Kingston Steer BBQ, the Port George Jamboree, sponsorship of scholarships, and purchase of health-related equipment such as motorized wheelchairs, breathing machines, and other equipment; and

 

            Whereas the Kingston Lions Club continued to provide financial relief to Valley Shuttle, blood donor clinics, Canadian Cancer Society, Heart & Stroke Foundation, service dogs and many other worthy causes;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that members of this House commend Kingston Lions Club and the 51 hard-working members who continually strive to help in so many ways to better the lives of those less fortunate in the Kingston area.

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

 

[Page 743]

 

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            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 Clayton Park.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 494

 

            MS. DIANA WHALEN: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas local entertainers, storytellers and community leaders gathered at Mount Saint Vincent University on March 8, 2011 to celebrate the historic 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day; and

 

            Whereas the evening was a powerful tribute to the struggle for women’s equality and included inspiring stories, poetry, and songs that highlighted past successes and pointed out areas we still need to address; and

 

            Whereas Colleen Gareau and her organizing committee worked tirelessly to ensure the event brought together many diverse voices of women in celebration of this important milestone in the fight for women’s equality;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Colleen Gareau and her committee for organizing this amazing evening in honour of International Women’s Day, and thank Amnesty International, the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Mount Saint Vincent University, and Oxfam for their enduring support of women’s rights.

 

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

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

 

            Is it agreed?

 

            It is agreed.

 

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

 

[Page 744]

 

 

            The motion is carried.

 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

 

            ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 12:43 p.m. and end at 1:43 p.m.

 

            The honourable member for Kings West.

 

LBR. & ADV. EDUC.: GAMBLING REPT. - RELEASE

 

            MR. LEO GLAVINE: Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. The consultant hired to study the socio-economic impact of gambling completed his study over 18 months ago. While the NDP may still be withholding final payment, we do know the people of Nova Scotia have paid at least $144,000 for this work.

 

We deserve to read this report. We deserve to judge it on its merits. We all deserve better than a government which hides opinions and facts it disagrees with. The NDP has ushered in a new era of controlled secrecy and manipulation, a level of which the Harper Government would be envious. My question to the minister is, will you follow the recommendation of the review officer and release the final draft report in its entirety?

 

            HON. MARILYN MORE: Madam Speaker, certainly the government understands and has heard the concerns of some Nova Scotians about the social impacts of gambling. We’ve recently received the review officer’s report and we recognize that her recommendations present a different point of view from the position taken from the government 18 months ago. We’ll thoroughly review her recommendations and the report, and will be making a decision in the near future. Thank you.

 

            MR. GLAVINE: Madam Speaker, this minister has the power to release this report today. The minister could have done it at any time in the past year, but chose to hide it from the public. This behaviour demands an answer. Is the minister hiding this report because she does not like what it says? I will read a quote on the draft report for the steering committee: The RFP was asking for a balanced presentation of socio-economic impacts, rather than a focus on negative impacts.

 

            My question to the minister is, is the minister hiding this report from the public because it reveals more negative information than she would like it to? I will table those requests.

 

            MS. MORE: The government still has concerns about the original process used under the former government to get to the stage it did when we actually ended the contract. We want to make sure that there are no unintended consequences from the release of any material. We will thoroughly study and understand what the options are, what the impacts are, in terms of information that has been perhaps produced partially in a flawed manner.

 

[Page 745]

 

 

            As I said, we’re going to make sure we understand just what we need to do and we’ll try to work within the parameters of the FOIPOP Act. Thank you.

 

            MR. GLAVINE: Madam Speaker, I can assure you that the public of Nova Scotia is making their judgment on this minister and this government on this document. At one time in his life, the current Minister of Finance was legal counsel for both Dan O’Connor and Shawn Fuller, as they argued that the public has a right to public information. I will quote from O’Connor versus Nova Scotia:

 

“Nova Scotia’s lawmakers clearly intended to provide for the disclosure of all government information . . . in order to facilitate informed public participation in policy formulation; ensure fairness in government decision making; and permit the airing and reconciliation of divergent views. No other province or territory has gone so far in expressing such objectives.”

 

            Madam Speaker, no other province has gone so far and so fast back toward control, secrecy and manipulation, since the NDP has taken power. My question to the minister is, will you table today in this House, the final draft report in its entirety?

 

            MS. MORE: This government continues to value transparency and accountability but, at the same time, we do not want to be irresponsible. Considerable information that was associated with that earlier process has been released to the groups who asked for it. We’re just going to study, make sure that the remaining information is not going to do the situation and the people of this province any harm, so we will be very responsible in responding to the recommendations of the review officer. Thank you.

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

 

LBR. & ADV. EDUC.: GAMBLING REPT. - DEPT. CUSTODY

 

            MR. KEITH BAIN: Madam Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review Officer has stated in a report that there was a 48-day delay before the Department of Labour confirmed that it retained custody and control of the consultants’ report on the Socio-Economic Impact of Gambling in Nova Scotia. My question through you to the minister of Labour and Advanced Education is, what took the minister so long?


 

            MS. MORE: Madam Speaker, as I said earlier in Question Period, the government understands that people in Nova Scotia are interested in the social impact of gambling and we, as a government, are as well. We want to make sure that as we continue with our gaming strategy, that we base decisions in the future on the most reliable and relevant information possible.

 

[Page 746]

 

 

            We have just recently received the report from the review officer. We will study it in its entirety and you can be sure we will make a very careful and thoughtful response. Thank you.

 

MR. BAIN: Madam Speaker, from the report the review officer believes issues over custody of the record arose as a result of reorganization of departments. However, at the same time, the government was preparing its Responsible Gaming Strategy.

 

So, Madam Speaker, my question through you to the minister is, it seems quite strange that through the reorganization the government was able to determine which department was responsible for the new gaming strategy, but it took 48 days to decide which department was responsible for the consultant’s study. What was the government trying to hide?

 

MS. MORE: I think everyone in this Chamber appreciates that there are different aspects of different issues that belong to various mandates of various departments. I’m not going to get into an organizational review of government past and present or future. I would just say that we are co-ordinated in our approach, that the departments continue to consult with one another, and you can be sure that we will have a common answer to this question.

 

MR. BAIN: Madam Speaker, this isn’t the first time this government has been called out by an independent official for hiding information from the public. So my final supplementary through you to the minister is, will the government table the report in the House today and allow the public to make the decision, to determine if the methodology is flawed or if the results are accurate?

 

MS. MORE: Madam Speaker, I just want to assure all members of this Chamber and all Nova Scotians that the provincial government will make a very thoughtful and careful analysis of its options and do what’s in the best interests of Nova Scotians, also abiding by the principles that we hold so deal.

 

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

 

SNSMR - MIN.: MUNICIPALITIES - CONSULT

 

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Madam Speaker, the Premier said yesterday that he meets regularly with municipalities. It makes a person wonder what he does during those meetings since municipalities were blindsided when the NDP turned its back on them. The municipalities are disappointed with the NDP. The Municipality of Digby is expressing their concern and disappointment on the lack of consultation . . .We need to work together [and] it would seem that the Dexter government has forgotten that.”

 

[Page 747]

 

 

My question to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations is, why is the minister not working with the municipalities to come up with an alternate solution for this serious problem?

 

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Madam Speaker, I met with the board of the UNSM last evening and that question was raised to me then. I had met with the president, Mayor MacLean, some weeks before our announcement on the MOU. The one condition that he asked me for was one year’s notice. He even said he expected there would be changes but he made no request to consult.

 

MR. COLWELL: Madam Speaker, I recall some of the information we received was that the president of the UNSM was informed three hours prior to the announcement of the MOU being cancelled. The minister keeps trying to talk his way out of the hardships that he’s imposing on Nova Scotians. This is not a one-way trade in the MOU. The municipalities take on extra responsibilities such as the Auditor General and the Property Evaluation Services Corporation.

 

Madam Speaker, what the NDP fails to mention is it’s only one side of the agreement is being cancelled. The NDP is downloading their responsibility and washing their hands. Yet the minister fully expects that the municipalities will still be able to take on additional responsibilities that they agreed to. My question to the minister is, after the minister has downloaded his responsibilities and walked away, does he still expect the municipalities to foot the bill for the Auditor General and the Property Evaluation Services Corporation?

 

MR. MACDONELL: Madam Speaker, yes.

 

MR. COLWELL: Madam Speaker, another thing the minister continues to forget is that this MOU is not just an agreement. Bill No. 157, the Financial Measures Act of 2008, enshrined this agreement into law. Also, like so many other times, the NDP has failed to tell the full story. Not only is the minister turning his back on the communities across Nova Scotia, he’s going to have to change the law for the province to do so. My question is, when should we expect to see the minister repeal the legislation around the MOU and legislate another broken NDP promise?

 

            MR. MACDONELL: I’m glad to hear the member opposite talk about the law. I hope he considers the law to be important. Because if he does consider the law to be important then he would consider the law related to the MOU to be important, and that means he would consider the MOU to important. The MOU had a clause that said if the province could not afford it, the province could move out of it so I hope he respects that as well as the members of the UNSM.

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

 

[Page 748]

 

 

HEALTH & WELLNESS: KENTVILLE POLICE CHIEF

- CORRESPONDENCE

 

            MR. LEO GLAVINE: My question if for the Minister of Health and Wellness. It is truly tragic when nine individuals, all of whom were seeking help from their government, were never able to find it. Madam Speaker, the Minister of Health and Wellness received a letter a year and half ago from a distinguished member of my community, the chief of police, informing her of deaths and warning her of others to come. On Tuesday I asked her to table her response, she indicated she recalled the letter and requested that a response be sent.

 

Madam Speaker, I’ll ask the Minister again - will the minister table before the end of question period today the response to Chief Mander’s letter dated January 15, 2009.

 

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Madam Speaker, the first thing I would say is it’s truly tragic when there’s even one death that results from the abuse of prescription drugs or any other substance that people may take.

 

Madam Speaker, I did go back to my department and asked them to go back and provide for me a copy of the letter from the chief, which I received, I believe, on January 10th or 15th , 2010, as well as my response to the chief which went out on February 15, 2010. In addition to that, two days after that letter came into our department from the chief, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program was in contact with the chief by telephone. Shortly after that the chief met with Dr. Cameron Little, who is also the registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons as well as the head of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

 

MR. GLAVINE: The minister talked about working with the coroner’s office. Well, Madam Speaker, I’m pretty certain the coroner’s office confirmed that the deaths were as the result of prescription overdoses, further proof the minister was well aware of what was happening in the Valley. The minister talked about striking a committee, a committee that has only met three times in the last year and a half, and has confirmed her department had a meeting with Chief Mander’s. I’m wondering if the minister could tell the House what has happened in the past year in relation to that significant letter that went to the minister.

 

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Madam Speaker, through you to the member. In his letter, the chief indicated that he was certainly concerned about what was occurring in his community, but that he was aware that this was occurring all across Nova Scotia. Indeed this is a problem that we have throughout the province. As a result of the chief’s letter, the Prescription Monitoring Committee beefed up, I guess you would say, the work that they do with chiefs of police across the province. In fact they initiated meetings with the Chiefs of Police Association for the province. They updated the guidelines that they distribute to pharmacies and to physicians across the province as a result of those meetings with Chiefs of Police. They will continue to work with law enforcement to deal with this very serious matter, we need collaborations between our law enforcement community and our physicians and our pharmacists, and that is precisely what we are doing.

 

[Page 749]

 

 

            MR. GLAVINE: Madam Speaker, the police in my community have been struggling and doing what they can. Families and addicts have been crying for help, to no avail, and three ministers were informed via a letter from the Chief of Police that this was the case. Given that the Minister of Justice is responsible for ensuring our police have the resources they need to keep the public safe - and he too received a copy of the January 15, 2010, letter - would the Acting Minister of Justice, before the end of Question Period today, table his response to Chief Mander’s letter?

 

            HON. GRAHAM STEELE: I refer that question to the Minister of Health and Wellness.

 

            MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Madam Speaker, through you to the member, in the response that I sent to the Kentville Police Chief I indicated that I was responding on behalf of my colleagues, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Community Services, to whom he had addressed his letter.

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

 

FIN. - MUNICIPALITIES: COSTS UPLOADING

- DETAILS

           

            MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. The Minister of Finance said in this House that what this government has done is we have said to the municipalities we do not have the financial capacity at the moment to continue to accept an uploading of costs. The municipalities had an agreement with the province and that agreement has been broken. It is common for federal, provincial and municipal levels of government to share the cost of public services. The MOU spelled out that agreement.

 

What would the minister say if the federal government said they will reduce transfers to our province in 2014 when there will be renegotiation of equalization and transfer payments?

 

            HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Madam Speaker, the member is asking me to address a hypothetical question, which hasn’t happened and may never happen, and if it does happen it will be several years from now. With all due respect to the member, I decline to answer that question.


 

            MR. MACMASTER: Well, Madam Speaker, usually we don’t get answers, but it’s not much different, I guess, if they’re declining to answer. But I know what this minister would say, and I know what this government would say - they would complain that the federal government is spoiling their plan to balance the budget and they would complain that the federal government is downloading.

 

[Page 750]

 

 

            We know that there are municipal units in our province that are running a deficit. There are 12 towns and there are five municipalities, and I’ll table that information, but our provincial law requires them to balance their budgets within the next fiscal year. Now, to be consistent with his treatment of municipalities, will the Minister of Finance support a law to balance the provincial budget within the next fiscal year?

 

            MR. STEELE: Madam Speaker, I don’t know what I have to do to get a decent question - do I have to write it myself? (Interruptions)

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: Order, the honourable minister has the floor.

 

            MR. STEELE: Every single thing that members on that side of the House have said about the municipal MOU is incorrect - and they can repeat it over and over again and it’s still incorrect. This government hasn’t downloaded on municipalities a single nickel.

 

            MR. MACMASTER: Madam Speaker, I think we’ve pointed out today that this Minister of Finance and this government is inconsistent in their actions - they tell municipalities that they’re going to have to pick up the costs where they leave off, but they wouldn’t do the same thing if they were in their shoes.

 

            There is one taxpayer and that’s what we must all realize, and that breaking the MOU with municipalities means that municipalities are still required to supply housing and correctional services, but they’re losing revenue from the province to do that. Municipalities would be required to go to Nova Scotians to ask for more tax, likely more property tax to pay for continued service provision. So, Madam Speaker, why does this minister continue to push our province in a direction that requires Nova Scotians to pay more tax?

 

            MR. STEELE: Madam Speaker, a falsehood that is repeated is still a falsehood. We are not downloading a single nickel to municipalities. What we are doing is this - that government made expensive, long-term promises to accept an uploading of costs from municipalities to the provinces. We’re saying that with the current financial situation, we are not in a position to accept the continued uploading promised by that crowd when they were in government. It’s just part of the financial mess that they left behind that this government is cleaning up.

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

 

 

ENERGY: OIL & GAS - ROYALTY RATES

 

[Page 751]

 

 

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Thank you, Madam Speaker. A couple of days ago I questioned the Minister of Energy about onshore royalty rates and he didn’t quite answer the question so we’ll try again. The minister stated, “… at the moment you might say we’re very competitive”. Well, Madam Speaker, competitive is obviously one thing but would the minister explain why 10 per cent royalty rates for oil and gas production is considered competitive when other provinces and the U.S. states are getting double or higher than that rate and also staying competitive?

