Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD11-60

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

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
4840
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments,
4840
Law Amendments,
4841
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Agric.: N.S. Crop & Livestock Insurance Commn
- Anl. Rept. (2010-11), Hon. J. MacDonell »
4841
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Health & Wellness: Midwifery Services - Stabilization/Strengthening,
4841
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2797, Nat'l. Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence
Against Women (12/06/11) - Recognize, Hon. M. More »
4846
Vote - Affirmative
4847
Res. 2798, Cdn. Health Services Research Fdn. EXTRA Prog.:
Participants (N.S.) - Congrats., Hon. Maureen MacDonald « »
4847
Vote - Affirmative
4848
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 129, St. Michael's Polish Association and Benefit Society Act/
Ustawa zmieniajᶏca rozdzial 236 Ustawz 1912,
4848
No. 130, Victims' Rights and Services Act,
4848
No. 131, Snow Sport Helmet Act,
4848
No. 132, Acadia Recreation Club Act,
4848
No. 133, Bowater Mersey Pulp and Paper Investment (2011) Act,
4848
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2799, École Polytechnique (Mtl.): Women - Remember,
4848
Vote - Affirmative
4849
Res. 2800, Hfx. Explosion: Lives Lost - Honour,
4849
Vote - Affirmative
4850
Res. 2801, Seasons, Harvey: Birthday (90th) - Congrats.,
4850
Vote - Affirmative
4851
Res. 2802, MacNeil, Al: Career/CBU Awards - Congrats.,
4851
Vote - Affirmative
4852
Res. 2803, Nat'l. Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women:
Significance - Acknowledge, Hon. J. Baillie « » (by Mr. K. Bain » )
4852
Vote - Affirmative
4853
Res. 2804, NDP Gov't. - Young People: Commitment
- Congrats., Mr. C. MacKinnon « »
4853
Res. 2805, Hfx. Explosion: Lives Lost - Honour,
4854
Vote - Affirmative
4854
Res. 2806, North Sydney Culture & Heritage Commun. Ctr.:
Walsh, Jim/Supporters - Thank, Mr. E. Orrell »
4855
Vote - Affirmative
4855
Res. 2807, NDP Gov't. - Promises: Commitment - Acknowledge,
4855
Res. 2808, Newport Baptist Church (Scotch Village):
Pastoral Staff/Congregation - Compliment, Mr. C. Porter « »
4856
Vote - Affirmative
4857
Res. 2809, Butler, Geoff - Anna. Ryl. FD: Exhibit - Congrats.,
4857
Vote - Affirmative
4858
Res. 2810, Argyle Mun. - École secondaire de Par-en-Bas: Track & Field Facility
- Funding Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont »
4858
Vote - Affirmative
4859
Res. 2811, Open Farm Day (10th Anl.): Participants - Thank,
4859
Vote - Affirmative
4860
Res. 2812, Longva, Barbara: Creations - Congrats.,
4860
Vote - Affirmative
4861
Res. 2813, Porter, Rev. LeQuita - East Preston United Baptist Church:
Senior Pastor (1st Woman) - Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell »
4861
Vote - Affirmative
4862
Res. 2814, MacNeil, Jennifer - Ryl. Rood Equestrian Ctr
Supplies - Thank, Mr. E. Orrell « »
4862
Vote - Affirmative
4862
Res. 2815, Blue, Bryan: Int'l. Taekwondo Comp. - Congrats.,
4863
Vote - Affirmative
4863
Res. 2816, Hants Co. Christmas Angels Show: Vol. Effort
- Commend, Mr. C. Porter « »
4863
Vote - Affirmative
4864
Res. 2817, Mooney, David: Commun. Dedication/Inspiration
- Remember, Mr. Z. Churchill »
4864
Vote - Affirmative
4865
Res. 2818, Indian Sluice Seniors' Club: Opening - Congrats.,
4865
Vote - Affirmative
4866
Res. 2819, Cuzner, Scott/N.B. Youth Orchestra:
Orchestra Award - Congrats., Mr. G. MacLellan »
4866
Vote - Affirmative
4867
Res. 2820, Longva, Kirsten: Skills Comp. (N.S.) - Congrats.,
4867
Vote - Affirmative
4868
Res. 2821, Weymouth Vol. FD - Awards: Recipients - Congrats.,
4868
Vote - Affirmative
4868
Res. 2822, Sherwood Park Educ. Ctr. - Violence Victims: Blankets & Toys
- Donations Thank, Hon. Manning MacDonald « »
4869
Vote - Affirmative
4869
Res. 2823, Arenburg, Ron & Nancy: Proj. Lifesaver - Congrats.,
4869
Vote - Affirmative
4870
Res. 2824, Tracey, Barry: Paramedic Long-Serv. Award (20 Yrs.)
- Congrats., Hon. M. Samson »
4870
Vote - Affirmative
4871
Res. 2825, Eaglestone, Mike: Bus. Success - Acknowledge,
4871
Vote - Affirmative
4871
Res. 2826, Sedgwick Mem. Presbyterian Church: Anniv. (85th)
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey « »
4872
Vote - Affirmative
4872
Res. 2827, Ambassatours Gray Line: Environment Award
- Congrats., Mr. A. Younger « »
4872
Vote - Affirmative
4873
Res. 2828, Mood, Daphne: Heroic Actions - Recognize,
4873
Vote - Affirmative
4874
Res. 2829, Bishop, Nathan: Music Success - Congrats.,
4874
Vote - Affirmative
4874
Res. 2830, Richfield Forestry: Awards - Congrats.,
4875
Vote - Affirmative
4875
Res. 2831, Theriault, Chris - London Olympics: Plans - Congrats.,
4875
Vote - Affirmative
4876
Res. 2832, Britten-Boudreau, Charcy: Power of Positive Change
Award - Congrats., Hon. M. Samson « »
4876
Vote - Affirmative
4877
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 527, Prem. - Bowater Pkg.: Funding - Conditions,
4877
No. 528, Prem. - Rural N.S.: Crisis - Acknowledge,
4878
No. 529, Prem.: Bowater Deal - Details,
4879
No. 530, Prem.: Michelin Concerns - Forthrightness,
4880
No. 531, ERDT: Job Strategy - Failure Acknowledge,
4882
No. 532, Prem. - FCA: Compromise - Refusal Explain,
4884
No. 533, ERDT - FCA: Min./MLAs - Conversations,
4885
No. 534, Prem. - Funding: Regional Favouritism - Explain,
4887
No. 535, Health & Wellness: Nurses' Uniforms - Procurement Process,
4888
No. 536, Status of Women - Sexual Assault: Prevention - Plans,
4889
No. 537, Fin. - Victims' Assistance Fund: Condition - Rept.,
4891
No. 538, Nat. Res. - Clear-Cutting: Technical Definition - Release,
4892
No. 539, Health & Wellness: Hosp. Code Census Problem - Prioritize,
4894
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 2:25 P.M
4896
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 5:57 P.M
4896
CWH REPORTS
4897
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
ERDT: Job Losses - Concern,
4897
4900
4902
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 6:29 P.M
4906
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 10:05 P.M
4906
CWH REPORTS
4906
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., Dec. 7th at 9:00 a.m
4907
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2833, Van Dyk's Health Juice Products Ltd.: Lun.-Queens
Bus. Excellence Award - Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad « »
4908
Res. 2834, Best Coast Coffee Gallery: Lun.-Queens Bus. Excellence Awards
- Hospitality Category Nomination, Ms. V. Conrad « »
4908
Res. 2835, Brady Home Bldg. Ctr.: Lun.-Queens Bus. Excellence Award
- Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad « »
4909
Res. 2836, Wamboldt, Danielle: Cdn. Student Leadership Conf
(2011) - Participation, Ms. V. Conrad « »
4909
Res. 2837, Lohnes, Jessica: Cdn. Student Leadership Conf
(2011) - Participation, Ms. V. Conrad « »
4910
Res. 2838, Veinot, Leah: Cdn. Student Leadership Conf
(2011) - Participation, Ms. V. Conrad « »
4910
Res. 2839, Selig, Bailey: Skate Can. Prog. - Completion,
4911
Res. 2840, Hopper, Victoria: Skate Can. Prog. - Completion,
4911
Res. 2841, Pitre, Chloe: Skate Can. Prog. - Completion,
4912
Res. 2842, Clattenburg, Kieran: Skate Can. Prog. - Completion,
4912
Res. 2843, Amirault, Lauren: Skate Can. Prog. - Completion,
4913
Res. 2844, Thistle, Madison: Skate Can. Prog. - Completion,
4913
Res. 2845, Petite Riviere Fire Hall: N.S. Music Week Venue of Yr. Award
- Nomination, Ms. V. Conrad « »
4914
Res. 2846, Liverpool: N.S. Music Wk. (2012) Host Commun
- Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad « »
4914
Res. 2847, Sinclair, Kimberly/Spincount: N.S. Music Wk. Awards
- Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad « »
4915
Res. 2848, Helmer, Leif: N.S. Music Wk. Promoter of Yr. Nomination
- Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad « »
4915
Res. 2849, Little River Folk Soc.: N.S. Music Wk. Commun
Presenter of Yr. Award - Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad « »
4916
Res. 2850, Inverness Educ. Ctr.: Gaelic Culture/Language Prog
- Recognize, Mr. A. MacMaster »
4916
Res. 2851, Scotiabank - North Shore Residents: Serv
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey « »
4917
Res. 2852, Lewis, Harold & Lorna: Serv. (50 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4917
Res. 2853, Lake, Josie: Breast Cancer Fundraiser - Congrats.,
4918
Res. 2854, Boyle, Kyle: Pengrowth-N.S. Energy Scholarship (2011)
- Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad « »
4918
Res. 2855, Bowers, Alecia: Pengrowth-N.S. Energy Scholarship (2011)
- Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad « »
4919
Res. 2856, Doucet, John: NSSAF Award - Congrats.,
4919
Res. 2857, Boysen, Jonte: NSSAF Award - Congrats.,
4920
Res. 2858, MacLeod, Kelsey: NSSAF Award - Congrats.,
4920
Res. 2859, Lake, Kevin: NSSAF Award - Congrats.,
4921
Res. 2860, Hill, Winston: Donkin-Gowrie Male Athlete of Yr
- Congrats., Mr. A. MacLeod « »
4921
Res. 2861, Jenkins, Nicole: Donkin-Gowrie Female Athlete of Yr
- Congrats, Mr. A. MacLeod « »
4922
Res. 2862, Open Farm Day (10th Anl.) - Ebbett, Joe & Lorenda:
Participation - Thank, Hon. K. Casey « »
4922
Res. 2863, Open Farm Day (10th Anl.) - Whitelaw, Quita & Scott:
Participation - Thank, Hon. K. Casey « »
4923
Res. 2864, Open Farm Day (10th Anl.) - Mathewson, Greta & Ruth:
Participation - Thank, Hon. K. Casey « »
4923
Res. 2865, Durling, Leanne: Courage/Determination
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter « »
4924
Res. 2866, Seagram, Joe - Pumpkin Regatta: 1st Place
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter « »
4924
Res. 2867, Nelson, Steve & Dean/Heritage Memorials:
Expansion Plans - Congrats., Mr. C. Porter « »
4925
Res. 2868, Bray, Carey - Writers' Federation (N.S.):
Recognition - Congrats., Mr. C. Porter « »
4925
Res. 2869, Chaker's Rite Stop/Staff: Camp Triumph
Fundraising - Congrats., Mr. C. Porter « »
4926
Res. 2870, Robinson, Rianna: Vocal Talents - Applaud,
4926
Res. 2871, Arthritis Soc. (N.S.) - Fundraising: Participants
- Thank, Mr. C. Porter « »
4927
Res. 2872, Windsor Senior Schooners: Prov. Hockey Title
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter « »
4927
Res. 2873, Harvest House - Fundraising/Awareness Event:
Participation - Commend, Mr. C. Porter « »
4928
Res. 2874, RBC - Libraries: Contributions - Thank,
4928
Res. 2875, Bureaux, Margot: Cdn./Coffee & Tea Show
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter « »
4929
Res. 2876, Welsford Lodge 26: Commun. Serv. (150 Yrs.)
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter « »
4930

[Page 4839]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011

Sixty-first General Assembly

Third Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Gordon Gosse

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER » : Order, please. Before we begin the daily routine, the subject for this evening's late debate has been chosen and reads as follows:

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism take the advice of his federal cousin and start getting concerned about job losses under his watch.

This was submitted by the honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

[Page 4840]

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Antigonish.

MR. MAURICE SMITH « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish to present and table a petition signed by 57 constituents of Antigonish who are opposed to an application by Alva Construction Ltd. of Antigonish to expand the Northumberland Rock Quarry in Georgeville, Antigonish County, the operative clause of the petition being:

“. . . we wish to indicate to the Environmental Assessment Branch and to the Nova Scotia Minister of the Environment that we are NOT in favour of the application as it currently exists.”

Mr. Speaker, as required, I've signed my name to this petition.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I think I'll remind the honourable member that the petition is out of order. It doesn't request anything from the government, there's no ask in that petition. I think you'd have to redo it and bring it back. Just bring it up here and let me read it, please. Thank you.

Honourable member, I see there's not an ask of a minister of the House to do anything with the petition. Maybe you would like to reword it and do it again in the morning. Thank you.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 114 - Consumer Protection Act.

Bill No. 121 - Education Act.

Bill No. 122 - Environment Act.

Bill No. 123 - Corrections Act.

Bill No. 124 - Arts Nova Scotia Act.

Bill No. 125 - Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council Act.

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

[Page 4841]

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 90 - Safe Collection of Scrap Metal Act.

Bill No. 96 - Pension Benefits Act.

Bill No. 110 - Residential Tenancies Act.

Bill No. 118 - Motor Vehicle Act.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

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

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the Annual Report of the Nova Scotia Crop and Livestock Insurance Commission for the year 2010-11.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

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

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to stand before you and the other members of the Legislature today to reaffirm our government's commitment to providing Nova Scotia's mothers and families the best possible maternity care by stabilizing and strengthening the province's midwifery services.

In June 2008, three midwifery model sites were announced by the previous government. Barely 12 months later midwives were delivering babies at these sites beginning in April 2009. One year later, however, in 2010, the program at the IWK, where most babies in Nova Scotia are delivered, was suspended due to a lack of midwives.

[Page 4842]

They say hindsight is 20/20, the midwifery program set up under the former government faced challenges from the start. Implementation was rushed, there was very little time for care providers to build an understanding of midwifery or how midwives would work within a traditional medical model of care.

The short timeline meant that midwifery was implemented prior to having the appropriate policies in place with too few midwives to support effective practice and with many unanswered questions about the long-term sustainability of a provincial midwifery program.

Earlier this year, I requested an independent assessment of midwifery services and the models of care used in the three sites in Halifax, Bridgewater and Antigonish.

The review is meant to examine the strengths and the challenges of each of these sites and provide advice about rebuilding the midwifery service here in the Capital area. Our assessment team was made up of four recognized specialists: Dr. Karyn Kaufman, Professor Emerita at McMaster University; Kris Robinson, a clinical midwifery specialist from Manitoba; Dr. Karen Buhler, head of the Department of Family Practice at B.C. Women's Hospital; and Gail Hazlit, Manager of Patient Care at Women's Hospital in Winnipeg.

This past August the working group delivered their report to the Department of Health and Wellness, where it has been carefully reviewed. At that time I reaffirmed our government's commitment to midwifery and ensuring that the practice operates sustainably in Nova Scotia. The recommendations put forward by the review are comprehensive and sensible and show us the way forward. It is with these recommendations in mind that we've developed a plan to stabilize and strengthen midwifery services in Nova Scotia.

We have a vision for primary maternity care in Nova Scotia, and that's to provide optimal care for child-bearing families to facilitate the best possible outcomes for all mothers, babies, and families. We want midwives in this province to be able to work according to their full scope of practice, within a model that provides the best care possible to women and their families.

Through our midwifery program we're striving to complement traditional maternity care with the natural holistic approach of midwifery, while also attending to the unique cultural needs of our most vulnerable child-bearing women and families. Midwifery also gives women a choice when it comes to low-risk pregnancy birth plans.

