Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD11-66

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Gordon Gosse

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

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



Third Session

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Health & Wellness: Collaborative Emergency Centres - Funding,
5372
ERDT: Buy Local - Urge,
5378
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3083, Ainslie, Dr. Ross - Veterinary Commun.:
Serv. (60 Yrs.) - Congrats., Hon. J. MacDonell »
5381
Vote - Affirmative
5382
Res. 3084, Int'l. Yr. For People of African Descent: Success
- Nova Scotians Thank, Hon. P. Paris « »
5382
Vote - Affirmative
5383
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 583, Prem. - Health Care: Cutbacks - Contingency Plan,
5383
No. 584, Prem.: Future Starts Here Campaign - Spending Justify,
5385
No. 585, Prem.: Insulin Pump Prog. - Introduce,
5387
No. 586, Health & Wellness: Physician Resource Plan
- Receipt Confirm, Mr. L. Glavine »
5388
No. 587, Justice: Deadbeat Parents - Actions,
5390
No. 588, Prem. - Load-Shifting Credit: Ratepayers - Effect,
5391
No. 589, Health & Wellness - Insulin Pump Prog.:
Funding - Refusal Explain, Hon. C. d'Entremont »
5393
No. 590, SNSMR - Heating Assistance Rebate Prog.:
Advertising - Details, Hon. K. Colwell »
5395
No. 591, ERDT - Telus World Skins Golf Game:
Funding - Disbursement, Mr. E. Orrell »
5396
No. 592, Health & Wellness - Rehab Ctr.: Hydrotherapy
- Alternatives, Mr. L. Glavine « »
5398
No. 593, Health & Wellness - Home Oxygen Prog.: Changes
- Transition, Mr. L. Glavine « »
5399
No. 594, Health & Wellness - Dart. Gen. Hosp.:
Future - Address, Mr. A. Younger « »
5401
No. 595, Nat. Res.: Shubenacadie Canal Commn. - Review,
5403
No. 596, Nat. Res. - MV Miner: Removal - Status,
5404
No. 597, CCH - Atlantic Lottery Corp.: Market Expansion
- Details, Mr. L. Glavine « »
5406
No. 598, Prem. - Yar. Ferry: Funding - Refusal Explain,
5407
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
Res. 2886, Prem./NDP Caucus - Campaigning: Broken Promises - Remind
5409
5411
5414
5417
Res. 2778, ERDT - C.B. Strategy: Targets/Outcomes - Include
5420
5423
5425
5429
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 136, Members' Pension Review Implementation (2011) Act
5432
Vote - Affirmative
5434
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 3:41 P.M
5434
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 4:13 P.M
5434
CWH REPORTS
5434
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Dec. 15th at 12:00 noon
5435
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 3085, EHS Paramedics: Work/Dedication - Commend,
5436
Res. 3086, Mueri, Livia: Christkindel Fair - Congrats.,
5436
Res. 3087, Sponagle-Taylor - Lu Lu Belle the Happy Puppy:
Release - Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad « »
5437
Res. 3088, Mill Village/Cons. Sch./So. Shore Public Libraries:
Partnership - Recognize, Ms. V. Conrad « »
5437
Res. 3089, Lewis, Abby: Cross-Can. Canoe Odyssey
- Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad « »
5438
Res. 3090, Thomey, Capt. Bill: Afghanistan Mem. Monument
(Shearwater) - Congrats., Ms. B. Kent »
5438
Res. 3091, Goit, Jim: Agric. Dept. Career (35 Yrs.)
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey »
5439
Res. 3092, Notre Jardin d'Enfance: Anniv. (30th) - Congrats.,
5439
Res. 3093, Currie, Frank: Retirement - Congrats.,
5440
Res. 3094, Commun. in Bloom Prog. - Coun./Vols.:
Contributions - Recognize, Hon. R. Landry »
5440
Res. 3095, Velosoft Training Materials Inc. - Pictou Co.:
Commitment - Recognize, Hon. R. Landry « »
5441
Res. 3096, LaPierre, Jonathan: Apprentice Award - Congrats.,
5442
Res. 3097, Marriott, Glen: Mentor Coach Award - Congrats.,
5442
Res. 3098, Hebb, Aaron: Apprentice Vehicle Body Repair Award
- Congrats., Hon. M. More « »
5443
Res. 3099, Wilson, Budge: Order of N.S. - Congrats.,
5443
Res. 3100, Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island: Pineapple Award
5444
Res. 3101, Emmett, Anne: Crystal Tourism Award
- Congrats., Hon. P. Paris « »
5444
Res. 3102, North, Ruby Ellen/Harrington, Elsie Louise
Birthday (100th) - Congrats., Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse « »
5445
Res. 3103, St. Margarets Bay RCL 116 - Seniors Christmas Dinner:
Organizers - Congrats., Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse « »
5445
Res. 3104, Allan, David/Mosher, Heather - Tantallon Vet. Clinic:
Bus. Commun. - Dedication, Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse « »
5446
Res. 3105, Acadia Ctr. Job Depot Prog.: Contract Extension
5446
Res. 3106, Ross Farm Museum - Learning Ctr.:
Announcement - Congrats., Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse « »
5447
Res. 3107, Freeman's Little New York: Fairview Expansion
- Congrats., Hon. G. Steele »
5447
Res. 3108, Arkelian Fam./Halcraft Printing: Hfx. Growth
- Contribution, Hon. Maureen MacDonald « »
5448
Res. 3109, Hfx. Shipyard: Nat'l. Shipbuilding Procurement
Strategy - Congrats., Hon. Maureen MacDonald « »
5448
Res. 3110, Meloney Fam. - C.B. Cancer Ctr.: Support
5449
Res. 3111, Blomidon Nurseries: Growth (50 Yrs.)
- Congrats., Hon. R. Jennex »
5450
Res. 3112, Luckett Vineyards: Grand Opening - Congrats.,
5450
Res. 3113, Innovative Systems: Electronic Recycling Prog
- Recognize, Hon. R. Jennex « »
5451
Res. 3114, Ken-Wo Golf Club: Anniv. (90th)
- Congrats., Hon. R. Jennex « »
5451
Res. 3115, Elliott, Canon Russell - Priesthood:
Anniv. (70th) - Congrats., Hon. R. Jennex « »
5452
Res. 3116, Anna. Valley Trails Coalition/System:
Efforts - Recognize, Hon. R. Jennex « »
5452
Res. 3117, Valley Search & Rescue: Anniv. (40th)
- Congrats., Hon. R. Jennex « »
5453
Res. 3118, Jeff Miller Auto Parts - Employment: Provision
- Congrats., Hon. J. MacDonell « »
5453
Res. 3119, East Hants Auto Parts: Bus. Expansion
- Congrats., Hon. J. MacDonell « »
5454
Res. 3120, Kawalski, Anthony/Twinley - The Old Parsonage:
Bus. Opportunity - Congrats., Hon. J. MacDonell « »
5454
Res. 3121, McTiernan, Nancy & Greg: Bus. Confidence
- Congrats., Hon. J. MacDonell « »
5455
Res. 3122, Bishop, Geoff & Jennifer: Canada's Outstanding
Young Farmers - Congrats., Hon. J. MacDonell « »
5455
Res. 3123, Sea Star Seafoods Ltd.: Processing Industry Leader
- Congrats., Hon. S. Belliveau »
5456
Res. 3124, Irving Shipbuilding/Shelburne Ship Repair:
Investment/Vision - Congrats., Hon. S. Belliveau « »
5456
Res. 3125, Copernicus Studios Inc. - Pres./Directors:
Investment Success - Congrats., Mr. L. Preyra »
5457
Res. 3126, DHX Media/Chairman - Skilled Workers: N.S
- Retention, Mr. L. Preyra « »
5457
Res. 3127, Downtown Truro Partnership: ERDT Grant
- Congrats., Ms. L. Zann »
5458
Res. 3128, Col. Reg. Hosp. Aux.: Anniv. (30th) - Congrats.,
5458
Res. 3129, Burns, Wayne - Nat'l. Theatre Sch.: Acceptance
- Congrats., Ms. L. Zann « »
5459
Res. 3130, Thomey, Capt. Bill: Afghanistan Memorial
(Shearwater) - Congrats., Ms. B. Kent « »
5459
Res. 3131, Dart. Lions Ryl. Cdn. Air Cadet Squadron:
Anniv. (70th) - Congrats., Ms. B. Kent « »
5460
Res. 3132, Pichaphilly, Father Johni Matthew - Singing Talents:
Sharing - Commend, Ms. B. Kent « »
5461
Res. 3133, "Guiding Nova Scotia's Future" - N.S. Coun
Girl Guides (Can.): Event - Congrats., Ms. B. Kent « »
5461
Res. 3134, Dammer, Conny/Hermes, Willi - Boondocks Rest.:
Grand Opening - Congrats., Ms. B. Kent « »
5462
Res. 3135, Plaster, Melissa - East. Passage Wellness:
Grand Opening - Congrats., Ms. B. Kent « »
5462
Res. 3136, Harry Freeman & Sons: Employment Creation
- Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad « »
5463
Res. 3137, Riverbank Gen. Store: Employment Creation
- Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad « »
5463
Res. 3138, Giffin, Derrick/Gill, Jim - Chef's Menu Rest.:
Employment Creation - Congrats., Hon. D. Wilson »
5464
Res. 3139, Hill, Kent/McKenzie, Scott - Mar. Sportswear Ltd.:
Employment Creation - Congrats., Hon. D. Wilson « »
5464
Res. 3140, Aecon Fabco - Bus. Building: Commitment
- Congrats., Hon. C. Parker »
5465
Res. 3141, Deb's Hidden Café: Bus. Commitment
- Congrats., Hon. C. Parker « »
5465
Res. 3142, Tobey, Allen: Judo Vol. - Congrats.,
5466
Res. 3143, Blair, Brody - Pan Am Games - Bronze Medal
- Congrats., Hon. C. Parker « »
5466
Res. 3144, MacLean, Kevin - Pictou Co. Weeks Crushers:
Dedication/Commitment - Congrats., Hon. C. Parker « »
5467
Res. 3145, Chisholm, Sheldon: New Caledonia Lodge No. 11
Serv. (60 Yrs.) - Congrats., Hon. C. Parker « »
5467
Res. 3146, Enercon Mgt./Staff: Employment Provision
- Recognize, Mr. C. MacKinnon »
5468
Res. 3147, Groupe Savoie: Job Protection - Congrats.,
5468
Res. 3148, Cdn. Mar. Engineering: Success - Congrats.,
5469
Res. 3149, Pavia Gallery: Grand Opening - Congrats.,
5469
Res. 3150, River's Bend: Success - Congrats.,
5470
Res. 3151, Palem Fam./Ruchi Indian Rest.: Success
- Congrats., Mr. M. Smith « »
5470
Res. 3152, Romans, Jeanette/Plante, Yves: The Little Carrot Store
- Congrats., Mr. S. Prest »
5471
Res. 3153, Classic Granite Countertops: Employment
Creation - Congrats., Mr. G. Ramey »
5471
Res. 3154, Wentzell Engineering Ltd.: Employment Creation
- Congrats., Mr. G. Ramey « »
5472
Res. 3155, Cumb. Co. Amherst FD Ramblers: Atom AA Hockey Team
- Bluenose Tournament Congrats., Mr. B. Skabar »
5472
Res. 3156, Carter's Sports Cresting - Ladies Curling Bonspiel:
Sponsorship - Congrats., Mr. B. Skabar « »
5473
Res. 3157, East Cumb. Lodge: Sparkle of Light Fundraiser
- Congrats., Mr. B. Skabar « »
5473
Res. 3158, Wilson, Pat: Cumb. YMCA Peace Medal
- Congrats., Mr. B. Skabar « »
5474
Res. 3159, Amherst Salvation Army: Kettle Campaign - Congrats.,
5474
Res. 3160, Showcase Productions: Commun. Contributions
- Congrats., Mr. B. Skabar « »
5475
Res. 3161, Tantramar Theatre Soc.: Artists Venue
- Congrats., Mr. B. Skabar « »
5475
Res. 3162, LED Roadway Lighting: N.S. Investment - Congrats.,
5476
Res. 3163, Mar. Prime Eggs: Success - Congrats.,
5476
Res. 3164, Keizer's Auto: Expansion/Job Creation
- Congrats., Mr. M. Whynott »
5477
Res. 3165, Warner-Smith/Boutilier, Terri - Willow Creek Children's
Ctr.: Job Creation - Thank, Mr. M. Whynott « »
5477
Res. 3166, Rhodenizer, Donna: Accomplishments - Congrats.,
5478
Res. 3167, RCL Habitant Br. 73: Remembrance - Dedication
Congrats., Mr. J. Morton « »
5478
Res. 3168, KFROGS: Commun. Impact - Congrats.,
5479
Res. 3169, Martin, Pat - Northeast Kings: Promotion - Thank,
5480
Res. 3170, Great Valley Juices: Employment Creation
- Congrats., Mr. J. Morton « »
5480
Res. 3171, Xerium Technologies Inc.: Employment Creation
- Congrats., Mr. J. Morton « »
5481
Res. 3172, Strong, Melanie/Bishop, Stephan - Dots & Loops:
Artisan Promotion - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall »
5481
Res. 3173, Chia-Kangata, Simone: Store Opening
- Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
5482
Res. 3174, Lun. Acad./Centre Cons. Sch. - Floor Mosaic:
Students - Commend, Ms. P. Birdsall « »
5482
Res. 3175, Lun. Dory Shop: Bosun Class (2011) - Congrats.,
5483
Res. 3176, Ernst, Elizabeth: Book Publication - Congrats.,
5483
Res. 3177, Habitat for Humanity - Mahone Bay: Land Donation
- Commend, Ms. P. Birdsall « »
5484
Res. 3178, Wilson, Mike/Gibson, Hester - Axis & Allies
Tour of Europe: Organization - Commend, Ms. P. Birdsall « »
5484
Res. 3179, Chedabucto Educ. Ctr./Chedabucto Acad.:
Anti-Bullying Progs. - Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
5485
Res. 3180, Nickerson, Mallori/Sangster, Alisha:
Breast Cancer Awareness - Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
5486
Res. 3181, Canso Library & Resource Ctr. Soc.: Opening
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
5486
Res. 3182, Grover, Ricky: Vol. Work - Congrats
5487
Res. 3183, Goshen Veterans Memorial: Residents Congrats.,
5487
Res. 3184, Louisbourg Seafoods Ltd.: Canso Seafoods Plant:
Success - Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
5488
Res. 3185, East Coast Hydraulics: Jobs - Provision Congrats.,
5488
Res. 3186, Port Bickerton: Commun. Ctr./Fire Hall
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
5489
Res. 3187, Sheet Hbr. Public Library/Staff: Anniv. (30th)
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
5490
Res. 3188, Guysborough & Area Bd. of Trade:
Shop Local Campaign - Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
5490
Res. 3189, Weber, Bob/Delorey, Mary: Salty Fog Riders Rally
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
5491
Res. 3190, Van Donninck, Helene: Cdn. Wildlife Award
- Congrats., Mr. G. Burrill »
5491
Res. 3191, Clarke, Diane: Musquodoboit Rural HS
- Contribution, Mr. G. Burrill « »
5492
Res. 3192, Carter, Faye & Lorne - Stewiacke FD:
Dedication - Honour, Mr. G. Burrill « »
5492
Res. 3193, Logan, Heather: NSAC Faculty Award - Congrats.,
5493
Res. 3194, Cooke, Heidi - Mar. Motorsports Hall of Fame:
Induction - Congrats., Mr. G. Burrill « »
5494
Res. 3195, Brookfield Terry Fox Run Comm.: Leadership
- Congrats., Mr. G. Burrill « »
5494
Res. 3196, White, Ray: Lions Award - Congrats.,
5495
Res. 3197, Delorey, Janet - Canso Lions Club: Membership
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
5495
Res. 3198, Rasmussen, Daniel: Duke of Edinburgh's Award
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
5496
Res. 3199, Rasmussen, Alexander: Duke of Edinburgh's Award
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
5496
Res. 3200, Jewers, Alexandra: Duke of Edinburgh's Award
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
5497
Res. 3201, Cook, Sophie: 4-H Serv. (20 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
5498
Res. 3202, Stewart, Cheryl: 4-H Serv. (5 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
5498
Res. 3203, Allan, Bonnie: 4-H Serv. (30 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
5499
Res. 3204, Taste of Nova Scotia: Crystal Tourism Award
- Congrats., Hon. P. Paris « »
5499
Res. 3205, Fox Harb'r Golf Resort: Crystal Tourism Award
- Congrats., Hon. P. Paris « »
5500
Res. 3206, McEvoy Fam.: Crystal Tourism Award - Congrats.,
5500
Res. 3207, Conrod, Suzanne & Hugh: Crystal Tourism Award
- Congrats., Hon. P. Paris « »
5501
Res. 3208, New Glasgow Town: Crystal Tourism Award
- Congrats., Hon. P. Paris « »
5501
Res. 3209, Logan, Carol: Crystal Tourism Award - Congrats.,
5502
Res. 3210, Parks Can.: Crystal Tourism Award - Congrats.,
5502

[Page 5371]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2011

Sixty-first General Assembly

Third Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Gordon Gosse

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER » : Order, please. Before we start today, I would like to bring the honourable members' attention to one of our Pages, Shoeib Shemshadi, who yesterday, December 13th, became a Canadian citizen. (Standing Ovation)

Shoeib is currently studying for a Bachelor of Management at Dalhousie University. Shoeib was born in Iran, lived in Italy for four years where he attended university, three years ago he moved to Nova Scotia, and he has worked at the House of Assembly since September. I would like to invite all members to join me in congratulating him, which you've already done. (Applause)

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

[Page 5372]

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

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

HON. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Before I do my statement, would you permit an introduction, please?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MS. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to draw the attention of members of the House to the east gallery, where we are joined today by Bruce Saunders and Bruce Quigley. I'd ask them to stand. Mr. Saunders is the Chair of the Board for the Cumberland Health Authority and Mr. Quigley is the CEO of the Cumberland Health Authority.

Mr. Speaker, as you know, this district health authority is leading the way with regard to the creation of Collaborative Emergency Centres in Nova Scotia, which was a recommendation of the Dr. John Ross report. The first CEC opened in Parrsboro last July.

This work is not easy work, and Mr. Saunders and Mr. Quigley and their team are leading in this province - indeed, beyond this province - in this new model of health care. They've worked tirelessly to open the CEC in Parrsboro, as well as two more CECs that have been announced in their district. So I would like to thank them for their innovation, their dedication, and their hard work, and extend that thanks to their team. I would ask members to extend a warm welcome to them. (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.

HON. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to rise in the House today and announce an important investment in our health care system. Today I'm proud to announce that, as part of Nova Scotia's new Jobs and Building Plan, the province is investing $6.8 million to fund infrastructure upgrades to hospitals so that Collaborative Emergency Centres can be established throughout Nova Scotia.

This investment will help provide Nova Scotians living in rural areas with access to same-day or next-day medical appointments and 24/7 emergency care. Over the past year, as part of the government's commitment in Better Care Sooner, I've travelled around our province talking with people about health care. Through these conversations, I've learned that nothing is more important to Nova Scotians than health care. Every one of us has had an experience with the health care system, and we never underestimate the importance and value it holds in our lives.

[Page 5373]

I've met with residents, community leaders, and health care providers in communities such as Springhill, Lunenburg, Tatamagouche, Pugwash, New Waterford, Musquodoboit Valley, Canso, and Annapolis Royal, and a number of things became clear to me through these conversations. The first is that, more than anything else, Nova Scotians want peace of mind with regard to our health care system. We want stability within our system and we want to know that help is available should we ever need it.

I've also heard that over time the needs of our communities have changed, and our health care system must evolve to meet these changes. This evolution is not always easy, and it has resulted in some challenges. Here in Nova Scotia, as Dr. John Ross has pointed out, we currently experience emergency department closures in rural areas and long wait times to see primary care doctors. Also, many people - particularly in rural communities - who go to emergency rooms do not require emergency care. In fact, over 90 per cent of visits to smaller emergency departments are problems that can be adequately treated in a primary health care setting.

To help address these challenges, our government has committed to the establishment of Collaborative Emergency Centres. A Collaborative Emergency Centre brings together emergency departments and local family practices, working as a team to provide health care to Nova Scotians. Specifically, a Collaborative Emergency Centre will provide access to primary care by a team of professionals, including doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners, for extended hours seven days per week.

I should also indicate that Collaborative Emergency Centres have same-day or next-day access to appointments, as needed, and 24/7 access to emergency care. In many cases this will enable symptoms to be caught early, which may prevent emergencies or a health crisis from developing. Nighttime care will be provided by a team which may include nurses and paramedics. These health care providers will work with the oversight of specially-trained emergency room physicians.

Here in Nova Scotia, we have announced five CECs since last Spring. Mr. Speaker, as you know, our province's first CEC is located in Parrsboro, and this CEC has experienced great success. It has been up and running since July, and it has seen many patients. In fact, I'm told that patients from outside the area are coming to that CEC. They find it a popular model, and hopefully when we get the other CECs in the area operating, they will be able to migrate back to their home community.

Feedback from residents of Parrsboro is quite positive. It indicates that residents of this community have embraced the CEC concept. They consider the CEC to be a better and more efficient use of our health care dollars.

[Page 5374]

As I've mentioned, the success of the Parrsboro CEC is due to the hard work, innovative thinking and dedication of Mr. Quigley, Mr. Saunders and the team at the Cumberland Health Authority. I want to again acknowledge them and their hard work.

We have also announced CECs for the communities of Pugwash, Springhill in the Cumberland Health Authority, as well as Tatamagouche and Annapolis Royal. I have every confidence that we will see a number of these new CECs opening early in the new year. CECs will make a huge difference to the health care landscape in rural Nova Scotia. As these centres open, we will see fewer and fewer ER closures across the province. Rural Nova Scotians will have better access to primary care during the day and patients will get to see their family doctor before an urgent issue becomes a major health crisis.

In addition, people will have consistent care from an appropriate health care provider during the evening hours. Another benefit of CECs is that physicians and other health care providers will have greater control over their work life. For all these reasons, I am so pleased to announce that this government is investing $6.8 million to develop and operationalize new collaborative emergency centres across our province.

As I've mentioned above, this investment will go toward infrastructure upgrades to hospitals so that collaborative emergency centres are available to be established in more communities throughout Nova Scotia. An example is the recent paving that was done in the parking lot at the Parrsboro CEC. This new parking lot will better enable patient access to this facility. Or, we recently announced a new health care facility for the Pugwash community. This new facility will be redesigned to accommodate a CEC. In Springhill, we are investing in a redesign of the reception area, new sinks, new security system and an upgrade to the parking lot. These changes will make this facility safer and more accessible.

In short, this $6.8 million investment will go toward building modifications to allow for improved streaming of patients and privacy, needed upgrades for infrastructure components like call systems, security, data and voice communication as well medical equipment such as exam tables and furnishings for exam rooms and waiting areas.

As Dr. Ross pointed out, changing the system takes into account the distinct needs of each community. It's about supporting communities and making the right decisions on how to match services to real needs. It's also about making the best use of the time and skills of our doctors, nurses, paramedics, our 811 nurse line and all who provide care as part of a more effective 24/7 emergency care system.

I would like to thank the health care providers, including doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, paramedics and other health care providers as well as DHA officials who have embraced and are working hard to implement Collaborative Emergency Centres. All these individuals are showing tremendous leadership in wanting to provide the best health care possible, they are improving our system in ways that are better for patients. Collaborative Emergency Centres are one commitment of Better Care Sooner, government's plan for improving the health system in Nova Scotia.

[Page 5375]

Today I want to reaffirm my commitment to working hard putting this plan into action. I will also continue to rely on the ideas and energies in community and we will work through this journey together to improve health care across this province to deliver Better Care Sooner, stability, and peace of mind. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I want to first of all thank the minister for an advance copy of her ministerial statement today. I, too, welcome Mr. Saunders and Mr. Bruce Quigley, who I know as a colleague of my wife at Soldiers Memorial Hospital for a number of years. I want to welcome them both here today.

Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to respond to the Health Minister's statement. It is interesting that we are here discussing an investment in Collaborative Emergency Centres. Two and a half years ago, we heard the NDP discussing investments in emergency rooms and a promise - or commitment, depending on who you ask - to keep them open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

After making this promise, Nova Scotians lived through an increasing number of emergency room closures, more than under the previous MacDonald Government. In fact, in November 2008 the then-NDP Leader criticized the MacDonald Government for the number of ER closures. He said, "Instead of spending the last three years recruiting and retaining doctors, this government seems to be suggesting that some emergency rooms are just not necessary." He added that the solution to so many ER closures was, " . . . to get rid of that crew over there."

It's interesting that this government does not show interest in recruiting and retaining. We've offered solutions to help recruit doctors, but this government was not interested. We presented a plan to bring 100 new doctors to Nova Scotia over a period of five years, and the government said no. We asked that the seats originally designated to Saudi students but not filled by Saudi students go to Nova Scotians, but this government said no. Mr. Speaker, it appears that the Premier is still correct when he said it seems as though this government is just not interested in keeping ERs open. Instead, we invest in closing ERs for another model.

Also interesting is that in October 2008, the then-NDP Health Critic and now Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage said, "From all I've seen over the last number of years, the government really hasn't done a lot on addressing the ER closures."

Again, this statement still applies today. We actually witnessed an increase in the number of ER closures across this province under this government. In a telling 2007 op-ed, the NDP stated, "The emergency room at the Digby General Hospital was closed for more than 55 days this year because of a lack of rural physicians. Another seven emergency rooms across the province also suffered closures this year. The Conservatives have failed to act, even when the local district health authority pleaded for emergency funding to attract a doctor."

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We now know that they are not committed to keeping emergency rooms open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Instead, they are committed to defining away a problem. They are not even interested in ensuring all Collaborative Emergency Centres are kept running. One in Berwick was only missing a minor adjustment. The Liberal caucus has carefully outlined how government cuts resulted in changes to the Berwick clinic, changes that reduce its hours and leave it open less days. These changes are also putting additional pressure on emergency rooms in the area. The community has asked for the clinic to be supported, but that support did not come.

Mr. Speaker, we stand here and we're asked to celebrate a $6.8 million investment while the shadow of more than $50 million in health cuts stands over our heads.

We heard from the Colchester East Hants Health Authority's CEO, Peter MacKinnon, on the health cuts: "No question it is significant and it will have a local impact." In the same story, Danny Cavanagh, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, said, "How do they expect our health care system to withstand this magnitude of cuts?"

IWK president and CEO Anne McGuire said health cuts will mean trying to do more with fewer staff. The IWK's CFO added, "This amount of money is going to impact care and it's going to have to change care."

We know the opinion of this government and this minister when it comes to health. The minister talks about same-day or next-day access to primary health care - it is on my Christmas wish list, and it is the dream for tens of thousands of Nova Scotians. The mantra in the Valley is becoming more "great care later." Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, would like to thank the minister for providing us with her comments here this afternoon, and also welcome Mr. Quigley and Mr. Saunders here to the House today. They are, of course, known as the two Bruces in Cumberland County and I'm delighted that they are here today - the two people who are in charge of Cumberland Health.

Mr. Speaker, it's very important that Nova Scotians get the care that they need when they need it, where they need it regardless of where they live in our province, whether they are in downtown Halifax, or Advocate, Nova Scotia, or in any other part of the province. I do want to recognize the employees, the medical staff, and the administrative staff - all of the staff of Cumberland Health, including the leadership team there, who have worked so hard to make the Collaborative Emergency Centre in Parrsboro a reality and are now working in other locations within Cumberland County to try to make this new scheme work.

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Mr. Speaker, I say that knowing that the staff there feel privileged to have been selected as among the first sites in the province and if there is a place in Nova Scotia where this new arrangement can be made to serve the people, it is in Cumberland County thanks to the staff of Cumberland Health. The minister made reference to the Parrsboro CEC at the South Cumberland Community Care Centre and I know that the government wishes to hold that up as a model for other places in Cumberland County and indeed someday, perhaps, around Nova Scotia.

I do want to point out as MLA for the area that the staff there are doing their best and are making it work but it is not a perfect situation and I don't pretend to say the minister said it was perfect, but there are hiccups that needs to be worked out. I will say that paving the parking lot is nice but the residents of Parrsboro, and of all Cumberland County, are more concerned about what goes on inside the care centre than the paving, as nice as it is to have outside. The fact of the matter is that one of the things that are special about the Parrsboro Care Centre is that it has a medical clinic right next door and a long-term care facility located in the care centre.