 

            HON. CHARLIE PARKER: Madam Speaker, I mentioned we’re competitive. At this point in time in Nova Scotia we don’t have any drilling or any particular commercial activity onshore - we have some offshore, as you know - so we’re trying to encourage new activity. We’re trying to encourage development to create good jobs in this province. Certainly if we were to become much more interested or have more activity, then we would be in a better position to look at the royalty rates, but at the moment we’re trying to encourage development and we’re just trying to make it easier for good development and good jobs here in Nova Scotia.

 

            MR. YOUNGER: Madam Speaker, I think the Minister of Finance might be surprised to learn that we’re not getting any royalties from any onshore mineral or oil and gas projects. The minister mentioned only offshore but of course I would assume, hopefully correctly, that we’re receiving royalties from projects like the Point Aconi strip mine and so forth, but he says we’re not receiving anything from onshore.

 

            Madam Speaker, the other day the minister stated that his department was reviewing royalty rates and one would hope that that’s done on an ongoing basis. That’s all well and good but all provinces and states review these on a year-to-years basis. So yes, they stay competitive and we certainly support them being competitive, but also that they bring the maximum benefit to Nova Scotians.

 

            Madam Speaker, will the minister table the status of his review in the House today and explain why his government and the previous Tory Government both failed to address the issue before now, when it was well-known and well-publicized that other provinces and states were significantly increasing their royalty requests?

 

            MR. PARKER: Madam Speaker, certainly in Nova Scotia we have royalty rates on minerals but, as I mentioned, on natural gas or oil there’s no activity onshore at the present time producing royalties.

 

            That’s under review within the department and we’re trying to remain competitive with other jurisdictions. We want business here and part of our job strategy is to create activity in the commercial field and that’s exactly what we’re doing. When we have lots of activity then, we can look at negotiating better rates but at the moment we need to attract the businesses here.

            MR. YOUNGER: Madam Speaker, my final supplementary to the Minister of Finance because maybe he’s a little more concerned about this, especially since - and let me start by giving a few quotes from the current Minister of Finance. He said - and a former Premier is named here, I know I can’t say names - “ . . . has to show whose side he is on, corporate cowboys or taxpaying Nova Scotians.

 

[Page 752]

 

 

The member for Halifax Fairview said that it’s unfortunate that the province continues to hand out money to large corporations. Then he also said, “Somebody who is trusted needs to look at these things and say how these things are being used and are corporate pirates coming into Nova Scotia and ripping off Canadian taxpayers.”

 

            So, given that the Minister of Finance has such very strong opinions on this sort of thing and the Minister of Finance, with great fanfare, gallivanted around the province, asking advice on how to get back to balance. It seems that he wanted to do it on the backs of Nova Scotians rather than big corporations.

 

            SOME HON. MEMBERS: Question, speech.

 

            MADAM CHAIRMAN: Order. If the member could please get to the question. Thank you.

 

            MR. YOUNGER: It’s a bit rich for the members over there who frequently give long speeches.

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East on his final supplementary.

 

            MR. YOUNGER: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Will the Minister of Finance explain why increasing royalties in Nova Scotia was not part of his Back to Balance strategy?

 

            MR. STEELE: Madam Speaker, I refer that to the Minister of Energy.

 

            HON. CHARLIE PARKER: Madam Speaker, this government is working hard to create jobs in this province - there’s the jobsHere strategy and long-term, stable, good- paying jobs for Nova Scotians and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

 

HEALTH & WELLNESS: C.B. SURGEONS

RECRUITMENT/RETENTION

 

            HON. CHRISTOPHER D’ENTREMONT: Madam Speaker, the Cape Breton District Health Authority is coming out of what its CEO calls a very bad year - it was a year that saw many retirements, the departure of nurses, problems with anaesthesia coverage, and fewer hours in the operating room for surgeons. Mr. Malcom said in the media that, as a result, patients were waiting longer. My question through you is to the Minister of Health and Wellness: What is your department doing to recruit and retain surgeons in Cape Breton?

 

[Page 753]

 

 

            HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the question. It is true that Cape Breton has had in the past year some challenges, but I understand from the CEO that things are improving, things are looking up. With respect to what I and this government, and specifically the Department of Health and Wellness are doing with respect to physicians in Cape Breton, not only in Cape Breton but throughout the whole province, is we are in the process of developing a physician resource plan for the province, and we will be announcing details with respect to that plan fairly shortly.

 

            MR. D’ENTREMONT: In the Cape Breton Post this morning, Dr. Russ Gowan - he’s a surgeon - said he’s frustrated by what’s going on in health care in Nova Scotia and that he and his physician spouse are leaving for greener pastures in New Brunswick. Dr. Gowan said he and other surgeons have written letters to the health authority management but have seen no action.

 

            Madam Speaker, through you to the minister, is the minister aware of the dissatisfaction that Dr. Gowan and others have had with the health system in Cape Breton, and what has she done to address those concerns?

 

            MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Madam Speaker, I had an opportunity to be in Cape Breton earlier this year and attend the annual meeting of the association of physicians for that district health authority. It was a very enlightening opportunity. The district has a tremendous amount of talent. It’s a bit like being at the United Nations, people who have come to Cape Breton literally from all over the world, and I think that can be attributed a bit to Dr. Naqvi, the chief of medicine there, who is quite a remarkable individual.

 

            As I said, we will continue to work with that district health authority and all of the district health authorities with respect to their need for specialists and for general practitioners and a physician resource plan for the province will certainly help us a great deal in this regard.

 

            MR. D’ENTREMONT: Madam Speaker, I do agree that Dr. Naqvi is probably one of the best chiefs of medicine that this province has. But he, too, experiences the problems that many districts are seeing. In the last three years they’ve seen the departure of three surgeons in Cape Breton, a gruelling on-call schedule of one night in five, and 24-hour shifts have taken a toll and they have moved on.

 

            My question through you to the minister is, how long will this situation continue? How long will you allow Cape Bretoners to wait almost twice as long as people in the rest of the province for general surgery, and what will your department do to help the Cape Breton District Health Authority meet those urgent needs?

            MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Madam Speaker, the priority of the department is to prepare a physician resource plan which will address the planning needs for specialists and general practitioners for our province for the next 10 years. Last year was a difficult year in the district health authority and the CEO there says things are looking up. It’s not only doctors that we are somewhat challenged around recruiting, it’s also having nurses, particularly with specialization, for ERs and Intensive Care Units. Certainly we are putting priority and a great deal of effort into addressing this very pressing matter because we want people in Nova Scotia to get better care sooner and to be able to do it as close to their home communities as possible.

 

[Page 754]

 

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

 

HEALTH & WELLNESS: C.B. DIST. HEALTH AUTH.

- SURGEONS

 

            HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Madam Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Health and Wellness and it’s picking up on the question that was previously asked.

 

            Madam Speaker, yesterday a well-respected thoracic surgeon, Dr. Gowan, tendered his resignation from the Cape Breton District Health Authority. He takes with him his wife, also a physician, and both are heading to New Brunswick. As you know, Dr. Gowan has recently chosen to speak out publicly about the challenges he faced. He tried to get people to listen but was unable to get answers or action. The end result, Cape Bretoners have lost two well-respected health care professionals. My question to the minister is, when was the minister made aware that the situation in Cape Breton was so bad?

 

            HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Madam Chairman, I want to start by saying that as Minister of Health and Wellness, I would prefer never to have to lose any doctors out of our province - one doctor is one doctor too many. However, I do recognize that doctors do move around the country as opportunities are better elsewhere.

 

            In the Cape Breton District Healthy Authority I think it’s important to note that last year although they lost five physicians, they gained 15 physicians, Madam Speaker. So it’s not a change that is to the detriment of the DHA. They will continue to provide the good quality services that they have.

 

            MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Madam Speaker, what the minister failed to say was those additional doctors weren’t surgeons.

 

            Madam Speaker, when OR time can’t be made available because there is a shortage of nurses, people requiring elective surgeries are waiting too long. Elective surgeries become emergencies as a result and specialists burn out, then they leave. This minister cannot hide behind the district health authority on this one. The minister knows full well she has a role to play to ensure the residents of Cape Breton have access to health care professionals. On Tuesday, Cape Breton suffered a double whammy and lost two, one of them a surgeon. My question to the minister is, what is the minister going to do to fix this problem with the retention of surgeons in Cape Breton?

 

[Page 755]

 

 

            MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Madam Speaker, as I said, we will work very closely with the district health authority. I have the highest regard for the CEO of that health authority and his abilities. We monitor fairly carefully the trends month over month in the district health authorities. I would like to assure members, particularly members for Cape Breton, that surgical cases, general surgical cases, are up this month over last month and up that month over the month before. So the trends are heading in the right direction and we will continue to work with the DHA to ensure they have the tools that they need to be able to keep those trends going in that direction.

 

            MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Madam Speaker, it’s cold comfort to the people waiting for surgeries in Cape Breton that the trends are continuing upwards while for the surgeries, the waiting list is growing. This minister is responsible for human resource planning, she has a role to play as a partner in the recruitment of health care professionals. She has failed on both counts as far as we’re concerned in Cape Breton. I will repeat again, Madam Speaker, the end result - the residents of Cape Breton lose two great health care professionals.

 

My final supplementary to the minister is, why does the minister continue to believe that everything is fine with our health care system in Cape Breton when the real truth is, it is not? Hopefully the minister will not resort to the kind of statements she used to make in Opposition, where she used to say, why should we trust you now?

 

            MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Madam Speaker, as I said, the first three months of this year have supported that there is a change, there is improvement in the number of general surgical cases that are being done over the number of surgical cases that were done last year. The honourable member may not find that a very comforting piece of information but certainly for the people who were able to get that surgery and for people who are waiting for surgery, I believe that if people recognize that things are improving, it does give them some comfort knowing they stand a good chance of getting in quicker because the trends are in fact moving in the right direction.

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

 

ENVIRON.: ENVIRONMENT QUALITY STANDARDS

- INTERPRETATION

 

            MR. CHUCK PORTER: Madam Speaker, the Insurance Bureau of Canada, as a stakeholder of the Department of Environment, has been asked to review the rationale for environment quality standards for contaminated sites in Nova Scotia. The document contains hundreds of pages for scientific criteria and numbers on hundreds of contaminants. The IBC, not being in the science business and not having a scientist on staff, is concerned about its ability to interpret what the implications of the standards will be for its industry and therefore would find it difficult to take a true position on the document. My question through you to the Minister of Environment is, is his department preparing a supplement that would outline the practical implementation of the environment quality standards and if not, how is it going to be sure he is gathering the right information from stakeholders?

 

[Page 756]

 

 

            HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Madam Speaker, to the member opposite, I can assure you that the member opposite talked about contaminated sites and this is something that was identified in the previous year by the Auditor General and this is something that we take very seriously. I have the greatest confidence in our staff and we’ll be taking this issue forward as we move forward. Thank you.

 

            MR. PORTER: Madam Speaker, by providing practical application of the regulations, it will encourage willing co-operation of the public in a cleanup process while avoiding disincentives that would penalize property owners for reporting oil spills. The ability to achieve this balance will have important implications on the cost and availability of insurance. Insurance premiums that are a direct reflection of the claims cost are already on the rise in Nova Scotia due to the increased frequency and severity of weather-related events.

 

            If the proposed environment quality standards result in significant increases in the cost of remediation, there’s little doubt that some homeowners will choose to forgo insurance and assume the personal financial risk should a spill occur. Madam Speaker, through you to the minister, will the Department of Environment oversee a cost-benefit analysis study funded by a partnership of interested parties to set the terms of reference and ensure the appropriate weight is given to the impact on public safety, environmental cleanliness, the risk and potential costs to homeowners and the practicality of the implementation?

 

            MR. BELLIVEAU: Madam Speaker, through you to the member opposite, this is something that’s on our radar, that we’re taking under consideration. I have the greatest confidence in our staff.

 

            I think the member opposite may be alluding to some of the issues around homeowners in their soil contamination to do with their oil barrels. I want to table some of the information that we supply to our residents across Nova Scotia. This is valuable information and I would like the member opposite to share this information with his constituents. Thank you.

 

            MR. PORTER: Madam Speaker, the Insurance Bureau of Canada has long advocated for a distinction between the mediation of a fuel oil spill that would happen on a homeowner’s property and the release of contaminants. A typical residential fuel oil spill is most often a known fuel oil and a relatively small quantity over a short period of time. Contaminated sites, or brown fields, tend to involve industrial contamination in unknown quantities and in locations over a substantially longer time frame. Through you to the minister, will the Department of Environment look at the separate and distinct differences between spills and contaminations in order to make sure the regulation is practical for homeowners.

 

[Page 757]

 

 

            MR. BELLIVEAU: Again, Madam Speaker, through you to the member opposite, this is something that we take very seriously, this issue about contamination and residential use. Again, this is something in the literature that we have and we have available through all our staff, all our different offices, available to the public. Again, I just want to point out that we tabled that before we actually got the question on the issue. I think that on reflection this government has done more in two years of government than the previous government had done in the last three decades.

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

 

ERD & TOURISM: CONVERGYS CENTRE - USAGE

 

            MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Madam Speaker, last month the Convergys call centre in Cornwallis closed down after six years of operation; this put almost 300 people in the area out of work. Madam Speaker, this is a huge blow to the area and the people are concerned about how silent this government’s been on this issue. In addition, there is now a large, very expensive facility which goes unused, which in turn will become another burden to our municipality.

 

            My question to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism is, what possible use has the minister’s department identified for the former Convergys call centre in Digby-Annapolis?

 

            HON. PERCY PARIS: Madam Speaker, through you to the member opposite, you know we’ve gone through this a number of times and we all know that the last few years in Nova Scotia have been particularly tough years. We also know that the contact centres have changed somewhat and many have closed, all because things in the global environment have changed so much.

 

            Madam Speaker, we have NSBI, who are certainly on the ground and who are pursuing, as they would for every region in the province of Nova Scotia, employment opportunities for all Nova Scotians regardless of where they live. We are well aware of the Cornwallis situation, Madam Speaker, but through the office of Labour and Advanced Education, with NSBI, we’re putting all things in motion to try to be of assistance to the region.

 

            MR. THERIAULT: We know times have changed and we need to change with them and faster than what we are. Madam Speaker, Convergys operated this centre from 2004 until just last month and they received close to $5 million from this province. In an area with a population of less than 3,000, 300 people out of work is a huge loss.

            Madam Speaker, the people of Digby-Annapolis are wondering if there is any work being done at all to try to fill this empty facility. My question to the minister is, what new business opportunity has the minister sought out to bring good-paying jobs back to Cornwallis and the riding of Digby-Annapolis?

 

[Page 758]

 

 

            MR. PARIS: I’ve got to say this, the member opposite in his preamble mentioned that times have changed, no one recognizes that more, Madam Speaker, than this government. For the first time in over 20 years, maybe for the first time in over 250 years, this government has recognized that things have changed and as a result of that, Madam Speaker, within (Interruptions)

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism has the floor.

 

            MR. PARIS: You know what, Madam Speaker, we recognized things have changed and as a result of that, that’s why we developed a strategy called jobsHere. A jobsHere strategy is going to work for every region in the province of Nova Scotia to create meaningful and good jobs, Madam Speaker.

