Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

                                                              HANSARD                                                     11-15

 

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

 

                                             WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2011

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                            PAGE

 

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

Res. 606, Riverside Educ. Ctr.: Bullying/Cyberbullying - Action,

 

Hon. R. Jennex ......................................................................................

978

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

978

Res. 607, Colon Cancer: Screening - Importance,

 

The Premier (by Hon. P. Paris) ..............................................................

979

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

979

Res. 608, Simpson, Ken: Death of - Tribute,

 

Hon. J. MacDonell .................................................................................

979

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

980

Res. 609, Hull, Maureen: Pictou Antigonish Reg. Library -

 

Writer in Residence, Hon. D. Wilson ....................................................

980

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

981

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:

 

No. 35, Body Armour Control Act,

 

Hon. R. Landry .....................................................................................

981

NOTICES OF MOTION:

 

Res. 610, Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids: Fundraising - Congrats.,

 

Hon. R. Landry .....................................................................................

982

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

982

Res. 611, Connolly, Don: CBC Radio - Anniv. (35th),

 

Mr. A. Younger .....................................................................................

982

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

983

Res. 612, Webber, Sylvia: Chester Basin FD - Vol. Work Congrats.,

 

Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse .......................................................................

983

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

984

Res. 613, Fraser, Scott - IWK Commun. Award,

 

Hon. R. Jennex ......................................................................................

984

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

984

Res. 614, Johnson, Faus - N.S. CoC: Director - Appt.,

 

Hon. C. Parker .......................................................................................

985

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

985

Res. 615, Fitzgerald, Thom - Merritt Award,

 

Mr. L. Preyra .........................................................................................

986

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

986

Res. 616, Goff, Everill - Scouts Can. Award,

 

Ms. L. Zann ...........................................................................................

986

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

987

Res. 617, Campbell, Morris - Westville Vol. of Yr. (2011),

 

Mr. C. MacKinnon ................................................................................

987

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

988

Res. 618, Sinclair, Kimberly: East Coast Music Awards - Congrats.,

 

Ms. V. Conrad .......................................................................................

988

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

989

Res. 619, Auburn Eagles Boys Basketball Team - Prov. Championships,

 

The Premier ............................................................................................

989

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

989

Res. 620, Smith, Steve - St. F.X.: Doctor of Laws, honoris causa  

 

Congrats., Mr. M. Smith ........................................................................

989

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

990

Res. 621, McIntosh, Maryann: Special Olympics N.S.

 

Female Coach of Yr. - Congrats., Mr. G. Ramey ..................................

990

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

991

Res. 622, Y Serv. Club/Amherst Y’s Mennetts: Spring Food Drive

 

- Participants, Mr. B. Skabar .................................................................

991

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

992

Res. 623, High School Musical - C.P. Allen HS: Production - Congrats.,

 

Mr. M. Whynott ................................................................................

993

Vote - Affirmative ................................................................

993

Res. 624, Sheffield Mills - Model Vol. Community of Yr. (2011),

 

Mr. J. Morton .........................................................................................

993

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

993

Res. 625, Lunenburg Town: TripAdvisor.com - Recognition,

 

Ms. P. Birdsall .......................................................................................

993

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

994

Res. 626, Greene, Adam; Kevin Grant Leadership Tour - Congrats.,

 

Hon. R. Landry .....................................................................................

994

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

995

Res. 627, Sandra’s Strollers: Breast Cancer - Fundraising,

 

Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse .......................................................................

995

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

996

Res. 628, Bush, Dorothy - Pictou Town Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. C. Parker .......................................................................................

996

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

996

Res. 629, Pollett-Brannen, Arianne - Merritt Award,

 

Mr. L. Preyra .........................................................................................

996

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

997

Res. 630, Vyas, Vineet: East Coast Music Award - Nomination,

 

Ms. L. Zann ...........................................................................................

997

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

998

Res. 631, Queens Quilters: Commun. Serv. - Recognize,

 

Ms. V. Conrad .......................................................................................

998

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

999

Res. 632, Gorman, Mary: Environ. - Commitment,

 

Mr. C. MacKinnon ................................................................................

999

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

999

Res. 633, Bancroft, Bob - Tobin Trophy,

 

Mr. M. Smith .........................................................................................

999

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

1000

Res. 634, Wilkins, Jeff - Atl. Provinces Trucking Assoc. Driver of Yr.,

 

Mr. G. Ramey ........................................................................................

1000

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

1001

Res. 635, CANSA/Drop Inn Ministries: Efforts - Applaud,

 

Mr. B. Skabar ........................................................................................

1001

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

1002

Res. 636, LaPierre, Owen - Rep. Vol. Award,

 

Mr. M. Whynott ....................................................................................

1002

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

1003

Res. 637, Paddy’s Pub & Rosie’s Restaurant (Wolfville) - Anniv. (10th),

 

Mr. J. Morton ....................................................................................

1003

Vote - Affirmative ................................................................

1003

Res. 638, CIBC (Lunenburg): Renovations/IWK Donations - Congrats.,

 

Ms. P. Birdsall .......................................................................................

1004

Vote - Affirmative .......................................................................

1004

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:

 

No. 104, Prem. - Gov’t. Advertising: Costs - Justify,

 

Mr. A. Younger .....................................................................................

1005

No. 105, Prem.: Free Votes - Stance,

 

Hon. J. Baillie ........................................................................................

1006

No. 106, Com. Serv.: Disabled People - Fin. Support,

 

Mr. G. MacLellan ..................................................................................

1008

No. 107, Health & Wellness - Kentville Police Chief: Min. Response

 

- Table, Mr. L. Glavine ..........................................................................

1009

No. 108, Prem. - Mun. Deficits: Gov’t. (N.S.) - Balanced Books,

 

Hon. J. Baillie ........................................................................................

1010

No. 109, Justice - Violent Crime: Increase - Address,

 

Hon. M. Samson ....................................................................................

1011

No. 110, Nat. Res.: Forestry Policy - Economic Impact Assessment,

 

Mr. A. MacLeod ....................................................................................

1013

No. 111, Lbr. & Adv. Educ.: Gambling Study - Release,

 

Mr. L. Glavine .......................................................................................

1014

No. 112, TIR: Lwr. East Pubnico/Mid. East Pubnico Water Systems

 

- Decommissioning, Hon. C. d’Entremont ............................................

1016

No. 113, Nat. Res. - Digby Neck: Salt Quarry - Litigation,

 

Mr. H. Theriault .....................................................................................

1017

No. 114, NDP Gov’t. - Info. Release: Secrecy - Explain,

 

Mr. A. Younger .....................................................................................

1018

No. 115, Health & Wellness - MS Liberation Therapy: Tracking

 

- Dal. Funding, Ms. D. Whalen .............................................................

1020

No. 116, Status of Women: Domestic Violence Strategy - Organizers,

 

Ms. K. Regan .........................................................................................

1021

No. 117, TIR: East Margaree Bridge Replacement,

 

Mr. A. MacMaster .................................................................................

1022

No. 118, Prem.: Immigration Strategy - Release,

 

Hon. M. Samson ....................................................................................

1024

No. 119, Energy - NSPI: Competition - Allow,

 

Mr. A. Younger .....................................................................................

1026

No. 120, ERD & Tourism - Hants Reg. Dev. Auth.: Director - Dismissal,

 

Hon. K. Colwell ....................................................................................

1027

No. 121, Agric.: Strategy Release - Time Frame,

 

Mr. C. Porter ..........................................................................................

1029

No. 122, Health & Wellness - Dart. Gen.: Ross Rept. - Standards,

 

Mr. A. Younger .....................................................................................

1030

No. 123, TIR - Hants West: Rim Budget - Cuts,

 

Mr. C. Porter ..........................................................................................

1031

OPPOSITION MEMBERS’ BUSINESS:

 

PRIVATE MEMBERS’ PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:

 

No. 3, Modernizing Government Act,

 

Hon. J. Baillie ...............................................................................

1033

Ms. P. Birdsall ..............................................................................

1037

Mr. A. Younger ............................................................................

1041

Mr. A. MacMaster ........................................................................

1044

Mr. M. Whynott ...........................................................................

1046

No. 18, Maintenance and Custody Act,

 

Hon. J. Baillie ...............................................................................

1047

Hon. R. Landry ............................................................................

1050

Hon. K. Casey ..............................................................................

1053

Mr. K. Bain ..................................................................................

1056

ADJOURNMENT:

 

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):

 

Earth Day (04/22/11) - Recognize,

 

Mr. J. Boudreau ...........................................................................

1059

Mr. A. Younger ............................................................................

1061

Hon. C. d’Entremont ...................................................................

1064

ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Apr. 21st at 10:00 a.m. .....

1067

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):

 

Res. 639, Bennett, Manley David: Death of - Tribute,

 

Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse ..................................................................

1068

Res. 640, Annapolis Co. Col. Awards: Recipients - Congrats.,

 

Hon. S. McNeil .................................................................................

1068

Res. 641, Haley, Fred - Commun. Contributions,

 

Ms. K. Regan ....................................................................................

1069

Res. 642, Bechard, Calvin - Commun. Contributions,

 

Ms. K. Regan ....................................................................................

1069

Res. 643, Travers, Heather: Youth Activities - Involvement,

 

Ms. K. Regan ....................................................................................

1070

Res. 644, Williams, Jane: Adopted Commun. - Contribution,

 

Ms. K. Regan ....................................................................................

1070

Res. 645, Cleghorn, Joan: Bedford Beautification - Congrats.,

 

Ms. K. Regan ....................................................................................

1071

Res. 646, MacDougall, Sandy: Bedford Players - Contribution,

 

Ms. K. Regan ....................................................................................

1071

Res. 647, MacDonald, Shannon: Women’s Executive Network Award,

 

Ms. K. Regan ....................................................................................

1072

Res. 648, Dickey, Rae: School Successes - Congrats.,

 

Mr. A. Younger, ...............................................................................

1072

Res. 649, Downey, Alexus: School Successes - Congrats.,

 

Mr. A. Younger ................................................................................

1073

Res. 650, Holman, Alexandra: School Successes - Congrats.,

 

Mr. A. Younger ................................................................................

1073

Res. 651, Johnston, Kayla-Mye: School Successes - Congrats.,

 

Mr. A. Younger ................................................................................

1074

Res. 652, Osellame, Joshua: School Successes - Congrats.,

 

Mr. A. Younger ................................................................................

1074

Res. 653, Polder, Benjamin: School Successes - Congrats.,

 

Mr. A. Younger ................................................................................

1075

Res. 654, Webb, Kelly: School Successes - Congrats.,

 

Mr. A. Younger ................................................................................

1075

Res. 655, MacDonald, Joan - West Bay United Church

 

Women Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ..............................................

1076

Res. 656, Fougére, Robbie - Telile Commun. TV Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1076

Res. 657, Gagnon, Phillipe - Richmond Rize Volleyball Club Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1077

Res. 658, Pierce, Brett - Les réseau acadien des sites P@C de la NÉ

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1078

Res. 659, Landry, Lorna - Les Amies de La Picasse Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1079

Res. 660, Boudreau, Loralie - Le Site P@C de La Picasse Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1079

Res. 661, Migneault, Louise - L’Association des Femmes Acadiennes

 

en Marche de Richmond Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...................

1080

Res. 662, Benoît, Thérèse - Centre La Picasse, Centre Communautaire

 

Cultural Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson .............................................

1081

Res. 663, MacDonald, Patricia - Black River United Church Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1082

Res. 664, MacNamara, Shannon - 1st Louisdale Girl Guides Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1082

Res. 665, Stone, Dick - Bonnie Brae Seniors Club Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1083

Res. 666, Diggdon, Michael - Acadiaville Commun. Ctr. Soc. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1083

Res. 667, Carter, Charles N. - East Richmond ATV Riders Soc.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1084

Res. 668, Cunningham, Valerie - East Richmond Educ. Ctr. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1084

Res. 669, McNamara, Shirley - Eastern Counties Reg. Library

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1085

Res. 670, Jeffrey, Kathleen - École Beau-Port Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1085

Res. 671, Goyetche, Donald - Development Isle Madame Assoc.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1086

Res. 672, Spray, Lillie - Dr. W.B. Kingston Health Ctr. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1086

Res. 673, Gwynn, Cathy - Fourchu Dev. Assoc. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1087

Res. 674, Gwynn, Philip - Fourchu United Church Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1087

Res. 675, Rafuse, Margie - Fourchu UCW Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1088

Res. 676, Pottie, Raymond - Framboise Commun. Ctr. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1088

Res. 677, MacLeod, Suzann - Framboise/Fourchu Vol. FD Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1089

Res. 678, Marchand, Donna - Felix Marchand Educ. Ctr. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1089

Res. 679, George, Jeannette - Louisdale Fleur de Lis Seniors Club

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1090

Res. 680, Stone, Glenda - West Arichat Immaculate Conception CWL

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1090

Res. 681, MacNeil, Carolyn - Barra Head Immaculate Conception

 

Parish Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson .................................................

1091

Res. 682, Starkey, Danielle - Immaculate Conception Parish Coun.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1091

Res. 683, Sutherland, Bonnie - Island Commun. Justice Soc. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1092

Res. 684, Durston, Brian - Grand River Seniors Club Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1092

Res. 685, Morrison, Sandy - Grand River Vol. FD Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1093

Res. 686, MacPhail, Cheryl - Head of the Bay Seniors Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1093

Res. 687, Boudreau, Richard - Isle Madame Hist. Soc. Vol. of Yrs.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1094

Res. 688, LeBlanc, Patrick - Isle Madame New Horizons Seniors Club

 

Vol. of Yrs., Hon. M. Samson ..........................................................

1094

Res. 689, Herdman, Margaret - Isle Madame Tourism & Trade

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1095

Res. 690, David, Morgan - Isle Madame Vol. FD Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1095

Res. 691, Boudreau, Donna H. - Island View Health Services

 

Aux. Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ..................................................

1096

Res. 692, Boudreau, Norma E. - Isle Madame ATV Riders Assoc.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1096

Res. 693, Baran, Pauline - Isle Madame Garden Club Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1097

Res. 694, Pottie, Ken - Knights of Columbus Coun. 14280 Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1097

Res. 695, Landry, Eva - Lakeside 4-H Club Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1098

Res. 696, Sampson, Carol - L’Ardoise Acadian Fest. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1098

Res. 697, MacPhee, Theo - L’Ardoise Adult Rec. Club Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1099

Res. 698, Lavandier, Ashley - Janvrin’s Fest Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1099

Res. 699, Marchand, Karen - Janvrin’s Island Commun. Ctr. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1100

Res. 700, Landry, Glen - Janvrin’s Island Sport & Rec. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1100

Res. 701, Landry, Linda - L’Ardoise Senior Jolly Club Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1101

Res. 702, Sampson, Evan - L’Ardoise Vol. FD Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1101

Res. 703, Burke, Winnie - Lakeside & Area Seniors Club Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1102

Res. 704, Stone, Helen - Lakeside Commun. Assoc. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1102

Res. 705, Sampson, Harry Alexander - L’Ardoise Commun. Ctr.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1103

Res. 706, Burkey, Marie - L’Ardoise Economic Assoc. For Dev.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1103

Res. 707, Bona, Anna - L’Ardoise Friends of Palliative Care Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1104

Res. 708, Sampson, Elaine - L’Ardoise Ladies Social Club Vol. of Yr.

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1104

Res. 709, Burke, Vernon - L’Ardoise Men’s Club Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1105

Res. 710, Carter, Stuwart - Oceanview Wildlife Assoc. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1105

Res. 711, Samson, Linda - Our Lady of Assumption CWL Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1106

Res. 712, Bungay, Winnie - Our Lady of Assumption Parish Coun. Vol.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1106

Res. 713, MacNeil, Russell - Point Tupper Heritage Assoc. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1107

Res. 714, Kehoe, Donald - Little Anse/Samson’s Cove Social Action Ctr.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1107

Res. 715, MacDonald, Genora - Loch Lomond Heritage Assoc.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1108

Res. 716, McPherson, Colin - Loch Lomond Vol. FD Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1108

Res. 717, Boudreau, Adrian - Louisdale Lions Club Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1109

Res. 718, Rowe, Gordon - North Side Commun. Improvement

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1109

Res. 719, Beaton, Martha - Richmond Co. (Isle Madame Br.)

 

Early Childhood Educ. Assoc. Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson .........

1110

Res. 720, Clements, Theresa - L’Ardoise RCL Br. 110

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1110

Res. 721, Martell, Marie Louise - Isle Madame RCL Br. 150

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1111

Res. 722, Short, Shelley - RCL Br. 150 Ladies Aux. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1111

Res. 723, Bouchard, Linda - St. Peter’s RCL Br. 47 Ladies Aux.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1112

Res. 724, Peeples, Wes - St. Peter’s RCL Br. 47 Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1112

Res. 725, Scanlan, Sandra - Richmond Acad. Home & Sch. Assoc.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1113

Res. 726, Samson, Phillip - Richmond Acad. Advisory Coun.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1113

Res. 727, Diggdon, Rodney - Richmond Arena Assoc. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1114

Res. 728, David, Kenneth - Richmond Commun. Access Soc.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1114

Res. 729, Martell, Phyllis - Richmond Co. Literacy Network Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1115

Res. 730, Stone, Monica - Richmond Co. Seniors Coun. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1115

Res. 731, Burke, Duane - Richmond Co. (St. Peter’s Br.)

 

Early Childhood Educ. Assoc. Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson .........

1116

Res. 732, Strachan, Jeanette - St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1116

Res. 733, Peeples, Lillian - St. Peter’s Scottish Country Dance Group

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1117

Res. 734, Morgan, Lisa - Riverdale Commun. Serv. Soc. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1117

Res. 735, Wincey, Louise - Richmond Villa Rec. Dept. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1118

Res. 736, Chisholm, Paula - St. Francis de Sales Pastoral Coun.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1118

Res. 737, Landry, Rebecca - River Bourgeois Econ. Dev. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1119

Res. 738, Wagg, Ross - South Mountain Arm of Gold Assoc.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1119

Res. 739, Digout, Stan - River Bourgeois Tech. & Training Ctr.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1120

Res. 740, Doyle, Claire - St. Anne Commun. & Nursing Care Ctr.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1120

Res. 741, Terrio, Susan - St. Anne Commun. & Nursing Care Ctr.

 

Ladies Aux. Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson .......................................

1121

Res. 742, Martell, Carla - Richmond Skating Club Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1121

Res. 743, Landry, Debbie - River Bourgeois Commun. Serv. Soc.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1122

Res. 744, Hayes, Gloria - Riverdale 55+ Seniors Club Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1122

Res. 745, St. Louis, Frances - River Bourgeois Seniors 50+ Club

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1123

Res. 746, Martin, George - Roddie’s Square Dancing Soc. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1123

Res. 747, Hill, Gloria - West Arichat & Dist. Village Circle Soc.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1124

Res. 748, Landry, Jean Marie - St. Louis CWL Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1124

Res. 749, Morrison, Josephine - St. John the Baptist CWL Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1125

Res. 750, Leonard, Mitchell - West Bay United Church Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1125

Res. 751, Richard, Pam - St. Hyacinth CWL Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1126

Res. 752, Fougere, Rose Marie - St. Francis de Sales CWL Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1126

Res. 753, Martell, Shirley - St. Joseph’s CWL Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1127

Res. 754, Skinner, Theresa - St. John’s Anglican Church Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1127

Res. 755, Wareham, Vange - Stirling/Framboise/Fourchu Seniors

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1128

Res. 756, Sampson, Alfred - St. Peter’s Lions Marina Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1128

Res. 757, MacAskill, Alice - West Bay Pastoral Charge Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1129

Res. 758, Mombourquette, Amanda - Village on the Canal Assoc.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1129

Res. 759, Talbot, Anna Marie - West Bay Commun. Assoc. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1130

Res. 760, Boudreau, Blair W. - Zachary Hall Mem. Soc. (Little Anse)

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1130

Res. 761, Williams, Carol Ann - Strait Richmond Hosp. Seniors

 

Advisory Coun. Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson .................................

1131

Res. 762, Bennett, Denise - St. Hyacinth Parish Coun. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1131

Res. 763, Pottie, Denise - St. Peter’s & Dist. Vol. FD Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1132

Res. 764, Landry, Douglas - St. Peter’s/Sampsonville & Area

 

Water Utility Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson .....................................

1132

Res. 765, McDonnell, Esther - St. Peter’s Village Commn. Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1133

Res. 766, MacInnis, George - St. Peter’s & Area Lions Club Vol. of Yr.,

 

Hon. M. Samson ...............................................................................

1133

Res. 767, Burke, Raymonde - Holy Guardian Angel Parish Coun.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1134

Res. 768, McLean, Rosemary - D’Escousse Civic Improvement Soc.

 

Vol. of Yr., Hon. M. Samson ...........................................................

1134


 

[Page 977]

 

 

 

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2011

 

Sixty-first General Assembly

 

Third Session

 

2:00 P.M.

 

SPEAKER

 

Hon. Gordon Gosse

 

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

 

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

 

 

     MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Before we get into the daily routine, the topic for late debate this evening has been chosen, and the topic is:

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd, and do what they can to get the message out about this important day of recognition.

 

     It was submitted by the honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

 

     PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

 

     PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES


     TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

 

[Page 978]

 

 

     STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

 

     GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 606

 

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

 

     Whereas students at Riverside Education Centre in Milford Station are taking a stand against cyber-bullying by pledging to stay off social networking sites that allow people to post anonymous comments; and

 

     Whereas the pledge campaign, that will include an in-school TV commercial, is being run by students who recognize the dangers of cyber-bullying and are taking action to protect their friends and families; and

 

     Whereas these students are setting an excellent example for all Nova Scotians by showing that you can still use and enjoy social networking Web sites without posting harmful comments anonymously;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly thank the students, teachers, school staff, and parents at Riverside Education Centre for doing their part to fight bullying and cyber-bullying at their school and in their community.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 607

 

[Page 979]

 

 

     HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Premier, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

     Whereas colon cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in Nova Scotia, and each year approximately 800 Nova Scotians will be diagnosed; and

 

     Whereas all Nova Scotians between the ages of 50 and 74 will now have access to a home screening kit for prevention and early detection of colon cancer, thanks to the Colon Cancer Prevention Program; and

 

     Whereas the Colon Cancer Prevention Program, although still in its early stages, has helped to identify 21 people with cancer and 229 Nova Scotians with pre-cancerous growths;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the importance of regular screening for early detection and prevention of colon cancer, and that the 10-minute home screening kit will help save the lives of more Nova Scotians.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 608

 

     HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask for a moment of silence at the end of my resolution, please.

 

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

 

     Whereas it is with great sadness that Ken Simpson, executive director of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, lost his lengthy battle with cancer; and

 

[Page 980]

 

 

     Whereas Ken’s dedication and commitment to all 55 municipalities was second to none as he was a strong voice and champion for municipalities, working hard to promote strong communities in Nova Scotia; and

 

     Whereas Ken was a kind, generous, hard-working person with a positive attitude and was an inspiration to all;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House offer deepest condolences to Ken Simpson’s family, and remember Ken Simpson for his hard work and service as executive director of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities for more than 20 years.

 

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

 

     MR. 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.

 

     We will now observe a moment of silence.

 

     [A moment of silence was observed.]

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 609

 

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

 

     Whereas since 2005 the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, has offered the Author Residency program; and

 

     Whereas the Writer-in-Residence’s role in the community is to foster a love of reading, encourage community literacy and support the development of writers; and

 

     Whereas this year’s writer is Pictou Island resident Maureen Hull, an accomplished poet and children’s and young adult author;

 

[Page 981]

 

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Mrs. Hull on being selected the 2010-11 Writer-in-Residence for the Pictou-Antigonish Library, and wish her much success in inspiring and supporting beginning and more established writers during her tenure.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Pictou East on an introduction.

 

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring the attention of the House to the east gallery where we have two very special guests with us today. They are Mary Lloyd and Larry Maloney. Both work very hard with the Pictou County Injured Workers Association and they do tremendous work for not just Pictou County, but throughout northern Nova Scotia and beyond. I ask that you please give them a great round of applause for the work that they do and it’s a pleasure having them here today. (Applause)

 

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome all our guests to the gallery and hope you enjoy today’s proceedings.

 

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

 

Bill No. 35 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Control of Body Armour. (Hon. Ross Landry)

 

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

 

NOTICES OF MOTION

 

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 610

 

[Page 982]

 

 

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

 

     Whereas on April 2nd the banging of bowling balls proved to be no match for the money being made at the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids event that was held at the Heather Lanes Bowling Alley in New Glasgow; and

 

     Whereas the 2011 Bowl for Kids event proved to be another great success with residents of Pictou County raising $80,000, with 186 participants; and

 

     Whereas all the money raised will stay in the county and go towards matching Pictou County children with adult volunteers in a variety of different programs;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate all the participants in this year’s annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids event - without their fundraising efforts, programs offered through the Big Brothers Big Sisters would not continue.