One of the pieces of feedback that I'm getting as MLA is that it is at times a strain on the nursing staff that is trying to service both, particularly in the evening hours when they have a call on their time in the long-term care facility and are also needed at the Collaborative Emergency Centre. There have been a few hiccups around staffing it as I know the minister knows, I've certainly shared that with here, but more importantly I just want to say that I know that the staff there are working very hard to try to make it work.

My other point about Parrsboro, Mr. Speaker, is that Parrsboro is not Springhill, it is not Pugwash, it is not any other community that many end up with one of these Collaborative Emergency Centres, and so this is not a situation where a one-size-fits-all model will work. In fact, I know that the people of Springhill, for example, are very anxious to see how the Parrsboro model can work in a very different hospital where the immediately surrounding services are not the same as in Parrsboro. I suspect in Pugwash it's the same situation and I just want to point out that this may not well be the solution for all the communities of Nova Scotia as the government intends.

Mr. Speaker, I am giving credit to the staff of Cumberland Health for a variety of reasons including the very important reason that this is not what was province by the government in the run-up to the last election. The government, full stop, promised emergency care 24/7, no closures. It now falls to Cumberland Health and someday to all Nova Scotia health authorities to try to make this new model work but it's not what was promised.

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I did hear the minister say that she looks for stability in the health care system. Well, Mr. Speaker, a great definition of stability is a government that keeps its promises after the election. Then we can have better planning in health care, better management of our health care resources, and not deal with the instability of trying to make something work that was not what was promised prior to the election.

Of course, Mr. Speaker, as the staff of Cumberland Health works through the CEC model, doing their best to make it work, they've now had another hand tied behind their back by a government that is determined that they cut 3 per cent out of their budget. As all Nova Scotians know, and certainly as the staff of Cumberland Health knows, the 3 per cent is really a much higher number when you include wage settlements and when you include health care inflation in the number. Estimates as high as 10 per cent cuts come on a real-time basis and they are going to have to deal with that, just like all the health authorities are going to have to deal with that.

So, Mr. Speaker, just in conclusion, I will point out that the Cumberland Health Authority deserves a lot of credit for doing their best, under difficult circumstances, to try to make something work that was not promised and to try to make it work when they're facing such draconian cuts by this government. I congratulate them on the efforts they're making.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, before I address the House, may I make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of members to the east gallery where we are joined today by Gordon Stevens from the Uncommon Group and Joachim Stroink from the Maritime Summit Shop. We also are joined by Sarah Withrow of Withrow's Farm Market in Elmsdale and Cheryl Williams of Shani's Farm in Scotch Village, who are all members of Select Nova Scotia. I also wish to acknowledge the others who are in attendance with them as well. I would ask all of them to stand.

Gordon and Joachim are part of the I Love Local (HFX) movement, which aims to highlight and promote the great independent businesses in Halifax. This local movement currently has about 60 members including local businesses like Hamachi House, Brooklyn Warehouse, The Trail Shop, Chives Canadian Bistro, Woozles, One Stop Wood Shop, and many, many more. Sarah and Cheryl are part of Select Nova Scotia, whose goal is to increase awareness and consumption of Nova Scotia produced and processed agri-food products by Nova Scotians and visitors.

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On behalf of the members of this House, I would like to congratulate our guests on their efforts and thank them for their important work in promoting local businesses, while at the same time creating jobs and helping to grow the local economy. I would ask the 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 Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the House today in an effort to urge the members of this House and all Nova Scotians to think local when shopping for gifts this holiday season. In fact, I would like to extend the challenge to those who have not finished or who haven't even begun their holiday shopping. I would challenge them to buy at least 10 per cent of their gifts locally or from locally-owned businesses.

I am certain that all members of this House will agree that buying local is important for our local economy and for the people and the communities of Nova Scotia. Money spent in locally-owned businesses stays here in the province. It's money that goes towards the wages of Nova Scotians, sustaining them and allowing them to branch out with new product development and manufacturing. It's money that helps our local restaurants, book stores, manufacturers, local arts and culture, farmers, fishermen, and many, many more.

One group that supports this idea wholeheartedly is I Love Local (HFX). As I said in my introduction, this is a group of Halifax-based businesses committed to promoting the overall health of locally-owned businesses through joint marketing and community engagement. But it isn't all about Halifax. Buying local is something all Nova Scotians in every corner of the province should practise. Our government and the folks at I Love Local (HFX) want to take their message to the rest of Nova Scotia as well.

Another way to keep things local this holiday season is to celebrate local food by applying to host an IncrEDIBLE Community Supper this winter. These suppers are part of the Select Nova Scotia campaign to feature locally-produced foods. Events like these bring together communities with their local farmers and processors, not to mention supporting local farm businesses, which helps create good jobs and build a stronger economy - buying local hits home.

When you give your friends and family Nova Scotia-made goods for the holidays, you're also giving a gift to all the farmers, all the fishermen, all the producers, all the artists, all the locally-owned retailers, and more, in our province. I encourage the members of this House and all Nova Scotians to buy local. Thank you.

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

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for an advance copy of his comments this afternoon, and also thank Brandon from his office, who is a great guy and a really good guy to deal with. I would join the minister in welcoming I Love Local (HFX) to the gallery. Welcome aboard.

Of course, the importance of buying local is something which all members of the Legislature can agree on. We all know the businesses in our ridings and the families who take on the risks associated with opening and running their own businesses. We should be supporting these businesses and we should be encouraging everyone to think locally when shopping for Christmas presents this year.

But it goes further than that. We need to think about our local businesses all year round. The government has tools at their disposal which would greatly support the small-business community, yet they have not fully engaged with all the tools that would make our Nova Scotian businesses more competitive and more successful. This government raised the HST, a move that adversely affects local businesses. This government went back on a commitment to index income tax brackets; this is an issue that often gets lost in nuance, but it affects small businesses and it affects Nova Scotians.

This government has ensured Nova Scotia remains uncompetitive and has made our province a little bit more unfriendly to business since taking office. While we do agree with the minister's statement that supporting local businesses is important - and they certainly do deserve our support - our businesses need much more than talk. We need this government to act to make us more competitive, and they need to start now.

It is important that we all make a conscious effort to buy local this holiday season, and indeed, throughout the entire year. Let's support local businesses by purchasing their goods and services, and as legislators, let's support our businesses by creating a business environment where those who risk it all can survive. Thank you.

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

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, firstly I would like to thank the minister for providing me with an advance copy of his remarks today. I would also like to take the time to acknowledge the comments made by my colleague in the Official Opposition.

I would like to welcome our visitors in the gallery from I Love Local (HFX) as well. The minister began his remarks by extending a challenge to those who have not yet finished their holiday shopping. The minister challenged them to buy at least 10 per cent of their goods locally or from locally-owned businesses - a lofty goal indeed, and one which members of the PC caucus support.

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I would like to answer the minister's challenge with a challenge of my own: to get serious about buying local. When this caucus introduced the Buy Nova Scotia First bill last April, our members had hoped the government would move quickly to adopt our very sensible proposals. The Buy Nova Scotia First bill required all provincial government institutions to buy Nova Scotia food first before searching out of province. Considering that only $65 million of the $2.3 billion Nova Scotians spend on food annually is spent buying local, the members of the PC caucus expected the government would act graciously and welcome the legislation after all. The Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture did. Unfortunately, this would not be the case.

The government has failed to move forward with our legislation and they failed to provide any real alternative. If the minister is serious about buying local, then I have some questions for him, why did his Cabinet and his colleagues support the decision to introduce first contract arbitration, a policy that may drive business away from Nova Scotia? Why did he encourage his colleagues to buy local when they bought their new paving plant? It's one thing for the minister to stand in this House and make speeches about the importance of buying local but it's time that he actually did something about it. By going back to the Cabinet Table and urging his colleagues to move ahead with the Buy Nova Scotia First Act, the minister will be providing real support to Nova Scotia producers.

In conclusion, I look forward to seeing the minister accept my challenge and come forward with a real buy local plan. Thank you.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3083

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

Whereas Dr. Ross Ainslie is a Halifax veterinarian who has continuously practised veterinary medicine for 60 years; and

Whereas over the course of his long and distinguished career, Dr. Ainslie established 10 veterinary hospitals throughout the HRM and in Cape Breton, of which he currently operates three today; and

Whereas the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has honoured Dr. Ainslie with life membership in recognition of his long and outstanding service to veterinary medicine;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Ross Ainslie for 60 years of service to his clients and recognize his outstanding contributions to the veterinary community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs.

RESOLUTION NO. 3084

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

Whereas on December 15, 2010, the Province of Nova Scotia officially recognized the United Nations declaration of 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent and committed to honour this year to the fullest; and

Whereas over the past 12 months, African Nova Scotian communities, government, and other partners have worked together to celebrate several highlights and milestones, including the construction of the Africville Seaview Church Museum, the opening of new exhibits at the Black Cultural Centre, a brand-new video of the life of Viola Desmond, and many other events; and

Whereas Nova Scotia proved to be a world leader in celebrating the U.N. International Year as the province welcomed close to 350 delegates from 29 different countries in September for the 7th International African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature thank Nova Scotians for making the International Year for People of African Descent a success in this province and pledge that we must continue to honour and celebrate the culture, heritage, and contributions of persons of African descent in all the years to come.

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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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : The time is now 12:45 p.m. and we will finish Question Period at 2:15 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM. - HEALTH CARE: CUTBACKS - CONTINGENCY PLAN

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. The federal Finance Minister has signalled that Ottawa will not keep increasing health transfers by 6 per cent beyond the current agreement. This government has already directed cuts to health of $46 million which, when you combine with inflation projections, have a potential to affect the Health budget by more than $90 million. The $46 million cuts were based on the assumptions of certain envelopes and among other sources of money, obviously, to the federal health transfer.

So my question to the Premier is what contingency plan does the Premier have to deal with the federal cutbacks to health care?

THE PREMIER » : Well, Mr. Speaker, as you would know, the federal health transfer arrangement still has some time to run. We're not expecting to see any impact in that in this year or for that matter next year. There was an agreement over the course of the election that that would be extended for, I think they said two years. The important thing for people to know, though, is that although it has been kind of widely reported that Nova Scotia has a 6 per cent escalator in health care funding, that's not actually true.

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In fact, what happens is the actual pool, the national pool, increases by 6 per cent. We get our share of that which doesn't turn out to be 6 per cent, it's something less, but obviously anything that affects the health transfers into the province would be of grave concern to us. I'm sure the Leader of the Official Opposition would know that just as recently as a few days ago my colleagues and I, in the Council of Atlantic Premiers, addressed this in a communiqué and obviously we are going into those negotiations not accepting the position of the federal government. We are going in to say we expect them to live up to the commitment, say, in the Romanow Commission but also to put in place a decent escalator which recognizes the expansion of health costs each year.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, I believe the Premier is correct, I believe the program will be extended to 2015, 2016, with the federal government. The Premier has already insisted that our provincial health care system make 3 per cent cuts this year. Now the federal Conservatives are indicating that they will be making cuts to health transfers when the current agreement runs out. This is going to put a tremendous strain on the provincial health care system at a time when we are dealing with an aging population and a low economic growth.

So again my question to the Premier is, what is the Premier going to do in order to mitigate this setback which is being pushed by the federal Conservative Government?

THE PREMIER « » : First let me begin by thanking the Leader of the Official Opposition for recognizing the continuing role of this government past 2016. I think that's a significant watermark in the House, Mr. Speaker, but furthermore, what I would say is that the question of health care funding in our country is one that will come back to the forefront as these health care negotiations come to the forefront and what we have said is that over the last number of years, despite a significant escalator, there has been a slide in the actual percentage of health care costs in the province that are covered by the contribution of the federal government. In fact, it has gone from 23 per cent, and I believe this year will actually slide below 20 per cent in terms of the contribution of the federal government.

We think it's enormously important that one of the fundamental tenets of the upcoming transfer is to reset the base, in other words to get back to the projected base that the Romanow Commission put in place originally, which was the 25 per cent. Then the question of the escalator, I think, is a fair one with respect to accountability on the provincial end. We're not afraid of that, in fact, we've said we would like to partner with the federal government when it comes to the question of accountability. We believe that the tax money of the people of Canada should be spent wisely and we're willing to do our part in that regard.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that if the Premier were to check Hansard, whenever it's out, I never suggested this government would be there in 2015, 2016. What I suggested was that the federal program would be there until 2015, 2016. I would strongly suggest that the Premier not be arrogant enough to prejudge what Nova Scotians will do in the next election. (Applause)

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Mr. Speaker, the NDP has already frozen budgets last year. This year the Premier will demand $90 million cuts from our provincial health care system, again, all the while insisting that his cuts will have no impact on patients or patient care. So my question to the Premier is, is the Premier concerned that these federal cuts to health care will impact patients and patient care?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, obviously we would be concerned about any cut to federal transfers. One of the realities of the relationship between the federal and provincial governments is that we have many, many transfers that take place. I think we have something in the order of 32 different agreements which result in transfers to the province for the purposes of providing services to the people of Nova Scotia. We are equally aware of the necessity of that funding to continue in each one of those envelopes. The reality is that you could get a very good agreement on health care transfers, but if you lose on the other 31 agreements, that has the same effect on the overall budget of the province. It means there's simply less money coming in.

What we're doing is working with the district health authorities to find ways to ensure that we can maximize the value of the service to our citizens and reduce the costs to the degree that we are able. One of the ways that we've done that already is by shrinking the level of administrative costs from one of the highest in the country to below the national average.

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

PREM.: FUTURE STARTS HERE CAMPAIGN - SPENDING JUSTIFY

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, every day it becomes more clear that this Premier loves to advertise - perhaps he should get an audition for the TV show Mad Men. The latest example: his government is spending at least $160,000 on its new Our Future Starts Here marketing campaign. My question to the Premier is, how can he justify spending at least $160,000 of taxpayers' money on an advertising campaign during these tough economic times?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the purpose of those ads is to take advantage - something that the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party has said should be done - of the fact that we have an enormous opportunity in front of us, one that will literally lift the economy of our province over the next couple of decades.

What those ads do is describe accurately the opportunity that is going to be there, and the way that young people - people who are now not in the workforce - can take best advantage of that opportunity so that we have the skilled tradespeople, so that we take maximum advantage of the opportunity that is in front of us. If we don't do it now, when does the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party think we should do it?

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MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, what the people of Nova Scotia want the government to do is to do the real work of taking advantage of the shipyard opportunity, not spend more of their money patting themselves on the back and taking credit for it. It's funny how times change. Today the Premier stands up and defends his advertising campaign, but in December 2005, when in Opposition, his own Minister of Finance was against doing exactly what the Premier is now doing. At that time he said that he was against putting communications ahead of doing their job properly. My question is, will the Premier admit that spending $160,000 on an ad campaign only proves that he is now putting communications ahead of doing his job properly?

THE PREMIER « » : No, Mr. Speaker. In fact, every government has budgets that are designed to market the opportunities that are available in their province. In this particular instance, this is the delivery of information to people who will be taking part in the largest economic opportunity in a generation in this province. It is important that we use all avenues to get that information out to them so they can take best advantage of it. In fact, what we know already is that employers around the province are trying to figure out where they're going to get the skilled tradesmen that they're going to need in order to fill their place in the supply chain. This is important for employers, it's important for young people and it's important for the province.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, what's important is that the government do the real work of getting ready and doing those things, not advertise, patting themselves on the back about the thought of doing it.

Mr. Speaker, in defending these very ads the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism said, "We want Nova Scotians to feel good about themselves, to get up in the morning and want to look for new opportunities" Well, clearly those people that we want to get up and look for new opportunities include the many unemployed Nova Scotians that we have in our province today. But back in 2005, returning to the Minister of Finance, he said at that time that the people who are least economically advantaged are the ones who are least likely to be reached by a government advertising campaign. So I would like to ask the Premier, if his minister is right that government advertising campaigns don't reach the very people that we need to seek out new opportunities, will he commit to doing the right thing and having the government and the taxpayer reimbursed by the NDP Party for this frivolous, feel-good political advertising campaign.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm sure that at the time in the context in which the now Finance Minister was speaking he was absolutely right and I'm sure they know that that was absolutely right as well; that's why they are so sensitive about it. But I would like to share with the House something that was said by the Saint Mary's University business professor Ed McHugh, who I'm sure is quite familiar to the members opposite. He said about this campaign, "I've got to give them kudos. Every now and then I think you say 'well done'. It's not in our nature to do that but this one, I'd give them an A."

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

PREM.: INSULIN PUMP PROG. - INTRODUCE

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : My question is for the Premier, Mr. Speaker. The impact of diabetes on our health care system will not be going away anytime soon, with 77,000 Nova Scotians impacted by the disease and 500 new cases added each month. Both prevention and management of the disease are required. Four years ago the Government of Saskatchewan initiated an insulin pump program for children under the age of 18, and just last week they expanded that program to cover people up to the age of 25. My question to the Premier, if the insulin pump program has been so successful in Saskatchewan why is your government not willing to introduce one?

THE PREMIER « » : Of course there are some, not only competing opinions about the best way to manage diabetes, but there are competing opinions about what the best use of the health care dollar is in terms of being the most effective management of that disease. What we are doing is working with the district health authorities to ensure that that money is being maximized and therefore that the maximum benefit is being received by those who suffer with diabetes.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, in addition to the expansion of the insulin pump program in Saskatchewan their government also moved the drug Lantus, a long-lasting insulin, to full formulary listing. This means the medical criteria is no longer required in Saskatchewan in order to have Lantus covered. In Nova Scotia we can't even get the government to list Lantus as an exceptional drug, let alone make it available on the formulary. So my question to the Premier, why are other provinces so advanced when it comes to addressing the needs of diabetics in their provinces and we are content to lag behind?

THE PREMIER « » : This is not the case, we have an excellent program dealing with diabetes but for a better explanation of it all I'll ask the Minister of Health and Wellness to answer the question for the Leader of the Opposition.

HON. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, to the best of my knowledge Saskatchewan may be the only province that currently lists that particular drug. The Common Drug Formulary Review did not recommend the listing of that drug and for that reason it's not on our formulary.

However, I would like to tell the Leader of the Official Opposition that yesterday I had an opportunity to meet with members of the diabetic program here in Nova Scotia and a paediatric endocrinologist from the IWK, who provided me with great insight into what her experience is in working with diabetic patients, children. Certainly she spoke very favourably about this particular drug. My department will look at the variety of information that was brought to us from the front line provider yesterday.

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MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, through you to the minister, I want to tell her that Alberta and Atlantic Canada are the only provinces at the present time that do not have Lantus on the formulary. We are aware that the drug, Plavix, which is not used to treat diabetics, will be moving, in January, to a generic form of that particular drug which will save the province somewhere in and around $3 million. With that saving, with the idea that we know the minister is having her meetings more recently with the front line health care workers trying to deal with Nova Scotians with diabetes, I want to ask the Premier, through you, can Nova Scotians expect to see his government not only move on this drug, but to show some clear signal that we're prepared to invest in insulin pumps to help improve Nova Scotians treat this disease?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, as you would know, of course, the departments are well aware of the way in which the drugs move into the generic status and the savings that would come from that. Those are already accounted for in the health care budgets in advance of the transition taking place. It's not actually a saving; it is a calculated reduction in the expense that is picked up elsewhere in the health care budget. We are constantly looking at ways to be able to improve the delivery of service to people in the province, whether it's through new technology, through new drugs that are coming on the market - these are things we are constantly monitoring - of course, we have the very difficult job of doing that within a fixed budget.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: PHYSICIAN RESOURCE PLAN

- RECEIPT CONFIRM

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. On April 20th, 2011 this government awarded a $228,000 tender to Alberta-based Social Sector Metrics Incorporated along with Health Intelligence Systems Incorporated to produce a 10-year physician resource plan for the province. According to the department's press release issued on April 20th, the 10 year plan is needed to ensure government knows exactly what doctors are needed and where they will be needed, in the next 10 years.

The tender stated that the contract shall not exceed six months, which means the minister should already have received the plan by November. This date is confirmed in the press release. My question to the minister is, can the minister confirm whether her department has received the physician resource plan as outlined in the tender and if not, why not?

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HON. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, the work on the physician resource plan is very close to being finished but I have yet to receive the report. I anticipate that before the Christmas holiday I will have something in hand.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, as the press release states, we have a mal-distribution of physicians across the province. There are rural communities such as Yarmouth and towns in the Valley that have been experiencing shortage of physician services which is impacting emergency care and consistent primary care. These residents are waiting for the outcome of this report. However, if past experience of the minister is any indication of future behaviour, there will be considerable lapse of time before the public is informed of the contents of the report and what steps are next in the process. My question to the minister is, how long after receipt of the report can the public expect to be informed of the report's findings?

MS. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, this work is underway. We are very fortunate in Nova Scotia. All independent reports do demonstrate that Nova Scotia has the highest number of physicians per capita of any province in Canada. About 96 per cent of Nova Scotians have a family doctor, but there are areas in the province where there have been persistent challenges in terms of recruitment and retention of physicians.

We are doing planning for an aging physician population. The baby boom is affecting the potential of retirements for physicians, just like every other professional group. So this is a forward-looking plan that will take us forward for a 10-year period. I believe we will be the first province in Canada to have developed such a plan. As I indicated, I have yet to receive the work of the working group, but I anticipate that I will have it before the Christmas holiday.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, there is a lot riding on this report. Communities are waiting to hear about physician needs in their communities, and according to the minister in The ChronicleHerald dated March 12, 2011, even decisions around the expansion of the Dal Medical School hinge on the content of this report.

My final question to the minister is, when can Nova Scotians expect specific actions and commitments from government which will address the findings of this report?

MS. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, unlike that member's Party when they were last in government, who ran the health care system without any planning, we like to do the plan before we run out and make announcements. We attempt not to run large deficits in the health care system but to live within our means while providing high quality health care services. That will be the signature of this government: delivering better care sooner in a responsible way.

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

JUSTICE: DEADBEAT PARENTS - ACTIONS

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Justice. Maintenance enforcement programs are critical to many Nova Scotia families where couples have split and the custodial parent is left to look after the children. We uncovered through a Freedom of Information request that there are 3,366 people who have moved out of the province without looking after their family obligations.

Mr. Speaker, I would like the Minister of Justice to tell the House what he is doing to ensure that deadbeat parents are taking care of their responsibilities in Nova Scotia.

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. That is a difficult issue, when people move out of the province to avoid their responsibilities, especially when there are children and the family structure left behind in Nova Scotia. Our government has put priorities on individuals and working with the other provinces in trying to find ways to make collaborative efforts in that consultation. That is ongoing and we have made great strides in reducing the overall income by about 10 per cent. We'll continue to work in that vein. It is an important issue, especially to those directly affected, and it's an important matter to me and to this government and to the Justice Department.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, in addition to those 3,366 out-of-province cases, there are 13,316 cases in Nova Scotia where families are not getting the money needed and that the court has ordered paid. That is more than $83 million owed to Nova Scotia families. According to the Women's Action Coalition, Nova Scotia's system currently limits or prevents women's full access to justice by failing to ensure women are able to secure their child support entitlements. What is the Minister of Justice doing to clean up this backlog and support the well being of thousands of women and children in our province?

MR. LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I do want to thank the Leader of the Opposition Party because it gives me an opportunity to make a very clear distinction between their government, when the Progressive Conservatives were in, and this government that is in.

In the last year we have collected over $60 million. We know that the problem is immense and that due to lack of action in the past doesn't mean we can clean it up in just over two years, but we're making that effort. We're actively enforcing matters in arrears. Every case is being reviewed, that's one thing that is occurring, and we're revoking driver's licences and looking at passports with the individuals involved. We have an investigator tracking down the most difficult cases, focused there. That is the clear distinction between what the Progressive Conservatives did not do and what we are doing as a government. I take great pride in our efforts. Thank you.

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MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the 13,000 families and children who are looking to this government for help in collecting what has been ordered to them would take greater comfort in that answer from the minister if he was less political about it and took responsibility for what they are facing today. According to Lucille Harper, the executive director of the Antigonish Women's Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services Association says:

There needs to be a greater commitment to ensure the program is effective and meets the needs of the primary parent, generally mothers in this province, and needs to recognize the impact the lack of an effective program has on family economics. In cases where there is a history of violence and abuse, it leaves women in a place of increased vulnerability.

Mr. Speaker, she didn't say that five years ago - she's talking about today. I will ask the minister, does he recognize the effect that inaction has on families in Nova Scotia who are in need of maintenance enforcement and will he commit, under his watch, today, to fixing this broken program and ensure that these families are looked after, as they are legally entitled to be?

MR. LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to clearly point out that the severity of this problem did not occur in the past two years. We take responsibility and are cleaning up the mess of the Progressive Conservatives. The Progressive Conservatives have put - and I apologize for that word - this on and are making it a political issue. I am committed to working with my provincial partners in discussing this matter fully on the issue of violence against women. I have a zero tolerance to that and am working very hard and the particular group from Antigonish that the member referred to, we are working with that group and other groups across the province to address this. I'm confident that we'll make significant strides, unlike the previous administration.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

PREM. - LOAD-SHIFTING CREDIT: RATEPAYERS - EFFECT

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. As part of the deal that Cabinet put together with Bowater, Nova Scotia Power has added a load-shifting credit of $0.5 million per year. Would the Premier please explain to the House how this portion of the agreement will work, how it might affect other ratepayers in the province, and what amount of energy Bowater would be entitled to?

THE PREMIER « » : The way it works is that a credit is given to Bowater for using power at points of time in the day when the demand goes down. As the member opposite would know, the ability of the power company to supply power works at a certain peak level, when it cycles down and up that actually causes increased costs in the overall running of the utility. Because Bowater will pick up the slack and operate at times when the utility is going through a slacker time for the call on the electricity that's being generated, they will be given credit for shifting their work cycle in order to match the ability of the utility to provide the load at that period.

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MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the Premier's clarification because it is slightly different from what the department has been saying. Another part of the deal would actually have Brooklyn Energy, which is of course one of the companies associated, access or supply additional energy and we've been told by the Department of Energy that that will come in through the Community Feed-in Tariff Program which is why it was not part of the legislation. The only concern with that, or one of the concerns with that, of course, is there are actually only 3.3 megawatts of energy available, or space available, according to Nova Scotia Power, in that area to tap in, which means that any energy that Brooklyn Energy now puts on there will shut out other renewable energy suppliers in the area.

So, Mr. Speaker, it appears that Bowater will be able to use up most, if not all, of the available COMFIT space on the grid in that area, according to Nova Scotia Power. So would the Premier please explain why they felt that it should be structured in that way?

THE PREMIER « » : Well, just to be clear for the member opposite, that's different than load shifting, that's a different component of what takes place. This is about putting in place an additional piece of technology, the topping turbine, which will essentially use the steam that's already being created but is now currently way steam. So this creates green energy which will be sold into the grid at the COMFIT rate. We're told that there is enough capacity to ensure that that comes on and is part of the overall green energy makeup of the grid and, frankly, Mr. Speaker, this should be a good thing. If it's a good thing for Bowater, it will be a good thing for Nova Scotia and, of course, it's a good thing for the province.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think the Premier is maybe misunderstanding the concern. It's not the fact that there's a problem with green energy or the topping turbine, or anything else. The problem is that there are renewable energy suppliers that are going to create jobs in the Queens County area that now, according to Nova Scotia Power and the Department of Energy, will be shut out because the energy access that they would have used will now be used up by Brooklyn Energy. There's a finite amount of power, or a finite space available.

The URB has ruled there's 3.3 megawatts of electricity available in the Brooklyn area, the Brooklyn-Liverpool area, and a number of renewable energy suppliers have indicated very clearly that, obviously all the ones that felt they would be able to access that 3.3 megawatts will now not be able to because whatever Brooklyn Energy accesses will now not be available to others who were planning to create new jobs in that area. That is information from the URB, the Department of Energy and Nova Scotia Power, all saying the same thing.

[Page 5393]

So, Mr. Speaker, the question is, you know, they've talked about 2,000 jobs and all kinds of other things. Why did they not take into account the lost economic opportunities from the renewable energy suppliers who will now be shut out of accessing that part of the grid and creating new green jobs in Queens?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, what the member opposite should have said is that that's his understanding of what was said by Nova Scotia Power and the URB, and whoever else he was talking to, but that's not the case. In fact, those people who are currently in the queue who are looking to become contributors to the green energy makeup in the province will still have the opportunity to access that through the COMFIT Program. We're working with them now to develop new green energy alternatives and we're going to continue to do that over the coming years.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - INSULIN PUMP PROG.:

FUNDING - REFUSAL EXPLAIN

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you today is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. Nova Scotia, as you know, is one of the few provinces in Canada that doesn't offer any funding for insulin pumps and in November, I think a lot of members of this House of Assembly attended a dinner with the Canadian Diabetes Association. They released a report that shows a provincial investment in a publicly-funded insulin pump program could improve health outcomes for Nova Scotians with diabetes and save the province up to $1.4 million by 2032. I will table that release as soon as I can pull it out of my book here.

