Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD11-41

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Gordon Gosse

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

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



Third Session

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Community Services Comm. - Anl. Rept. 2011,
3292
Veterans Affairs Comm. - Anl. Rept. 2011,
3292
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
CCH: N.S. Online Forum - Launch,
3293
Com. Serv.: Direct Family Support for Children
- Eligibility Guidelines, Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse »
3294
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2072, HomeBridge Youth Soc. - Bus. Ethics Award,
3297
Vote - Affirmative
3297
Res. 2073, Crohn's & Colitis Mo. (11/11) - Recognize,
3297
Vote - Affirmative
3298
Res. 2074, Southwell, Rustum - African N.S. Entrepreneurs:
Support - Thank, Hon. P. Paris »
3298
Vote - Affirmative
3299
Res. 2075, votemyfundy.com: Nova Scotians - Vote,
3299
Vote - Affirmative
3300
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 82, Next Generation Act,
3300
No. 83, Health Promotion Act,
3300
No. 84, Animal Protection Act,
3300
No. 85, Agriculture and Rural Credit Act,
3300
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2076, Southwell, Rustum/Black Bus. Init.:
Success (15 Yrs.) - Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil »
3301
Vote - Affirmative
3301
Res. 2077, McNeil, Cst. Justin - RCHA Award,
3302
Vote - Affirmative
3302
Res. 2078, O'Connor, Dr. John (Jake): Shubenacadie Canal Comm
- Commitment, Mr. A. Younger »
3302
Vote - Affirmative
3303
Res. 2079, Allen-Simec, Sandra - Excellence in Bus. Award,
3303
Vote - Affirmative
3304
Res. 2080, Stevens, Aaron - Excellence in Youth Leadership Award,
3304
Vote - Affirmative
3304
Res. 2081, Earle, Lt.-Col. Peter C.: 16 Wing Borden - Commend,
3305
Vote - Affirmative
3305
Res. 2082, MacKeigan, Rebecca - Cdn. Morgan Horse Show Awards,
3305
Vote - Affirmative
3306
Res. 2083, Holocaust Educ. Wk.: Comm./Atl. Jewish Coun./Edna LeVine
- Thank, Mr. L. Preyra »
3306
Vote - Affirmative
3307
Res. 2084, Bernard, Joanne - Commun. Contributions,
3307
Vote - Affirmative
3308
Res. 2085, Beaton, Mary Florence - Cdn. Can. Soc
Lifetime Achievement Award, Mr. A. MacMaster »
3308
Vote - Affirmative
3308
Res. 2086, Louisdale Baracos - RABA Championship (2011),
3309
Vote - Affirmative
3309
Res. 2087, Tupper, Brandon - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
3309
Vote - Affirmative
3310
Res. 2088, Natl. Pain Awareness Wk. (11/06 - 11/12/11)
- Acknowledge, Mr. L. Glavine « »
3310
Vote - Affirmative
3311
Res. 2089, Health: Long-Term Care Strategy - NDP Gov't. Commitment,
3311
Res. 2090, Conservative Governments - Trustworthiness,
3312
Res. 2091, MacDonald, Matthew - IWK Fundraising,
3312
Vote - Affirmative
3313
Res. 2092, Murphy, Trevor/CKDU - Molson Cdn. N.S. Music Week
(2011) Award Nominations, Mr. Z. Churchill »
3313
Vote - Affirmative
3314
Res. 2093, Gillis, Morgan - Motorsport Racing Accomplishments,
3314
Vote - Affirmative
3315
Res. 2094, Burton, John - Writing Achievement/Commun
Improvement, Mr. G. MacLellan »
3315
Vote - Affirmative
3315
Res. 2095, Strait Area Transit: Serv. - Expansion,
3315
Vote - Affirmative
3316
Res. 2096, Trimper, Brandon - Keith Trimper Award,
3316
Vote - Affirmative
3317
Res. 2097, Chambers, Samantha - Celebration of School Sport
(2010 - 2011) Award, Mr. C. Porter « »
3317
Vote - Affirmative
3318
Res. 2098, Tri Co. Ford: Commun. Involvement - Command,
3318
Vote - Affirmative
3319
Res. 2099, Baddeck Lions Club: Kidston Island Ferry - Improvement,
3319
Vote - Affirmative
3319
Res. 2100, Kingston MACS Ctr. - Anniv. (20th),
3319
Vote - Affirmative
3320
Res. 2101, Muise, Vincent: Dal Scholarship - Congrats.,
3320
Vote - Affirmative
3321
Res. 2102, RCL Br. 61 (Yarmouth) - Veterans: Dedication - Thank,
3321
Vote - Affirmative
3322
Res. 2103, Porter, Darren/Barton Elem.: Cancer Research
- Fundraising, Mr. H. Theriault « »
3322
Vote - Affirmative
3322
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 358, Prem.: First Contract Legislation/Job Creation - Priority,
3323
No. 359, Prem.: Job Retention/Job Creation - Importance,
3324
No. 360, Prem.: Power Rate Increase - Oppose,
3325
No. 361, Prem.: Gov't. (Can.): Justice Bill - Costs,
3327
No. 362, Prem.: Jobs & Economy - Prioritize,
3328
No. 363, Fin.: Growth Forecasts - Min. Revisit,
3329
No. 364, Educ.: Rural Schools - Review Process,
3331
No. 365, Educ.: Weymouth Sch. Closure - Min. Review,
3332
No. 366, Prem.: MV Miner - Asbestos,
3334
No. 367, Educ.: Student/Teacher Ratio - Calculations,
3335
No. 368, TIR - Roads: Winter Maintenance - Cuts,
3336
No. 369, Prem. - Health Authorities: Streamlining - Details,
3338
No. 370, Fish. & Aquaculture: Cooke Aquaculture - Charges,
3340
No. 371, Nat. Res. - Joggins Beach Steps: Removal - Consultation,
3341
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 76, Civil Forfeiture Act
3343
3343
3343
3343
Vote - Affirmative
3343
No. 78, Civil Constables Act
3344
3344
3344
3344
Vote - Affirmative
3345
No. 80, Constables Act
3345
3345
3346
3346
Vote - Affirmative
3346
No. 81, Identification of Criminals Act
3346
3347
3351
3352
Vote - Affirmative
3352
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
CBC - Anniv. (75th),
3353
3355
3357
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., Nov. 9th at 2:00 p.m
3360
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2104, Maxine Tynes: Death of - Tribute,
3361
Res. 2105, Curry, Doug - President's N.S. Hockey Award,
3361
Res. 2106, Maddison, Cst. Steven: Springhill PD
Long-Service Award (15 Yrs.), Hon. J. Baillie « »
3362
Res. 2107, Ross, Charlie - Lightfoot Trophy,
3362
Res. 2108, Allison, Adrienne Rose - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
3363
Res. 2109, Campbell, Darren - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
3363
Res. 2110, Hawes, Felisha Amber - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
3364
Res. 2111, Veinot, Leah Colleen - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
3364
Res. 2112, van Dyk, Nicholas Gregory - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
3365
Res. 2113, Flemming, Ramona - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
3365
Res. 2114, Raddall, Thomas Head, IV - Lt.-Gov.'s Educ. Medal,
3366

[Page 3291]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2011

Sixty-first General Assembly

Third Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Gordon Gosse

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER » : Order, please. Before we begin the daily routine, I'd like to remind all members that today is the one-year anniversary of the hiring of our Clerk, Annette Boucher. Congratulations. (Applause)

The topic for late debate has been chosen and the subject is:

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on 75 years of excellence in journalism, capturing historic Canadian moments and shaping the culture of this country and this province.

It was submitted by the honourable member for Glace Bay.

3291

We will begin the daily routine.

[Page 3292]

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

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

MR. JIM MORTON « » : Mr. Speaker, may I have your permission to table a report, the Annual Report on the Standing Committee on Community Services for 2011? And while I'm on my feet, I would like to just take a moment to thank the members of the committee on both sides of the House for their engagement in the work, for their hard work, and in fact for their civility. It's a good committee to work with.

I would very much like to thank Kim Langille, the clerk of the committee, who I know is in the east gallery this afternoon, and all the members of the Committees Office staff for doing a whole range of things to make sure that the committee's process works smoothly - so thank you very much. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The report is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

MR. GARY BURRILL « » : Mr. Speaker, as the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, I'm pleased to submit the annual report of the committee for the year September 2010 to August 2011. In submitting the annual report, I want to just say a word of gratitude also to the Committees Office staff and Kim Langille, the clerk, for their support of the committee's work over the year.

Also - and especially, I might say, during this Remembrance Week - I would like to express gratitude to all members of the committee from all Parties in the House for the unanimity with which - now for the second year - they have, through the committee, pressed the federal government on the position of the necessity to end the benefit annuity reduction clawback of members of the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. So with that, I would like to submit the report.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The report is tabled.

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, today Nova Scotians have a new way to make their voices heard. The Nova Scotia Online Forum is an easy way for citizens from all walks of life to provide opinions and advice directly to government.

[Page 3293]

Nova Scotians have a lot of great ideas. They have a lot to say about the future of our province. Traditional models of public consultation are very useful, but they lack the breadth to reach the grassroots and garner widespread input. We hope to recruit thousands of Nova Scotians to this new forum. The Nova Scotia Online Forum uses the technology that hundreds of thousands of Nova Scotians already use on a daily basis. We're counting on the wisdom of Nova Scotians to help us tackle the challenges and opportunities we face as a government: improving health care, growing our economy, and ensuring government lives within its means. In fact, my colleague, the Minister of Finance, is already planning to use the Online Forum as part of this year's pre-budget consultation.

Nova Scotia is the first province in Canada to launch such a program. We'll be able to solicit feedback more quickly and at a lower cost with the Online Forum than with regular random sampling surveys, because participants will already be recruited. It's available now at "www.forumns.ca". I would like to ask all members of the House to encourage everyone they know to join the Online Forum. We believe that Nova Scotians should have as much opportunity as possible to tell their government what they think and to help build a better future for our province. Thank you.

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

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT « » : Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise to offer a few words in response to the minister's statement. I would like to start by saying thank you to the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage for giving us an advance copy of his remarks.

New forms of technology are an excellent way of communicating in this world. The creation of the Nova Scotia Online Forum will be a good avenue for people of our province to offer their concerns, suggestions, and ideas to government. As the minister already stated, the Online Forum makes use of technology that hundreds of thousands of Nova Scotians are already using every day.

It's good that Nova Scotia is the first province in Canada to launch such a program. However, I will say that it is odd that this government is moving forward with this method of collecting information on-line when they refused the Liberal caucus initiative in the past to allow on-line petitions to be tabled in this House of Assembly.

This initiative has been called for repeatedly by my colleague, the member for Halifax Clayton Park. On-line petitions are effective because of their ability to gather large numbers of signatures in a fast and efficient manner, yet the previous Progressive Conservative Government and the current NDP Government refused this form of accessible public engagement. We don't understand why. I would like to urge the minister and his government to review this initiative once again in light of this announcement today. Thank you very much.

[Page 3294]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you to the minister for providing a copy of his statement to me in advance. When I was listening to the minister deliver his statement, it sounded familiar. The mandate of this new Online Forum sounds similar to a program this government eliminated in the Spring.

Voluntary Planning provided government with the ability to reach out to communities across Nova Scotia. It was accountable. If you wanted to be a member, you had to go through an appointment process. The process helped ensure that a government couldn't stack it full of their friends and insiders. I'm concerned that with the Online Forum that's exactly what we're going to see happen. After all, the NDP said they were eliminating Voluntary Planning because it didn't align with government thinking.

Are they expecting the Online Forum will? What will happen when this Online Forum gives them results they don't like? Voluntary Planning was a success. I think with the creation of this Online Forum the NDP have finally acknowledged that they shouldn't have eliminated it.

Mr. Speaker, with those few words, I'll take my seat. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Community Services.

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take this opportunity to talk about some good news announced earlier today - good news that will help make life better for Nova Scotian families caring for a child with a disability, and that clearly shows our commitment to improved services for persons with disabilities and their families.

More families caring for a child with a disability will soon have help, because we are expanding income eligibility guidelines for the Direct Family Support for Children Program. Starting next month, for example, the amount a family of five can make and be eligible for the Direct Family Support for Children Program will increase to $72,000 after taxes. I'd like to table a copy of the news release that was distributed a couple of hours ago.

For over 30 years this program has helped families in our province with costs for things like transportation, medication, and most importantly, respite when families need some extra help and support. This government is ensuring that it will continue to help even more families in the future. Supporting Nova Scotians who need it most is a priority of this government. There are 80 more families that will now have access to this program and the help it offers. Many of them are middle-income families dealing with the uniqueness of raising a child or children with a disability.

[Page 3295]

This means that nearly 900 Nova Scotia families will have the benefit of this program that offers them support they rely on. Any parent can appreciate the need for an extra bit of help or for a break from the day-to-day of raising children. That extra help can be even more important for families caring for a child with a disability.

This government is maximizing the impact of this investment to ensure it goes as far as possible to make life better for Nova Scotia families caring for a child with a disability. Earlier this year I was with the Premier when he unveiled the province's Autism Spectrum Disorder Action Plan. Part of that plan was to improve the direct family support for children's programs so that more families would have access to things like medications, transportation and respite.

Mr. Speaker, today's news is that improvement. Today's news is another example of this government keeping its commitment to make life better for Nova Scotia families. Thank you. (Applause)

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the minister, first, for making her comments available to us earlier today. It is my pleasure to rise and make a few comments in response to the ministerial statement about support for families of children with disabilities.

Mr. Speaker, I think the news is very good. Whenever you can improve the accessibility of programs to people who desperately need them, it is a good news story for Nova Scotians. My understanding is that the department estimates will be able to get services with this new income level. I think that is good news and certainly something that we very much support.

