Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD12-63

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/



Fourth Session

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
TIR - Molega Lake Area: Road Conditions - Address,
4870
URB - NSP: General Rate Application - Deny,
4870
Dogs: Permanently Tethered/Penned - Ban,
4870
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee,
4871
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Fin. - Nova Scotia Families: NDP Gov't. - Efforts,
4871
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2559, Special Comm. to Review the Estimates of the Auditor General
& the Chief Electoral Officer - Renaming, Hon. F. Corbett »
4878
Vote - Affirmative
4878
Res. 2560, Fares, Wadih: N.S. Contribution - Acknowledge,
4879
Vote - Affirmative
4880
Res. 2561, Bach, Michael: Disabilities Commun. - Discussions,
4880
Vote - Affirmative
4880
Res. 2562, College of Registered Nurses (N.S.)
- Can. Order of Excellence Award, Hon. D. Wilson »
4881
Vote - Affirmative
4881
Res. 2563, Nunn, Bruce - A Bluenose Twelve Days of Christmas:
Publication - Congrats., Hon. C. Parker »
4882
Vote - Affirmative
4882
Res. 2564, Pink, Darrel: Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
- Congrats., Hon. M. More « »
4883
Vote - Affirmative
4884
Res. 2565, Seaview Manor Corp.: Order of Excellence Award
- Congrats., Hon. D. Wilson « »
4884
Vote - Affirmative
4884
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 160, Halifax Regional Municipality Charter,
4884
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2566, Arthritis Soc.: Chronic Disease Designation - Support,
4885
Res. 2567, Hazim, Ignatius - Religious Commun.: Contribution
- Recognize, Hon. J. Baillie »
4885
Vote - Affirmative
4886
Res. 2568, CAN-U-GAP Prog.: Organizers/Teachers/Students
- Congrats., Hon. M. More « »
4886
Vote - Affirmative
4887
Res. 2569, Personal Info.: Res. 2405 - Redact,
4887
Vote - Affirmative
4888
Res. 2570, Inflammatory Arthritis: Chronic Disease - Designate,
4888
Res. 2571, Mitchell, Jim & Robert - Legislature Christmas Tree:
Donation - Congrats., Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse « »
4889
Vote - Affirmative
4890
Res. 2572, Elmsdale Beautification Soc.: Commun./Holiday Spirit
- Congrats., Hon. J. MacDonell « »
4890
Vote - Affirmative
4890
Res. 2573, Cotter's Ocean Products - East. Shelburne Co
Bus. Excellence Award, Hon. S. Belliveau »
4890
Vote - Affirmative
4891
Res. 2574, Fraser, Jeannie: 4-H Serv. (10 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4891
Vote - Affirmative
4892
Res. 2575, Todd, Leana: Bullying Activism - Congrats.,
4892
Vote - Affirmative
4893
Res. 2576, Oakey, Bill - East. Passage: Vol. Efforts - Congrats.,
4893
Vote - Affirmative
4894
Res. 2577, Oickle, Vernon - Four Crows A Boy: Publication
- Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad »
4894
Vote - Affirmative
4894
Res. 2578, Whidden, Caroline: Rhodes Scholarship - Congrats.,
4894
Vote - Affirmative
4895
Res. 2579, Arthritis Soc./Gov. (N.S.): Efforts - Support,
4895
Vote - Affirmative
4896
Res. 2580, Phillips, Rebecca - Out of Nowhere:
Amazon Novel Contest - Finalist, Mr. M. Whynott »
4896
Vote - Affirmative
4897
Res. 2581, Manning, Paul: Rhodes Scholarship - Congrats.,
4897
Vote - Affirmative
4898
Res. 2582, Worthington, Sam: Master's Deg. - Congrats.,
4898
Vote - Affirmative
4899
Res. 2583, Raaymakers, Wilma/Trellis Café - Taste of N.S
Restaurant of Yr., Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse « »
4899
Vote - Affirmative
4900
Res. 2584, Sackville HS: Kingfishers Girls Hockey Team
- Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4900
Vote - Affirmative
4901
Res. 2585, Shelburne Farmers & Artisans Co-op - East Shelburne Co
Bus. Excellence Award, Hon. S. Belliveau « »
4901
Vote - Affirmative
4901
Res. 2586, Elliott, Burns: 4-H Serv. (10 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4901
Vote - Affirmative
4902
Res. 2587, Clarke, Cathy - Cow Bay: Vol. Commitments
- Thank, Ms. B. Kent « »
4902
Vote - Affirmative
4903
Res. 2588, Queens Commun. Health Bd. - Members:
Dedication - Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad « »
4903
Vote - Affirmative
4904
Res. 2589, Nauss, Lee: Diamond Jubilee Medal - Congrats.,
4904
Vote - Affirmative
4905
Res. 2590, Roy, Laura: Music Success - Wish,
4905
Vote - Affirmative
4905
Res. 2591, Ryl. Cdn. Sea Cadet Corps 39 Neptune:
Most Improved Corps - Award, Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4905
Vote - Affirmative
4906
Res. 2592, Sackville Sports Stadium - Cobequid Health Fdn.:
Fundraising - Congrats., Hon. D. Wilson « »
4906
Vote - Affirmative
4907
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 528, Prem. - Procurement Outsourcing: Details - Table,
4907
No. 529, Prem. - Muskrat Falls Study: Terms of Reference
4908
No. 530, Prem.: Econ. (N.S.) - Status,
4910
No. 531, Mar. Link: Bd. Approval - Costs,
4911
No. 532, Prem. - Value-for-Money Audit: Corporate Giveaways
- Submit, Hon. J. Baillie « »
4912
No. 533, Lbr. & Advanced Educ. - Burners: Oil/Gas Conversion
- Details, Mr. A. Younger « »
4914
No. 534, ERDT: Econ. Plan - Failure Admit,
4915
No. 535, ERDT: SWSDA Creditors - Payt. Assure,
4916
No. 536, ERDT - Jobs: Windsor Move - Status Details,
4917
No. 537, Educ. - Autism Spectrum Disorder: Diagnoses - Stats,
4918
No. 538, Educ.: Specialized Teachers - Ratios,
4919
No. 539, Com. Serv.: Target 100 Init. - Details,
4920
No. 540, Com. Serv. - Small Options Homes: Funding - Usage,
4922
No. 541, Agric.: Animal Protection Act - Changes,
4923
No. 542, ERDT - Garian Const.: Payt. - Min. Assure,
4924
No. 543, Immigration: Decrease - Explain,
4925
No. 544, TIR - Five-Year Rd. Plan: Updated List - Provide,
4926
No. 545, TIR - Trunk 4 (C.B.): Tender - Status,
4927
No. 546, Health & Wellness - Fed. CCSVI Trial: Nova Scotians
- Numbers, Mr. A. MacLeod »
4928
No. 547, Health & Wellness - Brain Injury Survivors:
Home Support - Details, Mr. L. Glavine « »
4929
No. 548, Health & Wellness - C.B. Recovery House:
Replacement - Time Frame, Mr. K. Bain »
4931
No. 549, Health & Wellness: St. Anne Commun. &
Nursing Care Ctr. - Min. Impressions, Hon. M. Samson « »
4932
No. 550, Health & Wellness: Long-Term Care Facility
- Construct, Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
4933
No. 551, Health & Wellness - Nursing Homes: Nurses
- Reductions, Mr. L. Glavine « »
4934
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 148, Trade Union Act
4935
4938
4940
4942
No. 72, Capital Projects Review Act
4945
4946
4947
4949
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Ships Start Here: Liberals - Effects
4951
4954
4957
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Dec. 6th at 12:00 noon
4960
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2593, Matthews, Peter: Diamond Jubilee Medal
- Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4961
Res. 2594, Zima, Supt. Brenda: Queen Elizabeth II
Diamond Jubilee Medal - Congrats., Ms. K. Regan « »
4961
Res. 2595, LeMoine, Matt: Queen Elizabeth II
Diamond Jubilee Medal - Congrats., Ms. K. Regan « »
4962
Res. 2596, MacVicar, Ann: Queen Elizabeth II
Diamond Jubilee Medal - Congrats., Ms. K. Regan « »
4962
Res. 2597, Haven TV Show - Producers/Crew/Actors:
Successful Season - Congrats., Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse « »
4963
Res. 2598, d'Entremont, Carol: Yar. Co. Athlete of Yr
- Congrats., Mr. Z. Churchill « »
4963
Res. 2599, Hines, Warden Lloyd/UNSM: Queens Jubilee Medal
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau »
4964
Res. 2600, Hines, Kalene: Queen Elizabeth II
Diamond Jubilee Medal - Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
4964
Res. 2601, Casey-Jamieson, Kim: Queen Elizabeth II
Diamond Jubilee Medal - Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
4965
Res. 2602, Boudreau, Kendra: Queen Elizabeth II
Diamond Jubilee Medal - Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
4965
Res. 2603, Haines, Danielle Lauren: Lieutenant Governor's Medal
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
4966
Res. 2604, Burns, Natalie Victoria: Lieutenant Governor's Medal
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
4966
Res. 2605, Foley, Maxine: Lieutenant Governor's Medal
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
4967
Res. 2606, MacKenzie, Nicholas Alden: Lieutenant Governor's Medal
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
4967
Res. 2607, Findlay, Kane: Lieutenant Governor's Medal
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
4968
Res. 2608, Hudson, Ryan Allan: Lieutenant Governor's Medal
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
4969
Res. 2609, Gillis, Hannah Louise: Lieutenant Governor's Medal
- Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau « »
4969
Res. 2610, Gittens, Chelsea - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4970
Res. 2611, Morash, Coach David - Sackville HS 1st All-Female
Hockey Team: Starting - Congrats., Hon. D. Wilson « »
4970
Res. 2612, Carrigan, Emma - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4971
Res. 2613, Winters, Emma - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4971
Res. 2614, Gabriel, Hillary - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4972
Res. 2615, Melanson, Holly - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4972
Res. 2616, Sperry, Jessica - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4973
Res. 2617, Doyle, Kelleigh - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4973
Res. 2618, Fitzpatrick, Paige - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4974
Res. 2619, Vaughan, Rebecca - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4974
Res. 2620, Reid, Beth - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4975
Res. 2621, Bremner, Ashton - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4975
Res. 2622, Winters, Asst. Coach Chad - Sackville HS Kingfishers
All-Female Hockey Team: Assistance - Congrats., Hon. D. Wilson « »
4976
Res. 2623, Cameron, Rachel - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4976
Res. 2624, Johnston, Courtney - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4977
Res. 2625, Prosser, Allison - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4977
Res. 2626, Fisher, Alexis - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4978
Res. 2627, Duyer, Anna - Sackville HS Kingfishers All-Female
Hockey Team: Successful 1st Yr. - Wish, Hon. D. Wilson « »
4978
Res. 2628, Smith, Louise - The Ark: Serv. (30 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4979
Res. 2629, Knox, Melissa - The Ark: Serv. (15 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4979
Res. 2630, Tanner, Richard - The Ark: Serv. (10 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4980
Res. 2631, Sprich, Stefanie - The Ark: Serv. (15 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4980
Res. 2632, White, Sarah - The Ark: Serv. (10 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4981
Res. 2633, Rafuse, Mark - The Ark: Serv. (10 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4981
Res. 2634, Demone, Stevie - The Ark: Serv. (15 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4982
Res. 2635, Blinn, Marilyn - The Ark: Serv. (15 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4982
Res. 2636, Wentzell, Margie - The Ark: Serv. (20 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4983
Res. 2637, Dagley, Linda - The Ark: Serv. (10 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4983
Res. 2638, McDormand, Donald - The Ark: Serv. (10 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4984
Res. 2639, Banfield, Judy - The Ark: Serv. (15 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4985
Res. 2640, Durling, Jeff - The Ark: Serv. (15 Yrs.) - Congrats.,
4985
Res. 2641, Sawler, Phyllis/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4986
Res. 2642, Mossman, Megan/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4986
Res. 2643, Demone, Stevie/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4987
Res. 2644, Smith, Louise/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4987
Res. 2645, Vienneau, Susie/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4988
Res. 2646, French, Carol/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4988
Res. 2647, Alinard, Kendall/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4989
Res. 2648, Eichel, Gail/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4989
Res. 2649, Broughm, David/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4990
Res. 2650, Mosher, Kenneth/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4991
Res. 2651, Russell, Denice/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4991
Res. 2652, Croft, David/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4992
Res. 2653, Lowe, Bobbi-Jo/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4992
Res. 2654, Dagley, Linda/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4993
Res. 2655, Croft, Helen/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4993
Res. 2656, Falkenham, Heather/The Ark: Occupational Health & Safety
Award (2012) - Congrats., Ms. P. Birdsall « »
4994
Res. 2657, N.S. Vols.: Contributions - Gratitude Show,
4994

[Page 4869]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2012

Sixty-first General Assembly

Fourth Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Gordon Gosse

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER » : Order, please. The subject matter for late debate has been chosen and I will now read it:

Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotians could expect far fewer jobs and investments, lower property values and less opportunity for young people if Liberals had their way, because the Liberals would let Vancouver or Quebec win decades of defence shipbuilding work rather than invest so that ships start here.

It was submitted by the honourable member for Kings North.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the signatories from the Molega Lake area. The operative clause reads:

[Page 4870]

"We as a group living within the Molega Lake Lot Owners/Forest Point Loop Lot Owners Society/Handley Point Lot Owners are thoroughly disappointed at the lack of maintenance of the above road (Labelle from the start of the gravel portion to the Handley Point Road). We ask that the government attend to this situation as soon as possible."

Mr. Speaker, it is signed by 187 residents and I, too, have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition with the operative clause:

"Therefore, your petitioners call upon the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to use its powers over the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) to deny any General Rate Application presented by NSPI requesting a rate increase in 2013, 2014 and 2015."

Mr. Speaker, I have affixed my signature and there are 200-plus names on that portion.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings West on a new petition.

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition with an operative clause requesting the Government of Nova Scotia:

"To take the necessary steps to ban the long term tying out/penning of any and all dogs in the province of Nova Scotia. I encourage and support the government to pass a law immediately."

Mr. Speaker, there are 439 signatures on this part of the petition, as well as over 1,500 on an electronic petition.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

[Page 4871]

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

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 155 - Richmond-NewPage Port Hawkesbury Tax Agreement Act.

Bill No. 156 - Halifax Regional Water Commission Act.

Bill No. 157 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

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

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

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

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

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I've been a proud New Democrat for more than 30 years, but never prouder than I am now as I reflect on all that our government is doing to make life better for Nova Scotian families. Nova Scotia's first NDP Government came to power in 2009, in what has turned out to be the worst global recession in living memory.

Early on, our government knew there would be very large challenges ahead. We committed to living within our means and we asked a panel of independent experts to help us do so. They looked at the province's books and they found that Nova Scotia was on a completely unsustainable path. Offshore revenues had declined suddenly and dramatically. Our debt was growing as government spending outpaced revenues. Our economy was stagnant. In fact, Nova Scotia has had the slowest-growing economy in Canada for two decades. Had our government followed the course set by the previous government, we would now be nearing a $1.4 billion deficit.

We rolled up our sleeves and we set to work. We were, and we are, determined to get our province on a better foundation so that all Nova Scotians can look forward to and enjoy a prosperous future.

Mr. Speaker, getting there has involved some tough decisions, such as increasing the HST. When our government decided it was necessary to increase this tax, we were very conscious of those it would impact most, and that's why we introduced measures to help seniors and low-income families. In July 2010 we introduced the Affordable Living Tax Credit, which provides more than $65 million annually to 240,000 families. We also provided HST rebates on children's clothing and children's footwear, as well as on diapers and hygiene products.

[Page 4872]

Our government introduced the Poverty Reduction Credit to assist 14,000 of the most vulnerable Nova Scotians, and our government increased income assistance, the first significant increase in a decade. We put more money in the pockets of thousands of families by increasing the Nova Scotia Child Benefit by more than 20 per cent. For those on income assistance who work, our government made changes so they get to keep more of their earnings.

As a result of new child care subsidies, many more Nova Scotian families are able to send their children to a quality, early childhood centre for less than $9 a day. We committed to eliminating the HST on electricity, which was one of the very first things we did in government.

Our government has been mindful of seniors and the debt we owe to those who built the province. We have introduced a number of initiatives specifically to make life better for seniors, such as the caregiver allowance, reduction in ambulance fees, and reduction in the cost of generic drugs.

Our government eliminated security deposits at nursing homes, a hardship that was allowed by the previous government. We have invested $22 million in home care to help more seniors remain independent longer. Through a tax rebate, our government is returning about $7 million a year to the most vulnerable seniors, those who receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

We are making life more affordable for 56,000 seniors through a rebate on municipal property taxes. I'm proud our government has recently made a change that will allow seniors living at home to retain more income when their spouses enter a nursing home. Up to 1,000 couples will benefit from this change, Mr. Speaker.

Our government has invested more than $145 million in affordable housing since 2009, including 240 new homes for seniors. We are moving forward with a consultation for a provincial housing strategy because we recognize that having affordable and stable housing is fundamental for strong and healthy families. We also recognize that improving housing can create good jobs and this government is committed to protecting and creating the jobs we need to grow our economy.

For too long governments in Nova Scotia considered low wages our economic advantage. That is not a competitive strategy in the long term, and this government is planning for the long term. Our government wants to see Nova Scotians earn higher wages and we know that to make this happen we must invest more, innovate more, trade more, and learn more. That's what our jobsHere strategy is all about, Mr. Speaker. Under our jobsHere plan, 300 companies have increased their productivity; 20,000 Nova Scotians have learned new skills and technologies, and 300 companies are taking advantage of our programs to help them compete globally.

[Page 4873]

This government is protecting jobs like those at NewPage and creating jobs through partnerships with companies like IBM, which will bring 500 new, well-paying jobs to Nova Scotia. Our government is investing in our young people to ensure they get the training they need for the jobs of the future. We have doubled the amount of assistance students can receive as non-repayable grants instead of loans. We have increased the amounts students receive for food, books, and accommodation, and we've introduced Nova Scotia's first cap on student debt and kept tuition at or below the national average.

Nova Scotia has gone from having one of the worst student assistance programs in the country to one of the best. We introduced the graduate retention rebate to help our young people remain in Nova Scotia as they establish their careers and families and build a life here at home.

When we came to government we faced a bleak financial picture, but Nova Scotia is turning a corner; we are on track to a balanced budget. Government spending has been brought under control without job cuts and without gutting services. In spite of the hard economic times, our government is improving services and supports to Nova Scotians. We have been both strategic and compassionate in our decisions.

As an NDP Government, we are making life better for seniors and families, building a stronger financial foundation for our province, and seizing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like Muskrat Falls and the shipbuilding contract, so that all Nova Scotians can share in the prosperity ahead. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for giving us an advance copy of her statement today.

The New Democrats took office in 2009, and during the campaign the Premier and the NDP made two simultaneous promises: they promised to balance the books in year one, and they promised that an independent examination of the province's finances would take place. It's interesting that they decided to make both of those promises at the same time, in one breath. Their Party promised to immediately balance the books and then at the same time they said they needed to understand them better.

How can you make such a financial promise? The only way you can make a financial promise, while admitting you don't know the state of the province's books is if you don't actually care about your ability to deliver on that promise and your commitment to Nova Scotians. This is clearly the case with the NDP.

[Page 4874]

After taking office they did deliver on one of those two commitments, they pulled together an independent commission. The commission made three recommendations: increase revenues, decrease costs, and grow the economy. This government clearly took the first recommendation seriously after running on a platform that promised a balanced budget without tax increases; this government decided to increase the HST by 2 percentage points. They also increased 1,400 user fees and added a new tax to power bills that cost ratepayers $46 million every year.

This government certainly pursued a serious and painful austerity budget, but their priorities have hurt Nova Scotians and our future. According to the NSTU it cut $65 million from Primary to Grade 12 education, and according to our university presidents it cut $100 million from universities. Attacking funding for education and universities undercuts our ability to create sustained long-term economic growth. It is short-sighted and that's not the kind of leadership Nova Scotia needs.

On the third recommendation of growing the economy, this government has failed miserably. With this Premier, this minister, and this government, we have had the worst economic growth of any province in Canada. The only excuse offered by the NDP is to say that the global economy is struggling. Well, every province in Canada is struggling (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park has the floor.

MS. WHALEN « » : Every province in Canada is struggling under the same global forces, but the NDP Government has had the absolute worst record at dealing with them; that is not leadership. While this government says they have improved the productivity of 300 companies, helped Nova Scotians learn new skills and helped Nova Scotian companies compete globally, these efforts have yet to bear fruit. We have more people unemployed now than during the recession. Retail sales are struggling and our exports our lagging.

What this government has done is wholeheartedly embrace a corporate welfare-driven, economic development strategy that saw $590 million go to six companies and then the NDP watched while these very companies laid off more than 1,300 Nova Scotians. That, Mr. Speaker, is not leadership. This government has implemented a patchwork of reforms that did return money to some Nova Scotians but their tax credits pale in comparison to the $360 million tax increase, through the increased HST that this government imposed on the people of Nova Scotia.

This minster may want to suggest that our province is turning a corner but that is because there is nothing to show today for any of the efforts that the NDP say they have done. They promised jobs that will come tomorrow but tens of thousands of Nova Scotians are unemployed today. They say the economy will turn around soon, but they have had three years of the worst economic growth in Canada to show for their efforts. They say that IBM and PROJEX will create jobs but like all of their big deals with big business they won't show any job guarantees and they won't show us the details of the agreements, Mr. Speaker, which we have been asking for in every question period from the start of the session. Where is the transparency and openness promised by the NDP? That's not leadership.