Two of the goals the government has often quoted in the Better Health Care Sooner plan are to improve health outcomes and use health dollars better. This morning in Public Accounts we heard from the deputy minister that the department refuses to consider a publicly-funded insulin program when a publicly-funded insulin program clearly fits into the government's stated goals. Why won't the minister fund insulin pumps in Nova Scotia?

HON. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, we currently have programs to assist people with diabetes in Nova Scotia. We spend approximately $19 million annually to assist people. There are four other provinces that have insulin pump programs for some portion of their diabetic population; there are two provinces that have announced they will implement programs, and we have yet to see the details of what those programs look like.

As I indicated in a previous question, Mr. Speaker, I met yesterday with a pediatric endocrinologist from the IWK. I was interested in hearing from someone with expertise on the front line what the experience is with insulin pumps, for whom insulin pumps would be useful. It was a very interesting meeting. This particular physician came very well prepared with a number of suggestions, of which insulin pumps were actually not the top priority.

[Page 5394]

There are a variety of ideas that are being presented to the department from people with expertise in terms of what we need to do to improve the kinds of treatment we have available, and I will be guided by people with expertise in this area of health care.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : In November the Canadian Diabetes Association forecast a 44 per cent rise in diabetes in Nova Scotia over the next 10 years. The association estimated that the direct and indirect financial impacts of diabetes in Nova Scotia currently cost the province $383 million per year. By 2020 the association believes that these costs will increase to nearly half a billion dollars if action is not taken. A public insulin pump program could save the province money - $1.4 million by 2032, according to the association. So why won't the minister act now to control the economic cost to the province and soften the human cost associated with diabetes?

MS. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member no doubt knows, insulin pumps are probably the most expensive form of treatment that we could look at. A pump can cost $5,000 to $6,000, and the supplies can be approximately $400 a month. The life of an insulin pump is limited, so they need replacement every five years or so. It's a very, very costly form of intervention.

As I indicated, yesterday the pediatric endocrinologist had a number of very interesting insights into other requirements that people with diabetes have, which may in fact give us better outcomes for more effective use of our health care dollars. As I've indicated, Mr. Speaker, I very much take the approach of looking at value for dollar in the health care system, and I am guided by people in the front lines of health care who know what they're talking about based on their practice experience.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : We do understand the cost associated with an insulin pump. Insulin pumps sometimes cost between $4,000 and $7,000, depending on the model that you're getting - a figure that is, of course, out of reach by many Nova Scotians.

The Canadian Diabetes Association, in a press release that I tabled earlier, tells a story of a nine-year-old Halifax girl who uses a pump. Her family says the device is a life-changer for the entire family and has restored the girl's childhood.

We know, right now, that about 700 children have type 1 diabetes, and we do know that not all 700 children would require a pump, but maybe a number of those might require them. Since it does have such a restorative effect to a child's childhood, allows them to be a kid, why won't the minister help families, like this little girl's, get better care now, and fund insulin pumps for children?

MS. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, the member is correct, insulin pumps aren't for every person with diabetes or, indeed, for every child with diabetes. The physicians at the IWK, for example, have access to a fund called the Emily Fund, which is specifically a fund that assists families for whom an insulin pump would be a benefit, but are unable to acquire because they don't have private insurance - so quite often children are able to access these pumps through that program.

[Page 5395]

There are many, many questions that need to be asked around introducing an insulin pump program in Nova Scotia. I know I've heard one of the members on the other side saying, well, what about other provinces that have these programs? The other provinces that have these programs have not done any evaluations on either the health impact or the cost benefit of the insulin pump programs. These programs are too new to have that kind of information.

We will gather all of the information around insulin pumps and their effectiveness, as we consider what the interventions are that we will invest in and for what parts of our population will these interventions yield good health outcomes and give us good value for dollar, Mr. Speaker.

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

SNSMR - HEATING ASSISTANCE REBATE PROG.: ADVERTISING - DETAILS

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, the Heating Assistance Rebate Program has been continually under-spent by the NDP Government. We hear from many constituents that they are either unaware or they simply cannot find the information they need in order to apply. (Interruption) Yes, the government did send out information bulletins to MLAs, but it seems that the government stopped there.

Mr. Speaker, aside from simply notifying MLAs, what further steps does the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations plan on taking to ensure that all Nova Scotians are aware of this program?

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for his question. This program is advertised in the paper, it's advertised at food banks - as a matter of fact I think the department actually sends out to people who previously subscribed to the program, so people in other years who have used the program, the information is sent to them and, as well, is sent to all the MLA offices.

MR. COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, we are learning that this problem is not isolated to the Heating Assistance Rebate Program. It comes to our attention that people who are eligible for rebates on pellet stoves are either unaware or have great difficulty finding proper information and forms to apply for this rebate. For Nova Scotians, bureaucracy is very difficult to navigate.

Mr. Speaker, what further steps has the minister taken in order to ensure that all programs and rebates in his department are clearly publicized and easy to access for all Nova Scotians?

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MR. MACDONELL « » : I'm not sure if I caught the actual question, but every agency that deals with low-income individuals, people who we would think would probably be those who might want to access these programs, is sent this information. I think there are over 100 agencies in this province that get this information. I have to say, as minister for the department, this is not one - even as an MLA - that I actually say that I've encountered, that this is a problem for people to get this information. It seems to get out there and be well used.

MR. COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, in one particular case constituents approached various wood-pellet stove dealers to ask about the availability of a rebate. None of these dealers were aware of any rebates so these people were then sent to Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. It took them many phone calls to find the proper person, through Access Nova Scotia, and even then the person they spoke to was unclear of how to qualify for the rebate and even uncertain what specific rebate to suggest. This is a problem. When Access Nova Scotia representatives are unclear about programs and rebates, it makes it that much more difficult for Nova Scotians to be able to navigate through the system. What is the minister going to do in order to improve and streamline the system so that Nova Scotians will be able to navigate through an often bewildering process to qualify and obtain rebates that they're entitled to?

MR. MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would be glad to talk with the member after Question Period. I'm thinking, if he's talking about a rebate on sale of, or purchase of, pellet stoves or any other devices, which I'm pretty sure isn't my department, but anyway, I'd be glad to discuss this with the member. From what we can tell, there really isn't an issue around people actually getting the information they need.

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

ERDT - TELUS WORLD SKINS GOLF GAME: FUNDING - DISBURSEMENT

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, on Monday the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism announced funding for the Telus World Skins Game, but when questioned on it by the media he was unprepared and didn't even know the details of what he approved to fund with taxpayers' money. My question to the short-on-details minister is, why won't the minister finally admit that on Monday, when he announced about the Telus World Skins Games, he did not know how taxpayers' money was going to be used and that he continues to make ad hoc funding decisions with borrowed money?

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, the question that I was asked was, what's the money for? My response was the money is going to be used for marketing and advertising; that is unchanged. The $200,000 that we've invested in this is a good investment for the Province of Nova Scotia. This is going to be a world - an international event. Now if the member opposite doesn't want this event, why doesn't he just come out and say it?

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MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, we didn't deny that it might be good for the province. We just wanted to know how the details would be spent. Yesterday before the House the minister suggested that he gave the information he did on Monday in a scrum with reporters because he thought it would give our Party a question for Question Period. My question to the minister is, does the minister make it a habit of playing games with reporters in order to try to dictate what questions will be for Question Period the next day, or is he trying to cover up his lack of knowledge around the details of the funding decision and use of taxpayers' dollars? (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member - have a seat - the honourable member for Cape Breton North has the floor.

MR. ORRELL « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I'll ask the question again. My question to the minister is, does the minister make it a habit of playing games with reporters in order to try dictating what his questions will be for Question Period the next day, or was he trying to cover up his lack of knowledge around the details of the funding decision and the use of taxpayers' dollars?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, the short answer to the question is, no.

MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, this minister's arrogance is unbelievable and disrespectful to all Nova Scotians who expect prudent use of their dollars. Yesterday the minister said the golf game will bring global attention to the province that we all need. That's true, but when Travel + Leisure magazine named Cape Breton as the number one island in North America and the number three island in the world, he did nothing to help promote that. (Interruptions)

If golf courses are what excite the minister, there are a couple of world-class golf courses in Cape Breton. Tourism is down in Cape Breton; room nights sold dropped by 10,000 between January and September this year over the same period last year. The minister has done nothing to promote Cape Breton as a unique destination.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, will the minister admit he has failed to promote Cape Breton's important distinction as an island destination and that his arrogance is getting in the way of his ability to properly carry out his role as the minister?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, sometimes the member opposite confuses confidence with the word arrogance, which too often happens in my community.

This is something from Cape Breton, from Katherine MacDonald. I will read the last paragraph and I will table this. The "high-profile event" which the editor is referring to here is called the Telus World Skins Game. "This high profile event will bring golfers and golf fans to Nova Scotia and provide the opportunity to showcase our province to new and returning visitors. We believe the spin off economic and promotional benefits will also raise awareness of our province-wide, world class golf product."

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This is from Katherine MacDonald, Director of Golf Marketing - guess where? Destination Cape Breton.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - REHAB CTR.: HYDROTHERAPY - ALTERNATIVES

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. This Friday the rehabilitation pool located in the rehab centre on Summer Street will cease to operate. In-patients of the rehab who have enjoyed the immense health benefits associated with therapeutic hydrotherapy will either have to be transported outside the centre to another community facility or go without. The reason for the disruption in service? Budget constraints imposed by the province.

These budget constraints are only going to get worse under the NDP Government. My question to the minister is, how is it acceptable to this minister that therapeutic hydrotherapy will no longer be accessible to in-patients of the rehab centre?

HON. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. The closure of that particular facility has nothing to do with budget constraints. The pool at the rehab centre is quite old, and they've had many problems with it over the last year or so, to the extent that there have been leaks on floors below where that pool is located. The Capital District Health Authority has decided, in the interest of patient safety and the functioning of the rehab centre as a whole, that it is best that that particular facility be closed. They are moving forward with that plan.

There is a working group in the Capital District Health Authority that is looking at what the alternatives are with respect to hydrotherapy.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, individuals who have had strokes, sustained a head or spinal cord injury, suffer from MS or MD, and even those with severe chronic pain will suffer as a result of this decision. In-patients seeking therapy will now have to pay for the use of a community pool, will need to dress and be transported to an off-site facility, and then be removed from their wheelchairs in order to access the replacement pool - the stress alone will negate the benefits received.

My question to the minister is, given that hydrotherapy enables patients to return to productive life sooner, and the minister is so fond of evidence-based decision making, how much will government be saving as a result of this short-sighted decision?

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MS. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, I can't understand what the honourable member is saying. Is he saying that the Capital District Health Authority should operate an unsafe facility; is he saying that it's okay to have the problems that they've identified continue and flood out the therapeutic facilities beneath this pool - is that what the honourable member is saying?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, we understand the needs of the pool, but this is now looking like a final decision, so my question to the minister is, will the minister commit to revisiting this decision with Capital District in order to ensure that patients at the Rehab Centre will be able to access this valuable therapy after repairs have been assessed and completed?

MS. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, the staff at the Capital District Health Authority who operate this facility have identified that there is a safety issue. There is a concern with respect to other programs that could be affected if this facility is allowed to continue to operate in the current situation that it's in, and they have put together a working group to look at the alternatives for hydrotherapy for people who rely on that pool in the Capital District, and I'm satisfied that their planning is proceeding as it should.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Kings West on a new question.

HEALTH & WELLNESS - HOME OXYGEN PROG.: CHANGES - TRANSITION

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness.

Last week I asked the Minister of Health and Wellness to provide some justification for the changes brought forward by the NDP Government around the Home Oxygen Program. While government insists that changes were necessary to save money, the reality is money could have been saved and massive disruption for clients could have been avoided.

Besides the minister's cost-savings rationale, the minister went on to say she was pleased with the transition. I would like to table the following letter from a couple in Newport, Hants County, which states: "The transition, in my opinion, was too fast and too disorganized, it caused us many hours of stress and uncertainty."

My question to the minister, if the transition was so smooth for the minister, why did Mr. and Mrs. Greenwood who, as clients, are the most important people in the process, feel otherwise?

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HON. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, I know the honourable member doesn't really place a very high priority on getting value for the health care dollar, but that's not the approach that this minister is taking. Home oxygen programs in Nova Scotia were very uncompetitive when we looked across the country with respect to what other provinces were paying for home oxygen. We knew that we could get a better deal for the taxpayers and we also knew that we were able to deliver high-quality services. So we put the home oxygen programs out to tender. We had a fair and open tendering process. The results of that process were announced and a number of companies were successful in the various DHAs.

The clients of the Home Oxygen Program were all notified of the changes; they were notified that they would have a choice between providers and, Mr. Speaker, the process I think will not only result in better value for dollar for the taxpayer, but a continuation of high-quality home oxygen services for patients throughout Nova Scotia.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Greenwoods would have preferred a choice. They would have preferred to have avoided the stress associated with transition. I spoke to this couple and here is what I learned. Apparently the information package provided by the company they were forced to transition to was produced on Manitoba letterhead with Manitoba contact telephone numbers. Despite the fact that it was all new equipment to the Greenwoods, no information was provided on what to do in the case of a power failure which, unfortunately, is a far-too-frequent event in this province.

My question to the minister is, does the minister find it acceptable that the Greenwoods were provided with out-of-province contact information and no information as to how to handle their new equipment in the event of a power outage, yes or no?

MS. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, there were a number of companies that were successful, through the fair and open tendering process, including numerous Nova Scotia companies. The company that the member refers to is from another province but is only one of a number of companies that were successful in getting the contract.

Mr. Speaker, this means that we get better value for our health care dollars in Nova Scotia. We have a competitive situation now and we will continue to monitor the Home Oxygen Program to ensure that people are getting the services that they require.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, the minister knows very well that the Atlantic respiratory association told her that they would be competitive with any company but it wasn't a very transparent process that took place. The Greenwoods have agreed to speak out. Other patients of the Home Oxygen Program are likely frustrated but are afraid to do so for fear that service will be discontinued. They are also fearful that once they do speak out, the limited choices available in each of the districts may become that much more limited.

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My final question to the minister is, what process has the minister established to capture complaints about service delivery under this newly-structured NDP Home Oxygen Program that will assure clients they can freely speak without repercussions to service?

MS. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, I still haven't found a little dungeon over in the Department of Health and Wellness where we lock up people who express their dissatisfaction with the health care system. It doesn't seem to be a deterrent for a lot of people, in terms of expressing their views on the health care system.

Mr. Speaker, this is an important issue. Providing home oxygen to people in Nova Scotia is important in my department, and we wanted to ensure that we were getting value for dollar while ensuring high-quality care. We had a fair and open process. The company that the member referred to, when he said the process wasn't transparent, in fact, was the successful company in at least three of the DHAs. So I really don't know what the member is trying to get at but I am satisfied that we did have a fair process. I am satisfied that Nova Scotian companies were able to successfully compete and I am satisfied that the program will offer quality services to people who require them.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH & WELLNESS - DART. GEN. HOSP.: FUTURE - ADDRESS

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Health and Wellness. Two years ago I asked the Minister of Health and Wellness about the future plans for the Dartmouth General Hospital and I asked again on November 16th, both pretty much the same question. On both occasions she recognized the important role of the hospital but refused to make any specific commitments to the people served by that hospital in Dartmouth and surrounding areas.

Well, Mr. Speaker, shortly after asking that question on November 30th, 16 patients were transferred to Halifax and one had to be transferred all the way to Hants County because there was no room at the hospital. We know the tremendous pressure staff face in situations like this and it's really time for the minister to address the question of the future of the Dartmouth General Hospital, particularly since the board and the hospital staff have presented plans for two years now to her department without responses. When will the minister respond to the needs of the Dartmouth General Hospital?

HON. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm really thankful for the question from the honourable member, it gives me an opportunity to tell members of the House, if they were unaware, that I made an announcement this morning over at the Centennial Building at the Capital District Health Authority of the first phase of planning for the future, not only of the Centennial Building, but indeed for the future of infrastructure that is aging and under great stress throughout the Capital District Health Authority, of which I consider the Dartmouth General to be part of the solution that we need to look toward. Later on, before the end of this month, we'll have more information to provide members in terms of what our plans are for that facility.

[Page 5402]

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm wondering whether the minister was at her own announcement after listening to that answer because the announcement this morning was about the Victoria General Hospital being taken down and replaced on the QEII site, the site the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island was happy to jump up and down and say will remain as a park last year in this Legislature.

The fact is a Code Census was called 173 times last year between November 2010 and November 2011 - that means half the year. (Interruptions) Mr. Speaker, half the year last year the Dartmouth General Hospital was in Code Census and I'll table a story from CBC where John Gillis, spokesperson for Capital Health says, not only does he say that it's overcrowded right now, but he said it runs close to or at capacity every day. The announcements the minister made this morning do not solve the problem facing the hospital today and that have been facing it for two years. Would the minister please confirm when she will have an answer about the Dartmouth General to solve the problems that are facing the hospital today and almost every single day over the past two years?

MS. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, I know that member and some other members on the other side can't handle good news. I was at the announcement, I made the announcement, I'm very clear on what it was that we announced today. As I indicated, there will be more information before the end of the month with respect to the capital improvements for the Dartmouth General Hospital.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, here's the minister's own press release from this morning which says she's going to fund a study to look at upgrades over the next five years. For two years the Dartmouth General has been placing on her desk, without a response, a plan to address overcrowding at the Dartmouth General that would save the government money in the Department of Health and Wellness and she can't be bothered to answer. That is not acceptable for a Minister of Health and Wellness, for two years this problem has existed and it is getting out of hand.

Mr. Speaker, for two years that hospital has been putting the plan on her desk and she can't even be bothered to respond to them. I will ask for a third time, it's not good enough to say that by the end of the year she'll have the plan for another study or this morning, the minister made an announcement about a study, that is not enough - when is the minister going to have an answer about the use of the fifth floor and respond to the proposals that have been submitted to her by the hospital?

MS. MAUREEN MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, it is fairly obvious that the honourable member can't handle good news and I hope to see him when we have a little more good news before the end of the month, to see how apoplectic he'll be at that point.

[Page 5403]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Dartmouth East on a new question.

NAT. RES.: SHUBENACADIE CANAL COMMN. - REVIEW

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker - wow. My question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. (Interruption) Well, you don't get answers from the Minister of Health and Wellness so why would you keep going there?

Mr. Speaker, the Shubenacadie Canal Commission is responsible for significant lands, water sheds, buildings, and heritage sites across the province. They are tasked by an Act of this Legislature to protect those assets and promote the heritage of the Mi'kmaq, the Acadians, and the canal workers who developed what is now a national engineering historic site. However, as we know, provincial funding has decreased since the NDP came to power and capital funding has all but dried up.

Mr. Speaker, does the minister have a plan to review funding for the commission and its governing Act so it can fulfill the mandate given to it by the legislature?

HON. CHARLIE PARKER « » : Certainly the Shubenacadie Canal is a truly wonderful engineering facility here in our province. I know the honourable member has had a close personal relationship with it; I congratulate him on his book that he has recently published on the canal. It's a facility that this government supports; in fact, we have annual operating grant, I think it's around $32,100, and we appoint members to the commission and, again, it's just a real asset for the Province of Nova Scotia.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Well, you know, Mr. Speaker, both this minister and the previous minister have said in questioning, in very similar questions over the past few years, that they support the work of the commission, which we obviously all appreciate since they are required by an Act of the Legislature to do that. Their total funding has decreased since the NDP took power, of course, much like other things. But one of the questions that I've asked this minister and the previous minister is about appointments to the commission, which the Executive Council is responsible to. There are now 12 positions on the board and seven of them remain vacant, two and a half years later. I asked two years ago, I asked last year, and they're still vacant. Can the minister tell us when he finally plans to make those appointments to the Shubenacadie Canal Commission?

MR. PARKER « » : Certainly, the Shubenacadie Canal Commission - we're looking, as the member asked, around options for funding and I know the commission itself is looking at a fundraising initiative and we'll certainly be supportive of that. As far as the commission members, we've recently appointed one new member; there are two others in process that are going through, so that will be another three additional members that will now be there. We're always looking for good candidates to serve on the Shubenacadie Canal Commission and if that honourable member or any others have suggestions, we would certainly welcome those to come forward.

[Page 5404]

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate that the minister is moving a couple of appointments through but there are more than enough applications that the commission has brought to his attention, and has written letters to the minister's staff and office, so there are more than enough sitting there to be considered. Many of the people who have applied, and haven't even received acknowledgement, have contacted other members of the Legislature.

Mr. Speaker, one other issue that, of course, was brought up last year - and I'll table a letter from the minister to me about it from February 3, 2011 - is about the purchase of land of historical significance near the canal that the province has expressed an interest in. We understand that negotiations have been underway for some time since then, so will the minister advise the House the stage of the negotiations because we understand that they may be stalled?

MR. PARKER « » : Well, as I mentioned in my last question we're certainly working continuously to find good members to serve on the commission and again, I welcome your input on any good people that you think would serve there. As far as that piece of land, we've had meetings, jointly with HRM, and that dialogue is continuing as we look forward to finding a solution to that particular issue.

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

NAT. RES. - MV MINER: REMOVAL - STATUS

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you will be to the Minister of Natural Resources. In mid-November I was part of a delegation to Ottawa that met with the federal Minister of State for Transportation, regarding the MV Miner, which is on the shores of Scatarie Island. The Premier was on that trip, as well as the member for Glace Bay.

I know the Premier is aware of the importance of this ship's removal. It threatens to damage local sea life, as well as the health and safety of the people who live in the surrounding area. To this date I have not yet heard anything about the status of the ship's removal. The storm last week hit Cape Breton especially hard. Can the Minister of Natural Resources tell this House what the status of the removal of the MV Miner is?

HON. CHARLIE PARKER « » : Mr. Speaker, certainly the Scatarie Island area is an important wilderness protection area in our province and we know that around that island there is an important fishery of scallops and lobsters and other species. We're trying to do everything we can to protect it. We've had ongoing meetings with our federal counterparts. As you know, the province spent somewhere in the vicinity of $300,000-plus for an environmental cleanup and to get any dangerous goods off the ship.

[Page 5405]

We are committed to working with our federal partners but, in reality, it was the federal government that allowed this ship to sail. We're hoping they'll have a policy in place to prevent any future accidents like this but we're committed to trying to find a solution to this issue.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, there's been a lot of talk about what was and what wasn't going to happen around the site, to ensure that the MV Miner was not damaging the health and safety of people or the local sea life. Early this week there were reports of oil leaking from the engines. Now I've been out to the ship and there was a large hole in its hull at that time and it's gotten worse. Winter is fast approaching and I don't know if the ship will survive another storm. It's falling apart. On October 7th, Mr. Speaker, the Premier committed to make sure the ship is quickly removed, to avoid environmental damage.

We have not yet seen any action and time is critical. News reports indicate that there may be federal funding available for situations like the MV Miner. Has the minister pursued all avenues available to remove the ship? Has he worked with the federal government to come to an agreement on a course of action, or were the Premier's words in October empty?

MR. PARKER « » : Mr. Speaker, our Premier has been very involved on this file and I'm going to ask him to reply to it.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, as you would know, this is a matter that I raised with our federal counterparts. I did so very early and, as the member knows, as he said, he was on the trip we took in order to see Mr. Fletcher. We have been consistent in our insistence that the Department of Transport, Transport Canada, take its responsibility for what has happened to the MV Miner.

I guess the question I have is that we were all in that meeting. The member made a specific suggestion to the minister, Mr. Fletcher, and asked that they put together resources to actually address this. We have received no reply; perhaps the member has received a reply from his Conservative colleagues.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, as the Premier of this province stated in October: I'll do whatever it takes. I'm going to make sure this doesn't happen. It's not going to be an environmental issue and I'll look after it. Well, he hasn't done that. Now he is over there and yes, I was in that meeting. Do you know what the difference is between me in the meeting and him? I went there with a plan to try and make a solution rather than just going there.

I've met with the Premier's Office, I've met with the minister's office and I've talked to the Transportation Minister in Ottawa. Now, all that being said, it is about what is important for the people and the sea life of that area. I know the best time for getting that ship removed was when it happened, but that hasn't happened. However, the minister and the Premier need to stop laying blame and get on with it. The structural integrity of the MV Miner has continued to deteriorate, and I'm sure we all know the clock is working against us. It's working against the sea life there and it's working against the people whose livelihood is involved. There is a simple question, before it's too late, will the Premier and the minister agree to immediately present a plan for the removal of the MV Miner from Scatarie Island as he promised in October?

[Page 5406]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the reality is that a plan has been presented to the federal government. We have asked them to do what they were responsible to do, but they have not done that. Can you imagine the Progressive Conservative caucus in this province trying to heap $23 million of cost onto the backs of the taxpayers of Nova Scotia instead of insisting that his federal colleagues do what they ought to do?

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

CCH - ATLANTIC LOTTERY CORP.: MARKET EXPANSION - DETAILS

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage asked me to ask him a question before the Christmas break, and I am going to deliver.

Recently CBC reported that the Atlantic Lottery Corporation is looking to expand into international markets. According to the reports, the ALC is interested in expanding to such places as Albania and Illinois, as well as other markets around the world. Has the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage been briefed on this development? Does he have a complete understanding of what this will mean for Nova Scotians?

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question in the dying days of the House. No question, Nova Scotians have an interest in what Atlantic Lotto has been doing over the last number of years. We have an interest, like the other Atlantic Provinces, to ensure that we can maximize the opportunities that we might have with our interest with ALC. We're going to continue to ensure that our stakeholders at the table with ALC ensure that the best interests of Nova Scotians and the asset that we have in Atlantic Lotto is going forward in the appropriate way.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, after intense pressure from the Liberal caucus and from Nova Scotians across the province, the government made a commitment that they would not venture any further into the world of on-line gambling. With ALC expanding to markets across the globe and to jurisdictions with very different laws and regulations on gambling, Nova Scotians have good reason to be concerned with the possibility that they may be moving away from that position. Has the minister made it clear to ALC that regardless of what markets they enter, Nova Scotia will not allow any proposals for on-line gambling expansion?

[Page 5407]

MR. WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I think the government has been very clear on where we want to see gaming go in Nova Scotia. We announced our Gaming Strategy earlier this year and we really put that Gaming Strategy together with a lens of responsible gaming. We were the first jurisdiction in North America, if not in the world, to include in our Gaming Strategy a responsible gaming tool for VLTs in our province. That's a first of any jurisdiction, and I think that's a commitment that Nova Scotians can recognize that the government's taking seriously some of the reductions or harm-reduction tools that we will put into place here in Nova Scotia for those individuals who choose to use gaming as an avenue of their entertainment.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, ALC is currently having trouble competing with on-line gambling operators, but this minister needs to ensure that Nova Scotians do not see government-sponsored on-line gambling develop here in the province. This includes Internet gambling, as well as gambling on mobile devices.

Mr. Speaker, let's be clear, the devastation which can occur with gambling on a computer in your own home is only increased exponentially with the portability and availability of gambling on mobile devices. What steps has the minister taken to ensure that Nova Scotia keeps its commitment to stay away from on-line gambling in all its forms, whether on computers or mobile devices?

MR. WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, prior to us releasing our Gaming Strategy we took a wide consultation of those individuals in the province who have an interest in gaming, and not only from an entrepreneurial side of things but those individuals who use it, those individuals who might have had a negative effect of gaming. We are proud of the consultation that we received. I'm a little perplexed about the Liberal Party's interest in responsible gaming - during that consultation we asked both Parties for their input, and I have to acknowledge the Progressive Conservative Party forwarded some concerns that they have, but the Liberal Party chose not to take part in that consultation. (Interruptions)

So we're going to continue to make sure that the best interests of Nova Scotians are at heart when we do anything when it comes to gaming here in Nova Scotia.

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

PREM. - YAR. FERRY: FUNDING - REFUSAL EXPLAIN

MR. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier - and I'll give him one chance to guess what it's about.