So our plan for midwifery services is as follows: first, as recommended by the review team, we will hire a midwife practice specialist. This specialist will lead the provincial approach to services as part of the primary maternity care plan. He or she will work with the existing provincial model sites to address clinical, organizational, and operational challenges and ensure the best possible solutions in these areas so that patient care will be improved.

[Page 4843]

Secondly, we will stabilize existing midwifery programs by investing in a second attendant program. The second attendants will be registered nurses who have the appropriate competencies required by the Midwifery Regulatory Council. Not only will this provide stability and consistency in services for mothers and families but it will also allow for some more service. Having second attendants will increase the program's capacity to support the options for home birth, especially in instances where the family's cultural preference is for home birth. In addition, the hiring of second attendants will give midwives more time to conduct community outreach.

More importantly, the hiring of these second attendants will promote a work/life balance for midwives. In the past the demand for their services outpaced what they could actually provide, leaving Nova Scotia's midwives feeling stressed and disappointed that they couldn't effectively serve the women and families who wanted their services. Second attendants will correct this imbalance and make midwifery more readily available to women who select it as part of their birth plan. Second attendants are recognized in formal policy by Nova Scotia's Midwifery Regulatory Council and they will be hired for all three of the provincial midwifery sites.

And lastly, Mr. Speaker, we will be increasing the complement of midwives in the IWK Capital District by two full-time equivalents. In this area there are nearly 2,000 low-risk births annually and the demand for midwifery services is extremely high. These two additional full-time equivalents will allow for the district to effectively and safely keep up with the growing demand for midwifery services, and will ensure that women receive the right care, based on their family needs as they prepare for a new baby.

Mr. Speaker, it sometimes takes time to get things right. The three tenets of this plan will stabilize the existing three midwifery sites and ensure they are on a sustainable path. I have stated this government's unwavering commitment to midwifery as an important addition to strong, primary maternity care services for mothers, babies, and families. These steps are the building blocks on which we will move forward to providing better maternity care and greater choice to women and families in our province.

I appreciate very much, Mr. Speaker, having the opportunity to rise in the House and speak about this very important subject this afternoon, and to reaffirm our government's commitment to midwifery. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand in my place and respond to the ministerial statement today, which provides the House with an update on midwifery, and I would like to thank the minister for the advance copy of her remarks.

[Page 4844]

I do agree with the minister in her assessment of the slow progress we have made to date. The former government, in my opinion, did the practice of midwifery and midwives in this province a great disservice when it came to government's implementation strategy; in many ways it felt like they were half-hearted in their attempts. It was the women of Nova Scotia, wanting to choose midwifery as an optimal care option, who ultimately paid the price.

I would like to commend the minister for both announcing and receiving an independent assessment of the models of care used in Halifax, Bridgewater, and Antigonish.

Fast-forward four months and we are where we are today. While I am pleased to hear that the minister is making a commitment to the hiring of a midwifery practice specialist, I would rather be commending the minister for having already hired this person and that he or she would already be working on the operational and organizational challenges identified in the evaluation report.

I would also like to acknowledge the recommendation made by the minister for the second attendant program. This program will certainly increase the program's capacity to support the option for home birth and provide a better work/life balance for our existing midwives - I note, however, Mr. Speaker, there is no mention made as to how many second attendants will be supported and through which district they will operate.

Finally, the minister indicated she will be increasing the complement of midwives in the IWK Capital District by full-time equivalents. Mr. Speaker, in my opinion, the wait lists for midwifery services in the Capital Region are proof that this was necessary. I note, however, that the minister made mention of the additional FTEs within the Capital District and was wondering whether this commitment meant that more midwives were being added to the IWK or whether the minister is open to ensuring that midwifery services can be made available at the North End Community Health Centre, as has been requested by those active within the midwifery coalition.

For me, while today's announcement is welcome, there is one crucial piece missing, and that one piece is the articulation of a long-term goal for the province to have midwives in each district. Mr. Speaker, my home district, the Annapolis Valley, was really the birthplace of midwifery services in this province and I see nothing in this announcement that shows where government is heading with regard to a long-term plan. The evaluation report also called for an increase in FTEs for South Shore within six months of the evaluation report and this was not announced. It was also recommended that GASHA receive another FTE and this was absent in today's announcement.

Well, I very much appreciate the increase in FTEs put in the Capital District Health Authority and I am aware of the demand in metro. The report asked for more than what the minister delivered today. We all remember that one year ago the IWK suspended its program. The program to this date has still not been re-launched. The IWK is funded for three FTEs and they currently have one. I understand that the evaluation report presented to government recommended a professional practice chief for the IWK and this person would oversee the development of the program. This position remains unfilled and as a result the IWK has not moved forward with hiring the remaining two midwives. It's time we move on.

[Page 4845]

In closing I have one parting comment. The minister announced the 3 per cent across-the-board cut to DHAs for this upcoming budget year. Obviously this has significant impact to DHA budgets and I wonder what impact the current programs in place will incur as a result of this directive. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. First of all, I do want to thank the minister for the advance copy of her remarks and, of course, for many of the comments that are held within it because I think it's high time that we continue to move on the issue of midwifery in the Province of Nova Scotia. I can say I want to thank the members who were here that day when we were able to vote and move an Act Respecting Midwifery in this House of Assembly. Definitely a trail-blazing piece of legislation for us because this was something that was not on the radar for many, many years through successive governments, so it was good to be able to talk about it and to bring it forward, the profession of midwifery in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I can say that it does constitute a culture change within the traditional health care setting, the addition, of course, of a midwife to their complement, which is why our government at the time looked at three test sites to try different models. There was no particular model that was working or not working in Nova Scotia because we didn't have midwives in the province at the time. I can say that through discussions with the district health authorities, we were able to set up those three pilots to make sure that we had the data so that we can make decisions to move into the future, which is what this minister is doing today, moving on.

I can say that the implementation was not rushed because of the work that went on prior to that in creating the Act and making sure we had everybody on board in order to pull off three of those test sites at the time. Mr. Speaker, I can say the recommendations put together by the assessment team, I believe, are sound and I think there are things that we do need to continue to move on. One of the recommendations that we find to be quite good is the issue for a midwifery practice specialist, a person who is responsible for the whole program, because that was something that was not available to midwives in this province up to this point, so I thank the minister for bringing that one forward.

The issue of second attendants, though, is one that I'm not quite clear on - that maybe through conversation with the minster to understand why a second attendant and not another midwife, or is there not enough training for midwives going on that they are not available? I'm not too sure about that one, but we need to make sure that the appropriate competencies are available to those practitioners to make sure they are providing an excellent service to women and children in our province.

[Page 4846]

The final comment that I do want to make - that the member who just spoke before me - is the issue of the rollout to the rest of the province because there are many areas in this province that don't have midwifery services. There are many women that I get to talk to who would like to see it. I know of one specific family in my constituency that moved in and actually has since moved out because of not having that access. She had her first - I think it was five children with midwifery assistance, and the sixth one came along without the midwifery and she definitely spoke to the difference in the birthing plan and the service that she was able to get in the Yarmouth area. So it would be nice to see a further expansion of that to other parts of the province, but I do want to have a better idea of what that second attendant is all about and how it will expand midwifery services in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Midwifery services is one issue that I was proud to be the minister at the time to bring forward in the Province of Nova Scotia, and of course I want to see its fruition in this province, to become the profession that it deserves to be, and that women and children in this province get the service that they so deserve. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women Act.

RESOLUTION NO. 2797

HON. MARILYN MORE « » : Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas December 6th marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, commemorating the anniversary of the murder of 14 women at l'École Polytechnique in Montreal who died because they were women, and remembering all Nova Scotia women who have died due to domestic violence and who live daily with the realities of it; and

Whereas this day is also a time to remember all the Nova Scotia women who suffer daily from domestic violence, as well as those in this province who have died because of it; and

Whereas the province acknowledges the courage, strength, and spirit of domestic violence survivors and their families, and recognizes the contributions of people and organizations working to end violence against women and all Nova Scotians;

[Page 4847]

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize December 6th as the Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in the Province of 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 Minister of Health and Wellness.

RESOLUTION NO. 2798

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas evidence-based decision making is one of the cornerstones of our health care system; and

Whereas the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation's EXTRA training program gives health care workers the skills and knowledge to become change agents in the health care system by conducting evidence-informed intervention projects within their organizations; and

Whereas this year three groups from Nova Scotia have finished this exciting training program, designed to enhance patient outcomes, quality of care, and cost-effectiveness within the health care system;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Stavros Savvopoulos - Capital Health, Jane Newlands - GASHA, Stephanie Connidis - Capital Health, and Sandra Janes - Capital Health, on successfully completing this prestigious fellowship and commend them on their dedication to providing better health care for Nova Scotians.

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

[Page 4848]

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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 129 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 236 of the Acts of 1912. An Act to Incorporate St. Michael's Polish Association and Benefit Society/Ustawa zmieniająca rozdzial 236 Ustaw z 1912. (Hon. Frank Corbett, as a private member.)

Bill No. 130 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 14 of the Acts of 1989. The Victims' Rights and Services Act. (Ms. Diana Whalen)

Bill No. 131 - Entitled an Act to Require Downhill Skiers and Snowboarders to Wear Helmets. (Hon. Maureen MacDonald)

Bill No. 132 - Entitled an Act to Convert Acadia Recreation Club from a Company to a Society. (Hon. David Wilson, as a private member.)

Bill No. 133 - Entitled an Act to Sustain Jobs and Invest in Southwest Nova Scotia's Pulp and Paper Sector. (Hon. Charlie Parker)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Ordered that these bills be read a second time on a future day.

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2799

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

Whereas across Canada people are remembering how, on this day in 1989, a man walked into École Polytechnique de Montreal and murdered 14 women solely because they were women; and

Whereas violence perpetuated against women persists, with Nova Scotia having the highest rate of sexual assault in Canada; and

[Page 4849]

Whereas violence against women and its persistence in our society is a clear indicator of women's continued inequality;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House remember the women who died in the Montreal shooting, while we work toward the full eradication of violence against women and for the full achievement of women's equality.

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 Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2800

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas 94 years ago today Halifax was devastated by the detonation of the SS Mont Blanc, a fully loaded French cargo ship that collided with the SS Imo on the Narrows of the Halifax Harbour; and

Whereas Halifax and neighbouring cities were obliterated, first by the explosion and then by the tsunami and the pressure wave of air that ensued, resulting in a loss of 2,000 lives and leaving 9,000 people injured; and

Whereas to add to the devastation, the next day brought a blizzard of 40 centimetres of snow which left many people trapped in the rubble from the largest, accidental, manmade explosion in history;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly honour the lives lost that fateful day and remember the courageous individuals who worked tirelessly to rescue victims from the rubble and preserve as many lives as possible from this tragedy.

[Page 4850]

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 Health and Wellness.

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, could I be permitted to make an introduction before I do my resolution?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Thank you. I'd like to draw the attention of members to the east gallery where we are joined by some very special guests today. I will call their names and ask them to stand. First of all we have with us Mr. Harvey Seasons who is a resident of my constituency, in Halifax Needham. Mr. Seasons is joined by three of his nieces: Deborah Lavine, Diane Radovich and Dawn Griffin, who are from British Columbia and as well, two of his nieces' spouses: George Lavine and Peter Redman. I would ask members of the House to extend a warm welcome to our guests. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : We welcome all our guests to the gallery and hope that they enjoy today's proceedings.

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

RESOLUTION NO. 2801

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Mr. Harvey Seasons, a resident of Northwood in the north end of Halifax for the past 23 years, will celebrate his 90th birthday on Wednesday, December 7, 2011; and

Whereas Harvey Seasons has led a remarkable, varied and productive life over his nine decades, having been a Jesuit priest, social worker, hospital chaplin, actor, radio disc jockey, and a member of the renowned Northwood Players, as well as having been a hospice care and pastoral care volunteer, and a volunteer with the Alzheimer's Society; and

[Page 4851]

Whereas Northwood will celebrate Mr. Seasons' 90th birthday tomorrow afternoon with what will certainly be a well attended and joyous birthday party;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulates Mr. Harvey Seasons on his long and interesting life, hopes that he will enjoy a very happy 90th birthday party tomorrow, and wishes him many happy returns of the day.

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. (Sustained Applause)

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, just before we continue, I also would like to make an introduction. Today in our west gallery are students from Prince Andrew High School's Grade 12 political science class. There are 27 of them up there. Actually, the Minister of Education visited Prince Andrew recently with me, and I thank her for that. I don't know if we dropped in on their class, but if they just want to stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. They're here with Tim Halman and Ron Stewart, their teachers.

MR. SPEAKER « » : We welcome all our guests to the gallery, especially young ones, and hope that they enjoy today's proceedings.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2802

HON. MANNING MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Sydney native Dr. Al MacNeil had a distinguished career in professional hockey, spanning 50 years as a player, coach, and executive; and

[Page 4852]

Whereas Dr. MacNeil was the first coach from the Maritimes to be named a head coach of an NHL team, the Montreal Canadiens, and won a Stanley Cup with that team; and

Whereas this past July, Cape Breton University honoured Dr. MacNeil's great career by granting him a honorary Doctorate of Laws and by creating the Al MacNeil Builder of Champions Scholarship;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Al MacNeil on his outstanding career and the awards granted to him by Cape Breton University.

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 Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2803

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas 22 years ago today, 14 women fell victim to a hate crime at l'École Polytechnique in Montreal, a tragic event that has become known as the Montreal Massacre; and

Whereas in honour of those women, today has been named the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women; and

Whereas this day serves as an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the prevalence of violence against women and to consider concrete actions to eliminate gender-based violence in our communities;

[Page 4853]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly acknowledge the significance of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and remember the women and girls in our country who have lost their lives to violence, and in particular those 14 women in Montreal.

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. 2804

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's demographics are changing and we have one of Canada's fastest-aging populations, while many of our youngest and brightest have in the past had to look for a future outside of our province; and

Whereas the NDP committed during the 2009 provincial election to providing tax incentives to university and community college graduates who stay and work at home in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas our NDP Government's 2010-11 budget included the creation of the Graduate Retention Rebate, a tax rebate worth up to $15,000 over six years for university graduates and up to $7,500 for college graduates who stay and work in Nova Scotia after they graduate, returning about $17 million into the hands of these Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate this NDP Government for its commitment to the young people of our great province and acknowledge our commitment to keeping our promises to Nova Scotians.

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

[Page 4854]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 2805

MS. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable Leader of the Official Opposition, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas on a cool, crisp, December morning 94 years ago today, Halifax was devastated by what still remains as the world's largest man-made accidental explosion; and

Whereas churches, houses, schools, factories and ships were destroyed by the blast, with men, women and children killed instantly in either the streets, their homes or in their workplaces; and

Whereas it was Halifax's hour of need that brought out the best in ourselves and our neighbours, with the relief efforts that followed immediately and in the weeks, months and years to follow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature honour those who lost their lives in the Halifax Explosion and continue to educate our children about this fateful day in Nova Scotia's history and the displays and stories of heroism that followed.

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 Cape Breton North.

[Page 4855]

RESOLUTION NO. 2806

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas this past summer saw the official opening of the North Sydney Culture and Heritage Community Centre; and

Whereas the Honourable Robert Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, cut the ribbon to open the combined historic museum, library and seniors centre; and

Whereas the facility was the brainchild of Jim Walsh, who was looking for a new home for the antique LaFrance fire engine but the beneficiaries will be the people of North Sydney and surrounding areas, as well as tourists to Cape Breton;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly thank Jim Walsh and the many supporters who worked so hard to make the dream of the North Sydney Culture and Heritage Community Centre a reality.

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. 2807

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

Whereas under previous governments there was no provision for travel costs when a patient needed MSI-approved treatment outside of the province, except when the minister made an exception to the policy, forcing patients to fundraise, declare bankruptcy, or forgo treatment if they could not afford these extra costs; and

[Page 4856]

Whereas in 2010 Nova Scotia's NDP Government announced the $750,000 per year program to provide travel and accommodation assistance to patients who are approved to travel out of province for necessary medical care that is not available here, and in May 2011 the NDP Government extended that coverage to include accompanying family members or escorts for children; and

Whereas Louis Brill, of the Nova Scotia Lung Association said, "There is no question that this support will have a positive impact on the lives of the people we serve. Where we once trailed, we will be seen as a leader in Canada. We're going from the back of the line to the front of the class."; (Interruption)

I realize that upsets those guys over there but that's okay.