 

            MR. THERIAULT: Madam Speaker, the people of Digby-Annapolis are not seeing jobs here or there. Closure on this scale means that communities in the area will continue to lose workers to cities elsewhere in the Maritimes and in Canada. The riding of Digby-Annapolis has been losing too many people, but without good prospects for decent jobs it is difficult for people to stay in that community. My final question to the minister is, when does the minister expect he will find a replacement business for the empty Convergys facility in Cornwallis and when will these people get back to work?

 

            MR. PARIS: Madam Speaker, as the minister responsible, I don’t see any humour with loss of jobs in the Province of Nova Scotia. I can tell you that this government, since it has come into power, has been looking at things when it comes to employment and employment opportunity; something that no other government has done to this scale before. We are investing in Nova Scotians for the first time in over 20 years.

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Colchester North.

 

ENERGY: GAS EXPLORATION - FRACKING

 

            HON. KAREN CASEY: Madam Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Energy. As the minister knows, concerns have been raised by constituents in Cumberland, Colchester and Pictou Counties regarding a possibility of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, in three blocks of land along the North Shore. I’ve raised these concerns in correspondence to the Premier, copied to the minister on March 17th. I want to thank the minister for responding on behalf of the Premier and in reply to a question in the House yesterday, however, it was unclear what the minister’s position is with respect to particular activities during 2011. My question to the minister is, will there be any fracking or micro-fracking done in any blocks of land by any exploration companies during 2011?

 

[Page 759]

 

 

            HON. CHARLIE PARKER: Madam Speaker, I too share the concern that the honourable member has for the health and welfare of residents along the North Shore. The very last thing we want to do is see damage to our environment or damage to our drinking water. That’s why we’ve set up a review to try to get the facts, to try to base those facts on science. There’s a review underway, but at this time it’s an opportune time to do that because there are no applications for hydraulic fracturing and we don’t anticipate any during the period of time of review, which will take up until about early 2013.

 

            MS. CASEY: Madam Speaker, thank you to the minister for that information. On March 28th a petition with over 1,000 names was presented to the minister. These residents are anxious - as the minister knows - about the environmental damage that could be caused by fracking if it’s used during the exploration and drilling process. My question to the minister is not about applications, but it is about permits. Are there any industrial permits currently held by any oil or gas company that would allow fracking to take place in Nova Scotia without the company requesting a further permission from the government?

 

            MR. PARKER: Madam Speaker, I should correct my last answer. I meant to say that there are no applications under review during the period of the review, which will take place up to early 2012. Again, there are no applications out there for hydraulic fracturing, none that I’m aware of. If a company wanted to do a type of activity they would have to apply to both the Department of Energy and the Department of Environment, so at this point in time I’m not aware of any applications that are out there.

 

            MS. CASEY: Madam Speaker, I think we need to be clear on application and practice. In the Securities and Exchange Commission Report for the period that ended January 31, 2010, Triangle Petroleum Corporation reported that three intervals in the E-38A well, which is in Hants County, were perforated and treated with diagnostic micro-fracks. The report also says that we are continuing to work with these results to determine future completion operations - and I will table those reports.

 

            Madam Speaker, it is clear that fracking did occur in this province in 2010, and it is clear that at least one company plans to continue that practice in 2011. My question to the minister is, will the minister make a commitment that he will refuse to have any permits for fracking or micro-fracking as part of any company’s exploration plan until the minister as he states himself, “it can be done right”?

 

            MR. PARKER: You are correct that there have been activities in the past, but again I’m not aware that there are any active applications out there at the present time for any new particular activities.


 

            I also come back to the whole issue of hydraulic fracturing and would encourage the honourable member to work with her residents. We are in the process right now of looking at the scope of the review that is being done, and we encourage any Nova Scotian to put forward ideas or thoughts on how best we can do that review. Again, our goal here is to not see any environmental damage, not to see any harm to our drinking water.

 

[Page 760]

 

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

 

ECON. DEV. & TOURISM: CLEAN TECHNOLOGY

- BUS. CLIMATE

 

            MR. CHUCK PORTER: Madam Speaker, encouraging green technology is a positive step. Yesterday’s announcement of the $24 million Clean Technology Fund does nothing to address the general business climate in this province, which is poor.

 

            Madam Speaker, my question through you to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism is, does he honestly believe that transferring $24 million of taxpayers’ money to a Crown Corporation is the way to encourage innovation in clean technology, or any other type of technology, when we have a general business climate that, through the actions of this government, discourages innovation and economic growth?

 

            HON. PERCY PARIS: Madam Speaker, through you I will say that we are using all the tools that are available to us to be innovative, to invest in Nova Scotians, to create good jobs here in the Province of Nova Scotia so Nova Scotians can stay at home. We will use all the means available to us and, yes, if that means us being creative and innovative, and if we’re going to be criticized for that, so be it.

 

            MR. PORTER: Madam Speaker, I would say they have yet to find the right tools.

 

I think I speak for most Nova Scotians when I say that government’s job is to ensure that we have a tax rate that is fair and competitive compared to our neighbours and other competitors around the world. Madam Speaker, my question through you to the minister is, would the minister not agree that this is the real way to encourage true innovation and sustainable innovation in the private sector?

 

            MR. PARIS: Madam Speaker, I am at a wee bit of a loss here, not because I don’t know what to say but because we just came through a government that for 20 years nothing happened in the Province of Nova Scotia. For 20 years we had no growth, no economic growth in the Province of Nova Scotia. That’s a proven fact.

 

            What we are trying to do, Madam Speaker, is we are trying to, and we are turning that ship around.

 

            MR. PORTER: Madam Speaker, that minister must be touring the province with his eyes closed if he can’t see the good work the previous government has done by way of job creation in this province.

 

[Page 761]

 

 

            Madam Speaker, I believe, and our Party believes, that Nova Scotia has all it takes to be truly great and innovative in the area of clean technology, and in many other fields if the business community is just left to do its work in a fair way.

 

            Madam Speaker, my question through you to the minister is, can the minister tell this House today when his government will come clean and do the real work of creating an environment for economic growth, innovation in this province, and clean technology development and in business development generally, not by shifting taxpayers’ money around in different funds but by creating a truly competitive tax environment in Nova Scotia?

 

            MR. PARIS: Madam Speaker, I can stand in my place and I can say that the change the member opposite is talking about, I can tell when it began - it began on June 9, 2009, that’s when it began.

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

 

TIR: BROOKS DR. (PRESTON) - RESURFACING/REPAIRING

 

            HON. KEITH COLWELL: Madam Speaker, for years now I’ve been asking the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to have Brooks Drive completely resurfaced and repaired. I’d like to thank the minister and his department for the patchwork that has been done on Brooks Drive so far in East Preston, but it’s not enough. The road was originally paved in 1976, nearly 40 years ago, and this street is in very poor condition. My question to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is, will you commit to completely resurfacing and repairing Brooks Drive this year?

 

            HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Madam Speaker, I thank the member opposite for that question and I must compliment you on the fact, in the past, we have had correspondence and talked about this particular road. I’m aware of the importance of Brooks Drive in your community. It is one of those roads that does have some importance economically. It is a road that I know is of some consequence and we will continue to address this as an important issue for you in a timely manner.

 

            MR. COLWELL: Madam Speaker, Brooks Drive is an important road and it is highly travelled. When the department’s five-year highway plan was announced in November of last year, I was disappointed to learn that Brooks Drive was not mentioned and it would not be resurfaced. This road is in dire straits and needs attention now.

 

            Madam Speaker, my question is, why was Brooks Drive not included in the government’s five-year highway plan?

 

[Page 762]

 

 

            MR. ESTABROOKS: Madam Speaker, it gives me an opportunity to talk about the five-year road plan. I know that members opposite and members on this side of the House have on numerous occasions approached members of the staff and approached me and asked about particular roads - why isn’t this road or that road on the five-year road plan? I bring to the members opposite and this side of the House, and I bring to the member for Preston at this time, that there are a number of secondary roads, I continue to sign tenders for local and secondary roads as we speak.

 

            This morning I did a number more. I mean we cannot include every road in the five-year road plan. I see the member for Digby-Annapolis, of course, mouthing a particular road to me. I want to make sure the member for Preston understands that we did not include or expect every local and secondary road to be included in the five-year road plan. Those roads are important to your community, I know you’ve brought it to my attention in the past. When we bring forward those roads over the next number of months, or in the next year, it’s not necessary for every bit of asphalt work or every bit of chip- sealing work done in this province to be included in the five-year road plan. Stick with us and it will be addressed.

 

            MR. COLWELL: Madam Speaker, I’m hopeful that the minister will address . . .

 

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

 

            Before I call Government Business, I would take a moment to ask forgiveness from members whom I perhaps have confused their titles, and particularly the ministers. I would also like to say that I am grateful that I’ve already forgiven many of you for calling me Mr. Speaker, and it appears today there are a multitude of names. So I’m okay with it but I do appreciate the support. I hear all of you trying to correct each other and I do appreciate that. I’m thinking that this is either going to drive you completely crazy or you will get it eventually. (Interruptions)

 

            GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

 

            MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Madam Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

 

            GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

 

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

 

[Page 763]

 

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

 

            HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Madam Speaker, it’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to say a few words going into Supply. I want to thank you for your graciousness as to members possibly not having called you by your proper title today. It’s always a challenge. I can tell you a year ago I had the opportunity to appear in tax court on behalf of a constituent and more than once I had to catch myself from referring to the judge, rather than as Your Honour, as Mr. Speaker. So I can tell you the judge there was very gracious in allowing me to get away with that error and I’m certainly pleased to see that you have been just as gracious here today.

 

            I want to take the opportunity to say a few words about an issue, which ironically just wrapped up in Question Period, that being the issue of roads and certainly it is always a topical issue in my riding of Richmond County. As you know, Richmond is located on Cape Breton Island and is a riding which stretches from just outside the Town of Port Hawkesbury and goes from Point Tupper Industrial Park all the way down to Forchu, along the eastern coast of Cape Breton.

 

The riding also goes up along Highway No. 4 to Irish Cove where it meets with the border of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, along the Bras d’Or Lakes. As a result of that, our riding has a significant amount of roads. While it is large geographically, it is also as well one of the ridings - I believe my predecessor, Richie Mann had indicated - that the actual amount of roads and kilometres of roads in Richmond County rivals almost all of the other counties in Nova Scotia. Although when you look at the map, Richmond may not appear to be as big as Inverness and Victoria Counties, for example, the actual amount of roads that are in the county are such that it makes for a significant challenge for us.

 

In fact, to give you an example of the length of the riding, I live in Arichat on Isle Madame and just last week I had the opportunity to go to Forchu, which is on the extreme end of the county going down along the Atlantic coast. From my home to the community hall in Forchu, one way was 100 kilometres so I’m sure you would appreciate the distance - knowing how large your riding is here in metro - the challenges that come with having a riding that is that large and keeping up with the road demands that exist within the county.

 

Now allow me to say that over the last number of years, especially since 2003, we have had a significant amount of success in dealing with some of the roads in Richmond County. I want to say that in my view, a minority government did work well for the people of Richmond County. We were able to have a significant amount of roadwork achieved, some significant amount of infrastructure investments; not only the new Richmond Academy P3 school that was built, but as well, the almost $8 million expansion to the East Richmond Education Centre as well as the $14 million invested in the new Richmond Villa.

 

[Page 764]

 

 

 Those are just a few examples of the major infrastructure investments that were made, but as I mentioned before, we also did get a number of roads addressed, which were in dire need of repairs. It was because of hard work and the lobbying from the communities that we were able to get those roads addressed. As the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal well knows, we still have a need to make investments to a number of roads in Richmond County.

 

I do want to say that I was pleased that the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal did accept my invitation last year to visit some of the roads in Richmond County. Ironically at the time, we came onto Isle Madame through West Arichat and the minister got to see for himself the rough state that road was in. I hope he will come back to visit us soon because he will see that road now is in much better shape. The tender for that road was called shortly before the minister’s visit and has since been repaired and has now upgraded a significant transportation link on Isle Madame off to the mainland portion of Cape Breton Island.

 

During his visit, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal also had the opportunity with me to visit the community of Little Anse. The minister will recall that was a community that has been devastated by the last number of storms, especially during the winter. The breakwater, which is there to protect the harbour, has become deteriorated to the point that it’s breached. The Atlantic Ocean is coming directly into that harbour and is having a devastating impact on the shoreline, such that the community wharf there is now collapsed. It is a significant safety risk and the problem is that no one is acknowledging ownership of that wharf so that is a challenge for us.

 

The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, as he would have seen himself, because of the wave actions coming in, debris is being pushed onto the main road and, as a result - not this winter but the previous winter - we’d actually seen a few occasions where the road was blocked due to large sections of the wharf and other debris being on the road and making it impassable. As the minister saw for himself, there are really no other options for a road in that community because the road on one side borders the Atlantic Ocean and on the other side it borders a very large pond. There really is no other place for that road to go.

 

             I do want to thank the minister because his staff did come in prior to the winter and they did install some cement blocks to try to prevent the debris from coming in from the wharf and along the road there where cribwork exists, but there were openings along the cribwork to allow fishermen easy access to the shoreline. Those have now all been blocked off as a matter of trying to prevent the debris from coming in and blocking the road.


 

            That has worked, it had limited success up to this point, but at the same time we’ve been fortunate in that the winds and the tides have not been in a combination as such that we have seen in the past. It’s not clear as to whether this is going to protect the community should the proper winds and tides again combine to create significant damage in that area.

 

[Page 765]

 

 

            We continue to call on the federal government to make investments to improve the breakwater. The challenge is, DFO and Small Craft Harbours is saying Petit-de-Grat is a designated harbour. The fishermen that were fishing out of Little Anse should now go to Petit-de-Grat and they’re saying we’re not making any more investments in Little Anse. We now, through research, have found that the breakwater in Little Anse actually is deeded to the federal Crown. So it belongs to them. They’ve said all along it wasn’t their responsibility, they didn’t know who owned it, it wasn’t theirs, we now know that’s not true.

 

            If you let your home go into a state of disrepair where it becomes a danger to your neighbours and to people in the community, we do have laws here that force you to fix derelict property. Right now that breakwater is derelict property. It is not doing its job, it is causing damage to the community and it’s a liability right now that the federal government needs to address.

 

            During his visit, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal as well had the opportunity to come down to Little Harbour. Little Harbour is a fishing port in the community of L’Ardoise, Lower L’Ardoise in fact. Little Harbour is the economic engine of the eastern part of my riding. It is where a significant amount of crab is landed and lobster is landed and that is where the economic activity for the most part in that community takes place. As the minister himself saw, again I was pleased he came right down to the wharf and he got the chance to meet with a local buyer and processor there along with the residents of that road and some of the fishermen to see the type of gravel road that they are living on.

 

            I can advise the minister that crab season has started and lobster season will start May 1st so the 18 wheelers will be coming on that dirt road on a daily basis, repeatedly; they’ve started now and it’s only going to get worse. The question they had there is why should we continue to be driving on gravel roads when you look at the economic activity and the tax revenue for the government which is generated from that port.

 

            I would hope, and I haven’t yet received a response from the minister as to what follow-up would take place, I know his staff did accept our request to have a counter placed along the road to get a better sense of exactly how much traffic is travelling on that road so that rather than just take our word for it, his staff and engineers would be able to see the amount of activity that takes place on this road. In the past I know that the previous ministers have said that the government wasn’t going to pave gravel roads. There wasn’t enough money to keep up with paved roads let along paving more gravel roads.