In November 2010, the Premier supported the ferry service between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island because he said it was a vital economic link between the two provinces - I agree, but why wasn't that same logic used when it comes to supporting the Yarmouth ferry, which brought millions of dollars into the economy of Nova Scotia?

[Page 5408]

THE PREMIER « » : Well, as the member opposite would know, first of all, I believe it is part of the constitutional responsibility of the country to ensure that that link remains, as I do believe that that is the case for the Digby ferry. As the member opposite would know, that is also funded in part by the federal government.

MR. CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, in September of this year the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism announced funding to CB Rail, the reason being because that piece of infrastructure was good for the economy of Cape Breton - why wasn't that logic applied when it came to the Yarmouth ferry?

THE PREMIER « » : In fact we did apply the same logic to both situations. The problem was that one was a sustainable service, one that's going to lead to greater economic development in the area, and the other one had a diminishing return. Unfortunately it was not meeting the objectives that would create more employment in the area and so we came to the regrettable decision that that $6 million a year, that was growing every year to more money, would be better used as an investment in economic development in the region.

MR. CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, nobody can deny the economic importance of the Yarmouth ferry. There have been studies on it. (Interruptions) Yarmouth has lost our hotel, and we're on the verge of losing another one. Tourism operators across the province have screamed their outrage on this and told the Premier how it has impacted their business. Again we have, this session of the Legislature, the Premier willing to give between $50 and $90 million to Bowater, the reason being to support the economy of the South Shore. All we're asking on this side is why that same logic - investing in important pieces of infrastructure, investing in business, investing in economic engines - wasn't applied when it came to the Yarmouth ferry, and why the Premier doesn't currently apply it right now?

So my question to the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage is what is he going to do to preserve our heritage of having a ferry, our seafaring culture, and the (Interruptions)

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

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

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

[Page 5409]

HON. MANNING MacDonald « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 2886.

Res. No. 2886, re Prem./NDP Caucus - Campaigning: Broken Promises - Remind - notice given Dec. 8/11 - (Hon. K. Colwell)

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

MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, just so everyone is clear which resolution we are speaking on, it's Resolution No. 2886 and the operative clause is:

"Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House remind the Premier and the rest of the NDP caucus that the next time they go door to door for an election campaign, they are going to have to answer for their broken promises and for making life simply less affordable for Nova Scotians."

Interestingly, today we had some business owners from Halifax in the east gallery, and I took the opportunity to stop and chat with several of those business owners. One of them said to me, I don't even know if I can continue doing business here in Nova Scotia. He spoke to a couple of particular issues - one was the increase in minimum wage which he says has decimated his bottom line, and the other is the increase in taxes. He said, I just don't know why I'm still in business. He says he's going to have to open more locations just because his margins are smaller.

As we begin discussion of this particular resolution I just wanted to draw the members' attention to that particular conversation today because I think it sort of underlines a dichotomy here. There's a dichotomy between what the NDP think they're doing and what everybody else knows they're doing. If we look at, in fact, their record of broken promises, it's pretty clear what they're doing. In the 2009 election the NDP promised to bring change to Nova Scotia; instead they delivered more of the same. To get into office the NDP made promises they could not keep, and they knew they could not keep.

Let's look at the immoral tax on tax. In Opposition the NDP said the tax on tax on gas was an immoral tax and the result was that Nova Scotians were being taxed to death; in government the NDP failed to eliminate the tax they once called immoral and, in fact, they're making more money from the tax on tax because of their HST increase and rising fuel prices. If we look at the issue of increasing the HST, we all remember the debate when the then Leader of the NDP promised that the NDP would balance the budget without increasing taxes - talk about magical thinking. Pretty much everybody understood that was not going to happen, except, I guess, some people who didn't mind if it happened or who actually believed it.

In government the NDP has increased the tax we pay on everything by 2 per cent. It applies to many groceries, gasoline, and many major purchases. In fact that speaks to what this particular business owner was talking about - he said the increase in taxes is hurting his business. He also went on to speak about municipal taxes. There was a decision made here yesterday - or I guess a lack of a decision, because the government did not look at giving a pension holiday to the pension plan for the municipality, and the result is you and I, and every person who lives here in the HRM will pay higher taxes, and the businesses will too, to have to underwrite that solvency requirement that is really quite academic unless we think that in some way HRM is going to go under and pay out all their pensioners at once - it doesn't make any sense.

[Page 5410]

During the election campaign the NDP promised that they would keep ERs open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We all know that hasn't happened; we've seen the results. A 2011 government report shows that ERs were closed for 18,920 hours, the equivalent of 788 days in one year under the Dexter Government.

In my own area we are served by the Cobequid centre. Residents there were told the Cobequid Community Health Centre was going to be open 24/7. Well, I can tell you, it is not because I was just there quite recently, at 10:00 p.m., as they were shutting the doors.

When in Opposition the NDP railed against merit pay. They decried the Tory practice of offering merit pay to civil servants while they slashed social spending and they also complained about Tory attempts to hide merit pay facts. In fact, over the last year the NDP paid more than $2 million in merit pay to civil servants while they slashed education and health budgets. They never explained why it was shameful for the Tories to do it but acceptable for them. Like the Tories, they only released the information after a freedom of information request.

Then we look at the IEF. Do you remember back when the then Leader of the Official Opposition, now Premier, was in high outrage against the Industrial Expansion Fund? It's a pot of money that is controlled by Cabinet, without oversight, lending rules or safeguards. The Opposition NDP complained about the Tory use of the IEF and even called it a slush fund. Well, guess what? Here we are after two years of NDP rule, the Dexter Government increased the IEF to more than $260 million, used it more than any other government before them. More than 90 per cent of IEF funds went to NDP ridings and they didn't explain why it was acceptable for them to use the IEF more than any previous government in history. Whoops, looks like we have another broken promise.

Then we'll look at the $1.4 billion deficit. The Dexter Government appointed a committee to examine the province's finances. The committee concluded the province had a $1.4 billion deficit and this deficit was used by the Dexter Government as an excuse to increase everyone's taxes and more than 1,400 user fees.

In 2011 the Dexter Government announced a surplus of more than $700 million. The government appointed a committee to find a deficit that didn't exist and they happily followed along. A $700 million surplus is proof their deficit was fake and that our tax increases were unnecessary.

[Page 5411]

Then we have whole-tree harvesting. In 2010 the Dexter Government promised to ban whole-tree harvesting, a process that takes the limbs and trunks of trees that are knocked down. This type of forestry makes it harder for the forest to regenerate. You know I remember going on a field trip, I think it was back when I was in Grade 12, and we were told that if you don't leave something in the ground, then you're going to have a problem regenerating.

All you have to do is go to a place like Haiti where they have completely denuded parts of their land. You can see it from the air; you can see the delineation between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is green from the air; Haiti is brown because they have literally burnt and harvested every single stick of wood in any way, shape or form, and the result is the soil can't hold on to nutrients. You have erosion. You have landslides.

So here we are in 2011 when the Dexter Government announces its Natural Resources Strategy. The strategy didn't follow through on their government's promise to protect our forests by banning whole-tree harvesting. The Dexter NDP has little concern for Nova Scotia's forests.

I have half a minute left. Well, I'll just briefly sum up a couple of other issues. The closed and secretive government that we now have, when they were in Opposition, the NDP complained about Progressive Conservative secrecy and they had issued freedom of information requests after taking office. What we've seen is that Premier Dexter has assembled a group of unelected individuals who have power over his Cabinet. This . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time allotted has elapsed.

I would remind members not to use the terminology "Premier Dexter."

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND « » : Madam Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak to this resolution. Once again, it is an example of a resolution which is taking a very small slice of time in an overarching global trend and suggesting that all of the difficulties which arise in that period of time have risen specifically at the beginning of that time.

I think it is reasonable to say that we are dealing with very significant global forces at this point which indicate that Nova Scotia is like "no man is an island." However, we are working to stabilize the vulnerability which past practices have brought to us in a variety of ways. When this resolution speaks to increasing taxes, gas rates, energy costs, and food costs, it's very interesting that these are the things which are singled out, because all of them are deeply dependent upon matters which are not entirely within the purview of the province.

[Page 5412]

We have been working to deal with a $1.4 billion debt, and that is a fundamental promise which has been set out to liberate us from almost $44 million of interest payments a year - the simple measures, the small measures which we have been undertaking toward reducing expenditures in some degree, and in others toward increasing the return of public funds to taxpayers.

We have, as promised, ended the year-end spending splurges in which monies which had come into the general coffers were simply disbursed because they were there, for no other reason than to continue to claim territory. This return of money to the general coffers means that it is available to lessen tax demands on the public at large. We have done this very successfully.

At the same time we have raised the personal tax exemption by $250 per person - every person and every taxpayer in Nova Scotia - and have increased the child tax benefit by 22 per cent per child per month. As well, we've instituted a rebate of the HST that brings the amount of HST which would be paid up to that amount which could be expected for somebody at the low-income cut-off level.

We've instituted an Affordable Living Tax Credit and - surprisingly, apparently - we have also lowered the small-business tax rate, so that although we unfortunately hear that small-business owners and taxpayers feel that they are unable to continue business in the province, it is certainly not because of an increased business tax rate. It may perhaps be because of an expectation that minimum wage - which means the delivery, the actual transfer of value from a taxpaying enterprise to the individual citizens - is at an increased level. That, surprisingly enough, also decreases the general tax burden on the province. When people are able to make ends meet, there is less of a demand for the public to help them make ends meet.

Another thing that we're doing - and I'm not going to elaborate on this, because we hear about it a lot in this Chamber - is working to keep young people and working people in this province to increase the tax base from which we can provide the services that government does try to provide and is expected to provide. We're working to create good jobs and to make the best of the educated populace and the resourceful populace that we have. The Graduate Retention Rebate keeps people in the province, as well, and we're working to strengthen our university institutions and post-secondary institutions.

We've also - and this is a small sideline of this - enabled social assistance recipients to keep more of their earned income. I personally find it very unfortunate that the working poor need to rely on the government for the supplement of their earned income, but at this point that's how it is. Perhaps that's another thing which an adequate minimum wage would help to address, thereby reducing the tax burden on all Nova Scotians.

[Page 5413]

One of the other things which we find ourselves facing, and the other three things which have been mentioned, is all functions of energy costs. It has been noted before in this Chamber that we seem to be at a point of peak oil and have been headed in that direction for a long time. We're aware that there has been a significant loss of local producers of food over the last few years. The hog industry has essentially been - I won't say torpedoed, but lost. We have lost food processors in food and poultry at both ends of the province and it's estimated at this point that the basic, nutritious, weekly food basket would travel about 33,000 kilometres, which is certainly not coming from within Nova Scotia. It also means that a great deal of the outlay that every Nova Scotian has to make for food is actually going to benefit other producers, not within the Nova Scotia catchment area.

It's worth noting, too, that when we talk about inflation, it is defined in two ways. There is core inflation and there is general inflation. General inflation is that which talks about the inflation due to energy prices and certain very, very volatile food items, again tending to be imported ones. Therefore, we are aggressively reinventing Nova Scotia's energy profile. No, at this moment, it is not less expensive than it has been but it should also be noted that the demand for gasoline in the United States has exceeded this year what it has ever come to before; that our energy consumption, at 12,000 gigawatt hours a year, has barely declined over the last few years but it has begun to go down in the last two to three years. We are no longer a top energy consumer and perhaps when we're not a top energy consumer, energy costs are not going to be our top concern.

Lower Churchill is a project which stands to benefit us by making us much less reliable on the volatility of limited energy resources, and our continued investment in the CleanTech Open Fund and in development of tidal energy, which is a resource unsurpassed anywhere in the world, what we have in Nova Scotia, also stands to make us increasingly independent. It's worth looking at the employment profiles of some of the economies which are more dependent on energy production and they, at this point, are peaking whereas those who are involved in renewable are growing in their employment. This is what we talk about when we talk about green jobs.

We're looking at this point to stabilize food prices, gas prices and energy prices. We're also looking to enable households to control their own costs and we are looking to enable the taxes, which are not, in fact, growing in all dimensions, but we're working to enable taxpayers to have access to services closer to home and at a more sustainable and locally delivered level. That is all that we can do for the future because, unfortunately, we are unable to change the past.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Madam Speaker, what does a promise mean to the NDP? Well, the Premier said in this House that his government has kept every single commitment it made during the last election. Now, one glaring example is he said that we will balance the budget in the first full year of our government. We know that didn't happen. It still hasn't happened. In fact, the NDP are now saying maybe by 2014 it will happen.

[Page 5414]

Madam Speaker, I would submit to you that any Finance Critic worth his salt would have a good understanding of the finances of the province before entering government and would know the state of the province and the government's ability of what they can and can't do in the future.

AN HON. MEMBER: What did the people say?

MR. MACMASTER « » : Well, the people might have something different to say the next time, especially when they see that promises that were made were not kept by this government.

Madam Speaker, the Premier - and I must delve into the provincial budget a little bit. The NDP increased the provincial portion of the HST by 25 per cent, so if there were any amounts - and I know we looked at the universities, that budget was balanced in 2009, but there was an amount outstanding for universities, and you know even if the NDP had increased the HST alone that would have paid that cost.

We've seen the government play with the full-time equivalents, the number of people working in government, with those numbers to try to show a better picture of things. They had to create a bit of a story because they are claiming they were left with such a mess. We saw them claim a deficit one day and then turn around and claim a surplus the next. We look at the $500 million, half a billion dollars, put into top up the government employees' pension, that's saving the province about a $150 million a year on the budget, money that it doesn't have to put in every year.

Madam Speaker, they are doing it all, and if I may quote George Strait: ". . . if you'll buy that I've got some ocean front property in Arizona."

AN HON. MEMBER: Tucson, as a matter of fact. (Laughter)

MR. MACMASTER « » : So, Madam Speaker, the Premier, before he was the Premier also promised that the NDP wouldn't raise taxes. On CBC he was saying, "we are not going to raise taxes." But, as we know, of course they raised the HST 25 per cent, and that's one of the biggest sources of income for the province, so it means a significant increase in tax revenue for the government. It comes at a tremendous cost to Nova Scotians; in fact, in the most recent Public Accounts it was learned that the NDP has collected more than $650 in taxes from every person in this province, on average.

They raised taxes under the cover of getting to a balanced budget, yet they had a surplus last year. So, Madam Speaker, can you follow all that? It's difficult and I have no doubt that it makes Nova Scotians pessimistic and confused about the state of the province's finances when we have all these promises before an election, we have all these tales of what a mess we've been left in and then, all of a sudden, the government has to play with the numbers so it doesn't end up with a surplus.

[Page 5415]

Everybody caught that - the provincial media was questioning that as well when it happened. You can't hide from the numbers and when people like ourselves on this side of the Legislature are taking the government to account on those numbers and there is no response, I think it's obvious that this government has failed to keep to its promises. Madam Speaker, the reason they've added to the tax bill for Nova Scotians is because they've chosen to spend more money. Public Accounts show half a billion more in spending, so the NDP a tax and spend government - who would have known?

We've often heard the government talk about what a mess they've been left in despite the Auditor General confirming that the previous Progressive Conservative Government had left them with eight balanced budgets. The spending numbers, Madam Speaker, say it all. They claim that the Tories were spending too much, yet they voted for those budgets, or at least some of them, to support that expenditure - and I've brought that before the Legislature already and it's right in the public record that they voted for those budgets.

But we also know that they voted against budgets that were designed to bring the province to a balanced budget when John Hamm balanced the budget for the first time in 40 years in 2002-03 - and anybody watching today can go into the records, they can check with our Legislative Library and they will see that the record at that time was that the NDP members voted against those balanced budgets. So it's not really a surprise that the NDP will come to the public and say we're going to balance the budget and then turn around and tax the people more and spend more.

All this, Madam Speaker, we now have a larger deficit and higher taxes, and now we are starting to lose more jobs in the province; in fact, job losses in the province are piling up by the thousands. And when two of the larger employers in the province, Sobeys and Michelin, came to the Law Amendments Committee recently and said we do not want first contract arbitration, it will be harmful for us when we go to encourage more investment in your province - because the people who are running those companies have business in other areas as well. This government said, you're being foolish; this government said, we're going to put it through anyway. They didn't listen.

The reality is that another promise the NDP made is that they were going to create 2,200 jobs a year. That was promised in the 2009 election, and the reality is that Nova Scotia's latest job numbers show a loss of 6,500 jobs in rural Nova Scotia. So those 6,500 workers are Nova Scotians whose families are facing the hardship of a lost job.

The Premier and his Rural and Economic Development and Tourism Minister repeatedly claim that Nova Scotia has gained jobs, but statistics show that that is not the case. On the job creation front, the government has a long way to go to make good on that 2,200 jobs a year promise.

[Page 5416]

The NDP, the Party that said over and over again to seniors - they said this to seniors, Madam Speaker - that they would make life better for them is making them wait more than 400 days for a long-term care bed in Cape Breton. Their election pamphlet talked about these seniors, and it said, "Too many seniors are forced to travel hundreds of kilometres for care, or left to languish in hospital beds awaiting more appropriate care." I'm going to table that. I'll save that - I have one more point to make on that.

Their election pamphlet said they were going to help seniors and specified it as something they were going to focus on, yet we have seniors waiting for long-term care beds in the province, and 400 days is a long time to wait. The wait list actually is growing longer than it was before this government was elected. They are spending more, but obviously not to help these people in Nova Scotia.

The NDP's review of auto insurance rates was promised, to ensure the lowest, fairest rates. After all their bluster in Opposition, they chose to keep the cap, albeit raised by a small amount in real terms. They also accepted recommendations that I know I had made myself on this side of the House, about taking a look at the diagnostic and treatment protocols in Alberta, and we were happy to see that the government put those into place.

Madam Speaker, there is one big promise that the NDP are breaking every day, and that is that they are making life better for today's families. I have to look at the debt because I'm going to table the - one of the things the NDP had said is, "The NDP is committed to ensuring that Nova Scotia lives within its means." They also said that - the print is small here, but essentially they're saying that they were going to live within their means. They talked about how the current government was adding a lot of debt.

One point of information that I have tabled in this Legislature, and it has never been refuted, is that this NDP Government has added more debt to our province than any other political Party in our 250-plus year history. That was tabled right here in the Legislature. We can look and the Finance Minister can look at the debt the day he took government and the debt we have now and the amount of debt that the NDP - it's been tabled and you have never refuted it. Maybe it's time you refute it, but I don't think you can and that's why you haven't.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I remind the member that the use of "you" in speaking across the floor to another member is not allowable in the Chamber.

The honourable member for Inverness with 45 seconds remaining.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I do apologize for breaking protocol there. At the end of the day this government is not making life better for today's families. They are making life more expensive for Nova Scotians. It has been an expensive experiment to have this NDP Government, and we look forward to the next election, when Nova Scotians will get to have their say on whether or not they believe that this government has kept its promises. Thank you.

[Page 5417]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Preston.

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Madam Speaker, it's interesting to have to talk about this issue again - the broken promises by the Premier of the NDP Government and the NDP caucus and Resolution No. 2886. I'd just like to go through a few of the things that people have been talking to me about and people are starting to realize exactly what this government has done to the average person. During the election campaign it talked about a better deal for Nova Scotia families. The better deal, I think, has totally crumbled and dashed all the hopes of many Nova Scotians and indeed, as time goes on, most all Nova Scotians will be affected by this, although they may not be aware of it at the present time.

I'm going to go through some of the things here that the government has changed. They said that they wouldn't raise taxes and indeed they have raised taxes in many places; more costs for Nova Scotians, costs that they can't afford. An average family today with two people working and a couple of children, making a modest income, simply can't make it anymore and they're starting to wonder why. They go to the grocery store and the groceries are more expensive; they go to the gas station and the gas is more expensive; however they heat their home is more expensive, whether it is oil, electricity or any other form of heat, it's more expensive; and it's thanks to this government, it truly is.

When they increased the GST by two cents, that's 25 per cent on the provincial portion of the GST, it is a significant increase in one year. Of course, that's a significant increase because it's on everything and it's after tax money that people are spending, so it's a huge increase in taxes in just that one swipe. In addition to that we have bracket creep in this province and most people don't know what bracket creep is, it is income tax that goes up every year. So your income tax has gone up every year, your GST has gone up and so have 1,400 user fees. Everybody in this province, at one time or another, pays a user fee, whether it's your driver's licence, your vehicle registration, death certificate, a marriage or birth certificate, anything that we need to have documentation for, fees have been increased. On utility trailers it has gone up twice in one month, twice the cost.

When I asked the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, during the Budget Debate some time ago, he finally admitted - and he's an honest man - that the Finance Minister told him to put taxes up, put the price up. I was enquiring to see exactly why this tax had to go on because it was cost increases, cost increases, but indeed we did find out that in reality it was a tax increase imposed by the government, a tax increase that was done outside this Chamber. The very Finance Minister who sits over on the NDP benches said, it should not be done unless it was done in this House. Well, it was done outside the House and breaking every rule they possibly could.

[Page 5418]

The NDP wonders why their gross domestic product in Nova Scotia has been so bad - the 1.9 per cent - the worst in provincial governments in this whole country. If you look why, you can't put taxes up and put more burden on businesses and people as you move forward and wonder why the people don't want to work here and businesses don't want to operate here. Well, it's easy to figure out.

When you look at the costs that go for business - and businesses employ people and people pay income tax if they're employed. Don't employ them and they stay in the province, it's a burden on the taxpayers who are working, so it's a vicious circle that's stated here. On top of that the memorandum of understanding that the province had made an arrangement with the previous government to take over some of the costs of corrections and housing and some of the other services that Education and the municipalities have been paying for directly to the province, they changed that; this government cancelled it and they cancelled that MOU.

When they cancelled that MOU it meant that the municipalities had to go back to their taxpayers and put property taxes up to pay for this. So if you're wondering why your property tax has gone up, one of the reasons is this MOU that was cancelled by this NDP Government. It's just another way of putting your taxes up without having to take credit for putting your taxes up, just download it on the municipalities and the municipalities will just move along, put the taxes up and we'll be clear of that increase. It is another way that the Finance Minister can get away with saying, we didn't really put taxes up, your property taxes, but, indeed, they did and benefited from the result of that property tax going up, although it being in a roundabout way.

I forgot for a long time, as soon as they got in power, they put up the price of alcohol and tobacco. That's another tax increase and that was done outside the budget, or I should say inside the budget during the House sitting.

The cost of food in this province has gone up. Why has it gone up? The GST has gone up and fuel costs have gone up. It was $1 a litre for gasoline when this government took power. I think it's $1.23 today. (Interruption) $1.29 today for fuel? That's almost 30 cents more per litre. When you talk about the economy and we're going to compete with the economies outside of here, the reality is if you're going to make the economy grow in Nova Scotia, you have to bring money into the province from other provinces, from other countries, wherever the place may be, and if you don't do that, you recirculate money, and when you recirculate, you can only recirculate it so many times and it's ineffective after that. It really adds nothing to the economy, but if you're going to the U.S., which is our nearest neighbour, one of our biggest trading partners, gasoline right now is running about 82 cents to 84 cents a litre.

Now, just put that in perspective. We're paying $1.29 and our neighbours in Maine, in New England, and the rest of the U.S., are paying between 82 cents and 84 cents a litre. So where is it more competitive for business to work? In the U.S. and that's bad news for us because we have to export to the U.S. The cost of diesel is very similar. The cost of home heating is very similar and, indeed, we cannot compete with companies in the U.S. that are hungry for work, hungry for business, and really want to do things to make their economies better. If they can displace something we're shipping in from Canada, it means we lose jobs in Canada. We lose jobs in Canada because of that. We lose jobs in Nova Scotia.

[Page 5419]

So as the economy moves along and everything looks like it's okay, it's really not. We've got approximately 12,500 jobs that have been lost in this province and then the government comes along with the Ships Start Here Program. There are going to be 11,000 new jobs. When Mr. Irving was interviewed on the radio station here shortly after they announced that, he said, no, it's really going to be 1,200 new jobs and, indeed, 300 of those jobs are only going to be for a short time when we build a new hanger, or new facility, to build these ships in. Once that facility is done, which will take about two years to two and a half years, 300 jobs out of the 1,200 will be gone anyway. So we are down to 900 jobs. We presently have 1,000 jobs here now.

This shipbuilding contract isn't going to save this province. It's a big help and I want to congratulate the Irving company for their aggressive approach on this and, indeed, got the right to negotiate to contract - that's a right to negotiate the contract, that isn't the contract awarded. Those are two different things, and then after it's negotiated - and hopefully they will get the contact, if the government doesn't change its mind, which they could very well do. You can see they're making serious cuts and transfers to health care. They're making serious cuts in federal departments. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced some major cuts in the staff and the list is going to go on and on. Are they going to cut the military spending and say, look, we're not going to buy as many ships; we're not going to have as many ships built. What's really going to happen?

So this whole deal that the Premier decides he's going to take all the credit for, even though it was very little to do with the province and more to do with the company's proposal, that it's going to save the province, it's not, it's really not. We have fewer and fewer people looking for work in this province, down, I believe it's 14,000 people who stopped looking for work in the province, stopped, and if you take the 12,500 who have lost their jobs, that's 26,500 people in this province. That's a huge number.

I believe that it's all attributed to, or most of it's attributed to, the tax increases, all the other things in this province that have been in place. I haven't talked about power bills in this province. The power is going to go up approximately 10 per cent in just a few months now, when it comes into January. That's a huge increase for Nova Scotians to absorb. With all these things, all these broken promises by this government, I can't see how the people of this province can possibly re-elect many of the members who are over there now. They will see, when they knock on the doors next election, that indeed they're going to hear the story, you know, I can't afford to vote for you anymore because you put our taxes up so much and we can't believe what you're going to tell us at the next election because you didn't keep your promises the last time.

[Page 5420]

So it's going to be interesting when the next election comes along to see how the NDP make out. Hopefully for Nova Scotia's economy and future, they lose the next election.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Opposition House Leader.

HON. MANNING MacDonald « » : Madam Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 2778.

Res. No. 2778, re ERDT - C.B. Strategy: Targets/Outcomes - Include - notice given Dec. 5/11 (Mr. Manning MacDonald)

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

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Thank you very much and I appreciate the opportunity to rise and speak on behalf of this resolution.

"Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism to start including hard economic targets and measurable outcomes in his strategy, and get the people of Cape Breton back to work."

As most of the 51 members, my colleagues, would attest, this is one that is near and dear to me in terms of where we are going with our economic development in the province and what our plan is. What I've been saying is - and I know that there are lots of people on the government side and all sides of the House who understand business and understand the road map to getting revenue and getting profits.

I have a sheet here, which I'll table, which is essentially the bones of a business plan. If you look at what a standard business plan includes, you'll see that having targets and having economic data, hard economic data, in terms of how you are going to create jobs and make money is important. The business overview includes things like the nature of the industry, trends in an industry, government regulations, market trends, all those types of things. Another key component, clearly, is human resources, so that is a major component of a business plan: where are your people? That's your jobs that we're talking about. They're the targets.

The most important part, as far as I'm concerned, is the appendix, which is the financials that go to a business plan - financial performance, historical and projected, sales, cost of goods sold. If you're talking about sales, you're talking about the cost of goods sold. That significantly and directly represents how many jobs you have, how many jobs you're going to create, if you're expanding or if you're a start-up. Balance sheet, cash flow statement, financial requirements, performance indicators, and personnel status - so I will table that information as part of the business plan.

[Page 5421]

During one of the debates this week, I believe it was the Minister of Community Services who mentioned what I talked about a couple of seconds ago, with respect to the government side having people who understand business and may have been entrepreneurs or worked in small business or a medium-size enterprise, what have you. But the comment - paraphrasing - was that there are lots of good people on the government side. To those people who understand business and have a feel for the way these things work, I'll ask you a question: how many entrepreneurs do you know who went to a bank or the Credit Union for a loan and didn't have a business plan, who actually got money and had some kind of plan for how they're going to make their profits? I would suspect not many.

How many expanding businesses get money without this kind of data? When you walk into the Royal Bank or one of the commercial banks or any lending organization, who's getting money if you don't have that information? If you're a large company and you're looking for venture capital, what kind of venture capitalist, what kind of organization, would give you money if you didn't have financials, if you didn't have an HR plan to show where you're going, where you're expanding, what those numbers are going to look like?

Numbers represent a lot of things when you're talking about business and economic development. They show growth potential, they show whether or not you're going to survive, and they also are an indicator of performance. The numbers, the financials you have - your sales, your cost of goods sold, all of these things, whether it's a product or a service - they indicate your performance. Those performance indicators show what your human resources are going to look like, so I don't understand. If it's an expansion - if it's one to two people, if it's 10 to 20, if it's 500 to 700 - you don't pick a number out of the air.