[Page 4875]

This government has been a government of talking points and empty slogans, while the government members have been left wondering why they are not able to turn the economy around or make good on their promises of change and the expectation that their supporters had of an NDP Government. The reason this government has failed is because they have sided with big business, instead of standing up for Nova Scotians. This government has failed because they've cut cheques to international corporations, instead of investing in our students and education. This government has failed because it has cut social programs, while it has been pushing money through their slush funds on politically driven project.

Mr. Speaker, the Industrial Expansion Fund was renamed and increased multiple times from what it was before. It is the largest politically-driven slush fund that we have ever had in the Province of Nova Scotia. This government has put Nova Scotians information at risk and they have, at the same time, sold out public sector jobs. Who would have thought that? Who would ever have thought they would sell those jobs out? They would have brought fire and brimstone down on the heads of any government that would have made that move in the past, absolutely.

Less for education, government outsources of jobs and more money to massive corporations, this government has lost its way and this government has sold out on its principals. This government is fond of making over-hyped promised, but it has had three and a half years of history now of not being able to deliver on those promises. Nova Scotians know now that they did not get a better deal in 2009 and they are tired of this government's empty promises. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I heard the minister talk about the fact that we have gone through the worst global recession in living memory and there is no question about that, but this has been a time when we have needed leadership in government and we've had none. The government complains that they don't have as much in offshore royalty revenues as they used to have but isn't it the responsibility of the government to be mature and to make decisions? Nova Scotia businesses have to make those decisions, they can't run deficits, but instead this government has chosen to run deficits.

[Page 4876]

I think that when I hear them talk about the previous governments that have allowed debt to grow, we need to introduce some facts here. When I think about the balanced budgets - eight balanced budgets according to the Auditor General - that were introduced in this legislature by the previous Progressive Conservative Government, let's take a look at some of those balanced budgets and take a look at how those members voted. Mr. Speaker, in 2002 these members voted against a balanced budget. In 2003 these members voted against a balanced budget and also in 2008. So I think what we need to take away from this is that these members can tell you today that they care about fiscal responsibility but their actions prove that they don't.

Mr. Speaker, there's something else that has come up recently and that's upcoming economic activity associated with British Petroleum and Shell on our offshore. I must say that that was an investment made by this previous Progressive Conservative caucus here, an investment that this government railed against. Now they may be reaping the benefits of it today but that needs to be put on the record. That's true; we only need to consult Hansard to see that.

I also want to talk about one of the things where this government has failed and that's on the FTE count, the number of people working inside the civil service. Now, Mr. Speaker, this government has made no progress on that commitment. You'll remember that they promised to reduce the number of FTEs by1,000 but they don't care about balancing the budget any more today than when voted against the Progressive Conservative balanced budgets that were put forth in 2002, 2003 and 2008 - they don't. According to a statement, this was an easy decision this government could have made - according to a statement made by a representative of the Public Service Commission, at Public Accounts Committee on March 23, 2011. It was said that 600 civil servants leave government every year voluntarily, of their own accord. This was an opportunity that the government could have achieved this commitment easily, without impacting anyone.

The question in my mind, Mr. Speaker, is how can this government justify taking more money out of the pockets of Nova Scotians through higher HST when they could have saved upwards of $100 million a year by keeping that commitment?

Mr. Speaker, we're getting closer to an election every day and the closer we get, the further away this government is from a balanced budget. They railed against decisions to balance budgets while in Opposition and now we see them running deficits while they are in government. No surprise.

Mr. Speaker, we look at the increase in the HST, they're bringing in between $300 million and $400 million more per year with the HST increase. They are also deficit spending to the tune of over $200 million a year. That is a significant amount more that is being spent in this province.

[Page 4877]

Are Nova Scotians any better off? I would submit to you, Mr. Speaker, they are not. Let's look at a couple of groups: I think of young people, right now a very sobering statistic, there are 10 people searching for every job available in this province. Compare that to the national average of five people searching for every job across the country.

What about our seniors? The wait list for long-term care for nursing homes right now is over 2,200 seniors in this province waiting to get into nursing homes. That is an issue that has not been addressed.

Power rates, we had an emergency debate yesterday on power rates and we hear the Premier extolling Muskrat Falls, which we know is probably three times the price of natural gas, minimum. Is that a good deal for Nova Scotians? Is that a better deal for Nova Scotians, that they were promised in the election. We know that they failed to keep their promise on balanced budgets, and increasing the HST.

Mr. Speaker, we also have to look at the handouts to business. Wouldn't we all enjoy being able to take out a mortgage where we didn't have to pay the money back to the bank, we just had to pay the interest? Well that's exactly the terms that Irving has borrowed money under in this province. Is that fair to the other small businesses that are paying taxes in this province? It's their taxes that are going to Irving. I've said it before, and I've said it again today.

We also have to look at Michelin, another company in the province. Michelin suggested that this government should tear up its first contract arbitration - actually we suggested that but Michelin was not in favour of this legislation. It's affecting their ability to draw more investment from that international company into our province. (Interruptions) They've said that, Mr. Speaker. The members opposite say that's not true. Michelin has said that, they've said it publicly.

Mr. Speaker, this minister feels we are turning a corner on our economy here in this province. I would say that Nova Scotians are turning a corner on this government. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect on an introduction.

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS « » : Mr. Speaker, in your gallery today we have a colleague of ours from the past with whom we shared the benches on the opposite side for a number of years - probably the reason both you and I are a little tone-deaf and probably have problems hearing. It's a great honour that I have the opportunity to introduce our colleague, who will always be remembered as the MLA for Dartmouth North, the honourable Jerry Pye. (Standing Ovation)

[Page 4878]

MR. SPEAKER « » : We welcome all our guests to the gallery, and hope he enjoys this afternoon's proceedings.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Deputy Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 2559

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

Whereas on December 15, 2011, this House passed Resolution No. 3211, establishing a Special Committee to Review the Estimates of the Auditor General; and

Whereas the Elections Act provides that the Chief Electoral Officer shall present annually to a committee of the House of Assembly designated for that purpose by this House estimates of the sums of money that will be required by the Chief Electoral Officer to conduct the activities required under the Act and any other enactment or authority, together with any estimated recoveries;

Therefore be it resolved that the special committee is renamed as the Special Committee to Review the Estimates of the Auditor General and the Chief Electoral Officer and that that committee is designated as the committee required pursuant to Section 19 of the Elections Act.

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 Immigration.

HON. MARILYN MORE « » : Mr. Speaker, I request permission to make an introduction.

[Page 4879]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Certainly.

MS. MORE « » : In the east gallery, I am very pleased to introduce a very valued member of the Minister's Immigration Advisory Council, and that is Wadih Fares. I ask Wadih to stand, also with his wife Cathy and their son Maurice, and I ask my colleagues to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

The honourable Minister of Immigration.

RESOLUTION NO. 2560

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

Whereas Wadih Fares, who exemplifies entrepreneurial spirit and community service, was recently honoured as one of Canada' most fascinating community leaders; and

Whereas after escaping a civil war in Lebanon as a teenager with almost no money, Mr. Fares immigrated to Halifax and studied engineering, and later went on to found his own company, WM Fares, and has made his mark with more than 600 development projects throughout the Maritime Provinces, Ontario, and Alberta; and

Whereas along with a successful business and helping to boost our economy, Mr. Fares has an impressive record of community service, including past chair of Pier 21, Honorary Consul of Lebanon, and an active member of the Immigration Advisory Council;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House acknowledge and recognize Wadih Fares' contribution to Nova Scotia as an entrepreneur, community leader, and committed volunteer, as well as congratulate him for receiving the Order of Canada.

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 4880]

The motion is carried. (Standing Ovation)

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2561

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 province is continuing to work on improving the lives of persons with disabilities by working toward a more person-centred home and community-based model; and

Whereas persons with disabilities, their families, and community partners in Nova Scotia will soon have the opportunity to talk about how government can promote greater independence for people living with disabilities; and

Whereas Community Services will be working with the Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion in Society on developing a stronger system of community-based supports and government programs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House wish renowned expert Michael Bach every success as he facilitates discussions with the disabilities community to help the department best deliver improvements to programs and services.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, am I permitted to do an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MR. WILSON « » : I would like to draw the attention of all members to the east gallery. Joining us today are representatives from the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia - Michele Brennan, Julie Gregg, and Dennis Holland. I would ask all members to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

[Page 4881]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2562

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

Whereas the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia received national awards in 2007 and 2009 for its commitment to excellence and workplace health; and

Whereas the Canada Awards for Excellence recognized outstanding organizations that serve as role models of excellence in leadership and governance, strategy and planning, customer experience and employment engagement, thus making a tangible contribution not only to their own organizations, but to Canada as a whole; and

Whereas the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia has recently received the Canada Order of Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition, for its work in the areas of innovation and wellness;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia on their Canada Order of Excellence Award for their innovation and wellness, and commend their dedication to providing all Nova Scotians with better care sooner.

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 Natural Resources.

HON. CHARLIE PARKER « » : Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I might be permitted to do an introduction before I read this resolution.

[Page 4882]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MR. PARKER « » : I'm pleased this afternoon to introduce to you, in the east gallery, an important member of our communications team in the Department of Natural Resources, also a local author of note and, of course, I'm speaking about Bruce Nunn. Maybe this is a surprise to Bruce, but Bruce, I'm going to ask you to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 2563

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

Whereas Bruce Nunn is a storyteller whose work captivates readers both young and old alike; and

Whereas Bruce Nunn is known by many as Mr. Nova Scotia Know-It-All; and

Whereas Bruce's newest book is a taste of Nova Scotia retelling of The Twelve Days of Christmas, is beautifully illustrated by Annapolis Valley artist Doretta Groenendyk;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Bruce Nunn on the publishing of his newest book, A Bluenose Twelve Days of Christmas.

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 the Voluntary Sector.

HON. MARILYN MORE « » : Mr. Speaker, I ask permission to make an introduction.

[Page 4883]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MS. MORE « » : In the east gallery we are joined today, to hear the resolution that will follow, by Darrel Pink, executive director of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society and his wife, Elizabeth. I ask them to stand and receive a warm welcome from the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of the Voluntary Sector.

RESOLUTION NO. 2564

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

Whereas today, December 5th, is International Volunteer Day, a day established by the United Nations to take time to reflect on the valuable contributions made by volunteer organizations and volunteers; and

Whereas here in Nova Scotia we continue to have a strong tradition of volunteering, with more than 450,000 Nova Scotians selflessly giving their time to an endless list of organizations and activities in their communities, including schools, community programs, and minor sports; and

Whereas Darrel Pink, an active volunteer for many years in organizations including the Children's Aid Society of Halifax, the Halifax United Way, Leadership Halifax and Volunteer Canada, received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal that recognizes Canadians from all walks of life who have made a significant contribution to Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House acknowledge and recognize the important contribution that Nova Scotia's volunteers make to their community, and congratulate Darrel Pink who today received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

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 4884]

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

RESOLUTION NO. 2565

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

Whereas the mission of Excellence Canada is to help improve organizational performance and to recognize excellence within Canadian companies and non-profits; and

Whereas the Canada Awards for Excellence recognize outstanding organizations that serve as role models of excellence in leadership and governance, strategy and planning, customer experience and employee engagement, thus making a tangible contribution not only to their own organizations but to Canada as a whole; and

Whereas Seaview Manor Corporation of Glace Bay has received the Order of Excellence, the highest level of recognition for creating and maintaining a healthy workplace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Seaview Manor Corporation of Glace Bay on receiving the Order of Excellence Healthy Workplace Award.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 160 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 39 of the Acts of 2008. The Halifax Regional Municipality Charter. (Hon. John MacDonell)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

[Page 4885]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2566

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

Whereas there are 210,000 Nova Scotians living with arthritis; and

Whereas of those 210,000 Nova Scotians, 30,000 live with inflammatory arthritis, a serious autoimmune disease that can cause severe joint pain and deformity, impair one's mobility, and lead to a series of serious co-morbidities such as heart disease and lymphoma, among many others; and

Whereas the treatment of this serious chronic disease can range from $12,000 to $50,000 per patient per year because of the expensive biologic medications;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House support the Arthritis Society's goal of having inflammatory arthritis designated as a chronic disease in Nova Scotia.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 2567

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

Whereas the patriarch of a Damascus-based Eastern Orthodox Church, Ignatius Hazim, died at the age of 92 in a Beirut hospital today; and

Whereas Hazim was one of the founders of the Orthodox Youth Movement in 1942, appointed as bishop in 1961, and was elected as patriarch of the Antioch and all the East of the Orthodox Church in 1979; and

[Page 4886]

Whereas his international faith community is in mourning today as they grieve the loss of their patriarch;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Ignatius Hazim's remarkable contribution to his religious community and remember a life dedicated to faith.

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 Labour and Advanced Education.

HON. MARILYN MORE « » : Mr. Speaker, might I be permitted an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MS. MORE « » : In the east gallery we have today members of the Freedom Achievers which is part of the Cumberland Adult Network for Upgrading program. I'd like to introduce Mike St. Onge who is the coordinator, if he could stand; Julian Merlin, the instructor; and all the students. I ask everyone to give them a very warm welcome. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2568

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

Whereas an effort to strive further, grow more self-sufficient, and become a better individual can enhance our lives and the lives of those around us; and

Whereas the CAN-U Gap program in Amherst provides a comfortable learning environment that accepts individuals between the ages of 19 and 54 who want to improve their self-assessment and skill development skills, their essential skills and foundational learning using the Adult Learning Program curriculum, as well as improve their skills to meet the requirements of the workforce through a supported work placement; and

[Page 4887]

Whereas 64 per cent of those who complete the eight-month CAN-U Gap program continue to be employed with the same employer with whom they completed their six-week occupational orientations;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly join me in saying congratulations to the CAN-U Gap organizers, teachers, and students for a job well done and may their efforts continue to provide success in the future.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2569

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, the other day in Resolution No. 2405, the House unanimously voted to release the Hansard transcripts of the Select Committee on Establishing an Electoral Boundaries Commission. After discussing it with all Parties and with the Clerk, it has been suggested that the House should probably redact the names and personal information of the people that were discussed.

Therefore I am asking unanimous consent of the House to add the following words to the end of Resolution No. 2405: "and that the clerk of the Select Committee be instructed to redact the names and other personal information of individuals discussed by the Committee."

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4888]

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.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, may I do a quick introduction as well?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Thank you very much. Joining us in the gallery opposite is a friend of ours and, of course, one of the employees of the Arthritis Alliance of Canada, or the Arthritis Society of Nova Scotia, Nick Langley. So I just want him to receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 2570

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 30,000 Nova Scotians live with inflammatory arthritis, which is approximately the same number of people who live in the former city of Sydney, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas a 2011 report by the Arthritis Alliance of Canada stated that 4.6 million Canadians live with arthritis at an annual cost to Canadian society of $33 billion; and

Whereas Nova Scotia has the highest per capita rates of arthritis in Canada and the direct costs of arthritis to our health care system is roughly $500 million on an annual basis, which is approximately 13 per cent of the total budget of the Department of Health and Wellness;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly support the early intervention of inflammatory arthritis by having inflammatory arthritis designated as a chronic disease in Nova Scotia, which can reduce the cost of arthritis to our health care system.

[Page 4889]

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2571

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 when we think of Christmas oftentimes one of the first things that come to mind is the beautifully decorated Christmas tree; and

Whereas Jim and Robert Mitchell of R&D Tree Farms have been growing Christmas trees on their lot in Sherwood Forest, Lunenburg County, for 20-plus years and have also been part of the Lunenburg Christmas Tree Producers Association; and

Whereas this year the Mitchells have generously donated a 15-foot balsam fir tree to Province House to be proudly displayed in the Red Room for all members of this House and guests to admire and appreciate;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Jim and Robert Mitchell for taking part in the long-standing tradition of donating a Christmas tree to the Legislature, and wish the Mitchells and their family much health and happiness during the coming Christmas season and the new year.

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 4890]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 2572

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

Whereas community beautification exhibits justifiable pride residents have for their community; and

Whereas Christmas wreaths are decorating 80 sites through Elmsdale; and

Whereas the volunteer group Elmsdale Beautification Society is responsible for the hanging of wreaths in Elmsdale;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the volunteers with Elmsdale Beautification Society on both their proactive community and holiday spirit.

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 Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 2573

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

Whereas Cotter's Ocean Products Inc. was the recipient of the Export Achievement Award at the Eastern Shelburne County Business Excellence Awards on October 18, 2012; and

[Page 4891]

Whereas Cotter's Ocean Products, which was established 13 years ago by Michael Cotter in the scenic seaside Town of Lockeport, exports live and frozen lobster products to countries around the world including Australia, China, Japan, England, Thailand, Sweden and the United States; and

Whereas Cotter's Ocean Products is a significant contributor to the local economy, employing as many as 30 people during peak times, and is also a community-minded business often lending its support to non-profit organizations;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Cotter's Ocean Products Inc. for receiving the Export Achievement Award at the Eastern Shelburne County Business Excellence Awards on October 18, 2012.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 2574

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

Whereas 4-H is the largest and longest running rural youth organization in Canada; and

Whereas the 2012 Annual Pictou County 4-H Celebration and Awards event was held in November and 4-H leaders and youth members were honoured for their work and their accomplishments in 4-H; and

Whereas at this year's 4-H awards event, a Leaders Award was presented to Jeannie Fraser of Watervale, Pictou County, in recognition of her 10 years of dedication and commitment to 4-H;

[Page 4892]

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate and thank Jeannie Fraser for her 10 years of service to 4-H and the youth of 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 Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 2575

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

Whereas Leana Todd, a resident of Truro, appeared at the Law Amendments Committee in Province House on November 14, 2012, and organized a candlelight vigil on Friday, October 19th in Truro in order to bring awareness to the serious issue of bullying and cyberbullying and to share the story of her 15-year-old niece Amanda Todd, who died in British Columbia as a result of constant bullying, abuse and cyberbullying; and

Whereas Leana Todd spearheaded an anti-bullying rally in Truro which drew a crowd of more than 200 people with a variety of speakers, including members of the Nova Scotia Legislature and the Truro members of the province's Anti-Bullying Task Force, who also created the successful Cyber Cop Internet safety program which is currently touring elementary schools across the province; and

Whereas the rally program also featured live music, including an original anti-bullying song called Ghost Before My Time, co-written and performed by 12-year-old musician Aidan Zann-Roland and his aunt, the MLA for Truro-Bible Hill;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature send condolences on the tragic loss of her niece and congratulate Leana Todd for her courage and activism to raise public awareness about the dangers of bullying amongst our youth.

[Page 4893]

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 Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2576

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

Whereas Bill Oakey has been a volunteer in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay for many years, assisting and teaching in Sunday School, as a member of the Chess Club, reading to classes and assisting in libraries at Ocean View and Seaside Elementary Schools; and

Whereas Bill also has developed a fine reputation as the Domino King since the 1980s, increasing his domino topple in size over the years and most recently having up to 30,000 dominos in his topple at the Eastern Passage/Cow Bay Summer Carnival; and

Whereas these famous displays are featured at various schools, nursing homes, malls, summer camps and community newspapers around Nova Scotia, and was most recently featured on CTV's Live at 5;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Bill Oakey for his volunteer efforts in his community of Eastern Passage and for his much anticipated displays that he patiently creates on a regular basis with his domino topples.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4894]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 2577

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

Whereas strange events are once again descending on Liverpool in author Vernon Oickle's latest novel, Four Crows A Boy; and

Whereas on November 29, 2012, the residents of a fictitious version of Liverpool found themselves once again on a journey beyond the realm of possibility with the launch of the fourth novel in the One Crow Sorrow series; and

Whereas this novel is Vernon Oickle's 18th book to be published;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Vernon Oickle on the publication of his 18th book, Four Crows A Boy.

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 Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 2578

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

Whereas Caroline Whidden of Hatchet Lake, a senior at Canada's No. 1 undergraduate university, Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, has been selected as a Rhodes Scholar by Maclean's Magazine, becoming Mount Allison's 51st Rhodes Scholar; and

[Page 4895]

Whereas Caroline Whidden will graduate with a combined Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations and biochemistry; and

Whereas Ms. Whidden is involved in volunteer work and public service, including serving as an executive member of Global Brigades Mount Allison, while also playing varsity soccer;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Caroline Whidden on her Rhodes Scholarship as she pursues her studies toward a Master of Science degree in global health science at Oxford University in England, with plans for a career in medicine.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2579

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

Whereas 210,000 Nova Scotians live with arthritis and our province has the highest per capita rate of the incidence of arthritis amongst the provinces; and

Whereas the impact of arthritis is felt in all Nova Scotian communities and touches the lives of many families; and

Whereas the Arthritis Society represents the 210,000 Nova Scotians living with arthritis and offers support programs in education, advocacy, and research;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly support the efforts of the Arthritis Society to work with the Government of Nova Scotia to engage other medical stakeholders to determine how we can best treat this serious, chronic disease and thus create a population that lives in less pain and can become more productive citizens.