 

            But exceptions have been made in other areas. The message that I’m giving to the minister and that community is that an exception needs to be made there. When you look at the length of the road, which I believe is less than one kilometre in total, and when you look at the economic activity that takes place, it simply doesn’t make sense to continue to ask the residents along that road, many of whom have built very nice, new homes over the last number of years to continue to put up with the problems of potholes, dust and flying rocks from the heavy trucks and the fishermen going on a daily basis on the roads.

 

[Page 766]

 

 

            I do hope - and I intend to raise this again with the minister - that he will have the opportunity to discuss with his staff as to whether they do have any plans to address the Little Harbour and Mombourquette Road this year so that message can be given back to the

local residents and to the fishermen from that port.

 

            Again, they are not asking for much in that community, but since that port is the economic engine this is an infrastructure investment which they need; in fact there are plans to have more investments made at that wharf because they’ve recently been successful in obtaining the funding to bring three-phase power into Little Harbour, which does give them options for further investments and infrastructure in that area.

 

            If we are going to talk about growing the economy, for Richmond County this is a prime example of where government investment in paving that road is going to pay dividends, because there will be further economic investments made by private industry into that port which, at the end of the day, will bring more revenue not only to Richmond County but certainly to the Province of Nova Scotia.

 

            I want to say as well that I was pleased that the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has called an important tender for Richmond County, it’s a tender that would repave the Lower River Road which goes from off Highway No. 104, Exit 44 I believe, and it goes from the exit there, which those who drive along that road from Port Hawkesbury down to St. Peters, it’s where the Lower River church is located at that intersection, but that road going from Highway No. 104 all the way through Hureauville out to the old Highway 4, I believe it is approximately 7.1 kilometres the tender has been called for, that road has been in disastrous shape for years. I know that local staff have tried to do some patching with RIM work, but it’s a road that needed to be addressed.

 

            I remember, last election, one lady said I won’t live long enough to see this road paved. Well now that the tender has gone out I’m looking forward to the work being done  and to be able to go see the lady and hopefully, God willing, her health is not compromised between now and then and she will be able to say that she did live long enough to see that road repaved. So that just gives you an example of the frustration of those residents, but certainly I want to commend the minister for that.

 

            I know that in his five-year plan there is, as well, a commitment to continue to work on Highway 4 between St. Peters and Sydney. Up to now the work has been done on the Cape Breton County side, but they have now reached the Cape Breton County limits and now the work is planned to be taking place from Irish Cove, at the county line, heading in towards Johnstown and then further in to St. Peters. That is in the five-year plan.

 

[Page 767]

 

 

            I must say, and the minister can correct me if I am mistaken on this, but I haven’t seen that tender be called as of yet. I believe it is for approximately five or six kilometres. It is major work; it’s basically rebuilding that road. I know the residents are excited - not so much about having to go through a summer of construction but excited at the end result, because anyone who has travelled in the last number of months, even the last number of years, between St. Peters and Sydney will clearly see it’s not the same road that they would have seen a number of years ago.

 

            Again, I was certainly a vocal critic of the previous government, and even of the current government, in asking for a plan to at least let the residents know when they could expect that that work would be done. I want to stand in my place and say that the minister has delivered - we can now look and we know exactly when this road is going to be done, when the Highway 4 improvements will be done.

 

            So I do look forward to that tender and, Madam Speaker, I do appreciate the opportunity to have raised, on behalf of the people of Richmond County, some of our concerns regarding our roads. Merci.

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

 

            MR. CHUCK PORTER: Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the opportunity again today to take just a few minutes to talk a little bit about the ongoing projects and so on in my area, and I want to kind of follow along with the transportation theme while we’re on it because it’s been pretty disheartening to learn, and the people are not happy, that the Highway No. 101 project has no commitment to continue it.

 

            Now most people would know if they’ve travelled that area, Madam Speaker, that you get to St. Croix - actually you get a little further than that now, you get to Garlands Crossing and then there’s a stretch of the old highway that’s still there, through the causeway and over to Falmouth. Now, we have to realize that it does cost a lot of money to build a stretch of this highway - and everybody is pretty cognizant of that. I think I have seven structures, if I did my math right the other day, that have to be built before the road actually gets built which, as we know, is very costly, but at the same time there doesn’t appear to be any plan to move forward.

 

            There were commitments made, or we thought were made, to have the Highway No. 101 continued. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen any time in the near future. In all likelihood this government will be long gone, thankfully, when we’ll be able to make commitments a couple more years out. Then we’ll get back to business as the good government prior had done. They are the ones who have done because the government before that, the Liberal Government, canned the highway as it was making its way through Mount Uniacke and held it up for years to come. It wasn’t until the Tories jumped back in power that we saw Highway No. 101, and other 100-Series Highways, begin the twinning, as it should be, for the safety of those drivers.

 

[Page 768]

 

 

            So, Madam Speaker, it’s a bit disheartening. I hear about it on a regular basis as to the importance of having such a project done but there are a lot of important projects. Again, people do understand the cost that’s involved but they would like to see something, they would like to see a tender called for overpasses, or the cement structures that must be done, and that takes years itself to get completed. There’s a lot of work there before you actually ever get across the causeway and see that probably twinned. That’s a number of years out but if we don’t get started, it will be a long while before we’re there.

 

            So I don’t want to dwell on that too much. I know that the minister is aware of the importance of this highway. I know that the minister is aware and he cares about the safety of drivers on this highway and I would never take that away from him or any other member in this House. I know that they understand that clearly and I know that they expect me and others to understand that dollars are hard to come by. But I would say, and I will continue to pick on this before I leave it a little bit, is that a government makes cuts. Even on my RIM money, I understand there has been money cut from my RIM budget this year, and I know that every member in this House understands the importance of RIM dollars in all of our areas.

 

It gets the little stuff, or what we refer to as the little stuff, the holes patched, the grass cut, and all of those good projects that most people do call about and want done. It’s still safety in our areas and I haven’t seen the final numbers yet but I’m hearing somewhere in the vicinity of $160,000 has been cut from that RIM budget and I’ll be looking a little closer to see if that’s accurate or not. I also hear there’s some new machinery coming into Hants County but it’s going to East Hants, not West Hants, and maybe the minister over there will be kind enough to lend it to us once in awhile, that grader. (Interruption) That’s the plan he says, well, I hope that’s the plan and I’m sure, I would say this I guess in the same breath, is that we have very good staff out there. I do know the folks in West Hants are doing a great job and I’m sure in East Hants and all over the province, our staff who look after our highways and so on are doing a fine job. Unfortunately, their hands are sometimes tied by way of what they can get done due to costs being prohibitive and running out of budget money. The Minister of Finance talked about $440-odd, or $50 million surplus, and people are wondering, well, if we’ve got a surplus, how come our road is not getting paved or at least the holes getting patched. Good questions and ones we’ve had no real answers or commitments to, but we’re going to continue to work hard to hold the government’s feet to the fire and trying to get funds, much needed funds, to get these projects done. It has to be done.

 

People are complaining about their cars getting beat up. Cars cost a lot of money today, as we know. I know that I’ve had complaints come in and written ministers, this minister and other ministers in the years past about tires and rims being bent and so on and so forth. I don’t know if any of them were ever compensated or not, maybe the odd one. (Interruption) Got one, the honourable member for Hants East says he got one over the years. I know it’s very difficult and, again, it’s a precedent governments probably don’t want to get into setting by way of buying tires for vehicles and it’s left to the insurance companies again. Here we go with insurance companies and the rising costs of claims. So people have to eat that unfortunately and their discontent is high enough without getting into things like that. It just makes their day even worse and extra costs that they can’t afford.

 

[Page 769]

 

 

With higher fuel prices comes higher everything else whether it’s transportation, costs of goods and services. We know with the price of gas going up, well, we’ve already seen it, Tim Hortons, a great example, the price of coffee has gone up, I just forget how much but it has gone up considerably and, of course, they’re blaming, a lot of fuel prices are up, and you have to ask where did that coffee come from and, you know, did it cost more to get here? Well, I guess maybe it did, I don’t know, we’re going to assume that it must have but it’s funny, you know, it’s like our gas, we still need to buy our gas and we still need to buy our coffee. It seems I don’t see any less line-ups, people in the line-up going through, so it appears as though we’re willing to eat certain things because we have to. An individual’s choice, I guess we’ll do what we have to do.

 

Anyway, Madam Speaker, I don’t want to take a lot of time today. I wanted to touch on that. I want to touch on a few other things. I want to talk about my volunteers. We have a banquet this evening which is our annual banquet where we recognize a number of volunteers in my community. I know all the members and every community has the greatest of volunteers and thank God for them, because there is an awful lot of time and effort that gets put forward, whether it’s the hockey team or whatever it is, baseball, swimming, whatever it might be. We need to make sure that we are always recognizing and are cognizant of the work they are doing and of their efforts, it’s important for us all to be recognizing. I look forward to seeing those individuals later this evening - hopefully we’ll get back in time for that - and congratulating them on the good work that they do but we’ll do it here for the record today and in future recognize them more formally.

 

            Madam Speaker, I want to talk about my hospital, Hants Community Hospital, a little bit. I haven’t had a chance to question the minister yet but without getting into detail, knowing that we are in the estimates, I want to stress the importance to the people that are listening, perhaps they still can’t read the caption of who is speaking but I think they would know if they were watching who each of the members are. But anyway, the importance of the hospital and the people that it serves, it doesn’t just serve the people of Windsor, it also serves the people of West Hants, Hantsport, parts of Kings County, certainly parts of Hants East; there are people that come into that hospital and are serviced by it. We hear a variety of different rumours, it’s always ongoing the rumours about the hospital’s going to close, emergency is going to close. I’ve had e-mails from a doctor who says emergency is going to close.


 

I want to stress the importance to this government and I know that they know it - I know budgets are always at the forefront. Dollars and cents seem to rule the world unfortunately, Madam Speaker, but we have to get our priorities set and get them straight when it comes to looking after Nova Scotians. For a government that says their slogan was a Better Deal for Today’s Families there would be a lot of people that are arguing that, now nearly two years in, who would disagree with that statement and they would be right given some of the cuts that we’ve seen, given HST hikes and what that has meant for people.

 

[Page 770]

 

 

There are people out there that are hungry. I’ve had people coming into my office - I had a student about four weeks back who came into my office one afternoon and he said, Chuck, I haven’t eaten in two days, could I get a meal before I go to school tonight? That’s the reality of where we are today. That’s not just being made up, that’s real and I’m sure that every member has experienced these things. We have a homeless issue not only in my area but in this province and around the country. We’re trying to figure out a way right now to set up a shelter so that we can house these people overnight, at least feed them if they need to be fed. Give them a place to go and try to instilL in them values - values is probably not the right word - some worth, make them feel like they do mean something to society and to be able to direct them, set up an organization, a flow chart if you will, to direct them to the services that they need to help them.

 

This is very real in all of our communities. I don’t know if we’re fully cognizant of that. I think there are people around who aren’t, who maybe are not dealing with it. I know that in my community we held a meeting back a month or so ago now and we’re having another one next week. We had this homeless shelter-type meeting and I had calls and they said to me, well there can’t be that many people around, is this really real? It will surprise you, the people who are not aware that this exists in their communities, it’s incredible. They thought, oh there might be one, there may be two but there are a lot more than that.

 

I see the Minister of Health and Wellness shaking her head and I know she’s aware because I’m sure the letters and the phone calls, we all deal with it, it doesn’t matter which end of the province we’re at. Whether we’re in Halifax or we’re in Windsor or we’re in Pictou or wherever we are, this is a real problem that we have in this province. I don’t know how we’re going to correct it. I don’t think it takes a lot of money to correct it. I think it takes an interest, some people, some volunteers, certainly staff in certain areas that are already in place but there has to be a process for these people to survive.

 

We’re seeing kids sleep under bridges at night, people not even knowing when they are driving over the bridge that they’re actually under there sleeping, amazing. People don’t believe these stories until these kids come out. Not just kids, there’s certainly adults as well but a lot of people aren’t aware and they don’t know. I forget the terminology - couch hoppers or whatever they are, they go from friends to friends to friends, those people are homeless, those kids, that’s real. (Interruption) Couch surfers, that’s the right terminology. People don’t understand aw, just because my kid is staying over at a buddy’s house tonight and tomorrow night and he’s somewhere else and he hasn’t been home for three or four days, those kids are, for the most part, homeless.

We need to recognize this and we need to figure out a way to go forward and I know that we are always talking about our needs but there are some real needs and there are some perceived needs and there are priorities that we have to have straight. I’m not sure that government, I know that they have a lot of issues; they have a lot of people knocking on their door, everybody always wanting something. When you’re in government everybody thinks that you can just write the cheque and the Minister of Finance would agree sometimes it’s just not that easy to write the cheque. But at the same time I don’t think that people fully understand the importance of how governments prioritize. The issues of homelessness in this province, they have to be addressed and they have to be addressed sooner rather than later. That does not necessarily mean that there has to be large amounts of money invested in it but there needs to be a commitment from government to see it through.

 

[Page 771]

 

 

            Madam Speaker, we can’t forget those people. They are real people, they are not just people who are of less value than anybody else, than you or I or anyone else in this House. We are all equal, regardless of what our means are. We may not all see that but, at the end of the day, we all came in the same and we’re all going out the same, with nothing. We shouldn’t forget that and we shouldn’t lose sight of that, the importance of that. What happens in between is what means the most. We really need to think strongly about that and how we are.

 

We talk about it being a better deal for today’s family, that we’re committed. Every government will stand and they will say the same thing, we all want to do what is right for today’s families and the people in the province. What does that mean? Sometimes we’re not sure what that means but we need to have a strong look at our priorities, as people in government, as MLAs in general, about what direction we go and what we support and what we don’t support and so on.

 

            Anyway, Madam Speaker, with that I’m not sure how much time I’ve taken but I know we’re getting near the end and I know that I’ll have other opportunities to speak in this Chamber throughout the course of going into Supply. With that I’ll say thank you very much and take my seat.

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

 

            MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Thank you, Madam Speaker. It’s a pleasure to get up and say a few words about my constituency and about the things that matter most to my constituents. As with the previous speaker, as we know from the elections and from the various polls and from those of us who have gone canvassing in our neighbourhood and every event we attend, people talk about health care. That’s at the top of their minds and in various forms and various places the same issues keep coming up.

 

            Since 2009 and certainly when we were in Opposition, Madam Speaker, that, too, was a priority for us. We promised when we came into government that we would devote our attention to a number of core priorities, chief amongst which was health care. I’m delighted to say, Madam Speaker, that we have tried our best, we have worked very hard and the Minister of Health and Wellness and the government in general, have worked hard to keep that promise, those promises, and they have succeeded.

 

[Page 772]

 

 

            I want to say something, Madam Speaker, about the reaction that these initiatives have gotten in my community of Halifax Citadel-Sable Island. As you know, our Party has been influenced largely by the great tradition of Tommy Douglas and his pioneering role in building the foundation for our health care system here in Canada. He fought hard, years ago, Madam Speaker, against all objections, against people who said you are never going to be able to do it. He faced tremendous odds and, in the end, built this foundation that sets the framework for many of the policies that help guide us here today. (Applause)

 

            Really the latest iteration, sort of, of the Tommy Douglas philosophy is better care sooner. In other words, not only do we have to provide better care but we have to provide better care when we need it, to people who need it and to present it in order of priority and to present it, in particular, to those who are most in need.