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge this NDP Government's commitment to keeping its promises to Nova Scotians and making life better for patients, children and families.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2808

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Newport Baptist Church in Scotch Village was founded in 1799 and began having meetings in their present building in 1875; and

Whereas the congregation of the Newport Baptist Church is believed to be the oldest active one in Canada; and

Whereas the Newport Baptist Church holds a community fundraiser late in August every year, serving the very best barbecued food and salads anywhere in Hants West;

[Page 4857]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly compliment the pastoral staff and congregation of the Newport Baptist Church in Scotch Village and wish them another century of faith and fellowship.

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 West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2809

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable Leader of the Official Opposition, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas well-renowned Annapolis Royal artist and writer Geoff Butler traded his usual form of expression - brushes and pen - for a camera to capture his latest subject; and

Whereas in commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Annapolis Royal Volunteer Fire Department, Butler wanted to highlight the volunteerism, dedication, and hard work of the ordinary men and women who devote to responding to their community in time of need; and

Whereas to capture each member in their daily lives as a pastor, farmer, cobbler or musician, to name just a few, he also attended the department's weekly training session to capture the intensity and seriousness of their job as a firefighter;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Geoff Butler for his hard work and dedication in creating an exhibit which enables the public to have a visual appreciation for the dedicated response of the Annapolis Royal Fire Department.

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

[Page 4858]

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 Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 2810

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : M. le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que le 18 ao�t 2011 le ministre d'État de l'Agence de promotion économique du Canada atlantique (APÉCA) et la Francophonie, Bernard Valcourt, a fait une annonce de financement en vue de la construction d'une installation d'athlétisme et l'investissement de 200 000$; et

Attendu qu'elle sera située à l'École secondaire de Par-en-Bas à Tusket, qui sera complète à temps pour accueillir la finale des Jeux de l'Acadie en 2012 et comprendra une piste de course de 400 mètres avec six couloirs, ainsi que d'une section de huit couloirs pour les événements de 100 mètres, et sera �galement équipé pour accueillir disque, javelot, lancer du poids, saut en hauteur et des événements de saut en longueur; et

Attendu que l'investissement de l'APÉCA est dans le cadre du Fonds des collectivités innovatrices (FCI) la Province de la Nouvelle-Écosse et la Municipalité d'Argyle qui ont contribué à ce projet;

Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres de cette Assemblé félicitent la Municipalité d'Argyle dans l'acquisition de ce nouveau terrain que servira les écoles ainsi que toutes les communautés.

M. le Président, je demande l'adoption de cette résolution sans préavis et sans débat.

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

Whereas on August 18, 2011, Bernard Valcourt, Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie, announced $200,000 in federal funding for the construction of a track and field facility at École secondaire de Par-en-Bas in Tusket; and

[Page 4859]

Whereas the track will be completed in time to host the finals of the 2012 Jeux de l'Acadie and will have a 400-metre running track with six lanes, a section of eight lanes for 100-metre events, and will also be equipped to host discus, javelin, shot put, high jump, and long-jump events; and

Whereas ACOA's investment is being provided through the Innovative Communities Fund and the Province of Nova Scotia, and the Municipality of Argyle will also contribute toward this project;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Municipality of Argyle in securing this new venue that will serve the local schools as well as the communities surrounding it.

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 Colchester North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2811

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

Whereas farming is one of the primary industries in our province and one on which the prosperity of our province has been built; and

Whereas more than 60 farms across Nova Scotia participated in the province's 10th annual Open Farm Day, which gives the public an opportunity to have a first-hand look at the industry; and

Whereas Open Farm Day allows the public to taste local produce, to meet the animals, to see where our food actually comes from, to get a look at the hard work and top quality of products and services that our farmers provide, and to understand the reasons for and the advantages of the "buy local" initiative;

[Page 4860]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly thank Greta and Ruth Mathewson of Upperbrook Farm, Colchester North, Joe and Lorenda Ebbett of Meadow Brook Farm, Colchester North, and Quita Gray and Scott Whitelaw of Sugar Moon Farm, Colchester North, for showing their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to agriculture by opening their farms to the public on the 10th annual Open Farm Day.

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 Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2812

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

Whereas Barbara Longva is a flamboyant entrepreneur, who since 1993 has owned Sew Inclined in Wreck Cove, on the famous Cabot Trail; and

Whereas Barbara started her career in clothing design at the early age of five, when she started sewing dolls' clothes by hand, and has since designed and constructed costumes for Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, Marine Atlantic, John Cabot Society, Cossett House, Alexander Graham Bell Museum, St. Anns Bay Players, Savoy Theatre, and Cape Breton University's Boardmore Playhouse; and

Whereas recently, to celebrate CBC Cape Breton's 63rd birthday on November 1st, Barbara created a new flamboyant Bill's "Lucky Green Hat," which has been used for many years on the show and has become a CBC Cape Breton tradition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Barbara on her unique creations and on being an inspiration to young tapestry entrepreneurs, and wish her ongoing success with her business.

[Page 4861]

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 Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2813

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

Whereas Reverend LeQuita H. Porter made history in East Preston, Nova Scotia, by being appointed the first female senior pastor in the 169-year history of the East Preston United Baptist Church; and

Whereas Reverend Porter brings a wealth of experience to the community, having graduated with a Juris Doctorate of Law and a Master of Business Administration, as well as being a graduate from the Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey; and

Whereas the East Preston church and community have already experienced growth, excitement, and renewed commitment by embracing her wealth of experience in just the first year of her pastoral duties, which they celebrated on October 30, 2011;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the East Preston United Baptist Church for breaking with tradition in hiring the first-ever woman to hold this important post in the community, and wish Reverend Porter every success as she breaks new ground and empowers people united in Christ.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4862]

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 Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2814

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas when a fire at the Royal Road Equestrian Center in Fredericton killed three horses and left eighteen others without a home, Jennifer MacNeil of Sydney Mines, who boards her horses at Sunrise Stables in Georges River, wanted to do something to help; and

Whereas in four days, with the support of Sunrise Stables, Jennifer rounded up a couple of truckloads of supplies to go to New Brunswick to help the horse owners who had lost everything; and

Whereas tack, liniment, buckets, and feed made their way from Cape Breton to New Brunswick to help strangers in their time of need;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Jennifer and her friends for proving the spirit of giving and community are still alive.

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. 2815

[Page 4863]

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

Whereas Bryan Blue is owner and head instructor of Blue Taekwondo Club of both Lawrencetown Community Centre and the East Dartmouth Community Centre; and

Whereas Mr. Blue and 14 members of his club travelled to Ontario, in October, to participate against 50 other clubs in the International Ch'ang-Hon Taekwon-do Federation World Cup; and

Whereas Mr. Blue's team brought home eight gold, two silver, and four bronze medals from the international tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Mr. Blue on his commitment to improving the fitness and competence of all his students, and to his club members on their outstanding performance.

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 Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2816

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the 35th annual Christmas Angels Show for Hants County raised just under $31,000 during the eight-hour show held December 4th at the War Memorial Community Centre in Windsor; and

Whereas such productions could not be done without the volunteer assistance of outstanding individuals such as Mike Jamieson, EastLink television producer Dale White, or floor production director Dave Jennison; and

[Page 4864]

Whereas the show could not be done without the tremendous musical talent demonstrated by numerous groups and individuals from Hants County and beyond;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend the tremendous volunteer effort demonstrated at the Hants County Christmas Angel Show that will lead to a brighter Christmas morning for those less fortunate in Hants 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.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 2817

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

Whereas in 2001, David Mooney lost his two hands and two feet after he became seriously ill with a severe blood infection, fitted with four prostheses, David became a tireless volunteer and advocate for people with disabilities; and

Whereas on July 19, 2011, David Mooney, whose motto was "it's not what you've lost, it's what you have left" passed away after a characteristically courageous battle with cancer, and our community lost one of its most passionate and dedicated volunteers and countless people, myself included, lost a devoted and caring friend; and

Whereas the Collaborative Partnership Network, of which David was a board member, recently unveiled the David and Kathleen Mooney Altruism Award, which will be awarded annually to a volunteer who has worked in his or her community with people with disabilities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly remember David Mooney for his many years of dedication and inspiration to his community and province, and congratulate his wife Kathleen, whose support for him was so unwavering that it has been said that she became his hands, on the unveiling of the David and Kathleen Mooney Altruism Award.

[Page 4865]

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 Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 2818

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : M. le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que un nouveau club pour les ainés Indian Sluice Seniors Club a été inauguré le mardi 14 juin au Twin Village Social Club aux Buttes Amirault; et

Attendu que Alain Doucette, président du club, a vu qu'il y avait un intér�t dans la formation d'un club et que les membres ont augmenté à 122; et

Attendu que le ruban d'ouverture officielle a été coupé par l'homme et la femme les plus �gée du club;

Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres de cette Assemblée félicitent Indian Sluice Seniors Club pour son ouverture officielle et leur souhaitent un grand succès.

M. le Président, je demande l'adoption de cette résolution sans préavis et sans débat.

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

Whereas the Indian Sluice Seniors Club was officially opened on Tuesday, June 14th at the Twin Village Social Club in Amiraults Hill; and

[Page 4866]

Whereas under guidance of club president Alain Doucette, the club has quickly grown to 122 members; and

Whereas the official opening ceremonial ribbon was cut by the club's oldest male member and the club's oldest female member;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Indian Sluice Seniors Club on its official opening and wish them continued success in the coming 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.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 2819

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Glace Bay native Scott Cuzner is a member of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra; and

Whereas the Youth Orchestra attended this summer's Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival, which is a showcase of some of the best and brightest youth orchestras from across the world; and

Whereas this year Mr. Cuzner and the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra won first prize in this prestigious international competition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Scott Cuzner and the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra on their first-place prize and wish Scott the best of luck in the future with his extremely talented band, Back Pocket Material.

[Page 4867]

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 Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2820

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

Whereas Kirsten Longva, a former Grade 12 culinary student of Memorial High School made the long trek from Wreck Cove to Sydney Mines for three years to attend the only composite high school in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Kirsten won a gold in the 2011 Nova Scotia Skills Competition at Memorial qualifying her to attend the Skills Canada National Competition, Canada's largest trade and technology challenge, held in Quebec City; and

Whereas Kirsten is now attending a two-year culinary program at Holland College in P.E.I., following her passion for cuisine and planning her future in the field of culinary arts;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kirsten on her award and wish her every success as she pursues her future in the culinary industry.

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 4868]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2821

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

Whereas Weymouth Volunteer Fire Department recently held their annual Christmas and awards banquet; and

Whereas Josh Morine was presented the First Responder of the Year Award and Ryan Marshall was named Firefighter of the Year; and

Whereas in addition to these awards, Chief Roy Mullen and firefighter Maxine Doucette were presented with Exemplary Service medals for their 20 years in the fire department;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Josh Morine, Ryan Marshall, Chief Roy Mullen, and Maxine Doucette on their awards and dedication to volunteer firefighting.

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 Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2822

[Page 4869]

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

Whereas victims of violence and tragedy can use any help in overcoming and dealing with these terrible situations; and

Whereas for the past four years, students at Sherwood Park Education Centre have been making stuffed toys and blankets to donate to victims of violence and tragedy; and

Whereas the students themselves not only make the toys and blankets but also donate the materials needed for the projects;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank the students from Sherwood Park Education Centre for their work in making the lives of victims of violence and tragedy a little better with their fine work.

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 West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2823

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

Whereas Ron and Nancy Arenburg discovered Project Lifesaver, a U.S. organization that markets a Canadian-made device that is supported by volunteers and the province; and

Whereas a number of search and rescue units and the RCMP are interested in the device and the Valley Search and Rescue Unit raised dollars to buy and test the equipment; and

Whereas more families are encouraged to explore Project Lifesaver if someone in their family has autism or Alzheimer's, as this unit could save their life;

[Page 4870]

Therefore be it resolved this House congratulate and thank Ron and Nancy Arenburg for Project Lifesaver.

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 Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 2824

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas in 2008, the Province of Nova Scotia passed legislation creating an award for long service for paramedics, celebrating their years of service to Nova Scotians; and

Whereas Petit-de-Grat resident Barry Tracey received his long-service medal this summer after 20 years as a paramedic; and

Whereas Barry is passionate about education, paramedicine, and his community, having been an educator in our province's emergency medical services system for more than 13 years, and was an active participant in the PARTY (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth) program;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Barry Tracey on receiving his 20-year long-service award and thank him for his service to the health care needs of our community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4871]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2825

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

Whereas Mike Eaglestone moved to Nova Scotia with his parents at a very early age from Brampton, Ontario, and grew up in the Dartmouth area of the province, and after finishing public school, attended the Nova Scotia Community College to learn the trade of welding; and

Whereas Mike Eaglestone married and moved to Lake Echo approximately 29 years ago, and it is here that he brought up his son and two daughters, worked in the welding trade, and became a submarine welder at HMCS Dockyard; and

Whereas Mike Eaglestone opened his own business, which is A-Tech Welding at 1925 Highway No. 7 in East Preston, and has run this successful business for the past 18 years, normally employing two to three employees during peak periods;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge Mike Eaglestone's dedication and determination in establishing a successful business in this province.

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 Colchester North.

[Page 4872]

RESOLUTION NO. 2826

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

Whereas the Sedgwick Memorial Presbyterian Church in Tatamagouche, Colchester North, held a special memorial hymn sing recently; and

Whereas this special event was held to honour the church's 85th Anniversary; and

Whereas monetary donations received during the landmark celebration will be used to fund ongoing maintenance to the building;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate the members of Sedgwick Memorial Presbyterian Church on their 85th Anniversary and wish them success with their ongoing fundraising efforts.

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. 2827

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

Whereas the environment is increasingly top of mind for businesses and residents in our province; and

Whereas many businesses recognize this importance and have added environmental principles to their business practices; and

Whereas on June 6th, the Eco-Efficiency Centre recognized Ambassatours Gray Line for their environmental practices at their 12th annual Environmental Excellence in Business breakfast;

[Page 4873]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Ambassatours Gray Line on receiving this award and for their commitment to environmentally-friendly practices.

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 Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 2828

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

Whereas Tri-County Regional School Board bus driver Daphne Mood has been a bus driver for almost 18 years and was the first full-time female bus driver for the then-Yarmouth District School Board; and

Whereas on the afternoon of November 24, 2011, Brendon Coulstring, a Grade 7 Maple Grove Education Centre student, was taking Daphne Mood's bus home when he began choking on a candy; and

Whereas Daphne Mood, Brendon's bus driver since his first day of school in Grade Primary, quickly applied her sound judgment and utilized her first aid training to assist him expel the candy;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize Tri-County Regional School Board bus driver Daphne Mood for her quick thinking and heroic actions, and thank her for her commitment to the safety of the students who are fortunate enough to be in her care as they travel on her school bus.

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

[Page 4874]

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 Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 2829

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas music had been a cornerstone of tradition in Glace Bay; and

Whereas Glace Bay native Nathan Bishop has been playing in bands across this country since he was a youngster in his high school band; and

Whereas this past June, Mr. Bishop was able to release his first solo album entitled Lovers, Leavers and Believers - sounds like the House of Assembly, Mr. Speaker;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Nathan Bishop on his success so far in the music industry, and wish him all the best in 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.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2830

[Page 4875]

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

Whereas every year, members of the forestry industry are rewarded for their commitment to sustainability; and

Whereas Richfield Forestry of Digby County, which has been in operation since 1980, planted 500,000 trees on their lot this year; and

Whereas this year Richfield Forestry was awarded the Western District Woodlot Owner of the Year and the provincial Woodlot Owner of the Year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Richfield Forestry on their awards and efforts in creating sustainable practices in the forestry sector.