[Page 4896]

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 Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

MR. MAT WHYNOTT « » : Mr. Speaker, with your permission I would like to make an introduction, please.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MR. WHYNOTT « » : Mr. Speaker, in your gallery today we have a young woman from Lower Sackville. Her name is Samantha Byard. She is a first-year PR student at Mount Saint Vincent University, taking an intro class to political science. She is very interested in politics and called me up and asked to come around with me, so I would ask her to stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

RESOLUTION NO. 2580

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

Whereas fiction opens up the reader's mind to a different kind of world, whether it's a vibrant new age, futuristic, or even set in the past; and

Whereas Out of Nowhere is a contemporary young adult novel written by Middle Sackville resident Rebecca Phillips, about 16-year-old Riley Tate, who struggles to understand life and death after her father suffers from a brain aneurysm when she is 11; and

[Page 4897]

Whereas Out of Nowhere was one of the three finalists in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest young adult category and Publishers Weekly called it "a very good example of a contemporary coming-of-age novel, with well-rounded characters and honest emotion.";

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Rebecca Phillips of Middle Sackville on her accomplishment of having her novel Out of Nowhere be one of the three finalists of the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and wish her future success in her blossoming writing 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 Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2581

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

Whereas 21-year-old Canning native Paul Manning, a fourth-year student at Dalhousie University's Agricultural Campus in Truro, has been selected as one of Nova Scotia's two Rhodes Scholars for 2013; and

Whereas Paul has served as president of the Dalhousie Agricultural Students' Association and as an ambassador for Nova Scotia for the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation, as well as participating in numerous volunteer initiatives and competing in soccer, badminton, and cross-country running; and

Whereas Paul Manning has been awarded the $100,000 Rhodes Scholarship for two years study at Oxford University by demonstrating academic excellence, community involvement, and a physically active and well-rounded life;

[Page 4898]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Paul Manning on being named a Rhodes Scholar for 2013 and wish him well in his future studies at Oxford.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

MS. PAM BIRDSALL « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MS. BIRDSALL « » : Mr. Speaker, in your gallery today I'm very proud to introduce my son, Sam Worthington, who spent the last year in England completing his Master of Arts degree. I would ask Sam to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : We welcome all our guests to the gallery and hope that he enjoys this afternoon's proceedings.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 2582

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

Whereas Sam Worthington of Mahone Bay has always demonstrated a love of reading, an interesting turn of phrase, and a unique proclivity for writing; and

Whereas Sam's talent in writing took him to the University of Kings College, graduating with honours in his degree in Journalism and Contemporary Studies, then as a journalist in Halifax, English teacher in South Korea, and teacher at the East Coast School of Languages in Halifax; and

[Page 4899]

Whereas Sam returned to Nova Scotia this past Fall after completing his Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing, with distinction, from the University of Warwick in Coventry, England;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend Sam Worthington of Mahone Bay for following his passion as a writer and congratulate him on receiving his master's degree, and wish him the greatest success in his writing 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 Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2583

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 Taste of Nova Scotia Prestige Awards is a celebration of excellence to honour producers and restaurants that provide exceptional culinary products and experiences; and

Whereas the Trellis Café, located in the lovely community of Hubbards, Nova Scotia, was presented Restaurant of the Year, "Essence of Nova Scotia"; and

Whereas owner Wilma Raaymakers and her team of staff have been serving real food since 1985, year-round, and it's delicious;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Wilma Raaymakers and her staff at the Trellis Café for winning Restaurant of the Year and wish them all the best in the years to come.

[Page 4900]

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. 2584

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

Whereas Sackville High School has their first all-female hockey team; and

Whereas 16 girls signed up for the team when it began in September 2012 with some girls having no previous experience in the sport; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012, at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Sackville High School on their first all-female hockey team, and wish the coaches and 16 players of the Kingfishers a successful first year.

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 4901]

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 2585

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

Whereas the Shelburne Farmers & Artisans Co-op Ltd. was the recipient of the Green Award at the Eastern Shelburne County Business Excellence Awards on October 18, 2012; and

Whereas the Shelburne Farmers & Artisans Co-op Ltd., which is in its fourth year of operation, promotes being green in a number of ways including growing organic, shopping local, and using recyclable packaging; and

Whereas the Shelburne Farmers & Artisans Co-op provides entrepreneurial and economic opportunities for local residents with as many as 35 vendors participating in the market attracting an average of 300 customers per week;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Shelburne Farmers & Artisans Co-op Ltd. for receiving the Green Award of the Eastern Shelburne County Business Excellence Awards on October 18, 2012.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 2586

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

Whereas 4-H is the largest and longest running rural youth organization in Canada; and

[Page 4902]

Whereas the 2012 Annual Pictou County 4-H Celebration and Awards event was held in November, and 4-H leaders and youth members were honoured for their work and accomplishments in 4-H; and

Whereas at this year's 4-H awards event, a Leaders Award was presented to Burns Elliott of River John, Pictou County, in recognition of his 10 years of dedication and commitment to 4-H;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate and thank Burns Elliott for his 10 years of service to 4-H and the youth of 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 Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2587

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

Whereas volunteering is the most fundamental act of citizenship and philanthropy in our society as volunteers enrich our communities with their tremendous commitment and generosity that serves to improve the quality of life for Nova Scotians; and

Whereas Cathy Clarke of Cow Bay epitomizes the definition of "volunteer" and is recognized by many community members; and

Whereas Cathy's volunteer contributions have included operating a daycare facility, transporting disabled residents to and from medical appointments and community events, organizing and promoting events at St. Peters Anglican Church, coordinating and promoting the Cow Bay surfing park and wetland site, and distributing information about many activities within the community;

[Page 4903]

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly thank Cathy Clarke from Cow Bay for her continued volunteer commitments to her community and wish her many more years of success and happiness.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 2588

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

Whereas the Queens Community Health Board is responsible for finding out the needs in the community, presenting those needs to the South Shore Health District and encouraging the South Shore Health District to implement strategies; and

Whereas the Queens Community Health Board currently consists of 13 volunteers, with the common goal of improving the health and wellness of Queens County residents; and

Whereas in May 2012, a new executive was elected from this group of dedicated volunteers;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate board members Chairman Bill Smyth, Vice-Chairman Janina MacNeil, Past Chairman Margo Walsh-Leaman, Treasurer Leslie Miller, Secretary Betsy Hartt, Sheldon Brannen, Peter Davies, Rick Gilbert, Dawn Payzant, Kaitlin Scott, Shirley Shot, Carole Stemkowski, and Brandon Whynot for their dedication to the health and wellness of Queens County residents.

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

[Page 4904]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2589

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

Whereas the Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada, while also serving to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians; and

Whereas medal recipients are recognized for their service and dedication to our community and our country in their respective fields; and

Whereas Lee Nauss was presented with the Diamond Jubilee Medal at a ceremony in Halifax for his long-time service as a municipal councillor, being first elected in 1967 and serving constituents in Lunenburg for 45 years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the contributions of Lee Nauss to his community, his province, and his country, and congratulate him on receiving this prestigious and well-deserved award of the Diamond Jubilee Medal.

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 4905]

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2590

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

Whereas R&B singer/songwriter Laura Roy of Canning is quickly becoming known in Halifax's hip-hop scene as an up-and-coming musical talent who has already performed with numerous other artists and has, according to one source, already "made a big splash in a small amount of time"; and

Whereas Ms. Roy creates a unique sound by combining her own powerful bluesy, soulful vocals with the simple, pure, stripped-down tones of the acoustic guitar; and

Whereas having developed her passion for music at a young age and built her songwriting talent and performing ability over the last number of years, she is now in the process of writing and recording a debut album, scheduled for release in the Spring of 2013;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Laura Roy on adding her name and talents to the long list of creative Nova Scotian artists who define the East Coast Music scene, and wish her continued success on this and other future endeavors.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 2591

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

Whereas the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps No. 39 Neptune, in Lunenburg, was presented with the trophy for the Most Improved Corps in mainland Nova Scotia in the past year by Petty Officer 2 Mike Gordon on November 7, 2012; and

[Page 4906]

Whereas the Corps was chosen out of 20 Corps in the mainland of Nova Scotia after a very busy year that saw an increase in enrolment, an increase in activities and fundraisers, as well as strong staff and heightened responsibilities for senior cadets; and

Whereas the Lunenburg Corps currently has 34 members with enrolment increasing next year under the guidance of Brenda Slauenwhite as the Corps approaches its 70th Anniversary in 2013;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate all members and leaders of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps No. 39 Neptune, of Lunenburg, for being recognized as the Most Improved Crops in mainland Nova Scotia in 2012.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

RESOLUTION NO. 2592

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

Whereas the Sackville Sneaker Shredder road race was held in Sackville on September 23, 2012 and was organized by the Sackville Sports Stadium to raise funds for the Cobequid Health Foundation; and

Whereas 241 participants ran in 3 kilometre, 5 kilometre, or 10 kilometre races starting at the Sackville Sports Stadium and proceeding through the First Lake area; and

Whereas a total of $3,868.42 was raised from this health promotion event to benefit the Cobequid Health Foundation Primary Health Care;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House acknowledge Sackville Sports Stadium on their efforts to organize the successful Sackville Sneaker Shredder race held on September 23, 2012, raising funds for the Cobequid Health Foundation Primary Health Care.

[Page 4907]

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, in the gallery opposite today I would like to introduce a gentleman from Saskatchewan who worked for 37 years with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal in Saskatchewan, who is now the owner of Official Inclusion Consulting Limited, and who is in the province doing some consulting with inclusion in the workplace today, this week. I would like to ask the House to give him a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : The time now is 3:27 p.m. and we will finish at 4:57 p.m., if my math is correct.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

PREM. - PROCUREMENT OUTSOURCING: DETAILS - TABLE

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, it was recently reported that the government has outsourced part of its tendering process to Deloitte. Furthermore the report pointed to a decade-long alliance with IBM, the same company this government has recently outsourced SAP services to. My question to the Premier is, will the Premier table the complete details of the procurement outsourcing and the extent to which this work will be performed by the private sector?

[Page 4908]

HON. DARRELL DEXTER » : Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure that the characterization by the Leader of the Opposition is quite correct, but what I will do is ask the Minister of Finance if she can provide a little more light on this for the Leader of the Opposition.

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I concur with the Premier, I think that the matter is not a matter about outsourcing at all. However, I will look into this matter further for the Leader of the Opposition.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, I take from that they will also table the complete details associated with this. Previously all tenders offered and RFPs were posted on the Government Web site where anyone could examine the full tender. Just yesterday in this House the Premier said, ". . .you have full transparency on this side of the government." The report suggests that Deloitte will work as the gatekeeper and place additional roadblocks before Nova Scotians who are trying to view the full government tenders. At best, the new requirements will cause delays, at worst, these changes could block access. My question to the Premier is, if this government is going to offer full transparency, why is the government placing additional roadblocks between Nova Scotians and government information?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, that's not the case. In fact, as I understand it, I remember seeing an article which I think may be the source of the information that was received by the Leader of the Opposition. There was an article in The Coast which misunderstood the entire idea. The way it works is that there are a number of different pieces of IT work that gets done by a number of different departments and they all tender for them individually, which is a very inefficient system. The government can save more money by having one tendering process, which agreeably could be run by anybody, but I think in this case they may be right that it's being run through Deloitte. This is a matter for them in order to actually be able to process and make sure that the province gets the best prices, as I understand it. Again, the Minister of Finance has already said that she will supply any additional information in that regard, but I think that may be an explanation for the Leader of the Opposition.

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

PREM. - MUSKRAT FALLS STUDY: TERMS OF REFERENCE - TABLE

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday Emera said that they're not waiting for the approval of the URB before going ahead with their $1.5 billion subsea cable, every dollar of which will be paid through our power bills over the life of this project. Today the Premier told the Halifax Chamber of Commerce that he too is doing a study of Muskrat Falls, but that he already believes the study will conclude that Muskrat Falls is the best deal.

[Page 4909]

For both Emera and the Premier of Nova Scotia, clearly the term "independent study" means that we already know what the outcome will be - and by the way, Mr. Speaker, I will table Emera's comments for the benefit of the House.

My question for the Premier is, if his study is independent, why does he know the outcome already? Will he table the terms of reference of that study for all Nova Scotians to see?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all, in the preamble to the question, there was one extreme factual inaccuracy, which is that the project costs will go into the rate base for Nova Scotians. Nothing will go into the rate base of Nova Scotians unless it is approved by the Utility and Review Board, period. That is the important thing for them to know, because the commitment is to the lowest and fairest rates for the people of Nova Scotia. If he was actually at the event where I talked about this, I said that I believe that this will be the case.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I happen to have with me the Premier's own regulations, the Maritime Link Cost Recovery Process Regulations, which say that the URB must approve the Maritime Link project as long as it's consistent with the Premier's own electricity plan - which, obviously, they will be forced to do. The word "must" also appeared in the Newfoundland and Labrador Legislature yesterday, where in Question Period the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador said that the word "must" is used in the Nova Scotia regulations so they must approve the project if it's the lowest-cost project.

That would be comforting, except that these very regulations also say that in our rates can be not only the cost of the Maritime Link but that the URB will make a determination about whether any cost overruns are also charged to Nova Scotia ratepayers. Ratepayers are already going to be asked to pay the $1.2 billion - now $1.5 billion - in costs for the Maritime Link during the life of the project.

Can the Premier assure the House today - based on his own regulations, will he promise Nova Scotians they will not bear the risk of any cost overruns - we're already over $300 million in new costs - and instead, only Emera shareholders would be asked to pay the extra costs?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, we're not over anything. The initial estimate was simply that. It was not a project cost. It was nothing that was submitted to the Utility and Review Board. It was essentially a high-level estimate, and it's exactly why it is that we wouldn't proceed on that basis. It's exactly why you do an in-depth analysis of the project that includes the pricing of all the different component parts of the project, and that includes the engineering that is required.

Just to give you an example, Mr. Speaker, the original estimate would be on the number of miles that it might take for transmission. Now, they would have had somebody actually survey and walk all of those parts of the transmission corridor so that they have a complete understanding of what the cost structure looks like, and that is the responsible thing for us to do.

[Page 4910]

I miss the confusion that the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party has. As he pointed out, they must approve it if it is the lowest-cost option.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier should read his own regulations because the regulations also say that cost is not the only thing that the Utility and Review Board can make its determination on - they can look at many other factors, and so Nova Scotians don't know that they'll get the lowest cost option.

What they do know, Mr. Speaker, is that Emera is going to go ahead with this $1.5 billion, and counting, without having to wait for URB approval. What they do know is that the Premier put in place regulations that dictate to the URB that they must approve the project if it meets his criteria, and what they learned today is that the Premier is doing a study, but he has already determined what the outcome is going to be.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the Premier is when will he do a truly independent review of all the options for Muskrat Falls that he doesn't already have the answer to?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, surely enough having a commitment to a project, seeing a path forward for Nova Scotia not only economically, but strategically in terms of the infrastructure of Atlantic Canada, the strength that will be gained by our economy as a result of having a particular project in place is part of the responsibility to show leadership by people in my office.

I understand there are many things that are going to be very helpful about this project, not the least of which is the fact that it will deliver the lowest and fairest cost to ratepayers, but also because strategically it's important to put us not at the end of the extension cord, as I've been saying for some time, but in the energy loop.

Mr. Speaker, what the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party needs to know is this - that no costs will be borne by the ratepayers unless it is approved by the Utility and Review Board.

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

PREM.: ECON. (N.S.) - STATUS

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, this government told Nova Scotians today that we are starting to turn the corner. It has only taken three and a half years to turn that corner. Instead, we've had the worst economic growth in Canada and there are more Nova Scotians unemployed now than during the recession. (Interruptions)

[Page 4911]

Mr. Speaker, I think I should say that over again - instead, we've had the worst economic growth in Canada and there are more Nova Scotians unemployed now than during the height of the recession. The Premier blames the global economic forces for his failings, but every Premier in Canada faced that same global downturn.

My question to the Premier is, why could other provinces deal with these global economic downturns and the NDP Government of Nova Scotia failed to?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, in fact that's not true, and in fact our GDP growth has moved ahead. In fact, the simple fact of the matter is that the other provinces in Canada weren't left with the same kind of mess that we had to clean up.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, this Premier is fond of saying he is obsessed with jobs. Since he has lost 3,400 full-time jobs and with more than 40,000 unemployed Nova Scotians, I hope he would be haunted by jobs.

Mr. Speaker, what he doesn't seem to get is that there is a difference between being obsessed with jobs and actually creating jobs. This government promised 15,000 jobs since taking office. During this whole session the government has promised more jobs than it actually created.

My question to the Premier is, when will the Premier stop talking about promised jobs and start talking about actual, full-time, real jobs?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, throughout this time the Opposition Parties have been misrepresenting the economy of Nova Scotia, which is actually doing quite well and it is quite optimistic. We have created some 7,600 new jobs.

I want to table for the Leader of the Opposition - this is the Bank of Montreal economic outlook, and what it says, Mr. Speaker, is not only in the last quarter of this year but in 2013, GDP growth in this province, for the first time in decades - will outstrip not only Atlantic Canada but Quebec and in fact, in 2013, we will tie with Ontario for some of the strongest GDP growth in the country.

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

MAR. LINK: BD. APPROVAL - COSTS

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : I'd like to take the bait Mr. Speaker, but I'll go to a new question if you don't mind.

Mr. Speaker, we now know that Emera is planning to move ahead with the construction of the Maritime Link. At the end of the day, if the board doesn't approve the project, Emera shareholders will be forced to pay $60 million to the federal government. So my question to the Premier is, what action will the Premier take to make certain that this is not passed on to ratepayers in the province, if the board does not approve this project?

[Page 4912]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, Emera is not the utility for the province and of course their costs do not get passed on to ratepayers.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Talk about inexperience, Mr. Speaker. Anything that Emera is able to shove through the Utility and Review Board ends up on the rates of Nova Scotia Power. It's little wonder they see him coming every time he walks down the street, when they say just keeping rolling over, another nine per cent increase on our assets.

Either the board approves this deal and we're tied to a steady rate increase for 35 years, or the board doesn't approve the deal and Emera will likely pass the penalties on to ratepayers at the end of the day. So my question to the Premier is, what is the Premier's backup plan, if the board doesn't approve the deal and his silver bullet for renewable energy doesn't come through?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I am flabbergasted that the Leader of the Opposition is so profoundly ill-informed about the manner in which electricity rates in the province are set, that he doesn't even understand the difference between an equity investment by a third party that cannot be passed on to the province. I'm not sure how I can explain that to him.

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

PREM. - VALUE-FOR-MONEY AUDIT:

CORPORATE GIVEAWAYS - SUBMIT

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday, we reminded the Premier of the very first bill that he brought to this House in Opposition, which required that corporate giveaways be audited by the Auditor General. The Premier insisted, in his answer yesterday, that his own record of almost $600 million in corporate giveaways didn't require a value-for-money audit because they were on commercial terms, they were commercial loans. Well, try walking into a bank for a car loan and telling them you have no intention of paying it back and you'll quickly find out the difference between a commercial loan and the actions of the Premier.

My question to the Premier today is a simple one. Will the Premier admit that a loan that doesn't have to be paid back, is not in fact a commercial loan and therefore submit his own expensive decisions to a value-for-money audit?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, if I walked into a bank and told them that I was going ensure that they recovered 10 times the amount of the loan with no risk, they'd take that bet.

[Page 4913]

MR. BAILLIE « » : Yes Mr. Speaker, that's the magical bank because I'm pretty sure that no matter how good they thought that deal was, they would still ask that their money be paid back during the term of the loan. That's why he is the Premier of Nova Scotia and not the President of the Bank of Nova Scotia, because that bank would be in very big trouble today, if he ran it the way that he just spoke of now.

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we talked about how, when in Opposition, the Premier described the Liberal Government - and I know he didn't hear this answer yesterday so I thought I'd just repeat it. I quote from Hansard - he described the Liberals as a ". . . health-care wrecking, truth-twisting, service-smashing, tax-raising, privatizing government." (Applause)

Clearly he was paying close attention to the Liberals when they were in because no one has done better at repeating their behaviour than this Premier and this government. So I will ask the Premier, if he truly believes in the $600 million he has been handing out to large companies, will he now reintroduce his own bill into the Legislature where he can now pass it and submit his own decisions to a value-for-money audit?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I know that the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party himself used to be a banker, even though he spends much of his time attacking them. I can tell you this, when any company receives security that is 10 times in excess - I've seen a lot of commercial transactions like this - that are 10 times what the value of the loan is, they would always prefer to have that security over the repayment of the loan. Always, under every circumstance.

I have great faith in my credit union, and he used to be associated with that, but I have to say at the next credit union meeting I'm going to have to talk to them about their security policies if that's the way they fashioned them when he was there.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, what I can say to the Premier is I hope he does go to that credit union - my credit union, I know he's a member of it - and ask them for a loan and tell them he has great security and see if they still ask him to pay that loan back over time. I can tell you, like every other bank, like every credit union, no matter how great that is, they will still require that loan be paid back on commercial terms. That is the difference between the way credit unions are run and the way the Premier is running the Province of Nova Scotia today.

When talking about his own bill, the Premier said that the people of Nova Scotia will want to know that they have a government that can justify corporate welfare over the welfare of the sick and injured. Today we have high rates of chronic disease in our province, we have 371 seniors waiting in hospitals for a long-term care bed, and we have deteriorating hospitals and schools. So with all of that, to compare the way this Premier spends his money, will he now be true to his own word and submit his own deals to a value-for-money audit?

[Page 4914]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, all of those people who he has just talked about will be much better off when we receive $2.8 billion in additional tax revenue that can then be used to go into health care, support for seniors, support for those who are on Income Assistance, that can go to support vulnerable people in this province. That is the test for any commercial transaction, which is what is the upside? The upside for Nova Scotians is some $2.5 billion over and above the investment that's being made in the yard, not to mention all the jobs and all of the spin-off activities in the economy. That is a good deal for all Nova Scotians.