 

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

 

     MR. 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. 611

 

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

 

     Whereas Don Connolly of Halifax became host of CBC Radio’s Information Morning in 1976; and

 

     Whereas Don has been a dynamic voice on CBC Radio, provoking discussion and speaking with Nova Scotians on countless themes including politics, sports, and literature; and

 

[Page 983]

 

 

     Whereas today Don celebrates his 35th Anniversary with CBC Radio;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Don on his 35 years at CBC Radio and wish him every success in the years to come.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Community Services.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 612

 

     HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

     Whereas on Saturday, April 2, 2011, the Chester Basin Volunteer Fire Department dedicated a new pumper truck; and

 

     Whereas Mrs. Sylvia Webber has been fundraising for the fire department for over 25 years and has realized over $90,000 in donations for the department; and

 

     Whereas the truck committee put forth Mrs. Webber’s name to the fire commission to have the new pumper truck dedicated in her honour;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mrs. Webber for her volunteer work with the Chester Basin Fire Department and the honour of having a truck dedicated in her name, and may the crews that ride in this truck always return home safely without injury or loss of life.

 

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

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

 

[Page 984]

 

 

     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 Education.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 613

 

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

 

     Whereas on March 16, 2011, at the Star Awards ceremony held at the IWK Health Centre, Scott Fraser was the recipient of the IWK Community Award; and

 

     Whereas Milne Court Petro Canada and Gram’s Bakery donate 50 dozen cookies three times each year for the many volunteers who donate their time for the following IWK fundraisers - the Telathon, Radiothon and career day; and

 

     Whereas Mr. Fraser was recognized for his exemplary contribution to the achievement of the mission and vision of the health centre;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Scott Fraser for his demonstration of living the core values and beliefs of the IWK Health Centre: Care and Passion, Excellence and Leadership, and Worklife and Relationships.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Energy.

RESOLUTION NO. 614

 

[Page 985]

 

 

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

 

     Whereas Faus Johnson of Pictou, executive director of the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce, has been elected as a director of the Nova Scotia Chamber of Commerce, a group that represents over 6,700 businesses across Nova Scotia; and

 

     Whereas Mr. Johnson, a licensed realtor and director of the Nova Scotia Chamber of Commerce, will represent the Counties of Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough on provincial business matters; and

 

     Whereas Mr. Johnson, along with his realtor and chamber commitments, also donates his time and experience to other groups in his community such as the Ship Hector Foundation and the Pictou Lobster Carnival;

 

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Faus Johnson of Pictou on being elected to serve as a director of the Nova Scotia Chamber of Commerce, and thank him for his ongoing community service.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 North.

 

     MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to draw the members’ attention to the west gallery where today we’re joined by Mr. Mike Graham, one of my constituents and a supporter of mine in the past two elections. Mike is a marine fitter and a millwright by trade and he’s been a resident of Dartmouth North for 57 years. I’d like the House to give him a warm welcome. (Applause)

 

     MR. SPEAKER: We welcome all our guests to the gallery and hope you enjoy today’s proceedings.

     The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

 

[Page 986]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 615

 

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

 

     Whereas the 2011 Robert Merritt Awards were presented on March 28th in recognition of excellence in Nova Scotian theatre; and

 

     Whereas Thom Fitzgerald wrote and directed the Plutonium Playhouse 2010 production of Cloudburst; and

 

     Whereas Thom Fitzgerald earned the 2011 Robert Merritt Award for Outstanding New Play by a Nova Scotian Playwright for Cloudburst;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Thom Fitzgerald on winning the 2011 Robert Merritt Award and for contributing to the rich tradition of theatre in Nova Scotia.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Truro-Bible Hill.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 616

 

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

 

     Whereas Everill Goff, a lifelong resident of Truro, first served on a scouts council in 1946; and

 

     Whereas Mr. Goff has been both a cub leader and a scout leader and has been a continued supporter of the scouting movement; and

     Whereas Scouts Canada recently recognized Everill Goff’s 65 years of service to the scouting organization by presenting him with the Scouts Canada Award;

 

[Page 987]

 

 

     Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Mr. Goff for receiving the Scouts Canada Award, and thank him for his long-time support of scouting in the Truro area.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Pictou East.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 617

 

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

 

     Whereas Westville resident Morris Campbell has spent most of his life volunteering with the fire department, the Westville Miners Rink Commission, and many other worthy causes; and

 

     Whereas Morris Campbell shows a spirit of giving that makes a community strong and vibrant, including his work organizing Westville’s huge and long-running Canada Day celebrations; and

 

     Whereas on April 12, 2011, Morris Campbell was chosen as the Town of Westville’s Volunteer of the Year for his lifetime commitment to the safety and security, health and well-being of his fellow residents;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Morris Campbell, Westville’s Volunteer of the Year, who has been there year in and year out for the people of Westville and all of Pictou County.

 

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

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

 

[Page 988]

 

 

     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 Queens.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 618

 

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

 

     Whereas the East Coast Music Awards were recently held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to celebrate and recognize the importance of music in all of our communities; and

 

     Whereas Kimberly Sinclair of Milton, Queens County, was presented with the East Coast Music Award for Industry Professional of the Year and her business, Spincount, was presented with the Independent Company of the Year Award; and

 

     Whereas the mission of the East Coast Music Awards is to foster, develop, promote, and celebrate East Coast music and its artists locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate and recognize Kimberly Sinclair of Spincount for her success at the East Coast Music Awards, winning the Industry Professional of the Year Award and the Independent Company of the Year Award.

 

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

 

     MR. 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.

 

[Page 989]

 

 

     The honourable Premier.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 619

 

     HON. DARRELL DEXTER (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

     Whereas the Auburn Eagles High School boys basketball team entered the 2010-11 basketball season with the slogan One Team, One Dream; and

 

     Whereas Head Coach Lance Sparks led his team to the division one provincial high school basketball championships hosted by the Cobequid Educational Centre in Truro, as the number-four seed; and

 

     Whereas with the exceptional play of metro league all-stars Shaquille Smith and Shaquille Johnson, the Eagles defeated Horton High School by a score of 121-92, for the 2011 Division One Boys Provincial Championship;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly extend its congratulations to all members of the Auburn Eagles boys basketball team and wish all the players, coaches, and managers success in their basketball future.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Antigonish.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 620

 

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

 

     Whereas Steve Smith started Central Home Improvement out of the back of his truck in 1974 and he is now president and CEO of the Central Group of Companies, one of the largest building supply companies east of Montreal; and

 

[Page 990]

 

 

     Whereas Mr. Smith is also well-known within the community for his philanthropic work and was honoured as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser by the Association of Professional Fundraisers of Nova Scotia in 2005; and

 

     Whereas St. Francis Xavier University awarded Mr. Smith, a St. F.X. alumnus, with an honorary Doctor of Laws during its Fall convocation ceremony on December 12, 2010;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House congratulate Mr. Steve Smith on receiving a Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa from St. Francis Xavier and recognize his commitment to the community of Antigonish.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 West.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 621

 

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

 

     Whereas Maryann McIntosh is a former Bank of Montreal employee who is a member of the Special Olympics Board of Directors; and

 

     Whereas Ms. McIntosh was recently named Special Olympics Nova Scotia female coach of the year; and

 

     Whereas Ms. McIntosh received her award in January in Halifax, after being elected by the Special Olympics Nova Scotia provincial program council;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Ms. Maryann McIntosh for being named Special Olympics Nova Scotia female coach of the year and wish her success in her future endeavours.

 

[Page 991]

 

 

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

 

     MR. 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. 622

 

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

 

     Whereas the constituents of Cumberland North recognize the importance of all community members banding together to ensure that no individual goes without the essentials of daily living; and

 

     Whereas the Town of Amherst’s sense of true community spirit is showcased through the efforts of its many volunteers; and

 

     Whereas on April 16th, as many as 100 local volunteers with the Y Service Club and the Amherst Y’s Menettes collected non-perishable food and other household items to be donated to the Amherst Food Bank;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly applaud all those who will participate in the Y Service Club and the Amherst Y’s Menettes Spring Food Drive.

 

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

 

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

 

     Is it agreed?

 

     It is agreed.

 

[Page 992]

 

 

     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.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 623

 

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

 

     Whereas the dedicated students of C.P. Allen High School, along with staff and community support, had a very successful production of Disney’s, High School Musical; and

 

     Whereas the more than 80 enthusiastic students involved with the production showcased their talents of singing, acting, set design, choreography and much more; and

 

     Whereas this musical production enhanced the creativity and school spirit of the students and staff of C.P. Allen;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate C.P. Allen High School on the success of their production of Disney’s High School Musical and wish them the best of luck in all of their shows in the future.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Kings North.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 624

 

[Page 993]

 

 

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

 

     Whereas Recreation Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Labour and Advanced Education recognize the critical contributions volunteers make to the province in an annual Provincial Volunteer Awards Ceremony, this year on April 4th; and

 

     Whereas Sheffield Mills, in the Annapolis Valley, is a rural hamlet of approximately 400 citizens, rich in volunteerism, community pride and a host of vibrant activities including the Harvest Fair and its famous Eagle Watch; and

 

     Whereas Sheffield Mills has been selected by the Province of Nova Scotia as a Model Volunteer Community;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate the Community of Sheffield Mills on being named Model Volunteer Community of the Year for 2011 at the 37th Provincial Volunteer Awards Ceremony, in Halifax, on April 4, 2011.

 

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

 

     MR. 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. 625

 

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

 

     Whereas the world’s largest travel advisor, tripadvisor.com holds their TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards each year, based on the opinions of millions of real viewers and travellers; and

 

[Page 994]

 

 

     Whereas the Town of Lunenburg, which made an appearance on this list in 2008, has made TripAdvisor’s list of top 10 places to visit in Canada for 2011, just weeks after receiving the same honour from National Geographic Magazine; and

 

     Whereas reviewers noted the Town of Lunenburg UNESCO World Heritage site is featured for its colourful galleries and shops, arranged on a tidy grid of walkable streets, encouraging travellers to visit our beautiful town;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Town of Lunenburg on their recognition by tripadvisor.com for being a top 10 travel destination in Canada for 2011.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Justice.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 626

 

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

 

     Whereas Andrew Greene was honoured to spend his March break touring farms around the county; and

    

     Whereas Andrew was one of ten 4-H members chosen from over 2,400 in Nova Scotia to participate in the Kevin Grant Leadership Tour; and

 

     Whereas the tour is sponsored by a fund in Grant’s name that helps the Nova Scotia 4-H Foundation assist with rural youth development and the tour included stops at a maple farm and experimental farm plus more;

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly acknowledge the Kevin Grant Leadership Tour established by the Nova Scotia 4-H Foundation and congratulate Greene and his involvement in an amazing program.

 

[Page 995]

 

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Community Services.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 627

 

     HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

 

     Whereas on June 5th Sandra’s Strollers will host the 5th Annual Health Expo at the Chester Basin Legion in support of the CIBC Run for the Cure; and

 

     Whereas as a lead-up to this event they will also take part in Bras Across the Basin, a South Shore spin on Bras Across the Bridge; and

 

     Whereas this team has raised over $17,000 in their history as a team and continue to support Sandra Countway and all other women who are affected by breast cancer;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly extend congratulations to Sandra’s Strollers in their efforts to make breast cancer a thing of the past for all women of this province and country.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 996]

 

 

     The motion is carried.

 

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 628

 

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

 

     Whereas the Rotary Club of Pictou held its annual theatrical production in April 2011 by successfully presenting the play The Drowsy Chaperone; and

 

     Whereas Dorothy Bush has had the role of costume designer for the annual Rotary Club of Pictou theatrical production for years; and

 

     Whereas Dorothy Bush is also the Town of Pictou’s selection for the Nova Scotia Volunteer of the Year Award as the result of her many years of service to the Rotary Club of Pictou and her community;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Dorothy Bush on being the Town of Pictou’s Volunteer of the Year and thank her for her dedication and creative talents to the Rotary Club and her community.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Citadel-Sable Island.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 629

 

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

 

     Whereas the 2011 Robert Merritt Awards were presented on March 28th in recognition of excellence in Nova Scotian theatre; and

 

[Page 997]

 

 

     Whereas Arianne Pollet-Brannen was the costume designer for Vocalpyse Production’s 2010 show Vonda de Ville in Temporal Follies; and

 

     Whereas Arianne Pollet-Brannen earned the 2011 Robert Merritt Award in Outstanding Costume Design for her work on Vonda de Ville in Temporal Follies;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Arianne Pollet-Brannen on her Robert Merritt Award and for contributing to the rich tradition of theatre in Nova Scotia.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Truro-Bible Hill.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 630

 

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

 

     Whereas Vineet Vyas, a former resident of Truro, was introduced to Indian classical music at the age of five and has been playing the Northern Indian drums known as tablas on the music scene since 1986 when he debuted at the World Expo in Vancouver; and

 

     Whereas Mr. Vyas studied intensively in India under the direction of tabla maestro, Kishtan Maharaj, developing his skill and mastery of the music; and

 

     Whereas Vineet Vyas’ latest CD, The King of Dhamaar: A Tribute to Pandit Kishan Maharaj has been nominated for the East Coast Music Awards in the World Recording of the Year category;

     Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Vineet Vyas on his nomination at the East Coast Music Awards and also for his dedication to the development of his music.

 

[Page 998]

 

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Queens.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 631

 

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

 

     Whereas 39 very talented Queens Quilters presented 18 quilts to organizations in Queens County; and

 

     Whereas the amount of work and thoughtfulness that went into the preparation of these quilts is immeasurable and the stitching up of comfort have been presented to four organizations in Queens County; and

 

     Whereas the Queens Quilters presented their quilts to Queens Manor, Family and Children’s Services, Meals on Wheels, and Palliative Care at the Queens General Hospital;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly recognize and thank the Queens Quilters for their thoughtfulness and work on stitching up comfort for four organizations in Queens County.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 999]

 

 

     The motion is carried.

 

     The honourable member for Pictou East.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 632

 

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

 

     Whereas Mary Gorman, a Merigomish resident, was named Canada’s latest Green Hero during the Green Living Show in Toronto, April 16, 2011; and

 

     Whereas Ms. Gorman was nominated through the Sierra Club, in Halifax, for her strong commitment toward the protection of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and to raise awareness about the oil industry and other issues in the Gulf; and

 

     Whereas Ms. Gorman will be featured in a 30-minute international television program this Fall highlighting her cause and efforts to protect the Gulf of St. Lawrence;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Mary Gorman for her perseverance and commitment to the environment.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 Antigonish.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 633

 

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

 

     Whereas Pomquet resident Bob Bancroft, a retired biologist, is a well-known and respected advocate for sustainable forestry practices and a familiar voice to listeners of CBC Radio’s Maritime Noon’s phone-in where he has frequently been a guest; and

 

[Page 1000]

 

 

     Whereas Bob Bancroft was one of the province’s Woodlot Owner of the Year in 2007 and was one of the Department of Natural Resources’ Steering Committee panelists on forests; and

 

     Whereas Bob Bancroft was recently awarded the Tobin Trophy by the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters, an annual award that recognizes an individual for his continuous education of the public in wildlife, the environment or related subject matter;

 

     Therefore be it resolved the members of the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate Bob Bancroft on receiving the Tobin Trophy and applaud his continued commitment to advocating for wildlife and promoting sustainability.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 West.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 634

 

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

 

     Whereas Mr. Jeff Wilkins of Bridgewater is a long-haul trucker who has been working in the trucking industry for the past 30 years; and

 

     Whereas Mr. Wilkins, a 10-year driver for Clarke Road Transport, was recently chosen as Driver of the Year by the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association and received a plaque and a $500 cash award; and

 

     Whereas Mr. Wilkins has been a valuable member of his community, driving floats in the town’s Christmas parade and taking part in the training and coaching of others by offering skill sessions put on by government and trucking groups;

 

[Page 1001]

 

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Jeff Wilkins on receiving the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association’s Driver of the Year Award and thank him for his dedication to safety and community participation.

 

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

 

     MR. 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. 635

 

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

 

     Whereas Cumberland North recognizes that each and every one of our constituents has a set of unique talents and skills to contribute to our communities; and

 

     Whereas CANSA and the Drop Inn Ministries participated in a program sponsored by Employment Nova Scotia, which helps individuals work toward overcoming barriers preventing them from gaining employment; and

 

     Whereas one of the participants in this program noted that, it taught me some of the job skills I needed to succeed at work and helped give me the confidence I needed to apply for a job and go back to work;  

 

     Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly applaud the efforts of CANSA and Drop Inn Ministries for creating and sustaining a program which helps to highlight and strengthen the talents and skills of the people of Cumberland North.

 

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

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

 

[Page 1002]

 

 

     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.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 636

 

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

 

     Whereas on April 4, 2011, the 37th Annual Provincial Volunteer Awards Ceremony and Luncheon honoured more than 70 outstanding volunteers for the tremendous contributions they have made to their communities and to the province; and

 

     Whereas Owen LaPierre of Middle Sackville was one of the representative volunteers honoured for his outstanding contribution to his community and on behalf of all other volunteers in his community; and

 

     Whereas Owen has used accounting skills to help organizations as a volunteer treasurer, founded the Nova Scotia Certified Accountants Association, served on the HRM Volunteer Conference Committee for the last five years, has supported the Hants West Cancer Society for close to 20 years, has been part of the Ardoise church choir as a singer and emcee for over 20 years and is known as someone who is always there with a smile and a positive attitude;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Owen LaPierre of Middle Sackville for receiving the Representative Volunteer Award and wish him best of luck in all of his future endeavours.

 

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

 

     MR. 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 1003]

 

 

     The motion is carried.

 

     The honourable member for Kings North.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 637

 

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

 

     Whereas Paddy’s Pub and Rosie’s Restaurant opened its inviting, smoke-free location on Main Street in the heart of Wolfville in 2001, featuring excellent food and beverages from the area’s first microbrewery; and

 

     Whereas Paddy’s Pub and Rosie’s Restaurant has operated in Kentville for 19 years, with both locations placing major emphasis on using food from local farms and fisheries; and

 

     Whereas Paddy’s and Rosie’s owners Bryan and John FitzGerald and their staff have supported the local community by contributing to projects such as sports teams, playgroups and the Deep Roots Music Festival;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate the owners and staff of Paddy’s Pub and Rosie’s Restaurant on the 10th Anniversary of the Wolfville restaurant, thank them for their many contributions to our local communities and wish them continued success in their future business endeavours.

 

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

 

     MR. 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. 638

 

[Page 1004]

 

 

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

 

     Whereas the Lunenburg branch of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce recently completed renovations on their building, representing a commitment to better serving the Lunenburg community; and

 

     Whereas the official re-opening of the Lunenburg branch of the CIBC was held March 31st, to highlight their state-of-the-art facilities, featuring barrier-free design and enhanced privacy features, as well as a bright and spacious service area; and

 

     Whereas the CIBC Lunenburg branch marked the occasion by presenting a cheque to the United Way of Lunenburg Country for $11,000 in support of the Local 2010 United Way Campaign, part of the $56,000 that has been contributed to the local United Way chapters across Nova Scotia by CIBC over the last year;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Lunenburg branch of the CIBC on the completion of the renovations and commend their generous donations to the United Way of Lunenburg County and their continued commitment to local communities.

 

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

 

     MR. 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.

 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

 

     ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The time now is 2:50 p.m. Question Period will now begin and will end at 4:20 p.m.

 

     The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

 

PREM. - GOV’T. ADVERTISING: COSTS

 

[Page 1005]

 

 - JUSTIFY

 

     MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Every time Nova Scotians turn on their radio or switch on their TV, they are being inundated with government propaganda. From the Better Care Sooner Plan to Fair Drug Prices, the people of Nova Scotia have been blasted with ads lulling them into a sense that we are getting better care sooner when nothing could be further from the truth. (Applause) It’s interesting that they clapped when I said that “nothing could be further from the truth” - I’m glad they agreed with me.

 

     In a recent FOIPOP request, it was revealed that taxpayers of Nova Scotia have paid a total of $256,051.40 in advertising the Better Care Sooner and Fair Drug Prices plan. In this time of fiscal restraint, how can the Premier justify over a quarter of a million taxpayer dollars spreading government propaganda?

 

     THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I haven’t seen the information that the member refers to. I’d be happy to see it. The reality is there are significant changes that our health care system is undergoing. We are delivering better care sooner, and in fact services like 811, which relies on the fact that people have to have knowledge of them in order to be able to access them, are being advertised - not only is that appropriate, it is necessary. (Applause)

 

     MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, well I’m not sure the Premier has seen the ads then because that’s not what they advertise at all. They advertise government plans for things that may happen in the future. The hypocrisy of this crowd knows no bounds. When in Opposition, they . . .

 

     MR. SPEAKER: Order. Order. That word is unparliamentary.

 

     MR. YOUNGER: I’ll withdraw it.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: I would appreciate it if you would, sir. Continue.

 

     MR. YOUNGER: When in Opposition, they cried foul when it came to government propaganda and called it taxpayer-funded tripe. They also claimed that additional taxpayer funding spent on government publications and advertising is evidence of “desperation”. So what happens when this crowd gets in power? They waste a quarter of a million dollars on government propaganda, exactly the same type of stuff they complained about. What happened to the Premier to have him change his government’s position on taxpayer-funded propaganda?

 

     THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the answer to that is simple. What is actually being delivered in the advertising that is going forward is information that the people of Nova Scotia require in order to be able to access the services. It’s not about promoting the interests of a particular Party, it is about promoting what is in the best interests of the people of Nova Scotia.

 

[Page 1006]

 

 

     MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, I am now absolutely convinced the Premier has not seen the ads, because they do nothing of the sort. This is just the beginning. I’m sure everyone except apparently maybe the Premier has heard the “ jobs there, where, any place but here” ads that have now inundated the airwaves. Given the trend that has developed on spending taxpayer dollars, there’s no doubt they are planning a similar campaign for these ads. To save time and effort, would the Premier please have the planned media buy, in total advertising costs associated with the jobsHere campaign, tabled before the end of Question Period today?

 

     THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the simple fact of the matter that as a result of the advertising that has been done by the government with respect to government services like 811, the number of calls to 811 has increased by more than 30 per cent.(Applause) What is absolutely clear is that member would rather be wrong than be quiet.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

 

PREM.: FREE VOTES - STANCE

 

     HON. JAMIE BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier.

 

      As many members of this House know, we live in a time of increased voter frustration. Too many people feel that their vote doesn’t matter, that the system is not responding to their needs. Voting, of course, is a very important part of our job in this House of Assembly, so I note that in May 2002, the then-member for Cole Harbour advised the then-Premier in this House, from Hansard, that he should allow government members the freedom to fully represent their constituents when considering government legislation.

 

     It’s been almost two years since that member became the Premier of Nova Scotia and so I would like to ask him, since we’ve seen no effort in that area in the past two years - is that member, who is now the Premier, still holding the view that government members should be free to vote their conscience, or has his opinion changed since he became Premier?

 

     THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I believe that members of the House of Assembly should do everything they can to represent the interest of their constituents and their constituency. I also believe that we live in parliamentary democracy, which requires that members of caucuses and parties understand their responsibility to each other.

 

     I would just note that in giving that advice to the Government in 2002, I was also giving that advice to the Chief of Staff of the Government in 2002.

 

[Page 1007]

 

 

     MR. BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that is not what the Premier said at that time but then again I guess that was before the election that elected him as our Premier and so now we know why his view has changed.

 

     Mr. Speaker, in 2002 the then-member for Cole Harbour said as follows:

 

“ . . . legislation demands that members be allowed to vote and act according to their conscience without being forced to toe the Party line. Your members should be free to vote as they see fit . . .”

 

Those are words of the member of Cole Harbour in 2002 and so I ask the Premier, in fairness to him, what has changed since you felt so strongly then? 

 

     THE PREMIER: Nothing Mr. Speaker, I just explained to the member opposite that I believe that members should do everything they can to represent the views of their constituency. I added to that by saying that I also think that in most caucuses, individual members understand that they also have responsibility to the other members of the caucus that they were elected to. Those things are complementary, they’re not contradictory.

 

     MR. BAILLIE: Perhaps we should go back to Hansard and add a lot asterisks after everything that the member for Cole Harbour, our now Premier, said because clearly there was a lot of fine print that was not explained to Nova Scotians on this and many other things that he had to say before he was Premier. No wonder people are so cynical when they see this kind of flip-flopping. 