I listened to the minister's comments about this and I listened to the department. They presented at committee, and they're great people - very forthcoming with the information, answered it honestly, and it was good information for all of us who were involved. But the reality is - and the response that we got in committee was similar to that of the minister. It was, we don't want to use a number because we don't want to create a ceiling, or we don't want to use a number because we don't want to harness ourselves, or we don't want to use a number because then if you don't meet that number, if you fall short by a few, then that becomes the conversation and that becomes the dialogue.

Again, I think that many who have looked at business and who get a feel for business - it would be interesting to hear the Minister of Finance's perspective about this in terms of how you make money and how you establish these targets. For me, and this is obviously my perspective, you don't just pick a number and then work backwards and figure out how to meet that number; that's not the exercise here. You do your research, your department and those economic development drivers do their research, and they look at industries and they look at companies and they look at what our growth sectors are, then you look at the core competencies. What are our core skills in Nova Scotia?

[Page 5422]

Is it manufacturing, tourism, geographic location - is that our strategy? What kind of things will we use to attract business and grow business and support business? Then you match the opportunities with those investment options that you have at your fingertips. That's how we do this. We look at the sectors. We look at what players we can attract or what sectors are going to expand. It doesn't always have to be a new business, although new money coming in from the province, from outside, certainly adds a lot to our GDP which grows our economy.

Those prospective players that will come in or those that will expand, they create job targets. They know where their human resources are and they know what they're going to need. That's where you get your number. You don't pick it and then shoot for it. It results from the homework that you do developing your economic development strategies. We're talking about $400 million, which is a sizable investment. The conversations, whether it's the IEF, which at the time, during the Economic Development Committee, was going to be the Nova Scotia Jobs Fund - whatever it's called, it's been identified, labelled as a political slush fund and the specific response of how this money is targeted, or whether or not it's targeted, there's a certain portion of it that's used for reactionary purposes. There's something we need so it has to be addressed.

As far as I'm concerned, that looks a lot like a political slush fund. If there are no targets and there are no strings attached, then I'm not sure what else it is. This, again, predates the current government but it's a problem, and I said this in my remarks with respect to the Jobs Fund, and I believe it. I truly do. We need hard targets and we have to figure out where this money's being spent because it's the taxpayers' money and with all due respect, I think that using the business community and the business experts we have - and we have lots of them in Nova Scotia, no question - that's our best bet.

I don't know if our best bet is to be spending these kinds of dollars with the decisions of politicians. It's the business people who make this thing drive and they're all important in our ridings and our respective regions, so I think they're the people we should be listening to.

We have talked about targets and Bowater has a target. The Premier used the number of 2,000. Irving has a number, has a target - 12,000 give or take. They're numbers, they're jobs; they're what we're looking at. NewPage, of course, when that time comes, will have targets. That's what we use; that's the yardstick that we use and I think that for our public dollar investment, that's what we should be looking at.

The NDP Government had targets as well. They talked about the 2,200 jobs per year and that was in their platform that the member for Inverness read earlier. I do have it here and I can certainly table it, but I think we're all aware of it now - 2,200 jobs per year is a target. So where did that number come from? I wouldn't suspect that the government side, while running in the 2009 provincial election, made these numbers up out of the air. I would suspect there was some kind of thought put into it and they developed based on - it's about a tax credit, so, was that a specific industry? Was that industry specific? What did that 10 per cent tax credit mean and how would that create 2,200 new jobs? That's the question that I have. They are targets, believe it or not.

[Page 5423]

One minute left. I just want to quickly say that $400 million - these are dire times and again, it's a majority government. The government certainly does have the tools, the policies, the control of the government engine to make these decisions. We can look at all the numbers and we can look at the employment figures that we think are important, the government can do likewise, but at the end of the day, there are very specific figures that I like to use that indicate our performance - 1.9 per cent growth is the lowest of any province, second in the country, second lowest to the Northwest Territories. That's a very definitive number. That's the one where all of these things that we discuss, all the things that we talk about are connected to that.

Again, for Cape Breton, for all regions of the province, what we need is very specific job targets and we've got to get there with the public knowledge. With that, Madam Speaker, thank you and I'll take my seat.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

MR. JIM BOUDREAU « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. It is my pleasure to rise today to speak about the investments our NDP Government has made to grow the economy of Cape Breton. My constituency of Guysborough-Sheet Harbour borders the Canso Causeway, which is the gateway to the island. We share a border, if you will, and we also share many of the same goals and aspirations.

Since forming government in 2009 the NDP have focused on not only the creation of jobs but the creation of good jobs, ones that will allow Nova Scotians to work hard and make ends meet, while contributing to our provincial economy.

Let's talk for a moment, Madam Speaker, about investments in transportation and infrastructure. In 2009 we saw, firsthand, the toll years of neglect of roads and highways were having on the safety of Nova Scotians. The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal had the full support of our government to begin strategically planning for paving, spending the time and spreading the asphalt needed to ensure safety for the road users and their families.

I am pleased, Madam Speaker, to be able to share with this House and to recap for Cape Bretoners who may be watching today, some of the highlights of the road and paving investments that have created jobs in Cape Breton. Upgrades on Highway No. 104 in Richmond have smoothed the drive for local commuters and travellers. This was long overdue and the responsible thing to do.

[Page 5424]

The famous Cabot Trail has received much-needed attention. Highway No. 105 and the Big Baddeck Road, the Buchanan Bridge, Route 255 and the bridge over MacAskills Brook, Highway 125 near Sydney are much safer. Route 237, Kenwood Drive and Alexander Street received a much-needed roundabout to safely funnel traffic and a retrofit to Sydney River Bridge will help folks in Coxheath and Sydney River to drive with ease.

Our government did not stop at roads and highways. We realize that many community organizations create good jobs and investments in their infrastructure allow them to thrive. I am pleased to remind the honourable members of just a few organizations in Cape Breton that have received investments that either created jobs directly or will enable growth in the future. Building a new storage facility and a new three-ice sheet building at the Strait area community curling club, put Cape Bretoners to work. I was very pleased to represent our government at this ceremony marking this accomplishment.

A new, multi-use, outdoor fitness facility for St. Peter's Lions Club will provide more jobs for people in this area of the island. Renovations to the Strait Regional School Board's Felix Marchand Education Centre and SAERC will also create many hours of employment.

Madam Speaker, investments in roads and buildings are only part of the way our government has created jobs in Cape Breton. We've invested in water treatment and sewage treatment for Arichat, Petit-du-Grat and we've also put money in the Richmond arena in Louisdale. These will add hours on the paycheques of Cape Bretoners.

More waste water upgrades and improvements to Main Street in Louisbourg, the Louisbourg Lighthouse Trail and the Louisbourg Old Town Trail, all contribute to enhance the capacity for this picturesque community to attract tourists and therefore, create more sustainable jobs in this important community.

Madam Speaker, creating investments in St. Anne's Elementary, Oceanview Education Centre, Whitney Pier Day Care Centre, Cusack-Cornwallis-Ashby Complex, Ferrisview Elementary School and Playschool Day Care Centre all contribute to a growing economy on Cape Breton Island.

Madam Speaker, I would be remiss not to mention the significant investment made in the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotian Railway, which will preserve an important part of Cape Breton's infrastructure, securing current and future jobs in Cape Breton. I have to point out how disappointed I was, and our government was, when the Leader of the Third Party spoke out against these jobs in Cape Breton. I would like to table this article from the Halifax ChronicleHerald in which the Leader of the Progressive Conservatives questions an investment in infrastructure that has been in place for generations - and, I might add, crosses several areas, including PC constituencies. I also noticed in the newspaper article that the Leader of the Third Party goes on to question the need for a minimum wage - but, Madam Speaker, I digress.

[Page 5425]

It's simply too bad that the leader of the Third Party couldn't support this investment, like CBRM Mayor John Morgan did. I would like to table this letter from Mayor John Morgan, thanking Premier Dexter and our government for recognizing the importance of this long-standing infrastructure in Cape Breton. It is good to know that Mayor Morgan understands the importance of jobs in Cape Breton.

Like the important investment in CB Rail, support for the YMCA of Cape Breton to grow and expand its community-based programming and services will help employees and community members alike, helping them to sustain their very own successful businesses through a strategic investment that will allow Techlink Entertainment to expand its market and its array of products and services. Of course, the remediation of the tar ponds and coke oven sites into outdoor common areas and boardwalks will create jobs from the current concept stage right through to the laying of concrete and later maintenance of the area.

The items I have discussed today - and I've only touched on a few - are only a few in a much larger list of job-creation initiatives. What all MLAs in this House and all Cape Bretoners should be able to surmise from my brief account of Cape Breton job-creation investments is that this NDP Government is about making life better for families in all regions of the province, Cape Breton firmly included. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

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

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Madam Speaker, I stand here and listen to some of the so-called trophies for the NDP Government on the other side that were initially started by Opposition governments. He talks about the Central Nova Scotia Railway that the member who preceded me in Cape Breton North fought so hard to keep. He talks about the Sydney tar ponds. If he could find his way to the tar ponds, he'd realize that that tar ponds project was started years and years before this NDP Government was in power. It was under a Tory Government and it's federally-provincially sponsored, so to quit that would be suicide for people in Cape Breton.

The government is failing rural Nova Scotia and it's failing Cape Bretoners in all aspects of economic development and tourism. The minister can stand here and table statements that were read in the paper, but if you read the rest of those statements, I believe it's in the hopes that Cape Breton will get a few of the economic crumbs from the world-class event that is going to be here in Halifax.

Over the last couple of months since I've been elected, I have spoken to Destination Cape Breton personnel. They have asked time and time again for help to promote Cape Breton, to help promote it directly, not hope to get a few spin-offs. Maybe the rest of the province could get a few spinoffs from what Cape Breton has to offer, by bringing people into Cape Breton, and maybe the rest of them would then visit the rest of Nova Scotia.

[Page 5426]

Madam Speaker, we have golf courses, we have beautiful land and seascapes, we have national parks, and we had a train, we just kept it. We have some of the most friendly people in the world and we have the Gateway to Newfoundland.

AN HON. MEMBER: They put that there, too.

MR. ORRELL « » : Yes, I forgot, they developed that.

We should take that and use it to our advantage so maybe we could get some of the people from Newfoundland and Labrador to stay here in Cape Breton. We don't have a proper tourist bureau in North Sydney. We have an old baby barn type of structure with two people who sit in there. I don't know how they can even fit in there. This year they were even going to cancel that, until some of the local politicians - and I believe Mayor Morgan might have been one of them - but I know that the local politicians in my area and myself had to go and get that restored. That tourist area is not easily accessible to any tourists coming off the Newfoundland and Labrador ferry or going to the Newfoundland and Labrador ferry.

Madam Speaker, job losses continue to increase under this NDP Government and they are ignoring that there's a crisis and it's costing families jobs. They would like to just talk about their jobsHere program with no specific targets or goals. We've been told just to sit back, get out of their way, and let them go. But that's not our job. Our job as Opposition MLAs is to make sure taxpayers' dollars are spent in the best possible way to improve life in Nova Scotia and economic growth in this province, especially Cape Breton. But this is not what we've seen since this NDP has taken office. We have over 15 per cent unemployment in Cape Breton - not something that those 15 per cent and the rest of Cape Breton are proud of - and we do believe there is a crisis in rural Nova Scotia.

Madam Speaker, the Premier and the Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister should be ashamed of themselves. They owe families an explanation why they are not standing up for communities in crisis, why they are not listening to Nova Scotians, especially on bills like Bill No. 102, and why they're not worried about a job crisis in rural Nova Scotia.

Madam Speaker, Cape Breton is down over 1,300 jobs in the last year. They haven't made investments in infrastructures like the Keltic Lodge, which they said in a statement back in the Spring that if the lodge didn't have its upgrades we would lose our trademark, we could lose our branding of these resorts. We've been waiting two years now and it's not in the new plan and, like I say, Cape Breton is down over 1,300 jobs over the last year - and this was before the NDP pushed new job-killing labour legislation through this Legislature. Job creators say that this legislation will do just the exact opposite, that it will kill jobs in Nova Scotia and decrease the investment here.

[Page 5427]

Month over month and year over year Cape Breton is bleeding jobs and the NDP are continuing to sit on their hands about it - the Premier is even going so far as to deny that there is a crisis in rural Nova Scotia, despite evidence to the contrary. Madam Speaker, on November 22nd when asked by reporters in Halifax about his thoughts about a crisis in rural Nova Scotia, the Premier said, "I disagree that there is a crisis." I asked the same question in Question Period to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism and he agreed with the Premier. But the NDP federal leadership candidate, Paul Dewar, spoke to the contrary. So that tells me that this government is just out of touch with reality.

The people of rural Nova Scotia have to live with this reality every day. Cape Breton has seen nothing but job losses under this NDP Government. The businesses that have been harmed by the high tax, high power rate policies of this government are now saying, pretty much unanimously, that the government's new labour laws will hurt this economy, kicking them when they're down, not helping them to remain viable and to improve the business environment, and help them operate in Nova Scotia the way they should be, helping them back on their feet.

That's what our government should be doing and that's what they should be doing to help the business sector - but they are not and they continue to ignore this. This hurts areas like Cape Breton and it will hurt all areas of rural Nova Scotia. In Nova Scotia there are 13,000 call centre jobs. In Cape Breton, where jobs are scarce, they provide skilled labour opportunities in communities that are better off for their presence. Minacs in Port Hawkesbury and Stream and EDS in industrial Cape Breton are just a couple of examples. We saw what the loss of a call centre job in New Waterford did to that community - 350 jobs gone; 350 people will not be paying taxes to the province, will not be spending local this Christmas and putting back into our economy to help it grow.

We asked the NDP Government, especially the members for Antigonish, Guysborough-Sheet Harbour, and Cape Breton Centre, why push Bill No. 102, and why now? Why job-killing legislation when nobody asked for it? There was no labour unrest that exists at the present. Why, when so much was at stake, when our province's economy is so fragile and nobody in the business community asked for it or approves of it? It's quite the economic math, Madam Speaker, the NDP are pursuing in rural Nova Scotia - threatening existing jobs, bringing in policies that drive away existing jobs, and replacing them with no jobs.

When in Opposition, the member for Cape Breton Centre said, it's ". . . not the type of industry you're going to build your economy around . . ." and that people don't aspire to be call centre workers. That was in the Daily News. Well, the 350 people laid off in New Waterford and the thousands employed in nearby call centres are still waiting for the member for Cape Breton Centre to show us exactly what he and the NDP will do to build the economy.

[Page 5428]

If there was ever an industry that was globally competitive, it's the call centre industry. There are 13,000 employees and the sector plays an important role in our economy, with close to $0.5 billion in direct payroll contributions. Many young people get their start in a contact centre job, and they are a key part of keeping families in our region. For many families they are a second income, and for some they are a sole income. The contact centre industry is a modern service industry that is comprised of global companies that can easily move their labour to jurisdictions that are more competitive.

In the Committee on Law Amendments we heard that one call centre, a Fortune 500 company, has 80,000 contact centre workers globally and only 300 of them are here in Nova Scotia. In the past the NDP haven't had good things to say about call centres. One minute they say it's a mug's game, as stated in the Daily News back in 2000; the next minute they say they're hard to replace.

What's the NDP doing about it? Apparently nothing. Rural Nova Scotia is down 6,500 jobs over the past year. Not only is the NDP failing to bring higher-paying, more skilled jobs to Cape Breton, now they're actively engaged in lawmaking to risk the jobs that are already there. Bill No. 102 was said to bring that to the business community. We heard it over and over in the Committee on Law Amendments and we've heard it in our office since it has been introduced. That's not economic development. It's economic destruction.

The government side says the legislation is not a big deal, but that's not what we heard from people who presented at the Committee on Law Amendments or businesses in my community. I know it's the same as businesses in the communities here. They say that this legislation has the risk of a third party coming in and dictating how to run their business. Those job creators don't want to see that, because they don't know the business that could be coming in to dictate to.

It's almost as if they disagree with the presenters who outlined how it could hinder the future investments here. Businesses say if they're not competitive, they run the risk of shedding jobs that will never come back - jobs that we badly need in rural Nova Scotia. Every single job in rural Nova Scotia is valuable.

Under Bill No. 102, first contracts will be arbitrated and management now assumes the risk of a successful organizing campaign. It takes away any semblance of an equal bargaining position for a first contract. Labour-intensive industries like the contact centre sector, if faced with higher costs, will simply move - pack up and go where the business climate is better for them to operate in.

In closing, massive job losses and double-digit unemployment are failing to sway this Premier, as are the businesses that came forward and the thousands of people in Nova Scotia who spoke to us about this industry. He has continued to deny that there is a crisis mounting in Cape Breton, even though 1,300 jobs have been lost in the last year alone. Families in Cape Breton are finding it more and more difficult as time passes. Time is not on our side. The economy is faltering because of the NDP's job-killing policies.

[Page 5429]

The vast number of layoffs and closures that have been piling up lately don't add up to a crisis? That's not what we hear in Cape Breton. We know there's a crisis. We live with it daily, and Cape Breton is continuing to suffer. We'd like to see that change. Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

HON. MANNING MacDonald « : Madam Speaker, I'd like to offer a few comments on Resolution No. 2778. I'll start by saying that this discussion today is a reality check on what is really happening in Cape Breton, and that's why the resolution is here: 15.7 per cent unemployment in Cape Breton is simply not acceptable. It's half that unemployment rate in Halifax. Cape Breton, the last time I looked, was still a part of Nova Scotia, and should be treated equally as all other areas of rural Nova Scotia should be treated.

Madam Speaker, our biggest industry in Cape Breton now is the export industry. We're exporting people to Fort McMurray on a daily basis. Men and women are going out there to work, which is causing a lot of stress on families in our area. The only thing good about it is that there is income generated out West that is making its way back to Cape Breton, and that certainly is helpful.

The other interesting fact about my area, the area that I represent and all the areas surrounding that, is that the two biggest employers there are public sector employees, Cape Breton University and the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, both of which employ a tremendous amount of Cape Bretoners in both of those fields, health and education. I shudder to think where we would be in Cape Breton with our economy if we didn't have the regional hospital within our midst with the satellite operations in Glace Bay, New Waterford and North Sydney.

Also, the Cape Breton University has made giant strides in its educational programs over the past number of years. Something that we supported very vigorously was the inclusion of the Bachelor of Education program for that university. There are a number of students coming into that university from outside, creating to the economy, but that's the public sector economy.

There are a couple of issues in my area and the areas of the other members from Cape Breton that are of grave concern to us and one is that we'd like see an early resolution to the Donkin mine situation; we'd like to see that mine open as quickly as possible and I would hope that the government would stop talking about the evils of coal in Cape Breton and start helping us to develop that particular industry, which in effect would take the place of importing coal for the generating stations.

[Page 5430]

It's absolutely ridiculous, Madam Speaker, when the government can sit back and rail on about fossil fuels on a number of occasions and yet it's no problem for them to import coal from the States, Venezuela, and everywhere else, and we have coal sitting in Cape Breton that could be adapted to meet the necessary environmental concerns that anybody would have.

The other issue is the harbour dredging, and while that's a great project for our area, it's only half the puzzle here. The other half of that puzzle is to attract a book of business to Sydney Harbour and that's going to require the Laurentian Group and other business people in the area who want to see that project go forward. That's going to require the provincial and federal governments to help those people out in trying to attract a book of business to that harbour. It's no good for this government and the federal government to invest money in dredging the harbour and then walk away from it. They have to be actively helping us to pursue business for Sydney Harbour once this harbour dredging is completed.

I know that there are going to be people who are saying, you know, you're going to be competing against other entities in this province and on the East Coast of Canada, but let me tell you that I think in this particular case the best proposals should get the business. In Cape Breton we have the lay-down area in Point Edward. We have the rails system down there. We have the harbour that will be dredged shortly. We have all the ingredients there to accept post-Panamax vessels into our harbour and the resulting business that will come from shipping from Sydney to other parts throughout the world.

The other issue that I talk about every chance I get is the need to develop the so-called icons - and they are icons in Cape Breton - such as Fort Louisbourg, the Bell Museum, the Cabot Trail, Marconi, all of these are left to, basically, our own devices to try to promote in Cape Breton when this provincial Department of Tourism, this minister who keeps talking about his job strategy, should be meeting with Cape Breton people about developing and improving these entities in Cape Breton such as Fort Louisbourg.

I've said it time and time again that we should be developing a business model for Louisbourg. We should be developing a business model that works for the Bell Museum, the Marconi exhibits, and also the entire Cabot Trail area. But that takes more than Cape Breton tourism can do on their own. It should involve the leadership of this minister and his department to develop those very necessary tourism potentials for our island.

I'll say, Madam Speaker, in my area we have a tremendous number of people who are interested in seeing the island improve, to see the island grow. I said it in the House the other day and I'll say it again, I give credit where credit is due and the equity tax credit that the Minister of Finance has proposed should help people to invest in our community. I just hope there are a few of them left there to do the investing.

[Page 5431]

As I say, we have great entrepreneurs and people who could go anywhere else in this world and make their fortune, yet they choose to stay in Cape Breton; they choose to invest their money in Cape Breton and all they need is for people to realize that and to assist this part of Nova Scotia in growing. The promotion of our area through channels like Tourism Nova Scotia is very important, the promotion of our area from the federal and provincial governments in trying to attract a book of business into Sydney Harbour once it is dredged - and people will say that there's a lot of money gone with the dredging. Sure there is, and I said that's only half the puzzle. What we have to do when we have an enabling harbour to accept these big vessels, we need to have a reason to have them come into Sydney Harbour.

I would hope that the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism and the Premier's Office and the federal government would all step up to the plate here and help Cape Breton develop the Port of Sydney in the future, as a result of step number one, which was the dredging.

The other thing that I talked about a lot, I guess, over the past few years, is the need to relocate provincial government jobs into Cape Breton. It has been talked about for years and if there's one area of this province that needs less government intervention than any other area, it's the Halifax area. Halifax has a vibrant economy and is growing. I'd be the first to say that if you have a strong capital area then it should reflect itself in the rest of the province.

However, that's not happening here because we're not getting our share of provincial dollars spent in Cape Breton, nor are we getting our share in terms of some federal initiatives to come into Cape Breton, although we've had some. Wherever somebody will listen to me I am always talking about moving Coast Guard ships into Sydney Harbour; talking about moving, perhaps, the Department of National Defence, now known again, thankfully, as the Royal Canadian Navy, to move some of their vessels into Sydney because it creates a tremendous amount of local infrastructure and spending of money from the services needed to service Coast Guard vessels or vessels from the Royal Canadian Navy.

Now that takes a great deal of political will, and I would hope that someday somebody will see the strength in some of the - particularly the Coast Guard. I think perhaps there is more of a chance to get the Coast Guard because the Coast Guard can operate very effectively out of Sydney in the wintertime, when they're needed. We see them in there once in a while but they're not based there and I would suspect, or suggest to you, that if we had one or two of them based there it would make a heck of a difference in our economy because the infrastructure to support them is there with the Army base in the north end of Sydney and the old Point Edward Naval Base, which is now run by the Laurentian Group.

[Page 5432]

So there are a number of ways which the public sector can help our economy in Cape Breton. There's also, Madam Speaker, a number of ways which the private sector can be helped to promote our area in the future. I suggest - and I'll wind up by saying this - that the Department of Tourism has to take a serious look at the kind of icons we have in Cape Breton and engage in a promotion of those particular icons so that we can at least come to a position where we can compete with other areas of Nova Scotia, in terms of attracting tourists to our area.

I would hope that the government would keep those suggestions in mind when they're developing future strategies for Nova Scotia. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Opposition House Leader.

HON. MANNING MacDonald. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. That completes the Official Opposition business for today. I would turn it back to the Government House Leader for Government Business.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT » : Madam Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 136.

Bill No. 136 - Members' Pension Review Implementation (2011) Act.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Madam Speaker, I do wish to speak briefly to the bill. I already hear calls for the question and so I will try to be concise in my remarks. I did just want to, first of all, take a moment and review how we got to this point, to this specific bill today.

Madam Speaker, it was the Speaker's Office earlier this year that created the independent commission, the independent panel that reviewed the plan in question, and I did want to point out that that is very much in line with my own thinking about how these things ought to be done - by an independent panel. I know that that is what the Speaker went and did, and I just want to acknowledge that that's how we started down this road.

[Page 5433]

Secondly, Madam Speaker, I will draw the attention of members to the bill and the fact that the government has chosen to follow, by and large, the results of that independent panel, the Gruchy report - if I can refer to it that way, in shorthand. But it did deviate in one way and that is it removed the provision, which I think surprised some people, that the eligibility for a pension for a member, that that member become eligible within two years.

I would like to think that that was in part because in the PC caucus we very quickly, on the very day that the panel report was presented to the House and to all members of the public and others, that we were clear that that was a provision that we couldn't support. Months went by before the government and for all Parties were able to then speak to an actual bill, but that two-year provision was removed and the government saw fit to remove it. For whatever reason they did that, I would just like to say I would like to think that we had some hand in causing that to happen, and I'm pleased that it is out.

Madam Speaker, the government of course is not perfect in this case, and I might as well say it. The Gruchy report also had another recommendation that has not been followed in the case of this bill and that is that it was suggested that the government consider setting up a separate set of accounts for the members' retirement plan, and the government has seen fit not to do that. I personally am disappointed that the government hasn't followed up on that part of the Gruchy report.

After all, Madam Speaker, it is good pension governance practice to have a separate set of accounts for pension plans and this one should be no different. The objective of having a separate set of accounts are ones that seem to me to be worthy of support and that is it increases the transparency around the asset and liability position of the plan, so that all of those who made contribution to the plan - which by the way is not only MLAs but also the government itself, or taxpayers through the government - that all those who make contributions to the plan will know that it's in a segregated account and can know with certainty and clarity and full transparency how much a member of the plan puts in and how much the taxpayer puts in.

In fact it's the most clear way to do it and I guess I am surprised that that's not in the bill. I remain hopeful that the government will follow up on that part of the Gruchy report and give to all Nova Scotians a separate set of accounts, fully accountable, fully transparent, so that Nova Scotia can see not only what the MLAs are contributing but what they themselves are being asked to contribute, and whether those contributions are sufficient to match the benefits under the plan or not. Madam Speaker, this is the way that every other pension plan in the province, by law, is required to operate and it ought to be the same for this one as well.

[Page 5434]

Madam Speaker, members may have different views on where we go from here. I understand the government wants to see this bill passed; I understand that the Liberal Party wants to see this bill passed. We've certainly given it a lot of thought. I've pointed out a few ways that the bill falls short, and I certainly believe that it continues to fall short of where it could have gone. Having said that, this bill, the only bill presented to us to deal with the members' retirement plan, is at least a small, modest step forward. It is progress on an issue that has bothered Nova Scotians for many, many years. In our Party we're not ones to stand in the way of progress, no matter how small that progress may be. I just wanted to say, as we speak to the bill and deal with the bill today, that we are going to recognize that it is a modest step forward. It is going in the right direction, it is a sign of progress, and so we obviously support progress when we see it.

We'll have to leave it to Nova Scotians to decide whether it's sufficient, and my Party is already on the record in that regard. With those few words, I will take my place and go on with the business of the day.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 136. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

[3:41 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Becky Kent in the Chair.]

[4:13 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Ms. Becky Kent in the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK » : That the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 129 - St. Michael's Polish Association and Benefit Society Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, without amendment.

[Page 5435]

Further, Madam Speaker, the committee considered the following bill:

Bill No. 133 - Bowater Mersey Pulp and Paper Investment (2011) Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

MADAM CHAIRMAN: Ordered that these bills be read a third time on a future day.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, that concludes the government's business for the day. I move that the House do now rise to meet again on the morrow at the hour of 12:00 noon. The House will sit until 9:00 p.m. or until the conclusion of business. The order of business on the morrow will be Bills No. 129, 133, and 136, and in the air of co-operation that we had today, especially as it relates to the St. Michael's Polish bill, I say to the members, dziękuje. Have a good evening and we'll meet tomorrow at noon. I move the House do now rise.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House does now rise to meet again tomorrow, December 15th, between the hours of 12:00 noon and 9:00 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.