I know every member of the Legislature has had calls from their constituents and looked at the income levels and looked to see if there were programs available that could help. At $72,000 for a family income, that is becoming more accessible. We know it seems like a lot of money but for families today there are still a lot of expenses and if you are caring for a disabled child or a severely disabled child, it can be very expensive as well. There are often additional medical costs, maybe special feeding, food or feeding supplies. There can be other medical equipment and supplies that they need to buy that are extra. I think they are covered under this support as well. Certainly the cost of respite care is very expensive for individuals to access and having some support makes a huge difference.

One thing the Liberal Party has always stood for - in all of the elections that I've been involved with and followed in the past - has been programs that support people staying at home and staying in their communities, and programs that support loved ones looking after their own family, which they so much want to do. Sometimes it is financially just not possible, so we very much support these programs.

[Page 3296]

One comment I would ask is that when I looked at the policy online, the policy is for children under 19 years of age. There's another policy that is sort of wrapped into the same one, which is for children over 19. I'm hoping that the minister will look at those families that are caring for their loved ones who have gone beyond the age of being children but still need that family care and are never going to be able to look after themselves. Again, it ties in with keeping them at home for as long as we can, giving the support to sometimes elderly parents - or as they are aging parents - to continue to look after their children.

With that, Mr. Speaker, we certainly do support this as a step in the right direction and making services more available to more Nova Scotians, which is a good thing. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Thank you once again, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the minister for providing a copy of her statement to me in advance.

Mr. Speaker, it gives me pleasure as well to rise and speak on the ministerial statement. Families caring for a child with a disability are in a unique, difficult circumstance. This change in income threshold is positive news for those who rely on family support programs. It means that some struggling families are now able to provide needed medications, transportation and care for their children.

I'd be interested in speaking with the minister later, Mr. Speaker, to discuss some of the details. The department press release the minister tabled states, "The amount of assistance a family receives varies depending on their income, assessed need for respite and family size." I'd like to know how this will practically impact these additional 80 families, for instance. The example used, a family can make up to $72,000 after tax; that's for a family of five. What is the change for a family of three - two parents and one child, or a single parent with two children? This is a good step but our caucus will be looking for feedback to ensure the program expansion is helping in the way it is intended. I thank the minister and I thank you, Mr. Speaker.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2072

[Page 3297]

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

Whereas the HomeBridge Youth Society of Dartmouth has been honoured as the winner of the 7th annual Maritime Business Ethics Awards in the non-profit category; and

Where the Maritime Business Ethics Awards celebrate organizations that go above and beyond, to do what is right and fair without question and without compromise; and

Whereas for more than 25 years, the HomeBridge Youth Society has served vulnerable youth in Nova Scotia with a vision of all youth and families living together in health, safety and harmony;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the valuable contribution that HomeBridge Youth Society has made, and continues to make, on behalf of our youth.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

RESOLUTION NO. 2073

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

Whereas November is Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Month; and

Whereas Canada has among the highest rates of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the world, and Nova Scotia has the highest rates of these diseases in the country; and

Whereas 200,000 Canadian suffer from these inflammatory bowel diseases that have no cause, no cure and limited public understanding;

[Page 3298]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in recognizing November as Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Month and commend the organizations that support the sufferers in their efforts to raise awareness and find a cure.

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.

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, before I read my resolution, I beg leave to make a very brief introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MR. PARIS « » : Thank you. With us today, Mr. Speaker, I'm very very pleased to say that I got somebody that has been a very dear friend of mine for, maybe, the last 20 years. Certainly, I am going to acknowledge him in my resolution but I know that it was probably 16 years ago, in Washington, that this gentleman and I were walking along the street and I whispered in his ear, BBI. I think this will all come to light after I read the resolution but I would like to ask Mr. Rustum Southwell to stand and get a warm welcome from the House. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2074

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

Whereas Rustum Southwell was the founding executive director of the Black Business Initiative and has faithfully served the organization since 1996, helping to develop a dynamic and vibrant black presence within the Nova Scotia business community; and

[Page 3299]

Whereas through training, loans, investments and other support, the BBI has helped create more than 600 jobs and contributed to a rate of growth among African Nova Scotian businesses that was more than 50 times the provincial rate of growth, according to Statistics Canada figures from 2001 to 2006; and

Whereas after more than 15 years of dedicated service to the BBI, Mr. Southwell will retire from his current position as chief executive officer early in 2012;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House join me in thanking Rustum Southwell for his vision and dedication in supporting African Nova Scotian entrepreneurs in growing Nova Scotia's economy, and to wish him well in all his future endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

RESOLUTION NO. 2075

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

Whereas the Bay of Fundy campaign to become one of the global New7Wonders of Nature has reached out to Nova Scotians, Canadians, and people from around the world, generating awareness and millions of votes for our beautiful bay; and

Whereas the Bay of Fundy is Canada's only finalist among 28 international competitors remaining in the contest, chosen from more than 440 original entries; and

Whereas a win for the Bay would have huge significance for Canada and Nova Scotia on a global scale, making it one of the best-known destinations in the world;

Therefore be it resolved that in these final days of the campaign that all members of the House encourage Nova Scotians and all Canadians to go to votemyfundy.com and vote for the bay before the final voting deadline on November 11th.

[Page 3300]

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 Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, may I make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MR. BAILLIE « » : In the west gallery today, I would like to introduce to all members of the House Amelia DeMarco and Jessica Simmons from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and I ask everyone to welcome them here today. (Applause)

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

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 82 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 2 of the Acts of 2010. The Finance Act, respecting Intergenerational Reporting. (Hon. Jamie Baillie)

Bill No. 83 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 4 of the Acts of 2004. The Health Protection Act, to Establish Health and Safety Standards for the Tattoo Industry. (Mr. Leo Glavine)

Bill No. 84 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 33 of the Acts of 2008. The Animal Protection Act. (Hon. John MacDonell)

Bill No. 85 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 7 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Agriculture and Rural Credit Act. (Hon. John MacDonell)

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

[Page 3301]

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2076

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

Whereas the Black Business Initiative, established in 1996 to promote the growth of businesses owned by members of the Nova Scotia Black community, celebrates its 15th Anniversary this year; and

Whereas although the success of this organization can be accredited to the hard work and dedication of the entire team, it is especially true of Chief Executive Officer Rustum Southwell; and

Whereas after 15 years with the Black Business Initiative, seeing it exceed the expectations in job creation and financial investments, Mr. Southwell will be easing into retirement with a sense of accomplishment;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Rustum Southwell and the Black Business Initiative on their 15 years of success, and wish Mr. Southwell a happy and enjoyable retirement.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2077

[Page 3302]

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

Whereas on October 24th Constable Justin MacNeil of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the son of Jerry and Judy MacNeil of Little Narrows, was presented with the Royal Canadian Humane Association Medal for Bravery; and

Whereas Justin received the medal because he rescued an 18-year-old whose snowmobile plunged through the ice on the Churchill River in northern Saskatchewan; and

Whereas Constable MacNeil was one of 13 individuals presented with bronze and silver medals for acts of bravery;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Justin on his award and commend him for the bravery he exhibited, and wish him further success in his policing career.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2078

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

Whereas the Shubenacadie Canal, since its formal construction began in 1826, has been of vital historic importance to all Nova Scotians; and

Whereas Dr. John (Jake) O'Connor stepped down as the Canal Commission President and Chair as of June 20, 2011, after a five-year tenure; and

Whereas Dr. O'Connor raised the profile of the Shubenacadie Canal Commission immensely during his term and has committed to raising $750,000 towards the future restoration of both the canal and the marine railway;

[Page 3303]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Dr. O'Connor on his long-standing commitment to the Shubenacadie Canal Commission and wish him many more years as an advocate for his community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2079

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

Whereas on October 20th at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre, the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce presented the Excellence in Business Awards for 2011; and

Whereas 375 guests attended the awards banquet where 258 businesses were nominated for 22 awards; and

Whereas the award for accommodation, hotel/motel, was awarded to the Clansmen Motel of North Sydney;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Sandra Allen-Simec and her staff on winning a 2011 Excellence in Business Award and wish them continued success.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 3304]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 2080

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

Whereas on September 29th six community leaders from across Nova Scotia were recognized at the 2011 Celebrating Communities Conference and Awards ceremony in Yarmouth; and

Whereas one of those recognized was a young constituent of mine by the name of Aaron Stevens; and

Whereas Aaron received the Excellence in Youth Leadership award for his work with the Gay/Straight Alliance to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth feel happy and safe in their communities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Aaron Stevens, and all the community leaders, for their efforts to make Nova Scotia a safer, happier, and better place to live, work, and raise a family.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2081

[Page 3305]

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

Whereas Lt.-Col. Peter C. Earle from Tatamagouche, Colchester North, graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1992 with a degree in mechanical engineering and has had a very impressive military career; and

Whereas Earle has been deployed to a number of places including Norway, Scotland, Greenland and Sicily, has served in many command positions, has amassed more than 800 hours of flight test, and has flown in excess of 60 different types of aircraft; and

Whereas Earle has served as an aircraft maintenance officer, aircraft engineering officer, weapons systems manager, and senior engineer designer;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly extend congratulations to Lt.-Col. Peter Earle, who took command of 16 Wing Borden, the largest training wing in the Canadian Armed Forces, with 400 staff and 1,100 students.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2082

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

Whereas with her horses, Robbybel Justa Dandy and Comet's Enchantment, 15-year-old Rebecca MacKeigan recently competed in the New Brunswick Morgan Horse Show in Sussex; and

Whereas Rebecca also won many of her classes, earning her the title of Champion Junior Exhibitor; and

[Page 3306]

Whereas Rebecca also won the Canadian Morgan Horse Youth Challenge for the second year running;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Rebecca on her impressive show season and wish her every success in her future competitions.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

RESOLUTION NO. 2083

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

Whereas the Atlantic Jewish Council has been observing Holocaust Education Week since 2004 with ceremonies in Halifax, Sydney, and Moncton organized to remember the millions of people who lost their lives in the Holocaust and to help ensure that an atrocity of this magnitude will never happen again; and

Whereas this year Holocaust Education Week runs from October 24th to November 9th with memorials and events including films, survivor testimony, and talks from authors, photographers, and theologians; and

Whereas this year, November 9th, Dignity Day, which marks the 73rd Anniversary of Kristallnacht, will be commemorated in Halifax at the Grand Parade by university students, school-aged children, and members of the community at large, committing themselves to respect diversity and the fundamental rights of all individuals and groups;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly thank the Atlantic Jewish Council, Edna LeVine, and the Holocaust Education Week committee for reminding us of our obligations to each other, and for helping to create a more just and peaceful world.

[Page 3307]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2084

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

Whereas Joanne Bernard, as Executive Director of Alice Housing, has expanded their programs and services concerning children in crisis who have witnessed violence in the home, was the architect of the Healing the Bruises program, thereby improving in-house child/youth support services and positive outcomes for families, resulting in Alice Housing receiving multiple national awards from the Donner Foundation and the Better Business Bureau Ethics Award for the non-profit community; and

Whereas Joanne was the project developer of the Marguerite Centre, the only long-term residential facility for women recovering from addictions in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Joanne has held positions on the Board of Directors of Bryony House, Silent Witness Nova Scotia and the Federation of Community Organizations, is currently the co-chair for the Metro Interagency Committee on Family Violence and member-at-large of the Public Good Society of Dartmouth, has received the Holly House Hero Award from the Elizabeth Fry Society for her work on homelessness in the Halifax Regional Municipality, and in 2010 was awarded the Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-Profit Management in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge Joanne Bernard's many contributions to her community and to this province.

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

[Page 3308]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 2085

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

Whereas Mary Florence Beaton of Port Hood has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Cancer Society; and

Whereas over the past 16 years, Mary Florence has exemplified the Cancer Society's mission and has become the face of their organization in her community; and

Whereas Mary Florence served as the chair of the Canadian Cancer Society's campaign in the Port Hood area for 12 years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mary Florence Beaton on receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award, and thank her for her service to the Canadian Cancer Society and her community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Richmond.

[Page 3309]

RESOLUTION NO. 2086

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

Whereas the 2011 Richmond Amateur Baseball Association - the RABA - league championship took place at the Dan Willie Memorial Ball Park in Port Hawkesbury, featuring the Little Anse Hawks, the Louisdale Baracos, the Petit-de-Grat Red Caps and the Port Hawkesbury Bucs; and

Whereas after finishing the regular season in last place, the Louisdale Baracos went undefeated during the weekend tournament and ended the 13-year reign of the Petit-de-Grat Red Caps by taking home their first RABA trophy in 24 years; and

Whereas the Louisdale Baracos' team consisted of manager Christien Marchand, coaches Joel Marchand and Jeremy Samson, along with players Robert MacDonald, Michael Diggdon, Lee Marchand, Kyle Burns, Jeremy MacNeil, Devon Conrad, Nelson Goyetche, Scott Goyetche, Lance Squires, Noel Jeffrey, Adam Cotton, Steven Campbell, Neil Sampson, Vaughn Cotton, and Josh Marchand;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Louisdale Baracos on winning the 2011 RABA league championship and wish them continued success.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2087

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

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal recognizes students' academic achievement, leadership, and service to school and community; and

[Page 3310]

Whereas in May 2011, Brandon Tupper was awarded this prestigious award by Nova Scotia's Lieutenant Governor, Mayann E. Francis, for his many achievements including maintaining his honours with distinction status throughout junior and senior high school; and

Whereas Mr. Tupper has been a strong leader on the Avon View High School's varsity volleyball team and has been involved in tennis, men's softball, skiing and club volleyball outside of school, as well as volunteering with the Progressive Conservative youth organization during the past two provincial elections;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Brandon on receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal and wish him all the best with his future endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2088

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

Whereas this week, November 6th to November 12th, is National Pain Awareness Week; and

Whereas the direct health care costs associated with chronic pain are estimated to be more than $6 billion per year, with indirect costs associated with productivity loss and sick days at $37 billion across Canada; and

Whereas National Pain Awareness Week is also a time to increase public awareness of pain education and treatment to ensure that those who experience legitimate pain are receiving the care and quality of life they deserve;

[Page 3311]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House acknowledge this week as National Pain Awareness Week and encourage the Minister of Health and Wellness to recognize the challenges associated with undertreated pain in our society.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 2089

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

Whereas the population of Nova Scotia seniors is rapidly increasing, with current figures of persons 65 and over standing at 156,000 and predictions project that by 2025 this number will increase by more than 50 per cent; and

Whereas in October 2011, an average of 1,624 seniors languish on the waiting list for long-term care beds; and

Whereas with 200 promised beds yet to be built, this NDP Government stopped building long-term care beds, a short-sighted decision that will increase the wait list and put more strain on families and caregivers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly encourage the NDP Government to keep the commitments made and the long-term care strategy, so that seniors can get the care they need, in the appropriate setting.