 

            Madam Speaker, I want to thank Dr. John Ross for the great work he has done in helping us to identify the issues and defining them and the great team of people he had around him. Many of my constituents in Halifax Citadel-Sable Island were involved in that consultation. As you know, a great deal of the health care of this province is centred in my constituency, not exclusively in it but certainly a large percentage of the health care is driven by facilities and people who are in Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

 

            I want to say something, Madam Speaker, about emergency room care. It has been a big issue in the last decade and Dr. Ross set out many of the issues that bedevil us. He looked at emergency room care right across the province, particularly in rural Nova Scotia and came to the conclusion that we could do a better job. We could make better use of the people who are working in health care; we could make better use of the facilities there.

 

Out of that have come a number of new initiatives that are aimed at improving patient flow, for example. With patient flow, it seemed fairly straightforward and now looking back on it, it seems very simple, that a great number of people were coming to emergency rooms that didn’t need emergency care. They were coming to emergency rooms because they didn’t have family doctors when they needed them or they didn’t have health care workers when needed. Providing a better streaming of those patients and making sure that those people who are concerned about their health will get care when they need it, that’s fairly straightforward.

 

I must say that a very simple thing, like the 811 system, seems so straightforward now. Many of us who have had young children, for example, have always worried, especially the first-time parents who said, my child has a fever or is throwing up and saying, what do we do? The 811 system provides a lifeline to those people who have basic questions. Those people might ordinarily take their child to the emergency room, but now they can talk to a health care professional, they can talk to paramedics, they can be referred to the health care professionals that they need and that diverts people away from our emergency rooms.

 

[Page 773]

 

 

We have the 211 system that has just recently been announced. I must commend - and I believe that falls within the Minister of Community Services area of responsibility. The 211 system is something that has been established in other provinces, notably Ontario. It was just something I remember shortly before I was first elected. Catherine Woodman, who happens to be a friend of mind - our children went to school together - said, this 211 system is so simple. We were talking about establishing a navigator program in downtown Halifax and she said, well, 211 is really the ultimate navigator system. All you have to do is call, whether you have a community services emergency or anything. It doesn’t really even have to be an emergency. If you have a concern about getting a cheque or getting your child into school or finding mental health services, it’s one of those things.

 

 Justice Merlin Nunn had talked about that as well. He said that in many cases we have the systems in place, we have the resources in place, but the systems and such didn’t connect with those people who needed those services or families didn’t know how to connect with the services. So 211 promises to address that issue and 211 will keep people out of the health care system, will give people the care and help them to find that care when they need it. I want to commend Catherine Woodman and the United Way and the Minister of Community Services for responding to that after several years, of finding a solution.

 

We know that many communities in Nova Scotia have a shortage of health care professionals and a long time ago we decided that maybe we should make better use of our health care professionals. Maybe we should make it possible for doctors and surgeons and skilled professionals to do what they do best. Maybe we should have nurses and nurse practitioners and midwives extend their scope of practice to do also what they are good at and what they would love to do. Maybe we could have ambulance attendants, paramedics do a little bit more of the work that is being done in emergency rooms and being done by other health care professionals. I’m happy to say that we are making great progress on that and people are getting the care that they need when they need it and they’re getting better health care sooner as a result of it.

 

I know in my constituency - it’s just simple - I was speaking to a senior about that, I was talking to him about broadening the scope of practice for seniors and said, what a great idea. What a great idea that seniors can get the help, and not just seniors but any family, but seniors in particular are concerned about being hospitalized and being institutionalized and taken far away from their communities because there was no other way to treat them.

 

            Here we have a policy that says paramedics might be able to treat people closer to their home, that they can be in their communities where their loved ones are around them, where they feel secure and they won’t go to emergency where they might end up waiting for long periods of time. They might not even get the care they need when they need it just because people at emergency, rightly so, tend to deal with emergency issues on a triage basis. Here’s a very simple solution that has broadened the scope of practice for paramedics, but it also helps seniors and others get the treatment they need, when they need it, and where they need it. I’m delighted we have moved forward on that initiative as well.

 

[Page 774]

 

 

            The next, I believe it has been introduced, but it certainly has been announced in the Speech from the Throne that we are going to extend the scope of practice for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Here’s something as well; I believe it has its origins in the H1N1 crisis that we faced. Out of that experience came a new understanding of how we deal with emergencies like that. I recall during that period that people were sent for a pre-assessment at the Halifax Forum and a decision was made whether they should go to the emergency rooms or not. That form of triage helped us streamline the process of providing health care.

 

            So, too, with pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. I’m looking forward to seeing the regulations on that but it does make sense. The general principle does make sense that we should allow people to broaden their scope of practice if they have the skills, if they meet the necessary regulations so that we can free up others to also do the work that they are more capable of doing. Each person and each institution does what it’s best suited to do, and in that way we can provide better health care sooner and closer to home.

 

            Much the same thing applies with the pre-hab clinics. People who come in for orthopaedic surgery have all the information they need and there are fewer cancellations, fewer uncertainties, less unrest. It’s much the same with diagnostic testing.

 

            I’m dwelling on this in large part to say that many of the things that we are doing are done that speed up the process, that make health care more accessible, but does it at a lower cost. I know that there’s a great deal of criticism on the other side who say, we’re not doing it the way we used to do it in the past. I see that as a compliment. The things that we were doing in the past were not working. (Applause)

 

            Every government has to review its policies and procedures to see if we are getting value for our money, if the people that we claim to be serving are, in fact, being served, that they’re being served quickly and they’re being served well and they’re being served closer to home. This set of policies does that and I’m happy to be part of a government that is moving forward on that.

 

            I also want to say something about early identification and prevention programs, and diagnosis. We seem to spend a lot of time talking about people who are being treated in hospital and who need treatment and who are waiting for treatment. I agree with that, but we also need to take steps to prevent people from getting into those situations. We need to identify treatments early, we need to diagnose people, we need to get them care when they need it, where they need it.

 

 

 

            I want to say something about some particular initiatives. The Tanning Beds Act, here’s a straightforward initiative that we introduced in the last sitting that essentially says if you engage in high-risk behaviour - and again, we’re looking at evidence-based health care policy, Madam Speaker - the evidence suggests that those people who use tanning beds, particularly those who are under 19 years, are at a high risk for getting skin cancer, they are endangering their health. Those people 60 years from now will become a huge burden on themselves, they’ll become a huge burden on their families, and they’ll suffer a life of unnecessary illness.

 

[Page 775]

 

 

            I’m delighted, in fact, that we are taking this initiative that says we’re going to deal with these issues now, rather than deal with them 60 years down the road.

 

            AN HON. MEMBER: While we’re still in government.

 

            MR. PREYRA: While we’re still in government. I was recently at announcements about prostate cancer and a whole range of initiatives. Anyway, my point is, Madam Speaker, are these two initiatives . . .

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please. Sorry, your time has elapsed.

 

            The honourable member for Dartmouth East for the remaining three minutes.

 

            MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would have let the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island continue for those last three minutes but that’s all right. Unfortunately, I don’t think the rules permit, which is unfortunate.

 

            I thought that in those three minutes I would just mention a couple of things. One, I wanted to recognize that the member who is now the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, when she had the entire Education portfolio, I had asked her a number of times about the Prince Andrew High School renovations and I’m pleased to see those continuing to move on. I know there’s a new minister now, but I want to recognize that it was that minister who did help ensure that that moved forward and I appreciate that very much.

 

            I know in her own riding - Dartmouth High School, you see the work going on, it needs a lot more renovations than Prince Andrew did. I hope that as we look at particularly the issue of high schools in those areas, that we continue to support the vitality and the numbers required to maintain those critical masses in those two particular schools. They have a long history, of course.

 

            The other thing I hope that we can be looking at, and perhaps in the Fall we’ll be able to come forward with a Private Member’s Bill, is to incorporate a theatre group or a theatre society for Prince Andrew High School - understanding that it’s not always a direct responsibility of the provincial government to fully fund all the needed equipment in some of these theatres. Prince Andrew High School has a very good theatre but at the moment the rental revenues - it’s old and the rental revenues don’t actually go to the operations of that particular theatre space, which is a challenge. It’s a financial challenge and I know that over the years municipal councillors and businesses have been kind enough to contribute to things like new curtains and sound systems and lighting but we’re at the point, of course, where the seating needs replacing because the seats are mouldy.

 

[Page 776]

 

 

We are fortunate, actually, to have a donation from Empire Company of their old Empire Theatre seats but in the end, for a lot of reasons, they couldn’t be installed. That is something I think we’ll hope to have the government’s support on. It won’t be in this session, needless to say, but as they try to create their own society to be able to raise money and continue the operation of that theatre, which I know that minister and other members would know, it’s extremely important in the community - and actually, Madam Speaker, I think you have probably been there too.

 

            With that, I am out of time and thank you very much for the time of the House.

 

            MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you.

 

            The motion is carried.

 

            [2:29 p.m. The House recessed.]

 

            [2:34 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Ms. Becky Kent in the Chair.]

 

[6:00 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Gordon Gosse, resumed the Chair.]

 

           MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The topic for the late debate was chosen earlier today;

 

           “Therefore be it resolved that the NDP government immediately release the report on the social and economic effects of gambling it shelved 18 months ago.”

 

            ADJOURNMENT

 

            MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

 

            MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

 

LBR. & ADV. EDUC.: GAMBLING REPT. - RELEASE

 

            MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I’m pleased to rise on this resolution and while I was one of the members who put it forward, this is something our caucus has believed in since day one. This was a report commissioned by the Progressive Conservative Government. We’re not surprised that the Privacy Commissioner upheld the request from VOLTS,when they put this forward.

 

[Page 777]

 

 

            I always believed that the Privacy Commissioner had a very important role in giving direction to government and that government should have been very quick to recognize that and to make this report known to Nova Scotians. There is no question that this report did contain some hard hitting information. I think if all of us were to go back and read the Sunday Herald of June 20, 2010, on Page 3, we would soon realize that Mark Anielski was giving us a new approach, a new way of looking at the socio-economic impacts of gambling in our province.

 

            There was no question there was going to be hard hitting information presented, disturbing information. This is what the socio-economic impact of gambling may contain if we had seen the full report - the good, the bad, the very upsetting - we felt must be presented to Nova Scotians.

 

            If we take a look at what was said in the Sunday Herald, when this was turned down by the NDP Government, the Anielski management team said:

 

“We received no written comments on our report and were simply told that the steering committee had lost confidence in our ability to complete the study and claimed our report was neither factual, nor analytic nor objective. We have been accused in the press of focusing too narrowly on the problem gamblers in Nova Scotia and on VLTs.

 

“As an economic consultant who gets hired to conduct total well-being impact assessments for public policy issues in Canada and internationally, I was shocked that our study would be dismissed without any detailed feedback or external peer review. This treatment is simply unfair - in fact, downright unprofessional.

 

“If our study were released to Nova Scotians by their government, it would represent the most comprehensive impact assessment of gambling in the world. It uses the new Canadian SEIG analytic framework, which is also considered the new international standard for socio-economic impact assessment.”

 

            Gambling revenues in Nova Scotia are about $150 million to $160 million, roughly. The socio-economic impact study, the Mark Anielski report, was going to tell us about the real bottom line, when those costs for addictions and problem gamblers are extracted from those revenues, that was what some of this report was going to present to Nova Scotians; the cost of treatment programs, bankruptcy, loss of home and assets, loss of quality time with family and family break up.

 

            Think about court costs, jail time for theft - we all know of cases, I’m sure, in our communities. I know of a couple in the Greenwood area associated with accounts at 14 Wing Greenwood that have been public over the last number of years, loss of job and future income, pension income for spouse, grandparents thought they were helping their grandchild’s education, some poignant accounts of those that have been in the press, job productivity and absenteeism, disease rates, substance abuse, depression and social isolation, loss of life through suicide.

 

[Page 778]

 

 

            Mark Anielski, in his report, has some of the true bottom line. One of the things that the article also pointed out, when we were talking about the most damaging form of gambling:

 

“According to Focal Research’s 2007 study, VLTs were cited by those gamblers it surveyed as the principal source of gambling problems. In the 2007 study, they found the vast majority of problem gamblers, 67.2 per cent, are VLT problem gamblers. VLTs accounted for the overwhelming majority of adult problem gamblers (86 per cent), followed by slot machines in casinos (28 per cent) and instant lottery tickets (16 per cent). Internet gambling was only mentioned by four per cent of those who have ever had a gambling problem . . .

 

If we multiplied the average problem gambler’s net loss by the 19,000 estimated problem gamblers, then the total loss by problem gamblers in 2007 is about $141.6 million. This would imply that 19,000 problem gamblers contributed an estimated 32.8 per cent to Nova Scotia’s net gaming revenues ($351.8 million) in 2007-08. This estimate compares with similar estimates for Ontario and Alberta.”

 

His last comment in the SundayHerald article was:

 

“I would encourage Nova Scotians to debate these issues and my preliminary analysis at your kitchen tables and community halls across your province. Conversations are game changers and they ensure you have a genuinely healthy democracy with a provincial government that is held fully accountable for the well-being impacts of its public policy decisions and directions.”

 

So what do we have here today, Mr. Speaker? We have the NDP actions on not releasing the Anielski report 18 months ago. It was a disregard for Nova Scotians, a lack of transparency, a lack of government responsibility, and truly demonstrating a lack of faith in Nova Scotians to discuss and analyze the report, and have those kitchen table discussions. Now it presents a lack of trust in a new strategy because the Anielski report was a baseline for planning the next five years. There’s no question in the 300-plus-page report there was indeed enough baseline information for a stronger report.

 

So far this week the NDP is clearly avoiding the ruling, the commissioning of the socio-economic impact study by the privacy commissioner to be made known to Nova Scotians. This is a clear case of the NDP Government and this minister not complying with the commissioner in what she wants to see made known to the public. In fact, you know the Premier and this government should have made a quick response to this requirement, shown regard for the office of the Privacy Commissioner, but in some ways we do have that kind of contempt. I’m quite surprised, to be honest, at this minister because in many ways she’s - you know, there’s an arrogance here that’s really telling the Privacy Commissioner in so many words, don’t interfere with the way we want to govern; we plan to be secret, we want to control all public information. Thank you.

 

[Page 779]

 

 

            MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

 

            HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, as a citizen, as an elected member of the Legislature and as a member of the government, I’ve always been and will always be a strong advocate for the people’s right to access of information and for transparency of process. I argued for it on the Opposition side of the House and I’m certainly a proponent for it on the government side of the House.

 

            The issue of the socio-economic impact on gaming is not as clear-cut as some might suggest. In this case, we have draft material that is incomplete. It has numerous discrepancies and errors throughout, and there are issues regarding data gathering and reference citing. We are not here this evening to talk about specifics of the report - or so-called report - nor are we here to talk about the concerns we have of draft material being interpreted as factual information. We are here this evening to talk about compliance - compliance with the process that is inherent in the FOIPOP Act.