[The House rose at 4:14 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 5436]

RESOLUTION NO. 3085

By: Hon. Maureen MacDonald « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas over the past 20 years the paramedic profession has gone through a significant evolution, from simply transporting patients to providing basic and advanced life support using state-of-the-art equipment; and

Whereas today Nova Scotia's paramedics can be found delivering primary care in several communities, treating the elderly in their nursing homes to avoid trips to the emergency department, and administering the clot-busting drug to heart attack sufferers; and

Whereas this year nearly 60 paramedics received the prestigious long-service or exemplary service awards in ceremonies in May and August;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the hard-working Emergency Health Services paramedics and commend them for their dedication to helping provide better health care to Nova Scotians.

RESOLUTION NO. 3086

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas community fairs, festivals, and markets truly showcase the unique treasures that unify and define our rural areas; and

Whereas Livia Mueri of Mill Village, Queens County, brought an old world flair to her community on November 12, 2011, organizing and staging the Christkindel Fair held at Medway Stables; and

Whereas Christkindel Fair created a village market-style event, complete with pony rides, artisan showcases, and access to non-profit organizations promoting, demonstrating, and celebrating local culture;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Livia Mueri for her contribution to community culture through the Christkindel Fair.

[Page 5437]

RESOLUTION NO. 3087

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas those with creative minds seldom limit themselves to one medium; and

Whereas visual and soft sculpture artist Deborah Sponagle-Taylor of Liverpool, Queens County, has released her first illustrated book, titled Lu Lu Belle the Happy Puppy; and

Whereas Lu Lu Belle the Happy Puppy is now in its second print run;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Deborah Sponagle-Taylor for her most recent contribution to our arts community with the release of Lu Lu Belle the Happy Puppy.

RESOLUTION NO. 3088

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas an essential component of our public libraries is a connection to community through partnership; and

Whereas a new partnership between the South Shore Public Libraries and the community of Mill Village has been recently established; and

Whereas a new outreach branch of the South Shore Public Library was launched on November 16, 2011, at the Mill Village Consolidated School, connecting the community not only to its public library but also to its school;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize the community of Mill Village, the Mill Village Consolidated School, and the South Shore Public Libraries for this positive partnership.

RESOLUTION NO. 3089

[Page 5438]

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas in April of this year a young woman, Abby Lewis, from Milton in Queens County, joined five friends on a trek to canoe and portage across Canada, named the Cross Canada Canoe Odyssey, designated by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society as the 2011 expedition of the year; and

Whereas the trek across Canada raised awareness and money for the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Canadian Heritage Rivers System; and

Whereas the goal of this venture was to raise awareness of the cultural and ecological significance of our fresh water resources in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Abby Lewis for having canoed and portaged across Canada in support of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Canadian Heritage Rivers System.

RESOLUTION NO. 3090

By: Ms. Becky Kent « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Bill Thomey is an Air Force captain at 12 Wing Shearwater and a resident of Eastern Passage who in 2004 endured the pain of losing a friend and comrade in the Afghanistan conflict; and

Whereas Captain Thomey turned his pain into a project to create a monument for all Nova Scotia to visit and remember loved ones and friends or neighbours who have endured the same loss; and

Whereas November 7, 2011, marked the occasion of the unveiling of an Afghan memorial at 12 Wing Shearwater, paying tribute to lost soldiers with connections to Nova Scotia: Sgt. James Patrick Macneil, PO2. Craig Blake, Sgt. Kirk Garret Taylor, Cpl. Thomas James Hamilton, Pte. John Curwin, Capt. Jefferson Francis, Mcpl. Christopher Stannix, Cpl. Ronald Megeney, Sgt. Darcy Tedford, Wo. Frank Robert Mellish, Cpl. Christopher Jonathan Reid, Cpl. Paul Davis, Pte. Nathan Smith, Pte. Richard Green, and Pte. Braun Scott Woodfield;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Captain Bill Thomey of 12 Wing Shearwater on the occasion of the unveiling of the Afghanistan Memorial paying tribute to lost soldiers with connections to Nova Scotia and thank him for taking his idea to fruition for all Nova Scotians to benefit from.

[Page 5439]

RESOLUTION NO. 3091

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 in 1976 Jim Goit, a resident of Valley, Colchester North, began his career as a field crop specialist at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College; and

Whereas within two weeks of arriving, Jim was asked to teach a course with 90 students; and

Whereas Jim has seen a number of changes over the years, including an increase in the number of female students, as well as the amount of research done at this college;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jim Goit for his 35-year career with the Department of Agriculture, including the past 11 years as executive director of development and external relations with the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.

RESOLUTION NO. 3092

By: Hon. Wayne Gaudet « » (Clare)

Par la présente, j'avise que je proposerai à une date ultérieure, l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que Notre Jardin d'Enfance est un centre de développement de l'enfant qui rend un grand service à la population de Clare en préparant les jeunes à entrer mieux préparés a l'école publique; et

Attendu que Notre Jardin d'Enfance fête cette année son trentième anniversaire; et

Attendu que la communauté locale a célébré récemment les trente années de service à l'enfance lors d'une fête spéciale au Club social de Clare;

Qu'il soit résolu que cette Assemblée exprime ses félicitations et ses meilleurs vœux aux personnes associées au programme de Notre Jardin d'Enfance de Meteghan.

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

[Page 5440]

Whereas 2011 marks the 30th Anniversary of Notre Jardin d'Enfance in Meteghan providing a most valuable service to young children and their families; and

Whereas Notre Jardin d'Enfance, a child development centre, has helped prepare hundreds of children to enter the public school system; and

Whereas the community affection for Notre Jardin d'Enfance was shown when many people joined in the 30th Anniversary party held at the Club Social de Clare;

Therefore be it resolved that all members congratulate Notre Jardin d'Enfance for its many years of service and thank all present and former staff and volunteers for their 30 years of service to our community.

RESOLUTION NO. 3093

By: Hon. Gordon Gosse « » (Speaker)

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

Whereas for many years, Sid's Used Furniture has been a fixture in downtown Sydney; and

Whereas for the past 42 years, Frank Currie has been the driving force behind Sid's Used Furniture; and

Whereas on December 3, 2011, owner and operator Frank Currie retired;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Frank Currie on his retirement and for his dedication and service to his community, and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 3094

By: Hon. Ross Landry « » (Justice)

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

Whereby the town of Trenton comes together to earn five blooms from the Communities in Bloom program, this is the second time Trenton has participated in the event and the second time received the highest honour of all communities in the province of similar size; and

[Page 5441]

Whereas the council and its volunteers, while celebrating this year's centennial, took part in the event at the provincial level showing the pride and hard work the residents of Trenton contribute to making their town not only beautiful but a welcoming place to visit and a place that all residents should be proud of; and

Whereas the award showcases the town's strength of community, citizens and businesses who actively participate in the program, who all work together to promote the town's vibrant history;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the priceless contributions of both the council and all those who volunteered, and the important contributions the residents of the Town of Trenton make to their community and to the Community in Bloom program.

RESOLUTION NO. 3095

By: Hon. Ross Landry « » (Justice)

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

Whereas Velosoft Training Materials Inc. is a private, Nova Scotia owned and operated company established in 1998 in New Glasgow that develops educational software and training material for the $200 billion workplace learning and performance industry, and is a true global company with thousands of customers in over 150 countries; and

Whereas Velosoft employs 30 creative professionals primarily based out if its New Glasgow office with some tele-workers, and is committed to its workforce through above average regional wages, supporting the community activities undertaken by staff, including sponsoring staff to take part in humanitarian aid missions to developing countries, ensuring ongoing training is part of its corporate culture, including providing financial support for formal education, and fostering a creative, non-traditional workplace; and

Whereas with the creative economy's labour force is expected to grow significantly over the next decade, and Velosoft has already seen steady and substantial growth with a young dynamic workforce, Velosoft is posed to be a leader in the digital workplace and a great example of the innovation Nova Scotian companies have to offer the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize Velosoft Training Materials Inc. for its commitment to workplace education and to supporting good jobs in Pictou County.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3096

By: Hon. Marilyn More « » (Labour and Advanced Education)

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

Whereby Nova Scotia is well on its way to an economic bright future and will need a skilled workforce to help it get there; and

Whereby the Apprentice Award of Excellence acknowledges outstanding contributions to industry and employer by newly certified journeyperson who demonstrates a strong work ethic, skill and professionalism, and support of others in the workplace; and

Whereas Jonathan LaPierre is a newly certified carpenter with W&S Carpentry who exceeds all of the requirements of the apprenticeship program and was presented with this award at the Apprenticeship Celebration Event that was held last Saturday;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate Jonathan LaPierre, newly certified carpenter with W&S Carpentry, on receiving the 2011 Apprenticeship Award of Excellence for his hard work, dedication and contributions to industry, and wish him well in all of his future endeavors as he continues down his career path.

RESOLUTION NO. 3097

By: Hon. Marilyn More « » (Labour and Advanced Education)

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

Whereby Nova Scotia's workforce will soon be facing both challenges and exciting opportunities, especially in the skilled trades; and

Whereas the Mentor Coach Award of Excellence recognizes an employer, supervisor, instructor, or other mentor who has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in contributing to the success of his or her apprentice achieving certification; and

Whereas Glen Marriott, a certified welder with Marid Industries, was chosen as this year's recipient at a ceremony last Saturday after being nominated by his apprentice for being an exceptionally positive and enthusiastic role model and mentor;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate Glen Marriott, certified welder with Marid Industries, on receiving the 2011 Mentor Coach Award of Excellence and recognize the valuable role he, and all mentors in Nova Scotia play in helping train the next generation of skilled journeypersons in our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 3098

By: Hon. Marilyn More « » (Labour and Advanced Education)

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

Whereby Nova Scotia's workforce will require individuals with high levels of skill and training to meet the challenges of tomorrow; and

Whereby 34 Canadians travelled to London, England, to compete in the 41st Annual World Skills Competition where individuals put their skills and training on display for the whole world to see; and

Whereas Motor Vehicle Body Repairer (Metal and Paint) apprentice Aaron Hebb, earned a spot on the team by winning gold in the post-secondary car painting at Nova Scotia and then National Skills Competitions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate Motor Vehicle Body Repairer (Metal and Paint) apprentice Aaron Hebb on earning his spot to compete at the 41st Annual World Skills Competition in London, England, displaying his skills on the world stage and brining home Nova Scotia's first ever medal at this competition by winning bronze.

RESOLUTION NO. 3099

By: Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse (Community Services)

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

Whereas on November 30, 2011, at Province House, the 10th Order of Nova Scotia Investiture Ceremony took place to recognize the heroes and role models that make our province a better place every day; and

Whereas world renowned writer Dr. Budge Wilson, who is acclaimed for her talent, passion, and creative spirit, has received the Order of Nova Scotia; and

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Whereas Dr. Wilson, who resides in the South Shore, has published over 33 books, with 30 foreign editions in 14 languages, and is not only an author but a mentor and an inspiration to many writers, peers, and readers;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Dr. Wilson on her achievements and wish her all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3100

By: Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse (Community Services)

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

Whereas the 2011 Tourism Summit was held at the World Trade and Convention Centre on November 27 to 29, 2011, concluding with the Annual Gala Presentation of Crystal Tourism of Excellence Awards, as well as the Pineapple Awards; and

Whereas the Pineapple Awards are presented to individuals who go above and beyond to enrich visitor experiences; and

Whereas the Guest Services Team of the Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island was one of the four recipients of the Pineapple Award for 2011;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Guest Services Team of the Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island on receiving the Pineapple Award, and wish them well in the coming years as they continue to enhance the visitors' experience to the South Shore and all of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 3101

By: Hon. Percy Paris « » (Economic and Rural Development and Tourism)

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

Whereas Mrs. Anne Emmett has been recognized by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia with a Crystal Tourism Award of Excellence; and

Whereas Mrs. Emmett was presented with the Alastair & Frances Campbell Tourism Achievement Award for her long-term commitment, energy, service, and vision to the enhancement of the tourism industry in Nova Scotia; and

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Whereas with warm and gracious style, she has worked hard to enhance the tourism environment and demonstrated her love for Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mrs. Emmett on her Crystal Tourism Award, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3102

By: Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse (Community Services)

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

Whereas on Thursday, September 22, 2011, at Shoreham Village in Chester there was a very special 100th birthday celebration; and

Whereas two very special ladies, Ruby Ellen North and Elsie Louis Harrington, turned 100 years young; and

Whereas I was very pleased to be a part of this lovely celebration, along with family members, friends, and the staff at Shoreham Village;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ruby and Elsie and wish them all the best in the future, great health and happiness.

RESOLUTION NO. 3103

By: Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse (Community Services)

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

Whereas on Saturday, December 20, 2011, the St. Margarets Bay Branch 116 Royal Canadian Legion held their 42nd Annual Seniors Christmas Dinner; and

Whereas this event started early in the afternoon with musical entertainment which had the toes a-tapping, voices joined in song, and cadets escorting the seniors onto the dance floor for a dance or two, and concluding with the serving of a delicious Christmas dinner; and

Whereas this dedicated Legion provides this entertainment and meal to the seniors of the community by delivering 160 meals to shut-ins and entertaining over 200 in the hall, all free of charge;

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Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly give thanks and congratulations to Dawn Burgoyne, president of the St. Margarets Bay Legion Branch 116, and her crew of dedicated volunteers for honouring our seniors with this wonderful afternoon of entertainment and meal, and spreading the true meaning of Christmas.

RESOLUTION NO. 3104

By: Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse (Community Services)

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

Whereas the Tantallon Veterinary Clinic, a companion animal hospital which offers a wide range of services to pet owners including wellness and preventative medicine, animal behavior consultations, dentistry, and soft tissue surgery, completed the expansion of their new clinic in January of this year; and

Whereas upon moving the practice into their new facility in February, owners David Allan and Heather Mosher were able to increase the clinic's capacity and staff size; and

Whereas this practice has seen an increase in staff size from two to 14 over the past five years alone;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulates David Allan and Heather Mosher, owners of the Tantallon Veterinary Clinic, for their dedication within the small business community which has created gainful employment to hard-working Nova Scotians.

RESOLUTION NO. 3105

By: Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse (Community Services)

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

Whereas the Acadia Centre for Social and Business Entrepreneurship has been providing employment assistance to local job seekers and employers for the past eight years through their Job Depot program; and

Whereas over 100 people find gainful and meaningful employment each year as a result of their assistance; and

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Whereas they have recently partnered with the Aspotogan Heritage Trust and reachAbility to offer One Step Closer, a valuable program offering training in workplace dynamics and ethics, self-esteem and confidence, conflict resolution, managing change, and stress management;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulates the Acadia Centre for Social and Business Entrepreneurship Job Depot for the extension of its contract until June of 2013.

RESOLUTION NO. 3106

By: Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse (Community Services)

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

Whereas in the rural community of New Ross it was announced in October of this year that this government, through the Tangible Assets Program and the federal government's Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, will provide $2 million dollars to fund a new learning centre at Ross Farm Museum, to be built this coming Spring; and

Whereas the new Learning Centre will not only offer enhanced interpretive programs and educational experience but is expected to create three new jobs in its first year; and

Whereas Ross Farm Museum currently employs 25 people, including seven year-round workers and students;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulates the rural community of New Ross and Ross Farm Museum on the announcement of their new learning centre and the jobs it will create.

RESOLUTION NO. 3107

By: Hon. Graham Steele « » (Finance)

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

Whereas in January, 2011 Freeman's Little New York expanded and opened a new restaurant on Dutch Village Road; and

Whereas Freeman's has created a warm and welcoming atmosphere for community events and is sponsoring Fairview's First Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on December 11th with the Fairview-Clayton Park Community Action Network; and

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Whereas Freeman's Little New York is a successful and growing community business that is creating jobs and striving to be engaged with the community;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulates the Halifax Fairview Community, owner Laurel Harrington and the Fairview-Clayton Park Community Action Network on the expansion and community involvement of Freeman's Little New York.

RESOLUTION NO. 3108

By: Hon. Maureen MacDonald « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Halcraft Printers Inc. is a family owned and operated printing business located in the North End of Halifax, which is currently in its seventh decade of operation; and

Whereas Halcraft Printers was founded in 1948 by the late and fondly remembered Leo Arkelian, and is managed today by his sons Wayne, Brian and Donald Arkelian, who oversee a staff of about 35 skilled and dedicated employees; and

Whereas Halcraft Printers is a recognized leader in its field, having received a Bronze Award in the 2008 SAPPI International Printers of the Year Awards, which are considered to be the Oscars of the printing industry and are the world's most prestigious accolades of excellence in print;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly express its appreciation of the hard work and expertise of the Arkelian family and the employees of Halcraft Printing in contributing to the growth of Halifax over seven decades and wish Halcraft Printing continued success in the decades to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 3109

By: Hon. Maureen MacDonald « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas there has been a shipyard located in the North End of Halifax since the 19th century, which was destroyed by the Halifax Explosion of 1917 and then rebuilt the following year, and which went on to build the first all-Canadian destroyers during World War II, as well as repairing over 7,000 ships damaged in the Battle of the Atlantic; and

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Whereas the Halifax Shipyard, owned today by Irving Shipbuilding, is a modern, well-equipped facility with an experienced, highly skilled workforce without equal in Canada and perhaps the world; and

Whereas thanks to the efforts of Irving Shipbuilding, together with the Government of Nova Scotia and all the partners in the Ships Start Here campaign, the Halifax Shipyard emerged as the successful bidder in the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy process and will negotiate with the federal government to build Canada's next generation federal combat vessel fleet, which will bring approximately $25 billion worth of work to Halifax and Nova Scotia over the next three decades;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Halifax Shipyard, its owners and employees, the supporters of the Ships Start Here campaign, and all Nova Scotians, on the hard work which has resulted in this historic opportunity for the Halifax Shipyard and Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 3110

By: Hon. Maureen MacDonald « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas the Cape Breton Cancer Symposium Community Award is an annual honour that recognizes exceptional contributions to cancer prevention, care in the community, and for helping enhance the lives of people diagnosed and living with cancer; and

Whereas the Meloney family, of North Sydney, is the 2011 recipient of the award; the Meloneys provided support for the creation of the comfort room which is a quiet area for patients and their families in the Cape Breton Cancer Centre; and

Whereas the comfort room provides families and patients with a quiet oasis while receiving treatment and is the home base for many programs run at the centre like massage therapy and the wig bank;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in commending the Meloney family for their generous support of the Cape Breton Cancer Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 3111

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By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas Blomidon Nurseries of Greenwich, Nova Scotia, held its grand opening on September 16, 2011 with the addition of the Stems Café; and

Whereas serving the horticulture industry in Nova Scotia for over 50 years, Blomidon Nurseries offers a rare blend of quality service and product; and

Whereas Blomidon Nurseries employs 35 to 40 people at the peak of the growing season and provides to the public such services as landscaping, customized event planning and consulting services, as well as a nursery, several greenhouses and a garden/retail centre that has grown and expanded over the past 50 years;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Blomidon Nurseries on their growth and expansion over the past 50 years and wishes them much success as they expand and grow their business in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 3112

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas Luckett Vineyards, located in Kings County's beautiful Gaspereau Valley, celebrated its grand opening on July 1st, 2011; and

Whereas Luckett Vineyards is proud to follow in the footsteps of several established wineries in the region that have been making headway with exciting varieties well-suited to the area's special growing conditions; and

Whereas by the year 2013 Luckett Vineyards will include a new retail shop, restaurant, tasting bar and amphitheatre;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Luckett Vineyards on their grand opening and wish them all the best with their continued business expansion into 2013.

RESOLUTION NO. 3113

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By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas Innovative Systems, located in New Minas, Nova Scotia, is a computer and communications solution company that serves Atlantic Canada; and

Whereas Innovative Systems began a voluntary electronic recycling program before the ACES program officially started and joined ACES in 2006; and

Whereas twice weekly pickups of electronic waste at Innovative Systems redirects 13,500 kilograms of electronic waste each month, resulting in the diversion of millions of kilograms of electronic waste from landfills and prevents it from being shipped outside of Canada to be recycled;

Therefore bet it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes Innovative Systems for their initial voluntary electronic recycling program and for their important contribution in keeping a clean environment for a better future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3114

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas the Ken-Wo Golf Club, located in New Minas, Nova Scotia, was founded in 1921 and has celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2011, which makes it one of the oldest clubs in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas over the years this very challenging 18-hole course has played host to four National Championships, as well as several provincial championships; and

Whereas Ken-Wo also provides a pro-shop, dining room, beverage services, and accommodation for wedding receptions and other celebrations;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates the Ken-Wo Gold Club for their 90 years of service to golfers and their families in New Minas and surrounding areas.

RESOLUTION NO. 3115

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By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas Reverend Canon Russell Elliott of Wolfville, Nova Scotia, celebrated 70 years of priesthood with a packed service at St. John's Parrish in Wolfville, on July 24th, 2011; and

Whereas Canon Elliott was ordained in 1941 in Christ Church, in his home community of New Ross, and went on to serve in parishes in Pugwash-Wallace, Bridgetown, Lantz, Fairview and Liverpool; and

Whereas Canon Elliot was an archdeacon for 15 years, serving Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and in 1979 was awarded an honourary doctorate by the University of Kings College;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Reverend Canon Russell Elliott on his 70 years of priesthood and wishes him continued good health success as he continues in his pastoral ministry in the Parrish of Horton.

RESOLUTION NO. 3116

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas the Annapolis Valley Trails Coalition have worked with several valley groups to create the Annapolis Valley Trail System in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Annapolis Valley Trail System recently opened 19 sections representing over 200 kilometers of good quality trails that provide hours of healthy outdoor recreation space for all citizens of Clare, Digby, Annapolis, and Kings counties, which allow for a wide variety of outdoor activities during all seasons for a multitude of users; and

Whereas the Annapolis Valley Trail System includes trails operated by the Towns of Wolfville, Kentville, Berwick and the Cornwallis River Pathways Association, Kings County Trails Society, Annapolis County Trails Society, South Shore/Annapolis Recreational Trail Association, Village of Weymouth, Bear River to Sissiboo Trails Association and the Association Sentier de Clare - Rail to Trails Association;

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Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes the effort put forth by these groups and municipalities to create a safe and healthy outdoor experience for the citizens of Digby, Annapolis, and Kings Counties and wishes them success with the continuation of the development and promotion of trails in the Annapolis Valley for the use of all Nova Scotians and visitors.

RESOLUTION NO. 3117

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas Valley Search and Rescue is a highly trained volunteer organization that provides a unique and essential service for the citizens of Kings County and it is celebrating their 40th anniversary for their service; and

Whereas it is the only equipped organization to carry out searches for lost and missing persons in remote, rugged and inhospitable back country; and

Whereas the Search and Rescue Team members are trained in the areas of search management, wilderness survival, map and compass, first aid, wilderness and remote first responder, amateur radio, K-9 search, and numerous other areas needed to perform rescues in Kings County and beyond;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Valley Search and Rescue on 40 years of aiding in finding the lost and missing loves ones of families in King County and other areas in Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 3118

By: Hon. John MacDonell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas creating business in rural Nova Scotia is challenged by the geographical reality of lack of proximity to markets; and

Whereas Jeff Miller has operated an auto parts recycling and auto restoration business in Noel Shore, providing much needed employment for many years; and

Whereas Jeff Miller has expanded his business to the United States as well as expanding his operation in Noel Shore;

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Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly offers its congratulations to Jeff Miller Auto Parts for successfully overcoming any limitations presented by lack of proximity to his market and providing Nova Scotians with good quality jobs.

RESOLUTION NO. 3119

By: Hon. John MacDonell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas East Hants Auto Parts, owned by Lloyd Bent, got its start in the old school house in Nine Mile River; and

Whereas Lloyd Bent's son-in-law, Keith Sullivan, moved the business to Elmsdale and expanded it under the Carquest franchise; and

Whereas Carquest in Elmsdale will be expanding its building to enlarge its business and also provide space for the Sweet Spot Chocolate Shop expansion;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly offer its congratulations to Keith Sullivan for taking Lloyd Bent's humble business endeavour and turning it into a significant player in the business community in Elmsdale.

RESOLUTION NO. 3120

By: Hon. John MacDonell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Anthony Kawalski is an artist and designer who has created works for notable clients such as the King of Jordan and Sir Elton John; and

Whereas Anthony Kawalski and his partner Jon Twinley have immigrated from England and settled in Selma; and

Whereas Anthony Kawalski and Jon Twinley have purchased the local church and parsonage and have restored the two buildings and operate the parsonage as a bed and breakfast aptly named The Old Parsonage;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly offer its congratulations to Anthony Kawalski and Jon Twinley for preserving two pieces of Nova Scotia's heritage and transforming them into a business opportunity.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3121

By: Hon. John MacDonell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the entrepreneurial spirit sometimes begins with a couple working out of a kitchen or small leased space; and

Whereas Nancy and Greg McTiernan have manufactured and retailed their sweet wares at the Sweet Spot Chocolate Shop in Elmsdale for six years; and

Whereas the Sweet Spot Chocolate Shop is expanding to a soon-to-be constructed 2,500 square feet manufacturing and retail location and will increase their staff by 700 per cent;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly offer its congratulations to Nancy and Greg McTiernan on their confidence in their business and wishes them success in the expansion of their business.

RESOLUTION NO. 3122

By: Hon. John MacDonell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Geoff and Jennifer Bishop of Round Hill, Annapolis County, made Nova Scotia proud when they were chosen from seven finalists to be named Canada's 2011 Outstanding Young Farmers; and

Whereas the Bishops are role models in the agricultural community for their on-farm energy conservation efforts and for incorporating on-farm innovations into their business model to be more competitive; and

Whereas the Bishops' success at the national competition follow regional competition when they were previously named Atlantic Canada's 2011 Outstanding Young Farmers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Geoff and Jennifer Bishop for being named Canada's 2011 Outstanding Young Farmers and for bringing much prestige to the province's agricultural community.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3123

By: Hon. Sterling Belliveau « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas Sea Star Seafoods Ltd. has been operating and providing good jobs in Shelburne County for the past 28 years; and

Whereas despite the challenges that have been faced by seafood producers over the last number of years, Sea Star Seafoods Ltd. has continued to operate and expand; and

Whereas Sea Star Seafoods Ltd. has increased their workforce in 2011 by more than 10 per cent over the annual number of employees of the last 28 years;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Sea Star Seafoods Ltd. for being a leader in the seafood processing industry and for creating good jobs in their rural community of Shelburne County.

RESOLUTION NO. 3124

By: Hon Sterling Belliveau (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the workforce at Shelburne Ship Repair has grown to 73 employees and 20 sub-contractors since the facility was reopened in early September following a two-year, $16 million modernization project that was financially supported by the Nova Scotia Government; and

Whereas the capacity of the new cradle and marine slipway at Shelburne Ship Repair is generating positive reactions from customers and clients with orders on the books confirmed until June, 2012; and

Whereas Irving Shipbuilding expects the number of employees at Shelburne Ship Repair to increase by late February, helping to further strengthen the economy of Shelburne County, both directly and indirectly;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Irving Shipbuilding and the employees at Shelburne Ship Repair for their investment and vision that will ensure the continued operation of the facility in the Shelburne Marine Industrial Park for years to come.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3125

By: Mr. Leonard Preyra « » (Halifax Citadel-Sable Island)

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

Whereas Copernicus Studios Inc. is an artist-driven animation studio which produces original cinematic content for television, feature film and Internet platforms; and

Whereas Copernicus Studios Inc., under the leadership of President Paul Rigg and Directors Juan Cruz Baldassarre and Andrew Holland, has emerged as a major exporter of Nova Scotian talent with 95 per cent of its business now coming from international clients; and

Whereas Copernicus Studios Inc. recently signed an international co-production agreement, which has generated more than 20 full-time positions for Nova Scotians in the audiovisual and digital animation industries;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes Copernicus Studios Inc. President Paul Rigg and Directors Juan Cruz Baldassarre and Andrew Holland for their success in bringing jobs and investment to Nova Scotia and showcasing our creative economy on the world stage.