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

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

[Page 3312]

Is it agreed.

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 2090

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

Whereas the successive Liberal Governments led by Jean Chretien and Paul Martin left Canada with the largest surpluses in Canadian history and a sound banking system; and

Whereas the Harper Government whittled away at these massive surpluses and ran our country deeper into deficit and debt than we have ever seen; and

Whereas the Harper Government said there would be no recession, failed to balance our books on schedule and sold Canadians a bill of goods;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize that Conservative Governments are not sound managers of the economy and we cannot trust Harper or Baillie to get us back on track.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2091

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

Whereas Matthew MacDonald, who was born with Marfan Syndrome and his family will never outgrow their gratitude to the IWK children's hospital for years of excellent care; and

Whereas Matthew held his 11th annual lemonade and cookie sale for the 27th annual IWK Telethon and raised $10,000; and

[Page 3313]

Whereas Matthew has become a fundraising role model in his community and the province by raising thousands of dollars for the IWK;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the volunteer efforts of Matthew MacDonald and wish him well in all his endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 2092

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

Whereas from November 3rd to 6th Molson Canadian Nova Scotia Music Week 2007 was held in Yarmouth and this exciting event was capped off with an industry awards brunch and the NSLC Gala Awards Show; and

Whereas Yarmouth's Trevor Murphy, of radio station CKDU, volunteers his time and energy to music and the arts in the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas CKDU was nominated for three Music Nova Scotia 2011 Industry Awards including Community Presenter of the Year, Radio Programme of the Year, and Radio Station of the Year, and won awards for Community Presenter of the Year and Radio Station of the Year;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Yarmouth's Trevor Murphy and CKDU for receiving these prestigious nominations and awards, thank Trevor Murphy and his colleagues for their important volunteer work and contributions to music in Nova Scotia, and wish Trevor Murphy and CKDU continued success.

[Page 3314]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2093

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

Whereas Morgan Gillis of Sydney Forks competed in the Canadian Motorsport Racing Club 2011 Women's Eastern National Series Championship held in Sainte-Julie, Quebec, in July; and

Whereas Morgan drove her YZ 125 Yamaha to second- and fourth-place finishes in races at the championship; and

Whereas Morgan's excellent performance earned her second place overall at the competition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Morgan Gillis on her skill and accomplishment, and wish her every success in her future racing events.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 3315]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 2094

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

Whereas John Burton is executive director of the East Dartmouth Boys and Girls Club in Dartmouth; and

Whereas Mr. Burton's entry into the Office Learning and Essential Skills story contest has been selected for publication; and

Whereas this collection of stories will be distributed throughout the country to share the success of projects benefiting adult learning in non-traditional settings, so they may be replicated in other communities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Mr. Burton on his achievement, and applaud his commitment to community improvement not only here but across the country.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 2095

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

Whereas the Strait Area Transit was in Inverness to officially launch its expanded public transportation service; and

[Page 3316]

Whereas with contributions made by East Coast Credit Union and two provincial programs, and the support of the Strait-Highlands RDA, the 17-passenger bus will now provide service to Inverness County communities like Judique, Port Hood, Mabou, and Inverness; and

Whereas the service will improve the mobility of seniors and students in these communities, allowing them to travel to the Strait area for schooling, shopping, and other needs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly acknowledge the hard work and dedication by the Strait Area Transit, and support them as they continue to expand their service to Inverness County and the surrounding area.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2096

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

Whereas on August 29, 2011, Coach Terri Ferris presented Brandon Trimper with Digby Soccer's most important award, the Keith Trimper Award; and

Whereas this award holds a special place in all player's hearts after they lost Keith, a past teammate, due to an accident in 2008; and

Whereas the recipient of this award must show some of the same qualities exemplified by Keith, making this award extra special for Brandon, Keith's brother;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Brandon Trimper on this most memorable award, and wish him continued success in the sport of soccer.

[Page 3317]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North on an introduction.

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce my beautiful daughter who couldn't make it last Monday when we were here for the first time, due to school commitments, and she's here today. (Interruption) She looks just like her mother, thank God, and she's here today to watch the proceedings. I would like to have everybody give her a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2097

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

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

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

Whereas Samantha Chambers, a student at Avon View High School in Windsor, was the female recipient of the Celebration of School Sport 2010-11 Award for demonstrating respect for others and displaying a true example of good sportsmanship;

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

[Page 3318]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2098

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

Whereas Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited sponsors a Drive One 4 UR Community program; and

Whereas more than 150 area residents test drove a Ford vehicle from Tri County Ford in Tatamagouche, Colchester North; and

Whereas Tri County Ford and Ford of Canada donated more than $3,500 to the North Shore Recreation Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that Tri County Ford be commended for their community involvement by supporting the community's well-used recreation centre.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 3319]

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2099

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

Whereas Kidston Island, off Baddeck, with its striking lighthouse, is a well-known landmark that attracts visitors from near and far; and

Whereas the Baddeck Lions Club operates the Kidston Island ferry that shuttles visitors to and from the island from July 1st to Labour Day, as well as offering a swimming program; and

Whereas the ferry, the John P. Asaph, has a new look due to a significant investment by the Lions Club that makes the trip both safer and more enjoyable;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Baddeck Lions Club on their success and thank them for the many things they do for their community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2100

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

Whereas the Kingston Multi-Addiction Centre - known fondly as the MACS Centre - celebrated 20 years of service to the community in September 2011; and

Whereas this building, formerly the old North Kingston schoolhouse, has prospered under the board of directors made up of community and representatives of Alcoholics Anonymous; and

[Page 3320]

Whereas the MACS Centre is also used by other community groups for fundraising events and continues to be a valuable part of the entire community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Kingston MACS Centre for 20 years of outstanding service to the community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 2101

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

Whereas on June 28th, during the graduation exercises at École secondaire de Par-en-Bas, Vincent Muise was awarded the First Nations & Indigenous Black Students Entrance Scholarship from Dalhousie University in the amount of $12,000; and

Whereas Vincent is an Amirault's Hill native and a member of the Eastern Woodland Métis Nation Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Vincent was presented the award by principal Brent Surette on behalf of the president and vice-chancellor of Dalhousie University, Tom Traves;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Vincent Muise on his outstanding academic achievement and wish him continued success in all his future endeavours.

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

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

[Page 3321]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 2102

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

Whereas on Remembrance Day, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians are asked to pause in memory of the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives in military service; and

Whereas members of the Yarmouth local Royal Canadian Legion Branch 61 work tirelessly to remind our community of the sacrifices endured by all Canadian veterans and service people; and

Whereas members of the Yarmouth Royal Canadian Legion Branch 61 continually fulfill the Royal Canadian Legion's long-standing tradition of caring for veterans and their families, our current serving members of the Canadian Forces and our new veterans, with steadfast determination;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize and thank the members of Yarmouth's Royal Canadian Legion Branch 61 for their dedication to and enduring care for our veterans, service people and their families, and for being a constant reminder to all our community members of the service and sacrifices made for us and our freedom.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 3322]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2103

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

Whereas each year many schools across the province raise funds for cancer research and Barton Elementary is no exception; and

Whereas physical education teacher Darren Porter promised the students he would shave his head if they could raise over $2,000; and

Whereas Barton Elementary surpassed that challenge and raised $2,340, holding Darren Porter to his promise;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the students of Barton Elementary and Darren Porter in their successful fundraising challenge.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : It is now 3:03 p.m. We will start Oral Question Period.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM.: FIRST CONTRACT LEGISLATION/JOB CREATION - PRIORITY

[Page 3323]

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Yesterday APEC downgraded the projections for the Nova Scotia economy. It is not hard to figure out why when you consider that Nova Scotia has some of the highest taxes in the entire country.

Today we learned that the Nova Scotia economy has the slowest growth of all the provinces in Canada, at 1.9 per cent, yet the Premier insists on pushing his labour agenda at the expense of the economy.

My question to the Premier is, why is the Premier asking for feedback on first contract arbitration instead of working with the businesses to create good jobs for Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, we are, in fact, working with businesses from one end of the province to the other to create a positive atmosphere for growth in the province but unfortunately, after 20 years of the worst economic performance as a result of governments of both Parties, it's a big hill to climb up.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, we are losing jobs every day in Nova Scotia. We all know the difficulties that are happening in the Strait area and, of course, the news that was brought to this House last week and from Queens County and the entire South Shore. Today we learned that Composites Atlantic will be laying off 37 workers.

Also, over the past year 5,000 people have left the workforce and the Premier is pushing forward the first contract arbitration legislation which will impact every non-union business in Nova Scotia. My question, Mr. Speaker, with a stagnant economy, why is the Premier talking about first contract arbitration legislation when he knows it will undermine business confidence and future investment in Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, just to correct the Leader of the Official Opposition, first contract legislation does not, in fact, affect non-union businesses, it has no impact on them whatsoever. What we are doing to build confidence in the business community is we're going out and ensuring that we win contracts like the Ships Start Here, the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. We're signing agreements with Newfoundland and Labrador to build the Lower Churchill project and we're supporting good projects like the new convention centre in Halifax. Those are the things that build an economy.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, let me begin. The good jobs of the Labrador hydro are in Newfoundland and Labrador. The project he talks about in downtown Halifax has not been announced, the convention centre, we're looking for that to be announced someday down the road. Furthermore, I think Irving deserves a little bit of credit. (Applause)

Let me correct the Premier. He stood in this House and said first contract arbitration does not affect non-union workplaces when he knows full well, and every union leader knows full well, it makes it easier to unionize non-union workplaces in this province and that's what is behind this. First contract arbitration is payback to union leaders in this province. Businesses are faced with soaring costs and they are being forced to make tough decisions on how they can keep their businesses going with a stagnant economy, soaring costs and Nova Scotians facing the prospect of losing their job. Why is the Premier more concerned about paying back union leadership instead of trying to find good-paying jobs for Nova Scotians?

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THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm not concerned about the rhetoric of the Leader of the Official Opposition. What we are focused on is making sure we take the greatest possible advantage of the assets that we have - the great research and development capacities of our universities, the young people who will invest in education and get skilled trades jobs. We're interested in working with employers like Irving.

I want to specifically say, we're very proud to have worked with Irving to ensure that they were able to compete and win the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

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

PREM.: JOB RETENTION/JOB CREATION - IMPORTANCE

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, this week the Toronto-Dominion Bank tells us that the shipyard opportunity will result in 3,200 new jobs for Nova Scotians. Sadly, the fact of the matter is that in the last year alone in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia has lost 2,100 jobs, in southwest Nova Scotia we have lost 2,500 jobs in our province - a total of 4,600 in those two regions alone, far outweighing the opportunity of the shipyard contract. I have a simple question for the Premier, does the Premier agree that maintaining current jobs is as important as receiving new ones?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, of course, job retention is just as important as job recruitment, that's a certainty. I'd like to point out that in Nova Scotia we have the lowest unemployment rate in the region and lower than when the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party was the chief of staff for the former Progressive Conservative Government.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, it's pretty sad when the Premier's proud of the fact that our labour force has actually shrunk because his government and its policies have driven so many Nova Scotians completely out of our province. However, I am glad that he at least acknowledges that maintaining current jobs is as important as receiving new ones. Given that, surely we can all agree that schemes like first contract arbitration are coming in at exactly the wrong time, when our economy is as weak as it is, when we have a great opportunity to send a positive signal to the rest of the country that this is a place where jobs can be created, where businesses can grow, his government actually wants to tell people this is the wrong place to invest. My question to the Premier is, in light of these job losses, will he at least agree that now is not the time to proceed with his job-killing, first contract arbitration bill?

[Page 3325]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, first contract legislation exists right across the country. It was introduced in various jurisdictions by Progressive Conservative Governments, by Liberal Governments, by NDP Governments. I don't think the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party would suggest that all of those jurisdictions - whether they were Progressive Conservative or Liberal, or whatever they were - were trying to kill jobs. They were trying to create stability for both employers and employees and that's why it's a reasonable thing to consider.

What we are concentrating on is making sure that we are taking best advantage of the assets of the province, we are improving the programs like productivity incentive programs in order to make sure that our manufacturing industry keeps pace with the most modern technology and therefore is actually able to compete in a global market that's in a downturn, that's forward-looking policy.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, bad ideas may exist in other places but that is no excuse for bringing them here at a time when we can least afford it. A few years ago in this House all Parties supported the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act which integrated the desire to grow our economy and create jobs with the wish that we all have for a green economy, this is something that had all-Party support. But the NDP changed when they got into office, now they have thrown that balance completely out of whack and are telling Nova Scotians to pay the bill with their "bite the bullet" electricity plan. At a time when Nova Scotia needs to attract jobs and send a signal that we're open for business, the NDP are taking us in the wrong direction.