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

LBR. & ADVANCED EDUC. - BURNERS: OIL/GAS CONVERSION - DETAILS

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. Unlike Canadians in many other jurisdictions, as well as unlike many places elsewhere in North America, if Nova Scotians want to change the burners in their oil boilers from oil to gas, they cannot. In fact, according to the regulations from the department it states:

"Any change made to the burner or control system of a certified appliance (boiler, furnace, hot water heater, etc.) voids it's (sic) certification and makes it illegal for use in this province."

This makes it much more expensive for residential customers in Nova Scotia to switch from oil to natural gas than in almost any other jurisdiction. Will the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, for whom the responsibility of these regulations falls under, explain why this is not allowed in Nova Scotia and whether she plans to change this regulation?

HON. MARILYN MORE « » : Mr. Speaker, I have to say that our technical safety regulations in Nova Scotia are going through a process of both modernization and harmonization. We are attempting to ensure that our best practices are in place to protect the safety of both the people in the trade and the consumers who use those services.

To be frank, I would have to check with my department on the actual status of those regulations but I know that our process is one of considerable consultation with all the stakeholder groups, to the point where sometimes it takes years to advance some of those changes.

We realize that for the safety of the public and to protect the economy, to make sure we have the highest standards possible, we are moving forward with progressive and, as I said, higher standards across Nova Scotia that would meet the national standards as well. I would be pleased to get additional information and to sit down with the member to make sure he has all the details necessary.

[Page 4915]

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister looking into it. I think we can all agree that we want safe regulations, but at the same time, in much more mature gas markets than Nova Scotia, this is done routinely and it's permitted. If any member here or any potential natural gas customer in Nova Scotia lived in Ontario, for example, or many other provinces in Canada, they would simply be able to change the burner, and it is a saving of thousands of dollars.

So Mr. Speaker, will the minister commit to looking at the regulations in other provinces and addressing this as soon as possible so that Nova Scotians who could have access to natural gas have the option to switch if they wish to do so?

MS. MORE « » : Mr. Speaker, I can assure the honourable member that the jurisdictional review has already been done. It's unfortunate that I just don't have the details at my fingertips, but I know there has been considerable discussion and consultation on those issues, and I would be pleased to get an update on where that stands.

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

ERDT: ECON. PLAN - FAILURE ADMIT

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier has nothing to brag about in his State of the Province Address. We've lost 7,400 full-time jobs in our province in three years of this NDP Government. We now have the highest power rates in the country because of the NDP. The NDP raised our taxes to the highest in the country. We have the second-worst economic growth in the country. Wages have stagnated. Rural Nova Scotia is in a recession.

Mr. Speaker, this is not a record to be proud of. So my question to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism is, will the minister admit his economic plan has failed families and businesses and get on with lowering taxes and stopping wasteful spending to create more jobs?

HON. PERCY PARIS » : Mr. Speaker, the short answer is no. This government is very proud of the progress that we've made since coming into government under the most severe global recession that has ever hit, not to mention the deep deficit that we were left by the former government.

MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, many people's standard of living is going in reverse. Charities are in trouble because people and businesses are unable to spare more money. Christmas Daddies donations dropped 40 per cent over the last year, and I'll table that report. The number of food bank users is skyrocketing - jumping 4.7 per cent this year - while Feed Nova Scotia's deficit is three times as high as it was last year.

[Page 4916]

So again, Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, when will he admit his economic plan has failed families and businesses and get on with lowering taxes and stopping spending and create more jobs?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, you know, when we came into government, we could have used the same formula that past governments used. However, if we had, the results and the outcomes would have been the same results and outcomes that they've had for the last 20 years. We are leading Atlantic Canada - 7,600 jobs since we've been in government - and the people of Nova Scotia are thankful that we came in when we did.

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

ERDT: SWSDA CREDITORS - PAYT. ASSURE

MR. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, this NDP Government seems to be willing to grant large corporations anything they desire, yet they leave small businesses out in the cold. Small businesses in southwestern Nova Scotia have been waiting for word from this government on when they will receive compensation they are owed from the fallout of SWSDA. The NDP did use heavy-handed tactics to ensure the Royal Bank was paid their money, but have ignored the small business creditors and the employees of SWSDA who were owed theirs.

Will the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism take action to ensure that the small businesses and the employees receive the money they are owed?

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, we don't owe any money to any small businesses in the Province of Nova Scotia. Simply put, can you imagine the outcome if government went around and paid debts for every business in the Province of Nova Scotia?

MR. CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, this government ensured that Royal Bank, the largest bank in Canada, received the money they were owed from SWSDA but gets up and says stuff like this when it comes to supporting small businesses that are owed money? It's shameful, to say the least.

Since the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism enjoys story time, let me show him how it is supposed to be done. Here's a story: "NDP needs to step up and do right by small businesses", and I'll read some excerpts here, Mr. Speaker « » :

"The NDP government should start paying closer attention to how it treats local companies before it considers how it can attract new business to Nova Scotia."

[Page 4917]

"Frustrated to read about millions of taxpayer dollars given as incentives to big companies from outside the province, McDonald says much less could be spent shoring up existing companies locally by government simply paying its tab."

The story concludes: "For the average Nova Scotian, who struggles to pay the bills each month, it must be difficult to understand why the provincial government is shirking its responsibility to these small businesses."

Mr. Speaker, my final question to the minister is, why does the minister have hundreds of millions of dollars for large corporations but can't pay his debts in the thousands to small business owners and the employees who are owed money because of his decisions?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, what you just heard was inexperience. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I'm not going to keep repeating order. When I say it the first time I would expect that all the members in the Chamber would be quiet, so from now on I will only say it once and that will be the end of it.

The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism has the floor.

MR. PARIS « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I was saying, what we just heard was inexperience speaking. We don't give money away, as the Opposition Party proclaims. What we do is we invest in companies. A good example would be what we've done with PROJEX and with IBM. By the time that agreement expires with PROJEX and with IBM, we will have made profit in the terms of revenue, $13 million. That's how this government does business, we do business so that we will have money for the future to invest in Nova Scotians.

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

ERDT - JOBS: WINDSOR MOVE - STATUS DETAILS

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, this question is for the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. In September the minister of that department came to Windsor and announced that the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism would be moving jobs to Windsor. To date there has been no further word on what the actual plans are for this move. Could the minister tell us today, has the process for making this move actually begun?

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, through you to the member opposite, this is a work in progress. We made the announcement that we would be moving 34 jobs to Windsor, that still is the case. During that time we've done a lot of work with respect to the Tourism Agency, hiring a new CEO. There's a lot of work to be done.

[Page 4918]

The affected employees have to have an opportunity and time to digest what we announced some time ago, that by the end of September 2013 this would take effect and we're still sticking to that schedule.

MR. PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, the minister knows full well the importance of these jobs and what they mean to folks living in rural Nova Scotia, like Windsor, West Hants, Hantsport, who have seen recent job loss, unfortunately. I'm sure he can appreciate the hope that people have when potential for good employment is talked about. Most see this as a potential opportunity, especially if some of all of the current staff with the department are not transferring to the new location. Can the minister confirm today whether this is a straight transfer of jobs from the department's current location or is it actually going to create new jobs?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, as the Premier promised during the election, there was no need for all the jobs to be located in Halifax. Under the guidance of the Premier, this government has moved some jobs into rural Nova Scotia. The question that's being asked by the honourable member is a premature question, the first obligation that we have is to current staff. Current staff have to make some decisions within themselves, with their families about whether or not they're going to move to Windsor and, certainly, at the end of the day vacancies will be filled by appropriate people.

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

EDUC. - AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER: DIAGNOSES - STATS.

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Education. How many children in our schools have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder?

HON. RAMONA JENNEX » : Mr. Speaker, I would not be able to say the exact number of students in our schools that have a diagnosis of autism. We don't have all of our data for this year's enrolments in terms of which students are receiving services. We don't keep a list of certain conditions, but we do have the services that are provided to our students.

MS. CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, recent statistics show that one in 88 children have been diagnosed with ASD and, for Nova Scotia, that's approximately 10,000 Nova Scotians who have that diagnosis. At the Public Accounts Committee meeting this morning, the deputy minister spoke about the services for our students and the number of students in our schools. We know that in 2009, there were 1,400 students with ASD.

[Page 4919]

It has been three years and this minister cannot give us current numbers or numbers for 2010 or numbers for 2011. The parents of autistic children are very disappointed with the current government, disappointed that it is not providing the human resources necessary to help their children through the learning process. My question to the minister is this: When will the minister show some consideration for these students and find out how many we have, and provide funding directly related to the numbers of students suffering?

MS. JENNEX « » : Mr. Speaker, I do have the data on the resources that were provided last year. We do not have the data for this year brought in from the school boards at this time. Last year we had 125,000 students enrolled in our system, 7,105 of those students were on IPPs, so that would be 5.7 per cent of the total student population and that percentage is somewhat the same as it has been since 2007-08. We have 20,000 students receiving direct services from resource teachers.

I can go on with all of the information. The interesting point about providing this data is that a number of students receive different kinds of services in our school system, so we don't have a tabulation on number, but we have the tabulation on the student services that are provided. And I will table this for the members opposite, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Colchester North on a new question.

EDUC.: SPECIALIZED TEACHERS - RATIOS

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, there are a number of specialized teachers who provide supports for students in our classroom and these include resource teachers, school psychologists, behaviour support specialists, and speech language pathologists, to name a few. We know that ratios are used to provide funding for these positions. My question to the minister is will the minister share with this House the ratios that were used for this year to fund these positions?

MS. JENNEX « » : Mr. Speaker, I would just like to say that we did increase our funding this year for students with special needs by $13 million. As the honourable member opposite would know, we did change the formula to make sure that we were providing our specialists, such as speech pathologists and psychologists, at the appropriate level within our schools.

Also, we've done a number of other things over the last few years, which is making sure that we have consultants trained appropriately around autism; we've fully funded the early intervention. Just last week alone, we did send out a guide that had been brought forward with a number of departments on, it's a 250 page guide that's been provided for all schools and anyone in Nova Scotia that would like to see it, it's on our Web site on a guide on how to best support students who have been diagnosed with autism.

[Page 4920]

MS. CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, I would assume that by not giving me the ratios, perhaps the minister doesn't know them. The research report that was recently presented to the minister - in fact it was presented in 2010 - included 31 recommendations for children suffering with autism. One of those stated, and I will table this for the minister: "The staffing ratio for speech-language pathologists should be improved to offer additional staffing to all school boards." That was a recommendation from that group.

In order for students to be placed on IPPs, they need referrals and assessments, school boards are telling us the wait list continue to exist for those assessments and many students are waiting close to a year, for an assessment. My question to the minister is, why is the minister forcing students to wait for assessments, to wait for an IPP and to wait for intervention and support that will help them learn in the classroom?

MS. JENNEX « » : Mr. Speaker, I first would like to make a comment that the students in our schools, our children in Nova Scotia do not suffer with autism. Children in our schools and in our province have autism and they live with it. We have many, many successful people in our adult life who are on the autistic spectrum.

We have been talking to the school boards today and school boards are making sure that our students are receiving the supports and the assessments that they need. Thank you.

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

COM. SERV.: TARGET 100 INIT. - DETAILS

MR. TREVOR ZINCK « » : Mr. Speaker, today my question is for the Minister of Community Services. On February 24, 2010 the Premier and the minister announced a new initiative with the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, a program entitled Target 100. The co-operative council stated at the time that they will have hundreds of vacant positions to be filled and that the Target 100 program would attempt to train and fill those positions through Community Services' recipients. Can the minister tell the House today how many individuals in receipt of income assistance have enjoyed success with the Target 100 initiative?

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Target 100 program is a very good program with the Co-operative Council. I don't have the exact numbers today but I can provide those to the honourable member. I do know that it has been successful, in taking people from income assistance and actually putting them in higher level, paid jobs. The level of the jobs, equal jobs, that are like management positions. It's been very successful in that manner but I will get the numbers for the honourable member. Thank you.

MR. ZINCK « » : Mr. Speaker, December 3, 2012 was celebrated as the 18th International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It was certainly a fitting moment to reflect on the situation of disabled Nova Scotians. Of the many barriers faced by Nova Scotians with disabilities, none is more urgent than the overt job discrimination. Physical barriers, outdated attitudes and failure to provide reasonable accommodations along with disincentives fostered by misguided government programs, figure heavily in the poor outlook for disabled job seekers.

[Page 4921]

With the co-operative council suggesting they will have several vacant positions to be filled and a Target 100 program perhaps coming up short of its goals, would the minister agree that it would make sense to look more aggressively to the members of the disabled community who rely on income assistance, to meet her targets?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Thank you for the question. Certainly we do that. We do not discriminate between the abled or the disabled community, in terms of those who are on Income Assistance and trying to help them seek employment. We provide many different services for those who have a disability. Actually this week I had the opportunity to speak at a symposium that focused on and awarded employers who are hiring people with disabilities. It was a very emotional and rewarding evening to see those companies throughout all Nova Scotia who are actually seeing the significance and importance of hiring somebody with a disability and all the benefits that they receive from hiring those individuals. Thank you.

MR. ZINCK « » : Mr. Speaker, for Nova Scotians with disabilities, over the last 10 years' time has stood still. Millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent yet the most intractable problems of people with disabilities: chronic unemployment, low income, inadequate housing, and isolation, are perpetuated.

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia has a population that consists of 21 per cent of its people considered to be disabled. Can the minister tell the House if her government has considered legislation that would see an Act for Nova Scotians with disability and will we see it during the Spring session?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is correct that in the past, for decades and decades, the former Liberal and the Tory Governments basically ignored people with disabilities. There was very little in terms of strategies or plans but ever since this minister came in, I have been dedicated and advocating for those with a disability.

One of the first things I did as minister was to make sure that L'Arche opened up in Halifax. It was at a standstill because of the Tories. I opened up and had built in Antigonish another L'Arche home just because the Tories announced it three times and at the end, did not give them a cent to do it. Those things took part over and over by those other two Parties. We just announced this week that a world-renowned gentleman named Michael Bach is helping us move people and people with disabilities to having options to live in their communities - the first time in the history of Nova Scotia, the first time in the history of Nova Scotia, a housing strategy that focuses on people with disabilities.

[Page 4922]

So the other side has absolutely no right to ever say anything that they support people with disabilities because the history is the proof. Thank you.

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

COM. SERV. - SMALL OPTIONS HOMES: FUNDING - USAGE

MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, 650 people across this province are waiting to get into community-based small options homes. This government has nearly $60 million of housing money being held as a deferred federal contribution. Why is this minister not using housing monies to provide housing services for our province's most vulnerable?

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, once again it shows that the Liberal Party has inexperience and lack of knowledge because we just went through several years of millions of dollars being invested in upgrading our homes for seniors and for people with disabilities. There are many new places and places that have been renovated for people with disabilities in this province, so certainly we had supported those efforts to make sure that homes are accessible and the housing units that we have in this province are accessible. One again, that shows their lack of knowledge in these areas.

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I think the minister has a little problem with understanding the question I'm actually asking her and perhaps that's her inexperience.

To refresh the minister, four years ago a report in 2008 into residential services, commissioned by the Department of Community Services, identified serious problems with our residential services programs. That was four years ago.

In May 2011, that's a year and a half ago, the Community Homes Action Group appeared before the Community Services Committee and they called on the government to develop an action plan to develop more community-based housing options. What is it going to take for this NDP Government to walk their talk and actually help these individuals and their families?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, do you know, if the honourable member wants to know the walk that we've been taking, we have been taking a journey with people with disabilities because this is the first government that has brought the advocates to the table. We have brought professionals to the table. We have involved Michael Kendrick, who supports community living. We have brought Michael Bach, who is supporting community living. We are the very first government that has committed to moving towards community living in the history of this province and we're doing it through the Housing Strategy, we have staff and we have experts working on a continuum of health and community living plan. We have many, many things where we are walking in the direction towards the future. If it was with that Party, they would be walking backwards.

[Page 4923]

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, since the minister claims to walk her talk, will she commit today to actually spending the federal monies that come to this province for housing, on housing?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, we have done that. We have invested over and over again, in terms of housing in this province, and the other thing that we are doing, is we are working with the communities and the people with disabilities. I know what the honourable member is talking about, I was at that rally because I was rallying for them. I'm as angry as they are, with the fact that those two Parties over there never, never, never committed to anything for people with disabilities. (Interruptions)

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

AGRIC.: ANIMAL PROTECTION ACT - CHANGES

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the very calm Minister of Agriculture. In the winter of 2010, a complaint was filed with the Nova Scotia SPCA, regarding a dog that was permanently chained at a Cape Breton construction site. The Nova Scotia SPCA did investigate but later stated nothing could be done under the Animal Protection Act. A few days after the Nova Scotia SPCA's visit, the dog was found frozen to death at the end of its chain. I will table the story for the minister's ease of reference. Could the minister please outline what he has done to close the gaps in the Animal Protection Act so authorities can adequately and humanely address complaints, like the one that occurred in Cape Breton two years ago?

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, for the information of the member and for all members, the changes in the Act have been significant. As a matter of fact, the member may be aware that the investigative powers of the SPCA have been strengthened and actually the Department of Agriculture had taken over investigations regarding livestock and companion animals that stayed with the SPCA. So the questions for action really are around identification of distress in the animal and that's really all that the SPCA needs in order to act.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and that's exactly where I'm going, Mr. Minister. Earlier today I tabled a petition on behalf of 439 Nova Scotians demanding government's attention around what's happening around animal welfare in this province. There are also 1,538 Nova Scotians who have signed an on-line petition expressing identical concerns. However, due to the antiquated Rules of this House, their voices are silenced.

Mr. Speaker, these Nova Scotians are volunteers from all walks of life who are concerned about the lack of clarity around what constitutes animal distress. Given that the Animal Protection Act enables the minister to make regulations prescribing activities that are deemed to cause animals to be in distress and these regulations don't exist. Could the minister please tell the 2,000 or so Nova Scotians who are concerned about animal welfare when he plans to bring forward specific regulations?

[Page 4924]

MR. MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I want the member to be aware that we have a fairly open dialogue with the SPCA; as a matter of fact I met with them last week. This has not been an issue that has been raised by the SPCA. The issue that the member raises is more around whether tethering, I think, is appropriate or not. The fact that an animal may be tethered does not necessarily mean the animal is in distress as long as other measures are taken care of as far as shelter, food, water and so on, but the actual tethering in and of itself doesn't necessarily indicate distress for the animal, but in some circumstances it may be associated with that.

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

ERDT - GARIAN CONST.: PAYT. - MIN. ASSURE

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, small businesses are struggling in the NDP high tax, high power rates, unfriendly labour laws of Nova Scotia. Unfortunately a company in southwestern Nova Scotia is hurting more than most. After winning a bid a number of years ago on the community centre attached to École secondaire de Par-en-Bas in Tusket, Garian Construction did the work, of course, in good faith. Three years later this company still has not been paid the approximately $400,000 that was owed to it. My question is, when will the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism make good on the deal with Garian Construction?

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : It's really unfortunate that any legitimate company in the Province of Nova Scotia would not be reimbursed for work that they conducted. This government, through SWSDA along with the municipalities, gave money that was supposedly to be used for that purpose. This certainly is an unfortunate situation for that company. When I think back to when we came to government, I have to remind, through you, Mr. Speaker, that the actions of SWSDA were well documented and it was this government, this minister, who came in and addressed it.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, most fair-minded people in our communities believe that companies should be paid for the job that it has completed. We know at this point the municipalities, different organizations have been looking to get together to figure this one out. These are the same municipalities that were forced to pay off the Royal Bank's line of credit and still companies are now going without as they have been waiting for a very, very long time. Will the minister just show some leadership - that's what I'm asking for today - to try to get all the parties to the table and work out this matter as soon as possible for the residents of southwestern Nova Scotia?

[Page 4925]

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, when it comes to leadership I would say that this government showed it when it came in and addressed the issues around SWSDA.

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

IMMIGRATION: DECREASE - EXPLAIN

MS. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Immigration. On October 31, 2012, the federal Minister of Immigration tabled his 2012 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration. According to the report Nova Scotia had 2,138 permanent residents admitted in 2011, which was a decrease of 11 per cent, or 270 people, over the previous year, and it is also the lowest number of permanent residents that we've had admitted since 2005.

Could the Minister of Immigration please tell us why our immigration numbers are getting worse and not better?

HON. MARILYN MORE « » : Mr. Speaker, there was a trend nationally, if not internationally, that during the recession a lot of people who had been nominated and granted landed immigrant status were not taking advantage of those opportunities because of the economic situation internationally. I believe almost every jurisdiction in Canada found that their landings have been a bit lower.

Part of that was also due to the fact that a lot of international students have been accepted through the Canadian Experience, which is part of the federal programs, but also through the provincial Nominee Program. Those students tend to be a single individual, rather than bringing their families with them, so that also had an impact on the number of landings. Those figures do not indicate the number of landed immigrants who moved to Nova Scotia from other jurisdictions in Canada. I would say we're in a very healthy position in Nova Scotia. Thank you.

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I am particularly concerned about the decrease in skilled worker numbers to our province; between 2010 and 2011, that number decreased by 377. We are also aware that at this time the federal government has put on hold any new applicants for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and they are working on a new direction with revised selection criteria which will be launched later in the new year.