 

            As stated in this House previously, the socio-economic impact on gaming study was originally intended to wrap up with a final report 12 months after the contract was awarded. More than two years after the awarding of the contract, the draft material was still incomplete and it was at this point that we stopped the project.

 

            The reason I raise this point is because, as you may appreciate, an undertaking of this kind generates a significant amount of paper. When my department received requests under the FOIPOP Act to release the report and related materials, we complied with those requests. Staff requested and was granted a deadline extension due to the amount of information that needed to be reviewed and the complexity of the information itself. When my department fulfilled on the information request on May 20th of last year, more than five inches of paper was delivered to each of the applicants. Plus, we took it upon ourselves to deliver copies of all the material to both the Opposition and the Third Party. As part of the fulfillment, my department provided the applicants with information regarding what their next steps would be if they chose to pursue this further. Two of the applicants, in accordance with the FOIPOP Act, did choose to pursue this further. They made an appeal to the Nova Scotia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review Office, which brings us to today.

            My office received the review officer’s report on Friday, April 8th. I’ve instructed staff to thoroughly review the report, its recommendations, as well as the subject matter as a whole. Much has happened in the past year that we must now take into account. For example, my department no longer has responsibility for Part II of the Gaming Control Act, which was part of the reason we were involved in the study in the first place. As well, the province’s gaming strategy has been released, and this is a gaming strategy that advocates for improved access and quality of prevention and treatment services for problem gamblers by encouraging the Department of Health and Wellness to work with district health authorities to improve options for these services. Also, the strategy sharpens the focus on research on problem gambling issues by merging the Gaming Foundation with the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

 

[Page 780]

 

 

            The gaming strategy also says no to racinos in Nova Scotia, no to expanding on-line gaming in Nova Scotia, that the province will not venture into on-line casino-style games, to reduce through attrition the number of VLTs in the province, and to streamline the conduct and management of gaming by transitioning the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation into a division of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

 

            Further, I believe Minister Wilson, who now has responsibility for the . . .

 

            MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Would you mind correcting that, please, it is the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

 

            MS. MORE: Further, I believe that the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, who now has responsibility for the province’s gaming strategy, has said: A properly formulated socio-economic impact study on the effects of gambling is one of the research topics the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation has been asked to look at as part of the Responsible Gaming Strategy.

 

            In addition to what we’ve been doing here in the province, Mr. Speaker, I am told that the Canadian Consortium for Gambling Research released a study last month, The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling, so it is important that we take these and other factors into consideration as we review the report we received last week.

 

            Mr. Speaker, we have been in compliance with the FOIPOP Act all through the process and we will continue to be in compliance. We will make a decision within the designated time frame. We will also take the time we need to review the report, its recommendations and the subject matter thoroughly, because that is what leadership is all about. Leadership is about making the tough decisions, like bringing something to an early conclusion, as we did with this study when we realized that it was not going to produce information that would help with informed decision making for government, for the industry and for special interest groups but, more importantly, for the citizens of this province.

 

            Leadership is about fulfilling requests, like we have done to date, and are continuing to do. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

 

[Page 781]

 

 

            MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

 

            MR. KEITH BAIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to rise in my place this evening to speak to this topic, the resolution being:

 

            “Therefore be it resolved that the NDP Government immediately release the report on the social and economic effects of gambling it shelved 18 months ago.”

 

            Mr. Speaker, the issue of gambling is one that is of great concern right across this province and in order to make informed decisions, Nova Scotians deserve the right to know what was in the report to allow them to make the judgments on the methodology and the accuracy of its information.

 

            Mr. Speaker, it was a former Tory Government that commissioned the report, to look into the costs and benefits of gambling. But this NDP Government cancelled the contract a few months after it took power and refused to pay the consultant in full. We also asked that the report be released but were refused. The government has chosen instead to withhold the consultant’s study as it was advice under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Section 14(1), and would have allowed them to withhold the information. However, the review officer has defined the definition of “advice” and found that the record does not fall within its meaning because the report does not contain anything that would have suggested a course of action where another responsible party - i.e. the government - would make a decision.

 

            Mr. Speaker, the timeline in the report shows that there is a considerable delay of about 48 days in the government’s decision about which department would be responsible for custody of this report. It’s strange that it would take such a long time to make such a straightforward decision, especially since the government knew the record in question was being processed on an expedited basis for at least six months prior to the department reorganization.

 

            Mr. Speaker, it’s ironic that the government was in the process of finalizing this new gaming strategy that it released at the end of March while a considerable delay to the review officer’s ability to evaluate the report took place. The review officer’s report shows that within two weeks of this issue being left on an agree-to-disagree basis, the file instead was moved to formal review just prior to the public release of the provincial gaming strategy.

 

            Mr. Speaker, this is a Party that talked about transparency all through 2009, all through 2008 and all through 2007 - as a matter of fact, this minister talked about it again this evening - but when it comes to them doing the right thing, they’re hiding the information again. We in the PC caucus respect what the review officer says and her decisions and as she feels that the report should be released, then we support her.

 

[Page 782]

 

 

            We’re all wondering what this government is hiding, we urge the minister to release the final report in its entirety today, as did the Liberal Party. It’s an issue that is not going to go away. The NDP talked the talk back when they were in Opposition but now that they’re in government, it’s time for them to walk the walk and release the information.

 

            The minister has said it was considered to be flawed and that the information and the conclusions would not be helpful. Mr. Speaker, the public should be allowed to see this report that it paid for. Nova Scotians can decide for themselves whether or not it’s flawed. Thank you.

 

            MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. I would like to thank all the honourable members for an excellent debate this evening. We will now take a short recess and then we’ll resume the Committee of the Whole House on Supply, with the unanimous consent of the House.

 

            Is it agreed?

 

Is it agreed.

 

            [6:22 p.m. The House recessed.

 

            [6:30 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Acting Deputy Speaker Mr. Leonard Preyra in the Chair.]

 

            [7:12 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Gordon Gosse, resumed the Chair.]

 

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

 

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

 

            MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

 

            It is agreed.

 

            The motion is carried.

 

            The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

 

            MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.

            PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

 

[Page 783]

 

 

            MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

 

            MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 13.

 

            Bill No. 13 - Pharmacy Act.

 

            MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

 

            HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It gives me great pleasure this evening to give second reading of the new Pharmacy Act. (Applause)

 

            Mr. Speaker, there are many reasons we want to modernize and update (Interruption) Oh, I move second reading of the new Pharmacy Act. Thank you very much.

 

            There are many reasons we want to modernize and update the existing Act; it will create a new, regulated profession - pharmacy technicians - and it will better reflect the practices of community pharmacists throughout Nova Scotia today. Nova Scotia is joining other provinces and I thank the College of Pharmacists for their hard work. The regulation of pharmacy technicians is happening across Canada, including Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

 

The new Pharmacy Act will allow licensed pharmacy technicians to do more of the technical work in pharmacies under the direction of a pharmacist. This will give pharmacists more time to deliver care and advice directly to Nova Scotians. By regulating pharmacy technicians, they will be able to do technical work such as filling certain types of prescriptions, such as prescription renewals, and giving instructions to Nova Scotians on how to use devices such as inhalers for asthma. They may be able to take a refill or a prescription from a physician over the phone.

 

            Mr. Speaker, this will free up pharmacists to spend more time to counsel patients, focus on quality and patient safety, and make sure drugs are prescribed safely and appropriately. The College of Pharmacists will oversee the regulation of pharmacy technicians in addition to pharmacists. Other proposed changes in the legislation will help improve the transparency and accountability of the pharmacy profession to the public and make the proposed Pharmacy Act consistent with other legislation in Nova Scotia and Canada.

 

            In order to get their licences, technicians will have to undergo training and take a national exam. Registered pharmacy technicians will have the training and skills to dispense medications and do other technical work in a pharmacy, and registered pharmacy technicians will be part of a health care team in many pharmacies in Nova Scotia. Pharmacists will always need to be in the pharmacy when it is open, to oversee its operation. The Pharmacy Act is the next step in government’s work with pharmacists to more completely use their skills and expertise in delivering health care to Nova Scotians. Our government has already brought in new regulations which came into effect in January 2010. Pharmacists are able to refill, extend, and adjust prescriptions, and prescribe certain medications.

 

[Page 784]

 

 

            Standards of practice are now in place and being rolled out to pharmacists and other health care providers across the province. These regulations are now being developed by the college in collaboration with government and in consultation with pharmacists and other health care providers, including doctors, nurses, and dentists.

 

            Mr. Speaker, as a government, we value and respect the skills and expertise of pharmacists. We know how much Nova Scotians count on them for advice and care. This new updated Pharmacy Act will lead to improved access to care, create efficiencies in the health care system and lead to better care sooner for Nova Scotia families.

 

            Mr. Speaker, I welcome second reading on this and I encourage all Parties to support this bill. Thank you.

 

 

            MR. SPEAKER: Before I recognize the honourable member, I would like to do an introduction this evening. In the Speaker’s Gallery this evening we have visiting us all the way from Sydney River, born in Glace Bay, now works for NSCC, a good friend, Mike Kelloway is in my gallery. Mike, welcome this evening. I hope you enjoy the proceedings. (Applause)

 

            The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

 

            MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, it’s a pleasure for me to rise tonight to say a few words on Bill No. 13, which has just been moved by the minister. I was glad that she took a few moments to talk about the content of the bill, as well, because I think this is something that, overall, is a positive thing for our province and has the support of the Pharmacy Association. I realize there has been a fair amount of consultation with the players, and that’s something we always look for in every bill, and I know the members of the government will appreciate that. We want to make sure that the stakeholders have been consulted and that this is in keeping with trends not only here in our province, but nationally.

 

            I thought one of the most compelling things about this is that the technicians are being seen as a very important part of the continuum of care and that as we have talked here in the House even in the last year about pharmacists taking on a bigger role, about them ordering diagnostic tests and being able to prescribe certain drugs without a patient having to go see their doctor first, particularly on things that are long-term drugs that are renewals and so on, and we think that’s very important.

 

            In order for them to take on more it is important to look at the dynamic and the workflow within the community pharmacy. In that regard the pharmacy technicians are doing a lot of work now, but a pharmacist has to be there to look over their shoulder, to look at the screen before any drug is actually handed to a patient, to a customer who is in the pharmacy. They have to really be there doing a final check, so while they’re on the phone talking to doctors and probably doing a hundred other things, they’re also having to check each and every prescription that’s being filled.

 

[Page 785]

 

 

            That can be a very frenetic and kind of crazy environment, and I think there’s a lot of pressure. We know that the pharmacy techs already have quite a standard training and we have many of them in our province that have gone through that training. One of the things that the minister mentioned was there would be a standard training adopted and there is a national exam. Anybody that completes this work, I would gather that would be phased in or there would be a reasonable system brought in place to allow people to get that certification.

           

            What we’re really doing here is now bringing a group of people who are working in our health delivery into a regulated environment where they haven’t been before. They’ve worked directly under the supervision of a pharmacist and now they will have their own regulation. It’s interesting to note that at this point in time they will be regulated under the same Act as pharmacists themselves and under the same College of Pharmacists. Maybe at some time in the future that will change and they will have their own college, or their own body, to administer their standards and their training, and their disciplinary rules as well.

 

            We’ve seen an awful lot of that here in the House. As the members know, certainly over the seven or eight years that I’ve been here we’ve seen a number of different professions brought into this regulatory environment and extended certain privileges, and also responsibilities. Some of them have just had a little bit of recognition, groups like naturopaths, which we protected the name so that not anybody can hang out a shingle to say they’re a naturopathic doctor - that protects the public as well. We didn’t go as far on that one yet, but we’ve also in the time I’ve been here introduced midwives as a recognized and regulated profession - and there are many others.

 

            I know at one time the Minister of Health some years ago was looking at an omnibus bill that would have captured a large number of medical professionals under one bill, because they felt there were so many different groups coming and looking for recognition. I think, given what we’ve seen over the last number of years, that idea was dropped and individual groups have been dealt with one by one as they come forward and as they fit into this continuum of care, and also the expanding scope of making the best use of all of the people, all the training of different health professionals that we have working in this province.

 

            We were talking in estimates about the models of care, about having nurses do what nurses do best and having others come in to that hospital system and help with other tasks, other caring tasks and other health and healing, but perhaps not in the higher level that the nurses would be doing. We have now continuing care assistants, LPNs, I think there’s even another nursing level that’s being considered as well, and each one of these require control and to be overseen.

 

[Page 786]

 

 

            What we’re seeing with this bill for the pharmacy techs is interesting. I’m not sure I would guess it’s because we’ve added pharmacy techs as a regulated profession, but the staff who came to brief our caucus - and I should just deviate to thank the minister, each time a bill has come forward from the Department of Health we’ve had the courtesy of a call and a chance to sit down with the legal staff who have helped to draft it and the health researchers who have been involved in the policy-making, and had a chance to ask them questions about it. That actually, I think, leads to a lot better debate here in the House because we do come in with a better understanding of why we’re looking at a new bill, what was the compelling reason, what work was done to come up with it and if we feel there’s anything that we don’t understand, we have a chance to clarify it before we come to the House. That certainly is very much appreciated and we’ve done that with this bill and also with Bill No. 17, which we may get to look at either today or tomorrow.

 

            On this Pharmacy Technology one, what happened was they said that it made so many changes to the Act to introduce all of the changes related to pharmacy technicians that they wanted to actually re-write the whole Act. We would have ended up with so many references to the original Act and I think that those who are involved in drafting legislation would agree that it made a lot more sense, from the point of view of being able to understand the Act. I can say from reading it that I would agree; it is more readable; it makes more sense; it’s a little more user-friendly, if we can use that word. I often find that the Acts can be very obtuse and difficult to read and this one does flow quite well and I think the intent was to try and make it more understandable to the public. If you happen to look this up and read it, or wanted to know what it meant, you wouldn’t have to hire a lawyer to go through it with you. We appreciate that, it’s very well laid out, makes a lot of sense, and it has a number of components in addition to the changes made to allow for pharmacy techs as well.

 

            One of the things it does is set the groundwork for the drug information system. The minister, I think, didn’t have an opportunity to talk about that specifically, but that really is a system that would be automated. We’ve talked again today, in estimates, about IT and the importance of making better use of technology so that we can track drugs. I mean, again, if we had a better drug system, we wouldn’t see the abuses, perhaps, that we’re seeing with the opiates that are being abused in our province or prescription drugs that find their way onto the street or into black market. Having a drug information system is really important and what we understand is that the framework is in this bill to allow for Nova Scotia to move forward on that. There are a lot of legal issues around doing that, again, the protection of privacy, the information and how it’s maintained, and many other things.

 

            Now, we’re quite a way away, I think, from having that drug information system. As I understand it, only Prince Edward Island has a system that’s up and running and actually functioning; and they may have an advantage being a very small province. Hopefully Nova Scotia and New Brunswick can get there as well and I understand in the first days of this project, the money has been coming to us from the federal government to do that and we have been working with New Brunswick.

 

[Page 787]

 

 

That’s a theme that I like to hear. I think that being small provinces in the Maritimes, we should work together. We’re trying to mimic the same sort of systems. We’re all trying to get to the same level of efficiency and to adopt new practices, so if we try and combine our efforts, it does make a lot more sense. So we’ve begun that, in this program, with the drug information system, but I understand we’re really just having a planning phase at this point, which we did with New Brunswick, and we still have a long way to go in terms of getting it up and running.