My question to the Premier is, will he admit that bite-the-bullet electricity plans are another way, along with first contract arbitration, to put jobs at risk just when we need them the most?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I have no idea what the Leader of the Conservative Party means by that. If he means unshackling the economy of this province from the fossil fuel markets, you're darn right we're going to do it.

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

PREM: POWER RATE INCREASE - OPPOSE

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, it seems that the Premier is content to remain silent on the current power rate increase in front of the URB. He has refused to order a performance value audit of Nova Scotia Power operations, now he says there's too much paperwork for the people at Nova Scotia Power. The priority of the Premier should not be how much paperwork Nova Scotia Power's doing, his priority should be the power rates that Nova Scotians are being forced to pay.

[Page 3326]

Nova Scotia Power has taken $121 million out of this province this last year, they're on pace to take $122.3 million out this year, Mr. Speaker, and I might add it was announced they are well ahead of record profits in the third quarter this year. So my question to the Premier is, will he finally oppose this rate increase in front the URB?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, of course we have made our thoughts on the power situation known. What we fundamentally need to do in this province is change the power equation. I know the Leader of the Opposition wants studies and he wants audits and he wants all kinds of paperwork done but that's going to get the province nowhere. What we need to do is ensure that we have a program that gets us off of fossil fuels and on to renewables which will give us a stable electricity rate environment.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, while we're waiting for stable energy prices the Premier's allowing Nova Scotia Power to run roughshod over the rate base in Nova Scotia instead of demanding that that company do like every other business in this province has done, look internally for savings. There is not a single member of this House who is opposed to renewable energy, what we're opposed to is the Premier sitting silently by while Nova Scotia Power continually goes back to the rate base looking for more and more money. Small businesses in this province said their biggest concern is the power rates being phased in. My question to the Premier is, why will the Premier continually ignore the concerns of small business in this province?

THE PREMIER « » : I don't ignore them at all, Mr. Speaker, but I think the Leader of the Official Opposition just missed the comments of the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party with respect to renewable energy. For a small business we understand that everything is price sensitive, is cost sensitive for them, so that's why we reduced the small business tax by 20 per cent.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that the Premier stop listening to the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and start listening to the ratepayers of the Province of Nova Scotia. The Premier has ordered massive cuts to health care and education in this province. The Minister of Health and Wellness has ordered the district health authorities to find those cuts inside of their organizations. The Minister of Education has ordered provincial school boards to find those cuts inside of their organizations yet the Premier refuses to order Nova Scotia Power to find the savings in the company's operations. My question to the Premier is, why is the NDP Government prepared to go after students and patients with deep cuts but unwilling to go after Nova Scotia Power executives?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I don't know where to start with that much untruth in there. For example, our contribution to students last year was the largest single investment in post-secondary education since the advent of the Student Loans Program. What we're trying to do is ensure that there is a stable environment (Interruptions) Well, he doesn't seem to want to hear my answer - he asked the question.

[Page 3327]

The reality is that the Utility and Review Board is an independent organization that does a thorough review and looks at all the things that he suggests they're supposed to look at. So the question I would have is, does the Leader of the Official Opposition believe that it is the job of the government to politically interfere in an independent review tribunal?

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

PREM. - GOV'T. (CAN.): JUSTICE BILL - COSTS

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, last week the Premier was asked if he was opposed to the downloading of costs to Nova Scotia due to the federal Harper Government's Justice bill, Bill C-10. The Premier stated at the time that he hoped that the federal government would pay for any extra costs to the province.

This is becoming more and more unlikely to happen. Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland have come out and said that they reject the download of these increased costs to the provinces and the extra demands it would place on their justice systems. So my question to the Premier is, will the Premier come out and oppose the downloading of these increased costs onto our province by the federal Harper Government?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I've already said both in this House and publicly that if there are increased costs as a result of Bill C-10, that burden should not be borne by the Nova Scotia taxpayers and that the federal government should fund any increases in cost.

MR. SAMSON « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, it's very clear in Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland where their governments stand. They've been very public in doing so, whereas our Premier seems to be more hopeful rather than coming out and standing up for Nova Scotians.

This crime bill could have significant costs to Nova Scotia and significant impact on our justice system. The Parliamentary Budget Office estimates that the provinces will be faced with costs between $6 billion and $10 billion over the next five years. The Prime Minister has indicated that assistance to the provinces is highly unlikely, and reports from federal Justice officials only seem to validate the estimation that the provinces will have to shoulder these costs alone.

Mr. Speaker, with the province already suffering from NDP cuts, how does the Premier plan to pay for the federal Conservatives' crime bill?

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THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, as the member would know, we are coming up to the new negotiations for transfers for the provinces; this is something that's being addressed by the Council of the Federation. I can assure the member opposite that we take into account all of the programming that the federal government undertakes when we look at the questions of the envelopes of funding in the transfer program. That will form part of what we will do as those negotiations go forward, and of course we're raising our objections, as we have already said, with the federal government.

MR. SAMSON « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, I would certainly hope that if the Premier is going to Ottawa with his colleagues to fight for more money for the provinces, that it's for things such as infrastructure, health care, and education, and not for jails here in our province, because that's certainly not the priority of Nova Scotians.

Again, this is a significant cost that could not only face our province but certainly put an additional burden onto the justice system of our province. Being that the Premier has indicated he will soon be going to visit the federal government, would he indicate whether he's going to bring these concerns directly to Ottawa, that Nova Scotia does not want to see any of the costs of Bill C-10 downloaded onto our province?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I already have.

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

PREM.: JOBS & ECONOMY - PRIORITIZE

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, today Statistics Canada reports that Nova Scotia has, this year, the second-lowest economic growth, the second-lowest growth in GDP in all of Canada, second only to Nunavut. Now is not the time to bring forward schemes like first contact arbitration and "bite the bullet" electricity plans.

My question to the Premier is this: Will he puts jobs and the economy first now, ahead of the special interests who are pushing him on these two useless schemes?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, you know, since June of 2009 this government launched the jobsHere program. It was the first real economic development plan in this province for 20 years. It was designed through consultations with the businesses of this province, and it was designed for them so that they would be able to best take advantage of the program. It's a good program and it's one endorsed by the business community.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the only business community that is going to endorse that Premier's plan is the business community in Fort McMurray, who are the true beneficiaries of what he is trying to do.

[Page 3329]

Today Statistics Canada tells us that Nova Scotia, in addition to having the second- slowest rate of economic growth, has the dubious distinction of matching that with the second-highest rate of inflation, at 3.8 per cent - more proof that now is not the time for first contract arbitration and "bite the bullet" electricity plans.

My question is, will the Premier commit now to stopping first contract arbitration in its tracks, to stopping the "bite the bullet" electricity plans in their tracks, and truly help out Nova Scotian families who have to pay those higher costs?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, what we did is we are working to roll back what was 20 years of the worst economic performance in this province, perpetrated by the former government, of which the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party was the chief of staff and, of course, the former Liberal Governments in this province. That is what we have to do.

Mr. Speaker, we know, as most people know, this is a very difficult time in the world's economic history and that there are some things that are, of course, beyond the control of a small province to control. What we are doing is investing in ensuring that our young people are going to be able to meet the challenges of the new economy.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier may point to difficult global economic times, but the fact of the matter is that it was his decision to raise the HST, to increase taxes in Nova Scotia - no one else deserves the blame for that. Today Nova Scotians, each and every one of us, are paying $650 more per person because of his tax policies - still more proof that now is not the time for schemes like first contract arbitration and "bite the bullet" electricity plans.

My question for the Premier is this: Will he admit, in light of all this evidence, that his policies are digging our province into a hole so deep that we'll never see when those ships come in?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, what I know is that, thanks to this government, we have the lowest business taxes in this province in the last 20 years.

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

FIN.: GROWTH FORECASTS - MIN. REVISIT

MS. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question will be for the Minister of Finance. Last week I had the opportunity to question the minister on what it was going to take for him to adjust his economic growth targets for this province. Just yesterday the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council downgraded their growth forecasts for Nova Scotia to 1 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively, for this year and next. The province still insists on maintaining a 1.9 per cent growth target for this year, and this is an error that could cost Nova Scotians millions of dollars - in fact hundreds of millions when our budget doesn't come in as planned.

[Page 3330]

So my question to the minister is, when will the Minister of Finance wake up to the economic realities around him and revisit the growth forecasts?

HON. GRAHAM STEELE » : Mr. Speaker, the member has asked the same question that she asked last week and the answer, of course, is the same. We will be issuing a forecast update before the end of December.

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, only today the federal Finance Minister announced he will be revising federal government forecasts, and the Province of Ontario has announced that they are revising their growth targets. The two largest governments in this country are revising their plans now, yet in Nova Scotia the Finance Minister seems quite comfortable to just go "steady as she goes", hoping for the best and hoping the worst doesn't happen. My question to the minister is, why is the Finance Minister continuing to govern our economy with his eyes closed and his head in the sand? Why wait until the end of December?

MR. STEELE « » : Mr. Speaker, it strikes me that when one is the Finance Minister during a recession, that "steady as she goes" is not a bad philosophy.

When this government develops a forecast of economic growth, we take into account a wide variety of factors including all of the forecasts that are available from the private sector. Those forecasts are coming in; they're not all available yet. When we have them all in and we are ready to change our forecast - if indeed that is the conclusion that we come to - we will make sure that the people of Nova Scotia are the first to know.

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I think the Finance Minister fails to realize that just going with the status quo and taking your time and not responding to the best information that's available now, and has been released now, is putting us in jeopardy because the government leaves themselves less and less time to adjust their plans and their spending to the realities of the marketplace.

We now have the federal government, the parliamentary budget officer, the Bank of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the OECD and our private banks - the Bank of Montreal, Scotia Capital, RBC Economics - as well as the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, adjusting their growth forecast for Nova Scotia downward. Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, what will it take for this minister to react to the changing economic conditions and update his growth targets to reflect changing economic realities?

MR. STEELE « » : Mr. Speaker, as I said, I will release a budget forecast update before the end of December. It will incorporate all of the latest economic information. We will consider all forecasts from the public and private sector, including the APEC and TD forecast that came out yesterday.

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I do anticipate that the province's economic forecast for 2011 and 2012 will be revised from budget day and it is becoming more likely, as time goes on and more forecasts come in, that our forecast will follow the same trend that we are seeing elsewhere.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

EDUC.: RURAL SCHOOLS - REVIEW PROCESS

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Education. In 2006 the Middle River School was ranked as one of the top 30 schools in Canada by Today's Parent magazine. The school employs a multi-age teaching approach in which students receive unparalleled, one-on-one attention from teachers. They're exposed to extraordinary learning opportunities often impossible in larger schools.

Middle River School has a strong community support with a dedicated staff and committed parents. But, with only 23 students this year, its future is unsure. The Middle River School review committee is hosting a community meeting this week to solicit feedback about the school's future. My question through you to the minister is, what has the minister done to prove she's committed to giving small rural schools a fighting chance when up for review by its school board?

HON. RAMONA JENNEX » : Mr. Speaker, thank you to the honourable member for bringing this issue forward. We definitely have challenges in Nova Scotia with declining enrolment. It's unfortunate that some of our schools have lost so many students.

Last session I did bring up on the floor of this honourable House that we needed to look at the funding formula differently because we have different challenges, and the formula hadn't been looked at for over 14 years. So we are reviewing the formula, and I think that this will definitely answer some questions for our small and isolated schools, and the formula will be as we move forward with the formula that we are reviewing right now.

I know that is not answering the honourable member's question, but it is one commitment that we are moving forward with to recognize the needs of our very small and isolated schools in the province.

MR. BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, one of the sticking points for the Middle River School Review Committee is the uncertainty as to whether or not the minister is reviewing the grants program for small rural schools, implemented under the Hogg formula.

My question, through you to the minister, is has the minister put the small schools grant program on the government's agenda for review?

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MS. JENNEX « » : Mr. Speaker, yes, we are looking at the Hogg formula, the revision around that. We are looking at the issue of our small and isolated schools and we are in a review process right now. I just want to say that no decisions have been made - nothing is final at this time.

MR. BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, the government continues to hide behind arm's-length boards and authorities. It lacks leadership and is continually passing the blame for cuts to front-line services it faces.

Mr. Speaker, will the minister commit to ensuring that school boards take every measure to cut administrative waste and not teachers, teaching assistants, math mentors and small, thriving rural schools like Middle River, and school programs that work?

MS. JENNEX « » : I guess I did pass that mandate out and, under our last budget considerations, we are to make sure that all of the resources are in our classrooms.

I just want to say that school reviews are very stressful for communities and I want to recognize that, during this time with the declining enrolment, we do recognize and the Department of Education recognizes the stress that communities are under as the school board performs these reviews.

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

EDUC.: WEYMOUTH SCH. CLOSURE - MIN. REVIEW

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Education.

Last week I asked the minister to support the people of Weymouth and help them keep their elementary school open. The minister said that she is only involved in reviewing the board's school closure process.

Well, Mr. Speaker, the process in my constituency seems to be broken. What will it take for the minister to review the Weymouth school closure recommendations?

HON. RAMONA JENNEX « » : Mr. Speaker, I leave the review process in the hands of the school board, and if there are any issues that the honourable member would like to bring to me, I would be more than willing to meet with him over those.

MR. THERIAULT « » : Well there is an issue, Mr. Speaker. The closure of Weymouth Consolidated School needs to be reviewed, especially since Barton Consolidated School, that is next to it or a few minutes from it, is also being recommended for closure.

[Page 3333]

Mr. Speaker, the two school reviews are connected. The impact assessment report for Barton Consolidated, another school slated for closure, will have 50 per cent of its students bused to the Weymouth school. My question to the minister is if Weymouth Consolidated School closes, where are the Barton school students going to go if they lose their school in Weymouth?

MS. JENNEX « » : Mr. Speaker, the honourable member will know that I won't be able to answer that question on the floor here this afternoon. I just want to also remind the honourable member that there are two places within the process that the community has to address these situations with the school board to find those answers.