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 West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2831

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

Whereas at age 24, Chris Theriau is at the peak of his illustrious career as the best hurdler in Nova Scotia history; and

Whereas Chris is the forerunner to receive the Athletics Nova Scotia Male Athlete of the Year award in 2011; and

Whereas Chris' lifetime dream is to be a member of the 2012 Canadian Olympic team in London, England;

[Page 4876]

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Chris Theriau of Canaan, Nova Scotia, as he makes plans to compete for Canada in London in 2012.

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 Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 2832

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Power of Positive Change Award is given out by the Minister of Education to recognize public school students who demonstrate leadership organizing a school or community activity or show exemplary behaviour promoting positive attitudes; and

Whereas Grade 12 Richmond Academy student Charcy Britten-Boudreau received the award for her work in helping to coordinate a breakfast and lunch program and was instrumental in developing a clothing boutique in her school called GivR; and

Whereas Charcy also participates on several committees and teams at Richmond Academy and in her community;

Therefore be it resolved the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Charcy Britten-Boudreau on receiving a Power of Positive Change Award and commend her for her leadership in her school and community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4877]

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 is 1:23 p.m. and we will end at 2:23 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM. - BOWATER PKG.: FUNDING - CONDITIONS

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, last week the Premier came forward with a package to assist Bowater, and as part of that package there was $23.75 million to purchase land. My question to the Premier is, what conditions are in place to ensure that that $23.75 million of taxpayers' money is used to keep the mill open in Liverpool, instead of going to the parent company?

THE PREMIER » : Mr. Speaker, the proceeds are to be used for the general benefit of the business.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians need to know that their money is being spent prudently and that there are conditions that this company must meet to ensure the security of this investment, yet in this agreement there were no such conditions. My question to the Premier is, why would the Premier sign an agreement that would allow a business to take millions of taxpayers' dollars out of Nova Scotia to their parent company?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, this is a purchase of land. We are purchasing from them some 25,000 acres of land. The reason why we're doing that is to fulfill our responsibility to reach the 12 per cent protected goal that, incidentally, that Party voted for.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, the community in Queens County just recently voted, as part of the concessions that the workers in that community have made, to lay off part of their fellow citizens. They voted that 100 of their neighbours will lose their jobs, as part of this deal that the Premier of our province signed that allowed $23 million to purchase land, to leave our province and go somewhere else to secure jobs in another province. I want to know what this Premier is going to say to those 100 families who are without work. They now know that $23 million under his agreement have gone elsewhere to create employment for other Canadians.

[Page 4878]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think it's now abundantly clear to everyone that the Leader of the Official Opposition has no idea what he is talking about. First of all this agreement is put in place - it purchased 25,000 acres of high-conservation value for the Province of Nova Scotia. Secondly, it helped secure some 2,000 jobs on the South Shore of Nova Scotia and why is the Leader of the Official Opposition so opposed to rural economic development?

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

PREM. - RURAL N.S.: CRISIS - ACKNOWLEDGE

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, we'll see who is really opposed to rural economic development, because one of the reasons that $50 million of taxpayers' money is going to the Bowater mill is because of the overlying policies of the NDP on taxes, on power rates, on labour laws. They are creating a crisis in rural Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the Premier is, will he finally acknowledge that there is, in fact, a real crisis across all of rural Nova Scotia - in Queens, in southwestern Nova Scotia, in the Strait area - and get on with the job of creating jobs rather than throwing them away?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, thanks to this government the taxes on business in this province are now the lowest they have been in some 20 years. We are turning the corner on 20 years of the worst economic performance in the history of this province.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, they are turning the corner all right - 6,500 jobs lost in rural Nova Scotia under this government. That is quite a way to turn the corner and, in spite of the evidence of the loss of 6,500 jobs, the Premier denies that is a crisis in rural Nova Scotia and a very expensive crisis, indeed.

Mr. Speaker, Resolute Forest Products, otherwise known as AbitibiBowater, recently made an unsolicited bid of $130 million to buy Fibretec in Quebec, for the production of newsprint, but in Nova Scotia his government has to do the investing on their behalf.

My question to the Premier is, why does he continue to deny that his policies have made Nova Scotia an expensive place to create jobs when Quebec is worth investing in, but he has to do the investing here?

THE PREMIER « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, I'm sure that the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party - I realize they are constrained for research these days, but if they go to Statistics Canada from the last report in November, what they will find is that the labour force has increased, that employment is up, and unemployment is down.

[Page 4879]

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier can cherry-pick statistics but that is cold comfort to the 6,500 residents of rural Nova Scotia who don't have a job today because of the economic policies of his government. But he's not content with that because they continue along with their labour agenda.

The Canadian Manufacturers Exporters is one of the many groups that oppose the government's decision to ram through first contract arbitration. Their members, their manufacturers employ 34,500 Nova Scotians in rural areas. Last week they said that they view the model selected by this government for first contract arbitration as the worst possible scenario for harmonious labour relations, and I will table that for the benefit of the House, Mr. Speaker. They went on to say that in their view, a wise view, the government should focus on priorities like the economy and creating jobs. The Premier apparently used to believe that in Opposition when he called for the same thing.

My question to the Premier is, will the Premier do what he said he would do, in Opposition, and start attracting jobs to rural Nova Scotia, rather than scaring them away?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, it's clear that the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party just can't stand good news. It's great for this province to see that unemployment is down, that employment is up, that the labour force is increasing. This is all good news, but in addition, we have the lowest unemployment rate in Atlantic Canada.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM.: BOWATER DEAL - DETAILS

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier has said repeatedly that Bowater represents $6 million to $10 million a year in tax revenue for the province. According to the Premier's numbers, over the next five years, Bowater will generate between $30 million and $50 million. The deal announced on Friday is also worth $50 million over five years, or maybe $90 million. That means the Premier could possibly spend almost $1 million for every person who has just been laid off at Bowater. My question to the Premier is, is breaking even the best Nova Scotians can hope for on this deal or does the government expect to lose upward of $60 million over the life of this agreement?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, this government is prepared to support the 2,000 families on the South Shore who are dependent upon Bowater and upon its supply chain for their livelihood. For them, this deal is not - even though the purchase of the land is a really good thing for the province, even though supporting modernizing and making the mill more efficient is a good thing, what those families are really focused on is the fact that they will have a livelihood that will support those families for the years to come.

[Page 4880]

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, if this is the Premier's idea of economic development, our province is in big trouble. When asked what Bowater had brought to the table, the Premier replied that the company had incurred multiple losses over the last number of years. There are hundreds of businesses in Nova Scotia who have lost money over the last few years under the NDP Government. My question to the Premier is, who should businesses contact in the Premier's office to get the same deal he's offered to Bowater?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, if the Leader of the Official Opposition is against assisting Bowater, he should just say that so that the people of Nova Scotia and the people of the South Shore know where he stands. The reality is that you had a company that over the last three years had lost somewhere in the vicinity of $50 million. That meant there had to be a cash infusion into that plant from the parent company. They were investing because they believed in the plant. We are doing the same thing.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, as part of the deal there is also a clause that allows the province to purchase an additional 50,000 acres of land at a price of $800 an acre. My question to the Premier is, would the Premier clarify what could trigger such a purchase, one that could cost the taxpayers of Nova Scotia an additional $40 million?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again, I think it's clear the Leader of the Official Opposition doesn't understand the operation of an option. An option is just that - it allows the government to have the first right to purchase high-quality, high-value land from Bowater if we should decide to do so.

This province is engaged in a process where we will get to the 12 per cent of protected lands that was set out in legislation that was supported by both of the other Parties. The only way to get there is by the purchase of more land. That is necessary in order to get to the 12 per cent. What this does is it allows us an option to purchase what we know is high-quality, high-conservation-value land from Bowater.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition on a new question.

PREM.: MICHELIN CONCERNS - FORTHRIGHTNESS

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, on November 3rd, we heard the Premier mislead Nova Scotians. I asked the Premier about a news report that said Michelin believed first contract arbitration will make it harder to attract investment in Nova Scotia. The Premier blamed inaccurate news reports. He said these reports were simply not true.

Those remarks were misleading. We all heard Michelin come before a committee of this House and tell us that they told the Premier exactly that first contract would affect future investment in the Province of Nova Scotia. My question to the Premier is, will the Premier admit to Nova Scotians that he intentionally misled us about the concerns of Michelin?

[Page 4881]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Using the words "intentionally" and "misleading" is unparliamentary. I would ask the honourable Leader to withdraw that remark please.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Certainly Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw that remark and I will ask the Premier to admit to Nova Scotians that he was not forthright about Michelin's concerns.

THE PREMIER « » : No, I was entirely forthright and I remember having a meeting, I remember what was said and I stand by it.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier broke his promises not to raise taxes, keep every emergency room open, to balance the budget, to create 2,200 jobs per year. We now know we cannot trust the Premier's representation of conversations he had with important employers in Nova Scotia. It is a sad state of affairs when Nova Scotians and major employers need to get everything in writing from our Premier. My question is, will the Premier apologize for misleading Nova Scotians about his conversations with Michelin.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, if there is an apology to be offered it should be to the Leader of the Official Opposition for questions like that.

MR. MCNEIL « » : I think I heard the Premier say he wanted to apologize to me, Mr. Speaker. I don't think he has to apologize to me but it would help if he would apologize to Nova Scotians.

The press asked the Premier about his contradictory statements and the Premier said that it was despite the clear contradiction, he was telling the truth. He said that Michelin considers a number of factors when investing in their plants - taxes, workforce, labour costs, regulations and the general cost of doing business. Mr. Speaker, the Premier thinks he knows Michelin's business better than they do. We have the highest taxes in the country, a shrinking workforce, unstable regulations, high power, high fuel costs, making doing business in Nova Scotia extremely expensive.

Mr. Speaker, we score badly on almost every indicator that the Premier is using, so my question to the Premier is, how can this Premier say by putting another mark against our province it will not hurt Michelin's ability to attract future investment into our province?

THE PREMIER « » : First of all the Leader of the Official Opposition is right I should have said if there is an apology from the Leader of the Official Opposition it should be for questions like that so I clarify, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 4882]

There are many good reasons to do business in Nova Scotia but probably the best reason to do business in Nova Scotia is that we don't have a Liberal Government.

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

ERDT - JOB STRATEGY: FAILURE - ACKNOWLEDGE

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, last Friday Statistics Canada data showed that Nova Scotia recorded year over year job losses in every region except for Halifax. Cape Breton is down 1,300 jobs; the North Shore is down 1,300 jobs; Annapolis Valley is down 2,200 jobs; and southern Nova Scotia is down 1,700 jobs. The same day the NDP spent tens of millions of dollars to protect jobs in Queens County, but there are already 6,500 jobs lost across rural Nova Scotia. The Premier continues to deny that rural Nova Scotia is in a crisis despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Rural Economic Development and Tourism. How many months of recorded job losses are going to have to slip by, and how many people have to lose their jobs, before the minister will own up to the fact his job strategy is nothing but a farce and his government has failed the people of rural Nova Scotia?

HON. PERCY PARIS » : Mr. Speaker, I'm proud to stand in my place and boast about the jobsHere strategy. For the first time - I've said this time and time again in this House and I will say it again, maybe the message will get through - we have a strategy, the strategy is called jobsHere. It is working. We are going to stay the course. Our strategy has been so involved. I realize that not everybody will understand it. I have an open invitation to anyone to call my office and I will arrange for staff to sit down with any member of this House to go through the jobsHere strategy.

MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, this minister doesn't care about jobs. This minister doesn't care about people's livelihood. This minister doesn't care about families. He, like all other members over there, is too afraid to go against their special interest friends who poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into your campaign over the years.

My question through you to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism is, how many rural Nova Scotians have to lose their jobs before he admits he has failed?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I hope you will indulge me just for a moment. The Cape Breton Post, there's an article in the Cape Breton Post dated Monday, December 5th, the caption reads: "Cape Breton's economic cloud may have more than one silver lining."

[Page 4883]

Mr. Speaker, it goes on to say: "Norman Xu from China works at the International Centre at CBU, and is very upbeat about Cape Breton." (Interruptions) Very upbeat. And: "Sylvia Gerbasi came to Cape Breton with her husband, who teaches at the Coast Guard College. She mentioned the wonderful hospitality but urged people to think positively about our future."

Mr. Speaker, I will table this, but there are other things in that, and before I do table it I would ask the Page to make me a copy because I'm sure I will be using it again at a future date. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I would like to remind the member that using the word "you" in an answer is unparliamentary, and I was going to ask that all members use proper parliamentary procedure in the House. I would ask the members to refrain from using the word "you" or "your" in your answers or your questions.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, we would like to thank the federal government for creating good opportunities for jobs in Cape Breton. This minister and the Premier « » (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Order, please.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North has the floor on his final supplementary.

MR. ORRELL « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This minister and the Premier are completely out of touch with reality in Nova Scotia. Businesses and representatives for thousands of Nova Scotians came to the Legislature and said this government is risking investment and jobs in our province, but they shrugged and are going to ram the legislation through anyway.

Mr. Speaker, my question through you to the minister is, will the minister stand up to the Premier and the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, and stand up for the 6,500 people who are jobless during the holiday season and tell them of the crusade to ram first contract arbitration through the House?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, the member opposite has referenced Statistics Canada in his delivery when he was asking the question. I just want to read another article, and this one is from The ChronicleHerald. I'm sure we all want to hear what this article has to say. This is December 2, 2011: "You're really one of the only provinces" - Nova Scotia - "that has a statistically significant employment change or an increase."

[Page 4884]

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM. - FCA: COMPROMISE - REFUSAL EXPLAIN

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, employers say that the model of first contract arbitration being proposed by this government will hurt business and threaten future investment in Nova Scotia. Sobeys said that the current model of FCA being proposed will create a very unstable and potentially unworkable model for Nova Scotia employers. Sobeys also says that there are ways to compromise and make first contract arbitration more agreeable for all involved. However, this government continues to refuse reasoned reasoning and resist compromise. My question to the Premier is, why does the Premier refuse to compromise on his model of FCA?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, it's a good bill. It will lead to greater economic stability. It will mean there will be employment stability. It is currently operating in six jurisdictions covering some 85 per cent of Canadians, and in fact, it covers some 15 per cent of Nova Scotians. There are decades of experience with this kind of legislation across the country and it works well.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, the government's model of FCA, better known as the Manitoba model of FCA, covers 4 per cent of the Canadian population, and the Premier knows that. Once again, he's misleading this House.

Last week during the Law Amendments Committee, Clearwater, who employs 1,100 Nova Scotians, also suggested that there were ways we could move away from the Manitoba model and make first contract arbitration more agreeable. Both Sobeys and Clearwater are willing to make compromises on this legislation. They are trying to lessen the negative impact this model of FCA will have on their workforce, but the employers have no voice with this government. My question to the Premier is, what do Nova Scotia employers have to do for the Premier to listen and reconsider the Manitoba model of FCA that his government is trying to impose on Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the legislation that has been brought forward by the minister is good legislation. It will be good for both employers and employees in the province. It means that there is now a way for the resolution of a dispute to take place that doesn't end in a strike or a lockout, doesn't end in a loss of productivity, doesn't lead to a problem in our economy. So this is good legislation, and I believe that in the end we will see the clear benefit.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, we've had debate in this House and the government has been unable to tell us what labour disruptions they're trying to fix. We've had relative labour peace in this province. There has been co-operation between employers and employees when it came to settling. It's called free collective bargaining, which at one point this Party was against. This House, including government members, are hearing from constituents who are worried about their jobs and the state of the Nova Scotia economy. Major employers in this province like Michelin, Sobeys, and Clearwater say their businesses would be affected by the first contract arbitration model that the Premier is pushing through, but he will not listen.

[Page 4885]

My question to the Premier is, will the Premier allow the members of Kings South, Kings North, Pictou West, Pictou Centre, Pictou East, Lunenburg, and Lunenburg West to vote with their constituents and not with his political ideology?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, they will. That's why they support this legislation.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Argyle.

ERDT - FCA: MIN./MLAS - CONVERSATIONS

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, in recent days we've seen job creator after job creator, representing tens of thousands of workers, come forward and urge government to abandon their job-killing legislation. One of those job creators is Sobeys. Dave Fearon, Sobeys' vice-president of human resources, when appearing before the Law Amendments Committee, called the legislation totally unnecessary. Chilling words from one of Nova Scotia's largest employers, but surely the MLAs from Pictou County - the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Energy, and the member for Pictou East - and even perhaps the member for Antigonish, have done their job and raised the serious concerns of this major employer in their region with the members of Cabinet.