 

     Let’s look ahead, Mr. Speaker, and I’ll ask the Premier a final supplementary. Will he commit to opening up some of his future plans to free votes by members of the government caucus, perhaps starting with some more immediate plans in areas like the management of our pharmacies?

 

     AN HON. MEMBER: How many pharmacies do we manage?

 

     THE PREMIER: That is a good question, whether or not we actually have pharmacies we manage. There are some in the hospitals.

 

     Mr. Speaker, I think what is more important here is for the member opposite to remember that when I was the Leader of the Official Opposition, we had more free votes among the opposition than any time before in history. Within our caucus, we have full and frank discussions in order to make sure that we fully examine all sides of issues. As I’ve said before, what I ask my caucus to do, as I’m sure the member opposite does, is to understand that they have two responsibilities. One is the responsibility that they have to their individual constituency and to the people they represent, but they also have a complementary responsibility to the rest of the members of their caucus.

 

[Page 1008]

 

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

 

COM. SERV.: DISABLED PEOPLE - FIN. SUPPORT

 

     MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN: My question is for the Minister of Community Services. Yesterday it was reported that a Nova Scotia court ruled in favour of a mother seeking more financial support to care for her autistic son. In the ruling, the judge wrote: The maximum hourly wage rates the department permitted had not remained competitive since being set in 1998. Had the department complied with the law it would have reached the same decision as did the board.

 

     This family had to take the Department of Community Services to court just to ensure it complied with the law. The NDP Government claims that it’s making life better for families. If this is true, why did this mother have to go to court to ensure Government provides adequate care for her son?

 

     HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: I would like the member to know that this Minister of Community Services, in this government, truly understands and supports people with disabilities and their families. We’ve been working very hard to make changes in that area and we are the first government that has actually stood tall and have been looking at very complicated issues, unfortunately, because of the fact that both Parties sitting on the other side ignored for generations and now we’re picking up the pieces.

 

     MR. MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, I’m sure that the 30 families affected will be happy to hear that their government blames this on someone else. That’s good news. Currently, part-time personal care workers are paid $10 an hour. Full-time workers are paid $12 an hour. These low wages mean it’s very hard to find personal care workers. High turnover rates make it difficult for families and individuals with disabilities to develop a stable routine. Will the Minister of Community Services acknowledge that wages for personal care workers are too low?

 

     MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned in my first answer, the reason why we’re trying to even play catch-up in this situation is because the other two Parties ignored this for years. (Interruptions) We would not be looking at a question about how low the wages are if we were not at that point because of them. Thank you.

 

     MR. MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, the minister should know that this is in her hands so she has the opportunity to make this right and we should do it right now.

 

     Mr. Speaker, the market wage for personal care workers is $15 an hour. As reported yesterday, the Boudreau family is subsidizing the government’s wage by approximately $9,000 each year. The judge ruled that the hourly wage paid by the province was not competitive. Will the Minister of Community Services abide by the court ruling?

 

[Page 1009]

 

 

     MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, I’ll let you know why we’re making a difference. We invested $1.3 million in Direct Family Support as of last week. (Interruptions) We invested $4 million in the autism program in this province so it’s not a lottery for children. Let the Opposition members stand up and tell us what kind of investments they made in the past because it will equal zero.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

 

HEALTH & WELLNESS - KENTVILLE POLICE CHIEF:

MIN. RESPONSE - TABLE

 

     MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. For the last three Question Periods our caucus has asked the Minister of Health and Wellness to table her response to Chief Mander’s concerns around prescription drug abuse deaths in the Valley. Last Tuesday the minister recalled the letter being sent to her and requesting staff to do a response. Last Thursday when the minister was asked, she recalled the date she sent the response. Yesterday the Premier outlined the list of things the minister has done and he stated that all of this was contained in the response.

 

     Mr. Speaker, if we are to believe any of these statements made on the floor of the House, then the logical conclusion is that a response has been sent. The letter from Chief Mander was very relevant then and it’s relevant today. My question is, will you have the Minister of Health and Wellness table the government’s response before the end of Question Period today - yes or no?

 

     THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the letter that was sent to Chief Mander on February 10th was in response to a letter that came from his office on January 15th. By the time it made its way into our office or into the Minister of Health’s office and back, the letter was sent on February 10th, which means it was a very timely response. It said the Department of Health will take the lead on this very important issue and will involve representatives from the Department of Health Promotion and Protection, Community Services and Justice, and I am happy to table it.

 

     MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, we had received from Chief Mander the authorization to have it released and I assume the Premier did as well. My question to the Premier then is, you know, that’s a pretty benign response to a very serious situation and we want to hear from the Premier, in fact, what that letter actually meant.

 

     THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, that’s the problem when you get what you want, you run out of questions. The fact of the matter is, this question says that the executive director of the Mental Health, Children’s Services and Addiction Treatment Branch are to convene a group and report back to the Minister of Health and Wellness with recommendations. It is to acknowledge that this is to include all of the various departmental interests and also says that because the chief of police raised concerns with respect to physician prescribing practices, the minister also took the liberty of forwarding on the concerns to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, along with a number of other things that we’d like to thank the Minister of Health and Wellness for.

 

[Page 1010]

 

 

     MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I will make my final supplementary very short because I do appreciate the start that was made today. I would ask the Premier, why did his minister wait 15 months to really get action on this file?

 

     THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I prefaced the answer to the very first question to explain the fact that this came in on January 15th. It’s not possible to know exactly when it arrived in the office, but the response went out on February 10, 2010. (Interruptions) Well, the letter sets out exactly what actions will start immediately and the response was reasonably within the two- to three-week time frame, which I believe you would agree is a very timely response.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

 

PREM. - MUN. DEFICITS: GOV’T. (N.S.)

- BALANCED BOOKS

 

     HON. JAMIE BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. Recently the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations confessed that there are, in fact, several municipalities in our province that are running deficits at the moment. The law, of course, requires that they come to balance in one year, which is in sharp contrast to the four years that the NDP have given themselves to accomplish the same feat. In fact, by breaking their agreement with the MOUs - another magic asterisk that we’ll have to ascribe to this government - the NDP have actually made the situation far worse, enlarging the deficits of our municipalities. My question to the Premier is, why is it okay for the government to make municipal deficits larger while taking its sweet old time to balance its own books?

 

     THE PREMIER: First of all, we balanced the budget last year. We paid down debt last year, one of the only jurisdictions in the country to do that. In fact, we lived up to every piece of the MOU, including the notice piece as required in our agreement with the municipalities.

 

     MR. BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, I’m sure it’s great comfort to our municipalities to know that the one clause in the agreement they lived up to was the clause to terminate the agreement. That is cold comfort for them as they deal with the extra burden that has been placed on the backs of our municipalities by this government. My question to the Premier is, the government of our municipalities has a choice to deal with this extra downloading.  They can either raise taxes, as this bunch has become experts at doing, or they can cut services. Which direction does the Premier advise the municipalities take?

 

[Page 1011]

 

 

     THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I think where we have to start is with the Leader of the Progressive Conservatives actually understanding the nature of the MOU. There is no downloading to the municipalities - not a single, solitary cent of provincial responsibility is being downloaded onto the municipalities. In fact, what the province has said is that we can no longer afford to take additional municipal costs into the provincial tax base. There are no further expenditures for the municipalities. Whatever decisions they make with respect to their budgeting process, will be their responsibility and their responsibility alone.

 

     MR. BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, come on, there are 55 municipalities, all of them speaking with one voice that they face very serious decisions about raising taxing or cutting services as a result of the actions of this government. I hear what the Premier is saying. In fact, very close to that, his Minister of Finance told this House the other day, “If there’s any increase in municipal taxes it is 100 per cent due to the decisions that will be made by municipalities. It will not be due to anything that this government has done.”

 

     That is not what the municipalities are telling us and so my question for the Premier is, who is wrong - his Minister of Finance or all 55 municipalities?

 

     THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I’m not one to point fingers at others, I will simply say this: the Minister of Finance is right.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

 

JUSTICE - VIOLENT CRIME: INCREASE

- ADDRESS

 

     HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians have been awash in a wave of violent crime in the past week alone. Police have been dealing with stabbings and shootings across the province; it has been happening in metro, in Truro, on the South Shore and in Cape Breton. My question to the Minister of Justice is, what steps is your department taking to address this sudden increase in violent crime?

 

     HON. ROSS LANDRY: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for that very good question and I’m glad to comment on that. There are a number of things. We do know that in violence and in crime within society that sometimes it’s cyclical and goes in patterns or in sprees. Sometimes the police need to take steps over time to deal with that criminal element and disrupt that organization. One announcement we made today in that positive direction in dealing with the violence in our society is the announcement we made today on the vests. That’s just another step moving forward.

 

[Page 1012]

 

 

     MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to the minister, a piece of legislation limiting who can have body armour in the province I don’t think would have done very much for the stabbing victims and the gun victims that we’ve had from one end of this province to the other. On Tuesday morning, police in Cole Harbour found a man suffering from multiple stab wounds; Sunday morning three people were wounded after a shooting outside a Dartmouth pool hall; Saturday morning a man was taken to hospital after suffering stab wounds in the Tanya Drive area of Glace Bay; and over the weekend there were two separate incidents of violent robberies in Bridgewater. These are not normal incidents in Nova Scotia.

 

     My question to the minister again is, what plan is being proposed in your department to deal with this problem, such as possible changes to the Boots on the Street program?

 

     MR. LANDRY: Mr. Speaker, thank you to the member for that question. Violence in society is never acceptable and this government doesn’t accept it in any form. We take this matter seriously. I have all the confidence in the policing services provided throughout Nova Scotia that they are conducting their investigations in a timely and professional manner.

 

     I know from talking as recently as this morning to representatives from the RCMP and from the Halifax Regional Municipality that there’s great collaboration and support for each other in this fight against crime and the violence in the community. It is a serious matter, we take it seriously and each element of these types of crimes is dealt with in an appropriate manner. I’m very encouraged by the feedback I got from the policing services in this regard.

 

     MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I don’t believe there was much of a plan there indicated from the minister to give comfort to Nova Scotians that this government takes this seriously or is about to take action to try to bring back law and order in our province. This minister has gone on the record as stating that if you do the crime, you do the time; yet his actions and his government’s actions seem to have sent a different message.

 

We have raised the issue before of temporary absences and whether that is sending the appropriate message to Nova Scotians who may break the law in our province. I’d like to ask my final supplementary to the minister, can he confirm whether or not his department has been issuing any temporary absences in the last number of weeks and months due to overcrowding in our provincial jails?

 

MR. LANDRY: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for the question. I’m very pleased with the quality of work done at our correctional facilities and the fine job our corrections officers do and the staff there. I also wish to acknowledge the fine job that my staff within Justice have been doing to work in a collaborative manner with corrections to reduce any temporary absences due to good planning, good management and the success, those incidents have come down to either medical or similar types of situations where someone had to be removed. The overcrowding issue is being managed in a very positive way. In fact, it has never been managed in such a positive way since the last two decades and I compliment my staff for that.

 

[Page 1013]

 

 

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

 

NAT. RES.: FORESTRY POLICY

- ECONOMIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT

 

     MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Natural Resources. Within the next few weeks the province has said that it will release an economic impact analysis of recent policy changes on the forestry industry, particularly on the clear-cutting policy and we might even get a real definition of what the clear-cutting is and that’s all part of the natural resources strategy. My question is, why has it taken so long to release the economic impact assessment of recent policy changes to the government’s forestry policy?

 

     HON. CHARLIE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the honourable member for the question. We’ve been working very hard on our natural resources strategy over the past few months, since I became minister, and consulted with woodlot owners, with environmental groups and with the industry. We had a lot of good information come out of Phase II of the strategy process, especially around social and environmental aspects of the forests and our forest industry. But we didn’t have a lot on the economic impact, especially after the announcement of a goal of 50 per cent clear-cutting within five years. We needed more information, that’s why we went out and asked for that information. It will be released within days and that will be available to you and to the public.

 

     MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, like many Nova Scotians and all members of this House, we’re looking forward to the release of this natural resources strategy and this has been promised for a long time. My question through you to the minister is, given the importance of this economic impact of changes to the forestry policy, is it too much to ask when that study that underlies this strategy was completed?

 

     MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, that’s the Peter Woodbridge report that you are referring to. We have just received that earlier this month. Staff have been looking at it, making recommendations. We looked at it carefully over the last couple of weeks and that was why we implemented - partly, amongst our own modelling in the department, to look at a reduction in biomass production in this province. So we’re still reviewing through that and like I said, it will be available to the public within days.

     MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, in the two years since this government has come into office, two things have become their hallmark. One is their instinct to try to slip things under the radar, which we have seen again and again, from Public Service pension bailouts to Bill No. 100 - well, the list just goes on. The other is their love of secrecy, demonstrated for some time now, especially in their handling of the socio-economic analysis of gambling in this province.

 

[Page 1014]

 

 

     Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, will you at least tell the House today what the cost was of this study into the economic impact of changes to the forestry policy in Nova Scotia?

 

     MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, you know it’s important that we get this right and that’s why we’ve been consulting with Nova Scotians and with the stakeholders in the industry and we’re working on going through the process. We put it out for bids and four different companies had bid on it and Woodbridge was the correct bidder. The cost was $98,000.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

 

LBR. & ADV. EDUC.: GAMBLING STUDY

- RELEASE

 

     MR. LEO GLAVINE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. The facts are clear, the government has spent $144,000 taxpayers’ dollars on a gambling report which they’ve been trying to hide for well over two years. Not only has the Premier and his Cabinet not complied with the Freedom of Information Review Officer’s insistence that they release the report, they were actively obstructing her work. This is $144,000 of taxpayers’ money. Nova Scotians are already paying more for electricity, more income tax and more than 1,400 user fees and from all accounts, the Premier is trying to throw away more of their hard earned dollars by locking this report away.

 

     Well, Mr. Speaker, we could put a letter on the table today now, what about a report. Will the Premier direct his minister to release this report without any further delay, the people of Nova Scotia judge the study on its own merits?

 

     THE PREMIER: As you know the decision of the review officer came down just a short time ago, we’re having an opportunity to review that decision. After all, these have a ramification that extend beyond just the report itself and of course, Mr. Speaker, one of things we want to do is be responsible to the people of Nova Scotia with respect to these matters. We’re going to take the time to consider it fully.

 

     MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, the FOIPOP’s fundamental goal is to promote open government, yet in every case, in every department, the government values secrecy, message control and spin over transparency. Values that the Minister of Finance held when he was counsel for the NDP in their fights for openness seem to have been put aside for political expediency.

 

[Page 1015]

 

 

     The Premier’s office has such a tight control over information from all corners of the NDP Government that Nova Scotians can’t tell the difference between his office and Harper’s PMO. To date, the government has spent $144,000 of taxpayers’ money and has offered absolutely no legitimate reason for their continued instance on secrecy as outlined by the privacy office. It is an insult to all Nova Scotians.

 

My question to the Premier is, when will the Premier finally embrace transparency and accountability and release the study to the public?

 

THE PREMIER: As the member opposite knows, it was not this government that spent the money on that report, it was the former one. Furthermore, it was this government that actually cancelled that contract that was in place. The report, as it was, was in a draft form with incomplete information. The question is whether or not it would be responsible to release it in that form. These are matters, of course, that we take seriously because we don’t believe that the public should be misled by reports that are not complete but we are taking the time to look carefully at the review officer’s decision.

 

MR. GLAVINE: The government’s line is that they find fault with the study and we know if the NDP were to suppress every document which contained inaccurate information, we’d have precious few. This is a government who fought in the courts for freedom of information, this now-Minister of Finance fought as counsel to compel the government of the day to release information. Now we have a report, which has been paid for by the people of Nova Scotia and which rightly belongs to the people. The Premier has the power to release this information now, he has a duty to release the information, yet the Premier or someone in his office have insisted they keep the report secret. My question to Premier is, why is the Premier withholding information which rightly belongs to the public?

 

THE PREMIER: Actually Mr. Speaker, it’s our opinion that we are, in fact, complying with exactly the kinds of principles that were laid out in former court cases. The question surrounding this decision is one that we want to examine, to see if in fact if it is consistent with those former findings.

 

     There are two issues, one is the issue related specifically to the question of the report and the other is the issue specifically related to the question of the review officer’s finding as the government, the member would know, that we have to look at both those matters. 

 

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

 

TIR: LWR. EAST PUBNICO/MID. EAST PUBNICO WATER SYSTEMS

 

[Page 1016]

 

- DECOMMISSIONING

 

HON. CHRISTOPHER D’ENTREMONT: My question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. It was brought to my attention by constituents that the department plans to decommission the Lower East Pubnico and Middle East Pubnico water utility systems. The water systems supply the local fire department and a few local fish plants. The volunteer fire department is very important to the community and to the fish plants and they are worried about the safety if the water supply is gone. Also, the plants may be forced to close their doors if they cannot find an alternative system for the water in time.

 

My question through you, Mr. Speaker, is, why is the department decommissioning these two water systems in the Pubnico area? 

 

     HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. I also must thank him for his daily updates when he reminds me of the fact that he is hearing from prominent businessmen and other citizens in the community about this concern. The Pubnico water utility closures have been an ongoing issue along with other utilities of this sort across the province. In fact, the decommissioning process actually began in 2007, under a previous government and I compliment them for the foresight on this.

 

     The key thing, of course, is to make sure that it’s done in a timely fashion because these utilities are in such poor shape that basically we can’t get anyone to even consider taking them over. I understand the concern, particularly with the herrin’ fishery - and I know I’m saying it correctly because every time I call it herrin, you call it the herrin’ fishery and the importance of it particularly when it comes to this time of the year.

 

I want the member opposite to know that we are going to continue to consult with and take our time to make sure that all involved are going to make sure that we are doing this in a correct and timely fashion.

 

     MR. D’ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer. The water systems have been operated by the government for more than 40 years. When stakeholders asked why the sudden rush to set the decommissioning date, the department said it was given orders to get out of the business this Spring summer and that it was under significant pressure from senior management.

 

     Mr. Speaker, through you to the minister, why is the department under such pressure to suddenly get out of the business and jeopardize more jobs in the already suffering economy on the southwestern shore?

 

     MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. This has been a concern that has been addressed in my department with senior staff. I can assure you that I don’t consider it sudden pressure after 21 months, when this was an issue. When we were looking at cost saving initiatives within the department, it was brought to my attention at the time that there were a number of water utilities across the province, from parts of Cape Breton to the South Shore, and of course to the Pubnicos. Again I want the community to be aware of the fact that through the efforts of their MLA and also because of the ongoing issues that we have with it, we’ll be taking our time and we’ll be doing it correctly.

 

[Page 1017]

 

 

     MR. D’ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, there are a lot of unknowns about the potential taking over of this water system. There’s probably about 15 million gallons of water used by the local fish plants and other users of this system. It’s really only since, probably, January that there has been any real push being given to decommission this. So my question through you is, if the government plans to go ahead with closing the water supply, will the minister consider extending the decommissioning date to at least the new year or, until all parties are comfortable with the go-forward plan?

 

     MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I again thank the member for the question and I will also want to thank him again for how he dutifully brings these matters to my attention. It’s quite important that we understand that we do have important people on the ground who are making these views known to their MLA and to the minister. At this time I’m not prepared to confirm a particular date but I will tell you the matters will be addressed. People locally will be listened to and when the decision is made, it will be the correct one.

 

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

 

NAT. RES. - DIGBY NECK: SALT QUARRY

- LITIGATION

 

     MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. For years, the people of Digby Neck and surrounding areas fought for the establishment of a salt quarry that would take the resource to another country. We won but it seems that Nova Scotians are not off the hook yet. Recently we’ve learned that the company who wanted this quarry can sue the federal government for hundreds of millions of dollars. So my question to the minister is, do you know about this situation and what discussions have you had with the federal Conservative Government about this matter?

 

     HON. CHARLIE PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I must admit I don’t have a lot of knowledge on this issue but if it’s before the courts, certainly I can’t comment on it.

 

     MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, this is quite a serious situation for this province. There’s already a precedent set for the same sort of thing that’s happening. A company recently sued the federal government for a decision the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador made with respect to the company’s right to develop and use the province’s resources. The Harper Government laid down and didn’t defend Newfoundland and Labrador and they coughed up $130 million. Now, the Harper Government says they will seek to recover such costs from the offending provinces, including Nova Scotia’s decision to reject the quarry on Digby Neck. My question to the minister is, have we been served notice from the company that owns the quarry and, if so, how much money will Nova Scotians be on the hook for since the federal government won’t fight for us?

 

[Page 1018]

 

 

     MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, from what you’ve been saying, it sounds like it could be a NAFTA challenge and that’s to be determined through that process and through the courts. I will undertake, for the honourable member, to get as much information on this. If you have some further information, I’d be glad, after Question Period, if you could bring it to me, I can consult with my staff and we’ll certainly try to get some answers for you.

 

     MR. THERIAULT: It is under NAFTA, but it’s going to be the responsibility of this province to deal with it. It appears the Conservative Government is not prepared to fight for the resources rightfully owned by the provinces. Nova Scotians may have to pay millions and millions of dollars to compensate the owner of this make-believe quarry and the figure is $188 million that they’re looking for. Depending on the decision, we may even have to allow the quarry to proceed, after years of fighting to stop it. My question is, will you commit to fighting any action that would result in making Nova Scotians pay out to corporations and stop any proposed quarry on Digby Neck from this foreign company?

 

     MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, this is really an intergovernmental issue and I’m going to refer it to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

 

     THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I’m afraid, unfortunately for the member opposite, he just doesn’t understand the structure of that agreement. This is not the responsibility of the province. International treaties, of course, are matters of federal jurisdiction; they do not flow through to the province.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

 

NDP GOV’T. - INFO. RELEASE: SECRECY - EXPLAIN

 

     MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. We’ve already heard it today, the comparisons of secrecy and concealment and the comparisons about secrecy and concealment between the Dexter Government and the Harper Government continue. (Interruptions) I can stand and wait. Requests from the media and individuals to departments for information must be vetted through a PR official at Communications Nova Scotia and now apparently through the Premier’s office as well. The Premier is well aware that complaints are coming from Nova Scotians about this type of message control, so why does the NDP require a high level of secrecy on information that should be readily available to Nova Scotians?

 

[Page 1019]

 

 

     THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what’s always difficult about this is that the member tends to preface these questions with information that is completely inaccurate so I should say, the information he has is inaccurate and we, of course, make routine requests available to the public when they ask.

 

     MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, well if he thinks my preface is incorrect he should probably check with his own departmental staff since they’re the ones who confirm that to all Nova Scotia and other media sources. Communications Nova Scotia and the Premier’s office seem to have formed their own ministry of propaganda. It has become so bad that we have now learned that if you want to speak with an historian at the Public Archives - say, to find out about the sinking of the Titanic - that call has to go through the Communications Department and that’s a little bit frightening, especially when the only thing sinking as fast as the Titanic is the credibility of this government. Would the Premier advise this House who in his government ordered that historians and researchers cannot talk to the press without approval from his office?

 

     THE PREMIER: Well, Mr. Speaker, again that question is prefaced with absolutely wrong information, although one thing I can see is I can see the deck chairs on the Titanic from this side. The reality is that there has been no order whatsoever and the policy is exactly the same today as it was before we were elected.

 

     MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, he can see the deck chairs because he is already in the water drowning. Stephen Harper and the Premier must be sharing notes - the next thing you know, the Premier is going to be taking five media questions a day and that’s it.

 

     The fact is the Premier is quickly turning Nova Scotia into the dystopian society from George Orwell’s 1984. Mr. Speaker, will the Premier tell this House why his government has struck fear into civil servants by ordering them not to talk to the media without first getting approval from his office?

 

     THE PREMIER: Well, Mr. Speaker, that’s the third question in a row that bears no relationship to reality whatsoever. There have been absolutely no orders out of my office to historians, or to anybody else for that matter, for the purposes of suppressing information about the Titanic or anything else.

 

     This government believes absolutely that there is transparency in these matters. We provide routine information to people when they request it.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

HEALTH & WELLNESS - MS LIBERATION THERAPY:

 

[Page 1020]

 

TRACKING - DAL. FUNDING

 

     MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. This past Monday the B.C. Government joined a growing list of provinces willing to support patients who have chosen to seek the MS liberation treatment. B.C. now joins New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in either offering clinical trials or supporting patients seeking treatment out of the country.

 

     MS patients in B.C. who have received treatment out of the country will be tracked and monitored by the University of British Columbia MS Research Unit, thanks to government funding of $700,000 over a three-year time frame.