MR. THERIAULT « » : It's confusing to the people down there, Mr. Speaker. I mean, both recommendations, they are both saying close the schools, but one recommendation is saying to send them to the other school that is closing - so what is what? Are they both going to close? Is one going to close? People are confused and I think that's why they want the minister to look into this situation.

The issue that the minister seems to be more worried about is balancing the books. She's not standing up for the community schools. Even when a board makes the ridiculous recommendation to bus students to a school slated for closure, this minister seems to refuse to get involved. When will the minister finally stand up for the students and parents of Barton and Weymouth Elementary School and find another way to try to balance the books in this province?

MS. JENNEX « » : Mr. Speaker, I just want to remind the honourable member that it is not my place to be involved in the review process. This is a process that is ongoing. There have been no decisions made at this time. The honourable member can speak to me at some time and I will definitely go over concerns and try to alleviate the stresses in that community. However, I must say that this is a process; it is the process that very clearly has its regulations associated with it and the members of the community have the opportunity to address their concerns on two different occasions, through this process, to the school board.

Again, I would just like to repeat that I would be more than happy to meet with the member opposite. Thank you.

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

PREM.: MV MINER - ASBESTOS

[Page 3334]

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you will be for the Premier. First, I would like to thank the Premier for raising awareness about the concerns surrounding the abandoned MV Miner stranded off of Scaterie Island in Cape Breton. This issue is of serious concern for me and my constituents because this ship is only about one-half kilometre away from a scallop fishery and is in an area where lobster traps are planted during the season. My question to the Premier is this, I know that certain hazardous material has been removed from the ship such as fire extinguishers, transformers and light fixtures, has there been any asbestos found and if so, what is the government's plan to have it removed?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, we had done an analysis of what actually existed on the vessel. As I understand it, there is what is called asbestos-laden material. In other words, some of the materials that were used, likely on the inside of the vessel, either in the walls or in the deck walls, perhaps insulation in some of the compartments, may contain asbestos. What we did is we contracted to do the cleanup that needed to be done, and could be done, given the weather window that existed and that on which we could agree to have funded. That's what has been done to date.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago I had the opportunity to go out and have a look at this ship. At that time there was a large hole in the side of the bulk carrier. Since then, with the weather that has taken place, that hole has gone through to the other side. I've been told that there is asbestos on that ship and as a matter of fact, on October 13th the Premier said ". . . he wants Ottawa to deal with further environmental cleanup of the vessel, which he said contains some asbestos-laden material and a transformer containing PCBs . . ."

The question is what are we going to do about this? We know that this ship is disintegrating, it's falling apart. Asbestos is going into the water, is it being digested by the sea life? What happens if that asbestos comes ashore, dries out and becomes airborne? My question, through you to the Premier is, can the Premier provide concrete evidence that this asbestos on the ship will not create a hazard and if he can't, will he give the House an undertaking to have this matter addressed as soon as possible?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think he just reiterated all the things that I just said, in that question. Of course, we are undertaking to ensure that the environmental cleanup, with respect to the MV Miner, is done in as expeditious a fashion as possible. Of course, we are also trying to ensure that the companies and the jurisdictions that have responsibility for that cleanup take that responsibility and that it doesn't rest on the shoulders of the taxpayers and the people of Nova Scotia.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, on October 7th the Canadian Press reported, "Dexter said he would make sure the stricken vessel is quickly removed if the current salvage operation gets bogged down . . ." Only five days later in the Canadian Press they reported that the Premier said that the province was now considering removing the contaminants and ultimately the ship itself. I will table both of those articles.

[Page 3335]

That was a month ago. My final question through you to the Premier is this, will the Premier commit to removing this ship before the end of the year and making sure it does not harm our local fishery?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, there's no question that the best time to remove that ship would have been when it first foundered on the rock. Unfortunately, neither the company that was towing it nor the federal Department of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities had either the means or the regulatory ability to make that happen. The result is that the ship has continued to deteriorate in terms of its physical structure, and that is causing greater and greater trouble. I'm sure the member understands that we are now into the time of year which makes the further removal of it not impossible but much more difficult and certainly much more dangerous.

We are working on all of these things at the same time - the environmental cleanup, the safety of the wreck, and trying to make sure that the people who caused the harm to the province are the people who pay for it.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Colchester North.

EDUC.: STUDENT/TEACHER RATIO - CALCULATIONS

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Education. The minister has stated in this House that the student/teacher ratio in the Province of Nova Scotia is 13 students per one teacher. What most people don't understand is what does that really mean? How is that calculated?

What the minister needs to do is to explain to this House and to all Nova Scotians what numbers are used to calculate that ratio. So my question to the minister is this, will the minister explain how the ratio of 13 students per one teacher is calculated?

HON. RAMONA JENNEX « » : Mr. Speaker, that's calculated by how much money is provided to the school boards for their teaching allocation. I just would like to say that the member is right, that is confusing to people. That's 13 to 1 in the calculations. It does not necessarily mean one teacher per classroom; that's the allocations of staff in schools.

MS. CASEY « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, the question had nothing to do with money provided to school boards. It had to do with the ratio of students to teachers. So I'm not sure if the minister is unwilling or unable to explain to this House how that calculation takes place.

We have teachers who are administrators, resource teachers, registrars, principals, vice-principals, student services staff, consultants, program specialists, and many more who do not register a class and who do not provide direct instruction to students. Yet they are included when that student/teacher ratio is calculated. So my question to the minister is this, how many teachers in our public schools are providing direct instruction to students in classrooms?

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MS. JENNEX « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and thank you very much for the question. As the honourable member knows, we're in the process now of getting all of that information from the school board. As soon as I have that information, I will provide it to her.

MS. CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, that information is available in every school in this province. I would suggest that before we start bragging about a 13 to 1 ratio we have the numbers, and it sounds like the minister does not. So if the minister wants to show the reality of Nova Scotia schools, she needs to look at the real numbers and then calculate the student/teacher ratio.

So my question is this, will the minister commit to tabling in this House today the real numbers of student/teacher ratio based on real classroom numbers?

MS JENNEX: Thank you very much, and as I said in my last answer, we do not have all of the information to the department from all of the school boards on all of the classes. I will say that as soon as I have all of that data in a spreadsheet, definitely, I will be tabling it at the House, Thank you.

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

TIR - ROADS: WINTER MAINTENANCE - CUTS

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, roads continue to be a major concern in Nova Scotia. The NDP Government choice to cut funding through the Rural Impact Mitigation Fund in the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal by 50 per cent this summer. Now we hear from concerned citizens that winter road maintenance will be cut this year as well putting Nova Scotian roads at risk. I recently met with constituents in Fourchu and Framboise who feared that snow removal equipment in Grand River will be cut along with service to their communities.

Mr. Speaker, cutting maintenance to these roads in the most treacherous season is not what Nova Scotians want or deserve from their government. My question to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is, why is the NDP Government making cuts to winter road maintenance in Nova Scotia?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS » : I thank the member opposite for the question, although I don't necessarily appreciate the tone. You know, as we prepare for the long winter ahead and the difficulties, of course, of financially meeting commitments, whether it's ice control or whether it's snow removal, one of the obligations of this department and senior staff has been to review snowplow routes, as it should be. There are snowplow routes across this province, some that go a mere two kilometres to others that go 80 kilometres and therefore the department has gone and reviewed this through a committee process.

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I know that there have been some concerns expressed, those particular concerns should be addressed locally through the OS on the site and there have been no final decisions made. However, let's be clear on one thing. There is a standard that has been determined in this province when it comes to snow removal, and that standard will not decline because of a couple of changes that are being made. I think it's important, as elected members, we looked at the routes, we looked at the changes, and we get back to the department directly. Let's not get involved in alarmist features that we're going to have snowplow problems all across the province. That is just not going to be the case.

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, we learned last week that the Government of New Brunswick is making $4 million worth of cuts to winter road maintenance. However, here in Nova Scotia, the NDP Government is keeping their cuts to winter maintenance budget a secret. Today is the first day the minister has even acknowledged that such a review is even taking place but we do know that a review is underway that is being held without public knowledge. This was confirmed by a TIR spokesperson that discussions on ways to improve plowing efficiency are taking place provincially, that everything is on the table and there will not likely be a formal consultation process with the public.

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to the minister, how can Nova Scotians raise concerns about changes to plowing when they're not even aware that this review is taking place? My question to the minister is, why is his government keeping its review of winter road maintenance hidden from the public of Nova Scotia?

MR. ESTABROOKS « » : Well secrecy is not the issue of this particular department. There are people across the province who are aware that they've been coming to your office about the concerns and as a conscientious MLA, which you are as other members present, it's important that you bring them to my attention so we can deal with them. I think it's very important that we consult with the MLA, that we consult with the operational supervisor; that we consult with the people who are out making the runs in these dangerous situations, night after night and day after day.

I believe that individual Nova Scotians will understand the fact that if we can save some dollars appropriately - particularity when it comes to the use of salt. I had a great opportunity yesterday to meet with one of the area managers for an extended period time. It only takes three-and-a-half hours to get down to the member for Argyle's riding, back and forth twice. I can assure you that we had the occasion to look at ice control, the ice problem and use of salt. That is going to be the number one way that we are going to come in under budget and we're going to make sure that we continue to offer the standard which Nova Scotian's are used to when it comes to snow removal. Whether they live in rural parts of Cape Breton or they live in Timberlea Prospect, the snow removal in this province will not suffer because of this review of the routes of snowplows at this time.

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MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, the residents of Framboise and Forchu learned about potential cuts to their services because someone within the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal leaked that information to them.

There was no means for the public to be aware that this review was taking place. There was no notice that came out from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal that such a review would take place, which would have allowed constituents to come to their MLAs and express concerns. That's not the way this was done, and the minister knows full well that his members and his staff throughout the province were not to discuss this and were told not to discuss the review taking place.

Nova Scotians expect that their roads are going to be safe and that their roads are going to be maintained during the winter. After hearing of the cuts taking place in New Brunswick, Nova Scotians are left to wonder if this government is similarly going to make cuts here? And they are also asking, are cuts being made to winter maintenance in order to pay for the expensive chip-sealing and paving program undertaken by this government?

My final supplementary is, will the minister confirm whether or not there will be equipment or staff cuts as a result of the secret review to winter maintenance being undertaken in his department?

MR. ESTABROOKS « » : Mr. Speaker, that alarmist response is not the way to assure Nova Scotians that quality snow removal will continue in this province. I think it's important, of course, to realize that the member is now aware of some concerns that he had from his constituents. Bringing it up on the floor of the House is not the way to solve it. Coming to my office is - the corner office over there in the Johnston Building. You are welcome to come over at any time.

The problem comes back to the fact that what they do in New Brunswick is not something we are going to do in Nova Scotia.

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

PREM. - HEALTH AUTHORITIES: STREAMLINING - DETAILS

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, in an effort to balance his budget, the Premier - together with the Department of Health and Wellness - announced that they would be encouraging the district health authorities to find a 3 per cent reduction in their budgets this year while having no impact whatsoever on patient care. Executives from the health authorities have spoken out on a number of occasions about the likelihood that such a cut will impact patient care. On this topic the government has remained relatively silent, while it appears they have offered little assistance beyond suggesting that health authorities find efficiencies for streamlined services.

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I'd like to address the elephant that's in the room. My question through you to the Premier is, does streamlining services really mean that this government is entertaining the notion of fewer health authorities, cutting down on the number of CEOs - there's 10 of them - or the 72 vice-presidents that are around the province? Is that on the table?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, what we have been doing, of course, is focusing on those areas where the district health authorities are best able to constrain the increase in their budgets without affecting the quality of patient care. Of course I, probably like everyone else in this province, remember when there were four health boards in the province, and that the Progressive Conservative Party ran on a platform to increase it to its current number.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians want a responsive health care system, but it seems that the department is being very quiet on this topic. My question to the Premier is, why hasn't the government provided support to health authorities in finding savings that they expect instead of taking the hands-off approach to try to avoid any backlash from voters?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, we have, in fact, assisted the district health authorities. We've been working with them, helping them work through their budgets, making it clear to them that what we want to ensure happens is that the quality of patient care does not suffer.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, quite simply, when will this government unveil their plan of action with the health authorities that will be collapsing the number of DHAs and give Nova Scotians some peace of mind?

THE PREMIER « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure if he's calling for the elimination of DHAs, but the reason why we have the number of district health authorities in this province that we have is because the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia created them.

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

FISH. & AQUACULTURE: COOKE AQUACULTURE - CHARGES

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HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, last week we learned that three executives from Cooke Aquaculture have been charged by the federal Department of Environment for the use of an illegal pesticide that killed numerous lobsters in the Bay of Fundy between November 2009 and November 2010. While these charges have yet to be proven, they are serious in nature and a concern for Nova Scotia fishermen and conservationists alike.

My question to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture is, is his department aware of the situation and what discussions has the minister had with the federal Department of Environment on this matter?

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU » : Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to congratulate the member opposite for his new role in the critic area. I want to recognize the question - this is a very serious question and I am very familiar with this particular situation.

I can assure the member opposite that this is an investigation that has been ongoing for two years now, in New Brunswick, and we take this issue very seriously. I can tell you, as Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, we are very confident that it can be done in Nova Scotia in a sustainable manner. Thank you very much for the question.

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's kind comments. As I said, they are very big boots to fill to replace the member for Digby-Annapolis as the Fisheries Critic for our caucus, but I'll certainly do my best.

Mr. Speaker, we've had a long history of aquaculture in Nova Scotia that has been safe and sustainable and has played a large role in the economic development of our province. Needless to say, this news is unsettling, not only to everyone involved in the industry, but to all Nova Scotians. Would the minister inform this House as to what types of safeguards have been put in place, or will now be put in place, to ensure that this type of incident does not occur here in Nova Scotia?