My question through you, Mr. Speaker, is to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, since the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education has refused to listen to the concerns of job creators in Nova Scotia, can the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism enlighten us to the details of the conversations that he has had with his colleagues, the MLAs for Pictou County and Antigonish, surrounding the issue of first contract imposition? (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : I'll ask the honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism to answer the question, please.

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, we have had extensive conversations with businesses throughout Canada. That collaboration is what led to, along with an esteemed panel, is what led to our jobsHere strategy.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : I'm going to try it again a little bit. We know full well that Sobeys wasn't the only job creator that made its reservations known; Michelin was another. When appearing before the Law Amendments Committee, Michelin North America President Dana LeBlanc noted that in the future when Michelin is looking to invest, head office may take a pass on Nova Scotia because of the government's anti-investment legislation.

[Page 4886]

Now, we all know that Michelin is a major employer in a number of parts of the province - the Waterville plant in Kings County comes to mind. So my question through you, Mr. Speaker, is at what point did the Minister of Education and the member for Kings North come to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism to express their concerns about how this legislation could result in job creators passing on Kings County when considering where to make those new investments, what did the minister tell them?

MR. PARIS « » : I thought I heard the Minister of Education there. Mr. Speaker, we're discussing a bill before the House and my question is, is that appropriate?

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, it really is obvious that nobody has talked to anybody is what is happening here.

Let me try one more time and maybe we'll find out something. Michelin is also a major employer on the South Shore. All members of this House know that, but it's not the only one. Clearwater Seafoods President Colin MacDonald also came before Law Amendments Committee to raise serious concerns about the government's agenda. Mr. MacDonald even told the committee his company is being actively pursued by other jurisdictions with more competitive investment environments. Clearwater and Michelin are two of the most important job creators on the South Shore. Surely the MLAs of the region would have come to their Cabinet colleagues and urged the government to abandon this agenda that would lead to a loss of new investment in the areas that they represent.

So what did the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism tell the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Minister of Community Services, the MLAs for Queens, Lunenburg and Lunenburg West, when they came to him and expressed their concerns about the potential job losses and missed investment opportunities that this legislation could bring to their region?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, my response remains the same; it's an issue that's in front of the House and that's where it should be.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Yarmouth.

PREM. - FUNDING: REGIONAL FAVOURITISM - EXPLAIN

[Page 4887]

MR. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, this Premier announced that he would give up to $90 million to Bowater to run for a few more years. However, when the people of Yarmouth came to this government and asked for $3 million to support a vital economic ferry link to the United States, this Premier flatly said no.

Mr. Speaker, will the Premier explain to the people of Yarmouth why his government is willing to dole out millions of dollars to keep a mill running while he wouldn't even consider $3 million to keep a viable ferry service running until a practical plan was in place to replace it?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the Government of Nova Scotia very proudly invested $22 million into the Yarmouth ferry over a number of years. Unfortunately what happened there was that the ridership was collapsing and therefore the level of subsidy was continuing to grow so the demands of the service were continuing to grow. In fact, we are, of course, working with the group in Yarmouth to see if they can find a viable service, one that would have some chance of sustainability. If that's the case, then we would support the service.

I would make this point, Mr. Speaker - the investment in Bowater is an investment in the South Shore, including people who work and live in Yarmouth County.

MR. CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, my question was that Yarmouth was told that this government couldn't come up with $3 million to continue their vital economic link, yet every other region in the province gets support for their projects. Why is the Premier playing favourites with the regions of Nova Scotia instead of treating us all fairly?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all, it wasn't $3 million, it was $6 million. It was another $6 million after - (Interruptions) You see, Mr. Speaker, it's clear the members opposite don't even understand the most basic part of the issue in their own areas.

It was $6 million and it was increasing because it was a cost-plus contract. It meant that if the cost of the business continued to increase, then that responsibility fell to the government, not to the owner or operator of the service. Unfortunately, the people of Yarmouth found themselves in this position because the Liberal Government cancelled the Marine Atlantic ferry that used to go into Yarmouth.

MR. CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, there is someone that doesn't understand the issue around the Yarmouth ferry and it's the Premier who's sitting on that side of the House. If he needs any more of a business case, he can go chat to every single tourism operator in the province who is living the business case for a Yarmouth ferry each and every day. The fact is this Premier does not have a vision for economic development in this province and certain regions suffer because of it. What is this Premier going to do to get a boat back in Yarmouth's harbour? (Interruption)

[Page 4888]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, order please. I will ask the honourable member to take his place, please.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, what we are doing is we are working with all the stakeholders in the Yarmouth area and I have been completely open to each one of the businesses there, to talk to them about what they see as a viable alternative to what was a vastly expensive service, one that was costing almost $450 for every person who was landed in Yarmouth.

There is a good group of businesspeople there who are looking earnestly, both at an economic development model for the region that will recognize that the business models have changed, and at the possibility of a ferry service. That is the responsible thing for a government to do. What is not responsible is to continue to put money into a money-losing operation with no chance of sustainability.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Hants West.

HEALTH & WELLNESS: NURSES' UNIFORMS - PROCUREMENT PROCESS

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. In late October, the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union voted to adopt a common uniform for all nurses across the province. Some specialties have been excluded from the change but by and large all nurses will now be outfitted in black pants or skirts and a white blouse. The government announced that this transition will come with an estimated cost of $500,000 a year, which would be the responsibility of the district health authorities.

My question through you to the Minister of Health and Wellness is, what will the procurement process be for the businesses interested in being a supplier of these new uniforms?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I believe that the uniform procurement will happen at the district health authority level, but I will certainly be happy to look into that for the honourable member and provide him with additional information.

MR. PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, Hens Uniforms, located in my hometown of Windsor, sells scrubs to local health care workers. Hens sells their scrubs in every pattern and frequently does special orders for customers on request. Given recent changes, they could see quite a drop in sales without the opportunity to supply the new uniforms to local nurses.

My question to the minister is, will Hens Uniforms and suppliers elsewhere in the province have a fair opportunity to bid when tenders come out for these respective uniforms?

[Page 4889]

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, I'd be very happy to look into this matter for the honourable member and provide him with information. If there is a tendering process that goes with the uniforms, there would be no exclusion of any local businesses, such as the one that he is referring to - I can't imagine.

MR. PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that clarification. We certainly want that local business to have the opportunity.

The recent 3 per cent cut for the district health authorities in this province has put a great deal of pressure on them. A number of officials from health authorities around the province have expressed their concern over their budget cuts and the impact it will have on patient care.

My final question to the minister is, the district health authorities are cutting front-line people. At a time like this, how does the minister expect them to deal with a $0.5 million expenditure on top of everything else?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, the issue around nurses' uniforms was brought to the bargaining table by the Nurses' Union. The employers that were at the table accepted the proposal. I don't know all of the details, but my recollection is that a monetary amount will be transferred to individual nurses, because they purchased their own uniforms. But as I indicted to the honourable member, I'd be more than happy to look into this with respect to the company and his area and provide him with additional information.

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

STATUS OF WOMEN - SEXUAL ASSAULT: PREVENTION - PLANS

MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, today is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. All over Canada people are remembering the 14 young women who were murdered during the l'École Polytechnique massacre in 1989 - murdered simply because they were women.

While we've come a long way when it comes to women's equality, we still have a long way to go. Nova Scotia has the highest rate of sexual assault and some of the lowest charge, conviction, and sentencing rates in Canada; 44 per cent of the victims of sexual assault are under the age of 25, and in 65 per cent of sexual assault cases reported to Halifax Regional Police in 2007, the victims knew the accused. During their lifetime, 83 per cent of women with disabilities will be sexually assaulted. Mr. Speaker, this is unconscionable.

[Page 4890]

Earlier this year we finally saw an increase in the core funding for the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre. Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for the Status of Women. What concrete steps will this government take now to specifically prevent and reduce the rate of sexual assault and rape?

HON. MARILYN MORE « » : This morning in the Red Room we were joined by a number of representatives from women's groups and marginalized communities. I just want to say that the government takes the issues raised by the honourable member very seriously. We are actively working within government to implement over 31 of the recommendations that were directed by the domestic violence task force toward government. We also have well underway our consultations with community-based organizations, so that we have a more collaborative effort to work on these issues.

These societal issues have arisen over generations, and certainly that's no excuse, but I think we all appreciate that it's going to take time and resources to work together on them and we are committed to aggressively taking on that task.

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, victims of sexual assault often say they are victimized twice - once by their aggressor and again because of the lack of services that are made available to them. Rape can have a devastating effect on women and their families. For many, the only way to start the healing process is through therapy and psychological counselling. Victims of sexual assault in Nova Scotia are not able to access the services they need. In fact, victims of rape in Nova Scotia can wait over six months to access counselling. The situation is dire in rural communities.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women is, how will this government ensure that services for victims of sexual assault are immediately available for women across Nova Scotia?

MS. MORE « » : Mr. Speaker, as I explained this morning in my presentation in the Red Room, we are taking a multi-pronged approach to this. We are enhancing the support services for women and families who undergo violence, but certainly we're also looking at the prevention side of things. We will shortly be launching a new strategy called Neighbours, Friends & Family whereby we will raise awareness in the province, that it's everyone's responsibility when they hear about, or are told about, a case where a woman has suffered violence or is under the threat of abuse and that we all have a responsibility to bring that to the attention of the authorities, both in terms of the consequences for the abuser but also to provide interventions and support for the woman involved. Certainly this is a societal issue and we all have to take responsibility in ending violence against women.

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, organizations that serve victims of sexual assault - and I'm talking about sexual assault, a subsection of domestic violence, which the minister was speaking about - they're facing increasing funding pressures. Like all Nova Scotians, they are dealing with increasing power rates, high fuel costs, and high taxes. Simply put, women's community-based services are underfunded and understaffed and when they do access funding, they can only secure funding for one year at a time making future planning extremely difficult.

[Page 4891]

Mr. Speaker, given that Nova Scotia has the highest rate of sexual assaults in the country, will the Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women commit today to ensuring that women's organizations get the multi-year funding they require to best meet the needs of women in their communities?

MS. MORE « » : Mr. Speaker, our government is taking a very balanced approach. We are putting in place the three-year strategy. We've in the past provided additional funding to transition houses and to the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre. In fact, our department has provided money to do a pilot project so that they can document the approach they're using and that can be a model for other communities across this province. We're working very closely with our community-based service deliverers and we certainly recognize the value of the work they're doing and, within our means, we are doing everything possible to support them in their efforts.

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

FIN. - VICTIMS' ASSISTANCE FUND: CONDITION - REPT.

MS. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. The Minister of Finance has the control and supervision of the Victims' Assistance Fund as set out in Section 11(1) of the Victims' Rights and Services Act. Now that fund comes from victim-fine surcharge that's collected by the Department of Justice on all the fines in this province. Section 11(5) of the Victims' Rights and Services Act states very clearly: "The Minister of Finance shall annually make a report to the House of Assembly showing the condition of the Fund."

Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, when was the last time that the minister tabled a report on the condition of the Victims' Assistance Fund?

HON. GRAHAM STEELE » : Mr. Speaker, I have to tell the member honestly that in the time that I've been the minister this is not a subject that has been raised with me inside or outside the Department of Finance. It's a good question. I ought to be able to get the information to the member so I will take it under advisement.

MS. WHALEN « » : I appreciate the answer. The minister may be aware that this is a subject that I've been asking questions about, both at Public Accounts Committee and through freedom of information requests. We've been trying to find out more about the funds that are collected and how they're disbursed. The only information that we were able to find that's public at the moment was the Volume 2 of the Public Accounts last year which just gives a balance sheet for that fund. It's only a snapshot, it doesn't show how the funds were used, what services are available to victims from that money, et cetera. I will table that though, perhaps the minister could start with having a look at that.

[Page 4892]

My question to the minister really is, why has it been neglected for so long to have annual reports on the state of this fund?

MR. STEELE « » : I have no information on this particular subject available to me, so I'll take the question under advisement. I'd be happy to get back to the member and the House.

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, that is a good answer. I'd like the minister today to commit to bringing in a full report on the condition of that fund similar to the reporting that we see on all the other trust funds that are held by the province. We do get those on a regular basis here. So my question to the minister is, will he commit to doing so as soon as possible?

MR. STEELE « » : What I will commit to doing is taking it under advisement, finding out what is going on with this particular matter which has not been brought to my attention before in any way during my two and a half years as minister. I'll be happy to report back to the member and the House.

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

NAT. RES. - CLEAR-CUTTING: TECHNICAL DEFINITION - RELEASE

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : On August 16th, when the government finally realized its long-overdue Natural Resources Strategy, we learned the fluffy, non-technical definition of a clear-cut. It's almost a full year since this government announced a 50 per cent reduction in clear-cutting targets and we still do not have a technical definition of what a clear-cut is. Mr. Speaker, my question through you to the minister is, will the minister admit that his half-hearted performance has created uncertainty for this important industry and will he release the final technical definition of a clear-cut for this vital industry which is now in turmoil?

HON. CHARLIE PARKER « » : We certainly understand Nova Scotians' concern with the amount of clear-cutting that's been going on in this province for far, far too long, that's why we brought forth the Natural Resources Strategy. The path we share and part of our initiative and part of our action plan is to reduce clear-cutting to 50 per cent within five years. The clock is now ticking on that five-year period and we fully agree that we have to reduce the amount of clear-cutting in the province. We have a layman's definition, we're working on a technical definition, and I'll give you further details on those as we go along in this answer sequence.

[Page 4893]

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I mean, even this minister, after this length of time, with the very capable staff that he has should be able to come up with a definition of clear-cutting.

Mr. Speaker, it is those people on that side of the House who have said they are going to reduce something by 50 per cent. But like a lot of things they do they have no idea what it was they were reducing. At the release of the Natural Resources Strategy launch, Andrew Fedora, executive director of the Federation of Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners said, ". . . it is a little frustrating because we have been working on this for over three years and there is still no definitive answers in terms of what is a clear-cut in the province and how specifically will this impact landowners in this province."

Tony Rodgers, executive director of the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters said about the strategy, "It looked academic and soft." I'll table that.

My question through you to the minister is, will the minister admit that he had more than enough time to give a clear, technical definition and terms of reference to the stakeholders who are impacted by this strategy, but that he failed to even provide the technical definition of "clear-cut"?

MR. PARKER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm glad the honourable member recognizes the quality and expertise of the staff we have within the Department of Natural Resources. Thank you for recognizing that. Those department staff have been working hard on a technical definition. We have the layman's definition, which as you mentioned was in the Natural Resources Strategy, the removal of all trees from an area except for those required under the wildlife or watercourse regulations.

The technical definitions - the member mentioned a number of groups. We've consulted with them. We're working with them through our chief forester in the province and we're getting the proper answers, but it's a complicated issue in some ways around basal area and around the number of trees per hectare and the ecosystem management. I can assure you that it's being fully worked on.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, it's a shame that that department, which has such quality individuals doesn't have the same quality leadership. The government has a reputation for targeting small business and industries in rural Nova Scotia, and the small woodlots are no exception. The Federation of Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners, along with many other important groups, have been more than patient through this exercise, but Andrew Fedora says there really hasn't been a process and that since the launch of the Natural Resources Strategy he has seen no definite action from this government - none.

It's typical of this government to create targets and laws through consulting, with little or no regard for the impact on the economy or the families of this province. My final question through you to the minister is, will he release the technical definition of a clear-cut and stop dithering with the livelihood of those in this very vital Nova Scotia industry?

[Page 4894]

MR. PARKER « » : Mr. Speaker, for years and decades really in this province, we've had clear-cutting unchecked, and it's gone on under Progressive Conservative Governments for many, many years. This government now has a plan to change that. We've set a goal of 50 per cent within five years. We have an action plan. We have a Natural Resources Strategy. We're going to change it. We're not going to let it happen any longer.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Kings West.