 

     My question to the minister, Mr. Speaker, is given that we have an MS Research Unit at Dalhousie University, can the minister confirm whether or not she has offered financial support to the Dal MS Research Unit to track and monitor MS patients who travelled out of the country for the liberation treatment?

 

     HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. Actually I had an opportunity to meet yesterday with the head of the MS clinic, Dr. Bhan. The MS clinic here has not made any requests of government for funds, but they are very closely monitoring their patients who have gone away. Part of my meeting with Dr. Bhan yesterday was to get his advice and to get his input into what they are seeing at the MS clinic, and it was an excellent meeting.

 

     MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I’m glad the minister has been speaking to our MS research unit. My concern is that a lot of people don’t let their doctors know if they have gone away. The article and the information from British Columbia was that it felt that some people didn’t want to discuss it with their doctors because their doctors have advised them strongly not to go.

 

     I’m curious and would like to ask the minister whether there is any possibility of us doing a proper tracking of patients who have travelled out of the country to receive the MS liberation treatment, because that is the only way we are going to be able to know how to care for them better here at home.

 

     MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I’m not really sure what the honourable member means when she says “proper tracking of MS patients.” I would think that the head of the MS clinic here, who sees quite a few MS patients in the province and is in constant communication with the MS clinic in Sydney and who tells me that they are aware of the patients they have who have left Nova Scotia for this treatment and who come back and see them, that, in fact, is proper tracking and proper treatment that they receive from these folks.

 

     Mr. Speaker, I would remind the honourable member and tell members here that the federal government, whom we are in contact with as well as with provinces across the country, are in the process of discussing a national tracking or registry, for MS patients.

 

[Page 1021]

 

 

     MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my concern is that we may be sticking our head in the sand here in Nova Scotia. Other provinces, and a large number of them now, including New Brunswick next door, B.C., Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, are all taking measures to track, and keep track of, all of their MS patients and look at what the outcomes are of the treatment that they’ve had overseas and the best way to not only find out how well they’re doing but also to provide the care they need when they come home. My question is to find out why do we have to wait for the federal government to move when over half the provinces in Canada are taking action?

 

     MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, there are no clinical trials occurring anywhere in this country. We have said that when clinical trials occur we will participate once the scientific evidence indicates that is what they can go forward and will participate in that. I keep in very close contact with the MS community, the people who are looking for treatment, the people who are providing treatment and we get the best scientific and medical evidence that we can about what’s required. I’m confident that we have very up-to-date processes. No one in this province will be turned away when they come back having received this treatment. That was confirmed for me yesterday, once more, by Dr. Bhan.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

 

STATUS OF WOMEN: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STRATEGY

- ORGANIZERS

 

     MS. KELLY REGAN: Mr. Speaker, the province’s new domestic violence strategy was unveiled in December of last year. It’s a good plan and it should be. The transition houses were involved in its creation. The people who work in this area were intimately involved in producing the report. Could the Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women please explain why the very people who helped create this report have been shunted off to the side and now are not involved in its implementation?

 

     HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, certainly this is a very important issue and one that our government takes very seriously, as I know all members of the House do. As a province and as a society, we want to have zero tolerance for domestic violence. The government is responding by having developed a plan of action with a number of stakeholders. Last December we launched the Domestic Violence Action Plan and our goal is to build stronger and safer communities. We have now put together a seniors official team and they’re working across a number of departments, I believe over 16 government departments, and are looking at how to integrate the recommendations into the everyday work of government in this province. Thank you.

 

[Page 1022]

 

 

     MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, the Domestic Violence Strategy was unveiled in December of last year. We have to make sure this strategy turns into action. Can the minister please outline what frontline changes have actually been made since that time to actually help women who are victims of domestic violence?

 

     MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, there were 70 recommendations and I would take all of today and the next several Question Periods to give all the details, but one I can just mention, and I’m sure the member opposite is quite aware of it, and that’s the Domestic Violence Court Program pilot in Sydney. There is also going to be an electronic clearing house that will serve as a central resource for information. Those are just two of the items and certainly during estimates I’ll be prepared to give more information on other details. Thank you.

 

     MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, if a woman wants to leave her home because of domestic violence but she’s not employed outside that home and she has no financial resources or family to help her, she will need financial assistance from the Department of Community Services, but there is a Catch-22 situation here. If she doesn’t want to go to an emergency shelter, a transition house, she cannot get any money from DCS to leave, so if she wants to go to a small apartment or to Alice Housing, she cannot get money from DCS to go. Alice Housing can take her in, but they would have to do so without knowing whether she is actually going to get any funding from DCS. That’s a risk for the second stage housing unit and she might have to move again too if she were ultimately denied. Can the minister responsible tell us when she is going to close this gap and make it possible for a woman with no resources to get out of an abusive situation?

 

     MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, certainly I would say that the various government departments that would be associated with helping a woman in that situation have to deal with it case-by-case. Every woman’s particular situation is unique and certainly through the action plan, we’re hoping to better coordinate our efforts and to make sure there are few, if any, gaps in supports and programs and services. I do want to commend our transition houses across this province. They’re doing incredible work under very difficult circumstances. I just want to say that the staff and volunteers who work through transition houses are very much appreciated.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

 

TIR: EAST MARGAREE BRIDGE - REPLACEMENT

 

     MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. The people of the Margaree sustained damage in December from a heavy rain storm and there was damage to provincial infrastructure, including the East Margaree Bridge. That bridge is now actually floating along the riverside about one kilometre downstream. My question to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is, will that bridge be replaced to renew this link for the people and their economy?

 

[Page 1023]

 

 

     HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the Margaree Valley has faced some challenging times, particularly with the winter storms we had in December. First, I want to thank them for their patience; I know the community has been waiting thus far. There has been over a million dollars spent in addressing some of the issues around the bridges. I’ve had the opportunity, through staff on the ground and also senior staff here to actually get the geographical tour. Perhaps the member sometime could take me on a real tour of the 22 bridges in the Margaree and I’ll tell you, I know their importance and I know their importance to the community.

 

Subsequent to that first million that has already been spent, we intend to spend approximately another $2 million to make sure the plan is in place so that the bridges can be replaced in a timely fashion. I give that commitment to the member and I want to particularly thank the people of the Margaree. Because when we faced the difficulties in Meat Cove, the panel bridge that was originally scheduled to be on the Margaree was taken to Meat Cove and used there. I thank the community for their flexibility and now their patience as they wait for these improvements to be made.

 

     MR. MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for making that commitment to the people of Margaree. We’ve received letters from residents and also from the Tourism Association of Margaree. I received a letter from a business - Larchwood Enterprises - they employ 11 people and they depend on this bridge link as a means for their customers to reach their operations. Can the minister - he did provide some timeline there - offer any more clarification on the timeline of at which point this bridge will be replaced?

 

     MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, there are a number of timelines that we’re facing, of course. One of them is, particularly, we’ve got to make sure we can get that heavy equipment on the roads and of course we’ve got to make sure with weight restrictions that those things are going to be taking place. I assure you they are at the top of the priority list. There are a number of bridges that we’re looking at in particular and I know that some bridges and some communities are called by different names.

 

I want the member to know that there have been permits issued and design work done for the Murray Hill Bridge, in particular. The tender will be called in May and it will be replaced in June. That is one bridge that I’m aware of and the importance of it in the community but I know the member is more concerned about the overall plan. At this time during Question Period, I really don’t have it at my fingertips to be able to go through it in detail, but I urge the member at some time within the next few days - after we celebrate our victory in hockey on Thursday night, perhaps - I invite you to drop by the office next week and we’ll go over the plan in detail. (Interruptions)

 

[Page 1024]

 

 

     MR. MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, how could I refuse a kind offer like that and especially after an evening of a win by the Boston Bruins? (Interruptions)

 

     Mr. Speaker, I’m pleased to hear about the Murray Hill Bridge. People in the area will be very pleased to hear that. They had lost some faith but I think that will be renewed now. I also want to ask one final question and that would be about Meat Cove. They had sustained damage and they were fully connected. We appreciate the government’s efforts. It was very timely to get things back on track there. Some of the measures that were in place, I believe, were temporary and the minister had referenced Murray Hill Bridge, which had been taken down to Meat Cove for that temporary measure. Could we give the people of Meat Cove any idea on when the permanent structures will be in for the bridges in Meat Cove?

 

     MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. I know the Deputy Premier is giving me advice about when the Habs are going to win and we’re going to go to Meat Cove, but I want to be very serious with the member opposite.

 

I know how important it is, particularly in the Meat Cove area, that we have permanent structures; that we have as much done in as timely a fashion as possible. It’s on the work schedule for this summer, this construction season. The people of Meat Cove have had some challenging times but we’re going to be there for them and make sure the job is done completely and as timely as possible. Thank you for the question.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

 

PREM.: IMMIGRATION STRATEGY - RELEASE

 

     HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, a week ago today the Premier was questioned about the lack of an immigration strategy for the province. Statistics are showing that we are losing ground and yet despite being in office for almost two years now, we have yet to see a plan from this government to bring more immigrants to Nova Scotia. Last week the Premier responded in Question Period that we’ll see a strategy soon, very soon. Now, my question to the Premier is, why does this government refuse to release a new immigration strategy for Nova Scotia?

 

     THE PREMIER: It’s quite the opposite, Mr. Speaker. In fact, as I indicated, very shortly we will be releasing the new immigration strategy but that’s not to say that the work in the Department of Immigration is not going forward. Of course, it is. One of the obstacles that I pointed out to the member opposite - and I believe to the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party as well - is the fact that the Nova Scotia Nominee Program has been limited to a 500 number when provinces of similar size have some 5,000 people allowed under the nominee stream. This is something that I have brought to the attention of the fellow Premiers in the Atlantic Provinces. I was also very pleased to see that it was something that was also addressed by the Atlantic mayors in the recent past too, the need for additional immigrants for the Atlantic region.

 

[Page 1025]

 

 

     MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, that’s a bit of a bizarre strategy by the Premier, when you look at the fact that the cap is placed by the Harper Government, our Premier decides to lament to his fellow Premiers and then encourages the lament of mayors and wardens around the Atlantic Provinces. At the end of the day, it’s the Harper Government that set this cap that’s limiting Nova Scotians to 500 immigrants. Why the Premier does not see fit to make his plea directly to the decision-maker is a bit bizarre to Nova Scotians.

 

The Premier says he thought that was obvious, so would the Premier table today, before the end of Question Period, any correspondence between himself and the representatives of the Harper Government as to why Nova Scotia should not have a cap of 500 immigrants under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program?

 

     THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, my office and the Prime Minister’s Office and, in fact, the regional ministers with respect to the Province of Nova Scotia and the Atlantic Provinces, including the Minister responsible for ACOA, are in contact all the time. It is not our practice, necessarily always, to put things in writing to one another but we raised the matter. I have certainly raised the matter directly with representatives of the federal government and I intend to continue to do that.

 

I believe, Mr. Speaker, it was also part of the communiqué that was issued by the council, the federation, in terms of the importance of the immigration, the strategy for the entire country. The member opposite should be assured that we take this matter extremely seriously. Wherever I go, I promote Nova Scotia as a destination for new immigrants.

 

     MR. SAMSON: Well what the Premier is asking us today is to believe him that he has actually made representations - he hasn’t put it on paper; he can’t show us any documents. What we do know, the facts we do know, is the Premier has acknowledged the Provinces of Manitoba, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Alberta - their Premiers have all successfully lobbied the federal government to remove the cap on their provinces, yet somehow our province has failed to do so. We all know if there’s a province that needs more immigrants, it is certainly Nova Scotia, yet last week the Premier said the strategy would be released soon, very soon.

 

     Well it is a week later, so we know that soon means more than a week - so I’m wondering if the Premier could tell us possibly today, a week later, just what the “soon” really means under the NDP Government?

 

     THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, you know, first of all what you should understand about this issue is that the provinces were grandfathered in under a program that was subsequently capped, and this happened before this government came to power. Secondly, over that period - God knows there was much that needed changing in this province and we have marched through a new economic development strategy, a new health care strategy, and the first renewable electricity plan in this province’s history. We have made substantial change in this province already.

 

[Page 1026]

 

 

     Yes, Mr. Speaker, there will be a new immigration strategy, one that I am sure will meet the satisfaction of the members opposite, and be successful for our province.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

 

ENERGY - NSPI: COMPETITION - ALLOW

 

     MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Energy. A little over two hours ago, Nova Scotia Power released the plan for massive rate hikes, a 7.1 per cent increase for residential customers and going up to 13.5 per cent for some commercial customers. When combined with the NDP electricity tax, these increases range from 8.8 per cent to 16.8 per cent, based on data provided by NSPI this afternoon.

 

     NSPI has a monopoly and repeated studies, both by the government and externally, have recommended competition be allowed. Mr. Speaker, when will the minister allow renewable energy producers to compete directly with Nova Scotia Power and sell directly to customers?

 

     HON. CHARLIE PARKER: Mr. Speaker, we, as a government, are very concerned about electricity rates and we want to see them lowered as much as possible. We’ve taken some initiatives in that regard - we took the HST off electricity for home heating fuel and through Efficiency Nova Scotia there is a ratepayer investment there to try to find more efficient energy programs that will help over the long term. (Applause)

 

     We have a 40 per cent goal towards renewable electricity by 2020 on hydroelectricity and on wind power and other renewables, so we’re doing lots in that regard to lessen the blow for Nova Scotians. We’re concerned and we’re taking a number of good initiatives to try to lower those rates.

 

     MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the day the Minister of Energy actually answers the question he is asked and doesn’t give a propaganda message from a briefing note.

 

     Mr. Speaker, the URB is currently reviewing information regarding Efficiency Nova Scotia and the rate of the NDP electricity tax and the evidence provided suggests a large portion of the savings achieved in Nova Scotia is not related to activities by Efficiency Nova Scotia. It has been suggested at the hearings already that the DSM rate should be frozen until Efficiency Nova Scotia maximizes their efforts under the current budget. Given the increases announced this afternoon, will the minister agree to legislate the freeze to the Efficiency Nova Scotia charge for 2012?

 

[Page 1027]

 

 

     MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, you know it’s not a tax that is on the energy efficiency; it’s really a prudent investment for ratepayers to lower their cost in the long term and it’s going to work because there are a lot of good programs there. We’ll certainly hope that Nova Scotia Power can work to look at their costs and see what reductions and what can be done. Really something that could be done to help, would be, as the province did, the federal government also would take the HST off of electricity.

 

     MR. YOUNGER: The minister can talk all he wants about HST reductions but the fact is that’s long been wiped out and the fact is, we are now well beyond that point and the rates are much higher than they were when they took power. Then the NDP added their own tax to wipe it out anyway so it doesn’t matter - a tax the Premier opposed in Opposition.

 

Mr. Speaker, the last time Nova Scotia Power threatened to raise rates, the NDP put the health of Nova Scotians and the environment at risk by relaxing mercury regulations and rates still increased.

 

     Mr. Speaker, my final question is to the Minister of Environment, what environmental protection does the minister plan to throw out this time to cave in to Nova Scotia Power?

 

     HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, we take this very seriously. We made the adjustment, we’re going to meet our goals. We have been recognized across North America for our ambitious goals in this and we are taking into consideration the people that are most vulnerable and we made the right adjustments and we’re going to meet our goal.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

 

ERD & TOURISM - HANTS REG. DEV. AUTH:

DIRECTOR - DISMISSAL

 

     HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. The executive director of Hants Regional Development Authority was dismissed without cause. No one knows why he was let go, not even the former executive director and not those who serve on the West Hants Council. The West Hants Council is very concerned about this issue and the funding partners deserve an answer. My question is, has the minister met with the warden or any members of the Hants West Council to investigate this particular matter? 

 

[Page 1028]

 

 

     HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, and through you I want to thank the member opposite for that particular question. I can say that I have met with the RDA, had an in camera session with the board of the RDA in Windsor a number of weeks ago, they explained to me the circumstances surrounding a human resource issue.

 

     Mr. Speaker, I was completely satisfied with what I heard from that board and I did send a copy on, not only to the warden but also to a council member.

 

     MR. COLWELL: The West Hants Council asked the minister to investigate concerns with the HRDA as far back as January. Yet the councillor, Randy Masson, states that the minister chose not to meet with their wardens or other stakeholders, and I will table an op-ed article here that the council lays that out. By all accounts the board and the RDA did not follow proper procedures when they dismissed the executive director without cause. Yet the minister is quoted as saying in a letter dated March 15th, “Due process has been adhered to” and I’ll also table that letter.

 

     My question is, how can the minister be satisfied that due process was followed when the minister neglected to meet with the warden and stakeholders?

 

     MR. PARIS: Again, I want to thank the member opposite for bringing this forward. Since he’s in the business of tabling things, Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of letters here. One from a councillor, the Municipality of the District of West Hants and another one from the Municipality of the District of West Hants and my responses to those letters.

 

     Mr. Speaker, this is a human resource issue and I do know for a fact that the Municipality of West Hants, as for all the municipalities, were offered an in camera session by the RDA to discuss the reasons why this human resource issue came forward. Unfortunately some of the municipalities refused that invitation.

 

     MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the answer from the minister but the warden of West Hants still has not received a reply as late as today at 2:45 p.m. Council members are disappointed with the lack of concern the minister has shown over this year. They asked for leadership from the minister and got nothing in return. The council’s very upset in the way the RDA handled the matter. The council has voted to withdraw financial support from the RDA. My question to the minister is, will the minister confirm whether the RDA will have to shut down now that part of the funding will be removed by the municipalities?

 

     MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I could stand up here for some time and give you a response to that answer. However I will not do that. What I will say to that member opposite that during estimates I would invite him to ask me that question during estimates and I will give him a thorough explanation as to what’s going on there. And talking about leadership - I can say this, that I’ve had calls from mayors and councillors in Hants congratulating me on the leadership that I’ve shown on this issue.

 

[Page 1029]

 

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

 

AGRIC.: STRATEGY RELEASE - TIME FRAME

 

     MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture. After watching what this government has done to the forestry industry and the pharmacy industry, people in the agricultural industry were concerned this government would cut the Farm Investment Fund. The minister said on April 8th that he was looking for a $500,000 rollout of the department’s 10-year agricultural strategy. Farmers want to know where the Farm Investment Fund fits into this strategy for fiscal 2011-12. There are a lot of farmers still in the dark, including the president of the Kings County Federation of Agriculture as to whether the Farm Investment Fund is or is not in the strategy. My question through you to the minister is, how long before this minister will provide concrete details to all farmers in the province about the agricultural strategy?

 

     HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, last week I actually met with council leaders. We explained to them the budget and the impacts of the budget. The Farm Investment Fund for this year is really the same as last year. One of the issues that’s caused the biggest concern is some years ago the farming community actually wanted to be able to apply for two years of funding in the program so most of the funding for this year in the Farm Investment Fund is already booked because of applications for last year. They got two years of funding.

 

     Also, along with that, the name of that fund will disappear going forward. We’re doing a reorg of programs. Certainly the areas I think that they could apply for in the fund, some of those areas will still be there.

 

     MR. PORTER: Mr. Speaker, that’s just about as unclear an answer as we could expect. The president of the Kings County Federation of Agriculture is certainly unclear about the department’s land drainage program. Has the minister eliminated assistance altogether or is this another component of the Farm Investment Fund which has been inadequately explained?

 

     MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, for anyone who applied to the fund for the two years for land drainage, then those applications would still be in place for this year. But there will be no room for new applicants because the people who applied last year got funding and that was two year funding. Yes, the fund is still in place, people are still using it but basically it’s been applied for.

 

     MR. PORTER: Mr. Speaker, the minister said last week during the estimates that funding had been increased, actually, for the Farm Investment Fund. Will the minister table in this House of Assembly this afternoon a copy of the proposed changes to the Farm Investment Fund and the added dollars it has received?

 

[Page 1030]

 

 

     MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, actually funding in the department has gone up by nearly $1 million. Actually in about four different programs, but I’m thinking it didn’t go up in the Farm Investment Fund.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

 

HEALTH & WELLNESS - DART. GEN.: ROSS REPT.

- STANDARDS

 

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: My question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. The Ross Report provided a series of recommendations for government action when it comes to accessing emergency room care, but like many issues being considered by this government, they have chosen to focus on addressing silos instead of recognizing that the entire system needs to be fixed to address smooth patient flow.

 

A case in point is the Dartmouth General Hospital. There is no hope of the Dartmouth General Hospital reaching Dr. Ross’ recommended emergency room standard, which states that no admitted patient should stay in the emergency room longer than 24 hours after the initial triage. As an example, three patients have been waiting for longer than two days, and for almost this entire week, just to go through the system. Will the minister support the recommendation of the Dartmouth General to open the fifth floor as a way to ensure the facility is able to meet Dr. Ross’ standard?

 

     HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. We’re very well aware of the pressures that staff are under at the Dartmouth General Hospital in their ER. The Capital District Health Authority and the Department of Health and Wellness continue to look at what options might be available to deal with this very difficult situation.

 

     MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, the minister knows some of the solutions. I’ve been talking about the fifth floor for almost two years and the Dartmouth General has submitted plans to the minister about the fifth floor. Here is the reality. On most days, true emergency cases, level two patients are triaged, admitted, treated and discharged several days later, all from the emergency department. This does nothing for patient flow and although the minister has talked about changes throughout the QEII, the Dartmouth General needs attention in this too and that’s why it can’t be just silos. Will the minister review the business case and realize that opening the fifth floor will save money and allow the Dartmouth General to meet Dr. Ross’ standard and provide better patient care?

 

     MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I think everybody recognizes that there are many needs in our health care system and you can’t do everything at once; choices have to be made. The choice this government made was to start with the Tertiary Care Centre at the Queen Elizabeth II hospital where we expanded the number of general medicine beds and we introduced a Rapid Assessment Unit, which has diverted literally several thousand people from the emergency department, taking pressure off that department. In our budget we have money to further expand the hours of operation at the Cobequid Centre and at the same time we are addressing the difficulties in rural communities around the province with the opening of collaborative emergency centres, the first one we’ve announced for the community of Parrsboro.

 

[Page 1031]

 

 

     We are very aware of the situation at the Dartmouth General Hospital and we continue to work closely with the Capital District Health Authority with respect to what the measures are that we might be able to take to ease the pressures of that particular emergency department.

 

     MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, well, it’s not about what the solutions are. The Dartmouth General, the staff and the doctors and the board there have been telling the minister and her department for a couple of years what the solution is and the space is available, no new building is required, no major renovations are required. The fact is, today’s stats are typical. There are three patients waiting in the ER, waiting to be admitted, this coupled with 14 patients at the QEII today waiting to be admitted. Given that opening the fifth floor of the Dartmouth General Hospital would not be classified as a major capital project, why the delay?

 

     MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I think I adequately responded to that question the last time. We have some priorities. We cannot do everything at once. We have a plan and we are systematically going about implementing that plan.

 

     Mr. Speaker, the Capital District Health Authority opened an urgent care practice in Dartmouth to take pressure off the Dartmouth General Hospital. We will continue to take steps with the Capital District Health Authority to address the urgent pressures that are on all of our emergency departments throughout this district health authority.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

 

TIR - HANTS WEST: RIM BUDGET - CUTS

 

     MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. How much funding has been cut from the RIM budget for Hants West and how does that compare to RIM cuts in other constituencies across the province?

 

     HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, you know, I’m prepared to answer those types of questions during estimates. I ask for a ruling on this. If you wish me to continue, I shall.

 

[Page 1032]

 

 

     MR. SPEAKER: No, go ahead, minister.

 

     MR. ESTABROOKS: Let’s talk about RIM money in particular and I think that all members of this House, well, certainly the more rural members, who are important we understand when it comes to RIM dollars. We’re aware of the fact that there have to be certain local projects that don’t make a list, if they’re not on the five-year plan with those particular projects. I know the member for Digby-Annapolis has one in particular that he always brings to my attention, those particular projects are going to be addressed. There is an actual number that I can quote at a future time but I want the members in this House to know that I believe we have another very busy schedule ahead of us.

 

      I met recently with a number of representatives from the Truckers’ Association, concerned about the 80-20 rule, making sure that they were aware that they should be ready because there’s going to be lots of work for them. There’s going to be lots of work for them locally and I want members of the House to know that that consideration is always there when it comes to local jobs.

 

     MR. PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity for the minister to answer the question as the estimates are winding down. We may not have all the time that we would like to have with that minister. So through you to the minister, when will Hants West see the results of the paving and chip sealing initiative your government has directly undertaken in competition with traditional road building companies?