My question to the minister is, given that our Federal Skilled Worker numbers decreased by 377 last year - and this is well before the federal changes have come into effect - could the minister please indicate how our province will fare once the new Federal Skilled Worker Program changes, which we expect will be more stringent, come into play?

MS. MORE « » : I have to say that we're very excited in Nova Scotia about the potential changes that the federal government is considering, because we think there is going to be great opportunity there for both our Nova Scotia Nominee Program and our local businesses to increase the number of skilled workers. The jobs are going to be there in the future, and that is going to attract more people through those programs. Also, as I indicated in my earlier answer, it's going to encourage more landed immigrants to move to Nova Scotia from other provinces.

[Page 4926]

A couple of weeks ago I had the good fortune of meeting with the federal minister and my colleagues from across Canada, and I have to say, some very positive things were said about the provincial immigration strategy here in the province. As the Premier announced, we have been allocated 200 extra nominations this year, and certainly that, I would say, is a vote of confidence for what we are doing and how we are handling the situation here in the province.

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

TIR - FIVE-YEAR RD. PLAN: UPDATED LIST - PROVIDE

HON. WAYNE GAUDET « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Two years ago government introduced their five-year road plan to show the public what projects were priorities in the coming years. My question to the minister is, will the minister provide this House with an updated list of which projects have been completed?

HON. MAURICE SMITH » : I thank the member opposite for the question. On a regular basis - and part of the five-year plan is to provide a report each year in the five-year plan of what happened the year before. If he looks back at this year's five-year plan, the one we're just completing, he will see that there is a full report for what had been done the year before. When we publish the plan for the coming year, for the next five-year plan - which will be out, I can tell my friend, much earlier than last year's plan - he will see an update of what we have accomplished to date. In fact, that's the policy. That's what we've been doing, and that's what we'll continue to do. Thank you.

MR. GAUDET « » : Mr. Speaker, while road construction is not possible year-round in Nova Scotia due to weather, the preparation for construction is. In the past, government has been relaxed with respect to making sure road tenders are released early enough for contractors. So again to the minister, will the minister make certain that upcoming tenders for projects and the five-year plan are released in a more timely manner?

MR. SMITH « » : Again, Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for that question because of course it gives me an opportunity to blow our own horn on this issue. Effectively, what I've already done, I would say within the last two weeks, I've started to sign tenders for next year's work. So it's already in progress.

We are going to get them out as quickly as we can. We've heard the industry ask and we've looked at this. Of course, as the member across will know, we are constrained somewhat by budgets and those kinds of things, so I can't issue tenders beyond what I expect my allotment will be but as much as I can, we will be doing that - have started it, have done some already, there'll be more coming. Thank you.

[Page 4927]

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

TIR - TRUNK 4 (C.B.): TENDER - STATUS

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, Trunk 4 from St. Peter's to Sydney is a major route for residents in Richmond County and throughout Cape Breton. I, along with Richmond Municipal Council, have pushed for major upgrades to this road. The work on the Richmond County portion of Trunk 4 started last year with the reconstruction of 6.1 kilometres between Lakeshore Drive West and Campbell's Bridge. The government's 5-Year Highway Improvement Plan calls for tenders for major reconstruction of Trunk 4 in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, when work will reach the Canal Bridge in St. Peter's.

Regrettably, Mr. Speaker, no work has taken place this year, although under the government's five-year plan, projects approved for 2012-13 call for the major reconstruction from 0.2 kilometres west to the Campbell's Bridge westerly to 0.2 kilometres west of McNab's Bridge, for a total of 6.1 kilometres.

Could the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal advise what the status is of the tender for this work and when can we expect the 6.1 kilometre portion of Trunk 4 to be completed?

HON. MAURICE SMITH « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend opposite for the question. Over this summer and particularly recently, I've had a number of opportunities to travel to Sydney. I've used that road and I can report that the work that has been done to date looks to me like it is exemplary work.

Now I remember last session when we were in this House and the member opposite asked a question about that road. He was concerned that perhaps we were working too late in the season for paving. As I believe I explained earlier, a similar question came forward from the member, what we've done is put out estimates on that piece of work. It came back higher than we anticipated so what we had to do was go back and do a redesign on that.

We have done that redesign now and a tender will be going out this Fall for that work that he is talking about, for next year. In the meantime, we will be doing preparatory work, such as ditching and culverting and that kind of thing in advance of the paving next season.

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, if I understand correctly, the minister said the tender is coming out this Fall. Well it is December 5th today so I'm not sure how much time there is left in the Fall.

[Page 4928]

Mr. Speaker, roads remain a major concern in Richmond County. Roads in the communities of Louisdale, Petit-de-Grat, River Bourgeois, Cape Auguet, and Little Harbour are in deplorable and dangerous condition and we hope to see some of these addressed in the 2013 construction and paving season.

While the minister has explained why work did not take place on Trunk 4 during the 2012 construction season, residents of Richmond County are hoping the government will stick to its five-year plan.

My question to the minister is, will he commit that the major construction plan for 2013 on Trunk 4, which is 6.1 kilometres between McNab's Bridge and Soldiers Cove Road, will be called for tender and completed in 2013?

MR. SMITH « » : Again, thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will tell my friend opposite that we intend to get as much work done as we can, each season. If that is on the plan that will be the priority for that area. We will work diligently to get it done.

I think I can say that over the last two years the success rate we've had on the work that we've promised under the five-year plan has been well up into the 90 per cent range. So I don't anticipate that there is going to be any additional reason that that work that he is talking about won't go forward next season. Thank you.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - FED. CCSVI TRIAL: NOVA SCOTIANS - NUMBERS

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. The Health Ministers met in Halifax earlier this Fall and the liberation therapy for MS was a topic of discussion. Nova Scotia has one of the highest incidences of MS in the country. At that meeting, the federal Health Minister announced that about 100 MS patients will be enrolled in a $6 million trial of the CCSVI treatment for MS. My question to the minister is, can the minister tell us and the House how many Nova Scotians are among those 100 patients?

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, no question, Multiple Sclerosis can dramatically change an individual's life and people with this disease want and need a government to react and support them, as we move forward to ensure that we can provide effective treatment for MS. I was very glad to host the ministers from across Canada and the provinces and territories, here in Halifax, where we did talk about the liberation therapy and the treatment and the clinical trials that are upcoming. The Canadian Institute for Health Research is the organization working with the MS Society of Canada that will oversee the clinical trials here in Canada.

[Page 4929]

They started in November in Vancouver, I believe, and either Montreal or Quebec City - I can't remember, but in Quebec - and those organizations that support the clinicians that are doing the research will have patients within those regions take part in those clinical trials. The regions that will have the clinical trials will provide the patients for the trial that will continue over the next couple of years.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, the reason why there are no Nova Scotians involved is because the study is being funded by the federal government, the provinces where the trial will take place and the MS Society of Canada. In April, the former Minister of Health and Wellness said, "We said as a province we certainly will participate in clinical trials when the scientific panel recommends that clinical trials proceed."

In fact, Nova Scotia is not participating, as the former minister promised and I will table those comments. My question to the minister is, why did this government give false hope about our participation in the clinical trials?

MR. WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, out of respect to the member opposite, I know he is very closely tied to this issue and his personal connection to MS. What the minister said at the time was completely correct: all jurisdictions across Canada have agreed to support national clinical trials of the liberation treatment, in Canada. We have agreed and the process that is in place to choose where these clinical trials are was done independently and the Province of Nova Scotia, we don't know and as minister and as government, don't know who applied to gain access to those clinical trials. It's part of the assessment, as the trials fold out across the country.

As the government, we don't know if there were clinicians here in Nova Scotia that actually applied to have the trials done here. There's an independent evaluation process that selects the areas across the country that were successful in providing the opportunity to deliver the trials in B.C. and in Quebec, currently.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - BRAIN INJURY SURVIVORS:

HOME SUPPORT - DETAILS

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, three years ago last month, the Brain Injury Association made a presentation before our Community Services committee. During the presentation, they pointed out that while we have an excellent acute care system, which provides exceptional care at the time of incident and during rehabilitation, the system of supports for patients and their families, once families return home, is lacking. According to a CBC News story dated September 22, 2012, three years later with a headline which read, "Long-term brain injury care lacking, say advocates", and I will table that.

[Page 4930]

It would appear not much has changed. Could the Minister of Health and Wellness please outline what this government has done to ensure brain injury survivors and their families have more supports available once the patient returns home?

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, that's why as coming into government we recognized the importance of providing home support, and providing shelter for individuals. We've continued over the last number of years to work with partners throughout the province to ensure that people have access to the kind of care they need. That's why currently we invested this year an additional $22 million for home care support which touches a wide variety of illness. Most of the users within the home care system are elderly but, of course, those individuals in Nova Scotia who have received a brain injury can gain access to those programs that we offer throughout Nova Scotia.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, this is relating to the Continuing Care Strategy. The strategy did state that starting in year four government would respond to acquired brain injury needs - we are now in year seven. Given that very little has happened since the Brain Injury Association appeared before the Community Services Committee three years ago, given the CBC coverage which featured families and advocates still calling for action - and I will table those articles - could the minister please provide some indication as to when the needs of brain injured survivors and their families will start to be addressed?

MR. WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier in my first answer, we're working with partners and as the Minister of Health and Wellness, and the Department of Health and Wellness, one of our partners is the Department of Community Services. We have worked together over the last number of years to try to break down the silos that have been built within the government system. For many, many years the departments worked on their own in these silos and that's something that we knew we had to change over the last number of years. So I'm working with the minister and the Department of Community Services. They support BIANS annually with investments - I know this year it was over $25,000, for educational programs through Web sites.

The goal for that, Mr. Speaker, is to ensure that Nova Scotians understand the brain injury and understand options that are out there. That's why part of the $22 million additional investment for home care support, which brings up I think the total budget for this year close to $200 million, part of that $22 million this year is to ensure that organizations that provide home care services, that provide services for Nova Scotians, know what services that are there. There's a wide range of a suite of services that are available and often people aren't aware of some of those. So that's part of the investment we're making this year, to make sure people know about the programs that are available to Nova Scotians.

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

[Page 4931]

HEALTH & WELLNESS - C.B. RECOVERY HOUSE:

REPLACEMENT - TIME FRAME

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health and Wellness has said that the request for a proposal submitted by Talbot House would be evaluated before the end of the year. Now, we all know that Talbot House was the low bidder to operate a recovery house and that for more than 50 years has provided effective care to men suffering from addictions. It was the philosophy of Talbot House that the government has been at odds with, but without the facility Cape Breton will once again have no recovery house.

So my question through you to the minister: When can Cape Bretoners expect to once again have a recovery house in their area?

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I know it's not a laughing matter, but often the comments are soon, very soon. But we recognize addiction services in Cape Breton are extremely important. That's why we've seen the change in the model of care that is being delivered by the Cape Breton District Health Authority to address addiction services there, and I can tell the member that the evaluation is going on now. I can say that, hopefully, I'll make an announcement really soon in the new year - within a few weeks after the new year has started.

MR. BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, this government sent Talbot House into a tailspin with unsubstantiated smear campaigns that closed the only recovery house in Cape Breton. Government has not yet revealed whether or not it will require Talbot House to go against their established treatment philosophy and provide methadone. It will be a sad day if the government held the use of methadone above the need for a recovery house that has had more than 50 years of proven results.

Mr. Speaker, my question through you to the minister is, will the minister require Talbot House to use methadone or will he allow them to stick to their tried-and-true treatment philosophy?

MR. WILSON « » : I know I was asked this, and answered, I think, quite well earlier in the session on addiction services and the support that the recovery houses provide Nova Scotians. We are, no question, moving and changing the model of care of addiction services within Nova Scotia to best meet the needs of Nova Scotians who have addictions. When we, the Department of Health and Wellness, took over recovery houses, I indicated at the time that it's business as usual.

I appreciate that there are different methods, supports, and services that can support someone with addictions, so I have no intention, right now, to say that any recovery houses have to change the model that they have been providing services for Nova Scotians. I appreciate the support that many different organizations have given to Nova Scotians when it comes to addiction services here in Nova Scotia.

[Page 4932]

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: ST. ANNE COMMUN. & NURSING CARE CTR.

- MIN. IMPRESSIONS

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, St. Anne Community and Nursing Care Centre in Arichat is a remarkable example of the successful operation and organizational effectiveness of a long-term care facility co-located with primary and emergency services sharing administration and support services. St. Anne's currently has 24 long-term care beds and five Veterans Affairs Canada beds. Long-term care beds are in shared rooms, and residents waiting for placement at St. Anne's face a one- to two-year wait.

I'm pleased that the former Minister of Health and Wellness visited St. Anne's and the current minister did so this Fall. My question is, will the Minister of Health and Wellness advise what his impressions were of St. Anne Community and Nursing Care Centre?

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Très bien. The individuals, the men and women, who support St. Anne's do a remarkable job. It's amazing, and I was fortunate to have an opportunity to tour their facility. I understand and recognize the passion they have to providing services to residents who live in that area of the province.

I know some concern is around replacement of that facility. We have their proposal. We know that there is some concern around the federal government and their commitment to continuing to fund Veterans Affairs beds within our long-term care facility. That uncertainty definitely has put some reflection within our department because of realizing these long-term care beds are placed within the current structure that we support. I can tell the member that I appreciate the services they provide there. It's an important service that needs to be maintained in that part of Nova Scotia and in the communities that they serve.

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, the board and building committee of St. Anne Community and Nursing Care Centre have put together a feasibility study program plan and a master plan. The document explores the options of renovating the outdated existing facilities or, more importantly, building a new one. Using population and age projections, the plan calls for an increase in long-term care beds to 36 from the current 24, along with a new Collaborative Emergency Centre with associated diagnostic and treatment services.

As my colleagues here in the House would know, local physicians have worked very hard to keep the emergency room at St. Anne's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and I'm happy to report that the update provided by the Minister of Health and Wellness last week shows that St. Anne's was not closed one hour during the last calendar year.

[Page 4933]

So my question is, can the Minister of Health and Wellness advise what is the status of the proposal to build a new facility and increase beds to replace the existing St. Anne Community and Nursing Care Centre?

MR. WILSON « » : The member opposite is quite right. They do a remarkable job providing access to the emergency department at St. Anne's and do the remarkable job that they provide services to those who call St. Anne's home.

We are currently trying to review and see where we need to go in the next few years when it comes to long-term care beds, but most importantly, also replacing and building new long-term care beds, moving that forward with supporting home care is extremely important. It's something that the former government, I think, lacked vision in ensuring that both of those services move forward in our province, to provide services. I know when I talked to Nova Scotians that they want to have options, they want to have choices. Their first choice is to remain home, as long as they can; their last resort should be a long-term care facility. We know, in the future, we'll need to continue to support them, we need to continue to replace ageing facilities and we will be reviewing the request from St. Anne's, as we go through this process.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY - CONSTRUCT

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, tonight we talked about St. Anne's and we talked about long-term care in this one. The wait list for long-term care is the highest it has been, ever, in Nova Scotia. It is growing because the government has taken zero action to address the needs of seniors who can no longer live in their own home. This is throwing home care at something that actually makes their situations unsafe. The waitlist grew to 2,228 seniors in September. That is more than 2,000 families, who have been assessed by the Department of Health and Wellness, as needing more than homecare.

My question to the minister is, will the minister stop looking at these 2,228 families as statistics and finally declare the construction of his government's first long-term care bed facility?

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is completely wrong with what he says here in this House. I know for a fact when they were in government, there was no nursing home in my riding. When we were in government, there is a nursing home in my riding. We are working throughout Nova Scotia to continue to ensure that Nova Scotians have opportunities and access to long-term care facilities.

The reason we're in the predicament we are in now, is because they waited far too long before they started to recognize the importance of long-term care in Nova Scotia. So I'll give them a little ounce, a wee bit of credit, that they started the process. But I can tell you when we came into government here in Nova Scotia, we're improving the services that Nova Scotians have when it comes to long-term care, we're ensuring they have options. The first choice that Nova Scotians should have, when they find themselves unable to take care of themselves in their own homes, is to have the option to go in a home first and we're going to work hard to ensure that they have that option.

[Page 4934]

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, in September, 371 people were forced to wait in hospitals for a long-term care bed: that is bottle-necking our hospitals. In May of 2008, I remember the NDP putting out this ad and I can't show it because it will be claimed as a prop, but it's called Stop the Waiting and it was about that very issue of, apparently, a long-term care facility not being built, at least near the member's constituency, which, as a matter of fact, the footings were in, things were cleared and the construction was going on, that's how much he was paying attention to the community that he represents.

The funny thing is that the NDP has not done its research and the nursing home this ad refers to, is already well under construction, like I said. What's not funny is that there are 920 more people on the wait list now, than there was when this ad was put out. I will table the statistics and the funny ad. My question for the minister is, 2,228 families can't afford to wait, so will the minister stop the waiting and finally construct more long-term care beds?

MR. WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm glad my colleagues are paying attention because I know the Minister of Aquaculture and Fisheries whispered in my ear about Bay Side Home. That was announced four or five - who knows how many times by the former government, but who built it? It was the NDP Government who built that, it was the NDP Government who opened that home. It was the NDP Government who opened the home in Sackville, and it was the NDP Government who opened the homes across Nova Scotia. The former government waited far too long to get this process started and as we see, they were just focused on one thing. They weren't recognizing that we needed to provide services - not only long-term care services, but we needed to ensure that they have home care and access to home care, something they ignored for far too long.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - NURSING HOMES: NURSES - REDUCTIONS

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, as we all know, it's the responsibility of government to cover the health care costs of long-term care. As a result, the Minister of Health and Wellness is responsible for ensuring that each and every nursing home in this province receives adequate funding to ensure there are sufficient nurses to provide quality care for our most vulnerable seniors.

My question to the minister is, have there been recent policy changes within the department which will ultimately see a reduction in the number of nurses providing care in nursing homes?

[Page 4935]

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, we have a lot of men and women who are working within long-term care facilities across this province. They provide an essential service to the men and women who call long-term care facilities their home. We are working with our partners to ensure that the services that are provided to the residents of long-term care facilities across the province are adequate, that they have access to the staff they need to meet their needs.

We recognize the importance of ensuring that people have access to the most qualified clinicians. That's why we're changing models of care within the health care system that allows people to work to their full scope of practice, so they can meet the health care needs of Nova Scotians. We're going to continue to do that, Mr. Speaker. I'm proud of the work that our government has done in the last three years, when it comes to long-term care facilities and home care services.

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

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

The honourable Progressive Conservative House Leader.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, will you call the order of business, Private Members' Public Bills for Second Reading.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 148.

Bill No. 148 - Trade Union Act.

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

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to be able to stand today to speak to Bill No. 148, which is an amendment to the Trade Union Act. "This bill amends the Trade Union Act to provide for the continued operation of Metro Transit's Access-A-Bus service, Transit Cape Breton's Handi-Trans service and similar services in the event of a labour dispute."

Mr. Speaker, last Spring we saw a labour dispute here in the city which saw Metro Transit have a problem where they weren't operating and we learned that many people who had disabilities were not able to access the different areas that they needed to access. As a matter of fact, they were kept hostage. They weren't able to get to their doctor appointments; some of them couldn't get to their hospital appointments; some of them couldn't get to even pick up their groceries.

[Page 4936]

Now what we're doing here is offering a solution. It's a transportation issue for people who depend on this very service. Mr. Speaker, as most of the people in this House know, my wife uses a wheelchair on a regular basis and I've become more and more familiar with the challenges that people who use wheelchairs and have mobility issues have to deal with. In her case - in our case - we're very fortunate; we have a family, we have supports, and we are able to move along and make sure that she gets to the places that she needs to.

However, Mr. Speaker, there are many individuals in the Province of Nova Scotia who don't have that kind of support. Those people are the reason that we are standing here today debating this bill. We want to be sure that those who have mobility challenges have an opportunity to access the services they need to access.

This is not about who is right or wrong. It's not about who created the strike. It's about making sure that the individuals who need the service, maintain the service. As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, we believe that the people who operate the transit system are good people and they do a good job and they are doing something that is required of them and we are very pleased about that. But when it comes to the actual situation of clients needing to get to different areas, we've heard from many operators and drivers of the transit system who say that they believe this is a piece of good legislation, a piece that will make individuals' lives a little bit easier.

After all, Mr. Speaker, isn't that what our job here is about? Isn't our job here to do what we can to make life better for the people of the Province of Nova Scotia, and certainly for those who have mobility issues, to make it easier for them to access the types of services and the quality of services that they need to maintain their health care? When we introduced this bill, we had one individual here who said, do you know what, I really miss the service. I needed the service to get around to get my groceries and to be able to get my drugs at the drug store. He said, I had to spend money out of my budget - $100 out of my budget - to use taxis.

Some of us would say, well, you know, $100 doesn't sound like a lot of money but when you're on a fixed budget, $100 is a lot of money, Mr. Speaker. It's a huge amount of money when you're trying to do the right thing. The other thing about this that is very important, what is very important is to make sure that these individuals who have these disabilities, mobility challenges, that they can maintain their dignity, and that's what this bill allows them to do. It allows them to help maintain their dignity. The impact of having services taken away from disabled persons became all too obvious in the effects that it had on the people here in Halifax during the strike earlier this year. Those individuals who needed that service found themselves in a very, very uncomfortable position, in a position where they couldn't actually get to the doctor appointments and to the dentist, drug stores, and to pick up their groceries.