HEALTH & WELLNESS - HOSP.: CODE CENSUS PROBLEM - PRIORITIZE

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday Nova Scotians learned of yet another Code Census at both the QEII and the Dartmouth General. These aren't patients clogging the emergency department because they have the sniffles. These are patients who arrived at the emergency room, were deemed sick enough to be admitted to a hospital bed, and there were no beds available.

From November 2010 to November 2011, there were 93 Code Census calls at the QEII and 173 at Dartmouth General. My question to the Minister of Health and Wellness is, given the frequency of Code Census at our largest tertiary hospital over the last year, when is addressing this problem going to become a priority?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, improving emergency care services all over the province is indeed a priority. This government has invested literally millions of dollars into emergency care services in the last two and a half years from one end of the province to the other. We are seeing significant improvements in emergency care across our province. Literally thousands of Nova Scotians have been diverted from emergency departments as a result of very strategic investments. We have a plan and we will continue to implement this plan, and we will see great improvements in the emergency care system.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, we're not in the peak of flu of season; the last time I checked there wasn't an accumulation of ice on the ground to cause an increase in the number of falls. In fact, two years ago, on September 30, 2009, when a Code Census was reported, the minister stated, and I quote, and I'll table the document when I'm finished: "I'm very concerned about this . . . Our government is concerned about it . . . We have a lack of bed capacity on the floors above the emergency room."

My question to the minister is, if the minister knew about the problem and the root cause of the problem in 2009, how come nothing has been done to fix it?

[Page 4895]

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, a number of things have been done. We have put advanced care paramedics in the Capital District Health Authority, into nursing homes, for example. This has meant that fewer seniors are going to our emergency rooms and waiting for hours for care that can be provided in long-term care.

We have just awarded a contract for a new bed management system. This will make a tremendous amount of difference in terms of identifying flow issues in our largest tertiary care system and will result in less pressure.

We have invested in a rapid assessment unit, which literally has diverted thousands of people out of the emergency department, Mr. Speaker. We will continue, as I said, to make smart, strategic investments that will result in significant improvements in our emergency care system.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, the minister may have addressed a faster assessment process but guess what, that doesn't address the fact that there are no beds.

Mr. Speaker, when I reviewed the headlines around the issue of Code Census at the QEII, I have to say it felt like Groundhog Day. January 2004 headline reads: Plan not going to fix ER woes. Nurses, doctors fear biggest problem lack of in-patient beds still not addressed.

My final question is, how many more warnings does this minister need before she gets around to addressing the problem?

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

I would also like to address an issue that I heard during Question Period. The Speaker clearly heard the honourable member for Yarmouth accuse the Premier of being a liar. Such an accusation is clearly unparliamentary and I ask the honourable member to rise and withdraw his remarks.

MR. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, I will apologize to the Premier and to you for using unparliamentary language and withdraw that remark. I do maintain, when it comes to the truth, the Premier has been fast and loose with it, though.

I withdraw the unparliamentary language.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Energy on an introduction.

HON. CHARLIE PARKER « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased this afternoon to introduce in our east gallery some gentlemen who are heavily involved with electricity mobility, electric transportation. I'd ask them to rise as I read their names. First of all, David Swan, the president of DHS Engineering in Nova Scotia and a board member for Electric Mobility Canada; Al Cormier, president and CEO of Electric Mobility Canada; Phil Petsinis, manager - corporate affairs, Electric Mobility Canada; and finally, Jamie MacNeil, Nova Scotia Power. I'd ask you to give them a warm welcome this afternoon. (Applause)

[Page 4896]

MR. SPEAKER « » : We welcome all our guests to the gallery and hope that they enjoy today's proceedings.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove on an introduction.

MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce two distinguished visitors to the west gallery - they tell me they are distinguished. We have two federal Members of Parliament with us: the member for Kings Hants, Scott Brison; and the member who apparently told the member for Argyle, when he heard the tone I was using during Question Period, he thought he was in trouble, the member for Halifax West, Geoff Regan. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : We welcome all our guests to the gallery and hope that they enjoy today's proceedings.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

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

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

The motion is carried.

[2:25 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Becky Kent in the Chair.]

[5:57 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Gordon Gosse, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

[Page 4897]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

We have now reached the moment of interruption. The subject matter was chosen earlier and it reads:

"Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism take the advice of his federal cousin and start getting concerned about job losses under his watch."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

ERDT: JOB LOSSES - CONCERN

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm happy to rise today to participate in this debate submitted by the honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, and the resolution reads:

"Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism take the advice of his federal cousin and start getting concerned about job losses under his watch."

Mr. Speaker, the NDP love to stand in the House and pretend that their jobsHere plan has been very successful. Their plan started with a slogan - a better deal for today's families. Well, I don't know if the NDP Government has a different definition of "today" than I do but we know for certain the families they're referring to when they started that campaign certainly aren't any better off now. Just ask the people in rural Nova Scotia who have lost their jobs if they feel they're better off now. I know 1,300 people in Cape Breton and on the North Shore, who have lost their jobs and given up hope - they don't feel they're better off now. The 2,200 in the Valley don't feel they're better off now.

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians feel like they're being taxed to death. They don't feel like they're getting the bang for their buck that they work so hard for and that buck, that dollar is not going near as far as it used to. They're paying more tax on most things they buy and use most today - the very things we need to survive and the things that are essential for families of today. They worry about jobs for themselves and their children and their grandchildren and for the future generations. Will they be able to survive and remain in this province to earn a living and raise their family?

[Page 4898]

I know I'd love to see my family educated here, stay here to work and raise their family. I'd love to see grandchildren stay here but a lot of us on this side fear that that's not going to be the case.

Mr. Speaker, we worry about economic development and our small towns being able to sustain themselves. They watch and read, week after week, of job losses in the rural areas of Nova Scotia, a crisis that Statistics Canada tells us has now spread even beyond the rural areas. Now with potentially dangerous labour legislation, employers and employees throughout the province are concerned, worried about who could be brought in to make the decisions in their business, decisions that will affect how they do business here. How will their businesses survive and how will future businesses look at investments here?

We're hearing in the Law Amendments Committee about how they are concerned about it and how it will affect their business and how it will affect jobs and their own investment. Nova Scotians know it won't help create new jobs and they worry even more that it will affect the few jobs we still have in this province.

I tell you, Mr. Speaker, the NDP are not working to protect the economy of Nova Scotia. The most recent reports show that Cape Breton and the North Shore have lost 1,300 jobs, as I just said, in the last year. The southern region fared even worse; it lost 1,700 jobs in the last year and, of course, as we heard time and time again, the crisis is felt. It may be worst of all in the Annapolis Valley, which to date is down 2,200 jobs from this time last year.

Those Nova Scotians who are fortunate enough to have a job and go to work every day, those who are fortunate enough to pay the taxes and those who have helped fund the province, don't have it easy either. They find it hard to make ends meet, Mr. Speaker. Some have to decide between heating fuel or groceries. That's not a decision I want people to have to make. Working people are proud and want to work and pay their own way, but it's getting more and more difficult every day.

We hear from the other side there is no crisis. With rising tax rates, rising fuel costs and upcoming hikes in power rates, those people who consider themselves lucky enough to maintain steady employment are finding the salaries and wages they do make are able to get them less and less each month. It's not just the unemployed who are struggling; it's all of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, we heard the other day the member for Preston speak about taking your change and putting it in a cup and at the end of each month add it up. Nickels and dimes go a long way and people in Nova Scotia feel they are being nickled and dimed.

The government keeps trying to sweep this information under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist and ignore that there's even a crisis going on in Nova Scotia. We all know, especially those of us who live in rural Nova Scotia, this crisis does exist.

[Page 4899]

When a federal NDP candidate was in Nova Scotia, he acknowledged there was a crisis with job losses and named it as one of the issues that he was most concerned with. The job crisis in this province has become so real that even the federal NDP have taken notice. Mr. Speaker, they are in Opposition federally, and the provincial NDP, who were in Opposition at one time, were worried about this crisis and these job losses, as well, but now they are in power and don't seem to want to admit it.

Here at home the government insists there is no problem, that the strategy is working, that there is a plan in place and they stand behind it. The thing about a plan, Mr. Speaker, they are wonderful to have and putting all kinds of work into one they gave off the illusion of progress, but plans, by definition, only work part of the time. This is one of those times when the plan just isn't working. About the only thing worse than having no plan at all is having one that doesn't work and refusing to do anything about it. Refusing to admit that you didn't get it right the first time and sticking to a plan that isn't working, gets Nova Scotia nowhere.

Under the jobsHere plan we are just treading water, Mr. Speaker, and the arms and spirits of Nova Scotians are getting tired. Time is ticking and it won't be a long time before more and more Nova Scotians give up and move away. We can see how exhausting it is by watching, month after month, Nova Scotians leaving the workforce. Some simply give up and others pick up their lives and move to greener pastures, end up paying taxes there, raising their family elsewhere. That's not good for our province, not good for our economy, and it erodes our tax base.

Unless part of the NDP plan was to chase Nova Scotians out of the province or to beat the ones into submission that choose to stay, this plan is failing. The plan is failing, but we shouldn't focus on the fact that it's failing. That would be a waste of time and of no use to Nova Scotians. Nova Scotians are waiting for opportunities and jobs. We need to focus on fixing the problem and changing the plan, or creating a whole new plan - whatever it takes - whatever it takes to give every Nova Scotian who is willing to go to work the opportunity to do so, so that individually and as a province we can prosper.

I don't think anybody is surprised that the NDP is failing. I don't think it surprises anybody at all that their plans are not working. The commitments aren't being met and are focusing on all the wrong issues.

There is a process that deals with this issue, it's called an election. When the next election rolls around, voters in the province will hold the NDP accountable for their ineffective plans and broken promises and pointless legislation. That's when we will find out if people in Nova Scotia are happy with the NDP's plans. Just last night I said I have no problem with the NDP saving us some campaign work, but I do not support them doing it at the expense of the people in Nova Scotia.

[Page 4900]

As elected members of the House, it's our job to make sure things are done in this Chamber and throughout government, that they are not only done in the best interests of Nova Scotians, but they're done in the best, most effective way possible, regardless of what side of the House we sit on. As I said before, having a plan is part of the process.

The NDP did make the plan; we can't take that away from them. I'm sure the plan was made with the best interests of Nova Scotians in mind; however, having a plan that does not work, a plan that has proven not to be working month after month when we look at the job numbers, is only slightly better than having no plan at all. It has to be reviewed.

The first step on the road to recovery for this NDP plan is to admit there's a problem. Until now, the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, as well as the Premier, have denied there's a crisis. They've done so in this House. They've insisted their plan is working, that jobs are being created and things are looking up, despite all the evidence month after month. Their federal counterparts are concerned and they're concerned about the job losses.

Now, until the government acknowledges the problems we are facing every day in this province, acknowledges the growing job crisis, acknowledges their plan is not working, acknowledges they need to do more for the people struggling to make a living in this province, there isn't much we can do to help them.

The PC caucus recognizes the problems, the other Opposition Party has pointed out that they understand there's a job crisis in the province. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Queens.

MS. VICKI CONRAD « » : Thank you. I rise today to discuss employment and job opportunities in Nova Scotia. You see, a good government looks at opportunities amidst challenges. Yes, we recognize there are areas in Nova Scotia that are hurting, and I can tell you with great certainty that we understand the anxiety people experience when they hear the words "shut down" relating to paper mills and other industries.

We are here to let Nova Scotians know that we continue to work to help create good jobs and build a strong economic future in the light of these challenges because, unlike the Opposition, our government has not given up on those communities or industries. We didn't in the past, and we are not doing that now. You can rest assured that we won't in the future, because we have a plan. It's called jobsHere. We are taking a different, more organized, and thoughtful approach to this issue - unlike the Opposition, of course, who sat idly by and watched as Nova Scotia endured 20 years of the weakest growth in Canada. That's right, 20 years of the weakest growth in Canada.

This government has invested more than $200 million in jobsHere - a strategy that will put an end to those 20 years of slow economic growth; a strategy that will help our businesses compete; a strategy that is focused on innovation; a strategy that will help Nova Scotians learn the right skills for good, high-valued jobs; and, I might add, a strategy that is working.

[Page 4901]

Let's look at the facts. If the Opposition wants numbers, we'll give them numbers. How about these: in a global economic downturn our government has actively worked with partners involved in game-changing opportunities like the shipbuilding strategy, which will create 11,500 jobs. It will average at least 8,500 jobs every year.

Our GDP will rise by 2.4 per cent, creating opportunities in all areas of the province, including our rural communities. How about the development of Lower Churchill, which will create thousands more jobs? These numbers will have a real impact on Nova Scotians. They translate into work for a generation and bringing our children home from the western provinces. They translate into Nova Scotians staying at home, working at home, putting down roots at home, and thriving at home.

I have more numbers. We have partnered with DSME, a partnership that will create hundreds of direct jobs. We have invested in hundreds of businesses through the Credit Union Loan Program, the Industrial Expansion Fund - soon to be the Jobs Fund - the Nova Scotia Business Development Program, and the Productivity Investment Program.

The Official Opposition Liberals spoke out against our partnership with DSME and creating hundreds of jobs in Pictou County, and the Progressive Conservatives proved that they are against preserving infrastructure in Cape Breton when they came out against the plan for Cape Breton Rail - which, I might add, runs through many Tory constituencies.

Mr. Speaker, we've said it before and we'll say it again. The bottom line is this: we are in the business of creating a better economy here in Nova Scotia. Of course we would like to see better employment numbers in Nova Scotia, but unlike past governments, who buried their head in the sand, we know there is always room for improvement. The fact of the matter is that every province has seen challenges in recent times. We cannot deny the fact that Nova Scotia is not completely immune to the global economic situation happening right now.

The Opposition is playing politics with a very serious issue in rural Nova Scotia - jobs. What we need here is real leadership, and that's what we have - real leadership, not more rhetoric. If they still want to look at numbers, let's try the rate of unemployment under their government's record. Cape Breton unemployment peaked at 20.7 per cent in April 2001, under the Tories; it was at 26.6 per cent in March 1997, under the Liberals - and, interestingly enough, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member for Cape Breton South was the Minister of Labour and Minister of Economic Development around that same time period.

The North Shore hit 13.3 per cent unemployment in April 2002 under the Tories, incidentally, while the Leader of the Third Party and MLA for Cumberland South, was the then Premier's chief of staff; and it was 17.7 per cent in March 1994, under the Liberals, Mr. Speaker. Both of these Opposition Parties saw higher provincial unemployment rates when they were in government than we have today - so I ask, what did they do to help Nova Scotia in the long term?

[Page 4902]

Mr. Speaker, we know that more work has to be done, but I would like to point out that as it stands today, Nova Scotia continues to have the lowest unemployment rate among the Atlantic Provinces. That's because jobsHere is working. We are providing steady leadership for long-term economic growth in this province, for every region in this province.

Mr. Speaker, this government understands that Nova Scotians want to see results from jobsHere and that's what we will deliver to them. However, only counting jobs would be short-sighted - our government also measures increased productivity in Nova Scotia businesses; we measure whether more of our businesses are more competitive globally; and we measure the amount of training, providing our workers with the right skills for good jobs.

Mr. Speaker, through jobsHere we've invested in LED Roadway Lighting, Great Valley Juices, A.F. Theriault and Son, Pro Poly Cushioning, Maritime Pride Eggs, Nova Elite Farm Services, Classic Granite Countertops, BioMedica Diagnostics - and I could go on and on. If it weren't for jobsHere, we wouldn't have invested in more than 177 businesses in every region of the province through the Productivity Investment Program.

We have proven with investment after investment that jobsHere is for all Nova Scotia - it's jobsHere that is helping us bolster the Nova Scotian economy; it is jobsHere that is helping us create good jobs in rural Nova Scotia; it is jobsHere that is helping us get the work done; and it is jobsHere that helped save 2,000 jobs along the South Shore.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I would hope that the member opposite discusses, with his federal cousin, his Party's concerns about the job losses and cuts to Service Canada, which will see the loss of over 100 jobs in Cape Breton. I would suggest to the member opposite that he attend the protests about those job losses in Cape Breton on Saturday. That's a huge concern for the constituents of Cape Breton - and I would suggest that the member opposite take those job losses very seriously. Mr. Speaker, thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm certainly happy to use the last 10 minutes of the late debate to talk about this topic, " . . . the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism take the advice of his federal cousin and start getting concerned about job losses under his watch."