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Again, I want to thank the member opposite for this particular question. This particular case is before the courts and it is simply limited as to what I can speak about this particular case but I want to assure the member opposite that aquaculture in Nova Scotia is one of the most strictly-regulated sectors there is. We pay attention to that in the decisions that I have made dealing with approvals, we are there to protect the environment, protect the traditional fisheries and we will continue doing this and we'll continue to monitor this case. Thank you.

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, clearly our caucus is very supportive of the aquaculture industry and has been for many years, as well as Nova Scotians. We have seen the benefits it has brought to our economy and to a sustainable fishery here in the province. This company is one that has a terrific reputation and, needless to say, it was alarming to see these charges brought forward.

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My final supplementary again, is the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture looking at putting additional safeguards in place in Nova Scotia, now that these charges have been laid, to ensure that this type of incident will not occur in our province?

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : To the member opposite, Mr. Speaker, this member, this minister, has already addressed those issues. I ask him to review some of the conditions that I have approved. I have set out very strict guidelines dealing with any topic such as this. I just want to ensure that in the past 10 years there has not been a treatment for sea lice on salmon farms in Nova Scotia. We do not have this issue here at the present. I'm very aware of the issue, this is a serious situation and we'll continue to monitor it. We'll also continue any time there is an approval, we'll take the best interests of the environment and the traditional fisheries. Thank you for the question.

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

NAT. RES. - JOGGINS BEACH STEPS: REMOVAL - CONSULTATION

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Natural Resources. This summer, under cloak of darkness, officials of the minister's department removed the steps leading to the Joggins Beach. Those steps are important to the area of Joggins, both as an important piece of tourism infrastructure and they are important for public safety.

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago I tabled, in this House, a petition signed by 621 area residents calling on the government to replace those lost steps. I just want to point out that is more than the entire population of the immediate area of Joggins.

The minister has said, publicly, that the steps were removed after a consultation with the residents of the Joggins area, which seems odd since more than everybody signed that petition. So my question to the minister, Mr. Speaker, is, who did he consult with before removing the Joggins steps and will he table any correspondence that he has from any single individual asking his department to take away those steps from the people of Joggins?

HON. CHARLIE PARKER » : Mr. Speaker, I had the great privilege of being in Cumberland County yesterday with the honourable member, and it was great to get back to that area of our province. It was in the Parrsboro area, not that far from Joggins, really. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

MR. PARKER « » : The park up there is a beautiful park and decisions were made there in the best interest of residents, and for safety reasons that decision was made.

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MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, in addition to suggesting that there had been some consultation, the minister and his department say that the current landowner, where those steps rest, didn't want to have the steps on his property anymore. Everyone in the area knows that is not the case. So I ask the minister, will he table any evidence he has that there was truly some discussion with the landowner in that regard, and if it turns out it didn't happen after all, like the people of Joggins know, will he commit to putting those steps back where they belong?

MR. PARKER « » : Mr. Speaker, certainly safety is the primary concern here. Nothing overrides or overrules safety in the area, and that's really why this decision was made. The old steps were worn out and needed to be removed and that's exactly what was done in this case. In conjunction with the current landowner and the consultation in the area, that's exactly what we did.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, if safety were truly the concern of that minister and his department, then they would know that having two access points to that beach is the safest way of getting people down and back from the Joggins Beach - not one - and the fact of the matter is, the only other way down to the beach is a controlled access through the Joggins Fossil Centre. That is a fact. So will the minister agree to review this decision, and if all of those things he said prove as false, as the people of Joggins know they are, will he put those steps back where they belong?

MR. PARKER « » : Mr. Speaker, safety is the issue. How can you override safety? We did this in the best interests of the residents of the area to keep the community safe.

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

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT » : Well, Mr. Speaker, I've got some time to kill. (Interruptions)

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 76.

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Bill No. 76 - Civil Forfeiture Act.

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

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 76 be now read a second time. It is my pleasure to begin debate on Bill No. 76, an amendment to the Civil Forfeiture Act. This Act was proclaimed in April of this year. Civil forfeiture sends a strong message that unlawful activity does not pay in Nova Scotia. It serves as another tool for law enforcement agencies to use against unlawful activity.

While reviewing the legislation, an error was noticed. It is a relatively minor typographical error and it has not impacted our use of the legislation. This amendment will fix the error. With these remarks, I now take my place and look forward to the comments of my colleagues.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 76, the Civil Forfeiture Act, which the government has spent all summer preparing for the Fall sitting of the Legislature, is one page and contains 24 words. I intend to give it all the time of debate that it truly deserves. Thank you.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I won't tie up the resources of the House. We are supportive of this piece of legislation. Thank you.

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

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank my colleagues for their insightful and in-depth debate on that piece of legislation. Thank you.

Civil forfeiture sends a strong message that unlawful activity does not pay in Nova Scotia. It is a tool for law enforcement. A small but necessary typographical error will be fixed with this legislation. With those few remarks, I move second reading of Bill No. 76, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 76.

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.

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The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 78.

Bill No. 78 - Civil Constables Act.

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

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 78 now be read a second time. It is my pleasure to begin debate on Bill No. 78, the repeal of the Civil Constables Act. Government regularly reviews its laws to ensure that they are relevant, effective, and necessary. The Civil Constables Act was passed in 1974. It separates provincial civil constables from provisions of the Police Services Act. It was never proclaimed in force, despite receiving Royal Assent more than 35 years ago. Its provisions can now be found in the Police Services Act.

The Civil Constables Act is obsolete and unnecessary. With these remarks, I now take my place and look forward to the comments from my colleagues.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 78, the Civil Constables Act, is another piece of legislation this government has worked on very diligently this summer to bring forward during this House session. It is on one page, and I believe this one may be a record: it contain a total of 13 words. As a result, I will give it the time it deserves for debate today.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, once again, we are supportive of this legislation as well. Thank you.

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

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : I wish to thank my colleagues once again for their insightful and in-depth comments on Bill No. 78. The Civil Constables Act is still an unproclaimed and obsolete piece of legislation. With those few remarks I move second reading of Bill No. 78, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 78.

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

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 80.

Bill No. 80 - Constables Act.

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

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 80 be now read a second time. It is my pleasure to begin debate on Bill No. 80, the repeal of the Constables Act. The government regularly reviews its laws to ensure that they are relevant, effective, and necessary. The Constables Act was created in 1967. It governs the appointment of county constables, police constables, special constables, provincial constables, and the licensing of private detectives.

Mr. Speaker, the Constables Act is obsolete as its provisions now appear in three other Acts. These Acts are the Police Act, the Police Services Act, and the Private Investigators and Private Guards Act.

The government recognized in 1974 that it was unnecessary. An Act was passed to repeal the Constables Act, but the repeal Act was never proclaimed in force. It's unfortunate that the Constables Act was not repealed in 1974, as was intended, but we will correct that omission now.

With these remarks I now take my place and look forward to the comments of my colleagues.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, this is an old bill; this is simply taking care of - why this was not put as part of a Justice Administration Act with these minor changes is bizarre. I guess it does allow the government to stand at the end of the session and say look at how many bills we got passed.

Just for those who are keeping record, while I did say the previous bill may have been a record, I was mistaken, because Bill No. 80, the Constables Act, is one page and it contains a total of 12 words. So, needless to say, there will be no need to continue any further debate on Bill No. 80.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, in this legislation we're also supporting, so we will not tie up the resources of the House.

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

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank my colleagues for their comments during the debate on Bill No. 80. It's unfortunate the Constables Act is still on the books; it is an obsolete piece of legislation.

With those few comments, I move second reading of Bill No. 80.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 80. 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 « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 81.

Bill No. 81 - Identification of Criminals Act.

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

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 81 be read a second time. It is a pleasure to begin debate on Bill No. 81, the Identification of Criminals Act. This legislation will ensure that criminals cannot hide their past through a legal name change. Criminals try to exploit the system and we are committed to making it tough for them to succeed. Inspector Dan Smith of the RCMP said yesterday: We welcome another tool that will help us fight crime.

That is what the legislation is intended to be - another tool for the police. It helps them do their job more effectively and more efficiently. It helps make our community safer for families and for all Nova Scotians. Every year approximately 400 people in the province change their name and, currently, there is no official connection between the provincial name change process and the national criminal records database maintained by the RCMP.

For example, a criminal, say a sexual predator or a fraudster, could pay the $150 fee and change his name; subsequently he comes into contact with the police and the police officer enters his name into the criminal record database, his name will come back clean. Intelligence and information are critical for police, and the current system makes it difficult for law enforcement across the country to track individuals with criminal records after they have changed their names. This legislation will change that - it amends the Change of Name Act to make it stronger.

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Under this legislation, people who want to change their name will have to be fingerprinted and undergo a criminal records check. If a criminal record is found during the process, the new name will be linked to the old name by the RCMP and the national criminal records database.

This would prevent people with a criminal history from hiding their past by changing their name, and Nova Scotia will become the fourth province to link the name change process to the national criminal records system through fingerprints. We also would be the first province east of the Manitoba-Ontario border to do so. British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba have similar legislation now. We have examined their legislation and learned from their experiences.

Madam Speaker, I would like to take a minute or two to touch on a few issues. First, the new processes won't apply to people changing their names as a result of marriage. In Nova Scotia the common practice doesn't modify the birth certificate. A legal name change gives the person a new birth certificate reflecting their new name. Second, we now exempt children from being fingerprinted. Third, privacy is an important consideration, people may be concerned about being fingerprinted. I'm sure once the criminal record check is completed, the fingerprints will be destroyed by the RCMP. Finally, these changes will not slow down the current processes. Vital statistics will process the name, change requests once they have been confirmed that the fingerprints have been taken.

This initiative is another way that we can make Nova Scotia a more difficult place for criminals to do business and to operate. With these efforts we are better protecting Nova Scotians and their loved ones. Madam Speaker, I will take my place now and look forward to further debate on this bill.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Richmond.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. Bill No. 81 actually does provide something worthwhile to discuss in this province. Let me start by saying it's one of those that I find it unfortunate that had this been brought to the attention of the Opposition critics earlier, more than a few hours or 24 hours before the bill is to be announced, we would have had a chance to answer a lot of the questions which come up when one looks at this bill.

I have no doubt that some of the members of the government caucus, especially the member for Antigonish or the member for Halifax Chebucto, probably have some questions themselves as to the implications that this has on the protection of privacy for Nova Scotians. Just in listening to the minister, it also raised the question, is there not an easier way for us to put the safeguards in place without asking honest Nova Scotians to go get fingerprinted to get their name changed.

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I had an experience with some constituents who have sought to change their name. Coming from an Acadian community, which I'm sure the Minister of Justice will appreciate, most of the males born had the first name Joseph, so almost every male had the first name Joseph and then the second name was usually the primary name they would go by but officially they were all Joseph and for the women they were all Marie. That happens in English communities as well, but their biblical names that were given - the problem was when you go to a doctor's office and the poor clerks or secretaries would be trying to find your file, there would probably be 100 or 200 Josephs before they could actually get to who you really were. So I know a number of people who actually sought to change their name, to just do the reverse, have their middle name as their first name and have Joseph as their middle name, to still respect their parent's wishes but, clearly, to make it much easier in doing business not carrying the first name that so many others were carrying in your own community.

Now, are these the people who we want to have to go to an RCMP station, or police station, to get fingerprinted? That's my question. Is there not a way that we can do this without being as intrusive as asking people to go get fingerprinted? I know people who have actually been accused of a crime, one of the things they dreaded the most was going to get fingerprinted. Yet, asking honest, hard-working Nova Scotians, who want to change their name for whatever reason, to have to be fingerprinted, I am left to question, is there not an easier way to do that?

Now, here is the other question. Did the government, through the police forces, ask them to, let's say, look at last year's applicants, or the applicants from two years ago, in order to see how many of those applicants had a criminal record before they changed their name. I think that would be very useful information for us to have, as legislators, to be able to see - did one person try to pull that stunt, did 50, did 100, did 200? I don't know the answer, maybe the Minister of Justice can provide it, but I'm highly suspicious that there is no answer to that.

I don't understand how, in this day and age with technology, that government and police forces wouldn't have a means of checking this on their own without having to go through fingerprinting and that type of an intrusive process.

No question, Madam Speaker, anything we can do to make police work easier, people who are criminals, there's no need to be defending them or providing them with any sort of safeguards but how many honest Nova Scotians are going to be caught by this? I should have mentioned as well, the member for Halifax Atlantic, I apologize because I know she has a legal background as well and I have no doubt that she's asking these same questions because at the end of the day people are very concerned about their privacy - much more than ever before. People don't want their numbers in the phone book. They're very concerned about what's being done with voters lists. They're very apprehensive any time someone asks them for their name and address. Yet, here we're asking them to go through a fingerprint to get a criminal check.

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Is there no means of doing a criminal background check without a fingerprint? People who come into my office, who are coaches or volunteers of baseball, are asked to go through a criminal record check. As far as I know, they're not being fingerprinted. So I'm curious as to why there are two different standards. People whom we trust with our children are being looked at for any criminal background and yet people who want to change their name are going to go through a different standard. At the same time, let us not forget, we know how fond this government is of user fees and having Nova Scotians pay more. So this, again, has a user fee attached to it.

Now, first of all, it's $150 to change your name which is probably one of the higher user fees we have in this province but now it says it's a $25 fee, approximately, depending on the police department. So what controls will be placed on that? Can one police department charge $100, can one charge $200? Will this be a means of making revenue for the municipal units in which they're located or for the RCMP? There are a lot of questions there. Again, it would have been nice if we had had the opportunity to talk with staff and to find out more of the experiences that have taken place in the western provinces.