[Page 4937]

You know, Mr. Speaker, this service isn't free. Nova Scotians pay for this service. The people who use Access-A-Bus pay for this system. What we are saying with this bill is that they deserve to have an opportunity to access that service, regardless of what's going on, even if there is a labour dispute. Having to deal with a disability issue is quite a challenge for some people and this is an opportunity for us to ensure that these services are protected. It's not about the debate between labour and management or what side you fall on, it's about doing what's right for the individuals.

It's about doing the right thing, Mr. Speaker. It's about all the members of this House looking at the people in their communities and saying, I know someone who needs transportation and they haven't got access to it. It's about saying we can make a difference by putting this in place so that if there is a labour dispute, the individuals will have the access to the transportation and again, as I said earlier, it gives them an opportunity to maintain their dignity.

Now, Mr. Speaker, as you know, in Cape Breton we are just waiting now to find out what the results are going to be of a potential transit strike there, and at this time of the year, with the weather the way it is, with the season being Christmas, imagine if you can't get around and get to the services you need. Imagine what it would be like if you were stuck in your home and not able to get to a doctor appointment, or a dialysis appointment and, you know, it's not only about that; it's also about being able to get to some of your social commitments because to make a whole person, as we all know, there's more than just doctor appointments and groceries, you have to have a social life, and again it's about making sure that these individuals have their dignity, to be able to maintain dignity.

We have heard from a number of transit operators and drivers who believe that this is a fair bill. It would mean that there would be designated people who would operate the Handi-Trans or the Access-A-Bus and make sure that that service was provided for the individuals in and around the different municipal units that it would affect.

Madam Speaker, it is one of the few times that we have as a group of people to do the right thing for the right reason. The right thing here is to make sure that people who have challenges with mobility, challenges with getting out to the general public - it gives us an opportunity to work together as a group of people to make sure that they don't have to suffer. As I said earlier in my comments, some people are very fortunate - they have home supports and family supports - but there are others who are involved who aren't that fortunate. They are not able to access somebody to take them to a doctor appointment.

When we look at this bill and what it does, one of the things about this bill that's very important, I think, is it doesn't cost anything. It's not a bill that's going to put a big cost to government or to the operators of the transit. It's a bill that helps people who need help. I know that a lot of times in this room we don't agree on a lot of things, but I do know that the majority of the people in this House are concerned about helping those people who aren't as fortunate and have some of these mobility challenges.

[Page 4938]

With those few words, I will take my place.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Queens.

MS. VICKI CONRAD « » : Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to stand and reply to the member across the way on Bill No. 148. There's no question that many people across this province have disabilities and significant challenges with mobility. Many of those people with disabilities and mobility challenges use the services of Access-A-Bus to go on with their daily lives - whether it's going to work, picking up medicine, purchasing groceries, or visiting family and friends.

We also understand that people will be inconvenienced if there were ever a strike involving their Access-A-Bus service. Certainly we saw in the HRM transit strike that some people were inconvenienced, and unfortunately that's what happens when a labour disruption occurs: some people's lives are disrupted. But we do believe that there must be a balance, and the balance needs to be between Access-A-Bus riders and the workers' constitutional right to collective bargaining.

"Essential service" usually refers to services which are necessary to prevent or limit loss of life, serious harm, or the deterioration of the mental or physical health of persons, or to prevent serious damage to property required in the performance of an essential service. Research has indicated that essential service legislation may actually lengthen strikes. Reaching an agreement on what services are essential can also be challenging in the collective bargaining process.

I'm not surprised that the Progressive Conservatives have brought this bill forward. The Progressive Conservatives, as we know, have a long history of trying to limit the rights of workers. We can only look at the last Progressive Conservative Government when Acadia University faculty went on strike twice - the only two times they have ever gone on strike - both times significantly disrupting the school year. In 2002 Dalhousie University faculty voted to strike. In 2001 the Progressive Conservatives tried to limit the rights of front-line health workers with Bill No. 68.

In 1999 I was past president of CUPE Local 3885, the local home support workers of Queens County, and I remember meeting with the former member for Truro-Bible Hill, who at the time was the Minister of Health. Myself and members of the executive of Local 3885 had met with the Health Minister at the time and we begged the Health Minister to look at our needs. We were going through a very lengthy collective bargaining process. We were stalled at the table for many, many months. Negotiations were breaking down and we were faced with a very tough decision about whether or not we would need to take a strike vote within our bargaining union. It was a last resort. Unfortunately, the Progressive Conservative Health Minister at the time refused, absolutely refused, to hear us. Absolutely, he met with us, but at the end of the day he basically told us to go back and to try to strike a balance.

[Page 4939]

Unfortunately, our local was faced with taking a strike vote, and I can tell you it was a very difficult decision to make for our local. As a former home support worker I have worked with many people over the years: people with disabilities, people with mobility challenges, people in palliative care, and people who need to have services every day to make their lives more full. That was not a decision that Local 3885 took lightly. We ended up going on strike, but I can tell you during the four months that we were on strike, there was an insurance that those clients receiving home care and needing essential services absolutely were looked after during that very stressful four-month period.

Were other clients inconvenienced? Absolutely. Unfortunately, during a labour disruption people will be inconvenienced, but we cannot forget that "essential services" needs to be looked at very, very carefully. We cannot forget, either, that it is workers' constitutional right to have free and fair collective bargaining. Every member who enters into a collective bargaining environment around the negotiating table takes that role very seriously.

Union members do bargain in good faith and fairly, Madam Speaker, and I just want to remind members too that during the HRM transit strike there were certainly Access-A-Bus services that were disrupted, but I can also tell you that the medical services transport were brought back into operation during that disruption in service. That service used management personnel during that transit strike.

The principle that employees should be free to bargain collectively and to withdraw their labour if they deem it necessary is fundamental to Canadian labour relations. Any interference with this should be minimal and proportional in its approach. It's very difficult when members of a collective bargaining unit and employers come together at a table and they are not able to find a balance. It's stressful on all sides.

Getting back to the bill itself and the challenges that could be faced during a disruption to Access-A-Bus services for individuals with mobility challenges, I'm quite confident that the bargaining unit and the employer would look at every avenue to ensure that those individuals needing those services that would be considered a life-or-death situation could be accommodated during such a labour disruption if it were to occur.

Government would only consider a piece of legislation such as this only if it would ensure and respect the rights of the parties to collectively bargain, and this piece of legislation clearly doesn't do that.

[Page 4940]

Bill No. 148, this approach certainly does protect certain users of transit, but it uses a very broad brush in taking away the rights of the employees to hold any kind of job action to attain their contract, and it does not offer any benefit to the employees at the end of the day.

We all have, as any unionized workers, Madam Speaker, the right to collectively bargain in good faith. All unionized employees who deliver services, who deliver health services or provide a service to those who absolutely depend on services being provided to them, certainly those people are very much considered during the collective bargaining process.

Again, I will remind members that when bargaining units are faced with a decision as to whether or not they will take a strike vote, it is stressful. They do consider the needs of the people they serve, and especially in the health care field, Madam Speaker. You know health care providers certainly look at the people they service as their number one priority.

Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for allowing me time on the floor here to speak to this bill and I appreciate the members opposite for bringing it forward.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Clare.

HON. WAYNE GAUDET « » : Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and say a few words on Bill No. 148.

Let me begin - this is definitely a good bill. This past Monday, on December 3rd, we celebrated the 18th International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Madam Speaker, it's a special day to allow all of us - not just here on the floor of the House, but all of us in our province - to focus on persons with disabilities, especially here and throughout Nova Scotia. Everyone realizes there are many barriers facing Nova Scotians with disabilities, and this bill highlights one of those barriers.

Madam Speaker, we saw in the recent bus strike here in HRM many Access-A-Bus users found themselves in very difficult situations. We've heard previous speakers talking about individuals trying to get to medical appointments, individuals trying to get to work, individuals trying to attend class in order to better themselves - and these are just a few of the difficulties that were expressed.

Madam Speaker, understanding who the Access-A-Bus clients are is critical in determining the need for this piece of legislation. We all recognize the users of the Access-A-Bus service are the most vulnerable citizens in our community. Also, it's critical to remember also that probably and most likely the majority of these clients who use the Access-A-Bus service are living in poverty, and they don't have extra money to spend in case of a bus strike.

[Page 4941]

Madam Speaker, when I talk about people, especially a lot of these individuals living on fixed incomes, on fixed budgets, especially when we look at the recent bus strike here in HRM, a lot of these individuals did not have that extra cash in their budget to hire a private taxi to get around the city. Many, as I pointed out, are living on very tight budgets and there's no extra money to allow them to get around. As we've seen and heard right throughout this bus strike, many individuals - and we've heard all kinds of stories about individuals - have had extreme difficulty in getting around the city.

Madam Speaker, we all agree that this service - Access-A-Bus - provides an essential service and certainly this service should continue during a strike. The Access-A-Bus service is a door-to-door service for people with physical or cognitive disabilities who are unable to use the regular bus service and we need to understand who these clients are and how the system works. The Access-A-Bus is not and should not ever be considered a frill transportation system. You know, for many, it's a necessity. You must apply and be accepted as a user for the Access-A-Bus service. You must have an application signed by a physician in order to be accepted as a user of Access-A-Bus.

This service is not out there for one and all; it doesn't work like that. This is a special transportation service that is there to assist people with special needs in order to get around, in order to have medical appointments, or go to the drug store, go to their physiotherapy. So again, it is quite critical to have this service in operation at all times. These individuals have to book in advance. In order to qualify for the Access-A-Bus service, it requires that you have to be in a wheelchair or you have to use a scooter; that you are unable to step up or down a 35-centimetre step, unassisted; you have to be unable to walk 175 metres outside unassisted; you have to have 20/200 vision or less - that's legally blind.

So this service, Madam Speaker, is not for one and all. It's a very personalized service to assist those less fortunate in our community with their travelling needs.

Now, Madam Speaker, I think we certainly all have some understanding, to some degree, and I say to some degree, of what users of the Access-A-Bus service went through during the last public transit strike here in HRM, from the stories we heard through the press, but we can't start imagining how difficult it was for some users who were housebound right throughout the strike, or for some users who had medical appointments to see specialists, who had been waiting for a long period of time and, of course, their appointments came up during the bus strike and they could not get to those appointments. They had to reschedule. So, for a lot of these individuals, just pushing back their medical appointments to see a specialist because there was no way for these individuals to get to them, is certainly a sad story.

Now, Madam Speaker, I want to say a few words on the Access-A-Bus service itself. First of all, those who provide the service in HRM must be congratulated and I know the service is also provided to parts of Cape Breton. You need special people to provide this service. I know drivers are specially trained in order to do this type of work. It's not just about getting someone to drive the Access-A-Bus during a strike in order to provide this essential service to those clients, you need special individuals, special drivers, trained and qualified, to work with these individuals.

[Page 4942]

It is a system that is trying to serve all users of all ages. It is a system that is trying to serve users as fast as they can. We all know there is a waiting list. It is a system, of course, that operates with a limited budget so the Access-A-Bus system can't do everything. I know I have individuals from Clare, at times, who are in the city here to attend some meetings and they have to make reservations with the Access-A-Bus in order to be able to travel around the city while they are here to attend these meetings, in order to allow them to attend.

I think it's critical that this service, this essential service, be provided. To everyone involved with the system, I think, absolutely, it is critical that we say a big thank you to all of them. I know my time is running out very quickly but I was kind of curious as to just how many people are using this system. In May 2012, 12,400 users in HRM alone use the service. In one month, in May 2012, over 12,000 people depended on this service. In June, over 11,000 people had to depend upon this service. With these types of numbers we have a sense to understand how critical this service is, especially to those individuals who are vulnerable in our society. Thank you.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Madam Speaker, let me just say I do appreciate the remarks of the previous speakers. This is one of those bills where Parties have to decide who they're going to stand with. In fact, a friend of many in this House, now deceased, who we all miss, Mr. Cyril Reddy was famous for saying, where you stand depends on where you sit.

I'm so disappointed to see where the NDP sits on a bill that has as much common sense as this one does. To oppose a bill that preserves, for all time, the Handi-Trans or Access-A-Bus services, that says a lot about where the governing Party stands. I do appreciate the supportive words of the Party beside me here. It is nice to see them take a stand on something and I appreciate it in this case. To me, to be clear, this is a very progressive Progressive Conservative bill because the bill is designed to stand up for the users of our transit services, for the physically challenged users of our transit service.

They have told us that when they are used as pawns in a contract negotiation over money, when the service is interrupted, whether it is by the employer in a lockout or the union in a strike, that their lifestyle is interrupted. We heard from users of the Metro Access-A-Bus service during the 44-day strike earlier this year, that even everyday tasks like getting to the grocery store, getting to the drugstore to fill a prescription, visiting a friend or a family member, meeting anyone providing you with care or assistance, became impossible.

[Page 4943]

Many people we heard from are on income assistance or on very modest incomes of their own and telling them to sit at home for 44 days or to take a taxi is so cruel and unfair. We met with one blind Access-A-Bus user who was forced to spend hundreds of dollars on taxis during the Access-A-Bus strike. He didn't have an extra couple of hundred dollars lying around; he did what he had to do. Madam Speaker, all of us in this House can imagine what that person gave up from their modest budget in order to get to the grocery store or the drugstore or to visit family. That is not right.

So I can assure you that regardless of the opinion of the NDP, the Progressive Conservative Party will be there for people who use the Access-A-Bus service. In fact, I remember calling on the Premier and the NDP Government many times to put an end to that strike on behalf of the transit users of Halifax, particularly the Access-A-Bus users, that the provincial Department of Labour has a role to play in keeping important services going when there is a contract negotiation in dispute. But all those pleas, mine and others, fell on deaf ears. It's obvious where the NDP stands, Madam Speaker, so it's important that people like the users of our transit services know where the Progressive Conservative Party stands.

It is not even just about the users of these services, as important as they are and as much as we want to be there for them, Madam Speaker. We also, by the way, heard from the bus drivers themselves, particularly the drivers who are assigned to the Access-A-Bus service here in Halifax and the Handi-Trans service in Sydney. They don't want to leave their customers they know personally - they know the stories that get on and off their bus every day, they know the hardships, they know the price they'll pay when that Access-A-Bus or Handi-Trans service is not there. They don't want to see them used as pawns in a labour dispute, they want to know that there is another way to resolve contract disputes without interrupting the services to those who need them the most. This bill is for them too. That's where we stand.

Now I heard the argument on the other side that somehow this bill offends the NDP view of collective bargaining, of the right to unionize. Well, Madam Speaker, they are so blinded by their own ideology that they can't even see the truth, the details in the bill itself, because it's simply not right. What this bill does exactly duplicates what happens in our hospitals today in a free collective bargaining province where the right to unionize is there, as it is for all provinces in Canada. What it does, just like in our hospitals, is it makes it the law that in the event of a work stoppage that the union and the management together will set aside a number of unionized drivers to operate the Access-A-Bus service or the Handi-Trans service while a lockout or a strike or any other work interruption goes on, and while the negotiations go on between the two sides.

[Page 4944]

So collective bargaining is absolutely respected in this bill; the unionization rights are absolutely respected in this bill. Hopefully, Madam Speaker, people of goodwill, whether they are leaders of unions or managers of transit services, can agree to set aside enough drivers to keep the Access-A-Bus going or the Handi-Trans going; that's just common sense. If they can't, this bill makes it the law that they must set aside those drivers.

I can tell you, Madam Speaker, I heard personally from drivers who drive the Access-A-Bus that they don't want to have to stop that bus and park it for weeks at a time, knowing the hardship it will cause to people who need that service the most.

I encourage the NDP to read the bill and get behind it. In fact, Madam Speaker, when there was the threat of a strike in our hospitals, which to everyday, common-sense Nova Scotians our hospitals are an essential service. The NDP answer to not intervening to prevent the hospitals from shutting down was that there is a management agreement in place to have enough doctors and enough nurses operating our hospitals at a bare minimum level, at least, so that the negotiations could go on.

If that was good enough then, why is it not good enough for the users of the Access-A-Bus, for the users of the Handi-Trans? They are so blinded by who is behind them that they forgot who they are here to represent. Well, we haven't forgotten. We're going to stand up for those users and we're going to stand up for those drivers who want to keep the Access-A-Bus going.

Madam Speaker, we saw what happened with the Access-A-Bus strike in Halifax. We saw a government that said, we're hands off. That's too bad for the users of Access-A-Bus that they are going to be used as pawns in this union negotiation - we're hands off. The results and the hardship that were caused are evident for everyone who cares to see it.

They now have a second chance to do the right thing for Handi-Trans users of Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Strike notice has been given there, and they have a chance. This bill is a chance for the users of the Handi-Trans to get this system in place so they can have that service uninterrupted, so they won't be used as pawns like the people of Halifax were. That government has a chance to do the right thing a second time. They struck out on it the first time. It's so sad to see that they are . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

The honourable Progressive Conservative House Leader.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Thank you very much. That was a wonderful debate. We should have kept going on that one.

[Page 4945]

Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 72.

Bill No. 72 - Capital Projects Review Act.

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

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Madam Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise this evening to speak to Bill No. 72, an Act to Provide for the Independent Review of Certain Capital Projects.

We've heard in this Legislature over the last six to eight weeks that we're here a lot about the Muskrat Falls project. We have both Opposition Parties calling on the government to give us a cost, to give us a cost-benefit analysis to see what the cost of electricity will be when it comes to our doorstep because of the cost and the cost overruns, and we can't be told. We called for an independent review, and we can't get it.

This bill will require every capital project in the Province of Nova Scotia that is over $100 million to be subject to that independent review. Under the bill, the Muskrat Falls project would have automatically been subject to this independent review, and we would have seen a little bit better what the costs are going to be, what the cost breakdown is going to be, and where the money is going to be spent. It would give us a better idea of where, what, and how much it was going to cost for electricity to be brought to our doorstep. It would require the government to appoint an independent reviewer to do this project - independent. Someone who cannot be elected to public office, someone who wasn't a member of the Public Service or an employee of any municipality in the Province of Nova Scotia or have a vested interest or be employed by a person with a vested interest in the project itself.

This person would be required by law to do the cost-benefit analysis of the project. They would have to consider other options. We hear options in this Legislature of coal. This government wants to get off coal, but we know if we got off coal completely today we would have a big hole in our power generation system. Our costs would rise dramatically because we would have to rely on other forms of power that we just don't have or can't generate enough of. We have to rely on the cost-benefit analysis of using gas. Offshore gas is cheap right now, and if we had to compare that to what's coming, it would be use the best at the time. We also had to hear talk about tidal power and solar power. This bill would require the government to do the cost-benefit analysis of all these and take the cheapest form of energy that we could use to generate power here in the province.

This bill would require the reviewer to hire any expert in this area as they're needed. That would be much better for us to know that the experts in the field were studying this and will give us a better idea of what's going on. The reviewer must prepare a report with the results of the review and the recommendations with respect to the project. If it's not the most cost effective, then the project can't be recommended, and they would not be able to proceed.

[Page 4946]

It would have to be given to the Premier, and the Premier would have to report and table the results in the Legislature. By doing that we could have a good debate and have a better idea of what this is going to cost. It would be great protection for the province and the people of the Province of Nova Scotia. It would allow us in this House of Assembly to make better decisions; better decisions on how to proceed with major projects in the province so that the people in this province have their financial best interests at heart. It would make sure the people in this province could move forward on major projects and know their money was being spent wisely.

With those few words, Madam Speaker, I will take my seat. Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

MR. MAT WHYNOTT « » : Madam Speaker, I'm glad to stand again in my place to talk a little bit about a bill that's been brought forward by the Opposition. I find this an interesting piece of legislation because it's coming from a Party that - you know, $80 million over cost from a hospital. It's an interesting piece of information for the Opposition, for all members, and for all Nova Scotians to recognize that.

One of the things this bill allows me to do is stand in my place to talk a little bit about some of the positive capital investments that we've been able to make right across Nova Scotia when it comes to schools, roads, renovations within our province. One of the things that I think Nova Scotians want from their government is to ensure that we have good quality public infrastructure that's being built right across Nova Scotia.

Our government has brought forward a capital plan for this province, the first in its history, a capital plan that's been released way prior to when the budget was introduced. That's something to allow the tenders to go out early, to allow paving companies to plan, to allow contractors to get their work ready so that when we're ready to go, when the projects are ready to be built, that we can do it and do it in a timely matter that comes within budget. That's exactly what we, as a government, are doing. The Premier and many of our ministers have talked about openness and transparency - that's exactly what this government is doing.

Last year, in the capital plan, just last year alone, we invested over $610 million, more than 150 projects in ridings in Victoria-The Lakes, Argyle, Inverness - every constituency across this province. We've been able to invest in good quality investments for Nova Scotians. I think that's exactly what Nova Scotians wanted us to do. Over $281 million of paving; in fact, because of us bringing in the . . .

[Page 4947]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville has the floor.

MR. WHYNOTT « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. Because of us bringing in the chip sealing in-house, we are paving more roads for cheaper. Is that not saving money for Nova Scotians? We know it is.

What about the $158 million that is being built - investing in the buildings that we own? Schools, hospitals, things that really matter to Nova Scotians - the money going toward the jail in Pictou. These are the sorts of things that I think Nova Scotians want us to do, open and transparent. A plan that was brought out way before the budget, to allow paving companies and different contractors to plan ahead, and to know what the government's planning on doing. Part of that plan was the finishing of a high school for the kids who live in Hammonds Plains. That is a project that is on-budget and will open three months ahead of time because of the work of this government.