 

     MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I guess I should thank the member for the question. Some of the specifics that you’re asking about at this time, particularly in the legislative session, they were under the QP, what we’re going through today would be more appropriate for estimates. Those types of questions and specifics will be provided when and hopefully we have the opportunity to answer those questions.

 

     MR. PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I know this question is in reference to Highway No. 101 and I know that the minister actually and the member for Kings South would also support me on this, I’m sure, as this highway is making its way down toward her constituency. When will we see, through you to the minister, when will we see tenders called for further work on Highway No. 101, whether they’re for the structures that need to be built or the actual road building?

 

     MR. ESTABROOKS: Thank you to the member opposite for this question. We all know of the longstanding battle on Highway No. 101 and the importance of it to the community. I want that member to know on that side of the House that members on this side of the House constantly point out the fact that Highway No. 101 is of real importance economically and for safety reasons in the community.

 

[Page 1033]

 

 

     When we look at - and I want to thank the member for Kings North who recently, last July in fact, if I remember the date, opened a portion of Highway No. 101. The other thing that’s of real importance, of course, to Highway No. 101 are the climbing lanes, making sure that there are so-called passing lanes. I prefer to call them climbing lanes as opposed to encouraging people to speed up. Highway No. 101 is an important part of the highway system of this province. Safety remains a number one priority for this government and this particular minister. Highway No. 101 will be taken care of. The people of the Valley can be reassured Highway No. 101 will not be forgotten.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

 

     MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, on April 29, 2010 the government announced a new Act to manage and develop the fur industry in Nova Scotia. An excellent initiative and one that we support but it has been nearly a year . . .

 

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

 

     OPPOSITION MEMBERS’ BUSINESS

    

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Progressive Conservative House Leader.

 

     HON. CHRISTOPHER D’ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private Members’ Public Bills for Second Reading.

 

     PRIVATE MEMBERS’ PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Progressive Conservative House Leader.

 

     HON. CHRISTOPHER D’ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 3.

 

     Bill No. 3 - Modernizing Government Act.

 

     MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

 

     HON. JAMIE BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, I am honoured, actually, to rise and move second reading of Bill No. 3, the Modernizing Government Act. The most important thing we do in these jobs that we have as MLAs is to work for the people of our ridings and collectively to the people of Nova Scotia. This bill is very important to me and to the PC caucus. In fact, I will point out that this is our first Opposition Day in this session where we can call bills and, in fact, this is the first bill of our first Opposition Day that we’ve chosen to call. This is the very earliest moment we could actually call the bill. I say that as an indication to all members of the House as to the importance that we place to Bill No. 3, the Modernizing Government Act.

 

[Page 1034]

 

 

     I think, that we all have a duty in this House, obviously first to our constituents but we also have a duty to the political system, to make it relevant, to make it accountable, to make it accessible and to make it fair so that Nova Scotians can have some confidence that the decisions that are made in this Chamber and that the decisions that are made on their behalf are the best decisions that could possibly be made.

 

     I would just like to begin my few minutes on Bill No. 3 by explaining to the House, through you, Madam Speaker, the importance that we place on this because it’s a sad fact that as . . .

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please. I’d just like to remind folks that the chatter is getting a little high in here, it’s difficult to hear. If I could, just be mindful of that, please.

 

     The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party has the floor.

 

     MR. BAILLIE: Thank you, Madam Speaker. It is a sad fact that too many Nova Scotians have turned their backs on our political system, that too many are frustrated by all that has gone on here and elsewhere, in politics, that too many feel that we aren’t dealing with issues that are important to them. That too many feel that there is game playing and manipulation and jockeying for position when we should be working together on issues like jobs and the economy and health care and our schools and our kids.

 

It is difficult, in an environment where there is that much cynicism, to convince people to turn back around and engage with their politicians, engage with our system of government so that we can make the best decisions possible. If there’s one thing that I heard as I crossed the province in the past year many times, running for the leadership of my Party, first of all, as I crossed the wonderful constituency of Cumberland South, running for a seat in this very place, it is that people don’t see that the work that is being done here is relevant to today’s problems or relevant to today’s families. So the primary purpose of Bill No. 3, the Modernizing Government Act, is to focus the work of the Legislature on modern problems, on modern issues, on things that are important to people.

 

     That starts with ensuring that people see that MLAs are subject to the same rules as everyone else, that although in one way MLAs are elected and placed at the top of the political pyramid, that in fact, just like in business, we have a boss and our boss is the people. This is a principle that I can borrow for a moment from the credit union system where I come from, that I was the CEO of the credit union but still the many, many thousands of members of my credit union elected a board of directors to oversee the pay and benefits of their CEO.

 

[Page 1035]

 

 

     I had a boss through that board, my boss was the people who were the members of the credit union. I say this to all members of this House but I say this in particular to the members on the government side, many of whom I know are credit union members. I say this in the hopes of reminding them of their social democratic roots so they can see the principles that are behind this bill, the wisdom, for example, of setting up a panel of citizens to take the thorny issue of pay and benefits and pensions out of the hands of MLAs who, after all, are the very beneficiaries of those decisions, and give them to our boss to decide, the people themselves - like happens at my credit union.

 

I am hopeful that the NDP members who are members of their own credit unions will see the wisdom, be reminded of the roots, and support the bill for that reason - that just like in the credit union we have to be always mindful that there is someone else out there who is truly in charge. In our system of democracy there is one rung higher on that great pyramid and that is where the people themselves reside. That is why the bill creates in law a panel of citizens who will have all the resources they need - they can hire all the expertise they need to do their job to determine what is fair pay, what are fair benefits, what is a fair pension for their MLAs. There are other provinces that have this same system.

 

I wish the Government of Canada would have this same system so that we don’t need to spend time in this House defending decisions we make for ourselves, which is wrong. We can spend our time on things that people pay us to spend our time on - like jobs, the economy, health care, schools, and so on. One of the most important principles I can bring from the credit union system to this great House of Assembly is to take those issues out of our hands and put them where they belong, in the hands of our bosses, in the hands of the people.

 

     The other thing that the bill does, Madam Speaker, which I think is very important, is it puts in the hands of the people the power to force the Legislature to focus on issues that are important to them. Every MLA in this Chamber, no matter how long they’ve been here, can do their own assessment of how we spend our time when we’re sitting in this Chamber. How much time do we really spend on the great issues and the great challenges and the great opportunities that our province faces? How much time do we spend on other things, on the resolutions, on Question Period, and on bills that are not focused on the things that people want us to focus on?

 

     We should imagine that behind that TV camera is a Nova Scotian watching every minute, keeping track of what we spend our time doing. That is, I think, the right way for us to imagine - or that the gallery is full of our mothers and fathers and grandparents watching us in action. How much time would they want us to spend on the things we do spend our time on? How much time would they want us to spend in true debate, in true discussion and true dialogue on things that are important to them? We leave it to ourselves to decide how we allocate our time - and I would just hold out that we haven’t done a very good job of that.

 

[Page 1036]

 

 

     We, in the past, have not done a very good job of that. Nova Scotians tell us consistently, one-on-one and in groups and in polls and in petitions to the Legislature, that there are other issues that are important to them - one is going to come up this afternoon, and I want to give credit to the member to my left, the member for Victoria-The Lakes, on grandparents’ rights, a very direct result of a strong level of petitioning by an important segment of our society to bring this forward. It has come from many places. (Interruption) We’ll talk about that when we get to the bill. I fully agree with what the member is saying, this is not a partisan or a political issue. Of course, absolutely, I agree with that. We’re of like mind on this. It’s an example of doing the right thing, regardless of Party.

 

There are too few examples of that actually, Madam Speaker. That is the point, that the people who are bosses can force the Legislature when they see it veering off course, when they see it veering into the ditch of partisanship, or into the ditch of irrelevancy, or into the ditch of bickering, where we should be debating big issues and force us through petition to bring forward legislation to deal with the issues that are important to them, that are important to these families, whether it’s grandparents’ rights or whether it’s health care, whether it’s emergency room access, whether it’s our schools, and the special needs kids and the services that we provide to them and the way we pay for those services, or whether it’s jobs and the economy and how a government can sometimes help the economy along and how sometimes the government has to get out of the way to allow the economy to move.

 

     These are things that people want us to work on. This is a way, through this bill, to give Nova Scotians the opportunity to force the Legislature to focus on the job that they want done. I should also add that when we look at declining rates of voting and so on, I think that we must make sure that we do all we can to increase the accessibility of participation in our democracy, which is ultimately expressed through voting in elections, to make that as easy and transparent and fair as possible.

 

     That is why a modern government has fixed election dates, like seven provinces in Canada do, like all of the other Atlantic Canadian provincial peers do, like the Government of Canada does, like many jurisdictions in democracies like ours around the world do. This should be a matter of law, and when that time comes that we go to the polls, that we have a person of disability on the Election Commission to make sure we’re doing all we can to expand access to those polls.

 

That is why we should leave it to Nova Scotians themselves by limiting third-party advertising during elections. Leave it to Nova Scotians themselves to make up their own minds about who their government should be. These are the things that we can do to bring the Government of Nova Scotia into the 21st Century, to create that modern, dynamic 21st Century a government that we all want so that all those who have turned their backs on our system can turn right back around again and become engaged in the system. We all have a duty that is our first duty, before we get to parties, that is our first duty to do all we can to make that true once again in our province. Thank you.

 

[Page 1037]

 

 

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg.

 

MS. PAM BIRDSALL: Madam Speaker, it’s my pleasure to rise today on behalf of our government to speak to Bill No. 3, the Modernizing Government Act, which was first introduced by the member for Cumberland South.

 

I would like to begin by discussing what I believe modernization means. To be modern, you must embrace change, you must never cling to the status quo and you must always strive for something better. I believe I’m part of a modern government, and since being elected in 2009, we have made the right decisions for Nova Scotian families. The Modernizing Government Act is very broad, including items like changes to Nova Scotia elections, which fall under the Elections Act.

 

I want to begin my discussion today by talking about the issues that are always on the minds of Nova Scotians and that is health care. For generations we’ve watched our health care system erode. We’ve all watched doctors, nurses and technicians, staff and volunteers in our health system grow frustrated, and rightfully so. We brought about Better Care Sooner for our health care system. With the support and wisdom of Dr. John Ross, our government has begun to take steps needed to deliver health care the way Nova Scotians need and want it.

 

Several days ago the Premier and our Minister of Health and Wellness announced the location of the new Nova Scotia - and in fact, Canada’s first - collaborative emergency care. In July the people of Parrsboro and surrounding area, which interestingly enough is also in the constituency of Cumberland South, will open a new chapter in health care with the opening of the CEC, the current collaborative practice already established in Parrsboro will have extended hours. That means health care when you need it, where you need it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

 

Our government knows that it was time for fundamental change of our health care system and that is now. May I say the purpose of this debate is that we are modernizing health care delivery? Our government recognizes the talent and skills of our health care professionals and people who, day in and day out, care for others when they are in need, in these professions such as the many trained nurses, paramedics and those called upon by doctors to ensure better health care is delivered sooner.

 

In the weeks and months ahead we will hear more from the Minister of Health and Wellness about areas of the province that will benefit from this new, modern health care delivery. In fact, our government will open at least four CECs in communities across the province. I am proud that the CECs fulfill our NDP Government’s commitment to keeping emergency rooms open. That is a commitment we made to the people of Nova Scotia and it is one that means a great deal to our people.

 

[Page 1038]

 

 

The Better Care Sooner plan is addressing long waits in the busiest of emergency rooms. Since last Fall almost 1,200 patients headed for the Halifax Infirmary emergency room were diverted to the rapid assessment unit. Also, advanced care paramedics are being trained for immediately giving life-saving drugs to Nova Scotians having heart attacks.

 

     Madam Speaker, our government will keep introducing more ways to have better care sooner and make lives better for Nova Scotian families but it’s not just health and wellness where our government is making modern changes happen. The most recent budget will improve Nova Scotians’ spending power with a personal income tax reduction of $11 million through an increase of basic personal . . .

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Argyle.

 

     HON. CHRISTOPHER D’ENTREMONT: Just wondering where that has anything to do with the Act that is before us today. Normally we’re speaking to the Act, not about 100 other things. I’m sure the government would say the same thing to us if we were debating in this matter.

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: If the member could carry on with her debate and recognizing that the bill is on Bill No. 3 - on the Modernizing Government Act.

 

     MS. BIRDSALL: Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I’m certainly talking about modernizing government which is what the bill is about. This means hundreds of the poorest Nova Scotians will no longer pay income tax. Earlier this month the Premier and the Minister of Community Services announced one of the biggest single investments in families and children (Interruptions)

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Lunenburg has the floor.

 

     MS. BIRDSALL: Thank you. One of the fundamental principles that our government has put forward is that Nova Scotians want to be independent and provide for their families. We want to keep families and break out of the cycle of poverty. People on income assistance, including those with disabilities, can now keep more of the money that they earn. Working income assistance clients will keep up to 30 per cent more of their earnings . . .

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Argyle.

 

     HON. CHRISTOPHER D’ENTREMONT: So far I haven’t heard anything speaking to the bill which is Bill No. 3, which talks about a number of things. I’m not going to go over them but if she’s not going to be speaking to this, then maybe we can move on to the next speaker.

 

[Page 1039]

 

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: One moment, please, while I confer with the Clerk.

 

     Order, please. Again I would just remind the member that the bill is Bill No. 3, the Modernizing Government Act, and I would just ask that you try to focus your comments on the principles of the bill.

 

     MS. BIRDSALL: Thank you, Madam Speaker, and talking about the bill that’s being introduced is talking about modernizing the government and that is exactly what I’m speaking to. (Interruptions)

 

Our government has been steadily increasing the number of child care subsidies across the province and this year we’ve achieved our election commitment to add 250 more subsidies for child spaces. We’re modernizing child care and modernizing government.

 

     I’m so proud that we have launched one the most comprehensive action plans in the history of the government, modernized and improved services for families living with autism. Until now about half of the children who are living with autism will now use the Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention system, the program that the IWK hospital has received. This will transform and modernize the whole way of working for families with children with autism.

 

Children were being randomly selected to gain or lose. Now this is not happening, we have modernized this entire approach to families living with autism. Children with autism will soon have access to the best treatment, as early as possible, to give them a real chance for success. That is modernizing. This program will work to improve the functioning skills, including communications skills, social skills and behaviour so that children with autism can have better communication and interact with their families, classmates and communities.

 

Our government knows that lowering financial barriers to post-secondary education is also a very modern approach to education for our young students. We are investing $42.5 million in student assistance this year. We are investing $30 million in student bursaries and modernizing the approach by providing tuition reduction to students.

 

We are also creating a debt cap, the first one in the province’s history and I would call that revolutionary or incredibly modern. Nova Scotian graduates will be able to reduce - it’s a better deal for Nova Scotia students.

 

     In addition, our government is keeping its commitment to having more students stay in Nova Scotia and put down roots here. Our modern graduate retention rebate is now providing a tax credit for up to $15,000 for university graduates and $7,500 for community college graduates, paid over six years.

 

[Page 1040]

 

 

     Madam Speaker, the way of our youth will learn to live and grow and evolve here in the province. We, as government, have a responsibility to ensure that the way we provide assistance follows suit. I believe you could say that we are modernizing post-secondary education . . .

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Argyle.

 

     HON. CHRISTOPHER D’ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I am going to try this for a third time and I’m sure through your work, that you can ensure that she’s to the principles of the bill that is before us, not reading from a prepared speech from her caucus. I’m just wondering if we can really get to the principles of the bill that is before us.

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you. Before I make my comments to the member, I don’t think it’s really for anyone, other than the member, to make a decision about how she delivers her comments, whether it be through a speech or off-the-cuff. Any member in the room has that option.

 

     I would remind the member in the remaining minute or so that you have, to speak to the principles of the bill. Thank you.

 

     The honourable member for Lunenburg has the floor.

 

     MS. BIRDSALL: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Could you tell me how much time I have?

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: One minute.

 

     MS. BIRDSALL: The bill called today by the honourable member for Cumberland South is called the Modernizing Government Act and I have spoken in broad strokes about the importance of modern government (Interruptions) But I’ve done so because we believe that our government has made many changes necessary to the modernization of government in Nova Scotia. Also, our government would want to ensure that if such an Act were to come forward, it would need review, something with such broad scope that Nova Scotians would have a chance to have their say and proper consultation was conducted.

 

     Madam Speaker, the voice of Nova Scotians echoes through each piece of legislation our government brings to this historic Chamber and we initiate the lines of communities. Each change made from our government is to make life better for Nova Scotians. Thank you. (Applause)

 

[Page 1041]

 

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

 

     MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Thank you. Madam Speaker, I wonder if I get a prepared statement from a researcher and read that, whether I’ll get a standing ovation too.

 

     AN HON. MEMBER: And talk about nothing. (Interruptions)

 

     MR. YOUNGER: And talk about very little related to the bill, I might add.

 

     Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise and speak about this bill. Actually it’s an interesting bill because it includes a whole lot of ideas that the Liberal Party has introduced in bills in previous sessions, including in sessions under the previous Tory Government where they refused to support them, so I’m glad that they’ve seen the light on the road to Damascus and now are supporting the ideas that they could have actually voted in favour of when they were in government and they would be law now, but better late than never, I guess, to the Party.

 

     I’d like to talk about a few of these ideas. As I said, there is a number of very good ideas and I’d like to go through some of them, one by one. For example, requiring the Governor in Council to appoint someone with a disability to the Election Commission makes eminent sense. In terms of requiring all polling stations to be accessible, I certainly stand to be corrected but it is my understanding from the (Interruptions)

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Dartmouth East has the floor.

 

     MR. YOUNGER: The member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island will be happy to know that unlike the government caucus, I will actually speak to the bill and am speaking to the bill. Maybe next time, if they read the bill, they’ll be able to speak to it.

 

     Madam Speaker, there are a number of elements to this bill which I think are very important, including terms of requiring polling stations to be accessible. It’s my understanding from the Election Commission that it’s already a requirement but if there’s a benefit in entrenching it in legislation, that’s fine. Certainly it’s not something that I would oppose; I would hope nobody would oppose such a thing.

 

     Fixed election dates, of course, we introduced a bill when the Progressive Conservatives were in government to do exactly that, the Progressive Conservatives at the time turned that bill down. One would hope it’s not treated like Stephen Harper treats fixed election dates when he introduced a bill to do exactly the same and then called an election. So it has to actually have some teeth to it to make sure that that happens but I think it makes a lot of sense. It brings certainty to the election process and regardless of which Party is in power, it ensures that elections are not called based on the best poll dates but instead are called on a predictable time scale.

 

[Page 1042]

 

 

     Third-party advertising is something that we’ve been talking about for quite a long time and it’s something that we’ve expressed some concern about. We’ve introduced legislation on this issue and a number of times we’ve made submissions to the Election Commission and it’s something we absolutely support. We believe it’s supported by the Supreme Court in rulings that the court has made on the limiting of third-party advertising and certainly it’s something that we find very important.

 

     I would like to spend a little bit of time talking about the issue of petitions. The member for Halifax Clayton Park has spoken frequently about the issue of electronic petitions. I know it has been an issue in other locations as well, and currently I think we all recognize that they’re not accepted here. I know, in fact, there was a relatively large petition brought forth by the member for Inverness, which was on a very important issue, one of fracking. Unfortunately, it couldn’t be accepted here because it was an electronic petition.

 

I have a lot of concern about that because I recognize that there are concerns around somebody from Texas or Oklahoma signing a petition but, at the end of the day, petitions represent an indication of concern and it’s up to the 52 members of the Legislature who are all smart enough to look at a petition and determine how they feel about the relative merits and those who signed it. You know, 52 members will have reasonable differences of opinion in terms of how they weight that petition. I don’t think it would be any different with an electronic petition than any other petition.

 

     So I certainly agree with the member for Halifax Clayton Park, and I assume the member for Inverness supports them too because he brought one here in the last session, which I know we all had hoped could have been accepted. I was told that the current Speaker would look into that, but it keeps having to go back to this Assembly Matters Committee, which I’m told hasn’t met since 2006. So we keep referring things when we want to change things in the governance of this House to the Assembly Matters Committee, which is a committee that hasn’t met in five years. It seems a little bit crazy. One of the things that could be pre-eminent in moving forward, with the modernization of the Legislature and government, is actually have the committee that’s responsible for it meet once.

 

I’m told, actually, Madam Speaker, the last time they met was to deal with the issue of putting the metal detectors in downstairs, which I don’t doubt was an important issue at the time, but I understand that there are half a dozen issues that are now sitting before that committee waiting to go and I think that’s worthy of some discussion.

 

When it comes to petitions, I would like to talk about this issue of having a petition presented with 10,000 signatures and then forcing a debate on it. I’m not opposed to the idea, but what does that do? A question that it raises for me is, what does that do to the petitions that have 6,000 people, are they less important? Of course, you don’t want to force a debate on any petition that comes, and I understand that the Progressive Conservatives have chosen a number that they feel are valuable, but I took some time earlier today and just looked at the past couple of sessions to see what emergency debates have been called on and some of them had petitions, and there were very small numbers in those petitions.

 

[Page 1043]

 

 

Georges Bank was one that we had an emergency debate on last year, for example. There was one on - if I do it more recently - the Yarmouth ferry. The issue of the Yarmouth ferry was a critical, and remains a critical issue for Nova Scotians, in particular people in southwest Nova Scotia. We had an emergency debate on that about a year ago actually, March 26, 2010. I would not want to take away the importance of members having that ability and the question is, why can’t a member now, if they have a petition with 5,000 or 10,000 or 20,000 ask for an emergency debate? They can, of course, also call for a late debate and all those sorts of things. It’s unclear to me exactly what this - I’m not opposed to it, but I’m not sure exactly what it adds since, of course, any Party can ask for this at any time.

 

     Some of the other examples of ones we’ve had: of course, the H1N1 pandemic, which the Minister of Health and Wellness participated in; the NSCC strike was one that we did an emergency debate on and so forth. There is a history of addressing those issues which come forward. In every one of those cases, the number of people involved was actually less than 10,000. I’m not entirely sure what we’re trying to add, but again, I’m not opposed to adding that openness. It certainly makes some sense.

 

     As a matter of fact, if we were going to go down that route - and I’ll throw this one out - you could take the late debate and replace it with an automatic debate on those issues that come forward with petitions because I had asked at one point, what happens to the petitions that come here? We never see an automatic response to them. A petition gets tabled here, there’s no requirement for a response. That would be something that I’d like to see added, that if there is a petition - for example, in the Department of Environment, that the minister within a couple of weeks would table a response to that petition, even if it’s just to say, this is what my department is doing on that issue. That would really improve that dialogue, I think, between residents who are doing these petitions and government.

 

These petitions go into a black hole and the only people who seem to do much with it are our Library staff, who started putting the tabled documents and petitions on-line a number of years later. I know that they now have an archive of these on-line, which is a little bit ironic since we don’t accept on-line petitions, but we take the petitions and put them on-line afterwards so that people can look them up.

     In terms of addressing and having petitions addressed and be seen to be addressed by members of the public, that would be a big step, I think. That would be a step where we could say, when you table a petition here, whether it’s 10 people or 10,000, the department will table a response. It doesn’t have to be a long, detailed response, it can be one page - whatever that particular issue warrants. But I think at least there would be that connection, because that’s what’s missing, in governance in particular, is that connection back to the public and knowing that when they do come and they do have their say here on issues, that there’s some sort of feedback back and forth. I think that would be very valuable.

 

[Page 1044]

 

 

     In a province of roughly a million people, we have the ability to do that. We have the capacity to do that, the ministers have the capacity to do that and I know there are a number of ministers who will call individuals back themselves, when they have time on issues. I know that Nova Scotians appreciate that and have come to expect that.

 

     Modernizing government is a very important issue. As I say, there are a number of issues addressed in this bill that we obviously - in fact, there are none that we do not support in this bill. The vast majority of them are ones that we’ve introduced before and I would just remind that I wish the Progressive Conservatives had supported them when they were in government because the numbers were there to actually pass them and have them law right now. But this is another day and this is two years on. Hopefully the current government will support all or some of these items, as well, because I think that there are some very critical moves. We’ve already heard the Premier say that there’s a bill coming forward on the Elections Act on third-party advertising, so we’ll see where it goes. Madam Speaker, thank you very much.

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

 

     MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleagues from the Liberal Party and the NDP for their comments today. I know the member for Dartmouth East has mentioned that the Liberal Party has introduced some of these measures previously. That’s fine, that’s good.

 

     One of the things that people asked me when I was running for office, they said, Allan, don’t bicker. Don’t go to Halifax and show us more of what we see from governments when we see them on television. I thought about that and I thought that they were right because the people are always right. We should be trying to find ways to work together - I’ll include myself in that mix as well.