 

            The first aim would be to coordinate with pharmacies and make sure that the prescriptions are all included in the drug information system, and centralized, and that will help in so many ways, when you think about arriving at a hospital and people not knowing what drugs you’re on. I had the opportunity, a couple of years ago, of taking my sister-in-law, who was having an emergency situation, and the paramedics came and they said, bring every prescription that she’s on. I didn’t know so I had to just take everything that was there and bring it with me because I didn’t know what was a prescription drug and what wasn’t and they needed to see that when she got to the hospital. That’s happening every day in our province that people are having to keep their records or have a note with them. In my case, it was completely unexpected so we had to actually bring the bottles with us.

 

            If we had a drug information system, that would become an instant thing, which is a lot better. My only concern is that we’re looking at the legal side of it, we’re covering it off with this bill, the framework is there, but we’re not yet at a position where we’ve got the drug information system. I guess for all of us, our concern would be, when we can we have that? Maybe that’s something we can ask in estimates tomorrow and go into some detail on that because it’s something we desperately need in the province.

 

I think with P.E.I. having led the way, Nova Scotia is also a province that, because of our size, should be adept to change. We should be able to turn things around, adopt new practices, be a place that pilots and really show the way to larger jurisdictions. Often, as much as we complain that our health system is big and ungainly, we’re a province that should have a certain amount of flexibility because of the size. That has been said in consecutive reports that we’ve gotten from consultants, that we would be a great place to actually pilot and introduce new things because of our size. We should be able to follow up and I would hope be the next in line after Prince Edward Island to do this.

 

But again, as I say, when we get it in place we’ll have fewer mistakes, we’ll have better information available, fewer adverse drug reactions and the list of positives just goes on and on. You’re definitely going to have better management of drugs and less abuse of drugs on the street, as I said better productivity for pharmacists and prescribers. There is a lot of compelling reasons why we need to get there and I’m glad to see that we have at least taken the step that was proactive to make sure that that’s been covered off in this bill. Now we have to take the next hard steps and perhaps the financial investment to get us there.

 

[Page 788]

 

 

I’d like to go back to the actual work that this is going to mean for pharmacy technicians. We have people working in the pharmacy now and some of them say technicians on their tags if you’re looking at their title. Some of them are pharmacy assistants and there will probably still be a role for pharmacy assistants but they won’t have the authority and responsibility that the technicians will have.

 

Just as I’ve mentioned with naturopaths, through legislation, we were able to protect that title for the people that were properly trained; only the people with proper training will be able to call themselves technicians. That again becomes a standard and a responsibility, not just that they will be recognized but that they will have a lot bigger responsibilities. Because under this new system they’ll actually be able to completely fill the prescriptions as they’re coming in and that, as I said, is a big change from now where they could get things ready but they would have to show everything to the pharmacist for a final sign-off.

 

Now with this new designation they’ll be able to handle that, again, not for every drug. I don’t know that the minister mentioned this but it will be within a prescribed number of drugs and I think the way we put it, when it was mentioned to me, was just that that would be more routine or standard drugs. Certainly, again, not the opiates, not the drugs that are abused but it would be ones that people are on in a routine and standard way. There are a great number of those as we talked here about Lipitor, the number one drug now, it has a generic name I guess, I don’t know if we call it that or not but anyway the one that’s used for high cholesterol. It’s the number one prescribed drug and that would be considered very routine, there are many Nova Scotians that take that drug and there are a raft of other drugs whether it’s high blood pressure, high cholesterol and so on that are routinely used. Things like Synthroid for thyroid disease, I discovered recently that we have one of highest rates of thyroid problems in Nova Scotia. I don’t know why we have to add that to our list of other issues but that’s another drug that many of us will know people who take that drug and you go on that drug for life and so that’s another example.

 

They would be able to do that list of routine and standard drugs and the pharmacist would then do others that would require a higher level of training. As the minister said pharmacists are really uniquely trained and a great asset to our health care system. Now one of the concerns I might have and I know our time is running short this evening but I think it’s important that we talk about the uncertainty that is hanging over the head of all of the community pharmacists.

 

This Act does not affect, I must say, anybody in the public system. If you’re a pharmacist in a hospital, you won’t be affected by this Act at all, so the Act and the changes about pharmacist technicians is aimed directly at the pharmacy technicians working in a retail environment. When I asked a question about this, I was told that within the hospital system, many of them have a different level of training because they do slightly different work or maybe significantly different work.

 

[Page 789]

 

 

At the same time there is going to be a cost associated with a professionalization of a group that have been working in our community pharmacies, if we’re going to regulate them and they’re going to come under the college and they’re going to have higher responsibilities, you can be sure there is going to be a cost to be paid. Right now, when I ask that question, we were told it’s a retail environment so it’s up to their employer, their employer will have to pick up that cost. That may be well true but let’s remember the employer is the community pharmacy owner and very often that’s the community pharmacist in most cases. They’re going to have to pick up the cost of paying more for the people that are assisting them in the pharmacy and that’s only natural because you’re going to be asking more of these speciality trained and certified technicians and you’re going to give them more responsibility and therefore its inevitable they’re going to ask for more money to do that. There will now be two categories: you’ll have your assistants in the pharmacy who will be doing some of the jobs that they are doing today, and you’ll have the technicians who are taking responsibility and doing things on their own. So that cost is one of the uncertainties that are coming back to the community pharmacist.

 

            I know that all members of the Legislature are hearing from pharmacies in their communities, whether you are in the city, as I am, here in Halifax, or if you are living in any other big town or village or rural area, we all have pharmacists who are operating there and they are concerned. They are concerned because there is a high level of uncertainty. People always operate better when they know all of the facts and right now they don’t know all the facts. What they know is that this bill is going forward and I will say they support this bill. I haven’t heard any complaints or any person who disagrees with expanding the scope of the technicians because they know in the next step we’re going to expand the scope of the pharmacist as well, make better use of their training and their knowledge and their skills.

 

            The question is, who is going to pay for it and how is it going to be paid for because we also haven’t dealt with the expanded scope of practice for pharmacists. When we do that, there is clearly going to be a cost for pharmacists because we don’t have a schedule of payments if the pharmacist is going to prescribe or if the pharmacist - we’re talking about pharmacists now being able to sit down and spend some time with the patient and talk to them and perhaps prescribe, perhaps order tests, certainly coach and advise them about the drugs they are taking. One of the things the minister mentioned which I thought was interesting was that the adherence, or perhaps it was in one of the briefings on this bill, but the adherence to taking your medication is much better when they’ve sat down with a pharmacist and been basically coached and had it explained to them about why it is so important.

 

            I think we know there will be benefit from the pharmacists taking that extra time but there is also going to be - some of these are new tasks, new things that we’re asking the pharmacists to do and there’s going to have to be some kind of payment schedule, the same as we have for doctors. I don’t know how that’s going to stack up, in terms of what we pay a doctor for or what we’re going to pay a pharmacist now to do it but let’s just be cognizant, let’s just remember there is a cost involved. Right now, the pharmacists don’t know what it is going to be and whether, in fact, it is going to cover their costs and actually, properly reimburse them for their time and their knowledge, so we’ve got that outstanding.

 

[Page 790]

 

 

            We have an outstanding negotiation going on on the tariff agreement and the tariff agreement is, what do we pay a pharmacist for each prescription that they fill, a dispensing fee essentially. That’s a big part of the tariff agreement, anyway, there may be other components. A big part of it is the dispensing fee and that is just only beginning to be negotiated now. I think July 1st is the deadline for that to be determined.

 

            My point really, Mr. Speaker, is that there are all of these elements out there swirling around the business of running a community pharmacy. I can tell you a lot of them are very nervous and we are hearing from them and I guess we’ll have a chance to talk more about it when we begin to discuss Bill No. 17 as well, because there is a connection to what we’re talking about here around expanded scope for pharmacy techs, as well as the change in drug pricing, because that’s the final piece of the puzzle, this change in generic drug pricing and how that is going to affect the model of business that pharmacists are engaged in and have been engaged in, so it’s going to really dramatically change their business and they don’t know exactly how they’re going to cope or in what way they will be compensated.

 

            I know that we will have more chance to talk about that shortly but I think it’s important that we talk about the fact that as we expand the scope of technicians or the pharmacy techs who are supporting pharmacists, we have to remember there is a cost to be paid and it isn’t coming out of the government’s pocket at the moment at all, because it’s not happening in hospitals and I understand it doesn’t affect the military hospitals and pharmacists either, it is just the community pharmacies.

 

            In answer to the question about how we pay them, it was just sort of a shrug and oh well, it’s up to the pharmacies to pay them, it’s up to their stores to pay them. That, ultimately, will come back to the individuals who are shopping in those stores, people who are getting their prescriptions filled in those stores. We have to remember there is a cost to pay and somebody is going to pay it. I am a little concerned about that definitely, about how we’re going to go forward. I like the idea, as I’ve said, that we’ve updated the entire Act and put it all into a very usable form that we can all follow. It’s a very big bill, mind you, and it covers a lot of ground.

 

            I think that overall the expanded scope of practice, which is the key part that we’re here to talk about today, is very positive really, for all of us and does lay the groundwork again for fully utilizing our pharmacists in a way we haven’t done in the past and I’m glad to see that happening. I just think that’s something we all need to be aware of, and I think we’ll watch and see what the response is to Bill No. 13 as it comes through at the Law Amendments Committee but, you know, I expect that there will be pretty widespread support for it. I imagine we will hear from people that it is part of the uncertainty, you know, that they want to make at least an acknowledgement from the government that this does add another cost and another uncertainty to the situation they’re facing right now.

 

[Page 791]

 

 

            So I think that is very important and again, as I said, having more time with your pharmacist to go over the prescriptions and to actually counsel the patients who are coming through, I think will have some tremendous benefits for the utilization and the adherence to the prescription that people are getting. Because we know that so often, and too often, people are not finishing their prescriptions. They think they feel better so they stop and we know, Mr. Speaker, that has had a tremendous role to play in the penicillin and antibiotic resistance we’re seeing. People have not actually taken the drugs for the full extent of time they’re supposed to and those drugs become less effective.

 

            So we know that the pharmacists and their knowledge, you know, being able to focus more fully on the patients will make a huge difference. I think that that will be one of the positives we see from this with their technicians being able to take a lot of the day-to-day and more routine prescriptions that they can counsel. One of the things that we should mention, too, is that the technicians are probably uniquely suited to do things like explaining the equipment. The minister mentioned, for example, asthma and puffers that a lot of people use. They understand that and they have the time to sit down and explain that to people in a better way and, again, you’ll have a lot better adherence if people have the knowledge about how to use those and use them effectively.

 

            So we are looking at a new category really, of regulated health professionals and I think that all of us are going to be surprised as we see in future years just how many different categories of people are playing a role in our health care system. I saw recently where recreational therapists are looking for recognition and I’m sure the minister could name probably three or four others that have been at her door. It just shows that there are so many more professionals that are playing a component, having a component to play in the future. I think the important thing for the pharmacists is really that now we’ll have their full training and knowledge recognized and utilized, and that will be important. For the technicians who are doing up to a two-year course in the work that they do in studying chemistry and pharmaceuticals, they’ll also be able to be fully recognized and play a full role.

 

            So, Mr. Speaker, with that, I certainly am happy to see this moving forward to the next stage which will be the Law Amendments Committee and we hope to hear then from many of the stakeholders who are affected. (Applause)

 

            MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

 

            HON. CHRISTOPHER D’ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, it’s my pleasure to stand to speak for a few moments to Bill No. 13, the Pharmacy Act. I want to thank the member who just preceded me, the member for Halifax Clayton Park, for all her great comments and I really enjoy listening to her. I know that she still thinks she’s in Halifax Regional Council sometimes because she says so much in such a short period of time. It’s incredible what she can actually get in, and most times I don’t think she breathes, she just gets everything out, it’s wonderful.

 

[Page 792]

 

 

            Two issues that we have on this one (Interruption) It’s a compliment, it really is. The issue of single college I think is a good one. Not going out and creating a whole other college or whole other system for the pharmacy technician is one that’s very laudable.  Because I think a lot of times we have lots of organizations and health professionals that do want to be self-regulated that really don’t have the capabilities to do so. So it’s good to see that the College of Pharmacists is taking on this challenge.

 

            Mr. Speaker, the issue of pharmacy technicians freeing up the work of the pharmacist, I think is another good one. Too often with the computerized systems that we have today and the system that we do have, it really doesn’t require the pharmacist to be there counting pills all the time. They should be out doing the things that the pharmacists are so good at, which of course is working with the patients, working with the clients, making sure that they’re having their medications in a correct way.

 

            The member for Halifax Clayton Park was also correct when she talked about the concern is the cost in one way because there is no clear indication of what that is actually going to be. If someone is going to have to take extra courses, is going to have to be registered by the college, who is actually going to be paying for that information, because we all know a lot of times that this is an input cost and we’ll end up having it to be paid by a client or patient in one way or another.

 

            This is a precursor though to some further discussions that we’ll be having in this House when it comes to the issue of fair drug prices, of the issue of how it’s going to be rolling into the tariff agreement with pharmacists. Don’t forget that at this point it still costs somewhere near $16 per prescription to be filled. Is this going to make it cost a little bit more? We’ll be interested to hear from the pharmacists themselves as this bill does move on to Law Amendments Committee.

 

            At this rate, at this step in the process, I know that the Progressive Conservative caucus does support the bill. I look forward to it moving along through the process. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

 

            MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the minister it will be to close the debate.

 

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

 

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to thank the members opposite for their comments. With that, I would like to close debate on second reading of this bill.

 

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 13. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

 

[Page 793]

 

 

The motion is carried.

 

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Law Amendments.

 

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

 

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 15.

 

Bill No. 15 - Electricity Act.

 

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Energy.

 

HON. CHARLIE PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I’m pleased to rise in the House this evening to move second reading of Bill No. 15, the clean energy Act, which is an amendment to the Electricity Act.

 

Last year we made a 25 per cent target of renewable electricity by 2015, a firm legal commitment in Nova Scotia, and we set a goal of 40 per cent by 2020. This amendment to the Electricity Act will allow us to develop regulations to make the goal of 40 per cent renewable electricity by 2020 a firm legal requirement here in Nova Scotia.

 

This target is one of the most aggressive of its kind in the world. It represents nothing less than the transformation of our energy sector from one that is largely dependent on imports of dirty coal to one built on a foundation of clean renewable resources from our own backyards. The amendment will establish hydroelectricity, whether produced in the province or imported into the province, as an eligible resource for meeting renewable electricity targets. As you know, last November we announced an agreement between Nalcor Energy and Emera to develop renewable hydro-energy from Lower Churchill in Newfoundland and Labrador. In exchange for a 20 per cent stake in the project, Nova Scotia will receive 170 megawatts annually of firm flexible hydroelectricity over a 35-year period, with an option on an additional 330 megawatts.

 

Hydroelectricity from the Lower Churchill will play an important role in meeting Nova Scotia’s renewable electricity targets. When the Lower Churchill project begins to produce and distribute power in 2017, it will account for between 8 and 10 per cent of Nova Scotia’s total power needs, and this will be a significant contributor to us meeting the 2020 goal and gives us the confidence to make that goal a regulated target.