Again, I could really care less about what Paul Dewar thinks, or what any of the federal Conservative ministers think because that's not why we're here. None of those guys have elected us, none of those people have elected us, and none of those people are responsible to us and we're not responsible to them. So let's talk about what we can control here in this province, and talk about what the real issues are. And if we want to get serious and talk about rhetoric and politics and misleading and those types of things, let's look at the reality of what is happening here.

[Page 4903]

Halifax is booming; Halifax is getting stronger and better by the day and that's a good thing for our region. It's a good thing for people, and it's certainly a good thing for Nova Scotia. But rural Nova Scotia is, without question, hurting and it's hurting badly - and things are getting worse.

It's interesting that the member from the government side talked about, sure, we'd love better numbers and, sure, the growth has been slow. The numbers are frightening and the growth is the worst of any province in this country - 1.9 per cent.

So I don't know what we're trumpeting. I'm not really sure what we're celebrating but I think we've got a lot of work to do and again, what the frustration for this side and certainly for myself is that I listened to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism use the rationale and the reasons why we're not doing better. It's always, you know, the former governments and that seems to be the theme coming from the government side. So it's the Tories and the Liberals for the last 20 years and I don't think that answer is acceptable anymore and certainly I don't think that Nova Scotians are happy with that.

Two and a half years into a mandate is enough time. You've had the ability to effect change. You've had the ability to put your philosophy into these departments, particularly with Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. So the proof is in the pudding here. Where is the government's plan and what exactly are they doing? I think if you look at the numbers and look at what we can see in terms of the difficult job situation in this province, you can certainly see it. So the minister will use that - it's the former government.

He'll also talk about, well, the world markets are hurting our development. The world markets are certainly down and it's tumultuous times across the globe but that doesn't mean that we halt policy. That doesn't mean we don't make strategic decisions on the $400 million we spend in economic development that's through the IEF and through the economic development programs here. That's a significant amount of money. There's no excuse. If we're spending that money, there has got to be value in it and where is our bang for the buck? Well, obviously, the numbers aren't showing that. So we're celebrating something, I don't know what exactly that is because there are not many measurables that we're looking at here.

One thing the minister did say in Question Period - to the roaring applause from the government side, he tabled information about the potential growth of our exports. I'm not sure if he was meaning to talk about economic development within the province but the article he tabled was related to exports. If we're celebrating our exports, that means we're doing well in international markets. I'm not sure what - you're tabling an article that talks about the success of our exports and we're talking about our succeeding in international markets and international trade. So which one is it? If the world markets are stunting our growth, then why are we talking about our potential exports in 2012 and beyond?

[Page 4904]

Let's be clear and be honest and I did talk about this last night. This is a majority government and it's no longer the Liberals and the Tories. The Premier is in place and the Cabinet is in place, and the government is in place. What are those decisions that are going to impact on Nova Scotians? This is your ball game now and, again, when I talked many times, when we use job numbers and talked about questioning the minister in Question Period, what I've heard from multiple members was, well, what are we supposed to do? There's a downturn in the world paper markets. We can't be the saviour, we can't help Bowater, you know, that's not our responsibility, NewPage isn't our responsibility, but now there was a decision made by the government to support Bowater. Again, that was a conversation that I had with multiple members from the NDP Government and now there's $50 million in place to support that. So, again, the point of mentioning that is there are policies and you control those policies. I did mention this last night. That's a decision that rests with you as the majority government.

The point of this is that the government and the Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister has tools to promote and to launch growth in this province. We're talking about the Industrial Expansion Fund, soon to be the Nova Scotia Jobs Fund. When some of the government members were in Opposition, they referred to it as a slush fund and other than changing the name and changing some menial parts of this Act, I don't see how it has changed. It's still controlled by the Cabinet. It's still under the watch of the front bench and if we're making a real change (Interruption) Everybody, middle bench as well, my apologies, minister. If we're talking about a different direction, we're talking about change for the better and those types of things, then I've said it again, I've said it many times and I'll say it again, we've got to have some way to get the private sector, the major players in this province, to have input on how we spend these hundreds of millions of dollars.

We had a presentation today at the Standing Committee on Economic Development and some of the questioning in terms of what the jobs would be was with respect to that. How can we not consult in a major way, in a significant way, the experts who generate revenue, who generate profits and who employ Nova Scotians? I don't understand it. I said it when the minister introduced the Jobs Fund bill and I'll say it again, I think we missed a big opportunity. If the government talks about being different than the devils who were there before - and it's always the responsibility of the former governments - then this was an opportunity that was missed.

I think that without the input from businesses, we missed an opportunity. The government's job, particularly in these dire times of economic turmoil, is to set the parameters for business. It's about the business environment, so where do your policies effect change? That's where they effect change. Your job isn't to run the private sector, and your job isn't to completely influence the private sector. Your job is to set the parameters and let natural economics - what's going to work is going to work, what isn't, isn't - take their natural course. That's what the economy does; that's what capitalism and free markets do. That's where we should be in this province, and I don't think renaming the IEF particularly does that.

[Page 4905]

Secondly, one that's been near and dear to me that I am still struggling to understand. We talked about the jobsHere program. We need some form of job targets to make this thing legitimate. Hunt $400 million, as we heard today at committee, and where are the targets? It's not the department - the representative who was there today echoed the same thing that the minister said: we don't want to use a job number because we don't want to create a ceiling and we don't want to limit ourselves to a particular number. That's not how this works.

You don't establish a number by picking it out of the air and then working toward that number. The number develops from your legwork, from your homework, on how you look at these things. You do your research to identify what your core competencies are in this province. We talked about consulting with industry players. You utilize the tools like NSBI to attract investment, and you identify those prospective developments you may have in the province. When you do all those things and you follow that path, what results is a range of potential job numbers that you can look at. So you create a range by doing that homework and figuring out where you're going to properly invest.

I don't accept that it's a ceiling about a number of jobs, and I certainly don't understand why that's the case. We should have numbers earmarked for these investments, and what we heard from the department today at the committee was that we want to stay fluid and we don't want to be too rigid in terms of this money. That, to me - not putting words in her mouth, but if that's the way we're approaching this, that sounds like a slush fund. Leave the money off to the side until we're ready to make an investment. That's what it was called 10 years ago and five years ago and three years ago. That's what we're still calling it now.

Ask any business if they would invest in something not knowing the end result in terms of revenue and profits. Ask any business if they've gone to a bank with no business plan and received money. I don't think that's the case. These are the things that we have to look at.

Finally, just to finish off, it always becomes about what we would do if we were government, and what I would do if I were the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. For what it's worth, what I would do - certainly any of the Cabinet members would know this. This becomes your vision. If the honour has been bestowed upon you, then it becomes your direction and your vision in this province. You establish your philosophy by doing your homework, working with the chambers, working with the members of the department, and figuring out where those job targets are, and we go from there.

[Page 4906]

With that, I'll take my place. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The time allotted for late debate has now expired.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

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

The motion is carried.

[6:29 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Becky Kent in the Chair.]

[10:05 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Ms. Becky Kent in the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK « » : That the committee has met, has made some progress and begs leave to sit again. (Applause)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, that concludes the business of the government for today and while I am tempted to call the hours to 12:01 a.m., that's not in me so I will call the hours tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

I will now turn it over to the Progressive Conservative House Leader.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Progressive Conservative House Leader.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Madam Speaker, tomorrow after the daily routine and Question Period, we will be going into debate on a couple of bills. They will be Bill No. 68, which is the Elimination of Bonuses in Power Rates Act, and Bill No. 70, which is the Ratepayer Fairness Act.

[Page 4907]

Madam Speaker, I move that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 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.

We stand adjourned.

[The House rose at 10:06 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 4908]

RESOLUTION NO. 2833

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards are organized and presented annually by the Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade in Lunenburg and Queens Counties; and

Whereas this event recognizes, celebrates, and inspires business excellence throughout the region; and

Whereas Van Dyk's Health Juice Products Ltd. of Caledonia, Queens County, received the Entrepreneurial Award at the 2011 Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards, held on October 18, 2011;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Van Dyk's Health Juice Products Ltd. for the honour of being deemed an entrepreneurial business leader by their peers at the 2011 Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards.

RESOLUTION NO. 2834

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards are organized and presented annually by the Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade in Lunenburg and Queens Counties; and

Whereas this event recognizes, celebrates, and inspires business excellence throughout the region; and

Whereas the Best Coast Coffee Gallery of Broad Cove, Lunenburg County, was a finalist for the Hospitality Award at the 2011 Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards, held on October 18, 2011;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Best Coast Coffee Gallery for its nomination in the hospitality category at the 2011 Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards.

[Page 4909]

RESOLUTION NO. 2835

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards are organized and presented annually by the Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade in Lunenburg and Queens Counties; and

Whereas this event recognizes, celebrates, and inspires business excellence throughout the region; and

Whereas Brady Home Building Centre of Lunenburg, Queens County, received the Large Business Award at the 2011 Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards, held on October 18, 2011;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Brady Home Building Centre for the honour of being deemed leader in large business by their peers at the 2011 Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards.

RESOLUTION NO. 2836

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas the 2011 Canadian Student Leadership Conference was held in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, from September 27, 2011 to October 3, 2011, with the goal to equip, motivate, enable, and empower Canadian students for present and future leadership roles; and

Whereas students heard from world-class speakers who delivered strong messages on the character and nature of leadership, in addition to experiencing the opportunity to learn, share, and grow along with students from across Canada; and

Whereas Danielle Wamboldt of North Queens Community School was one of three students from Queens County to attend this conference;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Danielle Wamboldt on her participation in the 2011 Canadian Student Leadership Conference.

[Page 4910]

RESOLUTION NO. 2837

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas the 2011 Canadian Student Leadership Conference was held in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, from September 27, 2011 to October 3, 2011, with the goal to equip, motivate, enable, and empower Canadian students for present and future leadership roles; and

Whereas students heard from world-class speakers who delivered strong messages on the character and nature of leadership, in addition to experiencing the opportunity to learn, share, and grow along with students from across Canada; and

Whereas Jessica Lohnes of North Queens Community School was one of three students from Queens County to attend this conference;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Jessica Lohnes on her participation in the 2011 Canadian Student Leadership Conference.

RESOLUTION NO. 2838

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas the 2011 Canadian Student Leadership Conference was held in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, from September 27, 2011 to October 3, 2011, with the goal to equip, motivate, enable, and empower Canadian students for present and future leadership roles; and

Whereas students heard from world-class speakers who delivered strong messages on the character and nature of leadership, in addition to experiencing the opportunity to learn, share, and grow along with students from across Canada; and

Whereas Leah Veinot of North Queens Community School was one of three students from Queens County to attend this conference;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Leah Veinot on her participation in the 2011 Canadian Student Leadership Conference.

[Page 4911]

RESOLUTION NO. 2839

By: Vickie Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of the youth in Queens County, and skating is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the objective of Skate Canada's Skating Skills program is mastery of the basic fundamentals of skating – edge quality, control, power and speed; and

Whereas Bailey Selig of the Queens County Blades has completed Skate Canada's Gold Skills program;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognizes and congratulates Bailey Selig for having completed Skate Canada's Gold Skills programs.

RESOLUTION NO. 2840

By: Vickie Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of the youth in Queens County, and skating is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas Skate Canada's Free Skate program consists of the execution of jumps, spins, footwork, field movements and stroking, either in isolation or performed in sequence to music; and

Whereas Victoria Hopper of the Queens County Blades has completed Skate Canada's Preliminary Free Skate program;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognizes and congratulates Victoria Hopper for having completed Skate Canada's Preliminary Free Stake program.

RESOLUTION NO. 2841

[Page 4912]

By: Vickie Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of the youth in Queens County, and skating is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the objective of Stake Canada's Skating Skills program is mastery of the basic fundamentals of skating – edge quality, control, power and speed; and

Whereas Chloe Pitre of the Queens County Blades has completed Skate Canada's Gold Skills program;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognizes and congratulates Chloe Pitre for having completed Skate Canada's Gold Skills programs.

RESOLUTION NO. 2842

By: Vickie Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of the youth in Queens County, and skating is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas Skate Canada's Dance program teaches timing, musicality, rhythm interpretation, structure as well as basic skating skills such as edges, flow, control and unison; and

Whereas Kieran Clattenburg of the Queens County Blades has completed Skate Canada's Junior Silver Dance program;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognizes and congratulates Kieran Clattenburg for having completed Skate Canada's Junior Silver Dance program.

RESOLUTION NO. 2843

[Page 4913]

By: Vickie Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of the youth in Queens County, and skating is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas Skate Canada's Free Skate program consists of the execution of jumps, spins, footwork, field movements and stroking, either in isolation or performed in sequence to music; and

Whereas Lauren Amirault of the Queens County Blades has completed Skate Canada's Preliminary Free Skate program;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognizes and congratulates Lauren Amirault for having completed Skate Canada's Preliminary Free Stake program.

RESOLUTION NO. 2844

By: Vickie Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of the youth in Queens County, and skating is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas Skate Canada's Dance program teaches timing, musicality, rhythm interpretation, structure as well as basic skating skills such as edges, flow, control and unison; and

Whereas Madison Thistle of the Queens County Blades has completed Skate Canada's Junior Silver Dance program;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognizes and congratulates Madison Thistle for having completed Skate Canada's Junior Silver Dance program.

RESOLUTION NO. 2845

[Page 4914]

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Music Week is an annual event that gathers the music community together to participate in a range of educational and networking opportunities while celebrating our artists and industry professionals; and

Whereas Nova Scotia Music Week was recently held in Yarmouth, culminating in a presentation of awards to honour and publicly recognize our music industry; and

Whereas the Petite Riviere Fire Hall received a nomination for Nova Scotia Music Week's Venue of the Year Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the Petite Riviere Fire Hall on having been nominated to Nova Scotia Music Week's Venue of the Year Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2846

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Music Week is an annual event that gathers the music community together to participate in a range of educational and networking opportunities while celebrating our artists and industry professionals; and

Whereas the revenue generated in the host community by Nova Scotia Music Week officials and volunteers, attending delegates, and the local public make this a million-dollar event; and

Whereas Liverpool, Queens County, has been named the host community for the 2012 Nova Scotia Music Week;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Liverpool, Queens County, on having been selected as Nova Scotia Music Week's 2012 host community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2847

[Page 4915]

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Music Week is an annual event that gathers the music community together to participate in a range of educational and networking opportunities while celebrating our artists and industry professionals; and

Whereas Nova Scotia Music Week was recently held in Yarmouth, culminating in a presentation of awards to honour and publicly recognize our music industry; and

Whereas Kimberly Sinclair of Milton, Queens County, received a nomination for Nova Scotia Music Week's Industry Professional of the Year Award and her business, Spincount, received a nomination for the Publicist of the Year Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Kimberly Sinclair and her business, Spincount, on having been nominated for Nova Scotia Music Week's Industry Professional of the Year Award and Publicist of the Year Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2848

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Music Week is an annual event that gathers the music community together to participate in a range of educational and networking opportunities while celebrating our artists and industry professionals; and

Whereas Nova Scotia Music Week was recently held in Yarmouth, culminating in a presentation of awards to honour and publicly recognize our music industry; and

Whereas Leif Helmer of Petite Riviere, Lunenburg County, received a nomination for Nova Scotia Music Week's Promoter of the Year Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Leif Helmer on having been nominated for Nova Scotia Music Week's Promoter of the Year Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2849

[Page 4916]

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Music Week is an annual event that gathers the music community together to participate in a range of educational and networking opportunities while celebrating our artists and industry professionals; and

Whereas Nova Scotia Music Week was recently held in Yarmouth, culminating in a presentation of awards to honour and publicly recognize our music industry; and

Whereas the Little River Folk Society received the Nova Scotia Music Week's Community Presenter of the Year Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the Little River Folk Society on its success in winning Nova Scotia Music Week's Community Presenter of the Year Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2850

By: Allan MacMaster (Inverness)

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

Whereas the Inverness Education Centre is now offering a Gaelic after-school program; and

Whereas it has been five years since Gaelic has been offered at the school and Principal Bernadette Campbell feels that it is important for the young people to learn about the role Gaelic has played in the history and life of their community; and

Whereas many students are showing interest and attending the two-hour-long program once a week where they will focus on language learning and Gaelic song;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the Inverness Education Centre and their desire to keep the Gaelic culture and language alive in our community and wish them great success with the Gaelic after school program.