 

     I guess the question I would ask is, why don’t we try to change? Why don’t we find things that we can agree on and work toward making them happen? I think it might even improve the relations here in the Legislature if we set out with some goals to try to come together on a few issues, every sitting, that we can come to agreement with. I think Nova Scotians would appreciate that effort.

 

     I know my colleague, the member for Lunenburg, had mentioned a number of issues that are important. She talked about health care, autism and tax credits. Those are all things that are important, but I think first we need to look at our system before we get into all those matters and those measures that we talk about in this Legislature. We have to do something to fix our system to improve people’s faith in it so that before we even get here to discuss those matters, Nova Scotians feel as though they are part of those issues.

 

[Page 1045]

 

 

     I don’t see anything wrong with it and I’ll ask the members of the Legislature because I am hopeful for votes of support for this bill and the passing of this legislation called the Modernizing Government Act. What is wrong with providing Nova Scotians with fixed election dates? Why not limit third-party advertising during a provincial election campaign? Why not require provincial by-elections to be called within three months of a vacancy and to be held within six months of a vacancy? Why not prohibit former MLAs from being involved in the activity of lobbying for three years after their departure from the Legislature?

 

     Why not permit a person to vote in a provincial election at any polling station in the province on an ordinary polling day that extends the period of advance poll voting? Why not modernize government and use this government Act, this legislation that we have before us, to require all polling stations in a provincial election to be accessible to the disabled? Why not require the Governor-in-Council to appoint a person who is disabled to be appointed to the Election Commission?

 

     These measures are designed to create a fair playing field and they’re designed to keep the focus, our focus, on the reason why we’re all sitting here today in this Legislature. That focus is to represent the people of our communities. It is about the people having a chance to choose their representative in a way that is timely, in the case of a by-election. Why not choose to make by-elections more timely for the people who need a representative in this Legislature to represent them? Why not make them more timely?

 

     We look at the current federal election, we’ve had four elections in seven years. A lot of people are suffering from voter fatigue. We’re used to it, we’re used to politics and elections, but many people are not. They wonder why they have to be going to the polls over and over again. (Interruptions)

 

     Madam Speaker, this is why we’re speaking about this today, trying to offer some focus for a government to have fixed election dates so there’s more predictability. We can’t eliminate elections happening in cases of minority governments in all cases. But I think if there was something on the books to lock in place an election every four years, people would understand more. They would appreciate - if governments are put in, even a minority government, and people know that the legislation requires a fixed date, maybe people will say, we elected a minority government and we expect those members who were elected to make that minority government work.

     At the end of the day, having fixed election dates is something that I think Nova Scotians want and I think it is something that the members of this Legislature should really consider supporting as part of this legislation, because, sadly, some people have lost faith in us. I think it’s important that we appreciate all the people who support us in our own efforts to become elected but many Nova Scotians are not as engaged. Maybe they would feel more engaged if they felt that choosing people and electing people into this Legislature was done in a more modern way and the activities that we do in this Legislature are done in a more modern way.

 

[Page 1046]

 

 

     This legislation was introduced here to send a message to all those people who have lost faith, that we are listening, that we care about integrity and that we are trying to make things better. For all its flaws, government is the way that we come together to make decisions about our province. What we are seeking today is the opportunity to build on the strengths of the democracy that was started in this province over 250 years ago.

 

     It doesn’t hurt to take a look at things from time to time, Madam Speaker, and consider changing. Times change, maybe we should be changing with the times. This Legislature must be seen by Nova Scotians to be working in their interests. I believe we must begin by making these changes today because Nova Scotians want these changes now. These actions restore confidence. This House can begin here today by putting Nova Scotians at the top of the political spectrum, where they belong.

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

 

     MR. MAT WHYNOTT: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. It certainly gives me great pleasure to rise today and speak to the bill that is before us today. (Interruptions)

 

     Being able to hear the previous speakers before me, to discuss some of the issues that are before us, one of the things is around - I know we talk about third-party advertising in this bill - but you know, one of the things that this government did, one of the very first pieces of legislation that we passed in this Legislature is, don’t forget, about the banning of union and corporate donations.

 

     That is a very positive move that I think - I know certainly in the constituency I represent, when that bill was passed, that it was a very positive thing because it put all Parties - maybe not even necessarily the Parties that are in this Legislature but all Parties in Nova Scotia an opportunity to have an even playing field.

 

     One of the last points I want to make is around the issue of by-elections. Previous governments, I know we’ve talked about it in the past, they would spend months and months with vacant seats. I would put the record of this government up against any other government around the calling of by-elections. I would ask the honourable member for Inverness to look back about when the previous member for Inverness decided to resign, the previous member resigned and the by-election was called. I believe it was in October - what date was that? (Interruption) October 20th was when that by-election happened.

 

[Page 1047]

 

 

     There have been many by-elections in the last 22 months and I think that one of the things that we’ve seen is that this government understands the value of having representatives in this House. I’ve heard on a number of occasions the importance, I know the Premier has said this on a number of occasions, that the seats belong to the people. The 52 seats in this Chamber belong to the people and that is why this record of this government, on the issue of by-elections, is that it has been a very positive move forward.

 

     With that I take my seat and I understand the Opposition will call the next bill. Thank you.

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Progressive Conservative House Leader.

 

     HON. CHRISTOPHER D’ENTREMONT: Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 18.

 

     Bill No. 18 - Maintenance and Custody Act.

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

 

     HON. JAMIE BAILLIE: Madam Speaker, with your indulgence, I’d like to begin with a brief introduction. Seated in the gallery are Tony and Faith Lindley who are members of the Grandparents’ Rights group. I would just like to draw the attention of members of the House to their presence and thank them for being here today as we begin debate on this important issue. (Applause)

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: I welcome all visitors to the Legislature and I hope you enjoy your afternoon.

 

     MR. BAILLIE: Madam Speaker, the issue of grandparents’ rights has come up in this Legislature and has a bit of a history here. I do want to start by giving full credit to the member for Colchester North who first brought this issue to the attention of the House, who introduced a bill in a previous session. In fact, I hope she doesn’t mind my sharing this, but I believe the first letter I got when I entered my new life was from the member for Colchester North asking me if I would meet with Ms. Pauline Glenn and the members of the Grandparents’ Rights group and so I do want to thank her for that. She has a good bill on this same topic. I’m going to speak to the bill at hand, but I just want to recognize where it all came from and appropriately so.

 

     I also know that the member for Cumberland North, my fellow Cumberland County caucus member - it’s a weird caucus since it stretches both sides of the House - has been asked on occasion to bring forward some legislation on the area of grandparents’ rights and remain hopeful that will happen because it really doesn’t matter where it comes from in this House, as long as we get to the right answer on this important issue.

 

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     If I could just share with the House for a moment my own experience with the Grandparents’ Rights group, a meeting that we held together in Truro some time ago, it was quite a moving experience, I can tell you, and I share that with all members of the House, to hear directly from some of the grandparents. This is an issue that actually affects thousands and thousands of families in our province who have been put through the emotional wringer over and over again because they have no legal standing when it comes to access rights.

 

To hear the pain, the financial expense, the legal expense, the ongoing battles in our confrontational legal system that we put people through, often to no good results because there is no protection of access or insurance of access for family members to grandchildren, is very moving. I would encourage all members to reflect for a moment on their own family experience, whether that be as a child who did have full access to both parents and grandparents and the difference it made in their own lives, or as a grandparent themselves, or as a friend or neighbour who has seen families ripped apart, as is too often the case in our province today, and the hardship and the heartbreak that can come from that unhappy circumstance. I would ask all members to reflect personally on this because at its core, this is a very personal issue that afflicts too many families today.

 

     We do have it in our grasp, here in the Legislature, to do something about it. This particular bill is centred around, first and foremost, what is in the best interest of the child. That is a legal term that we are happy to borrow from and apply that same concept to grandparents’ rights, that it’s in the best interest of the child should be what’s always under consideration, what’s always top of mind, and that’s what this bill does.

 

     In fact, I believe that calling it Grandparents’ Rights, although accurate, is not actually the most accurate way we could describe it, because it is the child’s rights that we are particularly concerned with. The child’s rights to full and fair access to both a mother and a father, when that is available to them, and also to their grandparents who bring a lot to the upbringing of children today, who bring a sense of history, a sense of place, a sense of belonging, a sense of family. How valuable is that to the upbringing of a child? That child should not have that right to that kind of benefit to their upbringing ripped away. So we are focused first and foremost on the best interests of the child.

 

     Madam Speaker, what the bill does, in addition to allowing for grandparents to turn to the courts for access when that access has been denied, is actually trying to avoid the court time altogether, to avoid the confrontation, to avoid the cost, to avoid the heartache in the first place by requiring at the moment of family breakup for the issue of access to grandparents to be considered and determined then, without the need, to at a later date, when that access has been ripped away, to have to hire a lawyer, incur the expense, sue your fellow family members to enforce access. If we can avoid that unhappy circumstance, we do a great thing for the child and we do a great thing for the family unit.

 

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     It is with that in mind that the bill proposes that courts be required to deal with the access issue, particularly with regard to grandparents, up front, without being forced so that that issue is resolved early and the bill goes further and says such access shall not be unreasonably denied, because in the vast majority of cases, it is obvious that what is in the best interest of that child is that they have full and fair access to their grandparents, to all sets of grandparents, for all the reasons that we know from our own experience and from those that I listed just a moment ago.

 

     Secondly, if we can avoid the courts altogether in any case, what the bill does is require lawyers, family lawyers, when they are engaged, it requires them to provide all of the mediation options that are available today to their clients so that we can avoid the confrontation and the hardship, if possible, outright, by directing clients first and foremost through the non-confrontational mediation services that we have today in Nova Scotia; that if we can take this unhappy and unfortunate circumstances of a family breakup and deal with it in a way that avoids those hardships, that expense, that confrontation, which the courts are set up to deal with, then we have done a good thing right at the beginning.

 

Hopefully, children and mothers and fathers and grandparents in need of mediation, go through mediation and resolve their differences in a non-confrontational way without the expense of the courts, without the heartache of the courts. That is when we can do what is best for the best interests of the child, and that is what this particular bill proposes in addition to ensuring that grandparents have the right to sue.

 

When all else fails, when mediation fails, when the confrontation is there, then they have recourse, as they should, to the courts but, surely, we can do everything we can to protect families, to protect children, and allow for that child to grow up in a secure and safe environment, to allow that child to be looked after by its parents, but one of the realities of the modern family is that more and more grandparents are being called on to provide care directly to their grandchildren. More and more grandparents are involved directly in looking after their grandkids as parents themselves are both working extra hours, travelling around, taken away from home for a variety of reasons, for volunteer reasons and otherwise. Grandparents are an important part of the upbringing of children today whether they live in that house or not. (Applause) So what is in the best interest of the child, for sure, in almost all circumstances, for sure, it is in the best interests of a child that that child has access to the grandparents, right from the beginning without the need to rip families apart and sue each other, that’s what the bill accomplishes.

 

     In my last couple of minutes, I just want to point out that some aspects of family law are in the provincial control and some are in federal control but at this very time there is a bill before the federal Parliament, Bill No. C-422, known as the Parenting Rights Act, that meshes very nicely with what we can do here in Nova Scotia with what we have, within our hands, to do here in this Legislature to make this right. So I am asking all members from all Parties to come together and do the right thing for our grandkids, for our kids, and for our grandparents. I will point out that too often in this Legislature we would like to do the right thing but cost is a problem, deficits are a problem, taxes are a problem, fees are a problem and we use that as a reason not to move forward. We’d like to do this but we can’t because we can’t afford it, we’d like to do that but we can’t because we have deficit. This bill costs nothing; it is just the right thing to do, there is no cost.

 

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We have it in our power today, as a legislature, without any need to go and find a sum of money to make it happen; we can make it happen on our own if all parties come together. If the government side comes together, as I hope and expect, that both opposition parties will come together and do the right thing for our children and our grandparents. That’s what this bill does, that’s why I think we should move forward because, although it costs nothing, the value to our families and our societies is truly priceless.

 

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

 

HON. ROSS LANDRY: It is a great honour to come speak on this piece of legislation and to talk on this particular issue. As a grandpa, myself, and very proud to be that, I think the emotions surrounded by this issue, there is nothing richer in my life than the experience and relationship I have with my granddaughter. The love, the security and friendship is something that I cherish and I wish to have till the day I leave this world. There is nothing more important and I am pleased today to rise to speak on the private members Bill No. 18, to amend the Maintenance and Custody Act, to provide grandparents with an automatic right to apply for access to their grandchildren.

 

As a grandfather, as I stated, I know only too well the bonds grandparents can have with their grandchildren. Madam Speaker, this government is committed to making life better for families in Nova Scotia. I’m sure everyone here today would agree when I say that our children are our most important members of our family and our most precious asset that we can have in society.

 

This government understands that grandparents want to have a relationship with their grandchildren. As I stated earlier, there is nothing in this world that I find richer than that relationship, beyond my relationship with my life partner. We also know that this is an issue that is near and dear to the grandparents’ rights groups in Noav Scotia.

 

This government also values healthy relationships between children and their extended families, but in order to properly facilitate those relationships, when access is a concerned, we must remain respectful of the child’s rights and best interest in the context of their family circumstances.

 

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Under the Maintenance and Custody Act, Madam Speaker, grandparents are not atomically granted access to their grandchildren. However all grandparents have a right to apply. Under the current legislation, grandparents who wish to obtain access to their grandchildren must demonstrate a significant relationship with the child in question and every test is always done on the basis of the child’s best interest. The test allowed each case to be reviewed and assessed based on case-specific circumstances and facts, each and every case, because the facts from one case to the other can be substantially different.

 

I thank my colleague next to me for putting the sign up there, Madam Speaker, and I will try to imprint that in my mind and periodically look over there to get that. As I stated to your earlier, it’s such a pleasure to have your smile in the chair there, much different than our colleague over there, but I value when he’s in the chair.

 

I want to just get focused back here because this is a very important piece to be discussed in this legislature and it’s important to me personally as I stated. The test may lead to a grandparent being granted access to their grandchildren and in some cases it may not happen. I appreciate that in the cases where access is not granted, it would be very emotional and difficult for the grandparents involved. I can only imagine not having access and how devastating that can be.

 

     However, like all decisions relating to children, we must not lose sight of what is important and that is the child’s best interest and the child’s rights as the previous speaker spoke about. This is about the child. When it comes to legislative authority, we must ensure that the appropriate processes are in place so that legislation focuses on what matters the most - the child’s best interest. We believe the Maintenance and Custody Act, as it stands today, does this. It strikes a balance on rights. However, we have carefully reviewed Bill No. 18 as we recognize that it is something important to many people.

 

     As I mentioned earlier, in this instance we have the responsibility to ensure that any legislation or legislative change strikes the right balance between the best interests of the child and the wishes of the extended family. We must be mindful that in this province, parents have a right to decide who will have access to their child. Therefore, parental decisions regarding whom their child will have association with must be taken seriously. The court only interferes in the most compelling circumstances and when that is consistent with the child’s best interest - remember, it’s all about the child.

 

     A review of the case law indicates that many cases where parents have been denied access as a grandparent, the courts have agreed with this decision. Also, providing grandparents with automatic access to their grandchildren when the parent objects, could potentially cause a parent to become defensive and could create a conflict in the family and for the child. That would be one of the most important points that we need to look at in dealing with the best interests of the child.

 

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     Currently the legislation works to protect the child from those types of conflicts. We must put the rights and interests of the child first and this government has confidence that the Act, in its current form, provides a balanced approach. That said, we understand the concerns around this important issue. Staff at the Justice Department are reviewing all family law legislation to determine, among other things, whether the words grandparent can be included in a specific provision.

 

     I think words in themselves, no matter what happens, will not necessarily make this issue go away. We need to look objectively and in a positive way, keeping in mind the underlying current that’s critical here and that’s the best interest of the child. Given this, this government is unable to support the private members’ bill.

 

I want to deviate from some of my notes here for the next few minutes and say that I encourage people to speak out about what they feel is important in society. As a grandparent I know if I didn’t have access I would do whatever it would take to try and resolve the conflict at hand because what we’re really talking about here, when a grandparent is denied access, is that we have a conflict and in that conflict we have to look at not necessarily to the law as being the answer, but how we can deal with that issue, by getting mediation, by sitting down and understanding the custodial parent’s interest.

 

Why is that conflict there? What can I do differently? How can I make this situation better? I would do whatever it would take for me to have access to my granddaughter. It is that important. The first thing I would do is to try and make sure that I build and maintain relationships so that I can overcome whatever barriers or conflict that may exist. That is not necessarily an easy thing to do in families when emotions and anger gets put in place. It’s a matter of trying. How do we bridge those differences?

 

I encourage groups to consult, in a wide range, everything from child psychologists to clergy within the community, within friends, of how to resolve the barrier. If we go to the courts to solve our issues, they are costly, and they can cause trauma and lifelong harm. Remember, at the end of the day we want the child to be in a loving, caring relationship and to have that security and support from all family members. That’s part of where we are here today, that we know that in a perfect world the family would be together, but in reality we are human and we have different views of looking at the world, and that can create a number of different conflicts or perspectives on the issue.

 

     It is how open can we be, how flexible can we be? If it comes to access to the child, it is what is in the best interests of the child. If I felt that my presence around the child would not enhance the quality of their life, then I’d really have to look at that seriously and say I need to focus on what the interests are of the child. I won’t waiver on that point, Madam Speaker.

     I had the pleasure, as have others here in the room, of listening to the previous speaker and I’m looking forward to listening to the next speaker. I don’t think that our position would deviate from one of us to the other. We all want to ensure that there’s that relationship, and if it means changing a word in the legislation and that can be done in a way that doesn’t take away from the custodial parent’s right to monitor and to maintain security and safety of that child, then that’s an important point to keep in mind.

 

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Words can be very powerful and at other times they can create damage, so we want to make sure that whatever decisions we take, that we don’t put a law or process forward that inhibits the clear focus on the child. If we lose sight of that - as I stated from the start of my discussion here today, probably one of the most important topics to a grandparent is maintaining and getting the secure access, to see the child start school, to be a part, to hear the stories and when they call you on the phone and tell you what they’ve done that day, to visualize the child being a young adult and coming to visit you as an adult, growing and seeing that maturation through time. I think to have that relationship and, as a grandparent, to know that you have a friend, that you have someone you love and someone who loves you unconditionally, it is the unconditional relationship.

 

     I’m committed, as Justice Minister. to make sure that we build in our society access for all family members to our children. As I’ve stated before, our children are our most valued and precious asset and resource. They are the number-one thing in our lives that are going to give us a future, that are going to build a future and we want to contribute to that.

 

     I think the intent of all grandparents in regard to this matter, that they are sincere and committed to their grandchildren. What we need to make sure though in this process is that we don’t lose sight of the fact that this whole legislation and whole process has to be done from the perspective of the child. I don’t say that in expense to the grandparent or saying that their feelings and their emotions on this are not important - I think that they are extremely important and valued.

 

Madam Speaker, I really appreciate having the opportunity to speak here on this matter. It’s important to me, and I want the group and the individuals in the House here today to know that this government is committed 100 per cent to making sure that our children are given the best opportunities in life.

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Colchester North.

 

     HON. KAREN CASEY: Thank you, Madam Speaker. In keeping with the topic today, you may find that I have to resort to my glasses as I read small print - and I guess that’s a sign of being proud to be a grandparent.

 

     I am pleased to rise today and speak to Bill No. 18 and to acknowledge and thank the Leader of the Third Party for acknowledging the contribution that I have made, I guess, to this cause, and also to acknowledge the member for Victoria-The Lakes who came to me earlier in this session to tell me that he would be introducing a bill that focused on the same thing, that being grandparents’ rights and, as the Minister of Justice has said, the rights of the child.

 

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     It’s not new to have this discussion on the floor of this House. I think in one respect, that’s a good thing. I think the fact that a bill is coming back again and again would suggest that there is interest and there is a need. I first introduced a bill in October 2009. Again in April 2010, again in the Fall of 2010, again in the Spring of 2011 and the bill that we’re debating today, which was introduced in the Spring of 2011 by the member for Victoria-The Lakes. I think that should be enough evidence to say that this is an issue of importance and that it will not go away.

 

     At the time that it was introduced in the Fall of 2010, I spoke to the member for Cumberland North. I did that because I knew that some of the folks in the grandparents group were from Cumberland North. I spoke to him about that and about any difficulties that he or his caucus may have had with the bill that was before the House. In that conversation, I said to him and I will say it publicly here, that it makes no difference to me which member from which Party introduces a bill that will give access - and not unconditional access - but access through the courts to grandparents for access and visiting rights and privileges with their grandchild. It makes no matter of difference to me.

 

I told the member at that time that if he wanted to put in a bill, if there were things in the bill that I was presenting that were not supported by the government, put another bill in. Let’s get a bill on the floor that we can all agree on and that the outcome of that will be a piece of legislation that is in the best interest of the child. I would welcome that and I would put that invitation out again. If there is a bill and any amendments to the Maintenance and Custody Act that can strengthen that Act, that will allow us all to come together - I agree with the Minister of Justice, every one of us in this House remembers fondly our grandparents. Some of us now know what it’s like to be a grandparent. So I think there is enough interest and enough positive emotion here in this House that surely we can come together to put forward a bill that will achieve what we are intending. As I said, if the wording needs to be changed, let’s get a bill here that will give us that wording.

 

The intent of this bill is to strengthen the Maintenance and Custody Act. It is to make sure that the interests of the child are primary, of utmost importance. We acknowledge the role that grandparents have and the rights that grandparents have and the access that grandparents should have with their grandchildren. You know, the welfare of the child is language that has been used and I believe that Bill No. 18 respects the welfare of the child. Our caucus will be in full support of Bill No. 18 and I would encourage all members of the House to give that support to that bill.

 

One of the things that I believe some people are afraid of is that this will give unconditional access and that is absolutely not the intent of the bill. The language in the bill definitely does not give unconditional access. I would not support a bill that gives unconditional access because whether we like to accept it or not, there may be times when grandparents should not have access. This bill will allow the courts to make that decision. That’s where I believe that the interests of the child and the welfare of the child will be protected because it will be the courts that will make that final decision. So I think the belief that perhaps this could expose children to grandparents whose intent and actions would not be in the best interests of the grandchild - that certainly will not happen with this bill.

 

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     Another thing that this bill does, is that when the judge is considering access, there are certain principles that must be respected and that is in addition to the Maintenance and Custody Act. That’s one of the things that we believe strengthens this and I will, Madam Speaker, refer to those. The principle that a child should have as much contact with each parent or grandparent as is consistent with the welfare of the child, the language is there. The judge is being asked to consider that. That’s one of the principles that the judge must follow. The second one, the importance of maintaining emotional ties between the child and the child’s parents and grandparents. Again, that’s something that this legislation is asking the judge to consider and respect. That’s not in the existing Maintenance and Custody Act. That’s why we believe this strengthens it. The third principle is the willingness of each applicant for custody to facilitate the child’s contact with each parent and grandparent.

 

     So, when you have language like that, which helps define the actions of the judge when they are making decisions, it does, what I believe, brings the focus onto the child and it forces the judge to follow those principles when they’re making the decision. It does not suggest, for one minute, that the judge has to grant undeniable access or access in a situation where it may not be in the best interest of the child. It’s that kind of language that I believe strengthens it.

 

     Something that is in Bill No. 18 that was not in the previous bills - and I would acknowledge that that does again add more strength to it - is the mediation. If there can be mediation, then there may not have to be the court case that determines access by the ruling of a judge.

 

     You know, this is not something new. This is something, and if you check Hansard or if you remember the debate, when this was on the floor of the House last year, I made reference to the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia’s report and in that report there were recommendations. One of the recommendations was that the Maintenance and Custody Act needed to be strengthened. In fact, it said, the report noted that relatively few cases will actually end up in Family Court as a result of the proposed legislation and it states the cases that do come before the courts represent a very small percentage.

 

     There was some discussion last time on the floor of the House that this would flood an already overcrowded Family Court system. Well, the Law Reform Commission report suggests otherwise. So if there is a belief that this is going to open the floodgates and there will be all kinds of cases, Family Courts are not able to handle them, I believe we need to acknowledge the work of the Law Reform Commission. So if there is not a flood coming in, then we don’t expect that there will be and that the impact on the courts will be minimal. What we are saying is that the impact on families will be great.