 

That same power will play an important role in enabling us to develop more renewable energy projects in our own backyard. Hydro is the perfect backup for intermittent power sources such as wind, and the more wind projects we have the more we need backup for the times when the air is still.

            The Lower Churchill project will also provide fixed pricing to Nova Scotia for 35 years on the energy that is purchased. It will mean a clean energy supply, new jobs and significant economic benefits to our province and to our region.

 

[Page 794]

 

 

            These are exciting times in Nova Scotia for energy. A generation ago it made sense to rely on coal to generate our electricity because the coal was mined right here in the province, prices were stable and the supply was secure. It also provided jobs and affordable electricity for Nova Scotians. Those days are now gone.

 

            Today almost 80 per cent of the electricity consumed here comes from imported coal. We will be reducing our use of coal to produce electricity by 50 per cent. Hydroelectricity, along with the other renewable energy sources, has an important role to play. The target of 40 per cent renewable electricity by 2020 makes Nova Scotia a global leader. When we achieve this target, the equivalent of more than 500,000 homes will be running on renewable energy, more than enough energy for every residential customer in the province.

 

            Our goal is to ensure access to cleaner, more secure energy at stable prices for Nova Scotians and through that process build good jobs and grow our economy. Estimates are that the economic impact of the Lower Churchill Project includes $3.5 billion in income for business and labour in Atlantic Canada and 10,000 jobs during the construction alone. Our renewable electricity strategy is expected to generate $1.5 billion in investment for Nova Scotia and generate between 5,000 and 7,500 person-years of employment, right here.

 

            In closing, this amendment is another step on our journey, a journey towards a transformed energy future that is secure, local, affordable and a strong contributor to our economy. We are making good progress on that journey. We have a clear map in front of us, the motivation to move quickly and the know-how of Nova Scotians to back us up.

 

            Thank you, Mr. Speaker, because of the lateness of the hour I’m going to ask that we adjourn debate.

 

            MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for adjournment of debate on Bill No. 15.

 

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

 

            The motion is carried.

 

            The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

 

            MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government’s business for today. I move that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow at the hour of 9:00 a.m. The House will sit tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The order of business tomorrow will be the daily routine followed by Supply debate and if time allows, Public Bills for Second Reading, Bill Nos. 7, 15, 17, 19, 21 and 23.

            I move the House do now rise.

 

[Page 795]

 

 

            MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House now rise to meet again tomorrow at the hour of 9:00 a.m.

 

            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 House rose at 7:53 p.m.]


 

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

 

[Page 796]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 495

 

By:      Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

 

            I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas the mother/daughter farm combination in Burntcoat, Hants County, consists of Broadcove Holsteins owned by Anne Crowe and Hi-Calibre Holsteins owned by daughter Andrea Crowe; and

 

            Whereas mother and daughter farm in a newly constructed 50-cow tie stall where the average dairy production is 9,211 kilograms of milk annually; and

 

            Whereas besides the dairy production, Andrea focuses on the breeding of Holsteins and has provided the farm with four all-Canadian nominations in the last five years;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Anne and Andrea Crowe for their outstanding work in Nova Scotia’s dairy industry and thank them for playing host to Canadian Holstein conventioneers later next month.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 496

 

By:      Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

 

            I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas the Cole Award for Excellence in Environment and Health is awarded to an individual or group who has passionately promoted the link between environment and health in Nova Scotia; and

 

            Whereas retired English professors, Gillian Thomas and Donna Smyth, from Ardoise, were named this year’s recipients of the Cole Award for Excellence in Environment and Health for their contributions and active roles with the group known as CAPE – Citizen’s Action to Protect the Environment; and

 

            Whereas their efforts to educate the public on the importance of keeping uranium in the ground will have great benefit to not only our generation but for many generations to come;


 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend Gillian Thomas and Donna Smyth for the many hours of hard work they dedicated to a cause they believe in and congratulate them on receiving the Cole Award for Excellence in Environment and Health.

 

[Page 797]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 497

 

By:      Mr. Andrew Younger (Dartmouth East)

 

            I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas Ryan Hreljac of Ontario founded the Ryan’s Well foundation in 2001, a freshwater project in Africa that has built 708 wells in 16 countries to date; and

 

            Whereas Ryan won himself a keen audience in the students at Portland Estates Elementary School in Dartmouth after classes read his book Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa that Brought them Together; and

 

            Whereas Grade 5 and Grade 6 students involved in the Power Play Kids Program at Portland Estates Elementary visited with Ryan, a student at the University of King’s College, and will endeavour to raise money for the Ryan’s Well Foundation;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly applaud the students of Portland Estates Elementary for their humanitarian efforts and their partnership with the Ryan’s Well Foundation.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 498

 

By:      Hon. Sterling Belliveau (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

 

 I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas Shelburne resident Tasmiah Rahman has been recognized by the Municipality of the District of Shelburne for her participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010; and

 

            Whereas it is inspiring to see youth such as Tasmiah Rahman taking an active role in the community as a volunteer, contributing to society and gaining valuable life skills; and

 

            Whereas programming such as the Junior Volunteer Leaders that is provided through the Shelburne Recreation and Parks Department helps to give today’s youth the foundation to be tomorrow’s leaders;

 

 

[Page 798]

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Shelburne resident Tasmiah Rahman for her participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 499

 

By:      Hon. Sterling Belliveau (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

 

 I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas Reids Hill resident Aaron Richardson has been recognized by the Municipality of the District of Shelburne for his participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010; and

 

            Whereas it is inspiring to see youth such as Aaron Richardson  taking an active role in the community as a volunteer, contributing to society and gaining valuable life skills; and

 

            Whereas programming such as the Junior Volunteer Leaders that is provided through the Shelburne Recreation and Parks Department helps to give today’s youth the foundation to be tomorrow’s leaders;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Reids Hill resident Aaron Richardson for his participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 500

 

By:      Hon. Sterling Belliveau (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

 

 I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas Shelburne resident Anika Rahman has been recognized by the Municipality of the District of Shelburne for her participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010; and

 

            Whereas it is inspiring to see youth such as Anika Rahman taking an active role in the community as a volunteer, contributing to society and gaining valuable life skills; and

 

            Whereas programming such as the Junior Volunteer Leaders that is provided through the Shelburne Recreation and Parks Department helps to give today’s youth the foundation to be tomorrow’s leaders;

 

 

[Page 799]

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Shelburne resident Anika Rahman for her participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 501

 

By:      Hon. Sterling Belliveau (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

 

 I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas West Green Harbour resident Garrett Chetwynd has been recognized by the Municipality of the District of Shelburne for his participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010; and

 

            Whereas it is inspiring to see youth such as Garrett Chetwynd taking an active role in the community as a volunteer, contributing to society and gaining valuable life skills; and

 

            Whereas programming such as the Junior Volunteer Leaders that is provided through the Shelburne Recreation and Parks Department helps to give today’s youth the foundation to be tomorrow’s leaders;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate West Green Harbour resident Garrett Chetwynd for his participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 502

 

By:      Hon. Sterling Belliveau (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

 

 I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas Lower Ohio resident Geneva Bower has been recognized by the Municipality of the District of Shelburne for her participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010; and

 

            Whereas it is inspiring to see youth such as Geneva Bower taking an active role in the community as a volunteer, contributing to society and gaining valuable life skills; and

 

            Whereas programming such as the Junior Volunteer Leaders that is provided through the Shelburne Recreation and Parks Department helps to give today’s youth the foundation to be tomorrow’s leaders;

 

 

[Page 800]

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Lower Ohio resident Geneva Bower for her participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 503

 

By:      Hon. Sterling Belliveau (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

 

 I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas West Green Harbour resident Hannah Scott has been recognized by the Municipality of the District of Shelburne for her participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010; and

 

            Whereas it is inspiring to see youth such as Hannah Scott taking an active role in the community as a volunteer, contributing to society and gaining valuable life skills; and

 

            Whereas programming such as the Junior Volunteer Leaders that is provided through the Shelburne Recreation and Parks Department helps to give today’s youth the foundation to be tomorrow’s leaders;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate West Green Harbour resident Hannah Scott for her participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 504

 

By:      Hon. Sterling Belliveau (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

 

 I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas Welshtown resident Kassidy Nickerson has been recognized by the Municipality of the District of Shelburne for her participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010; and

 

            Whereas it is inspiring to see youth such as Kassidy Nickerson taking an active role in the community as a volunteer, contributing to society and gaining valuable life skills; and

 

            Whereas programming such as the Junior Volunteer Leaders that is provided through the Shelburne Recreation and Parks Department helps to give today’s youth the foundation to be tomorrow’s leaders;

 

 

[Page 801]

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Welshtown resident Kassidy Nickerson for her participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 505

 

By:      Hon. Sterling Belliveau (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

 

 I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas Reids Hill resident Luke Richardson has been recognized by the Municipality of the District of Shelburne for his participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010; and

 

            Whereas it is inspiring to see youth such as Luke Richardson taking an active role in the community as a volunteer, contributing to society and gaining valuable life skills; and

 

            Whereas programming such as the Junior Volunteer Leaders that is provided through the Shelburne Recreation and Parks Department helps to give today’s youth the foundation to be tomorrow’s leaders;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Reids Hill resident Luke Richardson for his participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 506

 

By:      Hon. Sterling Belliveau (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

 

 I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas Ohio resident Natasha Race has been recognized by the Municipality of the District of Shelburne for her participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010; and

 

            Whereas it is inspiring to see youth such as Natasha Race taking an active role in the community as a volunteer, contributing to society and gaining valuable life skills; and

 

            Whereas programming such as the Junior Volunteer Leaders that is provided through the Shelburne Recreation and Parks Department helps to give today’s youth the foundation to be tomorrow’s leaders;

 

 

[Page 802]

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Ohio resident Natasha Race for her participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 507

 

By:      Hon. Sterling Belliveau (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

 

 I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas West Green Harbour resident Riley Buchanan has been recognized by the Municipality of the District of Shelburne for his participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010; and

 

            Whereas it is inspiring to see youth such as Riley Buchanan taking an active role in the community as a volunteer, contributing to society and gaining valuable life skills; and

 

            Whereas programming such as the Junior Volunteer Leaders that is provided through the Shelburne Recreation and Parks Department helps to give today’s youth the foundation to be tomorrow’s leaders;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate West Green Harbour resident Riley Buchanan for his participation as a Junior Volunteer Leader in recreational programming in 2010.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 508

 

By:      Hon. Christopher d’Entremont (Argyle)

 

            I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas National Volunteer Week ran from April 10-16, 2011 and this year’s theme for the national campaign was Volunteers: Passion. Action. Impact.; and

 

            Whereas on Friday, April 15th, the Club Social des Isles on Surettes Island will host the 29th Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle; and

 

            Whereas among the 21 volunteers being honoured is Brian Roberts of Glenwood who will be recognized for devoting time and effort to so many organizations in and around his community;


 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Brian Roberts on being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, wish him continued success in all his endeavours, and thank him and all volunteers for their dedication to others.

 

[Page 803]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 509

 

By:      Hon. Christopher d’Entremont (Argyle)

 

            I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas National Volunteer Week ran from April 10-16, 2011 and this year’s theme for the national campaign was Volunteers: Passion. Action. Impact.; and

 

            Whereas on Friday, April 15th, the Club Social des Isles on Surettes Island will host the 29th Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle; and

 

            Whereas among the 21 volunteers being honoured is Melanie Bourque of Wedgeport, a youth volunteer representing Ecole secondaire de Par-en-Bas, who will be recognized for devoting time and effort to so many organizations in and around her community and her school;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Melanie Bourque on being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, wish her continued success in all her endeavours, and thank her and all volunteers for their dedication to others.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 510

 

By:      Hon. Christopher d’Entremont (Argyle)

 

            I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas National Volunteer Week ran from April 10-16, 2011 and this year’s theme for the national campaign was Volunteers: Passion. Action. Impact.; and

 

            Whereas on Friday, April 15th, the Club Social des Isles on Surettes Island will host the 29th Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle; and

 

            Whereas among the 21 volunteers being honoured is Alexa d’Entremont of Middle West Pubnico, a youth volunteer representing Drumlin Heights Consolidated School, who will be recognized for devoting time and effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

 

 

[Page 804]

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Alexa d’Entremont on being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, wish her continued success in all her endeavours, and thank her and all volunteers for their dedication to others.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 511

 

By:      Hon. Christopher d’Entremont (Argyle)

 

            I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas National Volunteer Week ran from April 10-16, 2011 and this year’s theme for the national campaign was Volunteers: Passion. Action. Impact.; and

 

            Whereas on Friday, April 15th, the Club Social des Isles on Surettes Island will host the 29th Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle; and

 

            Whereas among the 21 volunteers being honoured is Verna d’Entremont of Lower West Pubnico who will be recognized for devoting time and effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Verna d’Entremont on being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, wish her continued success in all her endeavours, and thank her and all volunteers for their dedication to others.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 512

 

By:      Hon. Christopher d’Entremont (Argyle)

 

            I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas National Volunteer Week ran from April 10-16, 2011 and this year’s theme for the national campaign was Volunteers: Passion. Action. Impact.; and

 

            Whereas on Friday, April 15th, the Club Social des Isles on Surettes Island will host the 29th Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle; and

 

            Whereas among the 21 volunteers being honoured is Yvonne d’Entremont of West Pubnico who will be recognized for devoting time and effort to so many organizations in and around her community;


 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Yvonne d’Entremont on being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, wish her continued success in all her endeavours, and thank her and all volunteers for their dedication to others.

 

[Page 805]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 513

 

By:      Hon. Christopher d’Entremont (Argyle)

 

            I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas National Volunteer Week ran from April 10-16, 2011 and this year’s theme for the national campaign was Volunteers: Passion. Action. Impact.; and

 

            Whereas on Friday, April 15th, the Club Social des Isles on Surettes Island will host the 29th Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle; and

 

            Whereas among the 21 volunteers being honoured is Marie d’Entremont of West Pubnico who will be recognized for devoting time and effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Marie d’Entremont on being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, wish her continued success in all her endeavours, and thank her and all volunteers for their dedication to others.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 514

 

By:      Hon. Christopher d’Entremont (Argyle)

 

            I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas National Volunteer Week ran from April 10-16, 2011 and this year’s theme for the national campaign was Volunteers: Passion. Action. Impact.; and

 

            Whereas on Friday, April 15th, the Club Social des Isles on Surettes Island will host the 29th Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle; and

 

            Whereas among the 21 volunteers being honoured is Agnita d’Entremont of Lower West Pubnico who will be recognized for devoting time and effort to so many organizations in and around her community;


 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Agnita d’Entremont on being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, wish her continued success in all her endeavours, and thank her and all volunteers for their dedication to others.

 

[Page 806]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 515

 

By:      Hon. Christopher d’Entremont (Argyle)

 

            I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

            Whereas National Volunteer Week ran from April 10-16, 2011 and this year’s theme for the national campaign was Volunteers: Passion. Action. Impact.; and

 

            Whereas on Friday, April 15th, the Club Social des Isles on Surettes Island will host the 29th Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle; and

 

            Whereas among the 21 volunteers being honoured is Natalie Smith of Roberts Island who will be recognized for devoting time and effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

 

            Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Natalie Smith on being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, wish her continued success in all her endeavours, and thank her and all volunteers for their dedication to others.