RESOLUTION NO. 2851

[Page 4917]

By: Karen Casey (Colchester North)

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

Whereas the original branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia in Tatamagouche was open only two days a week in October 1911; and

Whereas the Scotiabank branch at Tatamagouche celebrated its 100th anniversary with an afternoon party on October 26, 2011; and

Whereas Scotiabank now is a full service, five-days-a-week branch;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the staff of Scotiabank, past and present, in providing quality service to residents along the North Shore.

RESOLUTION NO. 2852

By: Karen Casey (Colchester North)

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

Whereas in May, 1960 Harold Lewis, with five local employees, opened an Irving service station in Glenholme, Colchester North, while his wife, Lorna, gave up her job at CIBC in 1965 and opened a Tastee Freeze on the same lot; and

Whereas the family home was destroyed by fire in 1970 so Harold extended his hours of business and Lorna expanded her business to become a truck stop; and

Whereas in 1989 Lorna sold her business and Harold gave up the Irving to open his own repair shop and towing business beside the family home;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Harold and Lorna Lewis for over 50 years of service to their customers, and wish Harold continued success with his repair and towing business.

RESOLUTION NO. 2853

[Page 4918]

By: Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas Zumba is the largest dance fitness program in the world and involves dance and aerobic elements; and

Whereas Josie Lake, of Cheverie, raised more than $700 for the Canadian Brest Cancer Foundation by holding fitness fundraisers throughout Hants County before hitting Windsor in October; and

Whereas about 50 people registered for the two-and-a-half hour Shake it for Breast Cancer Party in Pink Zumbathon at the Windsor Community Centre, which raised funds for Susan G. Koman Race for a Cure;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Josie Lake on her creative and very successful fundraiser for the fight against breast cancer and wish her all the best with future Zumbathons.

RESOLUTION NO. 2854

By: Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas the Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship Program provides scholarships and grants to students pursuing careers in energy-related studies, trades, or technology programs; and

Whereas recipients are chosen based on academic achievement, community involvement, and extra-curricular activities, in addition to a demonstrated interest in the Nova Scotia energy sector; and

Whereas Kyle Boyle of North Queens Rural High School has been awarded a 2011 Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognizes and congratulates Kyle Boyle on having received a 2011 Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship.

RESOLUTION NO. 2855

[Page 4919]

By: Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas the Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship Program provides scholarships and grants to students pursuing careers in energy-related studies, trades, or technology programs; and

Whereas recipients are chosen based on academic achievement, community involvement, and extra-curricular activities, in addition to a demonstrated interest in the Nova Scotia energy sector; and

Whereas Alecia Bowers of Liverpool Regional High School has been awarded a 2011 Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognizes and congratulates Alecia Bowers on having received a 2011 Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship.

RESOLUTION NO. 2856

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas over 40,000 student athletes participate annually in school sport programs throughout the province; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Schools Athletic Federation (NSSAF) annually organizes the Celebration of School Sport to celebrate participation, fair play, and service to school sport and to reinforce the significant role interscholastic athletics plays in education; and

Whereas John Doucet, a coach at the Hantsport School, was one of the coach recipients of a Celebration of School Sport 2010-11 Award for providing exceptional leadership for our young athletes;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate John on receiving this award and wish him all the best.

RESOLUTION NO. 2857

[Page 4920]

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas over 40,000 student athletes participate annually in school sport programs throughout the province; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Schools Athletic Federation (NSSAF) annually organizes the Celebration of School Sport to celebrate participation, fair play, and service to school sport and to reinforce the significant role interscholastic athletics plays in education; and

Whereas Jonte Boysen, a student at King's-Edgehill School in Windsor, was the male recipient of a Celebration of School Sport 2010-11 Award for demonstrating respect for others and displaying a true example of good sportsmanship;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jonte on receiving this award and wish him all the best.

RESOLUTION NO. 2858

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas over 40,000 student athletes participate annually in school sport programs throughout the province; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Schools Athletic Federation (NSSAF) annually organizes the Celebration of School Sport to celebrate participation, fair play, and service to school sport and to reinforce the significant role interscholastic athletics plays in education; and

Whereas Kelsey MacLeod, a student at King's-Edgehill School in Windsor, was the female recipient of a Celebration of School Sport 2010-11 Award for demonstrating respect for others and displaying a true example of good sportsmanship;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kelsey on receiving this award and wish her all the best.

RESOLUTION NO. 2859

[Page 4921]

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas over 40,000 student athletes participate annually in school sport programs throughout the province; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Schools Athletic Federation (NSSAF) annually organizes the Celebration of School Sport to celebrate participation, fair play, and service to school sport and to reinforce the significant role interscholastic athletics plays in education; and

Whereas Kevin Lake, a coach at King's-Edgehill School in Windsor, was one of the coach recipients of a Celebration of School Sport 2010-11 Award for providing exceptional leadership for our young athletes;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kevin on receiving this award and wish him all the best.

RESOLUTION NO. 2860

By: Mr. Alfie MacLeod « » (Cape Breton West)

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

Whereas the Donkin-Gowrie Complex of Donkin recently held its awards night, where students were recognized for their accomplishments; and

Whereas Winston Hill was named male athlete of the year; and

Whereas Winston is now attending Grade 10 at Glace Bay High School;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Winston on being named male athlete of the year and wish him well in all his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2861

[Page 4922]

By: Mr. Alfie MacLeod « » (Cape Breton West)

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

Whereas Nicole Jenkins was recently recognized for her athletic achievements; and

Whereas Nicole was named female athlete of the year at the awards night held at the Donkin-Gowrie Complex in Donkin; and

Whereas Nicole is now attending Grade 10 at Glace Bay High;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Nicole for her athletic success and wish her well in high school.

RESOLUTION NO. 2862

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Colchester North)

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

Whereas farming is one of the primary industries in our province, and one on which the prosperity of our province has been built; and

Whereas more than 60 farms across Nova Scotia participated in the province's 10th Annual Open Farm Day, which gives the public an opportunity to have a first-hand look at the industry; and

Whereas Open Farm Day allows the public to taste local produce, to meet the animals, to see where our food actually comes from, to get a look at the hard work and top-quality products and services that our farmers provide, and to understand the reasons for and the advantages of the buy local initiative;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Joe and Lorenda Ebbett of Ebbett's Meadow Brook Farm, Colchester North, for showing their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to agriculture by opening their farm to the public on the 10th Annual Open Farm Day.

RESOLUTION NO. 2863

[Page 4923]

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Colchester North)

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

Whereas farming is one of the primary industries in our province, and one on which the prosperity of our province has been built; and

Whereas more than 60 farms across Nova Scotia participated in the province's 10th Annual Open Farm Day, which gives the public an opportunity to have a first-hand look at the industry; and

Whereas Open Farm Day allows the public to taste local produce, to meet the animals, to see where our food actually comes from, to get a look at the hard work and top-quality products and services that our farmers provide, and to understand the reasons for and the advantages of the buy local initiative;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Quita and Scott Whitelaw of Sugarmoon Farm, Colchester North, for showing their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to agriculture by opening their farm to the public on the 10th Annual Open Farm Day.

RESOLUTION NO. 2864

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Colchester North)

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

Whereas farming is one of the primary industries in our province, and one on which the prosperity of our province has been built; and

Whereas more than 60 farms across Nova Scotia participated in the province's 10th Annual Open Farm Day, which gives the public an opportunity to have a first-hand look at the industry; and

Whereas Open Farm Day allows the public to taste local produce, to meet the animals, to see where our food actually comes from, to get a look at the hard work and top-quality products and services that our farmers provide, and to understand the reasons for and the advantages of the buy local initiative;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Greta and Ruth Mathewson of Upperbrook Farm, Colchester North, for showing their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to agriculture by opening their farm to the public on the 10th Annual Open Farm Day.

[Page 4924]

RESOLUTION NO. 2865

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas when faced with a life-altering decision, Leanne Durling of St. Croix made the right choice by deciding to put her life in the hands of surgeons; and

Whereas Leanne, daughter of Angela and David Kelley and wife of Matt Durling, underwent a double lung transplant at Toronto General Hospital on February 9, 2011; and

Whereas after months of extensive rehabilitation and learning how to talk and walk again, Leanne returned home in July breathing easier and able to blow out her own birthday candles;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Leanne on her courage and determination and wish her continued good health.

RESOLUTION NO. 2866

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas Windsor hosted its 13th Annual Pumpkin Regatta in October, featuring fun and frenzy as dozens of competitors tried their hand at paddling giant pumpkins across Lake Pisiquid in front of cheering fans; and

Whereas King's-Edgehill School Headmaster Joe Seagram paddled his vegetable watercraft across the lake in eight minutes and seventeen seconds to claim first place in the people-powered division; and

Whereas Joe, who dressed as Super Mario Bros' villain Wario for the regatta, was joined in the water by students Riley Peckford and Ryan Connor, who paddled a giant pumpkin painted like a red turtle shell;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Seagram on his premium pumpkin paddling abilities and wish him all the best in future regattas.

[Page 4925]

RESOLUTION NO. 2867

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas Heritage Memorials, located in the Windsor Industrial Park, is constructing a new 10,000 square foot, $2.5 million building which will see the plant double its production capabilities; and

Whereas Heritage Memorials employs 170 people throughout Atlantic Canada, including 55 at the head office in Windsor; and

Whereas Heritage Memorials remains the last company in Nova Scotia which manufactures granite monuments, with half their supply of granite coming from North America, including from a small quarry near Middleton, and the remainder from Africa, Sweden, and Brazil;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate President Steve Nelson, Vice-President Dean Nelson, and the entire staff at Heritage Memorials, on their expansion plans and wish them every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2868

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas Carey Bray, a resident of Newport, recently received a second honourable mention for his writing, with a collection of poems inspired by the life of his great-grandfather; and

Whereas the collection, entitled Drifting, was granted the honourable mention for the Poetry Prize in the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia's 34th Annual Atlantic Writing Competition; and

Whereas with the help of his father and grandfather, Mr. Bray was able to compile the stories of his great-grandfather's past and write about his experiences on Atlantic waters during World War II;

[Page 4926]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Carey on receiving recognition from the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, and wish him the best of luck as he works towards becoming a published poet.

RESOLUTION NO. 2869

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas Camp Triumph is a unique residential camp which fills a need for an often-unrecognized group of children; and

Whereas Chaker Rouhana and Megan Bround tended to the grill at a barbecue fundraiser which the staff at Chaker's Rite Stop in Windsor held in support of Camp Triumph; and

Whereas the funds raised from this event will help children between the ages of 8 and 17 who have a sibling or parent with a serious chronic illness or disability, by providing the child with opportunities they may not otherwise have;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Chaker, Megan, and the staff at Chaker's Rite Stop, for taking time from their schedules to support such a great cause and wish them all the best with future fundraising events.

RESOLUTION NO. 2870

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas when 14-year-old mezzo-soprano Rianna Robinson was invited to perform the role of the First Spirit in Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute), a performance put on by the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, she was elated at the opportunity; and

Whereas Ms. Robinson, who resides with her grandparents Diane and Burtt Taylor, spent many long hours rehearsing her role, which included enhancing her vocal capabilities by singing soprano and in German; and

Whereas already working on plans for next year, Ms. Robinson has been invited to perform in a music theatre production which will see her take the stage for two weeks in Ottawa and then in Halifax;

[Page 4927]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud Rianna Robinson on her exceptional vocal talents, and wish her all the best with her music in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2871

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas there are over 100 different types of arthritis that can strike people of any age; and

Whereas the Arthritis Society's Nova Scotia Division recently presented the Windsor Elms Village, in Falmouth, with the Community Connector Award for having the largest team in Canada for the Walk to Fight Arthritis; and

Whereas Beth House, the Director of Therapeutic Services at Windsor Elms Village, and Ashley Clark, the Joints in Motion Coordinator for the Arthritis Society's Nova Scotia and PEI Divisions, assisted with about 175 residents and family members, volunteers and staff, who participated in a "virtual" walk on-site on June 3rd, which raised nearly $1,800;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate everyone who participated in the fundraising event, and wish them continued success with future events.

RESOLUTION NO. 2872

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas the Windsor Senior Schooners won the Nova Scotia Plus 55 Games that were held in Kentville and Berwick in late September; and

Whereas team manager Murray Purcell, along with team members George Armstrong, Bob Dill, Phil McDougald, Jimmy Meagher, Junior Moore, Wayne Northup, Bobby Purcell, Mike Purcell, Brian Richardson, Harry Ullock, John Verran, John Williams, and John Zwicker made a great comeback, winning three games in a row to take the title; and

[Page 4928]

Whereas by winning the provincial 55 Plus Hockey Tournament the team has qualified for the National 55 Plus Hockey Championship, which will be held in August 2012 in Sydney, Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Windsor Senior Schooners on a victorious provincial title and wish them all the best at the national championship next year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2873

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas Harvest House offers free meals, clothing, and a safe haven for people without a place to lay their heads at night; and

Whereas Donna Eldridge, Tanya Moore, Wanda Eisan, Reverend Tom Henderson, and George Christiansen took turns spending a night camping out in a cardboard box during the fundraising/awareness two-night event in Windsor along with numerous supporters of Harvest House who dropped in with hot drinks and snacks; and

Whereas over $2,000 was raised during the cardboard box event, which will go toward heating Harvest House in Windsor this winter as well as help with some of the expenses of keeping the facility running during the crucial winter months when demand is at its peak;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend Donna, Tanya, Wanda, Tom, and George on braving a night out in the cold and thank them for their efforts in bringing awareness to this growing problem and wish them great success with future fundraisers.

RESOLUTION NO. 2874

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas through a special grant provided by the Royal Bank of Canada, each branch of the Annapolis Valley Regional Library system of libraries has been given money to provide programming for a specific month of the year; and

[Page 4929]

Whereas in October the Windsor Library was the recipient of this funding presented by Derek Underhill of RBC Windsor, which was used to provide special programs through the month, including two local artist showcases by Lara Martina and Sanna Rahola, a drawing workshop with comic book artist Mark Oakley, and a reading by renowned author Ivan Coyote; and

Whereas the grant was also used for special programming for children, including a Pumpkin People story time with Ron and Sandra Lightburn and the launch of Windsor's circulating video game collection;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank the Royal Bank of Canada for their generous contributions to our local libraries and recognizing the importance our libraries play in the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2875

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas Masala Mist, a drink that combines Assam tea with Russian vodka, was the brew that beat the competition and won Margot Bureaux her third straight title as the Tea Cocktail Champion at the 2011 Canadian Coffee & Tea Show in Vancouver on October 2; and

Whereas Mrs. Bureaux, a resident of Hantsport, attributes a good cup of tea to a clean kettle, tea that has been properly stored, and reverse-osmosis water; and

Whereas Mrs. Bureaux works as a freelance tea consultant, travelling to offices and setting up corporate tea stations while teaching staff how to make a top-notch cup of brew to help them unwind on their breaks;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Margot on her award-winning Masala Mist and wish her all the best as she pursues her passion in the tea industry.

RESOLUTION NO. 2876

[Page 4930]

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's Freemasonry Welsford Lodge was formed in July of 1861 and received its Charter from the Grand Lodge of England the following year; and

Whereas records indicate the charter members of the lodge were Benjamin D. Fraser, Elisha Loasby, Daniel E. Geldert, Robert Brown, Zebina S. Hall, James S. Richardson, and John D. Nash and that Welsford Lodge is named after Major Augustus Frederick Welsford, a British officer who served in the 97th Regiment and was killed during the Crimean War in 1855; and

Whereas the Windsor Freemasons continued to uphold a proud tradition of service to the community and contribute to charities, provide bursaries to high school graduates, and honour the widows of departed brethren;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank the members of the Welsford Lodge No. 26 on 150 years of service in their community and wish them all the best for the future.