RESOLUTION NO. 3126

By: Mr. Leonard Preyra « » (Halifax Citadel-Sable Island)

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

Whereas DHX Media Limited is a Halifax-based, international leader in television production and distribution, interactive content, and entertainment licensing; and

Whereas DHX Media Limited, under the leadership of Chairman and CEO Michael Donovan, has expanded to include offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Los Angeles, in addition to three award-winning production facilities; and

Whereas DHX Media Limited has experienced exceptional growth in recent months with the acquisition of U.S.-based W!LDBRAIN Entertainment and U.K. licensing agreements for DHX children's programming and merchandise;

[Page 5458]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes DHX Media Limited and Chairman and CEO Michael Donovan as compelling examples of Nova Scotia talent that is competing on the global stage while helping to keep skilled workers here in Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 3127

By: Ms. Lenore Zann « » (Truro-Bible Hill)

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

Whereas the Downtown Truro Partnership was established in 1979 to represent the interests of the downtown business community; and

Whereas the Downtown Truro Partnership received $150,000 from the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism (ERDT), through the Community Development Fund, towards a facade improvement project; and

Whereas many businesses in Truro are taking advantage of this opportunity to improve the look of their businesses by installing new windows, siding and lighting and are thus enhancing the overall appearance of many beautiful older buildings in the downtown core;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulates the Downtown Truro Partnership on receiving the grant from ERDT and thank them for the improvement initiative that is enhancing the beauty of Truro and increasing the potential for attracting newcomers and businesses to the downtown core.

RESOLUTION NO. 3128

By: Ms. Lenore Zann « » (Truro-Bible Hill)

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

Whereas this year marks the 30th Anniversary of the annual Colchester Regional Hospital Hub Bub, which is held each October; and

Whereas the Hub Bub is a major fundraiser that the Colchester Regional Hospital Auxiliary holds each year to raise money to purchase much-needed equipment for the hospital; and

[Page 5459]

Whereas some of the money raised at the annual Hub Bub helps fund bursaries and scholarships for students, as well as funding educational programs for hospital staff members;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Colchester Regional Hospital Auxiliary on their 30th Anniversary and thank them for their commitment to serving the community through their fundraising efforts, and wish them many more years of success with the Hub Bub.

RESOLUTION NO. 3129

By: Ms. Lenore Zann « » (Truro-Bible Hill)

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

Whereas Wayne Burns first realized he had a love of acting at the age of seven when he had the opportunity to play the role of the lion in the "Wizard of Oz"; and

Whereas Wayne Burns has pursued his passion for acting through participating in musicals at Cobequid Educational Centre, performing with Neptune Theatre School and, more recently, acting in both a commercial and a feature film; and

Whereas to further his acting career, Wayne Burns recently applied and auditioned for the prestigious National Theatre School of Canada and was accepted for the Fall of 2011, making him the only Atlantic Canadian applicant to be accepted into the program;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Wayne Burns for being accepted into the National Theatre School of Canada, and wish him all the best as he pursues his acting career.

RESOLUTION NO. 3130

By: Ms. Becky Kent « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Bill Thomey is an Air Force Captain at 12 Wing Shearwater and resident of Eastern Passage who, in 2004, endured the pain of losing a friend and comrade in the Afghanistan conflict; and

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Whereas Captain Thomey turned his pain into a project to create a monument for all Nova Scotians to visit and remember loved ones and friends or neighbours who have endured the same loss; and

Whereas November 7, 2011, marked the occasion of the unveiling of an Afghanistan Memorial Monument at 12 Wing Shearwater, paying tribute to lost soldiers with connections to Nova Scotia: Sergeant James Patrick Macneil; PO2 Craig Blake; Sergeant Kirk Garret Taylor; Captain Thomas James Hamilton; Private John Curwin; Captain Jefferson Francis; Master Corporal Christopher Stannix; Corporal Ronald Megeney; Sergeant Darcy Tedford; Warrant Officer Frank Robert Mellish; Corporal Christopher Jonathan Reid; Corporal Paul Davis; Private Nathan Smith; Private. Richard Green; and Private Braun Scott Woodfield;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Captain Bill Thomey of 12 Wing Shearwater on the occasion of the unveiling of the Afghanistan Memorial Monument, paying tribute to lost soldiers with a connection to Nova Scotia, and thank him for taking his idea to fruition for all Nova Scotians to benefit from.

RESOLUTION NO. 3131

By: Ms. Becky Kent « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas the vision of the Canadian Cadet Movement is to develop in every Sea, Army, and Air Cadet qualities of leadership and aspiration to become a valued member of their community, and to reinforce values necessary to prepare them to meet the challenges of tomorrow and to embrace the multicultural dimensions of Canada; and

Whereas the 18th Dartmouth Lions Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron work to fulfill this vision through their dedication and enthusiasm, and provide a unique place for youth to grow and mature, and for adults to serve and mentor; and

Whereas the 18th Dartmouth Lions Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron celebrated its 70th Anniversary this year, having a rich and proud history of building strong Nova Scotia citizens through their Air Cadet Program;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate the 18th Lions Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron on the occasion of their 70th Anniversary, and wish them many more years of success.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3132

By: Ms. Becky Kent « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Reverend Father Johni Matthew Pichaphilly, of St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church of Eastern Passage, began his clergy service more than 20 years ago in India; and

Whereas back in Father Johni's native country of India, he is a singer-songwriter celebrity who attracts attention whenever he goes home, and his compositions are performed by India's multi-award-winning superstar singer, Yesudes; and

Whereas Father Johni's first priority is sermons, visits, weddings, funerals, and other work in his parish, but he has found the time to release four CDs in the last five years and finds his inspiration to write is best after 10:00 p.m., when nature is quiet and sleeping;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend Father Johni Matthew Pichaphilly, of St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church in Eastern Passage, for sharing his talents as a singer-songwriter while performing his parish duties and serving the Lord, and wish him many more years of success in his celebrity status in the performing arts.

RESOLUTION NO. 3133

By: Ms. Becky Kent « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Council of the Girl Guides of Canada have developed a new initiative called Guiding Nova Scotia's Future; and

Whereas Guiding Nova Scotia's Future is supported by the Democracy 250 Youth Engagement Legacy Trust and is aimed at enhancing leadership and communication skills and increasing awareness of civic processes for young women in Guiding; and

Whereas they hosted their first event, entitled "The Big Picture: Who Does What," on Saturday, November 12, 2011, which included a conversation between 20 enthusiastic women in Guiding and female members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly;

[Page 5462]

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate the Nova Scotia Council of the Girl Guides of Canada on the occasion of the first event of Guiding Nova Scotia's Future, "The Big Picture: Who Does What," held on Saturday, November 12, 2011, and wish them many more years of success in Guiding.

RESOLUTION NO. 3134

By: Ms. Becky Kent « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Conny Dammer and Willi Hermes came to Nova Scotia from Germany only one year ago and on September 10, 2011, they celebrated the official grand opening of Boondocks Dining Room and Lounge; and

Whereas Boondocks Dining Room and Lounge can accommodate over 200 people and specializes in seafood, German cuisine, and homemade desserts; and

Whereas Boondocks Dining Room and Lounge is a growing and thriving business in the community of Eastern Passage that is creating jobs and providing a great service to the community of Eastern Passage and the surrounding areas;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate owners Conny Dammer and Willi Hermes on the grand opening of Boondocks Dining Room and Lounge in Eastern Passage and wish them success in their new business venture and the next step in their new life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3135

By: Ms. Becky Kent « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas in October 20, 2011, Melissa Plaster of Eastern Passage celebrated the grand opening of her new business, Eastern Passage Wellness Center; and

Whereas Eastern Passage Wellness Center offers massage, acupuncture, reiki, and chiropractic services; and

Whereas Eastern Passage Wellness Center is a growing and thriving business in the community of Eastern Passage that is creating jobs and delivering services to the people of the community;

[Page 5463]

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate owner Melissa Plaster of Eastern Passage Wellness Center on her grand opening of a medical centre in the community of Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 3136

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas government support in our rural communities through investment is significant in the creation of employment; and

Whereas Harry Freeman and Sons Ltd. of Greenfield, Queens County, established in 1832, is one of Nova Scotia's oldest and most modern family businesses; and

Whereas Harry Freeman and Sons Ltd. received a $10 million repayable loan through the Industrial Expansion Fund, supporting 125 quality jobs and the local suppliers that do business with this long-standing company;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Harry Freeman and Sons Ltd. for creating and supporting valuable employment in rural Nova Scotia through provincial investment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3137

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

Whereas government support in our rural communities though investment is significant in the creation of employment; and

Whereas the province invested $150,000 in start-up funding for the Riverbank General Store in Mill Village, Queens County, which has resulted in 12 new job opportunities; and

Whereas the Riverbank General Store features a bakery and café, in addition to grocery items and a gift shop carrying exclusive Nova Scotian products in a profitable, fully sustainable venture;

[Page 5464]

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate the Riverbank General Store for creating valuable employment in rural Nova Scotia through provincial investment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3138

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Communities, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Chef's Menu Restaurant is located at 518 Sackville Drive in Lower Sackville and offers casual dining for families; and

Whereas Chef's Menu Restaurant is owned by Derrick Giffin and Jim Gill; and

Whereas Chef's Menu Restaurant has been open for five months and employs 13 staff;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Derrick Giffin and Jim Gill, owners of Chef's Menu Restaurant in Sackville, for creating 13 jobs in the community and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3139

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Communities, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Maritime Sportswear Ltd. opened for business in May 2011 at 22 Glendale Drive in Lower Sackville; and

Whereas Maritime Sportswear Ltd. is owned by Kent Hill and Scott McKenzie and offers custom embroidery and screen printing as well as team wear and promotional products; and

Whereas Maritime Sportswear Ltd. has created three full-time positions in the community;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kent Hill and Scott McKenzie of Maritime Sportswear Ltd. of Lower Sackville for creating three full-time positions in the community and wish the company continued success.

[Page 5465]

RESOLUTION NO. 3140

By: Hon. Charlie Parker « » (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas Aecon Fabco is a large pipe and module assembly and ship repair facility in the Town of Pictou since 2008; and

Whereas Aecon Fabco has been successful in its manufacturing, ship repair, and marine work and as a result has developed a stable and productive facility and workforce in Pictou County; and

Whereas at the recent Pictou County Chamber of Commerce Awards ceremony, Aecon Fabco was recognized for the continued growth of its business and its employees with the award for Large Employer of the Year in Pictou County;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate and thank Aecon Fabco for its commitment to building its business and employees in Pictou County.

RESOLUTION NO. 3141

By: Hon. Charlie Parker « » (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas Deb's Hidden Café was a thriving restaurant in the Town of Pictou; and

Whereas Deb's Hidden Café made the decision to move her business in March 2011 to the rural community of Scotsburn; and

Whereas Deb's Hidden Café's move to Scotsburn has proven to be successful and has allowed the business to grow and expand;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate and thank Deb's Hidden Café for her commitment to her business and customers in Pictou County.

RESOLUTION NO. 3142

[Page 5466]

By: Hon. Charlie Parker « » (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas Allen Tobey of Lyons Brook is a long-time volunteer in the sport of judo and has been named the 2011 Judo Nova Scotia Volunteer of the Year; and

Whereas Mr. Tobey has been involved in the 1999 Canada Games, the Commonwealth Games, the World Masters, and the 2011 Canada Games in Halifax; and

Whereas Mr. Tobey has received this award in recognition of many hours of volunteer work at local, provincial, and national judo events;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate and thank Allen Tobey for being an active volunteer in judo and in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 3143

By: Hon. Charlie Parker « » (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas Brody Blair of Lyons Brook, Pictou County, a middleweight boxer, competed in the 2011 Pan American Games in Guradajara, Mexico; and

Whereas Brody Blair, age 19, is a two-time Canadian champion, a member of the Canadian Boxing Team and was one of the youngest boxers competing in the middleweight division at the Pan American Games; and

Whereas Brody Blair won a bronze medal in boxing at this year's Pan American Games and plans to continue to compete in Canada and the world;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulates Brody Blair on his success in winning a bronze medal as a boxer at the 2011 Pan American Games.

RESOLUTION NO. 3144

[Page 5467]

By: Hon. Charlie Parker « » (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas Kevin MacLean of Durham, the former captain of the Pictou County Weeks Crushers Junior A hockey team, recently had his number 27 jersey raised to the rafters at the John Brother MacDonald Stadium in New Glasgow; and

Whereas Mr. MacLean was a Pictou County Weeks Crushers Junior A player for four years and was well-respected as a player and very popular with Crusher fans; and

Whereas Mr. MacLean was honoured by the Pictou County Weeks hockey team for his commitment and work ethics not only as a player but as a member of the local community;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulates and thanks Kevin MacLean for his dedication and commitment to the Pictou County Weeks Crushers and his local community and wishes him all the best.

RESOLUTION NO. 3145

By: Hon. Charlie Parker « » (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas the New Caledonia Lodge #11, of Pictou, has been active in the Town of Pictou for over 200 years; and

Whereas the members of the Lodge met in November to honour one of its members, Sheldon Chisholm, for 60 years of service to the Lodge and the community of Pictou; and

Whereas Sheldon Chisholm joined the Lodge at the age of 21 and is still an active member after 60 years of service, including the position of Past Master of the New Caledonia Lodge;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulates and thanks Sheldon Chisholm for his 60 years of service to the New Caledonia Lodge #11 of Pictou.

RESOLUTION NO. 3146

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By: Mr. Clarrie MacKinnon « » (Pictou East)

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

Whereas Enercon Nova Scotia has established a wind field maintenance base in Stellarton to provide services to the wind fields in north and eastern Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the workforce, over the past two years, has grown to 13 employees in well-paying, full-time jobs; and

Whereas by the end of January, 2012 the Enercon manager in Pictou County, Marcus Scheele, requires three additional full-time employees who have technical training in electro-mechanics, a course of study offered through the Nova Scotia Community College Pictou campus;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Enercon management and staff for high-quality maintenance work which is providing employment in the emerging renewable energy economy of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 3147

By: Mr. Clarrie MacKinnon « » (Pictou East)

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

Whereas Groupe Savoie Incorporated, a hardwood sawmill in Westville, forged a fibre exchange agreement with Northern Pulp during this past year, which provides the mill with additional hardwood to offset the supply shortage; and

Whereas Groupe Savoie is providing softwood chips to Northern Pulp with reasonable transportation costs and thus it has been able to maintain employment for a number of workers who otherwise would be laid off; and

Whereas Groupe Savoie is participating with several other eastern Nova Scotia companies under the Eastern Hardwood Management Association to put emphasis on hardwood as a separate industry, an industry that has the future potential to provide value-added, Nova Scotia wood products;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Groupe Savoie for protecting jobs and for looking ahead with other hardwood processors to seek the full potential of Nova Scotia hardwood products.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3148

By: Ms. Michele Raymond « » (Halifax Atlantic)

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

Whereas many unique businesses in our region are thriving and providing good jobs; and

Whereas the Canadian Maritime Engineering operation in Sambro does fiberglass work, onsite machining, piping/pumps, engine/transmission work as well as full service repairs for ships; and

Whereas the Canadian Maritime Engineering has kept at pace with shipyard work in the last three years, and has promise of more to come;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulates Canadian Maritime Engineering on their recent success, and wishes them all the best in the future endeavors.

RESOLUTION NO. 3149

By: Ms. Michele Raymond « » (Halifax Atlantic)

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

Whereas businesses in the arts and culture industry are flourishing in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Pavia Gallery opened its doors in Herring Cove this past August; and

Whereas Pavia is a unique business to the Herring Cove area, as it is not only a contemporary fine art gallery specializing in established and senior artists from Canada and Europe, but also operates an espresso bar and café;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulates Pavia Gallery on their grand opening, and wishes them success for many years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 3150

[Page 5470]

By: Mr. Maurice Smith « » (Antigonish)

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

Whereas River's Bend Wood Products Inc. started as a small business in Meadow Green, Antigonish County, in 1994 and by 2003 expanded to a manufacturing facility and outlet on nearby Pomquet River Road; and

Whereas River's Bend Wood Products was destroyed by a fire in February, 2006, was rebuilt within a year, and currently produces a range of wood flooring, wainscoting, baseboards, casing, moulding, and stair components; and

Whereas River's Bend Wood Products continues to grow, having recently completed a multi-million dollar expansion of its facilities which will allow them to produce finished hardwood flooring, which means many of their products are Nova Scotian from start to finish;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate River's Bend on their persistence and success and applaud their commitment to Nova Scotia made products.

RESOLUTION NO. 3151

By: Mr. Maurice Smith « » (Antigonish)

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

Whereas the Palem family immigrated from India to Nova Scotia to further their education at St. Francis Xavier University's Coady International Institute; and

Whereas after studying at St. FX the Palem family decided they would like to stay in Antigonish and worked with community partners to establish the foundation for a small business; and

Whereas earlier this year the Palem family took over the Sunshine on Main, a popular local eatery, and reopened it as Ruchi Indian Restaurant, specializing in Indian cuisine;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House congratulate the Palem family and their Ruchi Indian Restaurant on their success and wish them all the best in the future.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3152

By: Mr. Sidney Prest « » (Eastern Shore)

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

Whereas Jeanette Romans has been a resident of the Eastern Shore and had been introduced to a local farm and the healthy affects of naturally gown foods; and

Whereas Jeanette and her partner Yeves Plante value certified organically grown foods and support for local business; and

Whereas Jeanette and Yeves chose Porter Lake to open their new health food store, The Little Carrot, carrying natural and certified products from 25 local Nova Scotian businesses;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulates and thanks Jeanette Romans and Yeves Plante in the opening of The Little Carrot in Porters Lake Shopping Centre, bringing such a valuable asset to the Eastern Shore.

RESOLUTION NO. 3153

By: Mr. Gary Ramey « » (Lunenburg West)

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

Whereas supporting locally owned businesses in rural communities helps create good jobs and grow rural economies; and

Whereas the province invested $24,000 from the Productivity Investment Program in Classic Granite Countertops, in Bridgewater, to help the owners make investments in their future; and

Whereas Classic Granite Countertops is a family owned business that has demonstrated its support for the community;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Classic Granite Countertops for creating valuable employment, and wish them many successful years to come.

[Page 5472]

RESOLUTION NO. 3154

By: Mr. Gary Ramey « » (Lunenburg West)

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

Whereas investing in small businesses in our rural communities is significant in the creation of employment; and

Whereas the province invested $8,438 from the Productivity Investment Program in Wentzell Engineering Limited, in Bridgewater, to help this business strengthen and grow; and

Whereas Wentzell Engineering Limited is a privately owned consulting firm specializing in fire and failure investigations, traffic accident reconstruction, and electrical and mechanical engineering design services for industries;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Wentzell Engineering Limited for creating valuable employment, and wish them success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 3155

By: Mr. Brian Skabar « » (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas team sports play an integral role in enriching the lives of youths and adults in Cumberland North; and

Whereas the Cumberland County Amherst Fire Department Ramblers Atom AA hockey team exhibits a team spirit in every game, while each individual plays the game to the best of their ability; and

Whereas the Cumberland County Amherst Fire Department Ramblers Atom AA hockey team won the Atom AA championship at the 46th Annual Carter's Sports Cresting Bluenose Minor Hockey Tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that this House join me in congratulating the Cumberland County Amherst Fire Department Ramblers Atom AA hockey team in winning their division in the 46th Annual Bluenose Minor Hockey Tournament.

[Page 5473]

RESOLUTION NO. 3156

By: Mr. Brian Skabar « » (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas a ladies curling bonspiel is held annually in Amherst with a large number of participants, including local teams and teams from other Maritime Provinces; and

Whereas participation in this bonspiel grows in popularity each year with Carter's Sports Cresting as the main sponsor of this event, which this year took place on November 25th to November 26th with 16 teams participating; and

Whereas Carter's Sports Cresting has been the main sponsor of this ladies curling bonspiel for 10 years, and one of the main reasons for the bonspiel's continued success;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly "hurry hard" to join me in congratulating Carter's Sports Cresting on their 10th year of sponsoring another successful ladies curling bonspiel in Amherst.

RESOLUTION NO. 3157

By: Mr. Brian Skabar « » (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas nursing homes are an integral part of our society in providing for the health and well-being of those who require full-time care by others, and ease the burden of the families of loved ones who can no longer provide the care needed; and

Whereas the East Cumberland Lodge, in Pugwash, is dedicated to enhancing the lives of those seniors living at the lodge and strives to offer comfortable, furnished public family areas whereby a resident's family and friends can visit and relax with loved ones; and

Whereas each year East Cumberland Lodge hosts its major fundraiser called "Sparkle of Light," the proceeds of which provide items which could not otherwise be funded;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the East Cumberland Lodge in conducting this year's "Sparkle of Light" fundraiser to enhance the sunroom, establish a resident Internet café, and provide for other recreational needs of lodge residents.

[Page 5474]

RESOLUTION NO. 3158

By: Mr. Brian Skabar « » (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas the Cumberland YMCA Peace Medal is presented annually to recognize achievements of individuals and groups in the community who demonstrate the values expressed in the World Alliance of YMCAs' 1981 Statement of Peace; and

Whereas Pat Wilson has been working with community groups for 20 years and played a major role in the creation of a food assistance network, while at the same time being an advocate for marginalized people in the community; and

Whereas the Peace Medal was presented to Pat Wilson on November 25, 2011, for her years with the Amherst Food Assistance Network and her efforts behind the scenes with Maggie's Place Family Resources Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Pat Wilson upon receiving the Cumberland YMCA Peace Medal for her generous volunteer activities and for reaching out and making a difference in her community.

RESOLUTION NO. 3159

By: Mr. Brian Skabar « » (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas there is an increasing need, through fundraisers and donations, for organizations and individuals to assist those less fortunate, especially during the holiday season; and

Whereas the Amherst branch of the Salvation Army provides assistance year-round for such items as heating bills, supporting the food bank, helping single mothers buy school supplies, and providing a number of programs to assist people entering the workforce, along with offering a hot lunch every two weeks; and

Whereas the Amherst branch of the Salvation Army conducts an annual Kettle Campaign to raise funds for local people in need;

[Page 5475]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Amherst branch of the Salvation Army for numerous years of conducting the annual Kettle Campaign to raise money in support of its ongoing efforts to ease financial hardship for residents of Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 3160

By: Mr. Brian Skabar « » (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas community theatre organizations provide the community with an opportunity to participate in and develop an appreciation of performing arts while at the same time providing a venue for local artists to showcase their talents; and

Whereas since 1990, Showcase Productions Society has provided adults, teens, and kids in Cumberland North with opportunities to participate in and develop an appreciation for live theatre in their own community; and

Whereas Showcase Productions Society of Amherst contributes to the community through scholarships to students going on to study the performing arts, organizing and escorting annual excursions to Broadway, New York, and financial contributions to local causes;

Therefore be it resolved that this House join me in congratulating Showcase Productions for developing a continuing interest in and appreciation for musical theatre and for their contributions to the community over the past 16 years.

RESOLUTION NO. 3161

By: Mr. Brian Skabar « » (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas theatre societies entertain and enrich communities with social, educational, and cultural events; and

Whereas Tantramar Theatre Society has made an outstanding contribution to the community for over 20 years through numerous presentations including musical acts, live theatre, dinner theatres, and brown bag lunches for Cumberland North residents and visitors to participate in and enjoy attending; and

[Page 5476]

Whereas Tantramar Theatre Society provides opportunities to showcase the talents of local writers and actors by staging a number of productions each year, and the society has a positive economic impact for those who work there and for the local businesses it supports;

Therefore be it resolved that this House join me in congratulating Tantramar Theatre Society for providing the community with opportunities to develop an appreciation of performing arts and a venue for local artists to showcase their talents.

RESOLUTION NO. 3162

By: Mr. Brian Skabar « » (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas growing the economy of Nova Scotia by creating sustainable employment for our workforce is key to providing opportunities for our residents to make the choice of continuing to live and work here; and

Whereas LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. is the leading designer and manufacturer of LED (light-emitting diode) based street lighting which reduces energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and has seen tremendous growth over the past two years, including a large-scale pilot project to convert street lights in at least 10 Nova Scotia municipalities to this unique, green-friendly lighting; and

Whereas LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. is a global leader in innovative technology and is building its company in Amherst, Nova Scotia, thereby strengthening our economy and creating sustainable jobs;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly shows support for creating good jobs and growing our economy by joining me in congratulating LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. for its innovative technology and continued growth and for being committed to investing in the future of Nova Scotia

RESOLUTION NO. 3163

By: Mr. Brian Skabar « » (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas developing a network between Maritime producers, Maritime retailers and institutions will lead to promoting and sustaining the Nova Scotia economy; and

[Page 5477]

Whereas Maritime Pride Eggs, with its recently opened central plant in Amherst, Nova Scotia, is the largest egg-grading, marketing operation in Atlantic Canada where products are supplied by Maritime egg producers; and is a company that provides consistently high-quality products and superior customer service to Atlantic retailers and consumers; and

Whereas Maritime Pride Eggs have increased in state-of-the-art technology and continue to support Maritime producers while expanding its workforce, thus providing ongoing employment opportunities to Cumberland North residents;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly joins me in congratulating Maritime Pride Eggs for their success in creating the largest egg-grading marketing operation in Atlantic Canada, bringing together Maritime producers, Maritime retailers and institutions.

RESOLUTION NO. 3164

By: Mr. Mat Whynott « » (Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville)

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

Whereas family owned and operated, Keizer's Auto has been a staple for auto sales and maintenance in Middle Sackville for over 35 years; and

Whereas Keizer's Auto is continuously expanding, including the opening of their collision centre in Middle Sackville in 2009, creating 26 new jobs in the community; and

Whereas their goal has always been to provide their customers with high quality service and continue to do that with their sales, collision and detailing services;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes that Keizer's Auto is a dedicated employer in the Middle Sackville business community for the past 35 years and congratulates them on their expansion and job creation in our community.

RESOLUTION NO. 3165

By: Mr. Mat Whynott « » (Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville)

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

Whereas Carrie Warner-Smith and Terri Boutilier opened the doors of Willow Creek Children's Centre for business on October 18th, 2010; and

[Page 5478]

Whereas the child care centre is one of few established locations in our community that provides daytime child care; and

Whereas the clean, bright and friendly facility created 13 full-time and part-time positions for child care professionals in the Middle Sackville community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly recognize that Carrie Warner-Smith, Terri Boutilier and the staff of the Willow Creek Children's Centre are providing a demanded service to the Middle Sackville community and thank them for creating good jobs in our area.

RESOLUTION NO. 3166

By: Mr. Jim Morton « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas Donna Rhodenizer is an active musician, an elementary music education specialist, and a Juno nominated and ECMA winner for her musical recording for children; and

Whereas her compositions are loved and performed by elementary school students and choirs across Canada and the U.S. as well as in Austria, Ireland, Spain, Sierra Leone, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, England, and Nepal; and

Whereas she was recently awarded the Canadian Music Educators' Association Jubilate Award of Merit in recognition of her significant contribution to music education in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly recognizes Donna Rhodenizer for her many accomplishments and significant contribution to fostering a love of music in students in Kings County and around the world.

RESOLUTION NO. 3167

By: Mr. Jim Morton « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas Habitant Branch #73 of the Royal Canadian Legion has a long and proud history of service to the Village of Canning and surrounding areas; and

[Page 5479]

Whereas Habitant Branch has been a leader in engaging students at Glooscap Elementary and at Northeast Kings Education Centre in events that recognize and honour Remembrance Day; and

Whereas Habitant Branch, in partnership with area churches and the Canning Lions Club, has for 20 years organized Remembrance Day observances, drawing several hundred participants to a solemn memorial, filled with pageantry;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Habitant Branch #73 of the Royal Canadian Legion and the people of Canning and area for their dedication to remembrance and their success in including citizens of all ages in activities that recognize veterans who have served Canada in war and in times of peace.

RESOLUTION NO. 3168

By: Mr. Jim Morton « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas Kaleigh French, of Canning, was a young woman who dreamed of making the world a better place before losing her life to cancer in June, 2007; and

Whereas the Kaleigh French Reaching Out Globally Society (KFROGS), an organization created in collaboration with the Canning District Recreation Commission and Kaleigh's family and friends, promotes an annual event called KFROGS Day for Global Change; and

Whereas the annual event, which brings people together to participate in a Legacy Run/Walk, has raised over $15,000 towards the Kaleigh's Kindred Spirit Award, helping 15 young people connect with youth from across the globe;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulates KFROGS, and everyone involved in the KFROGS Day for Global Change, for its positive impact on our communities, for helping young people to reach out to others across the world, and for making Kaleigh French's dream of a better world her living legacy.

RESOLUTION NO. 3169

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By: Mr. Jim Morton « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas Ms. Pat Martin is a proud and long-time resident of Scots Bay; and

Whereas Ms. Martin shares the news and stories of Scots Bay and the Village of Canning in her regular columns in the Kings County Advertiser; and

Whereas Ms. Martin uses the columns to promote community events, encourage understanding of community causes, promote citizen participation and build pride in the history and future possibilities of Northeast Kings;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly thank Ms. Pat Martin for her commitment to promoting Northeast Kings and for her efforts to build participation and community pride through sharing the news and stories of life in Scots Bay and Canning.