I do think that this House should take note that provinces such as Ontario and Quebec have not adopted this legislation because when you look at their populations, I would have to guess, population-wise, they have more criminals than we have here in Nova Scotia yet their provinces have not seen fit to enact this type of legislation. One of the items in here, the exclusions, is that the minister says that people changing their name because of marriage won't have to go through the fingerprint and the background check. So if I understand correctly, if you go get married and you change your name because of marriage, you will not have to go through this. Which begs the question for me, what about when you get divorced?

If you want to change your name following a divorce, do you have to go through the criminal background check because, unfortunately, marriage is a two-way street in more ways than one, Madam Speaker, because currently our country, as so many other places, has approximately just above a 50 per cent divorce rate in the country. So as many people who are going to get their name changed because they are happily getting married, we have probably just as many, unfortunately, looking to change their name because of the dissolution of their marriage. Are those individuals going to be asked to go get fingerprinted and to have a criminal background check made?

So the minister is shaking his head no. That's a question we have that we could have put to him before. So apparently, I'm assuming that will be put in the regulations because it's not addressed in the bill. So we're left to wonder whether that's going to take place or not and there's a sensitive topic as well, and I saw it immediately on Twitter and I asked, should I even raise this, but in 2011 there are a host of different reasons why people change their names. Some are due to lifestyle changes that have taken place and the question asked today on Twitter was, does the government expect that people who are going to change their names because of lifestyle changes that they have made, will they be asked to be fingerprinted and have a criminal background check for those reasons?

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So this is one that it sounds great when you say it fast but when you actually break it down and look at what the implications possibly could be, I question at the end of the day two things - is there not a better way of achieving the same goal for our law enforcement officers and, number two, how many honest, hard-working Nova Scotians are going to be asked to be fingerprinted, to pay a fee, to have a background criminal check done on them, only because they want to make a change to their name.

The question for us as legislators, does the end justify the means? I have to say, legally, I'm very surprised that this law has not been challenged on a Charter basis in the western provinces. It actually shocks me that this actually meets a Section 1 test under the Charter, because at the end of the day, those who are being caught up in this far outweigh any criminals that the government hopes to catch in this.

The last point that I want to make, and maybe the Minister of Justice can confirm this, and I guess there's a question between the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, who's responsible for vital statistics, who keeps track of people's names. I always assumed, if you changed your name legally, government still had records to show what your original name was. If they have that then what would be the need of doing a criminal background check? Because, at the end of the day, if I go change my name and the government knows what I was originally called by and I have a criminal record and I get stopped for whatever reason and they look at my name and they say, well, hold on now, he used to go by a different name, let's check to see if there's anything against that name, from a criminal perspective. How that does not exist now is bizarre to me, as to why that could not be done.

I was not aware that once you changed your name legally, the Province of Nova Scotia destroys all the records of your previous existence or your previous name. I doubt that happens. So, unless that does happen, there's a paper trail that already exists, that's there already. So, if it's there already, why is it then that we would take the step of asking people to get fingerprinted and have a criminal background check?

Again, if they're criminals, obviously, they don't deserve the protection of privacy, this is a reasonable request. If you're an honest Nova Scotian that's simply going to change your name for personal reasons, for a lifestyle change, or for whatever other reason, to be asked to go to a police station to be fingerprinted, which is a very intrusive process, I don't know if this meets the reasonability test in that regard and I question whether the Minister of Justice can provide us with any sort of facts or figures that justify this or exactly what type of success it has had in other jurisdictions at stopping criminals or identifying criminals. That is information that we will be looking for and that we hope the minister is able to provide, being he's brought this bill in.

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Again, I fear that this is one that it sounds good, when you say it fast, but at the end of the day the implications that it will have on honest Nova Scotians far outweighs the benefit that will be achieved for our law enforcement officers.

With that, Madam Speaker, I do have concerns about this, at this point. We'll certainly support legislation moving on to the Law Amendments Committee. I'd be curious to hear what the view is of our law enforcement agencies. I'd as well be curious to hear if the Minister of Justice presented this bill to our Protection of Privacy Officer here in Nova Scotia for an opinion prior to tabling it in this House, in case there were any sort of concerns that she may have had that she could have identified to the government.

This is a matter I have raised before with other legislation, in fact, the changes to the Elections Act, as far as what can be done with some of the information that we gather on the voting list. We know then the Minister of Justice and the government were not interested in talking to the Protection of Privacy Officer. This is Bill No. 81, certainly another example of something which should have been brought to her attention and that her opinion should have been requested. I look forward to hearing the minister comment on whether this has taken place or not.

With those reservations, Madam Speaker, we will allow the bill to continue to the Law Amendments Committee stage and I am certainly looking forward to getting some answers to the many questions that I have put to the Minister of Justice during debate on Bill No. 81. Merci beaucoup.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. We understand that this legislation will affect about 400 people each year in Nova Scotia, because that is the number of people that do apply to change their name and we understand what the purpose of this legislation is, that being to try to make sure that there is a connection between the legal name change process and criminal records. The reason for this, of course, is to assist law enforcement to be able to track individuals who may be committing crimes, may have committed crime in the past and who may be trying to hide from that and perhaps commit crime again and that concerns us.

We understand that having to provide your fingerprints, it may feel invasive to some people but if there are criminal cases out there that law enforcement is having difficulty in solving and tracking, we must keep that in mind as well, Madam Speaker. For those reasons, we are supportive of this legislation advancing. We look forward to hearing what others have to say through the Law Amendments Committee and we look forward to another opportunity to speak on this legislation when it comes back to the House for third reading. Thank you.

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MADAM SPEAKER « » : If I recognize the minister it will be to close the debate.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Madam Speaker, I wish to thank my colleagues for their comments and questions they posed. I certainly will reflect on them and take them under consideration. I look forward to the third reading. With that, I will close remarks and I move that the second reading of Bill No. 81 be carried out.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 81. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that Bill No. 81 be referred to the Committee on Law Amendments.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. We will now rise and meet from the hours of 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. tomorrow. I ask the Official Opposition House Leader to tell us what the business will be for tomorrow.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Official Opposition House Leader.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD : Madam Speaker, tomorrow on our Opposition Day, we will be calling Resolution No. 2045 and Resolution No. 1857.

I now move that this House adjourn until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House does now rise, to meet again tomorrow, November 9th, between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

We have now reached the moment of interruption. As read earlier today, the adjournment motion was put forward by the honourable member for Glace Bay:

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"Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on 75 years of excellence in journalism, capturing historic Canadian moments and shaping the culture of this country and this province."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

CBC - ANNIV. (75th)

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm pleased to rise today and speak on the resolution brought forward by the member for Glace Bay. I had the privilege of working for CBC television and radio as my first job in journalism and it began just days into my journalism degree, due to the unfortunate circumstances at the time of the crash of Swissair Flight 111 and I was hired shortly thereafter to do some of the broadcasting of that and stayed with CBC as a casual employee for a number of years, until going on to do other work.

I think what you will find is there are few Canadians, if any, who are not touched by the CBC. Just last week CBC television celebrated the anniversary of the first broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada. I don't think anybody would disagree that it has become a Canadian institution.

I think it's important for us to look, especially in light of some of the federal debate around the CBC, at the importance that the corporation has played in Canadian history because it has accomplished things that would not have been able to be accomplished at the time by a private corporation. For example, it was in 1946 that the CBC introduced FM radio to Canada and launching a full service in 1960.

Of course, it started as not only a broadcaster but also the regulator of the broadcast airwaves, something which it has evolved over time and it is no longer, of course, the regulator. We wouldn't want it to be the regulator any more now that there is competition there, but it still plays an extremely important role.

For example, they became the first broadcaster in the world to begin using an orbiting satellite for television service. It was important, and the reason why that happened in Canada versus happening somewhere like the United States or elsewhere was the very fact that we needed to be able to link our communities from east to west and up north. It just simply isn't practical to do that with cables. So satellite service became the opportunity. Canada has been a quiet leader in aerospace technology and space technology for many years in that respect. I think the CBC has contributed to that through innovation and technology.

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Even if we look here, in Nova Scotia, we know that CBC Radio is frequently one of the top listened-to radio stations. I worked briefly for a program that's no longer on the air, CBC Compass, in Prince Edward Island, in Charlottetown, one summer. The members of CBC there were actually celebrities. They would walk down on the boardwalk and everybody - they had this ridiculous market share - watched it because it was actually the only television station that covered Prince Edward Island exclusively. You couldn't walk on the boardwalk in downtown Charlottetown without being recognized, even if you only had a moment on the screen.

I think it's important to recognize that role because a lot of that role still exists. We can look at places like Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver or even Halifax, where there are different options in the media market place, but that doesn't exist everywhere in Canada. I've visited a number of places in Canada over the years that only have access to CBC because CBC is mandated to cover all the residents in all the areas of Canada. No other private broadcaster is required to do that. Of course, that comes with additional costs.

We've seen the innovation. When we think about the programs that Canadians know as truly Canadian - whether it's As It Happens, This Hour Has 22 Minutes or Hockey Night in Canada that I mentioned earlier - those are things that the public broadcaster is uniquely positioned to do. No different than in the U.K., they have the BBC and so forth.

It is a bit disconcerting then to receive mixed messages from the federal government at this time. One day after the federal election, the Minister of Heritage, James Moore said, "We believe in the national public broadcaster. We have said that we will maintain or increase support for the CBC. That is our platform and we have said that before and we will commit to that." That was the promise of the government during the election.

The minister reiterated that promise just days after the election, but now, of course, he has a different tune. Now he is asking the CBC to not maintain or expand but, in fact, cut at least 5 per cent and have another plan for a 10 per cent cut. Those mixed messages can be troubling because, what does it mean? What does it mean to a public broadcaster? It's more troubling because it was said by many supporters of CBC radio and television and Radio Canada that this is exactly what would happen. This is exactly the move they would make, but instead of being up front about that during the election, and even immediately following the election, in fact, the federal Conservative Party stated on the record in their platform that they would either maintain or increase funding to the national broadcaster, and Moore was quoted as saying that.

It's unfortunate that happens at this important anniversary for CBC because CBC still has that important role to play. You can even go to parts of the Maritimes and Atlantic Canada where the only option, the only broadcaster you can receive over the air, is often CBC. We live in a country that is in many ways unique. It's a beautiful and wonderful country, but has geographic challenges that don't exist everywhere else. We need to recognize that and we need to recognize that some of the private broadcasters actually choose not to deliver service in those areas, but CBC doesn't have that choice. I'll tell you right now, CBC could save their 5 or 10 per cent right off the bat by not servicing those areas.

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It was always the debate in Prince Edward Island, for example, and even in parts of Nova Scotia - does CBC provide those bureau supports? Let's look at what CBC has done here in Nova Scotia. They placed a reporter down in the Pictou area to cover that part of the province while other broadcasters pull away from that sort of stuff. They beefed up support in Cape Breton while other broadcasters are pulling back on the support in those areas. They've moved toward support over the years - we saw they had a VJ in Yarmouth for a long time, at the time that other private broadcasters were pulling away from that.

I think we need to recognize that they provide an important service, that they're an important part of the Canadian psyche, the Canadian history, and that they are in a different role. They are not in the role that they had originally, where they were also the regulator, but they're important and we should expect our federal government to live up to their commitment, especially at this time of the CBC's anniversary, because the CBC is an institution that we need to support. Yes, it needs to evolve as times change, but I think we see it evolve when they have a million podcasts downloaded a month from their Web site. They are evolving and they're meeting that test, and I hope that everybody will join me in supporting the CBC on their 75th Anniversary.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. It's my pleasure to stand and speak for a few moments in regard to the CBC and celebrating its 75th Anniversary of providing excellent broadcasting to Canada.

It's a very appropriate topic this evening, as our veteran CBC reporter Jean Laroche has returned to Nova Scotia, to the Legislature, after a brief assignment in Moncton. It was great to see him out there. It looks like he's sporting the Movember moustache as well, and I welcome him back to the House of Assembly. As most of us know Jean pretty well, we can all say it's good to have his grumpiness back in the House of Assembly. We'll all giggle at that one, is what we'll try to do. It's good to have him back.

Of course, as we know, the CBC is a Crown Corporation that was launched in 1932. Why was it introduced? It is because of the U.S. influence in broadcasting in Canada. Over the years we would find a lot of bleeding of those signals, as you go through the corridors of Quebec, Ontario, Upper Canada, and Lower Canada, of the radio stations and such that were springing up all along, whether you were in Detroit or in Windsor, whether you were actually receiving the broadcast from faraway places like Boston and New York.

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I can tell you that in 1932, when this all came about, this was a pretty big play for the Government of Canada to try to influence Canadians in such a way that they're proud of their identity, of being Canadians, and bringing a special air of culture, music, and information about being Canadian. As I say, the radio was brought to us in 1932 under a then-Conservative Government and Canada's Prime Minister at the time, R.B. Bennett. The television, of course, followed along in 1952, and I guess, as we say, for 75 years CBC has been there reporting on moments big and small that have defined Canada as the best country to live in.

While still in its infancy, the CBC covered many important issues. If we go back to 1932, what was on the minds of Canadians at the time was that we were finishing up a depression or just getting into a depression. Soon after we went to war in the Second World War. It covered the Second World War, and that broadcasting corporation became the voice of Canada during the war, as many Canadians sat around the radio to listen to what was happening overseas to the men and boys and women that were fighting on behalf of Canadians. Even today, you know, past World War II - and, of course, you turn to CBC for news out of Afghanistan, you turn to news of other conflicts around the world because they, of course, have those relationships with other news outlets that allow them to truly be a good voice to Canadians about what's going on in this world.

Changing over to the television, television since 1952 has truly provided Canadians with its true vision. You know, for many years the only TV station that you probably could get was CBC. In some cases, when you were lucky enough to have two CBC feeds, you had the English and the French in order to watch programming across Canada and, of course, bringing us things like hockey. I don't know if Canada would be so big on hockey today if it wouldn't have been for the influence of hockey on CBC Hockey Night in Canada, because I'm sure there were many, many, many times that a father and son, a father and daughter, have bonded over watching Hockey Night in Canada and rooting for their favourite teams, whether it be Boston, whether it be Toronto, whether it be the Montreal Canadiens - as my father and I would sit and watch on a Saturday night.