We want to ensure openness and transparency, and that is exactly what we are doing: $57.2 million in IT projects, moving forward with those things; $13.1 million in vehicles and equipment; $87.9 million in capital grants, and $12.8 million in land purchases that that Party over there calls "dirt." Thank you, Madam Speaker.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN « » : I am pleased to be able to rise on behalf of the Liberal caucus this afternoon to speak to the Progressive Conservative bill which we are debating today, which is Bill No. 72. It's a Private Member's Bill entitled the Capital Projects Review Act, and I think the previous speaker from the government side strayed quite a distance from it . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, because you never do that.

MS. WHALEN « » : I heard quite a bit of that. However, I am not saying it doesn't happen often in this House. I have certainly been known to have a favourite theme or two that I like to get into my remarks as well. There's no need to be so thin-skinned on the other side of the House. (Interruptions) No need.

However, the bill before us is an important one, and it's one that does need to be addressed. The Progressive Conservative caucus has brought forward this bill because they believe there should be an independent review of capital projects that are in excess of $100 million in value. They have some other stipulations that would be government capital projects or capital projects for utility companies as well, provided the costs would come back to the public. Certainly, in principle, I think that this is saying that there is a need to make sure that due diligence has been done and that careful study is done whenever these projects go forward. (Interruptions)

[Page 4948]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Are you two done?

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park has the floor.

MS. DIANA WHALEN « » : We believe that it is important that all projects get proper scrutiny and that the public monies are always well spent. I am not sure that the way to go about it is to insist through legislation that we hire consultants to do that every time. The costs of consultants are pretty significant.

For quite a number of years, prior to my running for office, I worked as a management consultant, and I know that when you get engaged in large projects that require a team of experts and many hours of review, the cost of some of those reviews could be $300,000 or $400,000. We're talking about large projects like hospitals and so on in different communities, as was mentioned by the previous speaker. We might be talking about projects that Nova Scotia Power is engaged in, like new power plants or the undersea cable to carry power from Muskrat Falls. Those kinds of projects are going to be huge. They'd require a huge team of experts, including engineers, financial people, and so on. (Interruptions) The thing is, I believe the Progressive Conservative bill would call for a review to make sure that we're getting value for money, and the review is going to be costly. That's my only point.

I know my time is very short today. What I really see when I looked at this bill and reviewed it, is that the public has a lack of confidence in the planning and the ability of government to do some of these major projects, and that the Progressive Conservative Government - previous government, mind you but the current caucus, the Progressive Conservative caucus, is channeling some of that lack of confidence and whether we have the ability to properly move forward with some of these big projects.

I think what is important, Madam Speaker, is that we build into our regular systems a lot of transparency, a lot of openness, so that we don't find the public mistrusting what's being done with their tax dollars, and that's what has happened. There is a sense that we don't have the information, government isn't being forthcoming with the details, and I can give you a few examples, just projects - well, for example, the outsourcing to IBM of our SAP staff.

There has been an enormous investment over 15 years, Madam Speaker, since about 1997, in building up a pool of talented people with the expertise to deliver SAP; S-A-P. That SAP program has gone over many different stages, we've had different stages of that review here at the Public Accounts Committee in this very Chamber and we know that there were hundreds of millions of dollars invested to get the equipment, the expertise and the people in place, and now, at a stroke of a pen from the Minister of Finance, it is going to change. It's going to be offloaded. We are going to take those people and no longer do that work internally.

[Page 4949]

What we would like to know, Madam Speaker, is that there is accountability and transparency. I appreciate what the bill says because it is really saying let's have a greater level of scrutiny. I would just call for the point that we could do more of this by using the expertise of our staff within government and being more transparent with the results.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Madam Speaker, I know we just have a couple of minutes here to go through this but I do want to focus some of my preliminary remarks on what the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville commented on. (Interruptions) I know he spoke about the hospital in Truro, which I see when I'm driving by on the highway, and I guess the question that comes to my mind is, is he also condemning the community because I know the community had a lot to do with that hospital. They had a lot of input in that hospital, and I guess it makes me wonder what the member for Truro-Bible Hill would have to say, because I don't know if she was at the opening.

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : I was, I cut the ribbon.

MR. MACMASTER « » : And she cut the ribbon. So, Madam Speaker, that member is proud of that facility, as she should be, in her area. So I think the member should be careful about condemning, on that matter, because he may inadvertently condemn people of that community as well, and it's true. (Interruptions) It's true.

Madam Speaker, I also heard him talk about paving and he is saying that they are paving for less. Well, we are actually going to have them at the Public Accounts Committee very soon and we are going to examine whether they, in fact, are paving for less. So we'll bring that up at a future date in the Legislature here, but on to my remarks. The question, why not review the cost of capital projects - why not? I think the only reason anyone would be against this bill is if they were afraid that the truth might come out. (Interruptions) Otherwise, why not?

We just had the Trade Centre. People were very upset about that and I know a lot of people in my area weren't very supportive of the Trade Centre, not just because it wasn't in our area, I mean they don't mind investments being made in Halifax. (Interruption) Let me finish. Here is a perfect example of a major project that was advancing on very poor information, Madam Speaker, and no matter what anybody has said, wouldn't we be better off making decisions based on good information? I think our province would be better and the city here would be better. I know I've gone to lots of events in the Metro Centre over the years. It's a great facility, a nice size facility. When you think of some of the events that have been there, the World Men's Hockey, the World Juniors, the World Women's Hockey was one event I really enjoyed, but the point being, why not evaluate these things, and that is what this bill is about.

[Page 4950]

The other thing, Madam Speaker, and how much time do I have left? I have two minutes left. Let's look at Muskrat Falls. That is another big one that we are looking at right now. Why don't we know the cost of that project? It's probably three times the price of natural gas, as I pointed out last night in the emergency debate. What happened in Ontario? Look at what the Auditor General reported in Ontario when that province went blindly forward and really made a mess of renewable energy in that province.

Ontario is subsidizing renewable energy and then selling it. They have to buy it. There's nothing in there to protect those people in Ontario from having to buy that energy that is subsidized and then they have to turn around and sell it at a loss when they don't need it.

Madam Speaker, this government, with respect to its renewable energy, we've seen carbon emissions actually rise and that's not achieving anything for the environment, but sadly, it's not achieving anything as far as costs go because we see the cost is rising. We see from recent statements made by the CEO of Emera that Churchill Falls is going to increase the cost of energy by 2 to 3 per cent per year and it's only representing about 7.5 per cent of the actual energy inputs. If it represented 100 per cent, we'd be looking at 26 to 36 per cent increases per year.

Madam Speaker, that's a huge increase. Why would we want to choose that route? Maybe there are other ways that we can improve or reduce our carbon footprint. Maybe there are and maybe they're cheaper. Why not support this bill? Why not have some vision and support this bill to make sure that we make good decisions for Nova Scotians. Thank you.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Well, we try to aim to please here on some great debate. There was some great debate and I want to thank everybody for that. If I thought I had a little more time, I would call the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne but I'm not going to do it tonight, in full respect for what is going on this evening down in the foyer with the Arthritis Society. So don't forget everybody, you are more than welcome downstairs.

With that, I say that that is the Opposition business for today and I pass the baton over to the Government House Leader.

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

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. I move that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow at the hour of 12:00 noon, with the House hours to be from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. Following the daily routine, the government will call Bill No. 160 for second reading; Bill No. 94 for third reading; Bill Nos. 155, 156, and 157 in Committee of the Whole House on Bills; and the government will also be asking for unanimous consent to move several government bills through remaining stages. Thank you very much.

[Page 4951]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow, Thursday, December 6th, between the hours of 12:00 noon 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.

The Adjournment motion was submitted by the honourable member for Kings North, which reads:

"Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotians could expect far fewer jobs and investments, lower property values and less opportunity for young people if Liberals had their way, because Liberals would let Vancouver or Quebec win decades of defence shipbuilding work rather than invest so that ships start here."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

SHIPS START HERE: LIBERALS - EFFECTS

MR. JIM MORTON « » : Madam Speaker, I am pleased to stand tonight to say a few words that flow from the resolution. I know that to build a better future for Nova Scotia, we need to do things differently, we need to take our province in a new direction.

I think the resolution that I put forward, Madam Speaker, suggests in general terms, or maybe in some particular terms, that the Liberals criticize but don't really offer many solutions. Well they do, of course, offer those worn old chestnuts that suggest that lower taxes or letting the private sector take charge of our economy will lead to better things. I think that that kind of magical thinking really doesn't get us far. Sometimes I wish that people would stop using those directions and at least begin to point, if they could, to some of those jurisdictions where ideas like that work. I don't think they'll find them.

[Page 4952]

Mind you, we do have some troubles here in Nova Scotia. There is no doubt that we still have our fair share of challenges and none of this is new. I was thinking as I wrote those words about rural depopulation, it's something that we're faced with in this province and we've been faced with for a long time. It so happens that at the moment I'm reading a biography on the political thoughts of J.S. Woodsworth, the founder of our political Party who, I think it was in 1913, was describing the effect of rural depopulation on Canada and on eastern Canada in particular, so it's nothing new.

We've had our economic difficulties here for many years as well, for decades, for more than a century. We have had too few jobs and we have had wages that aren't competitive with other parts of North America. As I've said in this House before, my colleague for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has written a book called Away in which he describes one of the solutions that Nova Scotians have used for many years to deal with economic hardships and that's to go somewhere else. My colleague here in the Legislature has described people who have gone to Massachusetts, who have gone to Ontario, who have gone to Alberta. There is no doubt that many of us who sit in this House are familiar with that reality, know people who have taken that solution.

For the last 25 years Nova Scotia has also faced the reality of being part, in a new way, of the global reality that began at least in part with NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and now involves a whole network of global trade agreements that we need to take stock of, but it has changed the nature of our world.

Throughout all this long history of troubles, who has had responsibility for governance in Nova Scotia? All I have to do is look to the other side. It is those folks on the other side who have had responsibility for governance in this province. They took turns in allowing Nova Scotia to flounder with old ideas that really favoured, in many terms, the privileged few. Some of us on this side of the House will know that Tommy Douglas has a great analogy in which he described that process as one of electing black cats and white cats. You could make a change without getting any change at all.

Unless anyone thinks that these troubles are just ancient history or some philosophical idea, the fact is that when we were elected in 2009, Nova Scotia had the worst economic performance of any province in Canada. We've had that for 20 years. We were left with a fiscal mess that if we hadn't taken charge of it, we would have been on a course for a deficit of $1.4 billion. We were left with a roads deficit - speaking a little bit further of rural Nova Scotia - of $4 billion; it would have cost us $4 billion in 2009 to put our roads in reasonable shape, a travesty of neglect.

I would suggest we had been living for a very long time in a political climate steeped in favouritism, which was part of what allowed that road deficit and other problems to occur. If that wasn't bad enough, we were elected at the beginning of one of the worst economic recessions since the Great Depression, something that continues to plague not only Nova Scotia, but the whole world.

[Page 4953]

I suppose we could have been overwhelmed by this history and by the circumstances we inherited, but the fact is we were elected to make life better for Nova Scotians, to increase prosperity and growth, and to create good jobs that would help keep our young people at home, with work to do, and a way to make and build a better life. Well, the question has been asked in this House, Madam Speaker, how's that going? That's exactly what I want to talk a little bit about.

I won't have enough time to go through all the things I could say, but we've been navigating through these difficult economic times by focusing on a number of priorities. We've been putting families first, thanks to some of the largest budget consultations in history, and using some good common sense - our own, and that we've taken from the advice of Nova Scotians. Our province is now back on balance, back on track to be in balance next year.

We've taken funds from school board administrations and duplication, and those funds are being reinvested in Kids and Learning First, a plan that focuses on building better reading and math skills, better learning, and putting extra teachers where they are needed to keep class sizes reasonable. We've seen tens of millions of dollars shifted from health care administration into Better Care Sooner, and these include things like the creation of fairer drug prices, more health prevention, and better patient care. We've done things like begin to announce the openings of Collaborative Emergency Centres and improved dialysis units. We've created Nova Scotia's first-ever mental health and addiction strategy.

We've ended March madness and the frenetic year-end spending that plagued this province for a very long time that, in fact, added a billion dollars to the provincial debt in the last administration. You may recall, speaking of debt, Madam Speaker, that in 2010 our government ran a $600 million surplus. What did we do with that money? We put all of it directly on our debt - the first time that that has happened in a very long time, and one of only seven times in the history of our province.

We haven't neglected our most deeply-held values. In the face of these difficult economic circumstances we've continued to think about those whose lives face tough realities, so we've created a new Caregiver Benefit Program. We've made the largest-ever investment in student aid since the student aid program was first created. We've been rebating provincial income tax to nearly 20,000 of Nova Scotia's poorest seniors. I'm only using a few examples here of how we've been doing things differently.

Madam Speaker, I realize that I'm clearly running out of time, but I know that as we're doing things, often it's not so very well understood by the Liberal Leader, who has tended to say, you're on the wrong track, you should do something different. But the fact is, as I'm speeding through the things that I wanted to say, we're on the threshold - because I like to end with a positive note.

[Page 4954]

I haven't had time to talk about all those things, but we're on the threshold of some tremendous opportunities. Some of those involve shipbuilding; some of those involve renewable energy; some of those involve jobs that have come to this province and will come to this province. But of course there is much that remains to be done, and I think we need to find the courage to go forward. We need to find ways to continue to ignite the confidence of Nova Scotians and the entrepreneurial spirit of our citizens. We need help from everybody in this House to do that. We all need to step up to do our part to make things better. We need to ensure that our opportunities are shared fairly among all individuals.

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

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm proud to rise in my place on this late debate topic. Certainly I disagree with it, and I think it's pretty disingenuous to suggest what's being suggested there, and we will get into the details.

I had to laugh here a few minutes ago, because there was a conversation and a topic on the record that highlights exactly what our role is as an Opposition side, the Official Opposition and the PC Party. Our job is to ask questions about all deals, all economic development deals and all things that have to do with tax dollars and the services that we provide as a government and as a province. When the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville spoke about the Truro hospital and the fact that it was $80 million cost overrun, and when the member for Inverness was on his feet he suggested that the government side, the government members, didn't want that and, of course, the member for Truro-Bible Hill said, well, yes, I was there and I cut the ribbon.

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : I didn't want it to be $80 million over budget, though.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Right, okay, so she didn't want it to be $80 million over budget. So the government side wanted the hospital, they just didn't want it to be $80 million over budget. That is exactly what we are doing on this side, we are asking those exact questions; that's the point of this. That's why it's so rich. We are asking questions on behalf of taxpayers - $80 million over budget. Well, DSME Trenton was $60 million that we have gotten nothing for. We haven't produced the 500 jobs that were promised. Where is it going next - $60 million - $1 million per job?

So those are the questions we are asking on behalf of the taxpayers and I think it is a little rich that the government, on the Opposition bill, was suggesting that, well, we like the deal, we just didn't like the terms. That is exactly where we are at with Irving and that is where we are going to be with all projects because that is our job. That is our job and that's what we are here to do.

Madam Speaker, again, the mention of young people, that the Liberals' actions would be keeping young people from away, is absolutely embarrassing to suggest that that's the case. Young people are leaving all the time and certainly Cape Breton has felt that as much as anywhere else. To suggest that our reaction - which I thought this was going to be about Irving Shipbuilding and it wasn't, from the government side - but our reaction was that we are not helping young people, it's kind of frightening that the government, the majority government by the way, would suggest that.

[Page 4955]

What I think we're here about today, and what this debate and what this motion and this topic represents, is the fact that the government is now desperate and they realize how lofty these expectations are, and Nova Scotians are calling them on the loftiness of the expectations that they created. Here is a government, the majority government, the first-time NDP Government, who is now focused, and this session has been a testament to that - it has focused on everything what the Opposition is doing. What the Leader said, what the Leader is doing, what the Opposition did, what this Party did and what the PC Party did in government - 20 years of government. Why not just focus on your own policies? Why not focus on your own mandate? Focus on the things that you promised when you ran, and those things that were on your election brochure and in your materials. That should be the focus of this session, not about what the Liberals are doing.

I can tell you that the shipbuilding, it's sad that anyone would suggest that all of a sudden we're changing the channel and suggesting that the Liberals are not for the Irving shipyard contract, just like the Truro hospital, with the government side. Of course we're for the Irving contract. It is huge, and we all celebrate it. Every member in this Legislature celebrated it. I was tweeting from my constituency office. It was October 19th-ish and I remember tweeting, constantly, from my constituency office, sitting on the end of my seat saying, please, please, we know that it was based on merit. We know that it wasn't government influence - provincially or federally. At least that's what we were told prior to the announcement being made. Now, that message seems to change from the government side but this was going to be based on merit and Irving was the best for this contract. They were going to get it, and it was going to be a $25 billion contract for a long time to come. So everyone was excited about this.

Within the confines of our jobs and of our lives, at least it was somewhat non-partisan in the fact that this was good for everybody and it wasn't good for Halifax, it was good for Nova Scotia and for the Atlantic Region. So we were all united and the suggestion, Madam Speaker, was that there would be no political interference. If that's the case, and certainly the Irvings are there, an example of those types of industry players and leaders that we talk about, with the jobs they create, with the families they support, with their own investment and the investment of their own profit and their own revenues back into their businesses to keep families here, to support Atlantic Canada, to build the GDP in our province and neighbouring provinces, so all those things are important.

The Irvings won this based on merit and we certainly hear the change in tune from the government side, because when the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism gets up and the Premier gets up, and they are lost for any specifics on the questions they're being asked, it always goes back to, well, we delivered the ships contract with the $300 million loan.

[Page 4956]

Now, were the Liberals and were the Opposition side - I don't want to speak for the PCs, and I'm sure the member for Cape Breton North will address this - but were we against the $304 million envelope of money that went to the Irvings? Of course not. If that was the investment and we hear months later that that was the investment and that's what it took to get the ships contract, of course, if you're going to a commercial bank for $300 million, the interest points you're going to get will be different if it's government money. You certainly can't go to the federal government, Madam Speaker, asking for a loan when you are competing for a contract that they have tendered. However, this did not have to be forgivable. A $25 billion contract secured by Irving, they don't need our $260 million taxpayer dollars.

If our play was to secure that $300 million loan, then that is fine, but why do they get to keep it? It's something that I'm not sure if that is - again, the $300 million was important, but I'm not sure that was the deal-breaker for Jim Irving. With all respect to the Irvings, they are certainly a savvy business group and again, to repeat it, we are happy that they have secured this contract.

The fact that this is repayable to $40 million, and $260 million is forgivable, is concerning for us on the Opposition side and I think that is a fair question. Again, given the example that was highlighted by the government members about the Truro hospital, given what we have seen with Bowater, given what we have seen with Stern, given what we've seen with DSME and Scanwood, and the list goes on - with those things that have happened with tax dollars, I think they have got a right to know and I think it is certainly fair that we have asked.

I'll say this again for the record, because I want to be absolutely on the record with this one, the PROJEX deal was subsidizing a Calgary firm that will compete with a thriving industry. I think the number of jobs that they are claiming they are going to create is give or take 100 jobs per year. That is what the consulting engineering industry puts into the economy now - actually 120 to 150, depending on the year. That is the growth that sector is enjoying now, so the inflation of the growth that is being provided with this subsidy is not a real number but these guys were growing real numbers and creating real jobs, new jobs in Nova Scotia.

Again, when you have a consulting engineering industry with 4,000 strong and 60 businesses and a growing sector, I don't know why we interfered. The only advantage is to the current players.

I know that I've got probably a minute and a half, Madam Speaker, so I'll just wind up with this. This is another example, and again the reason for this motion, was that this government, with their economic development endeavours, have created expectations that they haven't lived up to as of yet and Nova Scotians hear the Ships Start Here campaign from the government. Then they hear about projects and they hear that the economies are saved with Bowater and with Stern in those regions.

[Page 4957]

However, where are we now? We haven't created even near the 15,000 jobs that were promised by this government with that $600 million and we are not seeing that happen. So if the jobs are coming, these 15,000, where are they? If young people, as this motion suggests, are hitting the floodgates to get home, where are they? Who is accepting resumes for young people from Glace Bay and from Northside and from the South Shore and from Yarmouth? Where are they? Because I'm going to call those guys and girls and get them home.

I think the expectation is scary and that is what the problem is and that is what I see for Nova Scotians. It's just like with power rates, Madam Speaker, and taxes and the economy - 2,200 jobs per year was promised by this government, the list goes on.

In closing, this resolution states ". . . if the Liberals had their way . . ." Madam Speaker, if the Liberals had their way, it would be job guarantees attached to job loans and we would put all our efforts, or a lot of our efforts, into fostering the business environment and entrepreneurs. It is the entrepreneurs of this province and this nation who grow the economy, make it strong, provide jobs for Nova Scotians and keep families home. With that, I'll take my place.

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

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Madam Speaker, it's a pleasure for me to enter this lively debate this evening to debate this motion:

"Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotians could expect far fewer jobs and investments, lower property values and less opportunity for young people if Liberals had their way because Liberals would let Vancouver or Quebec win decades of defence ship building work rather than invest so that ships start here."

Madam Speaker, I was fairly newly-elected last year when the Ships Start Here slogan was coined and the NDP Government was investing in advertising to try and bring the ships contract here to Halifax. Well I've seen a lot of back-patting. I've seen a lot of credit being taken for something that we thought was supposed to be an independent process. We were told that no government influence would persuade the contractor to be sent to any one area and the Premier, who was at that time being the champion for the Halifax shipyard and the Irving bid, was out front, talking about how great this was that this was coming and we were doing this and we were doing that.