RESOLUTION NO. 3170

By: Mr. Jim Morton « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas government investment in business supports our rural communities and is significant in the creation of employment; and

Whereas Greatvalley Juices of Port Williams, King County, a subsidiary of A. Lassonde Inc., is a well-established rural company that processes approximately half of the Annapolis Valley's apple crop, creating important jobs for Valley citizens while competing in the Canadian fruit juice industry; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia provided Greatvalley Juices with a $140,000 incentive to upgrade its equipment, reinforcing the company's competitiveness and opening potential for new products and new markets;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulates Greatvalley Juices for creating and supporting valuable employment in rural Nova Scotia through provincial investment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3171

[Page 5481]

By: Mr. Jim Morton « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas government investment in business supports our rural communities and is significant in the creation of employment; and

Whereas Kentville firm Weavexx, a division of Xerium Technologies Inc., has more than 140 employees and for 50 years has been a leading global manufacturer of specially engineered consumable products primarily used in the pulp and paper industry; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia has provided Weavexx with a five-year payroll rebate up to a maximum of $500,000, supporting innovative capital investment in the Kentville facility and helping the company maintain its competitive advantage;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulates Weavexx and Xerium Technologies Inc. for creating and supporting valuable employment in rural Nova Scotia through provincial investment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3172

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Melanie Strong, 28, and Stephan Bishop, 34, originally from Halifax, decided they wanted to be part of a growing and vibrant rural town with a strong arts community; and

Whereas Ms. Strong and Mr. Bishop held the grand opening of their store, Dots and Loops, on November 26th in Lunenburg, after falling in love with the traditional store fronts of Lunenburg's UNESCO World Heritage Town; and

Whereas Dots and Loops represents a move away from mass produced items and focuses on 100 per cent handmade items and house wares, printed artwork, jewelry, and features over 120 artists from around the globe, with more than 30 per cent originating in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate young entrepreneurs Melanie Strong and Stephan Bishop on running a small business, Dots and Loops, that supports and promotes local artisans and focuses on handmade treasures in the Town of Lunenburg.

[Page 5482]

RESOLUTION NO. 3173

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Simone Chia-Kangata, 33, traveled the world before returning to Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, to give birth to her daughter in April of this year; and

Whereas Ms. Chia-Kangata saw a gap in the market for high quality maternity, nursing and baby items that focus on natural parenting and decided to put her entrepreneurial skills to work to open Tummy to Mummy Maternity and Baby Shop on Main Street in Mahone Bay; and

Whereas Tummy to Mummy features natural and non-toxic items for baby, as well as products designed to promote eco-friendly parenting, such as reusable cloth diapers, nursing pads, and many locally sourced products from Nova Scotian producers;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate young entrepreneur Simone Chia-Kangata on the grand opening of her new store, Tummy to Mummy Maternity and Baby Shop, on November 26th.

RESOLUTIONNO. 3174

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas students from Lunenburg Academy and Centre Consolidated School recently gathered at Centre School to assemble more than 5,000 pieces of glass into a floor mosaic that will grace the main foyer of the new Bluenose Academy that opens in Lunenburg in 2012; and

Whereas students from both schools voted on the winning design, created by artist Scott Conrad, which features the Bluenose II sailing into Lunenburg Harbour under full sail over a background of a compass with four points, symbolizing the four schools that will be joined in the new Bluenose Academy; and

Whereas getting students involved with the process of creating a piece of art that will be a main feature of the building foyer, installing a sense of ownership and pride in their new school;

[Page 5483]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the students of Lunenburg Academy and Centre Consolidated School for their participation in creating the floor mosaic that will grace the new Bluenose Academy when it opens in 2012.

RESOLUTION NO. 3175

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Bosun School at the Lunenburg Dorey Shop, created by Captain Dan Moreland of the Picton Castle, teaches students a variety of marine-related skills over a period of three months; and

Whereas this year's students spent several weeks at the Dory Shop in Lunenburg building a silver Bali Skiff under the tutelage of Jay Langford, launching the skiff on October 28th; and

Whereas the school is in its third year with students enrolling from all over the globe, including places like Finland, Iceland, South Africa, Denmark, the United States and Canada, providing nautical instruction and highlighting Lunenburg as a town of boat builders;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates the Bosun Class of 2011 for launching their silver Bali Skiff on October 28th and commend the Bosun School for providing hands-on training in nautical skills such as rigging, sail making and boat building.

RESOLUTION NO. 3176

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas 90-year-old Mahone Bay resident, Elizabeth Ernst, recently made one of her lifelong dreams come true by publishing her first book Echoes; and

Whereas Mrs. Ernst had always wanted to write but was inspired to begin writing when Pastor Steve Kristenson, of St. John's Lutheran Church in Mahone Bay, asked her to write a story and was then encouraged by the pastor's wife, Jane Kristenson, to compile her stories and poems into a book; and

[Page 5484]

Whereas her collection of short stories is mostly autobiographical, she also includes some fiction in her publication and continues to produce new material as a member of the Lifewriting group that meets regularly at the Mahone Bay Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Elizabeth Ernst on achieving her lifelong dream of becoming a writer with the publication of her first book Echoes, at 90 years of age.

RESOLUTION NO. 3177

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Habitat for Humanity, formed in 1975, is a national not-for-profit organization working toward affordable and accessible housing available to families; and

Whereas Habitat for Humanity will begin their next build on the South Shore of Nova Scotia in the Town of Mahone Bay, constructing one or possibly more homes through volunteer labour and donated materials; and

Whereas the Town of Mahone Bay voted unanimously in favour of donating almost three acres of land on the Fauxburg Road within the Town of Mahone Bay during the council meeting on November 8, 2011;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the Town of Mahone Bay for donating a parcel of land for the next Habitat for Humanity build on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 3178

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas 42 high school students from New Germany Rural High School will be travelling to France to attend the commemoration ceremonies of the 95th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge; and

[Page 5485]

Whereas the educational trip, dubbed the Axis and Allies tour, has been organized by teacher Mike Wilson and his colleague Hester Gibson to provide students with a hands-on experience and personal connection with the history of the World War I conflict; and

Whereas New Germany and surrounding communities have rallied in support of the students taking this trip with extensive fundraising efforts, including everything from walkathons to penny auctions to bake sales, so that New Germany Rural High School students can take part in this once-in-a-lifetime education experience;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend Mike Wilson and Hester Gibson of New Germany Rural High School for organizing the Axis and Allies Tour of Europe beginning on April 9, 2012, and congratulate all students participating in this trip as they get to experience history first-hand.

RESOLUTION NO. 3179

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas Stand Up Against Bullying activities had Chedabucto Education Center and Chedabucto Academy students wearing pink on September 8, 2011; and

Whereas bullying is a cruel and hurtful activity which is adversely affecting all members of our society, especially our youth; and

Whereas Chedabucto Education Centre and Chedabucto Academy had their students involved not only in wearing pink but also engaged the Primary to Grade Two students in a "These Hands Will Not Bully" activity, the Grades 3-12 students participated in a poster contest, and the staff and students of the schools also came together to make a peace sign to represent their support to rid our society of bullying and its related vitriol;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the staff and students of Chedabucto Education Centre and Chedabucto Academy for their active engagement in anti-bullying programs and wish them well as they work to eliminate bullying from their schools and society as a whole.

RESOLUTION NO. 3180

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By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas on October 22, 2011, Mallori Nickerson and Alisha Sangster's organization Breast Foot Forward held a Family Fun Day at the Harbourview Community Centre in New Harbour; and

Whereas sisters Mallori Nickerson and Alisha Sangster started Breast Foot Forward as a breast cancer awareness organization and have held successful events in the past, including their "Off the Hook Campaign" in which they collected 300 bras and $350; and

Whereas the Breast Foot Forward Family Fun Day was in support of breast cancer awareness and fundraising for the Canadian Cancer Society;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mallori Nickerson and Alisha Sangster on their ongoing efforts to bring awareness of breast cancer to their local community and wish them great success with their future fundraising ideas.

RESOLUTION NO. 3181

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas the Canso Library and Resource Centre Society has worked tirelessly for more than a decade to realize their dream of a new library; and

Whereas the Canso Library and Resource Centre Society held the grand opening of the new library and community resource centre in October of this year; and

Whereas in the words of the Eastern Counties Regional Library chief librarian Laura Emery, the opening of this new library is "a triumph for communities, volunteerism, and reading";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly extend congratulations to the Canso Library and Resource Centre Society on the occasion of the opening of this important community resource in Canso and wish them every success as they continue to promote and advance literacy and learning in Eastern Guysborough County.

[Page 5487]

RESOLUTION NO. 3182

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas on November 6, 2011, a celebration was held at the Goshen Community and Recreation Centre on the occasion of the centre's 20th Anniversary; and

Whereas Rickey Grover's service to the community, especially through the Goshen Community and Recreation Centre, has included everything from serving on the executive to event planning, fundraising, organizing, and keeping the centre clean and in good repair; and

Whereas Rickey Grover was presented with a certificate of appreciation recognizing her 20 years of dedication, guidance, leadership, and outstanding volunteer service during the celebration of the Goshen Community and Recreation Centre's 20th Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Rickey Grover for her years of volunteer work and dedication to the residents of Goshen and surrounding communities.

RESOLUTION NO. 3183

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas the dedication of the Veterans Memorial in Goshen was unveiled on November 6, 2011, after three years of planning; and

Whereas the new Veterans Memorial in Goshen was erected in recognition of the men and women from Goshen and the surrounding communities who served, especially those who sacrificed their lives, during World War I, World War II, the Korean War and many peace-keeping missions around the world; and

Whereas the original plan to have this memorial erected on the grounds of the Goshen Community Centre was a dream of the late Harold Sinclair, who was proudly represented by his family and his many friends at the ceremony;

[Page 5488]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the people of Goshen and area for the hard work, planning and dedication that went into the establishment of this most fitting community memorial to their veterans. Lest we Forget.

RESOLUTION NO. 3184

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas on February 20, 2011, Louisbourg Seafoods Ltd. opened the doors to a new processing plant in the Town of Canso, a town that has depended on the livelihood provided by the sea for over 400 years; and

Whereas Canso Seafoods employed 30 local people, processing underutilized species such as sea cucumber, since opening in February 2011 and had a very successful season; and

Whereas Canso Seafoods, based upon their success, is now planning an expansion of their facility in the new year, which would include adding boilers and cookers to process crab, thus potentially doubling present employment;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Louisbourg Seafoods Ltd. on its success at the Canso Seafoods plant in the 2011 season and wish them continued success and prosperity for this and any future expansion.

RESOLUTION NO. 3185

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas East Coast Hydraulics and Machinery Ltd. was incorporated in Nova Scotia in 1984 and is involved in hydraulic engineering and steel fabrication, service and repairs to mechanical, electrical and industrial components for the industrial and marine industries; and

Whereas East Coast Hydraulics and Machinery Ltd. consistently employs a labour force that varies from a low of 25 to a high of 40 employees throughout the year and this staff is composed of a wide variety of highly-qualified and experienced personnel to ensure a professional, high-quality service on a 24-hour, seven days a week basis; and

[Page 5489]

Whereas East Coast Hydraulics and Machinery Ltd. are committed to employee education, training and safety and possess a wide selection of skilled tradesmen and certified hydraulic technicians to maintain a high level of quality service;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate East Coast Hydraulics on continuously striving to maintain a high level of service to their customers and providing jobs to a variety of skilled tradesmen based in rural Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 3186

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas Port Bickerton saw a dream become a reality in 2011 with a grand opening of the Community Centre and Seashore Volunteer Fire Hall on October 15, 2011, with live entertainment, refreshments and firefighter demonstrations; and

Whereas many community members were present at the grand opening, including representatives from all the levels of government which helped provide the community with a multi-purpose community centre and a new home for the Seashore Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas the Port Bickerton facility is a $500,000-plus building which is a testament to the vision, the community drive and the dedication to community demonstrated by the collective volunteerism of the Community Club, the fire department and the Women's Institute, to ensure they would have an energy-efficient and a virtually maintenance-free building;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the community of Port Bickerton on their new building and wish them well on any future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 3187

[Page 5490]

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas on November 12, 2011, the Sheet Harbour Public Library hosted an open house to mark their 30th Anniversary; and

Whereas originally housed in the Sheet Harbour Fire Hall, the Sheet Harbour Public Library now resides in the Blue Water Business Centre and provides books, DVDs, e-books and Internet to area residents and visitors alike; and

Whereas staff and community members gathered to tell stories and recall the many enjoyable experiences each engaged in at the Sheet Harbour Public Library over the past 30 years, while enjoying a display of photography displaying the changes that have taken place over the years, including the progression from the due date stamp to the barcode;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Sheet Harbour Public Library and staff on their 30 years of dedicated service to their community.

RESOLUTION NO. 3188

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas Guysborough and Area Board of Trade added a new twist to the Shop Local Campaign by advertising local, unique gift ideas in the Guysborough Journal in the lead-up to Christmas; and

Whereas this year, when making a purchase of over $20 at a participating Shop Local Campaign outlet, shoppers will receive a ballot entry for a chance to win a $500 cash Christmas present donated by the Guysborough and Area Board of Trade, with the winner to be announced on December 21, 2011; and

Whereas Guysborough and Area Board of Trade chairperson Bruce MacKeen stated that the Shop Local Campaign will bring awareness to the unique products and services that local businesses have to offer and that shopping locally can revitalize Guysborough and area business;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Guysborough and Area Board of Trade on their efforts to bring awareness to the Shop Local Campaign and the importance of supporting your local business merchants.

[Page 5491]

RESOLUTION NO. 3189

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas in 2006 Bob Weber and Mary Delorey of Larrys River developed the idea of the Salty Fog Riders Rally and began the event in 2007; and

Whereas motorcyclists from Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia attended the 2011 Salty Fog Riders Rally and completed a planned route with stops at museums, local events, live theatre, restaurants, and special camping locations; and

Whereas the Salty Fog Riders Rally, an 800-kilometre ride starting in Larrys River and continuing on to Louisburg, North Sydney, the Cabot Trail, Meat Cove, Chéticamp, and Mabou ends as the participants pass the Canso Causeway and head off toward home, and was developed by Bob Weber and Mary Delorey to promote motorcycle travel in Nova Scotia and introduce riders to Guysborough County;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Bob Weber and Mary Delorey on another successful Salty Fog Riders Rally and encourage them to continue the annual event well into the future so as to raise awareness of motorcycle travel in Nova Scotia and welcome new and veteran participants to Guysborough County and eastern Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 3190

By: Mr. Gary Burrill « » (Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)

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

Whereas Helene Van Donninck is the 2011 recipient of the Canadian Wildlife Conservation's Stan Hodgkiss Canada Outdoors Person of the Year Award, in recognition of her work with the Cobequid Rehabilitation Centre; and

Whereas the Cobequid Rehabilitation Centre is a charitable program dedicated to providing veterinary care and rehabilitation to sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife, with the goal of releasing rehabilitated wildlife into suitable habitat, and through public education increasing overall awareness of wildlife, habitat, and conservation; and

[Page 5492]

Whereas the Cobequid Rehabilitation Centre was established by Helene Van Donninck in Hilden in 2001, is now an official rotation for students of the Atlantic Veterinary College, and has over its first decade of operation helped hundreds of animals recover after injury;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly hereby acknowledge its appreciative recognition of the work of Helene Van Donninck in wildlife education and wildlife veterinary care.

RESOLUTION NO. 3191

By: Mr. Gary Burrill « » (Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)

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

Whereas Diane Clarke has been the band teacher at Musquodoboit Rural High School since 1995, during which time the MRHS band program has developed to a level of consistent excellence, receiving gold standards at music festivals across the province; and

Whereas Diane has provided the musical leadership for MRHS' outstanding musical productions of The Music Man (2003), Annie (2005), The Sound of Music (2007), The Wizard of Oz (2009), and Little Shop of Horrors (2011); and

Whereas a host of MRHS graduates are going on to receive music degrees, perform professionally, and teach music across North America;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature join the people of the communities served by MRHS in appreciative acknowledgement of Diane Clarke's singular contribution as an outstanding music teacher and mentor in Musquodoboit.

RESOLUTION NO. 3192

By: Mr. Gary Burrill « » (Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)

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

Whereas Lorne and Faye Carter of Stewiacke have dedicated many years of service to the Town of Stewiacke Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas the approximately one-and-one-half acres of land on which the present Stewiacke Fire Hall is constructed was donated to the department by them; and

[Page 5493]

Whereas Lorne Carter's service with the fire department dates from 1973 and his period as Stewiacke fire chief extended from 1977 to 1998, the longest any chief has held the office, while Faye Carter has operated the fire hall canteen since 1976 and continues to the present in that service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Nova Scotia House of Assembly join the people of Stewiacke in honouring Faye and Lorne Carter's dedication to the Stewiacke Fire Department and mark with gratitude the countless hours they have contributed to its success.

RESOLUTION NO. 3193

By: Mr. Gary Burrill « » (Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)

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

Whereas Heather Logan of Otter Brook, Colchester County, an instructor in the Companion Animal Enterprise Management program at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College is the recipient of the university's 2011 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence; and

Whereas Heather, as owner of Cloverfield Animal Behaviour Services, has offered five levels of obedience training classes to the public over a 25-year period and specializes now in behaviour consultations, public lectures and training services; and

Whereas Heather designed and implemented the Pawsitive Directions Canine Program for Nova Institution, the federal prison for women in Truro, a program in which women have an opportunity to build a relationship with a rescue dog and learn training methods readying the dog for placement with people in need of service dogs, a program which was awarded the Top Correctional Services Program in Canada designation in 1999, 2007 and 2009;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly applaud Heather Logan's selection as the 2011 recipient of the NSAC Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence and acknowledge, appreciatively, her inspirational leadership both in and beyond the classroom.

RESOLUTION NO. 3194

[Page 5494]

By: Mr. Gary Burrill « » (Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)

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

Whereas Heidi Cooke of Brookfield was inducted into the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame, Moncton, on November 5, 2011; the first female racer ever to do so; and

Whereas Heidi adds this accomplishment to the eight motocross titles she has achieved, five in a row from 2001-2005, one of which, in 2009, she won with a perfect season; and

Whereas with such a range of accomplishments, Heidi Cooke is the most successful female Canadian motocross racer of all time;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Nova Scotia House of Assembly extends its congratulations to Heidi Cooke on her induction into the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame and wishes her every success in her continuing career.

RESOLUTION NO. 3195

By: Mr. Gary Burrill « » (Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)

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

Whereas the Brookfield Terry Fox Run Committee has annually raised more funds for cancer research than any other such committee in Nova Scotia, from 2002-11, with the sole exception of 2005 when Brookfield came second, raising a total of $310,337 since 1996; and

Whereas in addition to the annual Run itself, the committee has raised funds by a wide variety of means including raffles, concerts, book and bake sales, and the Terry Fox Golf Tournament and Golf Fun Days, which have been held annually since 2000;

Whereas the 25th Anniversary Terry Fox Run in 2005 was marked in Brookfield by the planting of a commemorative tree at the Brookfield Train Station where the community gathers each year for a barbecue following the run and the 30th Anniversary was marked in 2010 by a commemorative mural on the Pharmasave wall in Brookfield, thereby ensuring that the work of the Terry Fox Foundation is kept in the community's mind year-round;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly extends its congratulations to the Brookfield Terry Fox Run Committee for the outstanding leadership and dedication they have provided to this important cause over the course of the last decade and a half.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3196

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, November 2, the Canso Lions Club hosted a regular meeting with District Governor Peter Reid, Zone Chair Earl Einarson, and Eastern Passage and Cow Bay President Rhonda Trickett, with eight visiting Lions Club members attending; and

Whereas at the meeting King Lion Ray White was awarded an honorary life membership from the officers and directors of the Lions Foundation of Nova Scotia in recognition of his outstanding service as a lion and the acknowledgement of his overall contribution to the Lions Club organization; and

Whereas District Governor Peter Reid, who presented the award and congratulated the Canso Lions Club on their continued community work and their contributions to Lions at the local, national, and international levels, stressed the theme "together we can";

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ray White on this prestigious acknowledgement and award and wish him well as he continues to serve his community and the Lions Club.

RESOLUTION NO. 3197

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, November 2, the Canso Lions Club hosted a meeting with District Governor Peter Reid, Zone Chair Earl Einarson, and Eastern Passage and Cow Bay President Rhonda Trickett, with eight visiting Lions Club members in attendance; and

Whereas at the meeting a candlelight ceremony was held to induct the newest member, Janet Delorey, into the Canso Lions Club, and she was welcomed by District Governor Peter Reid, Zone Chair Earl Einarson, and King Lion Ray White; and

Whereas District Governor Peter Reid praised the Canso Lions Club for their exceptional community work and their contributions to Lions at the local, national, and international levels;

[Page 5496]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Janet Delorey for becoming the newest member of the much-valued Canso Lions Club and wish her every success as she continues along this new path of community service.

RESOLUTION NO. 3198

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas on November 23, 2011, three students from Duncan McMillan High School attended the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Ceremony at Government House in Halifax; and

Whereas Daniel Rasmussen was presented with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Silver Certificate of Achievement at the award ceremony by the Honourable Mayann E. Francis, O.N.S., DHumL, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, for his achievements in the areas of physical fitness, community service, skill development, and outdoor expeditions; and

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh's Award is designed to encourage young people to endeavour to be the best they can be at each of the three levels of bronze, silver, and gold by fulfilling a demanding challenge set by the award program patron, His Royal Highness Prince Phillip;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Daniel Rasmussen on his personal achievements, which earned him the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh's Award Silver Certificate of Achievement, and wish him every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3199

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas on November 23, 2011, three students from Duncan McMillan High School attended the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Ceremony at Government House in Halifax; and

[Page 5497]

Whereas Alexander Rasmussen was presented with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Silver Certificate of Achievement at the award ceremony by the Honourable Mayann E. Francis, O.N.S., DHumL, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, for his achievements in the areas of physical fitness, community service, skill development, and outdoor expeditions; and

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh's Award is designed to encourage young people to endeavour to be the best they can be at each of the three levels of bronze, silver, and gold by fulfilling a demanding challenge set by the award program patron, His Royal Highness Prince Phillip;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Alexander Rasmussen on his personal achievements, which earned him the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh's Award Silver Certificate of Achievement, and wish him every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3200

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas on November 23, 2011, three students from Duncan McMillan High School attended the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Ceremony at Government House in Halifax; and

Whereas Alexandra Jewers was presented with the Duke of Edinburgh's Silver Certificate of Achievement Award by the Honourable Mayann E. Francis, O.N.S., DHumL, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, for her achievements in the areas of physical fitness, community service, skill development, and outdoor expeditions; and

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh's Award is designed to encourage young people to endeavour to be the best they can be at each of the three levels of bronze, silver, and gold by fulfilling a demanding challenge set by the award program patron, His Royal Highness Prince Phillip;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Alexandra Jewers on her personal achievements, which earned her the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh's Award Silver Certificate of Achievement, and wish her every success in the future.

[Page 5498]

RESOLUTION NO. 3201

By: Hon. Charlie Parker « » (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas 4-H is the largest and longest-running rural youth organization in Canada; and

Whereas the 2011 Annual Pictou County 4-H Celebration and Awards event was held in November, and 4-H leaders and youth members were honoured for their work and accomplishments in 4-H; and

Whereas at this year's awards event a Leaders Award was presented to Sophie Cook, of White Hill, in recognition of her 20 years of dedication and commitment to 4-H;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate and thank Sophie Cook for her 20 years of service to 4-H and the youth of her community.

RESOLUTION NO. 3202

By: Hon. Charlie Parker « » (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas 4-H is the largest and longest-running rural youth organization in Canada; and

Whereas the 2011 Annual Pictou County 4-H Celebration and Awards event was held in November, and 4-H leaders and youth members were honoured for their work and accomplishments in 4-H; and

Whereas at this year's 4-H awards event a Leaders Award was presented to Cheryl Stewart, of Rocklyn, in recognition of her five years of dedication and commitment to 4-H;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate and thank Cheryl Stewart for her five years of service to 4-H and the youth of her community.

RESOLUTION NO. 3203

[Page 5499]

By: Hon. Charlie Parker « » (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas 4-H is the largest and longest-running rural youth organization in Canada; and

Whereas the 2011 Annual Pictou County 4-H Celebration and Awards event was held in November, and 4-H leaders and youth members were honoured for their work and accomplishments in 4-H; and

Whereas at this year's 4-H awards event a Leaders Award was presented to Bonnie Allan, of Seafoam, in recognition of her 30 years of dedication and commitment to 4-H;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate and thank Bonnie Allan for her 30 years of service to 4-H and the youth of her community.

RESOLUTION NO. 3204

By: Hon. Percy Paris « » (Economic and Rural Development and Tourism)

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

Whereas Taste of Nova Scotia has been recognized by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia with a Crystal Tourism Award of Excellence; and

Whereas Taste of Nova Scotia was presented with the Tourism Innovator Award for exemplifying innovation in market positioning in contributing to Nova Scotia's unique tourism product offering; and

Whereas its Adventures in Taste Program has helped many tourism operators expand their market reach, and helped Nova Scotia promote the strength of its culinary assets to the world;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Taste of Nova Scotia for its Crystal Tourism Award, and wish it continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3205

[Page 5500]

By: Hon. Percy Paris « » (Economic and Rural Development and Tourism)

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

Whereas Fox Harb'r Golf Resort & Spa has been recognized by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia with a Crystal Tourism Award of Excellence; and

Whereas Fox Harb'r was presented with the Tourism Business of the Year Award, recognizing its efforts in outstanding commitment to quality and excellence in delivery of the tourism product to the visitor; and

Whereas the resort should be commended for attracting guests from all over the world and its contribution to the industry;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Fox Harb'r for its Crystal Tourism Award, and wish it continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3206

By: Hon. Percy Paris « » (Economic and Rural Development and Tourism)

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

Whereas Oakwood Manor Bed and Breakfast, operated by the McEvoy family, has been recognized by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia with a Crystal Tourism Award of Excellence; and

Whereas Oakwood Manor was presented with the Tourism Atlantic Technology Award for their strategic use of technology in a tourism business; and

Whereas the McEvoy family has recognized technology as an important tool in building their business in rural Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the McEvoys on their Crystal Tourism Award, and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3207

[Page 5501]

By: Hon. Percy Paris « » (Economic and Rural Development and Tourism)

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

Whereas Suzanne and Hugh Conrod and the Hooked Rug Museum of North America have been recognized by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia with a Crystal Tourism Award of Excellence; and

Whereas Mr. and Mrs. Conrad were presented with the Sustainable Tourism Award for their leadership in the preservation of an important Nova Scotia cultural asset; and

Whereas Mr. and Mrs. Conrad should be commended for their efforts toward sharing Nova Scotia's past, providing an authentic art to visitors, and creating a legacy for their community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Conrod on their Crystal Tourism Award, and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3208

By: Hon. Percy Paris « » (Economic and Rural Development and Tourism)

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

Whereas the Town of New Glasgow has been recognized by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia with a Crystal Tourism Award of Excellence; and

Whereas New Glasgow was presented with the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award for reflecting the three pillars of sustainable tourism: development-economic viability, environmental sustainability, and cultural appropriateness; and

Whereas the town should be commended for recognizing the value its heritage, culture, and environment play in developing a healthy community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Town of New Glasgow on its Crystal Tourism Award, and wish it continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3209

[Page 5502]

By: Hon. Percy Paris « » (Economic and Rural Development and Tourism)

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

Whereas Carol Logan has been recognized by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia with a Crystal Tourism Award of Excellence; and

Whereas Ms. Logan was presented with the Human Resources Leadership Award for demonstrating exemplary leadership in the development of future professionals for the tourism industry through education and training; and

Whereas Ms. Logan has become a great mentor to many students and fellow tourism professionals;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Carol Logan on her Crystal Tourism Award, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 3210

By: Hon. Percy Paris « » (Economic and Rural Development and Tourism)

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

Whereas Parks Canada Nova Scotia Division has been recognized by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia with a Crystal Tourism Award of Excellence; and

Whereas Parks Canada was presented with the Ambassador Award for excelling in its efforts to develop the tourism industry, and making a major impact on tourism and culture in the entire province; and

Whereas Parks Canada continues its ongoing contribution to the promotion of Nova Scotia, and recognition of its 100th year of service;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Parks Canada on its Crystal Tourism Award, and wish it continued success in the future.