 

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I think we need to focus, as I’ve said earlier, on what is in the best interests of the child. We have to focus on what is in the best interests of the child and we cannot allow situations to have emotions that are intense and that cause people, I’ve heard the Minister of Justice say he would do anything to have access to his granddaughter; I think we all would. What I’m suggesting and what I believe the intent of Bill No. 18 is, is that anything will be determined in the courts and it will be determined with the best interests of the child as a priority.

 

     So, Madam Speaker, to conclude, I would like to say that our caucus is in full support of this bill. We would encourage all members of the House to acknowledge and support the fact that it does strengthen and increase the opportunity. I would close by saying I do hope that none of us are ever in a situation, but if we are, I would hope that the legislation that exists in this province will allow us, as grandparents, to have the access that we deserve to our grandchildren and that is not unconditional. Thank you very much.

 

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

 

MR. KEITH BAIN: Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in my place to speak to Bill No. 18, the Maintenance and Custody Act. This bill was introduced by our caucus because it will enhance the rights of grandparents and protect family ties in the event of a marital breakdown. This bill adds the definition of grandparent to the Maintenance and Custody Act. It requires the court to advise parties of the option of mediation. It provides for grandparents access orders. It sets out the matter the court must consider in making a grandparent access order. It requires the consideration of grandparent access in all access and custody orders. It provides that a person who has custody of a child shall not unreasonably place obstacles to personal contact between the child and the child’s grandparents.

 

On the question of accessibility, decisions about grandparents’ access to their grandchildren will be decided by a court based on the safety and the well-being of the child. First and foremost, this legislation puts the best interests of the child at the centre of any case of family breakdown. In most cases, children benefit from maintaining relationships with both parents as well as grandparents and we want to protect that bond. Most often, grandparents enrich the lives of their grandchildren and these children benefit from the experience and love of their older relatives, a benefit that will follow them for a lifetime.

 

Most members in this House all realize the positive effects their grandparents have had on their lives. If the safety and the well-being of a child are not at risk, then we must do everything we can to ensure that the children’s access to grandparents is protected.

 

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In Nova Scotia we take pride in our close-knit families and we understand how important family is to children. As a grandparent myself of an eight-month-old girl, I know what she has done for me and it’s my hope that the advice and love that I show to her will help her in her journey through life.

 

We’ve been working with grandparents’ rights advocate Pauline Glenn on this legislation. She has been trying for 11 years to get this legislation passed, guaranteeing grandparents’ rights. I’d like to just read a couple of quotes from Mrs. Glenn that were in the Amherst Daily News that I will table. Mrs. Glenn says, “Grandparents are such an asset to the children and the parents. If a grandparent sees that their grandchild needs a coat, they will go buy one, taking some of the financial burden off the parent.” Another quote, “It’s the children who are suffering. They miss so much in their lives when they’re not allowed to be with their grandparents.”

 

Mrs. Glenn recognizes that if it weren’t for the NDP, this bill would be law, but last time, the government killed the bill on the floor of this House. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen this time. As a matter of fact, on August 25, 2008, the NDP Leader and then Leader of the Opposition wrote to Mrs. Glenn in a letter that states, “I applaud your association for the work it is doing on behalf of grandparents as it relates to having access to grandchildren.” I will table that, Madam Speaker.

 

     Pauline is a constituent of the member for Cumberland North and I know that she has been disappointed with the inaction of her MLA, the government member. In the past, that member had appeared to support the changes that we are proposing today but, in November 2010, the member for Cumberland North claimed that giving grandparents these rights would only bog down the courts.

 

     I think it’s a bit shameful for the member to put paperwork ahead of the well-being of a child but the Progressive Conservative caucus wants to protect that child and we believe that this legislation will do just that. This is not the first time this bill has been brought forward in this Legislature. The honourable member for Colchester North has mentioned the many times that she has presented and we thank her for that.

 

     I was disappointed and our caucus was disappointed when the NDP refused to support the bill last Fall, and they say they are committed to families. Well, I hope that time has permitted them to come to their senses and they will stand up with us in support of this legislation. Thank you

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Progressive Conservative House Leader.

     HON. CHRISTOPHER D’ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. That concludes the business that we had for today so I’ll pass the reins back over to the Government House Leader.

 

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     MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

 

     HON. FRANK CORBETT: Madam Speaker, I want to thank everybody who participated in the debate today and the Progressive Conservative House Leader.

 

     Madam Speaker, the hours for tomorrow will be 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. After the daily routine and Question Period, we will go into the Committee of the Whole House on Supply. Appreciating that there are many holy holidays coming up this weekend, with Passover and with Easter, we would hope that once we resolve the Committee of the Whole House on Supply we may get out a little early. With that in mind, I will call the hours from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and I move that we do now rise.

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: The motion is that the House now rise to meet again tomorrow, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.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.

 

     It is now the moment of interruption under Rule 5(5); as read earlier today, a resolution was put forward by the honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour. It reads:

 

     “Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd, and do what they can to get the message out about this important day of recognition.”

 

     ADJOURNMENT

 

     MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.


 

EARTH DAY (04/22/11) - RECOGNIZE

 

[Page 1059]

 

 

     MR. JIM BOUDREAU: Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise in my place today to speak about Earth Day and the initiatives our government has made to protect and preserve our Earth. Earth Day will be celebrated on Friday, April 22nd, and as the Minister of Environment said earlier today, Earth Day is a time to remind ourselves that our Earth is a precious resource that we all have a duty to protect.

 

     Nova Scotians care about the environment. Past governments talked about the environment but they left the hard work, the work of making real change, for someone else and proudly, that is where we, this NDP Government, come in. (Applause)

 

     Since coming to office our government has been taking on that hard work. It isn’t our approach to claim credit before we see results. Unlike past governments, we focus on practical progress, not empty rhetoric.

 

     I want to recap some of our environmental accomplishments and let all Nova Scotians know that this Spring many of the initiatives we have begun working on behind the scenes will begin to come to fruition. Madam Speaker. I am proud our government is known for our climate leadership. The previous government set targets then sat back and watched greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. We’re taking action to meet, and exceed, the targets set out in Nova Scotia.

 

     Our government set the first hard caps on greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada to place hard caps on greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector - an initiative that earned us awards at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. As a strong believer and supporter of the environmental leadership opportunities in Nova Scotia, our Premier was the only Premier in Atlantic Canada to lead his provincial delegation.

 

     Just yesterday, Madam Speaker, the Minister of Environment announced that as a result of our leadership, and additional measures, we are well on our way to meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2020. (Applause) This is truly something all Nova Scotians can be proud of.

 

     When we came to office in 2009 wind power construction in Nova Scotia was stalled, and 90 per cent of Nova Scotia’s electricity came from coal. Past governments didn’t have the political will to fix these systemic problems. Our government’s Renewable Electricity Strategy will turn this dependence on coal around. This aggressive plan will take us to 25 per cent renewables by 2015, and 40 per cent by 2020, something Environmental Defence applauded as one of Canada’s Top 10 Green Accomplishments of 2010.

 

     I am pleased to know that by the end of this House session, that number will be law. The Renewable Electricity Strategy isn’t just about big, ambitious, aggressive goals, it’s also about a progressive Community Feed-in tariff - a world first - which will deliver benefits of green power that will stay in our communities.

 

[Page 1060]

 

 

     These measures are significant, but I have more. As government we got tough on environmental regulation. One of our first legislative acts was to enact a moratorium on uranium mining, an action that previous governments refused to take. (Applause) We showed leadership on this issue because we know it’s important to Nova Scotians. Previous governments refused to show leadership even as municipalities moved to restrict pesticides, so our government made the tough decision and put in place legislation and regulations restricting non-essential pesticides in Nova Scotia - in fact these rules take effect this Spring and will protect families, especially small children.

 

     Our government protects the environment and the areas and things in it that are important to Nova Scotians. While previous governments shied away from an indefinite ban on oil and gas exploration on Georges Bank, our NDP Government, in the Fall 2010 legislative session introduced legislation ensuring the long-term protection of the sensitive marine area and traditional fishing ground. (Applause)

 

     As we protected Georges Bank, we have also protected our forests. Guided by the hard work and priorities of the Colin Stewart Forest Forum, our government made an historic $75 million purchase in Crown land. This has allowed us to add high-value conservation lands to our Crown land base that will be critical in meeting our goal of 12 per cent protection. In early 2009, then Premier Rodney MacDonald said this kind of land purchase couldn’t be done - but, Madam Speaker, as we celebrate Earth Day and strive to protect our environment, it was done.

 

     Some of these decisions were not easy, but our goal is to find balance - though it’s a fact that not everyone is happy when tough environmental decisions are made. But we won’t shy away from them - we’ll take on the hard work and make the right decisions for Nova Scotians. You see, our government believes the environment is everyone’s responsibility, and when given assistance and the right tools we can all do our part. In my constituency of Guysborough-Sheet Harbour, the Municipality of the District of Guysborough has taken on the role of their own in the environmental protection. They have introduced a five-year strategic plan with ambitious environmental goals and visions. One of the goals is to improve environmental sustainability by implementing more environmentally friendly practices in the community. Thanks to some help from our government, in July 2010, Guysborough County received $93,861 to install solar hot water panels that will help heat the Chedabucto Place swimming pool and Chedabucto Education Centre Public School.

 

     The District of St. Mary’s is doing their part as well by constructing a new energy efficient administration and library building. They are working to reduce electricity usage at the Sherbrooke’s sewage and water utility with energy-saving upgrades. These projects were possible with our help, to the tune of $138,450. The Town of Canso with the assistance of this government installed a number of LED street lights and they, the citizens, are experiencing the savings and the satisfaction that comes with the knowledge that they are doing their part for our precious environment.

 

[Page 1061]

 

 

     I must take a moment to talk about a very exciting project in my area that once again proves working together can achieve great things. In response to a call for bids in December of 2008 for smaller community-based wind projects, Watts Wind Energy Inc., a joint venture between renewable energy options, Seaforth Engineering Group and Eon Wind Electric, installed a wind turbine at Watt Section in Sheet Harbour. Madam Speaker, the turbine just started working and electricity is being created as we speak. (Applause)

 

     I am proud of the steps that the people of Guysborough-Sheet Harbour have taken to protect their environment and I’m proud of what our government has done to lead the charge. As I conclude I must mention, again, in this House, the leadership our government has shown on a project that will change the way our region accesses power and that is the Lower Churchill project.

 

     I understand I’m out of time so I will end by saying, I trust everyone will take time out to celebrate and enjoy Earth Day.  

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

 

     MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: I was beginning to wonder if the member was going to mention too much about Earth Day because I think the motion before us was what we could do to improve the environment individually but in light of the member’s comments I’ll begin by spending a few moments just responding to his comments.

 

     I agree with him that there have been some moves. We certainly support the move to 40 per cent renewable. Although I’d remind that member, as I’ve reminded the minister, it’s actually not in the legislation that’s been booked before the House, so that legislation actually doesn’t in fact have anything to do with the 40 per cent, although we certainly hope that that target is reached.      

 

     Madam Speaker, it’s a little bit of a sad day when we have some of the most respected environmental groups in Nova Scotia coming out with statements, this week and last week, expressing dissatisfaction at this government over their environmental record. In fact, the Ecology Action Centre and the exact quote I used in the House the other day stated that this government has essentially undermined the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act.

 

     Yesterday, it was announced by the Minister of Environment that the greenhouse gas emission numbers have reduced in this province and obviously that’s good news. We learned later that that was actually only from power generation. Four studies, including information released in the past week by the Government of Canada, have actually indicated that the total greenhouse gas emissions for Nova Scotia have increased and increased at a rate faster than the GDP of Nova Scotia over the past five years. That’s from four different sources: the Pembina Institute, the Government of Canada, Larry Hughes - who is a local well-known scientist at Dalhousie - and the fourth one was the Conference Board of Canada. All four put out information over the past month indicating that Nova Scotia’s total greenhouse gas emissions have increased. Greenhouse gas emissions related to energy production have decreased and I certainly agree with the minister and I do think that’s a good thing. I don’t want to take away from that because that is a good thing. That is only half of what’s generated in the province and so I think we need to be concerned about that.

 

[Page 1062]

 

 

I think it’s possible the minister used this in his own remarks about a year ago that we have this date of around 2015 that it’s widely accepted that world greenhouse gases need to level off and then decrease after that if we’re to actually reverse some of the trends. While our total greenhouse gases continue to increase, that’s unlikely to happen and I might remind all members of the House that leaves us with less than four years to achieve that target. That is an enormous target to hit, especially as we predict that when Nova Scotia Power in their briefing earlier today on power rates talked about - in fact, actually, as it happens, one of the reasons they managed to hit that greenhouse gas target on energy production was because of the recession. Now, obviously some of it was because of renewables coming on line and I don’t want to take away from that. But some of it was because of decreased demand for electricity due to the recession. Obviously that’s not the way that we want to hit our greenhouse gas targets. We want to become more efficient.

 

I also want to continue to express concern about the fact that the mercury emission targets have been delayed. A lot of talk has been given about the fact that those mercury targets will be increased in the future, but the numbers that the department have given are identical to the numbers that the ministers were talking about for the next phase anyway, so it’s not really that much of a change. When you look at the fact that New Brunswick and particularly Alberta, which is heavily reliant on coal energy, have actually exceeded the mercury targets, we have to be very concerned about that. Because mercury is a bio-accumulative substance in the environment. It’s a substance that builds up. We know that salmon fishermen in Nova Scotia have expressed concern about that. Trout fishermen have expressed concern, in addition to more generalized environmental organizations.

 

That is of deep concern because it is one of the most dangerous substances that is emitted from power generation in this province and what the government has done is effectively said, you know, we’re going to allow that to be relaxed. That may have been in 21 months - people will have different opinions on which was the worst one, but I personally feel that was the single most environmentally damaging decision by this government. That’s not a reversible decision. That’s not a decision that you can change things later on.

 

[Page 1063]

 

 

I think we should also recognize some of the things that private industry are doing. Let’s be fair, some of them are for cost savings and that’s probably going to be the leading driver in terms of environmental change, is some of the cost drivers. I believe it is Fedex, but it may be one of the other delivery companies in town has switched to all electric vehicles for their deliveries within HRM. I believe they’ve done the same thing within CBRM and so forth. I think that’s a major move because that’s something that actually measurably reduces the emissions from the transportation sector. The transportation sector  currently is responsible for 29.2 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions in Nova Scotia. As the energy production emissions reduce, that 29.2 per cent number actually will increase unless we decrease the emissions from transportation.

 

That’s why we really need to be looking at things like a provincial strategy on transit. We are one of the only provinces in Canada that does not have a transit plan that supports capital and operating costs of municipalities across the province. Obviously, we’re standing in the municipality with the largest transit system. We are not standing in the municipality with the only transit system nor are we standing in the municipality that’s the only one that wants to expand one. I know Truro, for example - I met with the Mayor of Truro a number of weeks ago and they are looking at establishing a transit system. I think that’s a very good move. It’s a very exciting move, but transit systems, especially in more marginal communities - they’re only going to survive with stable long-term funding.

 

I know that we look to the federal government for some of this through gas tax funding and other measures, but there are opportunities by the province to become, as I say, the only, if not one of the only provinces now left in Canada that does not provide an operating assistance program for transit systems. That’s the kind of thing that’s going to make a real measureable difference in the environment.

 

There are other things to do. I know a number of members of the House on all sides had the opportunity to participate in the DriveWiser program recently. The interesting thing about that is they pointed out that when you look at the carbon footprint of a vehicle, replacing your vehicle may actually have a higher carbon footprint than actually just driving your existing vehicle better. If you think about that, that makes a lot of sense, if you think about the carbon footprint and the energy involved in producing a new vehicle and so forth. If you have a vehicle, regardless if it’s giant or small, but less than 10 years old, the odds are that you can improve your carbon emissions more, by driving better. Some of them were obvious but some of them were not and I would encourage everybody, if they get a chance, to participate in that.

 

We also need to be looking at how we deal with situations. The other day I raised the issue of how do we deal with the mercury vapour and the phosphor, or high pressure sodium lights that will be removed as we go to the LEDs. The LEDs are a good idea. It’s a good idea to change the highway lights but we still have to dispose of the other lights and we have to have a plan in place to do that. We haven’t seen a plan in place to do that yet and that’s going to be significant when you’re dealing with the number of lights we have across this province. So on the one side that becomes a good announcement but on the other hand there’s a big hole.

 

[Page 1064]

 

 

There are similar issues like that that we do need to address. How do you ensure that the measures we take to improve the environment do not have a short-term or even long-term negative effect and that’s one that could have a long-term effect if it’s not addressed right? It’s one that can provide economic opportunities in Nova Scotia. We have some of the most amazing and innovative work going on and a lot of it actually is in the Truro area at the Agricultural College, also at Dalhousie and other places, but some really innovative work on things that we can do in terms of recycling, in terms of using waste for energy and so forth. Those are opportunities, I think and I would hope, that government would look to take more advantage of and really drive the economy based on the green economy. I think that’s where more can be done.

 

So with that, Madam Speaker, I’m happy to have had the opportunity today and I wish everybody a happy Earth Day.

 

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

 

HON. CHRISTOPHER D’ENTREMONT: Madam Speaker, it’s my honour to stand for a few moments this evening and talk to the resolution that is before us. I want to thank the member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour for bringing it here for debate and I thought what I would do, because I know the first two speakers probably have a better handle on environmental issues than I do, but I would probably take an opportunity to talk about Earth Day itself because I mean that is the meat and potatoes of this resolution, and maybe I’ll divert just a little bit off to some issues that I see as important when it comes to the long-term environmental goals and environmental sustainability in the Province of Nova Scotia.

 

So ultimately, on April 22nd, more than six million Canadians will join a billion people in 170 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues. It’s encouraging to know, Madam Speaker, that almost every school-aged child in Canada will take part in some kind of Earth Day activity and learn the important Earth Day message. It’s very important to look at that because children have a true effect on the way that their parents react or purchase, or buy, and how they drive their car, how they recycle. So it’s very important that this starts, not by a whole bunch of people talking about it, but actual programs that are in the schools.

 

If we can truly look at how Nova Scotia and how Canada, the U.S., North America, right across the world, began the recycling movement, well, it happened in the schools by convincing kids that it was fun to do certain crafts out of recycled items, it was a lot of fun to understand the recycling mechanisms, and that translated not just in school but that translated, of course, to the homes. I can tell you a lot of times where my kids will tell me that I’ve put one container in the wrong receptacle and where things should be and sometimes I have to remind them of what they’re doing, rather than chucking everything in the garbage.

 

[Page 1065]

 

 

     Earth Day was first launched in the U.S. in 1970 as an environmental awareness event that has grown, of course, into a powerful catalyst for change. Canadians began marking Earth Day in 1990, it has grown into Earth Week and into Earth Month, to accommodate the thousands of events and projects. Earth Day inspires awareness and appreciation for the natural environment.

 

     This year’s Canadian Earth Day theme is, Give It Up For Earth Day. Organizers have issued a challenge for each of us to make simple changes to create a healthier world. You don’t have to do big things to affect great change. It can be as simple as putting an out-of-order sign on your TV or switching to green cleaning products. In 2008 the former government took the aim of Earth Day into account when it developed and introduced the groundbreaking Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, or EGSPA, as it is known. The objective of the legislation was to help solve environmental challenges while growing the Nova Scotia economy. There is a tremendous opportunity in green technology, in doing things differently, to be leaders in environmental sustainability that can create jobs and true sustainability for communities.

 

That was what was very important when I was part of government, when we brought the EGSPA Act into reality. We believed then and we still believe that Nova Scotia is uniquely positioned to be a leader in this area. We have the expertise to build on our international reputation, with environmental innovations that not only keep our province clean and green but employ our people to grow our economy. This is the balanced approach that makes sense and put us on the path of being one of the cleanest and most sustainable environments in the world by 2020.

 

Saving the environment is a big job, Madam Speaker. What celebrating Earth Day teaches us is that we all have a role to play in taking care of our Earth, that small changes in our everyday routines add up and can make a big difference. Let me add the voices of all members of the Progressive Conservative caucus to support this resolution and that we are all committed to getting the message out about the important lessons of Earth Day.

 

Madam Speaker, there’s a number of issues that were talked about by the previous members and I, too, want to acknowledge the work that this government has done when it came to protecting Georges Bank - once and for all, we hope - and I do want to say that I also thank the ministers who were involved at the time for listening to the organizations, to the communities, to the Opposition members, on how to make that Act even better and there were a couple of additions that were made to it that made sure that future governments can’t flip it on its head and make it invalid.

 

[Page 1066]

 

 

     I know from the community that I represent, that protecting the riches of Georges Bank is very important. It is a wondrous place that produces millions and millions and millions of fish that sustain our whole eastern seaboard. It’s not just what happens on Georges Bank but it is what happens right across. I do want to thank the government for shepherding that along.

 

      I do, though, want to question a little bit about the land purchase issue that the member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour did talk about. We would question a little bit of the $80 million purchase of land in southwestern Nova Scotia when other things were more pressing. I will talk about the ferry in just a few moments but $80 million is as much as any government would want to purchase more Crown land in order to protect it. We have to find a balance between purchasing those lands and taking care of patients, or making sure the economy is running. There is a balance there and we’ve questioned it on many occasions, the balance that was taken into consideration there.

 

     Madam Speaker, we too are trying to add things up when it comes to the protest that we saw here at Province House last week, we had a “Save The Forest” coalition that came in and spoke, basically, against the government. They weren’t happy with what they were seeing. They always said the NDP were our partners in the environment and they feel that they’ve been set adrift. I don’t know whether the Party is here as it once was, from what I’m hearing from the community.

 

     The EAC, Ecology Action Centre, has expressed its concerns that the things they talked about when they were in Opposition are not necessarily the things they’re talking about now they’re in government. If there’s a true dedication to the environment in Nova Scotia, then why are these organizations coming here and expressing their displeasure with government? I know that many people could stand here and say that you could do lots of things and it still wouldn’t be right, but to lose friends like that is a huge challenge.

 

     There are tremendous opportunities in Nova Scotia on some larger scales. For instance, I know the member for Dartmouth East just spoke about the issue of the Agricultural College, some larger energy projects. The AC right now is a leader in biogas energy projects who are working with local farmers in creating their own energy on the farms. Université Sainte-Anne is a leader in energy conservation and production through investments by the Nova Scotia government, by the federal government. They now have a phenomenal facility that burns biogas or biomass, has windmills on sight, uses solar to make that campus a very highly efficient area. My own area, where we have the Pubnico Wind Farm, is a true demonstration of how the community has gotten together to support green energy, adding to the grid.

 

     I know I only have a minute or so to go here, I do want to make sure that people here in this House of Assembly, and those who are watching online or on the TV, join in the other 6,000,000 Canadians and enjoy April 22nd on being Earth Day that is happening on Friday. Thank you very much.

 

[Page 1067]

 

 

     MADAM SPEAKER: The time allotted for late debate has expired. I want to thank everyone for participating in tonight’s debate.

 

We are adjourned.

 

     [The House rose at 6:18 p.m.]

 


 

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

 

[Page 1068]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 639

 

By:  Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse (Community Services)

 

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

 

     Whereas April 11, 2011 is the start of Education Week in Nova Scotia and we honour teachers who have demonstrated teaching methods, believed in children when no one else believed in them and made impressions on students, which have lasted them a lifetime; and

 

     Whereas Manley David Bennett was one of those teachers, having started his teaching career at Chester Municipal High School and despite becoming a paraplegic went on to be the principal of Mill Cove District School, a position he held for 18 years; and

 

     Whereas Manley David Bennett passed away on April 4, 2011 and has been remembered by many past students for his dedication to his job, his students, sense of fairness, a knack of knowing what a student needed when they didn’t know themselves and taught them an appreciation for books and the arts;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize he contribution that Manley David Bennett provided to the education of students from Chester Municipality and extend sympathy to his son Peter Bennett and all his extended family.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 640

 

By:  Hon. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers provide immeasurable benefit to their communities and our province by putting their minds, hands and most importantly their hearts at the service of others; and

 

     Whereas today, 36 individuals from Annapolis County were honoured for their generosity during the Annapolis County Volunteer Awards Reception held in Annapolis Royal; and

 

     Whereas their dedication, support and true desire to make a difference in both their community and in the lives of others is what makes our province so great;

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the Legislature congratulate the individuals and organizations recognized at this evening’s awards ceremony and extend our appreciation for the difference they make in the lives of others.