[Page 4958]

Madam Speaker, I watched Breakfast Television one morning, with great interest, when the Premier stood by his federal NDP Leader - Interim Leader at that time - when she was talking in a television interview, that the shipbuilding process was enough that we could make sure there was work for everybody. There was an article in the metro newspaper that said the same thing and I'll table that article. She said there's enough for everybody so the government can look at what's best for each province. That was in the ChronicleHerald. Who was standing by the NDP Leader at that time, beside the Leader on TV? Our present Premier. (Interruptions) What was he doing? Yeah, yeah, we agree.

So at that time, Madam Speaker, he was trying to say that there's enough work for us to split this work with Vancouver and Quebec. To say to the Irving people, well maybe we're not going to win the contract. Maybe they didn't think they were the best at the time. We all knew Irving had the best shipbuilding record in the country. We all knew that they were the best company to win this bid. I was surprised to see that the Premier wouldn't have taken the time then to stand up for Nova Scotia and correct his federal Leader. He didn't. So it begged me to ask the question at that time, what side was the Premier actually on?

When the Irvings came looking, he pretended he was on their side. When the federal NDP Interim Leader was here, he was on her side. We stand over here and we get told about our federal cousins and how come we don't do this and how come we don't do that? He was standing with his federal cousin and trying to tell Nova Scotians that it was okay if we took this contract and split it up. It's okay to take those jobs away from the people, the good people of Nova Scotia.

We're hearing about all these people who are coming home. There's a 16.4 per cent unemployment rate in Cape Breton right now. These people are going out West to work, they're not coming home to work. The shipyard contract is going to provide great, good work to the people of Nova Scotia, but at that time, our Premier was okay if the federal government would divide the contract up like the NDP Leader at the time did. We do have to remember that. Thanks to this federal government, this was a non-political process and we were told that. The best bid was won and the best bid was won by Irving plain and simple, because they had the best shipyard to build this contract.

The NDP, with the Premier's expensive advertising spree and the federal Leader's interference in the process, tried to inject politics. I find that shameful, that we have a Premier who would not stand up for our province at that time. Nova Scotians were looking to the Premier to stand up for them when their federal Leader made so many counterproductive comments. The Premier should have told his colleague at that time to stay out of what was supposed to be an independent process. We know and every person in this province knows and every person in this Legislature knows that we have the best shipbuilders in the country. We've proven that. (Applause)

[Page 4959]

Irving Shipbuilding won this contract fair and square and there was no political interference to make the Irvings win this contract. We know this government doesn't know how to create jobs. Now we see with that, he didn't want to defend them either. Nova Scotia shipbuilders won this contract fair and square and they should be thanked for that and I thank them for that and every Nova Scotian thanks them for that.

The federal NDP Leader called on us to ignore merit in the process. She wanted us to spread the contract around, regardless of the merit. I saw the Premier that morning on Breakfast Television nodding his head yes. I read the papers that day and he was agreeing with the federal NDP Leader. That's not a Premier we need standing up for our people. Our Premier has to be there, to tell that federal NDP Leader that we have the best shipbuilders in the province; we have the best shipbuilders in the country. There's no one going to come in here and take that from us, if everything was going to be done on merit like we know it was.

By coming here the federal NDP Leader was trying to politicize the bid; she put this bid at risk for Nova Scotians. I think that was intentional so that bid could go to her home Province of Quebec. But it didn't work. Time after time the federal government said the decision would be made on merit, and it was made on merit alone. But our Premier, he didn't seem to want to listen, he went on with the advertising plan and we were told that this advertising plan could put this contract in jeopardy.

AN HON. MEMBER: Did they tender that?

MR. ORRELL « » : The advertising plan, we were told, and we found out afterwards it wasn't tendered.

Premiers who really have the province's best interests at heart would put politics aside and stand up to their Party when it's time. How shameful that we had the Premier try to take credit for this whole process, for the accomplishment of the good men and women who work at the Irving shipyard, for the Irvings for maintaining that shipyard in tough times - and we saw the federal Party trying to ruin the deal.

We know if the federal NDP had gotten their way, part of the shipbuilding contract would have gone to Quebec for the NDP have 59 MPs, which begs us to think that there would be 59 reasons for this NDP Leader to want those ships to be built in that province.

The approach to the shipbuilding deal, federally and provincially, represented the worst kind of old-school politics. He had an opportunity to clarify that the bid should be free of politics and to make sure that the politics stayed out of this bid so that the good people of the Province of Nova Scotia, when it came to shipbuilding, would prove to the rest of this country that we have the best shipbuilders. We realize on this side of the House what this contract is going to bring to the Province of Nova Scotia - we hope it brings numerous jobs, good well-paying jobs for people who live here, pay taxes here, spend their money here.

[Page 4960]

But if the federal NDP had their way, that wouldn't have happened. We would have had half of that. I know my time is getting short, but I do want to say that when it comes to the federal shipbuilding contract, we know the good people of Halifax, of Nova Scotia, the people who work at Irving Shipbuilding have won this contract on merit and this contract will be good for our province, and if we keep going ahead with this, keep the process free of politics, they should be here for a long time providing good, stable jobs in our province.

With that, Madam Speaker, I will take my seat.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : I want to thank all members for a very civil debate. We will now rise, to meet tomorrow at 12:00 noon

We are adjourned.

[The House rose at 6:28 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 4961]

RESOLUTION NO. 2593

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada, while also serving to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians; and

Whereas medal recipients are recognized for their service and dedication to our community and our country in their respective fields; and

Whereas on October 27, 2012, Mr. Peter Matthews of Lunenburg was presented with the Diamond Jubilee Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the contributions of Mr. Peter Matthews of Lunenburg to his community and his country, and congratulate him on receiving this recognition.

RESOLUTION NO. 2594

By: Ms. Kelly Regan « » (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada; and

Whereas the Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country, while honouring the significant contributions and achievements by Canadians; and

Whereas Halifax West Member of Parliament Geoff Regan presented Halifax Regional Police Department Superintendent Brenda Zima with the Jubilee Medal in a ceremony on November 12th in recognition of her distinctive leadership qualities - she is one of only two women to reach the rank of superintendent with the Halifax Regional Executive Management Team, and was named a Women of Excellence in 2011;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Superintendent. Brenda Zima on being awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and wish her well in her law enforcement career.

[Page 4962]

RESOLUTION NO. 2595

By: Ms. Kelly Regan « » (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada; and

Whereas the Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country, while honouring the significant contributions and achievements by Canadians; and

Whereas Halifax West Member of Parliament Geoff Regan presented Bedford resident Matt LeMoine with the Jubilee Medal in a ceremony on November 12th in recognition of his civic engagement and leadership at both Charles P. Allen High School and St. Francis Xavier University;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Matt LeMoine on being awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal - he is a young man to watch.

RESOLUTION NO. 2596

By: Ms. Kelly Regan « » (Bedford-Birch Cove)

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

Whereas the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada; and

Whereas the Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country, while honouring the significant contributions and achievements by Canadians; and

Whereas Halifax West Member of Parliament Geoff Regan presented Ann MacVicar with the Jubilee Medal in a ceremony on November 12th in recognition of her varied volunteer efforts over many years, particularly her work leading the Fort Sackville Foundation, where she has worked tirelessly to preserve the rich history of Bedford;

[Page 4963]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Ann MacVicar on being awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal - it is richly deserved.

RESOLUTION NO. 2597

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

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

Whereas along the South Shore of Nova Scotia from April to September you will find the producers, crew, and actors from the hit TV show Haven; and

Whereas Haven is based on the novel The Colorado Kid by author Stephen King, which follows the lives of Audrey, Nathan, and Duke played by Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant, and Eric Balfour, along with the local Northwest Cove resident John Dunsworth, who plays Dave from the Haven Herald; and

Whereas we are honoured to welcome back Haven next year as they start to film their fourth season;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the producers, crew, and actors of Haven on a successful season, and wish them all the best in their fourth season.

RESOLUTION NO. 2598

By: Mr. Zach Churchill « » (Yarmouth)

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

Whereas Carol d'Entremont has had provincial and Atlantic level success in the sports of badminton and tennis for many years and, in March 2012, she and her badminton partner won both the Provincial and Atlantic Open Ladies Doubles; and

Whereas this past summer Carol was a finalist in 45 Singles at the Nova Scotia Open Tennis Championships and also a finalist at the Atlantic Master's Championships in Halifax and won both 45 Singles and Mixed Doubles at the Atlantic Grass Court Tournament in P.E.I.; and

[Page 4964]

Whereas Carol d'Entremont was named the 2012 Yarmouth County Athlete of the Year at the 36th Annual Yarmouth County Athletic Awards Banquet held on November 16, 2012;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Carol d'Entremont on being awarded the 2012 Yarmouth County Athlete of the Year at the 36th Annual Yarmouth County Athletic Awards Banquet, recognize her many impressive achievements in the sports of badminton and tennis, and wish her every future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2599

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas on September 25, 2012, the recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee were announced; and

Whereas the Diamond Jubilee is an opportunity to celebrate ties with the Commonwealth, traditions, and our rich and diverse heritage, and is a time to recognize Nova Scotians for service to their communities; and

Whereas Warden Lloyd Hines, Municipality of the District of Guysborough, was presented the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal on behalf of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities at the annual general meeting in Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Warden Lloyd Hines on receiving this important award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2600

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas on September 25, 2012, the recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee were announced; and

Whereas the Diamond Jubilee is an opportunity to celebrate our ties with the Commonwealth, our traditions, and our rich and diverse heritage, and recognize Nova Scotians for outstanding service to their communities and province; and

[Page 4965]

Whereas Kalene Hines, of Goshen, a Grade 12 student at Chedabucto Place/Guysborough Academy, was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award for her outstanding academic achievement and participation in various school programs;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kalene Hines on receiving this prestigious award, which represents active citizenship and strong commitment to community, province, and country.

RESOLUTION NO. 2601

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas on September 25, 2012, the recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee were announced; and

Whereas the Diamond Jubilee is both an opportunity to celebrate our ties with the Commonwealth, our traditions, our diverse heritage, and a time to recognize Nova Scotians for outstanding service to their communities and province; and

Whereas Kim Casey-Jamieson of Queensport, Guysborough County, was presented the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her dedication to the Canso Branch Navy League at the Annual Ceremonial Review for the 281 Royal Sea Cadets in Canso;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kim Casey-Jamieson on receiving this prestigious award for her dedicated service to both her community and province.

RESOLUTION NO. 2602

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas on September 25, 2012, the recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee were announced; and

[Page 4966]

Whereas the Diamond Jubilee is an opportunity to celebrate ties with our Commonwealth traditions as well as our rich and diverse heritage and, at the same time, recognize Nova Scotians for outstanding service to their communities and province; and

Whereas Kendra Boudreau of Little Dover, a young lady who is extremely committed to achieving a high level of academic performance in her pursuit of a career in medicine, proudly received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kendra Boudreau on receiving this prestigious award, which represents active citizenship and a strong commitment to community, province, and country.

RESOLUTION NO. 2603

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas at an awards ceremony on May 25, 2012 at the Chedabucto Education Centre in Guysborough, His Honour Brigadier-General, The Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret'd), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, presented select Grade 11 students with the Lieutenant Governor's Medal; and

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is awarded annually to students who have demonstrated qualities of leadership and service in both the school and community, as well as commendable performance in the courses in which they are enrolled; and

Whereas Danielle Lauren Haines of Little Dover, a student of Canso Academy, was a 2012 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Danielle Lauren Haines on receiving this prestigious award and wish her every success in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2604

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas at an awards ceremony on May 25, 2012 at the Chedabucto Education Centre in Guysborough, His Honour Brigadier-General, The Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret'd), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, presented select Grade 11 students with the Lieutenant Governor's Medal; and

[Page 4967]

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is awarded annually to students who have demonstrated qualities of leadership and service in both the school and community, as well as commendable performance in the courses in which they are enrolled; and

Whereas Natalie Victoria Burns, a student of St. Mary's Academy in Sherbrooke, was a 2012 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Natalie Victoria Burns on receiving this prestigious award and wish her every success in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2605

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas at an awards ceremony on May 25, 2012 at the Chedabucto Education Centre in Guysborough, His Honour Brigadier-General, The Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret'd), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, presented select Grade 11 students with the Lieutenant Governor's Medal; and

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is awarded annually to students who have demonstrated qualities of leadership and service in both the school and community, as well as commendable performance in the courses in which they are enrolled; and

Whereas Maxine Foley, a student of Duncan MacMillan High School in Sheet Harbour, was a 2012 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Maxine Foley on receiving this prestigious award and wish her every success in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2606

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

[Page 4968]

Whereas at an awards ceremony on May 25, 2012 at the Chedabucto Education Centre in Guysborough, His Honour Brigadier-General, The Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret'd), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, presented select Grade 11 students with the Lieutenant Governor's Medal; and

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is awarded annually to students who have demonstrated qualities of leadership and service in both the school and community, as well as commendable performance in the courses in which they are enrolled; and

Whereas Nicholas Alden MacKenzie of Canso and a student of Canso Academy, was a 2012 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Nicholas Alden MacKenzie on receiving this prestigious award and wish him every success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2607

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas at an awards ceremony on May 25, 2012 at the Chedabucto Education Centre in Guysborough, His Honour Brigadier-General, The Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret'd), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, presented select Grade 11 students with the Lieutenant Governor's Medal; and

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is awarded annually to students who have demonstrated qualities of leadership and service in both the school and community, as well as commendable performance in the courses in which they are enrolled; and

Whereas Kane Findlay, a student of Duncan MacMillan High School in Sheet Harbour, was a 2012 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kane Findlay on receiving this prestigious award and wish him every success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2608

[Page 4969]

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas at an awards ceremony on May 25, 2012 at the Chedabucto Education Centre in Guysborough, His Honour Brigadier-General, The Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret'd), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, presented select Grade 11 students with the Lieutenant Governor's Medal; and

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is awarded annually to students who have demonstrated qualities of leadership and service in both the school and community, as well as commendable performance in the courses in which they are enrolled; and

Whereas Ryan Allan Hudson, a student of St. Mary's Academy in Sherbrooke, was a 2012 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ryan Allan Hudson on receiving this prestigious award and wish him every success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2609

By: Mr. Jim Boudreau « » (Guysborough-Sheet Harbour)

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

Whereas at an awards ceremony on May 25, 2012 at the Chedabucto Education Centre in Guysborough, His Honour Brigadier-General, The Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret'd), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, presented select Grade 11 students with the Lieutenant Governor's Medal; and

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is awarded annually to students who have demonstrated qualities of leadership and service in both the school and community, as well as commendable performance in the courses in which they are enrolled; and

Whereas Hannah Louise Gillis, a student of Chedabucto Education Centre in Guysborough, was a 2012 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Hannah Louise Gillis on receiving this prestigious award and wish her every success in her future endeavours.

[Page 4970]

RESOLUTION NO. 2610

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Minister of Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Chelsea Gittens of Lower Sackville is a 15-year-old student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Chelsea is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012 at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate 15-year-old Sackville High School student Chelsea Gittens on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2611

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Minister of Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas David Morash is a teacher's assistant for children with special needs; and

Whereas Mr. Morash endeavored to start Sackville High School's first all-female hockey team and received enthusiastic response from 16 girls, with some of the girls joining the sport for the first time; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012 at the Sackville Arena against Mr. Morash's previous team, Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate coach David Morash on his efforts to start the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish him luck and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

[Page 4971]

RESOLUTION NO. 2612

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Minister of Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Emma Carrigan of Lower Sackville is a student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Emma is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012 at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Sackville High School student Emma Carrigan on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2613

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Minister of Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Emma Winters of Lower Sackville is a 16-year-old student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Emma is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012 at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate 16-year-old Sackville High School student Emma Winters on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2614

[Page 4972]

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Minister of Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Hillary Gabriel of Lower Sackville is a student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Hillary is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012 at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Sackville High School student Hillary Gabriel on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2615

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Minister of Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Holly Melanson of Lower Sackville is a student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Holly is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012 at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Sackville High School student Holly Melanson on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2616

[Page 4973]

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Minister of Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Jessica Sperry of Lower Sackville is a 15-year-old student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Jessica is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012 at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate 15-year-old Sackville High School student Jessica Sperry on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2617

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Minister of Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Kelleigh Doyle of Lower Sackville is a 16-year-old student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Kelleigh is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012 at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate 16-year-old Sackville High School student Kelleigh Doyle on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2618

[Page 4974]

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Minister of Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Paige Fitzpatrick of Lower Sackville is a 15-year-old student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Paige is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012 at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate 15-year-old Sackville High School student Paige Fitzpatrick on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2619

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Rebecca Vaughan of Lower Sackville is a student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Rebecca is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012, at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Sackville High School student Rebecca Vaughan of Lower Sackville on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2620

[Page 4975]

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Beth Reid of Lower Sackville is a 17-year-old student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Beth is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012, at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate 17-year-old Sackville High School student Beth Reid on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2621

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Ashton Bremner of Lower Sackville is a 15-year-old student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Ashton is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012, at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate 15-year-old Sackville High School student Ashton Bremner on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2622

[Page 4976]

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Chad Winters is the father of 15-year-old Emma Winters, who is a student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Mr. Winters joined coach David Morash as assistant coach for the all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012, at the Sackville Arena against Mr. Morash's previous team, Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate coach Chad Winters on his involvement in the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish him and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2623

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Rachel Cameron of Lower Sackville is a 15-year-old student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Rachel is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012, at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate 15-year-old Sackville High School student Rachel Cameron on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2624

[Page 4977]

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Courtney Johnston of Lower Sackville is a 15-year-old student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Courtney is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012, at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate 15-year-old Sackville High School student Courtney Johnston on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2625

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Allison Prosser of Lower Sackville is a 15-year-old student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Allison is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012, at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate 15-year-old Sackville High School student Allison Prosser on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2626

[Page 4978]

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Alexis Fisher of Lower Sackville is a 15-year-old student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Alexis is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012, at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate 15-year-old Sackville High School student Alexis Fisher on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2627

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Anna Duyer of Lower Sackville is a 16-year-old student at Sackville High School; and

Whereas Anna is a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School; and

Whereas the Sackville Kingfishers girls hockey team played their first game on October 15, 2012, at the Sackville Arena against Prince Andrew High School;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate 16-year-old Sackville High School student Anna Duyer on being a member of the first all-female hockey team at Sackville High School and wish her and the Kingfishers a successful first year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2628

[Page 4979]

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Louise Smith of The Ark for 30 years of service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2629

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Melissa Knox of The Ark for 15 years of service.

[Page 4980]

RESOLUTION NO. 2630

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Richard Tanner of The Ark for 10 years of service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2631

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

[Page 4981]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Stefanie Sprich of The Ark for 15 years of service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2632

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Sarah White of The Ark for 10 years of service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2633

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

[Page 4982]

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Mark Rafuse of The Ark for 10 years of service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2634

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Stevie Demone of The Ark for 15 years of service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2635

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

[Page 4983]

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Marilyn Blinn of The Ark for 15 years of service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2636

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Margie Wentzell of The Ark for 20 years of service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2637

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

[Page 4984]

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulates Linda Dagley of The Ark for 10 years of service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2638

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a holiday banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards, as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Donald McDormand of The Ark for 10 years of service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2639

[Page 4985]

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a holiday banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards, as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Judy Banfield of The Ark for 15 years of service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2640

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a holiday banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards, as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Jeff Durling of The Ark for 15 years of service.

[Page 4986]

RESOLUTION NO. 2641

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a holiday banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards, as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Phyllis Sawler of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2642

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a holiday banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards, as well as Long Service Awards;

[Page 4987]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Megan Mossman of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2643

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a holiday banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards, as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Stevie Demone of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2644

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

[Page 4988]

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a holiday banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards, as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Louise Smith of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2645

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a holiday banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards, as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Susie Veinneau of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2646

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

[Page 4989]

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes Carol French of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2647

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes Kendall Alinard of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2648

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

[Page 4990]

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes Gail Eichel of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2649

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes David Broughm of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2650

[Page 4991]

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes Kenneth Mosher of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2651

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes Denice Russell of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

[Page 4992]

RESOLUTION NO. 2652

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes David Croft of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2653

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

[Page 4993]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Bobbi-Jo Lowe of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2654

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Linda Dagley of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2655

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

[Page 4994]

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Helen Croft of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2656

By: Ms. Pam Birdsall « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, better known as The Ark, provides programs for adults with special challenges in an environment that fosters happiness and ever more fully realized citizenship within the larger community; and

Whereas The Ark provides programming within the community, including work activity and vocational training, including basic life sills, literacy, numeracy, and computer skills training; and

Whereas each December, The Ark honours its clients and supporters during a Holiday Banquet that features Occupational Health and Safety Awards as well as Long Service Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Heather Falkenham of The Ark for receiving a 2012 Occupational Health and Safety Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2657

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 today is International Volunteer Day; and

Whereas we take this opportunity to tell volunteers how appreciative we are of their tireless efforts and contributions to society; and

[Page 4995]

Whereas Nova Scotia benefits from one of the highest rates of volunteerism in the country, with hundreds of people across the province generously offering their time and talents to do good for their communities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly show volunteers across this province how grateful we are for their selfless contributions and for the helping hand they provide to their communities.