Madam Speaker, CBC has also provided us with a rich history of programming in arts and entertainment. Who didn't, of my generation anyway, sit around the TV on a Sunday night to watch Tommy Hunter, or I think even the Lawrence Welk Show was on CBC at the time, and even today we can still see, of course, This Hour Has 22 Minutes and many other programs.

If I go back to my time of watching television before the people of Argyle would have a cable outlet, you know, we had three channels and CBC, of course, provided the majority of the programming for us. We did get to watch Wayne and Shuster. That was a wonderful piece of programming that I wish somebody could really duplicate today and, of course, The Kids in the Hall and the Royal Canadian Air Farce which, of course, did finally shut down programming after many, many years of making Canadians laugh; making Canadians laugh not only at current events but, you know, taking a good laugh at themselves, and that's what CBC really means to many Canadians.

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The member for Dartmouth East tried to really go a little bit political on what's happening to the CBC as it celebrates its 75th Anniversary. We had the opportunity last evening to hear a speech by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, the federal Minister of Finance, at our annual dinner last night. Minister Flaherty was very good in explaining the world economics that he is dealing with, not only working with other countries and other economies, whether you're working with G7 or G20, but he was also talking about, you know, how do we keep Canada whole, how do we keep the economy of Canada moving along and being the envy of the G7 nations or the G20 nations?

It means that a number of things have to happen and a good stewardship of that economy is making sure that the budget of the Government of Canada, in which the CBC does play a part because of it being a Crown Corporation, that the CBC itself also has to play a part in budget reductions as every department or Crown Corporation that the Government of Canada does have control over has to look at. I know that the member for Dartmouth East, you know, was trying to make a bigger thing of it than it actually is but I think that the CBC through its excellence, through its hard work, through just being able to provide information to Canadians, that it will persevere through any budget reduction that might be happening because of the Government of Canada having to do that work.

I look forward to the 75th Anniversary of the CBC and I look forward to tuning in to the CBC every morning when I have the chance, and tuning in to CBC TV, and today even having the opportunity to tune in on an iPad, on an app - you can actually watch CBC programming through the Internet.

Madam Speaker, I thank the members for the opportunity to speak on this very important day, the 75th Anniversary of the CBC.

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

MR. LEONARD PREYRA « » : Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. It's a great pleasure to get up here and say a few words, mostly to congratulate the CBC, and to wish the CBC a happy birthday on its 75th Anniversary.

Madam Speaker, for 75 years the CBC, Canada's public broadcaster, has strengthened, enriched and entertained us by being there and reporting on issues and stories that are important to us. The CBC is really about a conversation that we have amongst ourselves - it tells our stories, it's a story told by us, for us, and about us. It gives us an opportunity to hear what others in our community are saying or doing or experiencing.

Madam Speaker, last month the CBC, which is located in my constituency here in Nova Scotia, had a party and over 3,000 people came to the party. I know every year the CBC Information Morning has a party and several thousand people come to it. It's a great revelation to me because radio is such that you really don't know who is listening simultaneously with you. At this party you get the sense that this is part of my virtual community, these are the people who are listening to the CBC at the same time. It was a real treat, and is a real treat every year to go to that event and see who these people are and who they are as part of your community. They are very much ordinary Nova Scotians, very much interested in buying local and in local events - local broadly defined both in terms of what's happening across Canada in communities, but what's also happening abroad but looked at through Canadian eyes.

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This season, Madam Speaker, the CBC TV content was at 82 per cent Canadian content in prime time and Radio-Canada broadcast 88 per cent of Canadian programs in prime time. It very much is about Canadians, by Canadians, and for Canadians.

As the member for Argyle said, the CBC has been there at critical moments in our history, in Canadian history and in Nova Scotia history. Everyone, even those who were not there, will remember it because they have been rebroadcast - the CBC on Springhill, on the mining disaster there; on Swissair; on 9/11; and Hurricane Juan. In many events American broadcasters have turned to the CBC for coverage of things that are happening in the United States because the CBC coverage was superior.

The first Canadian CBC on-site coverage of a local disaster really occurred in Nova Scotia with the Moose River Gold Mine, Madam Speaker, a rescue in April 1936. CBC News broadcaster Frank Willis presided over the first remote broadcast in Canada, from the rescue scene, for most of the 11 days of the entrapment, and there bare-faced coal miners worked for 11 days to rescue those trapped.

Tom MacKinnon, Madam Speaker, the father of the current member for Pictou East, was one of the rescuers. Tom was recognized by this House in 1936 and was presented with the Medal for Conspicuous Service by the then Premier, Angus Macdonald. A picture still exists of J. Frank Willis getting sustenance by drinking water from a can of Carnation. I commend the member for Pictou East for drawing this to my attention and congratulate him - he certainly comes from good stock.

Madam Speaker, the CBC here in the Maritimes has always been here for us as well. Many of us wake up to Information Morning, with Don Connolly and Liz Logan, before - and I congratulate Liz on her retirement - and now Louise Renault. And Jean Laroche has filled in on Information Morning; in fact, Jean Laroche has filled in on just about every CBC show I listen to. It's hard to tell where he is, he's virtually everywhere; I know he's here and reports from this House. And in Cape Breton there's Steve Sutherland.

CBC TV is also the authoritative voice in many cases for the news, Amy Smith and Tom Murphy following very much in the footsteps of Knowlton Nash and Barbara Frum and Peter Mansbridge, and CBC Newsworld and the World at Six. What would we do without that in-depth reporting, without that local reporting, telling our stories by Canadians and by Nova Scotians for Nova Scotians?

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There are a great number of other programs. Just look at the headlines today, they talk about the tragic situation in Pictou County, the Amber Kirwan situation, talking about the Occupy Movement here in Nova Scotia. Those are stories that we want to know more about, our heart goes out to people in other communities at these times and we'd like to know that we are part of those communities and we'd like them to know that they have our support. The CBC is very much that line of communication that we have with each other, in good times and in bad.

There are a number of other programs like that, like Maritime Noon, like Land and Sea, like Mainstreet, that effectively do that for us, and Costas Halavrezos is another person who comes to mind. That's not all, the CBC, apart from this great coverage of local news and telling stories about Canadians in other lands or telling international stories through Canadian eyes, also locally is a great incubator of local talent and local art. It fosters the creative arts in our community through its sponsorship of events and particularly of its in-kind sponsorship of events.

There have been many, many concerts I've heard on the CBC that have been recorded in local areas right across the province. The world would never have heard of many of our great artists - Anne Murray, for example. Today we have people like Joel Plaskett and Buck 65 who really have been heard because of the CBC. I know one day we had a fundraiser in my constituency and Raylene Rankin, Susan Crowe and Cindy Church played at it and the CBC recorded it. It has been rebroadcast about a dozen times. It's wonderful to hear and it's great to hear those singers as well.

It's a great pleasure to talk about the accomplishments of the CBC. This year - I think this year, I don't have an exact date - the CBC was recognized at the New York Festivals award with the first-ever Broadcaster of the Year Award. It won a Grand Award, eight Gold World Medals and 26 other medals.

The CBC also has been recognized as a great employer. I would like to take a moment to thank those great reporters and journalists and broadcasters who bring these stories to us with such great professionalism. I should say in passing, in 75 years there have been a great number of Canadians involved with the CBC and I have a note here from March 31, 1937 - the first Board of Governors of the CBC and the name Nellie McClung appears in that list. It's really quite wonderful to see how the CBC has nurtured talent and has given this great Canadian talent a voice.

The CBC works under a number of constraints, as you know. They are constraints but they are also great opportunities. CBC and Radio-Canada does what no other broadcaster can do or is required to do. It is required to create and deliver regional content right across the country, from sea to sea to sea, including the north. It does so in French and English; it does so in eight Aboriginal languages. That's quite a challenge, Madam Speaker. So I know when we talk about the CBC, people talk about it applying private sector measures, but no private sector broadcasters are required to do what the CBC is doing - and to do it so well.

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In summary, the CBC does tell stories about us, for us, and by us. It's an essential vehicle for expressing Canadian culture and enriching our democratic, social, and cultural life. I want to congratulate them on 75 great years, and wish them a happy birthday. It is indeed ours to celebrate. Thank you, Madam Speaker. (Applause)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The time allotted for the late debate has elapsed. I'd like to thank all members for participating today.

The House now stands adjourned until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 5:00 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

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RESOLUTION NO. 2104

By: Mr. Andrew Younger « » (Dartmouth East)

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

Whereas Maxine Tynes was a seventh-generation Nova Scotian born in Dartmouth in 1949, with a family heritage dating back to the time of the Black Loyalists; and

Whereas Ms. Tynes was a poet, author, activist, and educator, and a documentarian of the African Nova Scotian cultural identity; and

Whereas Ms. Maxine Tynes passed away on September 12th of this year, far too early at the age of 62;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in a moment of silence to commemorate the amazing cultural, educational, and inspirational contribution of Ms. Maxine Tynes to all Nova Scotians.

RESOLUTION NO. 2105

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie « » (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Wentworth's Doug Curry, known as Mr. Hockey in Cumberland County, was recently presented with the prestigious President's Nova Scotia Hockey Award; and

Whereas Doug Curry has been involved in minor hockey for over 50 years and his long-term commitment to the sport and his position of veteran manager for the Cumberland County Midget Minor AA Ramblers has been outstanding; and

Whereas Doug Curry has also held numerous executive positions in minor hockey, including serving as president and provincial director of the Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association, as well as sitting on the executives of the Amherst Junior A Ramblers and the Cumberland County Junior B Blues;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Doug Curry on receiving the President's Nova Scotia Hockey Award and wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2106

[Page 3362]

By: Hon. Jamie Baillie « » (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Constable Steven Maddison of the Springhill Police Department was honoured with the Police Long Service Award for his 15 years of service; and

Whereas Constable Steven Maddison is a dedicated member of the Springhill Police Department and is well-respected and appreciated by his peers and the residents of Springhill; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Provincial Police Long Service Award Program is a provincial program to recognize police officers who have served in the Province of Nova Scotia consecutively for 15 years and 25 years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Constable Steven Maddison on receiving his Long Service Award and thank him for his commitment to the people of Springhill and to policing in the Province of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 2107

By: Mr. Leo Glavine « » (Kings West)

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

Whereas Charlie Ross of Auburn has been honoured with the Art Lightfoot Trophy for his dedication to the Valley High School Hockey League, in addition to all of his volunteer efforts through the CNIB and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, as well as being actively involved with the Aylesford Lions Club; and

Whereas Charlie has also served as Scout master and soccer coach and coached the West Kings Senior Boys Soccer team to their first provincial playoff; and

Whereas Charlie continues to support his community through his many activities and is an outstanding member of the Aylesford Lions Club and always available to lend a hand when needed;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Charlie on receiving the Art Lightfoot Trophy for his dedication and service to the Valley High School Hockey League.

RESOLUTION NO. 2108

[Page 3363]

By: Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Liverpool Regional High School student Adrienne Rose Allison has received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal; and

Whereas the Education Medal recognizes the academic and community efforts of students in Grade 11; and

Whereas Adrienne Rose Allison has also demonstrated profound leadership and a commitment to her community, while maintaining a good academic standing;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Adrienne Rose Allison on having received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal while attending Grade 11 at Liverpool Regional High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 2109

By: Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Queens Adult High School student Darren Campbell has received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal; and

Whereas the Education Medal recognizes the academic and community efforts of students in Grade 11; and

Whereas Darren Campbell has also demonstrated profound leadership and a commitment to his community, while maintaining a good academic standing;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Darren Campbell on having received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal while attending Grade 11 at Queens Adult High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 2110

[Page 3364]

By: Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Gorham Alternate High School student Felisha Amber Hawes has received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal; and

Whereas the Education Medal recognizes the academic and community efforts of students in Grade 11; and

Whereas Felisha Amber Hawes has also demonstrated profound leadership and a commitment to her community, while maintaining a good academic standing;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Felisha Amber Hawes on having received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal while attending Grade 11 at Gorham Alternate High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 2111

By: Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas North Queens Rural High School student Leah Colleen Veinot has received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal; and

Whereas the Education Medal recognizes the academic and community efforts of students in Grade 11; and

Whereas Leah Colleen Veinot has also demonstrated profound leadership and a commitment to her community, while maintaining a good academic standing;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Leah Colleen Veinot on having received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal while attending Grade 11 at North Queens Rural High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 2112

[Page 3365]

By: Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas North Queens Rural High School student Nicholas Gregory van Dyk has received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal; and

Whereas the Education Medal recognizes the academic and community efforts of students in Grade 11; and

Whereas Nicholas Gregory van Dyk has also demonstrated profound leadership and a commitment to his community, while maintaining a good academic standing;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Nicholas Gregory van Dyk on having received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal while attending Grade 11 at North Queens Rural High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 2113

By: Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Queens Adult High School student Ramona Flemming has received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal; and

Whereas the Education Medal recognizes the academic and community efforts of students in Grade 11; and

Whereas Ramona Flemming has also demonstrated profound leadership and a commitment to her community, while maintaining a good academic standing;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Ramona Flemming on having received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal while attending Grade 11 at Queens Adult High School.

RESOLUTION NO. 2114

[Page 3366]

By: Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Liverpool Regional High School student Thomas Head Raddall IV has received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal; and

Whereas the Education Medal recognizes the academic and community efforts of students in Grade 11; and

Whereas Thomas Head Raddall IV has also demonstrated profound leadership and a commitment to his community, while maintaining a good academic standing;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Thomas Head Raddall IV on having received the Lieutenant Governor's Education Medal while attending Grade 11 at Liverpool Regional High School.