 

[Page 1069]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 641

 

By:  Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

 

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

 

     Whereas Fred Haley has been a member of the Bedford Leisure Club for 18 years, a member of the Bedford Lions Club for 34 years, including terms as president and treasurer, and has served the First Birch Cove Boy Scouts for seven years, attending all outings and programs; and

 

     Whereas Fred has been a member and volunteer for 50 years at Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, serving as warden, treasurer and finance committee chair and with the Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, performing a variety of functions, including accounting procedures and policy; and

 

     Whereas Fred has volunteered on the Board of Directors of the Certified Management Accountants and on the Board of Directors of Ronald McDonald House - during which time he also performed maintenance duties on the grounds of the House - and has also contributed to various community groups, fundraising projects and senior transportation and visitation;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Fred Haley for his unflagging, substantial and ongoing contribution to his community and wish him well in his future endeavours.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 642

 

By:  Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

 

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

 

     Whereas Calvin Bechard has held the offices of president, vice-president, head coach, and greens and maintenance keeper at the Bedford Lawn Bowling Club; and

 

     Whereas Calvin Bechard has volunteered with Central Minor Hockey and was honoured with the Promotion of Good Sportsmanship award; and

     Whereas Calvin Bechard has canvassed for the Cancer Society, sold poppies at the Bedford Legion and, for 10 years, volunteered with the Saint Vincent de Paul Society delivering groceries and donation to those in need;

 

[Page 1070]

 

 

     Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Calvin Bechard for his contributions to his community and wish him well in his future endeavours.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 643

 

By:  Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

 

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

 

     Whereas Heather Travers has been a committed parent volunteer at Sunnyside Elementary School, serving as volunteer coordinator for the school library and on the social/fundraising committee for the home and school association; and

 

     Whereas Heather Travers spearheaded the creation of a First Lego League (Robotic Programming) team called BRICKS of Bedford and became the team’s head coach and later formed and coached yet another robotics team called EIJ Robotics; and

 

     Whereas Ms. Travers served as vice-president of the Bedford Beavers Swim Team in 2009, hosted the 201 Summer Swimming Provincials and is now serving as president of the Bedford Beavers;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Heather Travers on her dedicated involvement with youth activities in Bedford and wish her well in all her future endeavours.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 644

 

By:  Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

 

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

 

     Whereas Jane Williams has been actively involved in all activities of the Bedford Lionettes since she joined the organization nine years ago; and

 

     Whereas Jane Williams has delivered meals for Meals on Wheels, performed various duties for the Cancer Society, including gift wrapping at Christmas, and has assisted in the operation of the tea room at Scott Manor House; and

 

     Whereas Jane Williams is a new Canadian, having received her Canadian citizenship in 2010;

 

[Page 1071]

 

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jane Williams for her contribution to her adopted community and wish her well in all her future endeavours.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 645

 

By:  Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

 

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

 

     Whereas Joan Cleghorn has for eight years been an active member of the Bedford Horticultural Society, promoting an appreciation for gardening, serving as chair of the annual plant sale, supporting community courses in gardening, tending the gardens at Scott Manor House and is now promoting the restoration of the gardens at Pryor House Hospice in Bedford; and

 

     Whereas Joan Cleghorn, in 2010, volunteered with the organization Kindness in Action at a dental clinic for underprivileged children in Bogata, Columbia, and has served as secretary for the Halifax Dental Hygienists Association for two years; and

 

     Whereas Ms. Cleghorn has canvassed for the Heart & Stroke Foundation, volunteered for the Junior League of Halifax and at the Beacon House Food Bank;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Joan Cleghorn on the beautification of Bedford, her selfless involvement at home and abroad, and wish her well in her future endeavours.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 646

 

By:  Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

 

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

 

     Whereas Sandy MacDougall has been involved in every production of the Bedford Players since he joined the Bedford theatrical troupe; and

 

     Whereas Sandy has performed any and all of the jobs involved in staging a theatre production including producer, front house manager, light and sound technician, stage manager and assistant stage manager; and

 

[Page 1072]

 

 

     Whereas Sandy’s involvement has helped the Bedford Players provide great live entertainment to appreciative audiences for many years while putting thousands of dollars back into the community;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Sandy MacDougall on being recognized for his ongoing contribution to the Bedford Players and wish him well in his future endeavours.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 647

 

By:  Ms. Kelly Regan (Bedford-Birch Cove)

 

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

 

     Whereas Shannon MacDonald has been named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women - Top 100 by the Women’s Executive Network; and

 

     Whereas Ms. MacDonald currently leads the Atlantic practice of Deloitte as Managing Partner, is a founding member of Deloitte’s diversity council and a champion of diversity throughout her community; and

 

     Whereas Ms. MacDonald is a mother of three and a volunteer on several boards including Women’s College Hospital, Capital District Health Authority, Canadian Cancer Society of Nova Scotia and the Greater Halifax Partnership;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Shannon MacDonald on her award and her ongoing contribution to business and the community.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 648

 

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 Rae Dickey is a Grade 6 student at the Shambhala School here in Halifax; and

 

     Whereas Rae and her classmates have dedicated much of their school year to learning about provincial and municipal government; and

 

[Page 1073]

 

 

     Whereas Rae will be graduating from elementary this year and will be entering Grade 7 in September;

 

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Rae on her hard work and successes throughout the school year and wish her well in her transition from elementary to junior high school.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 649

 

By:  Andrew Younger (Dartmouth East)

 

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

 

     Whereas Alexus Downey is a Grade 6 student at the Shambhala School here in Halifax; and

 

     Whereas Alexus and her classmates have dedicated much of their school year to learning about provincial and municipal government; and

 

     Whereas Alexus will be graduating from elementary this year and will be entering Grade 7 in September;

 

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Alexus on her hard work and successes throughout the school year and wish her well in her transition from elementary to junior high school.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 650

 

By:  Andrew Younger (Dartmouth East)

 

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

 

     Whereas Alexandra Holman is a Grade 6 student at the Shambhala School here in Halifax; and

 

     Whereas Alexandra and her classmates have dedicated much of their school year to learning about provincial and municipal government; and

 

     Whereas Alexandra will be graduating from elementary this year and will be entering Grade 7 in September;

 

[Page 1074]

 

 

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Alexandra on her hard work and successes throughout the school year and wish her well in her transition from elementary to junior high school.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 651

 

By:  Andrew Younger (Dartmouth East)

 

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

 

     Whereas Kayla-Mye Johnston is a Grade 6 student at the Shambhala School here in Halifax; and

 

     Whereas Kayla-Mye and her classmates have dedicated much of their school year to learning about provincial and municipal government; and

 

     Whereas Kayla-Mye will be graduating from elementary this year and will be entering Grade 7 in September;

 

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Kayla-Mye on her hard work and successes throughout the school year and wish her well in her transition from elementary to junior high school.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 652

 

By:  Andrew Younger (Dartmouth East)

 

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

 

     Whereas Joshua Osellame is a Grade 6 student at the Shambhala School here in Halifax; and

 

     Whereas Joshua and his classmates have dedicated much of their school year to learning about provincial and municipal government; and

 

     Whereas Alexus will be graduating from elementary this year and will be entering Grade 7 in September;

 

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Joshua on his hard work and successes throughout the school year and wish him well in his transition from elementary to junior high school.

 

[Page 1075]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 653

 

By:  Andrew Younger (Dartmouth East)

 

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

 

     Whereas Benjamin Polder is a Grade 6 student at the Shambhala School here in Halifax; and

 

     Whereas Benjamin and his classmates have dedicated much of their school year to learning about provincial and municipal government; and

 

     Whereas Benjamin will be graduating from elementary this year and will be entering Grade 7 in September;

 

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Benjamin on his hard work and successes throughout the school year and wish him well in his transition from elementary to junior high school.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 654

 

By:  Andrew Younger (Dartmouth East)

 

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

 

     Whereas Kelly Webb is a Grade 6 student at the Shambhala School here in Halifax; and

 

     Whereas Kelly and her classmates have dedicated much of their school year to learning about provincial and municipal government; and

 

     Whereas Kelly will be graduating from elementary this year and will be entering Grade 7 in September;

 

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Kelly on her hard work and successes throughout the school year and wish her well in her transition from elementary to junior high school.

RESOLUTION NO. 655

 

[Page 1076]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank West Bay United Church Woman Volunteer of the Year, Joan MacDonald, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 656

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Telile Community TV Volunteer of the Year, Robbie Fougère for his hard work and commitment.

 

     M. le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l’adoption de la résolution suivante:

 

     Attendu que les bénévoles sont vraiment au coeur de notre communauté; et

     Attendu que les bénévoles donnent librement de leur temps pour aider les organismes à l’échelle de notre pays; et

 

[Page 1077]

 

 

     Attendu que le vendredi 15 avril 2011, je me suis joint au préfet John Boudreau, aux conseillers municipaux et au personnel lors d’un souper de reconnaissance des 116 bénévoles du comté de Richmond;

 

     Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée remercient Robbie Fougère, bénévole de l’année de Telile Community TV, pour son travail et son dévouement.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 657

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011 I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Richmond Rize Volleyball Club Volunteer of the Year, Philippe Gagnon, for his hard work and commitment.

 

     M. le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l’adoption de la résolution suivante:

 

     Attendu que les bénévoles sont vraiment au cœur de notre communauté; et

 

     Attendu que les bénévoles donnent librement de leur temps pour aider les organismes à l’échelle de notre pays; et

 

     Attendu que le vendredi 15 avril 2011, je me suis joint au préfet John Boudreau, aux conseillers municipaux et au personnel lors d’un souper de reconnaissance des 116 bénévoles du comté de Richmond;

 

     Par conséquent, il est résolu que les members de cette Assemblée remercient Philippe Gagnon, bénévole de volleyball Richmond Rize, pour son travail et son dévouement.

 

[Page 1078]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 658

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are at the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of assembly thank Le Réseau acadien des sites P@C de la NÉ Volunteer of the Year, Brett Pierce, for his hard work and commitment.

 

     M. le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l’adoption de la résolution suivante:

 

     Attendu que les bénévoles sont vraiment au coeur de notre communauté; et

 

     Attendu que les bénévoles donnent librement de leur temps pour aider les organismes à l’échelle de notre pays; et

 

     Attendu que le vendredi 15 avril 2011, je me suis joint au préfet John Boudreau, aux conseillers municipaux et au personnel lors d’un souper de reconnaissance des 116 bénévoles du comté de Richmond;

 

     Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée remercient Brett Pierce, bénévole de l’année du Réseau acadien des sites P@C de la Nouvelle Écosse, pour son travail et son dévouement.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 659

 

[Page 1079]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Les Amies de La Picasse Volunteer of the Year, Lorna Landry, for her hard work and commitment.

 

     M. le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l’adoption de la résolution suivante:

 

     Attendu que les bénévoles sont vraiment au cœur de notre communauté; et

 

     Attendu que les bénévoles donnent librement de leur temps pour aider les organismes à l’échelle de notre pays; et

 

     Attendu que le vendredi 15 avril 2011, je me suis joint au préfet John Boudreau, aux conseillers municipaux et au personnel lors d’un souper de reconnaissance des 116 bénévoles du comté de Richmond;

 

     Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée remercient Lorna Landry, bénévole de l’année des Amies de La Picasse, pour son travail et son dévouement.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 660

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our country; and

 

[Page 1080]

 

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Le Site P@C de La Picasse Volunteer of the Year, Loralie Boudreau, for her hard work and commitment.

 

     M. le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l’adoption de la résolution suivante:

 

     Attendu que les bénévoles sont vraiment au coeur de notre communauté; et

 

     Attendu que les bénévoles donnent librement de leur temps pour aider les organismes à l’ échelle de notre pays; et

 

     Attendu que le vendredi 15 avril 2011, je me suis joint au préfet John Boudreau, aux conseillers municipaux et au personnel lors d’un souper de reconnaissance des 116 bénévoles du comté de Richmond;

 

     Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée remercient Loralie Boudreau, bénévole de l’année du site P@C de La Picasse, pour son travail et son dévouement.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 661

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our country; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank L’Association des Femmes acadiennes en Marche de Richmond Volunteer of the Year, Louise Migneault, for her hard work and commitment.

 

[Page 1081]

 

 

     M. le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l’adoption de la résolution suivante:

 

     Attendu que les bénévoles sont vraiment au coeur de notre communauté; et

 

     Attendu que les bénévoles donnent librement de leur temps pour aider les organismes à l’ échelle de notre pays; et

 

     Attendu que le vendredi 15 avril 2011, je me suis joint au préfet John Boudreau, aux conseillers municipaux et au personnel lors d’un souper de reconnaissance des 116 bénévoles du comté de Richmond;

 

     Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée remercient Louise Migneault, bénévole de l’année, de Association des femmes acadiennes en marche de Richmond, pour son travail et son dévouement.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 662

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our country; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Centre La Picasse, centre communautaire culturel Volunteer of the Year, Thérèse Benoît, for her hard work and commitment.

 

     M. le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l’adoption de la résolution suivante:

 

     Attendu que les bénévoles sont vraiment au coeur de notre communauté; et

 

[Page 1082]

 

 

     Attendu que les bénévoles donnent librement de leur temps pour aider les organismes à l’ échelle de notre pays; et

 

     Attendu que le vendredi 15 avril 2011, je me suis joint au préfet John Boudreau, aux conseillers municipaux et au personnel lors d’un souper de reconnaissance des 116 bénévoles du comté de Richmond;

 

     Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée remercient Thérèse Benoît, bénévole de l’année du centre communautaire culturel La Picasse, pour son travail et son dévouement.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 663

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our country; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Black River United Church Volunteer of the Year, Patricia MacDonald, for her hard work and commitment.

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 664

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our country; and

 

[Page 1083]

 

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank 1st Louisdale Girl Guides Volunteer of the Year, Shannon MacNamara, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 665

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our country; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Bonnie Brae Seniors Club Volunteer of the Year, Dick Stone, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 666

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our country; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

[Page 1084]

 

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Acadiaville  Community Centre Society Volunteer of the Year, Michael Diggdon, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 667

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank East Richmond ATV Rider’s Society Volunteer of the Year, Charles N. Carter, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 668

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank East Richmond Education Centre Volunteer of the Year, Valerie Cunningham, for her hard work and commitment.

 

[Page 1085]

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. 669

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Eastern Counties Regional Library Volunteer of the Year, Shirley McNamara, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 670

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank École Beau-Port Volunteer of the Year, Kathleen Jeffrey, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 671

 

[Page 1086]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Development Isle Madame Association Volunteer of the Year, Donald Goyetche, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 672

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Dr. W.B. Kingston Health Centre Volunteer of the Year, Lillie Spray, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 673

 

[Page 1087]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Fourchu Development Association Volunteer of the Year, Cathy Gwynn, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 674

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Fourchu United Church Volunteer of the Year, Philip Gwynn, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 675

 

[Page 1088]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Fourchu United Church Women Volunteer of the Year, Margie Rafuse, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 676

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Framboise Community Centre Volunteer of the Year, Raymond Pottie, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 677

 

[Page 1089]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Framboise/Fourchu Volunteer Fire Department Volunteer of the Year, Suzann MacLeod, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 678

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Felix Marchand Education Centre Volunteer of the Year, Donna Marchand, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 679

 

[Page 1090]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Fleur de Lis Seniors Club, Louisdale Volunteer of the Year, Jeanette George, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 680

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Immaculate Conception CWL, West Arichat Volunteer of the Year, Glenda Stone, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 681

 

[Page 1091]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Immaculate Conception Parish, Barra Head Volunteer of the Year, Carolyn MacNeil, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 682

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Immaculate Conception Parish Council Volunteer of the Year, Danielle Starkey, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 683

 

[Page 1092]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Island Community Justice Society Volunteer of the Year, Bonnie Sutherland, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 684

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Grand River Seniors Club Volunteer of the Year, Brian Durston, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 685

 

[Page 1093]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Grand River Volunteer Fire Department Volunteer of the Year, Sandy Morrison, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 686

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Head Of The Bay Seniors Volunteer of the Year, Cheryl MacPhail, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 687

 

[Page 1094]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Isle Madame Historical Society Volunteer of the Year, Richard Boudreau, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 688

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Isle Madame New Horizons Seniors Club Volunteer of the Year, Patrick LeBlanc, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 689

 

[Page 1095]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Isle Madame Tourism and Trade Volunteer of the Year, Margaret Herdman, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 690

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Isle Madam Volunteer Fire Department Volunteer of the Year, Morgan David, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 691

 

[Page 1096]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Island View Health Services Auxiliary Volunteer of the Year, Donna H. Boudreau, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 692

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Isle Madame ATV Rider’s Association Volunteer of the Year, Norma E. Boudreau, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 693

 

[Page 1097]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Isle Madame Garden Club Volunteer of the Year, Pauline Baran, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 694

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Knights of Columbus - Council 14280 Volunteer of the Year, Ken Pottie, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 695

 

[Page 1098]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Lakeside 4-H Club Volunteer of the Year, Eva Landry, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 696

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank L’Ardoise Acadian Festival Volunteer of the Year, Carol Sampson, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 697

 

[Page 1099]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, Municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Janvrin’s Fest Volunteer of the Year, Theo MacPhee, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 698

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Janvrin’s Fest Volunteer of the Year, Ashley Lavandier, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 699

 

[Page 1100]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, Municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Janvrin’s Island Community Centre Volunteer of the Year, Karen Marchand, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 700

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, Municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Janvrin’s Island Sport & Recreation Volunteer of the Year, Glen Landry, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 701

 

[Page 1101]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, Municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank L’Ardoise Senior Jolly Club Volunteer of the Year, Linda Landry, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 702

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, Municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank L’Ardoise Volunteer Fire Department Volunteer of the Year, Evan Sampson, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 703

 

[Page 1102]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, Municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Lakeside & Area Senior’s Club Volunteer of the Year, Winnie Burke, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 704

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, Municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Lakeside Community Association Volunteer of the Year, Helen Stone, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 705

 

[Page 1103]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, Municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank L’Ardoise Community Centre Volunteer of the Year, Harry Alexander Sampson, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 706

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank L’Ardoise Economic Association For Development Volunteer of the Year, Marie Burkey, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 707

 

[Page 1104]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank L’Ardoise Friends of Palliative Care Volunteer of the Year, Anna M. Bona, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 708

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank L’Ardoise Ladies Social Club Volunteer of the Year, Elaine Sampson, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 709

 

[Page 1105]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank L’Ardoise Men’s Club Volunteer of the Year, Vernon Burke, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 710

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillor, and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Oceanview Wildlife Association Volunteer of the Year, Stuwart Carter, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 711

 

[Page 1106]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Our Lady of Assumption, CWL Volunteer of the Year, Linda Samson, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 712

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Our Lady of Assumption Parish Council Volunteer of the Year, Winnie Bungay, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 713

 

[Page 1107]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Point Tupper Heritage Association Volunteer of the Year, Russell MacNeil, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 714

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Little Anse/Samson’s Cove Social Action Centre Volunteer of the Year, Donald Kehoe, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 715

 

[Page 1108]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Loch Lomond Heritage Association Volunteer of the Year, Genora MacDonald, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 716

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Loch Lomond Volunteer Fire Dept. Volunteer of the Year, Colin McPherson, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 717

 

[Page 1109]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Louisdale Lions Club Volunteer of the Year, Adrian Boudreau, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 718

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank North Side Community Improvement Volunteer of the Year, Gordon Rowe, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 719

 

[Page 1110]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Richmond County Early Childhood Education Association, Isle Madame Branch Volunteer of the Year, Martha Beaton, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 720

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 110, L’Ardoise Volunteer of the Year, Theresa Clements, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 721

 

[Page 1111]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 150, Isle Madame Volunteer of the Year, Marie Louise Martell, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 722

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 150, Ladies Auxiliary Volunteer of the Year, Shelley Short, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 723

 

[Page 1112]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 47, Ladies Auxiliary, St. Peter’s Volunteer of the Year, Linda Bouchard, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 724

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 47, St. Peter’s Volunteer of the Year, Wes Peeples, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 725

 

[Page 1113]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Richmond Academy Home & School Association Volunteer of the Year, Sandra Scanlan, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 726

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Richmond Academy School Advisory Council Volunteer of the Year, Phillip Samson, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 727

 

[Page 1114]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Richmond Arena Association Volunteer of the Year, Rodney Diggdon, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 728

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Richmond Community Access Society Volunteer of the Year, Kenneth David, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 729

 

[Page 1115]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Richmond County Literacy Network Volunteer of the Year, Phyllis Martell, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 730

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank  Richmond County Seniors Council Volunteer of the Year, Monica Stone, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 731

 

[Page 1116]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Richmond County Early Childhood Education Assoc., St. Peter’s Branch, Volunteer of the Year, Duane Burke, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 732

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Volunteer of the Year, Jeanette Strachan, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 733

 

[Page 1117]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Scottish Country Dance Group, St. Peter’s Volunteer of the Year, Lillian Peeples, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 734

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Riverdale Community Services Society Volunteer of the Year, Lisa Morgan, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 735

 

[Page 1118]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Richmond Villa Recreation Department Volunteer of the Year, Louise Wincey, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 736

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Francis de Sales Pastoral Council Volunteer of the Year, Paula Chisholm, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 737

 

[Page 1119]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank River Bourgeois Economic Development Volunteer of the Year, Rebecca Landry, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 738

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank South Mountain Arm of Gold Association Volunteer of the Year, Ross Wagg, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 739

 

[Page 1120]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank River Bourgeois Technology & Training Centre Volunteer of the Year, Stan Digout, for his hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 740

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Anne Community & Nursing Care Centre Volunteer of the Year, Claire Doyle, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 741

 

[Page 1121]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Anne Community & Nursing Care Centre Ladies Auxiliary Volunteer of the Year, Susan Terrio, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 742

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Richmond Skating Club Volunteer of the Year, Carla Martell, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 743

 

[Page 1122]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank River Bourgeois Community Services Society Volunteer of the Year, Debbie Landry, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 744

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Riverdale 55+ Seniors Club Volunteer of the Year, Gloria Hayes, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 745

 

[Page 1123]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank River Bourgeois Seniors 50+ Club Volunteer of the Year, Frances St. Louis, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 746

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Roddie’s Square Dancing Society Volunteer of the Year, George Martin, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 747

 

[Page 1124]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank West Arichat and District Village Circle Society Volunteer of the Year, Gloria Hill for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 748

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Louis CWL Volunteer of the Year, Jean Marie Landry, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 749

 

[Page 1125]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. John the Baptist CWL Volunteer of the Year, Josephine Morrison, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 750

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank West Bay United Church Volunteer of the Year, Mitchell Leonard, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 751

 

[Page 1126]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Hyacinth CWL Volunteer of the Year, Pam Richard, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 752

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Francis de Sales CWL Volunteer of the Year, Rose Marie Fougere, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 753

 

[Page 1127]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Joseph’s CWL Volunteer of the Year, Shirley Martell, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 754

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. John’s Anglican Church Volunteer of the Year, Theresa Skinner, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 755

 

[Page 1128]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Stirling/Framboise/Fourchu Seniors Volunteer of the Year, Vange Wareham, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 756

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Peter’s Lions Marina Volunteer of the Year, Alfred Sampson, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 757

 

[Page 1129]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank West Bay Pastoral Charge Volunteer of the Year, Alice MacAskill, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 758

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Village on the Canal Association Volunteer of the Year, Amanda Mombourquette, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 759

 

[Page 1130]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank West Bay Community Association Volunteer of the Year, Anna Marie Talbot, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 760

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Zachary Hall Memorial Society, Little Anse Volunteer of the Year, Blair W. Boudreau, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 761

 

[Page 1131]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Strait Richmond Hospital Seniors Advisory Council Volunteer of the Year, Carol Ann Williams, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 762

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Hyacinth Parish Council Volunteer of the Year, Denise Bennett, for her hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 763

 

[Page 1132]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Peter’s and District Volunteer Fire Department Volunteer of the Year, Denise Pottie, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 764

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Peter’s, Sampsonville and Area Water Utility Volunteer of the Year, Douglas Landry, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 765

 

[Page 1133]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Peter’s Village Commission Volunteer of the Year, Esther McDonnell, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 766

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank St. Peter’s and Area Lions Club Volunteer of the Year, George MacInnis, for his hard work and commitment.


 

RESOLUTION NO. 767

 

[Page 1134]

 

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Holy Guardian Angel Parish Council Volunteer of the Year, Raymonde Burke, for her hard work and commitment.

 

RESOLUTION NO. 768

 

By:  Hon. Michel Samson (Richmond)

 

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

 

     Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

 

     Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

 

     Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2011, I joined Warden John Boudreau, municipal councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 116 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

 

     Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank D’Escousse Civic Improvement Society Volunteer of the Year, Rosemary McLean, for her hard work and commitment.